In the last several years alone, women in law have made progress in narrowing the disparities and gender pay gap, but there is still room for improvement and reform.
Women have been in the field of law for more than a century.
In 1869, Arabella Mansfield was the first female lawyer admitted to the bar. In 1870, Ada Kepley was the first female to graduate law school. In 1872, Charlotte E. Ray was the first African American female lawyer. In 1879, Belva A. Lockwood was the first female lawyer admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1963, Lorna Lockwood became the first female Chief Justice of a State Supreme Court. In 1993, Janet Reno, was the first female U.S. Attorney General. In 1999, Christine Lagarde was the first female Chairperson of a law firm (Baker & McKenzie). In 1995, Roberta Cooper Ramo was the first female president of the American Bar Association. In 3013, Shiela Abdus-Salaam was the first African American woman appointed to New York state’s highest court.
In 1951, 3 percent of U.S. lawyers were women
In 2010, 31 percent of U.S. lawyers were women
In 2016, 36 percent of U.S. lawyers are women
In the last few years alone, more women are entering the legal profession than ever before.
48.7 percent of Summer Associates at U.S. law firms are women, compared to 46.3 percent in 2013.
18 percent of Equity Partners are women compared to 15 percent in 2013.
18 percent of Managing Partners are women compared to 4 percent in 2013.
35.9 percent of Active U.S. Courts of Appeals Judges are women compared to 31 percent in 2013.
31.1 percent of Deans in Law Schools are women compared to 21 percent in 2013.
But the gender pay gap still exists.
On average, women make 89.7 percent of weekly wages earned by men compared to 87 percent in 2013.
There is a 44 percent difference in pay between women and men at big law firms.
The average annual salary of female partners is $659,000 compared to the average annual salary of male partners, which is $949,000.
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