Who Says Women Are Bad at Math?


Ladies, where have you gone? A new report circulated by the American Bar Association has the legal world asking why women lawyers are “still underrepresented at firms,” according to the Legal Blog Watch. As the report indicates, the “number of female lawyers serving as partners at large firms continues to stagnate,” with women representing only 17% of the partnership at private law firms, despite their accounting for about half of all law school graduates and 30% of all lawyers.

Certain pundits have suggested at the disparity between men and women in the partnership ranks results from a gender bias in evaluation of lawyers, with lower evaluations of lady lawyers leading to fewer of their promotions up the ranks. Others have cited the possibility that women sabotage each other in the Big Firm world by evaluating other women more harshly.

Call us crazy, but we’re not so sure that this lack of women at the top is such a slight. Maybe—just maybe—women have figured out that a job that requires 3000+ hours a year, robs you of a social life, and likely won’t net you much more than you’d make per hour as, say, a decent massage therapist, isn’t necessarily a gig worth sticking around for. We’re just sayin’.  [Legal Blog Watch and Legal Times]

Read more from the Bitter Newsroom.

5 Comments

  1. kh

    August 25, 2008 at 8:12 am

    I am not sure that you have rightly characterized the ABA report as one that addresses why women are under-represented.  One thing that would help is to hyperlink to the “report” in your story.

  2. Donna Larsen

    August 25, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Why don’t women start their own damn law firms?  That’s what I plan to do.  No one can hold you down if no one is above you.

  3. BMaz

    August 25, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Yeah, I’m thinking I’d rather have kids and a happy marriage with an existent social life than be partner. I’m not toally surprised by this.

  4. Dick Billings

    August 26, 2008 at 4:12 am

    Women, though well meaning, would rather be mothers and housefraus rather than toiling 3000 hours a year.  Who blames them?  If I had a handsome spouse willing to bust hump and bring home the bacon while I stayed at the club all day, do you think I’d be busting my hump?  It’s common sense that women with a choice choose NOT to bust hump.  Those who remain don’t have a choice, and are often sullen over the fact that they are not back home waiting for their spouses to come home.

  5. Response to Dick Billings

    August 26, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Point taken, but c’mon – have you ever really spent all day at home every day for more than a month?  Let alone with a baby or kids?  What you are really saying that is women – and men – want OPTIONS.  And just like you wish you had the OPTION of “going to the club all day instead of busting your hump” – might it be possible for you to understand that many women would like the OPTION of busting their hump and being evaluated, promoted, and paid just like their male counterparts are? For many women, it simply becomes a risk/benefit calculus: staying home or raising kids is a KNOWN quantity with KNOWN benefits, while giving those “benefits” up for the REMOTE POSSIBILITY of making BigLaw partner is simply too risky a option to take.  And most women believe that trying to make BigLaw partner is more risky to them than it is for men because of the reasons cited in the original post.

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