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Colored tulips, Lovely tulip flowers composition. Valentines Day or Mothers day. International Womens Day March 8.

International Women’s Day—  Embrace Equal Pay for Woman Attorneys 

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8.  As a focal point in the women’s rights movement, it brings attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women. On IWD women are often given flowers to celebrate this truly important day. 

The gender pay gap #EmbraceEquity is the “difference between the average pay of men and women. Law firms are being called out to prove their commitment to fair pay or risk bearing slapped with lawsuits over pay inequities.

Firms need to evaluate how they structure their pay systems. Outdated performance ratings systems are inherently biased. The single most significant factor leading to inequalities is starting pay.

Compensation in the legal industry has exploded over the past few years, that said the pay gap between men and women has widened. The pay gap between men and women increased by 40% from 2020 to 2022 (Marketing & Business Development Compensation Survey, 2022). 

To be clear, ‘pay gap’ is narrowing. Female partner compensation has grown at a greater rate than male partner compensation over the past four years (MLA Survey). Women’s compensation increased by 15% between 2018 and 2020. By comparison, men’s compensation increased 7% between 2018 and 2020. 

Progress is being made. Women attorneys need to arm themselves with negotiation skills and know when to walk away from the table when they are being compensated equitably. Other factors such as billable hours and working remotely are important considerations beyond compensation. 

Plan, prepare and stick to the basics: 

  • When negotiating a new position, don’t go it alone. Work with a legal recruiter to help navigate the legal marketplace. Every firm and every opportunity has nuanced, unique skills necessary to secure the position.
  • Make sure you are clear on what you want and be direct. Be transparent about what good pay level you desire and what you won’t compromise on. 
  • Why are you looking to make the move? It can’t just be about pay. 
  • Research the new firm’s leadership team and corporate culture, make sure you are a ‘good fit’.
The late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg famously said: “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”


Women do not stay in the legal profession at the same rate as men. It hurts when a woman leaves the industry. The time and money it will take to bring a new attorney on is considerable. 

Women need to provide mentorship, support, and create opportunities for their newly recruited female counterparts to succeed in this highly competitive profession. It’s essential to narrow pay inequalities women face in the workplace. 

Look to firms where men also champion women in the workplace. Reject the notion that women should be ‘grateful’ and just accept that’s the way things are.

Lots of opportunities going on in the legal industry right now. Don’t make a move without assessing your worth in the marketplace. Give me a call or shoot me a note: 516-731-3400 | To learn more about compensation visit our website at


Huge Pay Gap for Women Lawyers: What Firms Can Do. (Bloomberg Law)

#law #lawjobs #lawyerlife #attorney #legalrecuriter #law-marketing #internationalwomensday #EmbraceEquity

About On Balance Search Consultants

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence.  Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm.

Contact us today.  Call 516.731.3400 or visit our website at

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader.  Please consult your legal counsel for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media and any legal restrictions regarding the law.


Ms. Davidson, a highly skilled human resources executive with over 20 years’ experience that specializes in finding top talent in the legal community. Shari has placed lateral partner attorneys, as well as group acquisitions & law firm mergers and has assisted several prominent clients in recruiting lateral associates, paralegals and internal professional administrative positions.