Feminism, Gender, Law Reviews, Law Schools, Women's Issues

The Ladies of Law Review: Mostly Good News

We’ve been doing a series of posts looking at whether women and minorities are adequately represented on the mastheads of the nation’s law reviews. The subject is definitely a contentious one, and our posts have generated a high number of comments.

Perhaps we should shift our focus to underrepresented minorities (URMs) — sayonara, Asians — since women are actually doing just fine for themselves. And you don’t have to take our word for it. This conclusion comes from a report (PDF) that was just released by Ms. JD, which conducted a study of law reviews at the 2009 U.S. News “Top 50″ law schools for the 2008-2010 academic years. Based on the study, Ms. JD made the following findings:

  • The overall percentage of women who are members of law reviews, 44.3 percent, correlates strongly with the number of women awarded law degrees during the same time period, 45.7 percent.

  • The percentage of women in leadership positions on law reviews, 46.2 percent, also correlates strongly with the number of women awarded law degrees during the same time period, 45.7 percent.

But there was one area where women remain underrepresented….

There aren’t enough women on top: according to Ms. JD, “the number of women editors-in-chief is disproportionately low (33%).”

Still, though, the news from the law journals is mostly positive. Women make up almost half of law review editors and editors with leadership positions. This compares favorably to female representation among full-time law professors (37 percent), federal trial judges (25 percent), partners at large law firms (19 percent), and Fortune 500 general counsels (15 percent).

We shouldn’t become complacent, of course, but perhaps it’s just a matter of time before gender equality is achieved in the law. We just need to watch these women law review editors go on to become women professors, judges, partners, GCs — and Supreme Court justices, of course. (Holla, Lady Kaga.)

To access the full report from Ms. JD, click here (PDF).

Women on Law Review: A Gender Diversity Report [Ms. JD]
Gender Diversity Report [Ms. JD (PDF)]

Earlier: Minorities and Women and Law Reviews, Oh My!
Congratulations, New Law Review Editors! (And a question about minorities on law review.)

(hidden for your protection)

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