ST. LOUIS LAW FIRM CONTINUES TO EMBRACE WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP
Clayton, MO – Ruth A. Binger is elected to the executive committee of law firm Danna McKitrick for a three-year term, effective January 2008. Binger reprises a role to which she was first elected in 1996. Her re-election to the executive committee reflects recognition of Binger as an influential leader within Danna McKitrick, particularly significant for other women in the firm as well as in the legal profession, in general.
As a female shareholder in her firm, Binger’s achievements are hardly commonplace. According to data collected by the National Association for Law Placement® in 2006, only about 18 percent of law firm partners in the U.S. were women. However, women accounted for 44 percent of professionals on the associate level—a more equitable split with the men. An unfortunate result of this disparity is the lack of female mentoring, role-modeling, and networking contacts available to ambitious professional women, creating a cyclical effect that inhibits the subsequent generation from progressing on the partner path.
Working the last 23 years in this male-dominated environment, Binger knows how essential mentoring networks are to younger professionals trying to strike an appropriate balance between work and home life. She reports that female associates tell her she represents a good example for women practicing law, as they tend to deal with certain issues in the workplace that don’t have the same impact on men.
“Female attorneys—actually most young attorneys, male or female—now truly value a sense of balance between their personal lives and career aspirations, and they’re conflicted about how to achieve this. Our lawyers say they’re encouraged to see a busy, working mom who is also an effective leader. What is usually viewed as an either/or choice, to me, really is more of an art of weaving the business and personal elements of our lives together,” says Binger.
Danna McKitrick has long supported women in leadership. Several of its female principals have served on the executive committee and it is an integral part of the firm’s culture. Although, in any law firm, Binger says, women will benefit from long-term career planning and working hard in their early years to gain the credibility and trust necessary to be granted flexibility when it is likely to be needed down the road. Binger, however, is confident that mid-sized law firms offer the most favorable conditions for women and those who seek success both in and out of the office.
Adept for years at this artful mingling of career, family, and community, Binger was recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal with their “40 Under 40” award. She also received the Pacesetter Award from the St. Louis RCGA and has served or is presently serving on various boards including the St. Louis RCGA, Civic Entrepreneurs Organization, and the Associated Industries of Missouri.
Focusing in the areas of corporate, intellectual property, and employment law, Binger uses her extensive knowledge of business operations to help companies find appropriate legal solutions and strategies for each challenge they face. She earned her J.D. from DePaul University School of Law, and her B.S. from Northern Illinois University.
About Danna McKitrick: Located in Clayton, Missouri, Danna McKitrick, P.C. delivers outstanding legal representation to businesses (emerging to national), insurers, government-related entities, and individuals throughout the Midwest.