Differences between the sexes

Salary differences man and womanLawyers work hard. More than half of Quebec lawyers work put in more than 40 hours a week. That’s not surprising for a profession whose image is intricately linked with workaholism.

What’s interesting is the differences between the sexes. Surprisingly, more women than men put in 60 hour-plus weeks than men, according to a report by Quebec’s law society. While nine per cent of women surveyed by the Barreau du Québec said they work more than a sixty hours a week, only six per cent of men made the same claim. However, more men than women log 51-to-60 hour work weeks, and more women than men work between 31-and-40 hours a week. Here is a breakdown:

  • 6 per cent of men work more than 60 hours a week compared to 9 per cent of women.
  • 19 per cent of men work between 51-60 hours a week compared to 10 per cent of women.
  • 37 per cent of men work between 41-50 hours a week compared to 31 per cent of women.
  • 25 per cent of men work between 31-40 hours a week compared to 44 per cent of women.
  • 7 per cent of men work between 16-30 hours a week compared to 3 per cent of women.
  • 5 per cent of men work between 0-15 hours a week compared to 3 per cent of women.

All told, the number of hours that Quebec lawyers work has changed little since the Barreau’s last survey in 2008. According to the latest figures:

  • 6 per cent work more than 60 hours a week.
  • 8 per cent work between 51 and 60 hours a week.
  • 5 per cent work between 41 and 50 hours a week.
  • 36 per cent work between 31 and 40 hours a week.
  • 7 per cent work between 16 and 30 hours a week.
  • 4 per cent work between 0 and 15 hours a week.

Remuneration has been on the upswing since the Barreau’s last report. The average salary for a partner ranges between $200,000 and $300,00. The average remuneration for a salaried lawyer lies between $90,000 and $100,00 while solos make between $30,000 and $50,000.

Here is a breakdown of the total revenues, including bonuses and commissions, earned by Quebec lawyers. Note than nearly one in five Quebec lawyers earned less than $50,000.

  • 2 per cent of Quebec lawyers earned more than $450,000.
  • 2 per cent earned between $300,001 and $450,000.
  • 6 per cent earned between $200,001 and $300,000.
  • 10 per cent earned between $150,001 and $200,000.
  • 9 per cent earned between $130,001 and $150,000.
  • 18 per cent earned between $110,001 and $130,000.
  • 16 per cent earned between $90,001 and $110,000.
  • 10 per cent earned between $70,001 and $90,000.
  • 11 per cent earned between $50,001 and $70,000.
  • 6 per cent earned between $30,001 and $50,000.
  • 6 per cent earned between $21,113 and 30,000.
  • 6 per cent earned less than $21,113.

Again, there are differences between the sexes. In 2014, the median salary for Quebec male lawyers was between $110,001 and $130,000, an increase over 2008 when the median salary rested between $87,500 and $123,050. In 2014, the median salary for Quebec female lawyers stood between $90,001 and $110,000, compared to between $62,500 and $70,570 in 2008.

he Barreau believes the differences between the remuneration between men and women can be partly explained by the fact that a majority of women are younger, have less years under their belt, many  practice family law, and only 32 per cent work in private practice. The legal society, however, concedes that even an experienced female lawyer makes less than her male colleague.

About Luis Millán 351 Articles
I am a law and business journalist. I write for Canadian Lawyer, the National, a magazine published by the Canadian Bar Association, and The Lawyers Weekly, an independent legal Canadian publication. This blog is in no way affiliated with any of these publications.

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