Spring 2008 - #6. VBA Women's Division Turns 30 Years Old: Women and the Law Today.

Author:by Elana Baron, Esq.
 
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Vermont Bar Journal

2008.

Spring 2008 - #6.

VBA Women's Division Turns 30 Years Old: Women and the Law Today

THE VERMONT BAR JOURNAL #173, Volume 34, No. 4 SPRING 2008

VBA Women's Division Turns 30 Years Old: Women and the Law Todayby Elana Baron, Esq.

Introduction

This year the Vermont Bar Association's Women's Division celebrates its thirtieth year, and I take great pride in the fact that I hold the position of Chairwoman during this milestone. Why? Because, as it turns out, the Division and I share the same year of birth. Normally, as all my friends know, I would have hidden the fact that I will officially be entering my thirties, but where's the harm in sharing this secret amongst a few friends . . . right? I divulge this secret to all of you with a purpose. Throughout my first thirty years, my status evolved and morphed not only as I wished but also as society dictated. As a little girl I was stereotyped as a "tom-boy." As a teenager I was a "martyr" and now I am a "young woman attorney." Just as today's societal view of "tom-boy" differs from that of thirty years ago, so too has the societal view of "young woman attorney" evolved, and so too has the purpose and role of the VBA's Women's Division.

The American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession recently published a report entitled "A Current Glance at Women in the Law 2007."(fn1) I was happy to read that 44.3 percent of associates in private practice are now women and that 48.1 percent of JDs awarded went to women.

Though this does show great improvement, a review of statistics regarding higher-paying jobs and higher levels of employment demonstrate that those positions continue to be dominated by men. Only 15.7 percent of Fortune 1000 General Counsel positions are held by women; only 16.6 percent of Fortune 500 General Counsel positions are held by women; only 17.9 percent of women are partners in a private practice law firm; and in 2006 women made only 70 percent of the salary...

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