Exercice de la profession | 20.12.2018

New Study Reveals Advances and Challenges for Female Attorneys in Germany

In 2018 the German Federal Bar Association initiated a study  of women in the German legal profession. That study was conducted by Ulrike Schultz and the results of her study may be found in the  May, 2018 issue of the Bar Association's periodical at p. 223, et seq.

The major findings of the survey are as follows:

(1) more and more women choose law for university study

(2) today almost 50% of judges and prosecutors hired by the state are women

(3) within the profession as a whole, women are still underrepresented

In fact in 2017 only 34.37% of the legal profession in Germany were women. Surprisingly, while the state now hires as many women as men as judges and prosecutors, the registration of women in the profession has been decreasing.  Significantly, the number of female partners in larger law firms is low possibly because of concerns about work-life balance.

The report inter alia lists the following findings:

- 57% of the students now finishing the bar exam (second state exam) in 2017 were female.
- Female lawyers working for companies (Syndikusanwaelte) have a share now of almost 50%.
- The overall number of female lawyers has grown from 12,844 in 1950 to 164,393 in 2017.

Following a survey in 2017 (azur) the ratio of female lawyers in bigger partnerships of lawyers is 43% associates, 31.2% counsels, 27.4% non—equity partners and 10.7% equity partners.

There is a gender pay gap to be recognized: full-time male lawyers in 2013 were estimated to earn about €70,000 per year, in 2016 approximately €80,000 per year. For female lawyers the same figures were about €60,000 per year in 2013 and €64,000 per year in 2016.

The full article has been published in German language only, so please ask for further details when interested.

Marcus Schriefers
Heussen RechtsanwaltsGmbH
Stuttgart, Germany