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Journal of Legal Education

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What can statistics derived from publicly available data establish about how women are being treated in legal education? This study is an attempt to find out. Its goal is to collate into one coherent picture the most significant data presently available. Among other things, this study reports a census of all faculty jobs at law schools approved by the American Bar Association, largely but not entirely based on faculty listings published in the AALS Directory of Law Teachers covering a three-year period, 1996-97 through 1998-99.

Part I examines the published data on the gender composition of students and applicants for admission together with gender differentials in first-year grading. Among other things, the statistics predict that women will very soon constitute the majority of law students nationally. For the most part, statistics that could illuminate whether women are being treated fairly after admission are not publicly available. There is one significant exception. Although women who apply for admission to law schools have higher undergraduate grade averages than men who apply to law schools, that differential reverses in the first year of law school, and men suddenly receive higher grades on average than the women.

Part II examines all the publicly available data on law faculty hiring, promotion, status, and pay. Because much more data is available on these questions, part II develops more depth than part I can. Among other things, the statistics show that women are not applying for tenure-track jobs at rates that would equal their presence in the cohorts from which law faculty are initially hired. A woman applying for a tenure-track job does not have a statistically better chance of being hired than a man does and might have statistically worse odds. At the point of hiring, men received a higher percentage of the associate professor appointments while women tend to be appointed at the assistant professor rank. The available statistics suggest that women achieve tenure at lower rates than men. And there is evidence that women are paid less than similarly qualified men within the same status and at the same experience levels. Perhaps the most stark finding is that everywhere in legal education the line between the conventional tenure track and the lesser forms of faculty employment has become a line of gender segregation.

Part III assesses the statistics reported in parts I and II.



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