Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Women in the Legal Profession: More Bad News

NawlThe 2012 Report of the National Association of Women Lawyers paints, yet again, a bleak picture of the status of women in the legal profession.  Here, via Above the Law, is a summary from Vivia Chen over at The Careerist:


  • That cursed 15 percent figure again. Women make up barely 15 percent of equity partners, and just 26 percent of nonequity partners.
  • There’s no shortage of women in lower-status positions. Women represent 46 percent of associates, 35 percent of counsel, and 70 percent of staff attorneys.
  • A big wage gap exists between women and men in median compensation. The worst gap is among equity partners, where women make about 89 percent of what men make.
  • Women associates get smaller bonuses. Although nearly 50 percent of all associates are women, they receive only 40 percent of the bonuses.
  • Women lag behind in business. “Women partners are credited with a smaller median book of business than men, even though their business development efforts may be substantial,” reads the report.
  • Compensation decisions are made in a black box. “The gap between the median compensation of male and female equity partners cannot be explained by differences in billable hours, total hours, or books of business.”
  • Women partners lack clout. Women hold only 20 percent of the positions on a firm’s highest governance committee, and only 4 percent of firms have a firmwide female managing partner.



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