Friday, July 9, 2010
As a supplement to news of Nancy and Doug's new book on Happy Lawyers, which Paul just noted, the ABA online journal has a story about some unhappy lawyers--women equity partners. The story covers this study just out by Joan Williams (UC-Hastings, Center for Worklife Law) and Veta Richardson (Minority Corp. Counsel Ass'n): New Millennium, Same Glass Ceiling? The Impact of Law Firm Compensation Systems on Women.
From the ABA's story:
What is being billed as a first-of-a-kind survey of female law firm partners has revealed a "deep vein of anger" over pay disparities.
"A recent Census Bureau report revealed that the median income of women lawyers is only 74 percent of that of male lawyers. Unfortunately, what starts as a $2,000 annual gap between male and female associates accelerates to a $66,000 annual gap between male and female equity partners," write Roberta Liebenberg and Catherine Lamboley in a letter introducing a report (PDF) on the survey, New Millenium, Same Glass Ceiling? The Impact of Law Firm Compensation Systems on Women.
Liebenberg and Lamboley are, respectively, the chair and a member of the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, which collaborated on the survey with the Project for Attorney Retention and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. PAR and MCCA released the report today. It includes comments from some unidentified female partners who say they are paid roughly half of what their male counterparts earn.
Although conventional wisdom says women lawyers are paid less due to a stronger focus on family, responses from the almost 700 partners surveyed suggested that being bullied out of origination credit and omitted from compensation committees may play a more significant role in an apparent gender-based pay gap, according to a press release from PAR and MCCA.
It's a very thorough and interesting study worth a read for those interested in the gender pay gap or law firm life.