A recent article in Law.com notes how female lawyers across the country are shaking up the legal profession with great strides to close the gender pay gap.
Like many other female lawyers, Susan Burke, founder of Burke PLLC and WEM member, grew “increasingly disgruntled” as a partner when she saw her male peers making more but bringing in less business for her firm. Similar observations about pay disparity in the legal profession are at the heart of a $100 million class action brought by a female Chadbourne & Parke partner and a suit by a former LeClairRyan partner – both filed this year to take aim at the pay gap.
“I have given that a lot of thought lately to these issues, and I do think there will be more,” Lori Andrus told Law.com. “Women lawyers know their rights and aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves anymore.” Lori is a founder of San Francisco-based plaintiffs firm Andrus Anderson and one of the organizers behind Women En Mass (WEM).
The article notes that California currently has the strongest fair pay laws and will hopefully become a model for more state laws in the future. A newly revamped California law has for the first time shifted the burden to the employer to prove compensation inequity isn’t because of gender. Lori Andrus, who recently presented “Equal Pay is the New Black…the Farmers Case Study” at this year’s WEM retreat, called the law “monumental.”
We at Milestone applaud those who continue to beat the drum for equal pay in the legal profession and in other fields. As a member of WEM, I am proud to see Lori and Susan taking part in this important fight. The more we rally together against these issues, the better we can expedite the recognition and equal pay for much deserving people.
WEM is an annual event that “… brings together the best and brightest female mass tort attorneys to discuss issues that affect women – from the boardroom to the courtroom.” Attorneys who attend WEM have a chance to connect with legal peers from all over the country. “The world may have changed a great deal for women in America over the last 100 years,” the event’s website says, “but there’s still work to be done.” Women En Mass is an opportunity to work toward positive impact on the lives of all women.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).