Lawyers

Female BigLaw Partners Fighting Gender Pay Inequality with Lawsuits
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

Summary: Will more law firms be slammed with gender discrimination lawsuits? Some legal experts think yes.

Last year, law firms Chadbourne & Parke and Sedgwick were hit with lawsuits from female partners who alleged that they were not paid equally to male partners. As those cases are pending, a new gender discrimination lawsuit was filed against Proskauer Rose, and it makes you wonder–will more female partners at different firms follow in their colleagues’ footsteps?

  
What
Where


According to Law360, gender discrimination lawsuits against BigLaw firms is becoming a “trend” that legal experts state “will likely gain steam as female partners are emboldened to go public with claims of bias at their firms.”

It is no industry secret that law firms do not retain women, despite human resource efforts to do so. ALM Intelligence conducted a study that found that women from top-tier law schools were likely to quit after three to five years, while women from less prestigious schools were more likely to stay. According to Joni Hersch, a professor at Vanderbilt University, one of the theories for this was that women from the best schools tended to come from money or married well, and once in the grueling environment of law firms, they had the luxury of choice of moving on. ALM Intelligence found that men, no matter what their educational background, did not experience the same drop out rate as women in firms.

After the three to five year mark, women in big law firms trickle out year by year, according to ALM Intelligence. While first-year associate classes tend to be 50-50 of men and women and are compensated the same, with time, the pay gap starts to widen, causing some women to leave.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




Professor Joan Williams of UC-Hastings said that one reason 50-year-old female attorneys quit is due to gender pay inequality, which one survey said was almost 44%. 

“Women lawyers in their fifties are really upset about compensation,” Williams said. “They have the sense that men and women are not treated fairly.”



And now some of these women are fighting back.

On May 12, “Jane Doe,” a partner at Proskauer, filed a lawsuit that stated the firm paid less successful male colleagues up to 65% more than her in recent years, according to Law360. She said that she complained about her compensation and was retaliated against. She said that she faced discrimination and hostility, which caused her to have anxiety and other health problems.

Proskauer Rose denies her allegations, and meanwhile, Chadbourne & Parke is facing a $100 million proposed class action discrimination lawsuit and Sedgwick is reportedly close to settling with a partner who accused the firm of unfair compensation and promotions.

One legal expert told Law360 that she believes we’ve reached a tipping point and that momentum for these types of lawsuits is likely to build.

“There’s an impact with each one that causes people to evaluate their [own circumstances] and consider if that’s something they want [to pursue],” Lauren Stiller Rikleen, president of the Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership, told the publication.

Do you think more female partners will pursue litigation against their firms? Let us know in the comments below.



 

Interesting Legal Sites You May Like


BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Mid-Level Commercial Business Litigator

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Los Angeles office is seeking a commercial business litigation attorney with 2-5 years of experience...

Apply Now

Senior Level Litigator

USA-CA-Woodland Hills

Woodland Hills office is seeking a litigation attorney with 5-7 years of experience and a background...

Apply Now

Litigation Associate Attorney

USA-CT-Stamford

Stamford office of our client seeks litigation associate attorney with 3+ years of experience. The c...

Apply Now

Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

USA-CA-Torrance

Torrance office is seeking an estate planning attorney with 7-10 years of experience.

Apply Now

RELEVANT JOBS

Paralegal / Legal Assistant (Criminal Defense Firm)

USA-CA-San Diego

Busy downtown San Diego criminal defense firm seeks paralegal who is experienced in handling client ...

Apply now

Paralegal

USA-UT-Salt Lake City

Our growing law firm is looking for another paralegal to assist with its current caseload. It is exp...

Apply now

Paralegal

USA-NY-Auburn

Plaintiffs\' litigation firm looking for FT experienced paralegal who is familiar with handling pers...

Apply now

Paralegal / Legal Assistant

USA-MO-Springfield

Full-time position available with local law firm. Legal experience of two years is required. Prefere...

Apply now

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top