From the Law Blog of the Wall Street Journal … this has received widespread attention, as well it should:
The research indicates female attorneys at big law firms have billing rates lower than those of male attorneys. At first blush this appears to be one explanation for why women law firm attorneys earn less than their male counterparts. But is this the entire story?
Sky Analytics Vice President for Strategic Market Development Silvia Hodges Silverstein, who conducted the analysis, said the lower billing rates for women was likely connected to other facets of the analysis related to staffing and discounting. If this is accurate, another way to look at these statistics is that female attorneys may be more attuned to the financial pressures of their clients and bill accordingly (assuming that they are in a position to negotiate fees with their clients).
Statistics like this are alarming, but can they also be a call to action can women attorneys use their lower billing rates as a competitive advantage for their clients?