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Rutgers Law School Study on Women in Law Seeking Focus Group Participants

WHY, after decades of entry into the legal profession in ever-growing numbers, do women lag behind men in reaching the upper levels of leadership, compensation, and career satisfaction? We would like your thoughts.

Rutgers Law School welcomes your participation in focus groups related to the launch of a cutting-edge study on advancement and retention of women in the New Jersey legal profession. It will be the first study of its kind in New Jersey, gathering information from the following sectors: private law; in-house; government; public interest; academia; and the judiciary.

The study will be conducted by Penny M. Venetis, Esq. and Kirsten Scheurer Branigan, Esq. with the help of Rutgers Law School students. It aims to do more than compile data. It will provide a roadmap of solutions to help the legal profession address the persistent impediments to the advancement of women, the perpetuation of unequal pay, and the departure of female lawyers from the profession. Rutgers Law School seeks to use this study as a model that can be replicated in other states, as well as internationally.

To create the strongest and most effective study, we need your help! We are seeking a broad range of participants for focus groups. You qualify to participate in the focus groups if you are now (or were in the past) a lawyer working in New Jersey, in whole or in part, in one of the target sectors listed above. The focus groups will help us develop survey questions to present to a larger study of participants.

The first focus groups will be virtual, in March and April 2023 during the dates and times listed on the Focus Group Schedule and Consent Form. The second round of focus groups will be conducted in September and October 2023. If you cannot participate in the currently scheduled focus groups, there will be other opportunities to participate in the study, and in future focus groups.

Recognizing that some topics may be sensitive, your participation in the focus groups will be kept anonymous. Also, all answers you provide to focus group inquiries or any part of the study will remain confidential.

If you are interested in participating in a focus group, or know someone who is, please complete and return the Focus Group Schedule and Consent Form to Kirsten S. Branigan at and You may also email Professor Penny Venetis at We will then follow up regarding next steps.

We thank you in advance for your willingness to participate in this important work and welcome your involvement to impact positive change in the New Jersey legal community.