Pay injustices in the legal profession revealed

A Law society survey published last week has revealed shocking levels of disparity between male and female pay in the legal profession.  The survey also reveals that BME solicitors earn on average 10’000 less then their white counterparts.

The Law Society has responded to the findings by launching an equal pay campaign to find potential solutions and causes. The challenge was made by Fiona Woolf, past president of the Law Society and past Chair of the Association of Women Solicitors(AWS) in light of the publication of the Law Society's latest salary survey.

The survey found that the average yearly salary for male solicitors was £60,000 compared to £41,000 for females. However after taking into account various factors including grade, PQE, region, size of firm worked in, breaks taken, hours worked and area of law (family and conveyancing) female solicitors earned, on average, 7.6 per cent less than male solicitors.

Fiona Woolf challenged the AWS to explore the pay gap and find solutions. She said:

'The gap is a symptom of the difficulties we in the legal sector are facing as we try to implement new ways of working that take account of contemporary realities. If legal practices are to win the war for talent, we need to find ways to make flexible work successful - not just for women, but everyone who is attempting to juggle a career with other commitments.'

Sailesh Mehta, chair of the Society of Asian Lawyers commented:-

'The whole profession should be concerned to bridge the wide gap in income between BME and white lawyers. The 17 per cent gap is likely to increase in the near future, as more BME lawyers feel the disproportionate effects of the LSC's squeeze on income. We believe the Law Society has taken a positive step in drawing attention to the inequalities of pay in the legal sector and we will seek to work with the Law Society and senior partners in larger firms to investigate the real causes of the problem and to implement practical solutions to redress the balance.'


Posted by Asif Yusuf

Publisher of Diversity Link



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