Women in the Law

Women JDs Experience Less Pay Disparity than Women MBAs, Expert Says


Professional women with advanced degrees in medicine, law and business will earn on average $2 million less in their lifetimes than men in their same graduating classes.

But the situation is worse for women holding masters degrees in business administration than women with juris doctor degrees, the Am Law Daily reports.

The $2 million disparity was highlighted Tuesday by Catalyzing, a blog published by the nonprofit women’s equality group Catalyst. Women earn on average 77 cents for every dollar made by a man, and April 20 represents how far into the year an average woman must work to match last year’s annual pay of a man.

The Am Law Daily spoke to Selena Rezvani, author of The Next Generation of Women Leaders: What You Need to Lead but Won’t Learn in Business School, for her take on the pay disparity. She pointed out that large law firms have standardized pay practices for associates that benefit women lawyers.

The situation changes later, the Am Law Daily says. Only about 16 percent of equity partners at big firms are female, according to a report released last year by the National Association of Women Lawyers.

Despite the problems, Rezvani says women lawyers experience less disparity than women MBAs. “JDs come out a bit better in the end,” she told the Am Law Daily. “Women lawyers see themselves reflected more often in their classmates and faculty, which gives them more confidence and camaraderie throughout their training.”

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Multiple Women Make Partner at Some Firms, While Others Promote All-Male Classes”

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