On Wednesday night, the Washington Post ran an article with a truly shocking revelation: Elizabeth Warren, an accomplished law professor, U.S. senator for Massachusetts, noted bankruptcy expert, and presidential candidate made … a decent salary while working as a lawyer.
According to the Post, Warren worked on over 50 cases while working at University of Pennsylvania Law School and then Harvard Law School, and would charge up to $675 per hour. This, as many were quick to note, is fairly typical for a lawyer of that caliber — the standard when she was working as a lawyer was around $700 — and the response online was largely incredulous of the way the piece was framed.
In foregrounding the $675 figure, as Slate notes, the piece seems to imply that Warren was doing something hypocritical or exploitative, which doesn’t really seem to be the case. While she advised on the bankruptcies of corporate clients, including Dow Chemical and Getty Oil, she also worked to ensure that companies paid money to victims of product liability claims. For instance, according to a new disclosure on her website, she helped Dow Corning establish a $2.35 billion fund to compensate women whose breast implants led to health issues. And, per a 2012 Boston Globe report, she helped set up a $500 million trust for victims of asbestos poisoning.
With that said, the fact that a presidential candidate made disclosures about their previous work is notable — and perhaps certain politicians should take note and do the same. Still, the fact that Warren charged a perfectly respectable fee for her work doesn’t really feel headline-worthy, particularly because many of her male counterparts have not been given the same treatment. Where are all the headlines about how much they made in their previous careers?