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Survey Finds 44% Pay Gap Between Male and Female Law Firm Partners
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Summary: Major, Lindsay & Africa has just released its 2016 partner compensation survey. 

With sexism being a major hot topic because of this year’s presidential election, the results of a recent legal survey have raised eyebrows at the alarming disparity of pay between men and women.

  
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Major, Lindsey & Africa released its partner compensation survey results on Wednesday. The firm asked partners of Big Law firms around the country how much money they made a year, and it found that female partners averaged $659,000 annually while their male counterparts earned $949,000 a year. According to the New York Times, the whopping 44% percent pay difference can be attributed to men bringing in more “big ticket legal cases, or are better at getting credit for doing so.”

2,100 law partners responded to the survey about their salaries, and the average annual compensation has increased by 22% from two years ago to $877,000.

Jeffrey A. Lowe, who heads Major, Lindsey & Africa, said that the partners stated that the number one factor underlying the pay difference was origination, or who brings in business. According to survey respondents, the average origination amount was about $2.5 million.

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The report found that women average $1.7 million worth of business while men bring in $2.6 million on average.

According to the survey, other factors such as the number of hours worked are secondary in determining pay.



While this year’s results may seem discouraging, things have actually improved. Major, Lindsay & Africa’s last survey found that the gender pay disparity between men and women partners was 47% in 2014. According to the 2014 results, females earned $531,000 a year while men earned $779,000.

In addition to studying gender, the survey also queried other factors such as race, type of law practiced, and location. It found that white partners earned an average salary of $876,000; Hispanic partners earned $956,000; African-American partners earned $797,000; and Asian-Pacific partners earned $875,000.

The survey revealed that labor and employment law partners earned the lowest compensation at $597,000. Partners who worked with corporate matters earned $1.1 million annually.

When it comes to location, compensation varies, from the low of Seattle’s $564,000 to the high of Silicon Valley’s $1,433,000. According to Major, Lindsey, & Africa press release, “The 2016 survey showed increases in all cities but Philadelphia, where average compensation fell 11%. Partners in San Francisco (+51%), Los Angeles (+38%), and Houston (+36%) had the largest percentage gains, while New York City had the smallest percentage increase (+6%) of those cities showing gains.”

The Major, Lindsey & Africa’s 2016 Partner Compensation Survey is available here.

Photo courtesy of TWT Law



 

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