Female BigLaw Partners Join $100M Gender Pay Gap Lawsuit

By on May 9, 2017

May 9, 2017

Two more women have joined a lawsuit that claims BigLaw firm Chadbourne & Parke LLP systematically paid female attorneys less than their male peers, and impeded their progress. In August, Kerrie L. Campbell filed a lawsuit alleging that male partners there earned, on average, about 40 percent more than their female counterparts. A memorandum of law filing in the case states that in 2016, the average base pay for female partners was 21 percent less than their male counterparts. The filing also notes discrepancies in merit bonuses, with 44 percent of male partners earning bonuses, compared to just 28 percent of female partners. In September, 14 female partners from the firm filed a letter disputing the suit. Chadbourne has called the suit a “national smear campaign,” and a “cynical pursuit of a big and undeserved payday.”

That letter prompted Mary T.Yelenick – a 35-year veteran of Chadbourne who retired as chairwoman of the product liability practice in December – to join the class action suit. Yelenick did not sign the letter, and said in an interview that she “disagreed strongly because the letter contained inaccuracies, including the process that female partners could use to join any potential class or collective action that a court certifies.” Her experience, Yelenick told the New York Times, “has made me aware of the many ways – both overt and more subtle – in which both institutional structures and informal practices continue to work to impede the advancement, and discount the contributions, of women.” Another former Chadbourne partner, Jaroslawa Z. Johnson, who headed the firm’s Kiev, Ukraine office for a decade, has also joined the suit. According to a survey released last fall by Major, Lindsey & Africa, female law partners on average earn about one-third, or about $300,000, less annually than their male colleagues.

Read the full article at:

The New York Times

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