HOUSTON, March 31, 2008 - One of the biggest challenges faced by Houston law firms is on the agenda next month as Rafte & Company (www.rafte.com) hosts its upcoming Partner's Breakfast Roundtable: "How to Improve Retention of Female Attorneys." Rafte & Company is a leading provider of strategic technology solutions for law firms, corporate legal departments and professional services firms.

Law firm managing partners identified the subject of retaining female attorneys as a priority for 2008. The National Association for Law Placement's "Directory of Legal Employers" indicates that women account for more than 43 percent of associates at law firm offices in Houston, but they comprise less than 18 percent of equity partners.

"The hurdles that women face in their legal careers tend to be overlooked and misunderstood, so we anticipate a valuable exchange of information and ideas," said Dena Rafte, founder and president of Rafte & Company. "This is a highly complex challenge rooted in the very way law firms operate, including everything from compensation practices to reliance on billable hours."

A lack of senior women can damage a law firm's recruiting efforts, result in the loss of prospective and existing clients, and increase associated training and recruiting costs.

Rafte & Company encourages law firms to utilize their resources differently to help improve retention. Most firms already have the necessary technology infrastructure to enable flexibility, but firm leaders often resist the enhancements to increase mobility, process improvements, and training. Rafte & Company's strategic technology consultants have identified three key issues to consider:

  • Mobility. Adopt technologies that enable easy and secure mobile access to law firm information.
  • Business process improvement. Agree on standards and policies, discontinue the law firm's reliance on paper files, and stop catering to the habits of individual attorneys.
  • Cultural issues. Reward teamwork and embrace flexibility, giving attorneys the ability to work anytime, anywhere.

The Partner's Breakfast Roundtable will be held at 7 a.m. on April 3, 2008 at the Lancaster Hotel in Houston. Managing partners interested in participating should call 713-993-9637.

About Rafte & Company

Rafte & Company (www.rafte.com) is a leading provider of strategic technology consulting services, legal software solutions, and information technology (IT) network design, implementation and management services. To learn more about how Rafte & Company has been delivering legal technology strategies and solutions to regional area law firms and corporate legal departments for more than 20 years, visit the Rafte & Company Web site at www.rafte.com or call (713) 993-9637 or toll-free (800) 396-9390.