• In the 2012-2013 academic year, women made up 47.0% of J.D. students.12
  • In the 2012-2013 academic year, people of color made up 25.8% of J.D. students.13
  • In 2009, women were only 20.6% of law school deans.14

The Gender Gap in Law

  • In 2014, women made up 32.9% of all lawyers. 15
  • Women were 44.8% of associates in 2013.16

Women were 38% of all of counsels.17
Given the same rate of change, Catalyst estimates that it will take more than a woman lawyer’s lifetime to achieve equality.18

In a survey of the 50 best law firms for women,

  • 19% of the equity partners were women, 19
  • 29% of the nonequity partners were women, 20 and
  • 42% of the of-counsels were women. 21

According to a recent survey of law firms,

96% of AmLaw firms report that their highest paid partner is male. 22

  • Lateral hiring favors men at the level of equity partner. 23
  • Women appear to be most successful in single-tier firms. 24
  • Only 24.1% of all federal judgeships were held by women, and only 27.5% of state judgeships were held by women.25
  • Women lawyers made 83.0% of men lawyers’ salaries in 2014.26
  • When women were more present on compensation and governance committess, the gender pay gap was not as wide.27

Work-Life in Law

At the top 50 best law firms for women, on average, women receive 15 paid weeks of maternity leave, but on average, only take 13. 28

Men received just six weeks paternity leave, but on average, only took three weeks. 29
For paid adoption leave (for the primary caregiver), on average, individuals received 12 weeks, but on average, only took five weeks of leave. 30
The best law firms for women have made great strides in work-life policies:

  • 100% have reduced hour policies; 31
  • 100% offer flex-time; 32
  • 10% offer job sharing; 33
  • 86% provide backup childcare at a facility. 34

Women of Color in Law

One Catalyst study examined the experiences of women of color at law firms, comparing their experiences to people of color’s experiences and white women’s experiences. The findings included:

  1. Women of color were more likely than any other group to experience exclusion from other employees, racial and gender stereotyping.35
  2. Women of color were most likely to consider leaving the firm. 36
  3. Women of color cited dissatisfaction with current level of work relative to work experience, and with access to high-profile client assignments. 37
  4. Women of color perceived a lack of commitment from senior leadership towards promotion of diverse candidates. 38
  5. A recent study found 11.0% of associates are women of color. 39
  6. Only 2.3% of partners were women of color. 40
  7. In 2011, there were only 19 women of color general counsels in the Fortune 500