Early Post-Law School Careers of Women and Men Lawyers in U.S. and German Cities
Authors: John Hagan, Gabriele Plickert, Patricia Parker, Hans Merkens
International Study of Lawyers
Berlin – Frankfurt am Main – New York City – Washington D.C.
Free University Berlin and Law Associations of Berlin and Frankfurt
Berlin – Frankfurt am Main – New York City – Washington D.C.
Freie Universität Berlin und RAK Berlin – Frankfurt
The Comparative Study
This research is expanding a national U.S. study of lawyers ( the American Bar Foundation’s After the JD Study) to include two cities in Germany – Frankfurt am Main and Berlin. This is a comparative study of the entry and advancement of female and male lawyers in the business and political capitals of these two countries. The project extends ongoing comparative research on the legal profession in the U.S. and Canada to Germany.
Please click here to view slides that discuss the objectives of the study.
Investigators and Researchers:
- Professor John Hagan – Northwestern University and American Bar Foundation
- Dr. Gabriele Plickert – American Bar Foundation
- Professor Dr. Hans Merkens – Freie Universität Berlin
- Patricia Parker – University of Toronto
- Dr. Christine Hoffman and Heike Steinbach-Rohn, Rechtsanwaltskammer Frankfurt and Main
- Marion Pietrusky und Benno Schick, Rechtsanwaltskammer Berlin
- Law School Admission Council
- American Bar Foundation
- Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung TransCoop
2012 “Women in Legal Practice: Local and Global Perspectives” Session Organizer with Carole Silver, Steven Boutcher, and Ulrike Schultz for the International Conference on Law and Society. Honolulu, HI, June 5-8.
2012 Plickert, Gabriele and John Hagan. “Early Post-Law Careers of Lawyers in U.S. and German Cities: A Comparative Study of Work, Family, and Childbearing.” Annual Meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society. New York, NY, Feb. 23-26.
2010 Plickert, Gabriele. “What Rules the Ethical Rule? A Snapshot of Legal Cultures in the United States and Germany.” International Legal Ethics Conference IV, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, July 15-17.
2010 International Symposium on Comparative Studies of the Legal Profession. Free University, Berlin, Germany, April 16-17. (Conference Organizer: Dr. Gabriele Plickert.)
(Left to right: Dr. Hans Merkens and Dr. Gabriele Plickert)
Hagan, John. Introduction to the Comparative Study of Young Lawyers in German and U.S. Cities
Plickert, Gabriele and John Hagan. A Comparison of Professional Careers and Work-Life Balance
Merkens, Hans. Law School Education and Law School Practice
Plickert, Gabriele. Satisfaction, Personal Well-being, and Future Aspirations
(Left to right: Patricia Parker, Prof. John Hagan, Prof. Robert L. Nelson, Prof. Ulrike Schultz, and Prof. Cynthia Fuchs Epstein)
(Left to right: Dr. Dr. Dr. Lutz Simon, President of RAK Frankfurt am Main, and Irene Schmidt, President of RAK Berlin)
Prof. Cynthia Fuchs Epstein – City University of New York, Sociology
Prof. Robert Nelson – Director of the ABF and Northwestern University, Sociology
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Schultz – Akad. Oberrätin, FernUniversität in Hagen, Law School
Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. Lutz Simon – President of the Rechtsanwaltskammer Frankfurt am Main
Irene Schmidt – President of the Rechtsanwaltskammer Berlin
Publications and Reports
Plickert, Gabriele and John Hagan. (forthcoming). Professional Work and the Timing of Family Formation among Young Lawyers in U.S. and German Cities. International Journal of the Legal Profession.
ABSTRACT: There is little cross-national empirical research on which to develop our understanding of the relationship of family formation among lawyers to the organization of work in the legal profession. This study compares young German lawyers practicing in Frankfurt and Berlin with young U.S. lawyers practicing in New York and Washington, D.C. at similar career stages when they are most likely to marry and have children. The sampled lawyers are about 10 years into practice. We examine the effects of work on women lawyers’ childbearing in German and American cities. We find that although the onset and timing of childbearing is much the same in Frankfurt and Berlin, and also in New York and Washington, D.C., there are major differences in the onset and timing of fertility between these German and American cities. A discrete-time event history analysis suggests that the more traditional legal culture of Germany offers women greater autonomy for parenting but also reduced economic rewards, while the mega-law culture of America offers women less autonomy for parenting but enhanced prospects for economic rewards. The findings underscore that there is much to be learned from the cross-national study of legal professionals.
Hagan, John and Gabriele Plickert. (forthcoming). “Early Post-Law School Careers of Lawyers in U.S. and German Cities. A Comparative Study of Work, Family, and Childbearing.” Report prepared for the Law School Admission Council, Newton, PA, USA.
Plickert, Gabriele and Hans Merkens. 2011. “Deutsche Anwaltsstudie: Ergebnisse zur Befragung junger Rechtsanwältinnen und Rechtsanwälte aus Berlin und Frankfurt.“ Report preparared for the Rechtsanwaltskammern in Franfurt am Main and Berlin, Germany. Acess under:
Work in Progress
Plickert, Gabriele and Hans Merkens. “Der Einfluss von Studienerfahrungen, beruflichen Zielen und persönlichen Eigenschaften auf den Beschäftigungstyp junger Rechtsanwälte und Rechtsanwältinnen.“ (article under review).
ABSTRACT: We employ survey results from 1,300 young lawyers in Frankfurt and Berlin. We focus on lawyers’ assessment of the legal education. Findings indicate that the legal education has been considered less practice-oriented for the majority of respondents. Yet, the majority of respondents reported moderate to high satisfaction with their legal education. We also examine the current employment status of survey respondents. We distinguish between two practice settings: solo practice and small shared legal offices (i.e., Bürogemeinschaft/Sozietät). Findings reveal a somewhat precarious situation for lawyers in solo practice. We examine these findings in light of personal characteristics and professional differences between lawyers.
Plickert, Gabriele and Hans Merkens. „The Dynamics Between Institutional Structural Features and Personal Career Choices for Legal Careers in Germany.“ This journal article will employ findings of the in-depth interviews, completed with 45 lawyers from Berlin and Frankfurt am Main.
For questions or further information about the study please contact:
Dr. Gabriele Plickert
American Bar Foundation