Glance at the Daily Business Review's annual yearbook of new partners at South Florida law firms and the dearth of minorities and women is quickly obvious. Only three black lawyers were promoted to partner by area firms who responded to the DBR's survey.
Undeterred by the economy and the racial and gender barriers, minority and women lawyers press on.
Detra Shaw-Wilder, a black litigation shareholder at Coral Gables-based Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, says she can see progress in the representation of women and minorities in the partnership ranks at South Florida law firms -- but it has been gradual.
When Shaw-Wilder was vice president of what is now the Wilkie D. Ferguson Bar Association in 2001, she observed 18 black partners at large and mid-sized law firms in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. There are now 31.
"From one perspective you can say surely there is progress," she said. "But it is slow going. There's a long ways to go. There's definitely work to be done and more progress to be made. There are firms on this list that were not around in 2001, so perhaps there's more opportunity there. It looks like some firms like Greenberg Traurig are making significant progress."