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Can Women Lawyers Ever Find Equality In Biglaw?

Richard B. Cohen abovethelaw.com

Hey — who cares if Biglaw is white and male as long as it can charge $2,000 per hour (or more). It’s all about the money, after all. Isn’t it?


Of course.


As long as the profits keep rolling in, why should Biglaw care about gender equality? Yeah, I know – clients are starting to demand it; let’s see what happens. (The CEO of United Airlines probably had a similar lack of concern the other day about the passenger dragged off one of his planes, until the PR nightmare hit).


Gender Pay Disparity


A 2016 “fact sheet” published by the National Partnership For Women & Families stated that in New York, women are paid 87 cents for every dollar paid a man. And recall the equal pay complaint of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team?


So we know that women generally get paid less than men. What about in the law?


A Major, Lindsey & Africa survey released in late 2016 found that women law partners average about 69% of the compensation of male partners. Above the Law also reported at the time on the NYC Bar Association’s 2015 Diversity Benchmarking Report, which stated that “[d]espite more than a decade of New York law firms pledging to enhance diversity in their ranks, minority representation within associate and partners levels stalled last year, and attrition rates for female and minority attorneys remained disproportionately high.”

 

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