TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, December 6, 2018

New Survey Finds Male Big Law Partners Make 53% More Than Female Partners

American Lawyer, New Survey Finds Even Bigger Gender Gap in Big Law Partner Pay:

Awareness of the gender pay gap among law firm partners may be rising, thanks in part to a number of high-profile lawsuits. But the pay gap itself?

It may be getting worse.

That’s the lesson from a new partner compensation survey out Thursday from Major, Lindsey & Africa. The legal search firm found that male partners are earning $959,000, on average, at large U.S. firms, compared to $627,000 on average for female partners—a 53 percent difference.

In 2010, the first year the biennial survey was conducted, that gap was only 32 percent, and in subsequent years it has fallen between 44 and 48 percent.

The study pins much of the gap on originations. Male partners reported average originations of $2.788 million—a gain of 8 percent over 2016. That compares to $1.589 million for female partners—a decline of 8 percent from 2016.

Legal Education | Permalink


Maybe the men work longer hours than the women. That's going to result in both more revenues and more originations. The things it takes to get more originations require time and effort.

Posted by: Nathan | Dec 6, 2018 4:14:23 PM

As the real issue, which is the division of the country into wealthy coasts and poor interior, continues to fester we can expect the left to continue to distract attention by emphasizing issues like this.

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Dec 7, 2018 4:11:16 AM

If I were the client, I would be concerned about paying so much for selling to me, versus working for me.

Posted by: Anand Desai | Dec 7, 2018 7:09:52 PM

@Mike Livingston,

If the real issue regarding a gender pay gap among law firm partners is, erm, that the American coasts are wealthy while the interior is poor, maybe the right can actually institute some pro-worker policies for once to help level the playing field. Stronger worker protections, higher wages, deemphasize the bogus shareholder value theory, stop letting industrial farms and such pollute the riverways, stop neutering the CFPB, etc. Oh right, that will never happen, the mere mention of higher wages is socialism or Marxism or other scary words, and the right isn't remotely concerned about the poor save for allowing banks and the private sector to fleece them to no end.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Dec 10, 2018 8:39:31 AM