Abstract

With the increasing feminization of the legal profession in the United States over the last half century, past research has documented the prevalence and transformation of gender inequality in law firms. However, relatively little is known about gender inequality in small, conservative legal markets like Utah. This thesis examines data from the 2008-2009 Utah Attorney Advancement and Retention Survey. The analyses indicate that relative to their male colleagues, women earned less in 2007 and are less likely to procure higher quality job assignments than their peers. The most promising explanations for these disparities include employment sector, gender and motherhood statuses, and year of bar admittance. Contrary to the results of past work, analyses find little or no effect for several traditional predictors of gender gaps including marital status, mentoring, tokenism, firm size, and hours billed. Open-ended responses reveal that while overt discrimination exists to some degree in Utah firms, most inequitable treatment has taken on subtle forms such as exclusion from the "good old boys" network, perpetuation of traditional gender roles and stereotypes, and differential opportunity paths and structures.

Degree

MS

College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Sociology

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2011-07-05

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd4553

Keywords

women lawyers, legal profession, inequality, discrimination, gender gap

Included in

Sociology Commons

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