Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Chris Guthrie (Dean, Vanderbilt; Google Scholar) & Emily Lamm (J.D. 2019, Vanderbilt), The Aid Gap, 69 J. Legal Educ. 123 (2019):
Women lag men in wages and wealth. Women earn 81 percent as much as similarly situated men, and they own only 32 percent of the wealth that men own. Lawyers are no different. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, female lawyers make 77 percent as much as their male peers, and according to the National Association of Women Lawyers, female equity partners make almost $100,000 less each year than their male peers. Because wage gaps lead to wealth gaps, female lawyers accrue less wealth than their male counterparts.
Gender gaps in wages and wealth are well known and have attracted widespread attention. In the past year alone, The American Lawyer, The Economist, Money, Forbes, Time, U.S. News, and other media outlets have highlighted them. Likewise, policymakers have tried to address them legislatively. California, for example, requires employers to pay equal wages to employees doing substantially similar work and recently enacted a law calling for publicly traded companies to include at least one woman on their boards of directors. Advocacy organizations have also taken up the cause. For example, the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) recognizes “Equal Pay Day” every April to highlight how many months a woman must work each year to earn what a similarly situated man earned in the prior year