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Conventional Salary Wisdom Wrong

Posted Aug 3, 2007 10:33 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Young female lawyers in New York City are making more money than their male peers.

That’s the finding of a study of men’s and women’s wages in major cities, the New York Times reports. The analysis of U.S. census data found that New York City working women of all educational levels, aged 21 to 30, made 117 percent of men’s wages in 2005. Women also outpaced men in Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis and a few other large cities.

The newspaper said that, consistent with the overall trend, New York City women lawyers in their 20s made more money than their male counterparts, but did not give specifics.

Researcher Andrew Beveridge first reported his findings in the Gotham Gazette.

Melissa J. Manfro, a 24-year-old lawyer, told the Times that young female lawyers probably make more money because they are in a hurry to establish themselves before having children. Men, on the other hand, are likely to take some time off before entering law school, she surmised.

“I would, of course, like to think [the salary difference] means that women know what they want sooner than men. But it probably has more to do with the unfortunate fact that women need to keep in mind biological time constraints and feel a great deal of pressure to build an entire career before refocusing on marriage and children,” she said.

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