Gender Equity in the Legal Profession: Still a Long Way to Go

Commission on Women in the Profession of the American Bar Association reports that women now make up 38 percent of all attorneys in the United States. According to the latest data, women are 22.7 percent of the partners in U.S. law firms and 22 percent of the managing partners at the nation’s 200 largest law firms. Women make up 45 percent of all associates in private practice.

The data also show that women are 30 percent of the general counsels at Fortune 500 firms. For companies ranking between 501 and 1,000 on the Fortune list of largest companies, women are 23.8 percent of general counsels.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women attorneys on average earn 80 percent of the compensation of their male peers. This is the same compensation ratio that existed in 2008.

In the academic world, women make up 35 percent of the deans at American law schools. Women now make up a majority of enrollments and a majority of degree earners at American law schools.

In the federal judiciary, women make up between 30 and 40 percent of all judges on the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeal, and federal district courts. Women are 30 percent of all judges on state court benches.

Filed Under: Professional SchoolsResearch/Study

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