Building a Better Legal Profession :: The Old Blog

Michigan Lawyers & Part-Time Practice by refirm2007
October 28, 2007, 6:23 pm
Filed under: Law reform

Interesting, potentially controversial new findings out from Ken Dau-Schmidt et al. about part-time lawyers.

In a nutshell, we find that childcare responsibilities drive much of the differences in income and promotion experienced by men and women lawyers, and that men who miss paid work to do childcare experience the same disadvantages as women who miss paid work to do childcare. We also find that both more men and more women lawyers are missing paid work to do childcare, that they are taking longer absences from paid work to do childcare, and they are working less hours after they return to their careers.

Some of our less systematic, but more curious findings are that: in part male lawyers earn more than women lawyers because they are more interested in income than the woman lawyers; women who have kids but who do not miss paid work to do childcare are more likely to be in private practice and be a partner than women without kids, even though women without kids work more hours; and women who miss paid work to do childcare have significantly higher LSAT’s and GPA’s than women who don’t miss paid work to do childcare.

The study uses the Michigan Law alumni survey, which according to the authors is “one of the richest and largest data sets available on lawyers over much of the period that encompassed women’s move into the legal profession.”


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