Balancing the Scales

January 9, 2020 | Written By Laurel Sceviour

The desire for achieving greater gender diversity in the legal profession is an ever evolving and necessary pursuit. Most young women fresh out of law school anticipate achieving successful legal careers; surely the percentage of barred women (just over 1 in 3), would result in a substantial pool of women at the top of their professions.  

Interestingly, median earnings between men and women early in their law careers are relatively close, at $85,000 and $77,000 annually (a 91 percent ratio). These differences increase with age, so that by mid-career (ages 45 to 54) median earnings for women are $121,000 compared with $156,000 of men (a ratio of 78 percent). (US Census Bureau).

There are a variety of factors that account for this discrepancy in earnings over time. “Commentators point to myriad social and structural factors to explain the slow progress of women lawyers. These include, among others, the impact of children and other family responsibilities on women’s careers; bias, whether implicit or explicit… outdated law firm cultures, policies, and structures that hinder the development of talent from diverse lawyers”(First Chairs at Trial: A Research Report on the Participation of Women… in Litigation)

Parlatore Law Group recognizes the unique challenges women face in the workplace and consequently, aligns its values with promoting the equal success and advancement of women and other underrepresented contributors, including veterans and active duty military spouses who face the added stressor of frequent moves every few years.  Women with families or those with transient lifestyles, undoubtedly account for the lower retention and promotion rates. The caregiver responsibilities that typically fall disproportionately on the shoulders of women, hinder their abilities to progress in the workplace along-side their male counterparts.

Additionally, outdated law firm culture and policies all too often keep women from achieving equal successes. The work-life balance, and personal autonomy that result from a cloud-based firm create a healthier workplace and greater job satisfaction for women and men alike.

Parlatore Law Group is at the forefront of change in the legal industry, valuing talent and diversity in an updated business model that better serves both clients and partners. Our unique firm structure helps women find success in a field that all too often can’t, or won’t, adapt to reflect the changing needs of the modern family. We desire for all our partners to attain representation at the highest levels and we strive to promote firm policies and practices that balance our attorneys’ family dynamics with their high stakes professions.

Read on to see how two of our partners are finding success at Parlatore Law Group, inside and outside of the courtroom:


Leveraging Teamwork and Technology

“When a professional becomes a caregiver, whether it’s her own parent, a child, or a spouse, she used to have three choices:  First, work harder to maintain the illusion that the burdens and logistics of caregiving have made no impact on her job performance (and hope she can maintain it).  Second, take a full sabbatical (if she can afford it) and hope that volunteering and networking will maintain her skills for half a decade or more when she’s again ready for full-time work. Third, try to find a part-time job in the same field, or take reduced hours at an existing job, which often has the unfortunate effect of either excluding her from important trips, meetings, and work groups or forcing her to work more than she’s paid to try to keep up with the “normal” schedule employees. She is trading lower pay for fewer workplace responsibilities, to offset the new personal responsibilities. For attorneys, that often means dialing down to limited client contact or lower-impact cases. 

I choose none of the above. By leveraging the teamwork and technology at PLG, I can make meaningful contributions to headline-news cases and represent entrepreneurs developing exciting technology. I work directly with my clients and have full responsibility for strategy and delivering high-quality work product.  Even though I have small kids and a spouse with a demanding job, this is a way for me to choose the times when I can be fully present in my professional role, rather than half-there all the time.” 

Elana Bertram, Partner at Parlatore Law Group


We Can Have it All

"As a woman attorney who is both a litigator – a courtroom attorney – and a mother and stepmother of five children, for decades I had no choice but to remain in government work. That was the only place where I had a chance at balancing my two halves, and even there it was an uneven balance. The cloud-based nature of PLG, and our supportive firm culture, have given me the opportunity to finally truly balance two of my greatest loves. When my children need me, I’m there; but I haven’t had to give up my love of the courtroom or my ability to support my family financially to do that.  What a gift to finally feel like “we can have it all” might not be a myth!"

Maryam Hadden, Partner at Parlatore Law Group



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