Why Are Older Female Attorneys Leaving Law?

By Teresa Lo, JD Journal

The legal field has a reputation of being a boy’s club, but what’s the reason for that? Looking at law schools, there is an almost equal number of men and women in the classes, so what happens once those bright eyed people go into the real world? A study conducted by ALM Intelligence said that the reason men dominate the field is because women slowly trickle out. Their exits happen at all stages and in small enough numbers that the loss of women is as unnoticeable as an Irish goodbye.

According to Vivian Chen of The Careerist, only 18% of equity partners are women and women make up only 8% of the elite lawyers with salaries of $500,000/a year or more. Professor Joan Williams of UC-Hastings said that women may be leaving law because they are frustrated by the pay inequality.

“Women lawyers in their fifties are really upset about compensation,” Williams said. “They have the sense that men and women are not treated fairly.”
This sense of unfairness is backed up by recent data from Major, Lindsey & Africa that found that male partners on average make $949,000/a year while female partners are paid $659,000/a year on average. That equates to women partners making 69 cents for every male partner’s dollar.


Read more of this article at JD Journal.

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