Lawyer Pay

Gender Rather Than Productivity Explains Lower Pay for Women Partners, Study Suggests


Women partners are no less productive than their male counterparts when it comes to generating revenue per lawyer, but the women partners are paid less, a new study says. The study looked at gross revenues and profits at America’s 200 largest law firms from 2002 and 2007, using numbers from the American Lawyer and studies by Vault and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.

According to the study, the average gross revenue of firms with the highest percentages of women lawyers was about $20 million higher than firms with the lowest percentage of women lawyers. But the revenue per lawyer at these firms dropped by about $120,000 per lawyer.

One of the study authors is Temple University law professor Marina Angel. “We found that the average compensation for lawyers at a firm goes down as the proportion of women at a firm rises, indicating that women in all positions at a firm are paid less than their male counterparts,” Angel said in a press release.

The study says there is no evidence that women lawyers generate less revenue, leaving discrimination as the explanation for the pay gap.

Angel’s co-author is Eun-Young Whang, an assistant professor at the University of Texas-Pan American.

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