Lawyer Pay

Full-time female lawyers earn 77 percent of male lawyer pay


gender inequality

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Median pay for full-time female lawyers was 77.4 percent of the pay earned by their male counterparts, according to data for 2014 released earlier this month by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In all law-related jobs, median pay for female workers in 2014 was 51.6 percent of the pay received by male workers, according to the data.

The pay gap is large for all legal occupations because women in the law are more likely to be paralegals and support workers than men, and pay in those areas is lower, Census Bureau spokesperson John Barker tells the ABA Journal. The salary figures are for full-time, year- round workers; part-time workers aren’t included in the statistics.

Law overall has the widest gender gap, Fusion reports. Other fields with big gender gaps include an “other” category of financial specialists, aircraft mechanics, financial services sales agents, jewelers and photographic process workers.

Here are other findings:

• Female paralegals and legal assistants earned 94 percent of male paralegal pay.

• Female judges, magistrates and other judicial workers earned 71.8 percent of men’s pay in those occupations.

• Female legal support workers made 73.7 percent of the pay of male legal support workers.

Fusion spoke with former ABA President Laurel Bellows about the numbers. She said women face hurdles when trying to negotiate for better pay.

“Are women good negotiators? Yes,” Bellows said. “But women are often labeled as greedy and aggressive and not team driven when asking for a well-deserved raise and bonus. Men who ask are viewed as strong and good negotiators hard workers worthy of consideration for an increase.”


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