Fewer Married Women Keeping Maiden Names; Consultant Sees Similar Pattern in Lawyers

Fewer women lawyers today are keeping their maiden names after marriage than those of past generations, one law firm consultant has observed.

The Careerist contacted consultant Eve Birnbaum for her take on the issue after noting a report that the keep-your-maiden-name trend peaked in the 1990s.

Birnbaum, a former partner at Winston & Strawn, told the Careerist she is seeing more young associates using their married names. “I was surprised and disappointed,” she told the blog. Birnbaum said she didn’t change her name, nor did “any of my NYU Law classmates. We were feminists of the ’80s!”

According to a 2009 study in the journal Social Behavior and Personality, about 23 percent of women kept their maiden names in the 1990s, compared to about 18 percent in the 2000s. The Wall Street Journal blog The Juggle covered the results, which also found that well-educated women in high-paying jobs were more likely to keep their maiden names than others.

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