Friday, January 20, 2012

"Part-time Work Among Lawyers Declined for First Time in 17 Years"

From an NALP press release dated January 19, 2012:

Most large law firms have made part-time schedules available to their experienced lawyers for many years, but overall the number of lawyers working part-time continues to be very small, and in fact the number edged down in 2011 for the first time since NALP began compiling these figures in 1994. In 2011, just 6.2% of lawyers were working part-time, compared with 6.4% in 2010, and most of them, over 70%, were women. This reflects the fact that women are much more likely to be working part-time than men. Among women lawyers overall, 13.4% work part-time; among female partners, 11.8% are working part-time; and among women associates the figure was 10.0%. This contrasts with a rate of just 2.7% among all male lawyers. These are among the findings of the most recent analyses of the NALP Directory of Legal Employers, the annual compendium of employer information published by NALP. The 2011-2012 Directory comprises listings from primarily large law firms and includes part-time use information for 1,269 individual law offices and firms and for more than 125,000 lawyers.

The lack of part-time lawyers at law firms distinguishes private law firm practice from both the U.S. workforce as a whole and from more defined segments of the workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), not quite 13.6 % of employed individuals during 2010 usually worked part-time, as did a similar percentage (13.2%) of those employed in professional specialties (e.g., engineers, architects, physicians). These rates contrast markedly with the 6.2% rate among lawyers at major law firms. However, it is worth noting that the decrease in the percentage of lawyers in large firms working part-time parallels a decline among those in professional specialties as a whole. The annual average of 13.2% for 2010 compares with 13.6% in 2009.

Table 1. Part-time Work at law Firms in 2011 — Summary by Lawyer Type

  Total # % Part-time % Who Are Women Working Part-time % Who Are Men Working Part-time % of Women Working Part-time % of Men Working Part-time % of Part-time Lawyers Who Are Women
Partners 57,020 3.5% 2.3% 1.2% 11.8% 1.5% 65.8%
Associates 53,303 5.1 4.5 0.6 10.0 1.0 89.1
Other Lawyers* 14,710 20.7 11.8 8.9 31.4 14.2 57.0
Total 125,036 6.2 4.4 1.8 13.4 2.7 70.5

*Includes counsel/of counsel, staff attorneys, and senior attorneys.
Source: 2011-2012 NALP Directory of Legal Employers

You can continue reading the report here including tables showing the percentage of part-time private sectory lawyers by city.

Hat tip to the ABA Journal Blog.


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