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Bar News - September 16, 2015

Negotiating for Equality


Free Workshop Teaches Attorneys to Advocate for Themselves at Work

Despite many years of concern and awareness, along with social, educational and legal pressure, the annual income for full-time private practice lawyers in New Hampshire was 40 percent less for women than for men in 2013, according to the NH Bar Association Economics of Law Practice Survey, released earlier this year.

In the New Hampshire legal market, pay disparities appear to grow with the level of job responsibility, according to the NH Bar Association survey. While the overall income of partners increases with seniority, the rate of increase for female partners is significantly slower. Bar News reported a difference in income in excess of 33 percent for male and female partners in firms of all sizes, according to the survey results.

Numerous surveys and voluminous data over almost 40 years have shown the nature and extent of the problem, but solutions have proved elusive. There are many possible causes for the gender-based disparity in compensation, but only some of them can be fixed.

Currently, the NH Bar Association Gender Equality Committee (GEC) is focusing on what women can do to improve their own situations by learning to be more effective advocates for themselves in dealing with current and prospective employers.

A free workshop at the University of New Hampshire School of Law is designed to help women understand the market, feel confident about the value they bring to the workplace, learn and practice negotiation skills and be willing to stand up and walk away from the table. The GEC-sponsored workshop will feature role-playing scenarios involving: a) new hire interview, b) new hire offer, c) lateral hire and d) negotiating circumstances of employment, such as flexible scheduling and work assignments.

This free program is offered in conjunction with the UNH Law Student Womenís Bar Association and will take place Thursday, Oct. 22, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the law school in Concord. Program materials will be distributed. Please direct any questions to Rosemarie Atwood, member services coordinator at the NH Bar Association, RSVP is optional.

This workshop is part of an ongoing series of trainings by the Gender Equality Committee. More about its past work.

Henry Dane is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Associationís Gender Equality Committee.

Supreme Court Rule 42(9) requires all NH admitted attorneys to notify the Bar Association of any address change, home or office.

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