Midsize Firm Leaders Fight Gender Pay Gap With Data

By Lizzy McLellan, The Legal Intelligencer

In a legal market still plagued by gender-based pay inequity, midsize and small firms have the ability, and some say responsibility, to carefully track how partner compensation is determined and make sure it is not affected by gender bias.

A survey released last week by Major, Lindsey & Africa revealed that, at large firms, male partners receive 44 percent more compensation on average than female partners. That means women partners get 69 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make. Asked about these statistics, several midsize firm leaders said they have taken measures to prevent such a disparity at their firms.

"I recommend that law firms define the compensation criteria and then they keep accurate records," said Joel A. Rose, a consultant to small and midsize law firms. "If a firm has enough accurate data about the objective contributions the males and females make, then the firm would have a much better opportunity to compensate both males and females appropriately for the contributions they're making."

Rose said many law firms still do not break down lawyers' compensation by objective contributions, and that keeps them from seeing and addressing inequality between male and female partners.

Read more of this article at The Legal Intelligencer.


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