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POSITION FILLED: MWL Pay Equity Project Internship

Thursday, May 16, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Hannah Zuercher

MWL Pay Equity Project Internship

In the coming year, Minnesota Women Lawyers (MWL) will engage in a comprehensive research project, as Phase One of the MWL Pay Equity Project (Project), a long-term effort to promote and advocate for equal pay for women attorneys across the legal profession. The Project includes pay equity for similarly situated positions across the legal community, as well as the promotion of women to higher levels of leadership and responsibility within their organizations. Goals of the multi-year Project include:

A. To gain a comprehensive understanding of pay equity and related issues, nationally and within the Minnesota legal community.

B. To develop resources and tools to educate and train the Minnesota legal community on issues of pay equity.

C. Through research, education, resources and collaboration, influence law firms and legal departments (corporate, public, etc.) to develop their compensation systems to provide equal pay and promotion.

D. To bring transparency to the Twin Cities market regarding compensation, leadership and promotion.

E. To gain measured progress in pay equity, leadership and promotion.

F. To develop and implement means by which MWL will continue to monitor and support legal community efforts to ensure ongoing progress in pay equity, leadership and promotion.


With these goals in mind, MWL has developed an intern position to support Phase One of this Project.

Intern's Primary Functions:
1) To conduct a comprehensive literature review related to pay equity and the retention and promotion of women attorneys in the legal profession.
2) To analyze and synthesize those resources and resources collected for use by the MWL Pay Equity Project Committee (Committee).
3) To provide support and assistance to the Committee on related tasks.

Terms of Internship:

To begin early summer 2019, the initial term is three months and an estimated five (5) hours per week, with flexibility. Most work will be done remotely, so the intern must have access to a computer and internet.

After initial orientation, weekly status calls and/or e-mails, along with bi-monthly in person meetings, will be requested to report and review progress. Meetings will include monthly Committee meetings where the intern will have the opportunity to present research, information and updates. There may also be an opportunity to present research findings in front of the MWL Board.

After the initial term, the intern and MWL may discuss possibility of extending the internship depending on the needs and interests of both the intern and MWL.

This is an unpaid internship, but MWL hopes you will take advantage of these benefits: one-year membership to MWL and free attendance at all MWL events during the term of the internship. (Some event exclusions may apply.)  Ability to develop internship for class credit or work-study will be considered on an individual basis.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
• Conduct an extensive national and local literature review of existing reports, research and resources that relate to pay equity, and the retention and promotion of women in the legal profession. More specifically, try to answer these questions:
   o Why do we not have pay equity in law firms and legal departments?
   o What is not working in current compensation structures and law firm/legal department structures?
   o How and why does pay inequity particularly impact women of color and other under-represented attorneys?

   o What do those involved and affected want to see in the area of pay and pay equity?
   o What efforts are already happening and are they working?
• Identify other projects in the legal profession, particularly in the women’s legal community. Determine if there are means by which MWL can partner with such groups as appropriate.
• Identify local, state, and/or federal laws or proposed laws related to pay equity.
• Assist in determining what research is most useful and relevant to the Project.
• Among all research and resources gathered, assist in identifying best practices in relation to pay equity, retention and promotion.
• Assist in identifying gaps in the existing research.
• Identify other projects (within and outside the legal profession) that may serve as structure model for the Project.
• Assist in determining a method for retaining all information collected and making it accessible to the Project's leadership team.
• Assist in gathering marketing strategy ideas to support legal community engagement in the Project.
• Based on comprehensive literature review conducted, assist in the development of a draft survey tool and other related pay equity resources for future implementation.
• Provide general support to the Project's leadership team, as requested.

Experience and Qualification Requirements:
• Strong research and analysis skills, with the ability to synthesize and summarize large quantities of information.
• Strong verbal and written communication skills.
• Interest in MWL’s mission of advancing the success of women attorneys and striving for a just society.

How to apply: Send resume and cover letter, along with a 1-2 page writing sample to Katie Gunaratne, MWL Program and Project Coordinator, at

Application Deadline: Open until filled.

About Minnesota Women Lawyers
MWL is a bar association dedicated to advancing the success of women in the legal profession and striving for a just society. Members include nearly 1,300 lawyers, judges, law students and legal employers from throughout the state of Minnesota. In addition to its main office in downtown Minneapolis, MWL has four chapters who meet in St. Cloud, Mankato, Duluth and the St. Croix Valley. MWL membership provides attorneys with opportunities to learn, develop as leaders, network with other attorneys and foster greater satisfaction within the practice of law. Since its inception in 1972, MWL has worked to address the changing needs of women in the profession by offering a wide-range of activities and member benefits. More information is available at


Minnesota Women Lawyers
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Minneapolis, MN 55402

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