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Gender gap still prevalent for female attorneys

Female law-firm partners still lag behind males in billing rates

While gender equity in business and the law is closer to a reality than ever, there are still significant differences in the cold, hard numbers that relate to pay rates for lawyers.

Recent studies have shown that women have achieved success in the compliance field, and that in the next several decades female CEOs will be more common than they are now. There are events that enable female in-house counsel to network and discuss important topics that could play a role in advancing that. But when one takes a look at the billing statistics of male and female attorneys, the disparity is glaring. 

The numbers from the report “Big Data Reveals Gender Inequality in Big Law” from Sky Analytics shows that the difference in billing rates is pervasive. In addition, there is gender inequality in other areas as well, such as how much time attorneys worked and the gender of partners in firms. Some of the noteworthy statistics are:


  • In general, the average billing rate of male partners is 10 percent higher than female counterparts, though this number is higher in certain regions
  • Six percent of male lawyers bill over $800 per hour, while only 2 percent of female lawyers do
  • Only 22 percent of partners are female
  • Female partners bill 24 more minutes per day than male counterparts
  • Only 7 percent of large matters are handled by teams that are predominantly female, while 81 percent of small cases are handled by mostly female teams


Check out the full study here.


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Senior Editor and Community Manager

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Rich Steeves

Richard P. Steeves is Senior Editor and Community Manager of InsideCounsel magazine, where he covers the intellectual property and compliance beats. Rich earned a B.A....

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