My inbox’s tone has been very gentle lately. The newsletters tell me, it’s a big scary world and I shouldn’t feel bad staying in my fetal position and only resurfacing when the world is better. Drinking more wine, spending time alone, and vegging out are encouraged, perhaps even celebrated.
Most of my newsletters are directed at women. This is not a coincidence. We teach women to retreat; we men to take charge.
Couples often fight about money, particularly if the distribution of money is uneven. Money is a proxy for power, and power imbalances lead to disagreements. This money and power imbalance is at the root of why dating sucks for female lawyers.
Because of the pay gap, most heterosexual relationships involve a higher-earning man and a lower-earning woman. But in 29% of hetero relationships, less than 1/3, the woman out-earns the man. This figure has been increasing for decades, but is still a small minority of couples. It’s highly unlikely, for example, that either person in a couple has experience with a higher-earning mother. The newness of this type of relationship and the high likelihood that women lawyers will be involved in such a relationship can lead to growing pains.
Being single seems like it would be an impediment to advancing in your career. For instance, a significant other can halve your chores and expenses and provide advice and support – clear benefits. For me though, being single helped advance my career. It turns out that my experience is typical for highly educated women professionals. Here are 8 ways being single can help a women’s career (or how being married/coupled can hurt it) and my experience navigating these obstacles.
Why do we teach women to be afraid? For years now, I’ve seen articles and social media posts discussing how #yesallwomen live in constantfear of violence. This fear means women refrain from many enjoyable routine activities like exercising, going out at night, or traveling by themselves.
This idea bothers me every time I see it. The fear is grossly outsized compared with the actual risk. For example, Wikipedia states:
Although fear of crime is a concern for people of all genders, studies consistently find that women around the world tend to have much higher levels of fear of crime than men, despite the fact that in many places, and for most offenses, men’s actual victimization rates are higher. [emphasis added]
When you think of the most famous attorneys – it’s a lot of men. Even famous fictional lawyers tend to be men – Perry Mason, Atticus Finch, Bob Loblaw. But there are also a lot of great female attorneys – real and fictional. And it’s easy to forget that. So this is just a fun series to remind us of some of them, with an added personal finance twist And we’ll start with my favorite of all time.
Personal finance is different for each person, and that’s especially true for women lawyers. Factors like giant student loan debt, no work life balance, lack of financial confidence, the glass ceiling – are just a few things that make navigating finances as a woman attorney different from others.
Female lawyers face their own unique personal finance challenges. They call it personal finance because the principles are not universal. If you’re a lawyer, you will likely accrue a lot of debt and no earnings while attending law school. It might still be a good decision because you are pursuing the career you want and are potentially setting yourself up for higher earnings. If you take a pay cut so that you can care for your family, that also might be the right financial decision for you, even though you are not saving.
Personal finance looks different for each individual depending on their circumstances and the stages in their lives. You might ask why this site focuses on women lawyers and it’s because female lawyers have different financial circumstances than male lawyers or women in other professions, due to a variety of systemic problems and societal norms. These differences are not necessarily night and day from other people’s experiences, but it’s different enough to warrant different advice. Below I explain some of these differences.