Marquette University Fast Facts
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March 8, 2021
MILWAUKEE — Just 7.1% of the top-fifth of earners in Milwaukee law firms are women, while 68.9 percent of the participating law firms do not have any women among their top-fifth earners, according to a white paper published on law firm pay equity by the Institute for Women’s Leadership at Marquette University on International Women’s Day.
Andrea Kupfer Schneider, director of the IWL, published the paper, “Law Firm Equity Initiative – 2021 Report,” based on a survey of Milwaukee-area law firms, including 75% of the 30 largest law firms in Milwaukee.
“With this study, we are trying to make transparent the number of women in leadership in the Milwaukee legal community,” said Schneider, who is a professor of law at Marquette University Law School. “We hope to demonstrate that transparency, candid conversations and innovative reform can make Milwaukee a leading city for female attorneys as well as push this initiative nationwide.”
The study was conducted among firms that employ 10 or more attorneys, including at least one female attorney. Data includes Milwaukee locations of firms that operate both in and outside of the city. Of 49 firms contacted, 29 responded and provided data for 1,108 attorneys.
The survey also found:
Additional contributors to the paper include Dr. Jennica Webster, co-director of the IWL and associate professor of management in the College of Business Administration; Sarah Camp, IWL coordinator; and an interdisciplinary student research team. The research team included Kelly Krause, Anne Radosevich and Elizabeth Reinowski from Marquette Law School; Olivia Qualls, from the College of Business Administration, and Damaris Zita, of the Diederich College of Communication.
IWL is also hosting a Pay Equity Series this spring focusing on the variety of issues that are at play within discussions on pay equity.
Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage and director of the Food Labor Research Center at UC–Berkeley will keynote the next conversation in the Pay Equity Series on the impact of subminimum wage on March 16. Registration is available online.
The next topic will be “Paid Family and Medical Leave” on April 20, while a previous talk on “Paycheck Fairness and Equity Audits” was held on Feb. 16 and is available on demand.
The Institute for Women’s Leadership builds upon Marquette University’s historic role as the first coeducational Catholic university in the world beginning in 1909. The mission of the IWL is to advance women’s leadership locally and globally through pioneering research, innovative programming and collaborative engagement.
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