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

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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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