Whenever we do a post on gender inequality in the legal profession, some readers insist on finding arguments to make the income gap “acceptable.”
Another survey was released yesterday, this time from the National Association of Women Lawyers, that shows pay and promotion inequality is still the norm.
The WSJ Law Blog puts the facts plainly:
There is also a considerable pay gap. At 99% of the firms, the top-paid partner is a man; on average, male equity partners earn more than $87,000 annually than female equity partners. (Fifty-nine firms in the AmLaw 200 reported compensation data.)
Can you imagine what those numbers would look like if the other 141 AmLaw 200 firms had bothered to report their compensation data?
The survey itself deals straight-away with one of more common justifications for continued inequality:
In spite of more than two decades in which women have graduated from law schools and started careers in private practice at about the same rate as men, women continue to be markedly underrepresented in the leadership ranks of firms. Women lawyers account for fewer than 16% of equity partners, those lawyers who hold an ownership interest in their firms and occupy the most prestigious, powerful and best‐paid positions. The average firm’s highest governing committee counts women as only 15% of its members – and 15% of the nation’s largest firms have no women at all on their governing committees. Only about 6% of law firm managing partners are women.
Let me access my inner Joe Biden and repeat that: two decades, starting careers in at the same rate as men, 16% of equity partners.
More survey results after the jump.