Lawyer Pay

Male partners make 44% more on average than female partners, survey finds

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Hand holding money.

A new survey confirms the gender pay gap among law firm partners.

Male partners make 44 percent more on average than female partners, according to the survey by Major, Lindsey & Africa., Bloomberg Big Law Business and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog covered the results.

Average compensation is $949,000 a year for male partners and $659,000 for female partners.

A difference in origination credit accounts for much of the difference, according to study author Jeffrey Lowe, managing partner in Major, Lindsey & Africa’s Washington, D.C., office. Average origination was $2.59 million for male partners and $1.73 million for female partners.

“That’s the crux of the issue: Why are men generating more business than women?” Lowe told “Is there some boys club aspect or not?”

The survey nonetheless showed women partners have increased their origination credit more than males since the last survey in 2014. Origination credit increased 40 percent for female partners and 18 percent for male partners.

The survey also found some gender differences in partner billing rates and billable hours. The average partner billing rate was $701 for men and $636 for women, while average billable hours were 1,703 for men and 1,632 for women.

Overall, average compensation was $1.1 million for equity partners and $367,000 for nonequity partners.

More than 2,150 partners responded to the survey.

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