Women law-firm partners still significantly lag behind men, according to data compiled by Sky Analytics. On one key metric—billing rates—women average 10% less for their services than their male counterparts, Jennifer Smith writes in the Wall Street Journal.
Although one-third of lawyers and judges in the U.S. are women, only 17% of equity partners with ownership stakes at the 200 top-grossing law firms are women.
Another inequality is the lower rates at which female associates are billed out. Female associates at 1,000-plus lawyer firms average an hourly billed rate of $377, compared with $404 for male associates.
Andrea Kramer—partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and a past chair of the Chicago Foundation for Women—was among those interviewed for the article. She told the paper that “women lawyers tend to be asked to take on administrative and nonbillable ‘housekeeping’ tasks that help law firms run smoothly but do little to boost individual pay or internal prestige.” Her advice to women is to refer business to other women and to “tour their accomplishments during pay negotiations.”
More insights on gender bias and law firms from Andrea Kramer can be had from her interview with GlassCeiling.com.
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