Do male divorce lawyers perform better and make more money than women divorce lawyers?

Do male divorce lawyers make more money, on average than female divorce lawyers? It depends on how you look at it. If they are employees working for the same firm, they may or may not make the same depending on their value to the firms, the rainmaking capabilities and contacts they have, and how much business they bring in. 
Each firm structures their compensation packages differently. So if it turns out that associates or partners are making more than others, it may not be as simple as a gender bias. It could be a question of a disparity in how much the employee (male or female) brings into the firm. But then again, maybe it IS bias which, often, is based on perception, and not necessarily always a reality.
There is still a lot of gender bias issues in law firms, that’s not a big secret. And there are going to be situations where the fact that an attorney is male or female will influence how much money he or she takes home – regardless of what they bring to the firm, regardless of their actual performance.
On the other hand, if you are comparing solo practitioners (lawyers who work for themselves) then arguably male divorce lawyers, on average, will probably take home more than female divorce lawyers on average. That has to do with societal biases more than anything else. Clients are probably going to feel more comfortable with a male lawyer in a divorce situation because most people who are getting divorced want a “tough” “bulldog” “aggressive” “cutthroat” lawyer. These characteristics are probably more prevalent in male lawyers than females. That is not to suggest that female lawyers can’t be tough, aggressive, cutthroat bulldogs. Because they can. But ounce for ounce, more men probably display these characteristics than women, and so there is still a societal perception that a male divorce lawyer is a better bang for the buck than a woman. Therefore, the male lawyer  will make more money than the female, generally speaking. (There are exceptions to the rule, of course.)
In court, where it all matters, there could be some biases as well. While there are more family court judges that are women than ever before, there is still a slight edge that men enjoy in the eyes of the court. He is more likely to be “taller” and “more assertive” than his adversary and the judges are more likely to listen to a man and see him as “credible” before she listens to the woman. That is, the judge ultimately will listen to both sides. But know that at the end of the day, if both lawyers are pretty evenly matched intellectually, the man will receive the edge – even if the judge is female. As a result, the male lawyer will sooner gain a reputation for being a “good lawyer” who “delivers results” than the female lawyer is.
It is not a coincidence that more male lawyers – whether divorce lawyers are any other specialty – have been voted “superlawyers” by their peers.
The disparity is even more marked when you throw in race into the stew. Minority women, generally speaking, tend to make less than all other divorce lawyers – regardless of how well they perform – when compared to, say, White male lawyers. There are exceptions to this rule, of course. But generally speaking, there are disparities in the perceived performance and earning power of divorce lawyers and these differences can be traced to race and gender. Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/emma_buckley/3894073702/sizes/m/in/photostream/