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Sex Discrimination in the Legal Profession: A Study of Promotion

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  • Stephen J. Spurr

Abstract

Although the proportion of lawyers who are women has grown rapidly in recent years, this study presents evidence of discrimination against women in promotion to partnership in major U.S. law firms in 1969–73 and 1980. Using regression analysis and maximum likelihood estimates of a probabilistic model of production of legal services, the author finds that women were about one-half as likely as men to achieve partnership in those years, even though they did not significantly differ from men in academic distinction (selection for the law review or the Order of the Coif), the rank of their law schools, or productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen J. Spurr, 1990. "Sex Discrimination in the Legal Profession: A Study of Promotion," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(4), pages 406-417, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:43:y:1990:i:4:p:406-417
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    Cited by:

    1. John T. Addison & Orgul Demet Ozturk & Si Wang, 2014. "The Role of Gender in Promotion and Pay over a Career," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(3), pages 280-317.
    2. Nathalie Havet, 2006. "La valorisation salariale et professionnelle de la formation en entreprise diffère-t-elle selon le sexe ? L'exemple canadien," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 175(4), pages 147-161.
    3. Francine D. Blau & Jed DeVaro, 2006. "New Evidence on Gender Differences in Promotion Rates: An Empirical Analysis of a Sample of New Hires," Working Papers 891, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    4. Heisz, Andrew & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2006. "Importance des signaux de competence pour l'obtention d'un emploi et de l'avancement," Direction des etudes analytiques : documents de recherche 2006236f, Statistics Canada, Direction des etudes analytiques.
    5. Susan Maloney, 2004. "The Journey of Women Up The Corporate Ladder: A Study Of The Representation of Women In Top Corporate Positions In New York State," New York Economic Review, New York State Economics Association (NYSEA), vol. 35(1), pages 16-43.
    6. Jerker Denrell & Zur Shapira, 2006. "Performance Sampling and Bimodal Duration Dependence," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000405, UCLA Department of Economics.
    7. Addison, John T. & Ozturk, Orgul Demet & Wang, Si, 2012. "Promotion and Wages in Mid-Career: Gender, Unionism, and Sector," IZA Discussion Papers 6873, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Heisz, Andrew & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2006. "The Importance of Signalling in Job Placement and Promotion," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2006236e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    9. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01n009w2307 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Danilo Coelho & Marcelo Fernandes e Miguel N. Foguel, 2009. "Capital Estrangeiro e Diferenciais de Gênero nas Promoções: Evidências da Indústria de Transformação Brasileira," Discussion Papers 1447, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
    11. Empar Pons Blasco & Luisa Escriche Bertolín, 2009. "Who moves up the career ladder? A model of gender differences in job promotion," Working Papers. Serie AD 2009-23, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    12. Christopher Avery & Susan Athey & Peter Zemsky, 2000. "Mentoring and Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 765-786, September.
    13. Jerker Denrell & Zur Shapira, 2006. "Performance Sampling and Bimodal Duration Dependence," Discussion Paper Series dp431, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    14. Peter Bardsley & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2001. "Rat Races and Glass Ceilings- Career Paths in Organizations," Working Papers 200106, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    15. repec:spr:jlabre:v:39:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s12122-018-9271-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Deborah Cobb-Clark, 2001. "Getting Ahead: The Determinants of Payoffs to Internal Promotion for Young U.S. Men and Women," CEPR Discussion Papers 430, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    17. Danilo Coelho & Marcelo Fernandes & Miguel Nathan Foguel, 2007. "Foreign Capital And Gender Differences In Promotions: Evidence From The Brazilian Transformation Industry," Anais do XXXV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 35th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 167, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    18. Javdani, Mohsen & McGee, Andrew, 2015. "Moving Up or Falling Behind? Gender, Promotions, and Wages in Canada," IZA Discussion Papers 9380, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Havet, Nathalie, 2004. "Écarts salariaux et disparités professionnelles entre sexes : développements théoriques et validité empirique," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 80(1), pages 5-39, Mars.

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