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Balancing the Scales: A Look at Gender Bias in the Legal Industry

According to a study published on PayScale, the legal industry has one of the highest wage gaps not influenced by education or experience, as high as 38.6 percent. While this gap is outrageous at first glance and may appear to never close, there are some noticeable caveats to that statistic. First, while there are more women working in legal professions than men (at 68 percent), men dominate the higher-paying and higher-ranking legal jobs. This statistic also includes legal support workers, paralegals, and secretaries, which slightly skew the statistics because these lower-status jobs are more likely to be filled by women.

From Bar Exam to Partner: A Closer Look at Women in Law

According to the NAWL 2017 Annual Report Survey, “for over a decade, approximately 50 percent of law students nationwide have been women, law firms have recruited women entry-level associates in proportion to their representation among law school graduates.” However, as in many male-dominated industries, we do not see the same proportion of women represented as equity partners in those same law firms.