To examine law and culture’s effects on labor conditions of male and female lawyers, the author interviewed Chilean lawyers. The study found that the reality of women’s family responsibilities and stereotypes about women’s weaknesses as work leaders harm women lawyers’ careers. Although the law permits mothers to share their six-month post-natal leaves with fathers, fathers rarely take leaves because of societal and employer disapproval, a practice that reinforces traditional separation of male and female roles. The article concludes that culture has an even greater effect than law on the gendered conditions of lawyers’ work, but that law also may affect behavior. Culture is not static, and lawmakers should consider law’s effects and unintended consequences to propose new legislation to correct inequities.


Lawyers Sex Discrimination Gener Stereotypes Parental Leaves Law and Culture