Thirty years after the appointment of Sandra Day O’Connor to the U.S. Supreme Court, women still make up only one-third of American lawyers and an even smaller fraction of federal and state judiciaries, a New York Times editorial laments.
The editorial explains:
The presumption that women are less devoted to their jobs means that they often have to show more evidence of achievement than men. Even when their legal work is outstanding, women have tended to get fewer opportunities because of how work is assigned through the buddy system. And pay for female lawyers is generally less — the median income is 74 percent of what men earn — with the gap widening as they move higher. Another study has found that some 90 percent of female lawyers report having encountered sex discrimination in the profession, a percentage that has not decreased since the 1970s.