Survey says: Do something about it

June 27, 2008
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Bar associations survey their members to find out everything from salary to time off to satisfaction with the county judges. They publish the results for the world to see and sometimes, news organizations like us report on the findings. But then what?

The Allegheny County Bar Association in Pennsylvania is taking the results of its 2005 survey regarding disparity in pay between the genders and enacting an Institute for Gender Equality. The institute will offer programs about various topics like mentoring and work-life balance, track its participants, and follow up with them for feedback. The programs will begin early next year.

Bar associations and legal organizations across the country publish numerous surveys every year indicating the difference in treatment, pay, and work lives for female lawyers as compared to their male counterparts. It’s great to see a bar association take a proactive approach to attempt to eliminate some of the issues discovered or reinforced in the surveys.

Indiana State Bar Association Women in Law Committee chair Angela Hopper said the state bar is in the infancy stages of a program with the ultimate goal of something similar to what the Allegheny County Bar Association offers. The Women in Law Committee surveyed members in 2006 and 2007 and gave the results to the Judicial System Committee. The plan is to conduct similar surveys every couple of years, compare the results, and see what kind of programs need to be implemented, she said. The goal is to eventually come up with guidelines to address any inequalities and problems facing female attorneys.

Unfortunately, inequality still exists between male and female workers in all professions, and that’s why there is a committee for women in the law. Hopper did offer some hope for female attorneys in Indiana: based on the most recent survey, Indiana – as compared to the surrounding states – overall is a good state to practice in. Let’s hope future surveys continue to reinforce that finding and assist in closing the gender inequality issues faced in the legal profession.
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  1. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

  2. Such is not uncommon on law school startups. Students and faculty should tap Bruce Green, city attorney of Lufkin, Texas. He led a group of studnets and faculty and sued the ABA as a law student. He knows the ropes, has advised other law school startups. Very astute and principled attorney of unpopular clients, at least in his past, before Lufkin tapped him to run their show.

  3. Not that having the appellate records on Odyssey won't be welcome or useful, but I would rather they first bring in the stray counties that aren't yet connected on the trial court level.

  4. Aristotle said 350 bc: "The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of an modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.

  5. Oh yes, lifetime tenure. The Founders gave that to the federal judges .... at that time no federal district courts existed .... so we are talking the Supreme Court justices only in context ....so that they could rule against traditional marriage and for the other pet projects of the sixties generation. Right. Hmmmm, but I must admit, there is something from that time frame that seems to recommend itself in this context ..... on yes, from a document the Founders penned in 1776: " He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

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