Women In The Judiciary Essay

2720 words - 11 pages

Women in the Judiciary
You can't be shining lights at the bar because you are too kind. You can never be corporation lawyers because you are not cold-blooded. You have not a high grade of intellect. You can never expect to get the fees men get. I doubt if you [can] ever make a living. Of course you can be divorce lawyers. That is a useful field. And there is another field you can have solely for your own. You can't make a living at it, but it's worthwhile and you'll have no competition. That is the free defense of criminals. (Champagne).
Clarence Darrow made these comments to a group of women lawyers in Chicago in 1895 (Champagne). This idea was not uncommon in its time and in some instances continues today. Law schools are approaching parity in numbers of men and women and the number of women in the federal judiciary has never been higher. However, there is still a long way to go to achieve equality in judgeship appointments and the legal profession as a whole. The United States needs more women in the judiciary because women represent over half of the population, women represent nearly half of all lawyers, women bring invaluable life experiences to the bench, and more women in the judiciary is a better representation of America’s diverse society.
According to the 2010 census conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of men is 151,781,326, or 49.2% of the total United States Population ("Population by Sex and Selected Age Groups: 2000 and 2010" 2). The U.S. population of women is 156,964,212, or 50.8%. There are now more women in the United States than men ("Population by Sex and Selected Age Groups: 2000 and 2010" 2). The inclusion of more women as judges must happen because women are severely under represented in the legal profession.
According to the American Bar Association, women represent 47.3% of law school graduates and men represent 52.7% ("A Current Glance at Women in the Law 2011" 3). However, women only represent 31% of the legal profession while men represent 69% ("A Current Glance at Women in the Law 2011" 1). 19.9% of partners in law firms, 4% of managing partners in the 200 largest law firms, 45% of associates, and 46.3% of summer associates are women ("A Current Glance at Women in the Law 2011" 1). These numbers clearly reflect a discriminatory trend of law firms in their inability to promote women lawyers to top positions within law firms. As more women graduate law school and join the workforce, changes should be made to promote greater parity in the legal profession. In addition, women lawyers lag behind their male counterparts in pay scale.
In 2011, male lawyers earned an average of $1,884 per week while female lawyers earned on average $1,631 per week, or 86.6% of the compensation earned by their male counterparts ("A Current Glance at Women in the Law 2011" 5). This number has increased from 73.4% in 2004 ("A Current Glance at Women in the Law 2011" 5). While the numbers are getting better,...

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