Document Type

Article

Publication Title

University of Missouri at Kansas City Law Review

Publication Date

2004

Abstract

Although in the social sciences data can mean a narrative based on observation regulated by a methodology designed to insure reliability, it often is assumed to be numbers. Numbers can tell stories, and this article is about some of the stories that a particular group of numbers tell.

In 2000, I published a study of all the publicly available statistics, as well as information that could be turned into statistics, on how women are treated in legal education.1 Among other things, the statistics available at that time showed that "women who apply for admission to law schools have higher undergraduate grade averages than men who apply to law schools," but that in the first year of law school men, as a group, start receiving higher grade averages than women. On the faculty side, women were not applying for tenure-track jobs at rates that would equal their presence in the cohorts from which law school faculty initially are hired. When hired, "men [were receiving] a higher percentage of the associate professor appointments," and "women [tended] to be appointed at the assistant professor rank.", Women were obtaining tenure at lower rates than men. Although data about faculty pay was sketchy, the available evidence showed instances in which "women [were] paid less than similarly qualified men within the same status and at the same experience levels." "Perhaps the most stark finding [was] that everywhere in legal education the line between the conventional tenure track and the lesser forms of faculty employment [had] become a line of gender segregation." This was because women were being hired into off-tenure-track jobs at extraordinarily high rates. Similar hiring patterns existed in deans' offices and law school libraries, "as lesser jobs assistant deans and non-director librarians, for example-are gender-stereotyped as female while the jobs above them on a status ladder have been variable or gender-stereotyped as male." The statistics also showed a variety of other ways in which women were not faring as well as men in legal education.

Has anything changed since then? In order to find out, this article analyzes the statistics available through July 2004.

Share

COinS