The Great Debate UK

Success against the statistical likelihood of failure



Sandra Giannone Ezell is Managing Partner of Bowman and Brooke LLP’s Richmond, Virginia, office and a trial lawyer. The opinions expressed are her own.Thomson Reuters is hosting a live blog on March 8, 2011 to mark the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.

I was honoured to be asked to share my voice in this forum on this auspicious day that celebrates the International Day of the Woman.  I can be found most days, growing my trial practice, running my office, delivering speeches, making it rain and blogging on

By night, I am a mother to four, a wife and, life permitting, an intermittent sports fan.  I thought about what I could possibly add to this that would stand out in celebration of the distance that women have travelled to actually attain success in the legal profession, or any profession, in the last 50 years.

I started out in my profession more than 20 years ago and at that time, in my law school class, as in most law school classes, then and now, the distribution of women to men was even, if not slightly more women.  At every single mile marker along the way, however, that ratio has shifted.  And while the actual numbers have changed the more than two decades that I have been doing this, the trends have not.