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Nevada Female Attorneys Today: Member Demographics by Gender

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NEVADA FEMALE ATTORNEYS TODAY
BY VICTORIA SPRINGER, M.A., VERONICA BLAS DAHIR, PHD., AND KATHLEEN J. ENGLAND, J.D.
The state bar has seen significant growth in the number of women attorneys in Nevada. The following information provides a brief snapshot of the bar’s population, with a focus on gender. The information is based on research conducted in 2010 by the University of Nevada, Reno, Center for Research Design and Analysis (CRDA) to analyze the state bar’s member database. The full report is accessible on the State Bar of Nevada (SBN) website, www.nvbar.org, and a summary was published in the Oct. 2010 issue of Nevada Lawyer. The following information is based on a snapshot of the Nevada legal community as of June 30, 2010.
GENDER BREAKDOWN BY REGION
The SBN has 7,940 active and current members as of June 30, 2010 and for 7,939 of them, gender information. Overall, the gender breakout for active and current members is: 30 percent women (2,380) and 70 percent men (5,559): Figure 1: Active Bar Members: Male and Female Lawyers by Region
Note: The largest percentage of women attorneys in Nevada reside in Carson City (38%). Washoe County includes Reno, Sparks, Incline Village, Lake Tahoe, Verdi, Spanish Springs and Crystal Bay. Carson City County is Carson City. Clark County includes Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Boulder City, Mesquite, Logandale, Laughlin, Coyote Springs, Moapa and Nellis Air Force Base. Northern Rural Region is Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lyon, Pershing and Storey counties. Southern Rural Region is Lincoln, Mineral, Nye and White Pine counties.
GENDER BY DECADE OF ADMISSION
There has been significant growth in sheer numbers and the percentage of women attorneys admitted in Nevada, from a statistical zero percent in the 1940s, the earliest decade of admission for any of SBN’s current, active members, to 38 percent in the last decade (20002010). The 1960s was the first decade of bar admission for three currently active women members. Since the 1980s, the number of women attorneys admitted (who are still current, active members) has more 10 Lawyer March 2011 Nevada Lawyer September 2010 Nevada
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than quadrupled in size (from 279 to 1,428). The graph below shows the decade of Nevada admission for active SBN members. The number of active members admitted in each decade is included at the base of each column. The grey region and percentage at the top of the columns indicates the proportion of men admitted in each decade. The blue region and white percentage at the bottom of the column represents the proportion of women. The notable increases in the blue region over time attests to the historic precedent and growing presence of women lawyers in Nevada. Figure 2: Current and Active Bar Members: Women and Men by Decade of Admission
AGE AND GENDER BY DECADE OF ADMISSION
While the average age of all current active members is 45.9 years, the average age of currently active female attorneys is 41.9 years. The average age of women when they were admitted to the SBN has remained steady each decade since the 1960’s (31.7 in the 1960s to 31.7 in the 2000s). Conversely, while the average age of male attorneys is 47.7 years, the average age at SBN admittance has increased steadily since the 1940s (27.4 in the 1940s to 33.6 in the 2000s). Figure 3: Active Members: Average Age Upon Bar Admission by Gender and Decade
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NEVADA FEMALE ATTORNEYS TODAY
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TYPE OF PRACTICE, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE, BY GENDER
When looking at percentages of women versus men in private versus public practice, a larger percentage of women (31 percent) compared to men (18 percent) are in public practice. Conversely, 82 percent of male attorneys are in private practice, compared to only 69 percent of female attorneys. Figure 4: Active State Bar of Nevada Members: Private vs. Public
These percentages represent the proportions of men and women in public and private practice, excluding those for whom this information was not available (2,731, 34 percent of active members) and retired members (13). The number of men and women represented in the pie charts is indicated above each image. The SBN Demographics Workgroup has taken steps to expand and improve data collection to fill in the gaps in member information that were identified in the SBN Demographics Report (2010).
TIME PRACTICING LAW BY ADMISSION TO NEVADA STATE BAR OR ANY STATE BAR BY GENDER
The average time practicing law in Nevada for active women members is 9.8 years compared to 14.9 years for men. Similarly, men have been practicing law since their earliest admission to any state bar for an average of 17.3 years, compared to practicing law for an average of 11.5 years for women. (See Figure 4 below.) With respect to out-of-state admissions to any state bar at the time of their Nevada admission, the percentage of Nevada female attorneys (33 percent) admitted in other states is comparable to the male attorneys (38 percent).
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The State Bar of Nevada has taken great measures to provide the most accurate description of the membership. Future articles and reports will provide an even greater wealth of information about the thriving legal community in Nevada.
1 “A Snapshot of State Bar Membership” in the October 2010 edition, Nevada Lawyer.
VICTORIA SPRINGER is a graduate research assistant, CRDA, University of Nevada, Reno. VERONICA BLAS DAHIR is the Senior Survey Manager at Survey Services, CRDA, University of Nevada Reno. KATHLEEN ENGLAND’S biography is on page 11.
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