Women Lawyers and Gender Bias: The Mommy Track Can Kill Your Salary


The ABA Journal recently published an article which suggested that unemployed women lawyers should remain hopeful about their careers. Why? Because according to 2009 Labor Department statistics, being a lawyer is “a good gig for women who want to earn big bucks.” Based on those statistics, Forbes magazine compiled a list of the 10 best-paying jobs for salaried women employees working full-time. Women lawyers earned a median salary of $75,000 in 2009, ranking them in third place behind pharmacists and chief executives.

While a third place ranking is certainly respectable, Forbes noted that women lawyers are making only 75% of men’s earnings in the same profession. Meanwhile, according to U.S. News, the median annual salary for lawyers of unspecified gender is $113,000. Based on these statistics, it is obvious that there is still a gender wage gap in the legal profession. Why does the gender wage gap still exist, and what can women lawyers do to level the playing field?

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