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ANALYSIS: Survey Shows Satisfaction of Underrepresented Lawyers

April 28, 2021, 9:01 AM

In anticipation of Well-Being Week in Law, which is the first full week in May, we took another look at job satisfaction scores among lawyers responding to our Workload and Hours Survey. Focusing on gender and racial identities, we were surprised to learn that men from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups were the most satisfied, with 68% reporting a score of 7 or higher on a scale of 0–10.

Nuances of Well-Being Through an Intersectional Lens

Nineteen percent of respondents to our Workload and Hours Survey identify as members of an underrepresented racial or ethnic (URE) group. In the survey, URE group selections were: Black; American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin; and other racial groups not specified.

Although URE men report the highest average satisfaction score, URE women (53% reporting a score of 7 or higher) and URE respondents of other genders (55%) are among the least satisfied. Looking at White, non-Hispanic/Latinx attorneys, 61% of men and 57% of women report a satisfaction score of 7 or higher. We could not draw conclusions on other genders who are White, non-Hispanic/Latinx were because of low sample size.

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Why is there a 15 percentage point difference in satisfaction between URE men and women? Our data suggests that it may be tied to burnout. In addition to being in the most satisfied group, URE men are the least burned out, with 72% reporting experiencing burnout at some point. URE women, on the other hand, are the most burned out, with 95% experiencing burnout at some point.

In a continuing effort to understand these issues in the legal industry, Bloomberg Law is fielding the Attorney Workload and Hours Survey on a quarterly basis. The survey currently fielding is asking about experiences in the previous quarter — Q1 2021. If you want to participate, click here!

Bloomberg Law is exploring how organizations have responded to the industry’s increased focus on promoting and increasing lawyer well-being. If your company is a signatory to the Well-Being Pledge, we want to hear from you! Please email for more information.

Bloomberg Law subscribers can find related content on our Surveys, Reports & Data Analysis, In Focus: Lawyer Well-Being, and In Focus: Lawyer Development pages.

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