Gender and the Law Prof Blog

Editor: Tracy A. Thomas
University of Akron School of Law

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Conference: Noncompliant Bodies--Social Equity and Public Space

Yale School of Architecture, April 6-7, Noncompliant Bodies: Social Equity and Public Space

The discipline of architecture tends to overlook the needs of people who fall outside of white, male, heterosexual, able-bodied norms. This symposium, convened by Joel Sanders and Susan Stryker, will assemble a cross-disciplinary group of designers and scholars to explore the relationship between architecture and the demands for social justice voiced by people who have been marginalized and oppressed on the basis of race, gender and disability. The symposium will examine how designers working in collaboration with experts from related disciplines transform one of three architectural types: restrooms, museums, and urban streets. Our objective will be to propose alternative futures that rethink the relationship between bodies and built environments in ways that better serve the goals of social equity.

YSOA_NoncompliantBodies_Poster (002)

March 14, 2018 in Conferences, Gender | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Guest Blogger: MeToo in the Legal Profession

#MeToo in the Legal Profession

Daniela Kraiem, Associate Director Women and the Law Program, American University Washington College of Law

 

Anita Hill testifying at the confirmation hearing of Clarence Thomas was one of the events that shaped my life as a lawyer, a feminist, and a human being.  As the country watched this intelligent, competent black woman give her testimony, I saw what it meant to speak truth to power.  I understood that power would not pin laurels on you for bravery, but would instead denigrate you and spit on you and tell you to your face that your experience was a lie.   I learned that action requires much more than bravery, it requires sacrifice.

I also understood, when Clarence Thomas responded that the proceedings had descended into a high-tech lynching just how heavy weight of intersectional oppression is, and how it is always deployed in the service of protecting power. What white supremacy cannot accomplish, patriarchy will. 

At that time, as a young waitress, I had endured my own ration of sexual harassment.  But it wasn’t until much later, until I graduated from law school and started to make my way as a young lawyer and experienced a few very sketchy, borderline moments that I think I grasped the depths of what Anita Hill was up against.

Lawyers expect our profession to provide us with a kind of shield.  We are powerful, privileged people, even if we are also female or gay or a person of color or all or none of the above.  Our identity as a member of the bar provides us with the ability move freely in the halls of power….until we are harassed by someone even more powerful. 

The harassers within the legal profession are among the most powerful people on the planet—bar none.  When you’re harassed as a lawyer, it’s often by a judge, a legislator, the partner of your firm, the CEO of the company or the big client.  A person with unparalleled resources, cultural capital to burn, and ability to use the law as both a shield and a cudgel against you.   

We operate in a profession where confidentiality and discretion are paramount, refusing assignments is difficult, and our reputations are our currency.  Harassers use and abuse the ethical and social conventions of our profession to prevent victims from speaking out and speaking up.  The result? Persistent gender-based inequality among lawyers that seems to have no discernable cause. 

Much of the conversation around #MeToo starts to bleed—quite rightly in some cases—into conversation about crimes, about assault, and about a culture of violence.  But sexual harassment is also fundamentally an economic issue, one that warps our profession.  The cost is not just to the victims, who must figure out how to earn a living, despite the hostile environment they’re operating in. The cost is to all of us.  How many of us have not applied for a job, or turned down a plum assignment because taking it would have put us into close contact with someone who either the whisper network or gut instinct said would not be safe?  Avoiding sexual harassment shapes our choices, delimiting our options.  The language of choice (“You chose to turn down the assignment”; “You choose the less prestigious clerkship”) masks a sick, systemic tolerance for discriminatory behavior.  It’s not a leak in the pipeline, it’s the gaping hole.

The #MeToo moment is an opportunity for change, not just in the general law, but in lawyers.  There are specific and concrete steps that we can take now to make our workplaces exactly that—places where we work.  Where we represent our clients, or draft legislation, or decide cases.  Not places where we have to think about our basic safety and security. 

In February, a group of us came together to discuss concrete steps for change at #MeToo: Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Legal Workplace (February 19, 2018, American University Washington College of Law), sponsored by the Women and the Law Program at AU. I was inspired by these women and daunted by the amount of work to be done, starting with:

(See also these remarks by Daniela Kraiem, or watch the entire panel discussion complete with introductions by Kendra Brown, closing remarks by Ann Shalleck, and Q&A).

We also need to lead the change in our own workplaces.  Because of the immense cultural and political power wielded by harassers in the legal profession, we have to pay special attention to the even wider power differential for those who work with us, but who are not also lawyers. Court reporters, paralegals, administrative assistants, law clerks, interns, interpreters, bailiffs, correctional officers.  If a harasser is willing to risk harassing someone who is in any other context not afraid to sue your ass, how much more complicated is it for someone without our professional badges and power suits to shield them? We, as lawyers, have an especial obligation to the people we work with—to listen and watch and ask and to believe them when they tell us that something is making them uncomfortable—or worse.  Because of the power we possess, ours is a heightened obligation to not be complicit.

In the wake of #MeToo, I’ve thought often of Anita Hill and the lessons her experience etched on us. I’m looking for ways to repay the immense debt that I, at least, owe her for speaking out when doing so meant that she walked alone.  Working to end harassment in the legal profession—the context in which Clarence Thomas harassed Anita Hill, and the context in which Anita Hill fought back--is the right place to begin.

March 13, 2018 in Conferences, Equal Employment, Guest Bloggers, Women lawyers, Work/life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 5, 2018

Gender Sidelining Symposium

A terrific lineup of speakers at the upcoming Gender Sidelining Symposium

Gender Sidelining Symposium at California Western School of Law

 

Subtle, yet pernicious forms of unequal treatment exist wherein women may not experience adverse outcomes that are actionable under anti-discrimination or other laws, but nonetheless may find themselves hindered in their ability to advance and flourish. These myriad behaviors, policies, and practices lead to "Gender Sidelining"—a term recently coined by a group of law professors at California Western—whereby women experience obstacles that the law does not (and arguably should not) proscribe.

The Gender Sidelining Symposium on April 26-27, 2018 will highlight examples of and help us understand the process by which this phenomenon occurs. By bringing together academics and practitioners from a broad range of fields—employment and labor law, business law, criminal law, politics, and beyond—the symposium will take an innovative look at how existing social structures can lead to adverse treatment on the basis of gender when actions may not be motivated by gender-based animus or even by implicit bias.

March 5, 2018 in Conferences, Equal Employment, Gender, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 5, 2018

Conference: Transnational Legal Feminisms

Cornell International Law Journal, Symposium: Transnational Legal Feminisms: Challenges and Opportunities

This symposium brings together feminist scholars from around the world to discuss, offer, critique or disseminate a vision of transnational legal feminisms and the challenges and opportunities it presents.


In particular, we seek to explore three contemporary developments. First, we are interested in the rise, paths, success and challenges of transnational feminism. The far and wide reach of different feminist legal ideas changed the world wherever they touched. 

 

A second development is the rise and maturation of critique within the feminist movement. Feminism has always been an introspective movement. Yet in recent years, some critical voices about feminist paths of power in the national and transnational sphere gained increased foothold within feminist thought.

 

A third contemporary development this symposium will explore, is the rise of right wing, populist, mostly conservative, politics, in many different parts of the globe, from center to periphery and back again. We are interested in exploring together the meaning of this political tidal wave to feminist politics, movement and national and transnational advocacy.

 

 

 

February 5, 2018 in Conferences, International, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 1, 2018

CFP Women's Leadership in Academia Conference

From Associate Dean Usha Rodrigues about the upcoming Women's Leadership in Academia Conference at the University of Georgia, and includes a call for proposals: 

We are happy to announce that Georgia Law will be hosting the first annual conference for Women's Leadership in Academia this summer on July 19-20.  The conference will emphasize giving attendees concrete skills in areas such as negotiation, as well as building a professional network.  Please visit the conference website for more details, and add your contact information in the “conference registration” section if you would like to be contacted as we finalize the details.

We are inviting you not only to attend our conference, but also to help shape it.  The conference website contains a call for panel proposals, and we are eager to hear your ideas to further our mission of promoting women leaders.

February 1, 2018 in Call for Papers, Conferences, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Women and the Law Conference 2018: Gender at the Bargaining Table

Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Women and the Law Conference 2018: Her Place at the Bargaining Table: Gender, Negotiation and “Risky” Decision-Making

Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s 18th Annual Women and the Law Conference, Her Place at the Bargaining Table: Gender, Negotiation and “Risky” Decision-Making, will be held on Friday, February 9, 2018 at Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

 

This conference brings together leading experts and practitioners to focus exclusively on issues related to gender and the law to address the issue of women at the bargaining table. How does gender affect the way we approach and manage negotiations in a variety of settings?

 

Explorations into the enduring wage gap between men and women prompt us to examine this important topic. Despite advances, women on average continue to earn roughly 80 cents for each male dollar earned. In 1960, women earned approximately 64 cents for each male dollar and experts estimate that the gap will likely not close for at least another 40 years...longer for Latina or African American women. What accounts for this gap? Is it explicit sexism, implicit bias, male and female divergent life choices? 

 

Negotiation experts maintain that women’s antipathy to negotiation and risk-taking provides a partial explanation. This year’s topic explores women and decision-making, with particular attention paid to the art and science of bargaining for advantage. 

 

Professor Linda C. Babcock will deliver the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecture. Babcock continues in a long line of illustrious speakers who have been honored as the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecturer, a lecture series Justice Ginsburg generously established for Thomas Jefferson in 2003.

January 16, 2018 in Business, Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Law, Gender and Women at 2018 AALS

Wednesday, Jan. 3

3:30 pm How to Adapt Your Outreach Efforts, Admissions Process and Law School Community to Ensure Your Culture is Welcoming to Transgender and Gender Fluid Students

Moderator: Jay Austin, University of California, Irvine School of Law

Speakers: Robyn Brammer, Dean of Counseling and Social Sciences, Golden West College
Jeb Butler, Columbia Law School
Barbara J. Cox, California Western School of Law
Blake Liggio, Partner, Goodwin Procter LLP
Shaun Travers, Campus Diversity Director and Director of the
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, University of California, San Diego


Each year the number of applicants, matriculants, and continuing students who identify as nonbinary, transgender, or perhaps along a wider vontinuum of gendered orientations increases. Has your law school adapted to attract these students? And during their enrollment, what affirming steps can your law school actively engage in to ensure their full participation? This session will bring together a unique group of individuals from the law school community, the legal profession, and undergraduate academic programs to discuss ways that your law school can welcome and support these students. This wide-ranging discussion will include thoughts on application gender questions, the use of preferred names and pronouns in the classroom, and other gender neutral affirming practices and policies.

 

Thursday, Jan. 4 

10:30am  AALS Open Source Program – Mainstreaming Feminism 

Moderator & Speaker: Brooke D. Coleman, Seattle University School of Law

Speakers:

Anastasia M. Boles, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law
Linda A. Malone, William & Mary Law School
Elizabeth Y. McCuskey, University of Toledo College of Law
Elizabeth Porter, University of Washington School of Law

This panel presentation will take on a variety of subjects and examine their feminist implications. The panel will discuss papers involving business law, civil procedure, employment law, federal courts, and health law. The goal of the program is to de-compartmentalize feminism from other strains
of legal scholarship and inquiry by engaging scholars with interests independent of feminism and those with an interest primarily in feminism. What the panelists hope to ultimately achieve is a mainstreaming of feminism. Stated differently, the goal is to begin normalizing the consideration of intersectionality—including, but not limited to, feminism—within traditional legal scholarship to create a scholarly environment where this kind of inquiry is the norm and not just the panel regarding “other.”

 

Friday, Jan. 5

8:30am Rethinking Campus Response to Sexual Violence: Betsy DeVos, Title IX, and the Continuing Search for Access to Justice

Moderator: Hannah Brenner, California Western School of Law

Speakers:

    Mary M. Penrose, Texas A&M University School of Law

    Verna Williams, University of Cincinnati College of Law

    Cory Rayburn Young, University of Kansas School of Law

    Nancy Chi Cantalupo, Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law

    Ben Trachtenberg, University of Missouri School of Law

The Trump Administration recently revised the Title IX process addressing sexual violence on college campuses. These revisions, coupled with a Sixth Circuit decision finding due process protections lacking in a university’s Title IX hearing, underscore the importance of ensuring that both victims and accused receive access to justice following allegations of sexual violence. Against the backdrop of these and other current events, this panel considers strategies for rethinking the response from a legal access to justice perspective. As lawyers and legal academics, this topic is important to us, our students, institutions, and society as we strive to find balance between the rights of victims and accused. The voices on this panel offer diverse viewpoints regarding Title IX’s role in addressing sexual violence. Panelists will discuss necessary protections for those bringing claims of sexual violence to ensure fair resolution that causes limited harm to these individuals and their educational opportunities, and protections for those accused of perpetrating sexual violence, recognizing that consequences may extend far beyond the classroom. We challenge attendees to return to their campuses and respectfully engage one another to find meaningful solutions to an issue that, thus far, has failed to adequately guarantee access to justice for all.

 

10:30am ALUMNI RELATIONS & DEVELOPMENT TRACK, Engaging Women Graduates – A Donor Discussion

Moderator: Emily Mullin, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

Speakers: Michelle Banks, Senior Advisor, BarkerGilmore LLC
Debbie Epstein Henry, DEH Consulting, Speaking, Writing; Bliss Lawyers

We all know that every journey begins with a single step, and this is especially true in the world of advancement. As we think of new ways to inspire and cultivate our donors, it is important first to consider how they would like to engage with the law school. As an example, alumni associations are increasingly engaging alumni through affinity-based programs, including both industry and cultural  affinities. Other schools are launching alumnae-specific networks to engage their female graduates in meaningful ways. In this session we will sit down with three law school alumnae leaders for a discussion about engaging women graduates, through programming and philanthropy, and will discuss their journeys from engagement to gift.

 

5:30pm Women's Leadership in Academia, sponsored by University of Georgia 

        Reception, panel, and roundtable discussion on advancing women law professors and administrators in leadership positions.

 

Saturday, Jan. 6

9:00am Women in Legal Education –Whispered Conversations Amplified 


Moderator: Kerri L. Stone, Florida International University College of Law

Speakers:

Marina Angel, Temple University, James E. Beasley School of Law
Ann Bartow, University of New Hampshire School of Law
Meera Deo, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Angela Mae Kupenda, Mississippi College School of Law
Melissa E. Murray, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
Susan Westerberg Prager, Southwestern Law School

This program seeks to take what have traditionally been “whispered conversations” among women in the legal academy and amplify them by conducting them publicly and bringing them into the light. For too long, important issues unique to women in the legal academy have been discussed almost strictly among women who call one another after meetings, drop by one another’s offices, and pull one another aside in the hallways. This program seeks to de-stigmatize and include others in the discussion of issues like integrating feminism into one’s courses or scholarship, combating implicit bias in the classroom, and the unique challenges that women face when doing everything from assuming leadership positions to participating in faculty service and governance. A panel of senior professors, administrative leaders, and scholars who have thought or written about these and other issues attendant to being female in the legal academy will recount experiences, provide insight into the whispered conversations that they have had over the years, and inform a more public discussion that will normalize these issues and seek solutions.

Business meeting Women in Legal Education section at program conclusion.

 

10:30am Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues – Relationships Between Religious Exemptions and Principles of Equality and Inclusion 

Moderator: Jack B. Harrison, Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law

Speakers:

David B. Cruz, University of Southern California Gould School of Law
Louise Melling, Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union Center for Liberty
Douglas NeJaime, Yale Law School
Shaakirrah Sanders, University of Idaho College of Law
Kyle C. Velte, Texas Tech University School of Law

U.S. law at all levels contains anti-discrimination provisions, designed to reflect principles of equality and inclusion. At the same time, areas of U.S. law reflect principles of religious accommodation and exemption, that are well ensconced in constitutional law. Yet religious rights and religious exemption laws have had a long history of conflict with anti-discrimination laws. The resolution of these conflicts has traditionally been that religious motivation did not generally provide exemptions from civil rights laws. This resolution, however, appears to be under increasing attack in recent years and the Supreme Court has modified that traditional approach with decisions such as Hosanna-Tabor and Hobby Lobby. This panel will examine these conflicts and explore how U.S. laws should best seek to achieve equality and inclusion for all.

 

2:15pm  Women in Legal Education Luncheon. Ticket price $75 per person.

 

1:30pm Women in Legal Education – Speed Mentoring

 

Also, there is a Nursing Parents Room available, a super cool app tracking the conference at Access to Justice, and a Twitter hashtag #AALS2018.

January 3, 2018 in Conferences, Gender | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Men Invited to Give Twice as Many Academic Talks as Women--and its not Because Women Turn them Down or That There Aren't Enough Qualified Women

Women are Invited to Give Fewer Talks than Men at Top US Universities

Colloquium talks, where academics are invited to discuss their research, give speakers a chance to publicize their work, build collaborations with new colleagues, and boost their reputations. The talks can lead to promotions or job offers. They are big opportunities. But as Hebl’s student Christine Nittrouereventually found, they are opportunities that are predominantly extended to men.

 

Nittrouer and her team scanned the websites of the top 50 U.S. universities, as ranked by U.S. News, to build a database of every colloquium speaker from six departments: biology, bioengineering, political science, history, psychology, and sociology. They chose those six to represent a breadth of disciplines, and to exclude departments with either a very low or very high proportion of women. And they found that men gave more than twice as many talks as women: 69 percent versus 31 percent.

 

That result should not be too surprising. Several studies have shown that menoutnumber women among the speakers of several scientific conferences. There’s even a site that collates examples of all-male panels.

 

Why does this happen? Hebl accounted for several of what she calls “yeah-but explanations,” which underplay these figures as the result of anything other than discriminatory biases. For example, some might argue that men outnumber women in many fields, and so any equitable selection process would naturally lead to more male speakers. But the team estimated the full pool of available speakers by counting every professor in their six chosen fields at each of the top 100 U.S. universities. And even after adjusting for the relative numbers of men and women in the various fields or ranks, they found that men are still 20 percent more likely to be invited to give colloquium talks than women.

 

Skeptics might also argue that the problem is a generational one: Science, for instance, has historically been skewed toward men, and when colloquia committees decide whom to invite, they’re prisoners of that history. But if that were true, and the arc of academia was slowly bending toward equality, then when assistant and associate professors—who are younger and more junior than full professors—are selected to give talks, the gender difference should be narrower. Hebl’s team found no such trend. “The people in whom we should see more parity aren’t showing us more parity,” she says.

 
“People sometime say: You know what? Maybe it’s the women,” says Hebl. “Maybe they don’t want to give talks, or they’re declining because they’re staying home with their kids.” That’s not what she found when she surveyed 186 professors who didn’t give colloquium talk at prestigious universities, but were in the same departments as those who did. Their answers clearly showed that women don’t decline colloquium invitations more than men, that they feel just as strongly that these talks are important for their careers, and that they’re no more likely to decline such talks because of family obligations.

 

“This dispels the widely held myth that women are less frequent speakers because they travel less,” says Jo Handelsman, from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. “Clearly, we need to test such assumptions before we absolve ourselves of culpability in creating biased slates.”

 

“Despite their presence in departments, women are not being asked to contribute to the intellectual development of their fields in the most coveted ways,” says Robin Nelson, from Santa Clara University, who has studied the prevalence of harassment in science. “This gendered discrimination minimizes women’s visible contributions to their fields, validating the idea that the greatest intellectual contributions are made by a few brilliant men.”

 

“We can account for all the yeah-buts,” Hebl says, “but we still have this bias, and we need to do something about it.”

 
 One solution is to give women more power over inviting colloquium speakers. The team found that when those committees are chaired by women, half of the invited speakers are women; that’s compared to just 30 percent when the committees are chaired by men.

December 19, 2017 in Conferences, Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 10, 2017

New Hot Topic Announced for AALS: Rethinking Campus Response to Sexual Violence

AALS Hot Topic Programs

Rethinking Campus Response to Sexual Violence: Betsy DeVos, Title IX, and the Continuing Search for Access to Justice
Friday, January 5, 2018 from 8:30 -10:15 am

Moderator:

  • Hannah Brenner, California Western School of Law

Speakers:

  • Mary M. Penrose, Texas A&M University School of Law
  • Verna Williams, University of Cincinnati College of Law
  • Cory Rayburn Young, University of Kansas School of Law
  • Nancy Chi Cantalupo, Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law
  • Ben Trachtenberg, University of Missouri School of Law

The Trump Administration recently revised the Title IX process addressing sexual violence on college campuses. These revisions, coupled with a Sixth Circuit decision finding due process protections lacking in a university’s Title IX hearing, underscore the importance of ensuring that both victims and accused receive access to justice following allegations of sexual violence. Against the backdrop of these and other current events, this panel considers strategies for rethinking the response from a legal access to justice perspective. As lawyers and legal academics, this topic is important to us, our students, institutions, and society as we strive to find balance between the rights of victims and accused. The voices on this panel offer diverse viewpoints regarding Title IX’s role in addressing sexual violence. Panelists will discuss necessary protections for those bringing claims of sexual violence to ensure fair resolution that causes limited harm to these individuals and their educational opportunities, and protections for those accused of perpetrating sexual violence, recognizing that consequences may extend far beyond the classroom. We challenge attendees to return to their campuses and respectfully engage one another to find meaningful solutions to an issue that, thus far, has failed to adequately guarantee access to justice for all.

For other programs coming up at AALS, see Law and Gender Programs at AALS 2018

November 10, 2017 in Conferences, Education, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 16, 2017

CFP Gender Sidelining Symposium

Call for proposals in gender sidelining symposium

California Western School of Law

California Western School of Law invites proposals for its Gender Sidelining Symposium to be held April 26-27, 2018 in San Diego, California.  The symposium will bring together legal academics, practicing lawyers, business leaders, judges, and others to discuss subtle yet pernicious forms of unequal treatment that often are not actionable under anti-discrimination or other laws, but that nonetheless may hinder the ability of women to advance in their respective professions.  We refer to this unequal treatment as Gender Sidelining.  There are a myriad of behaviors, policies, and practices that lead to this phenomenon of Gender Sidelining that the law does not (and arguably should not) proscribe, but which still require solutions.

The Symposium will begin with a panel discussion that will provide the relevant context and background for the concept of Gender Sidelining, followed by a dinner and remarks by a panel of highly respected judges who will provide their thoughts and insights regarding this topic.  The second day will include lunch and a keynote address by American University Washington College of Law Dean Camille Nelson, a well-respected and widely published scholar who focuses on gender inequality.  The second day will also include three salon-style sessions, in which a primary anchor will discuss their work in conjunction with others who will provide commentary and response.  Finally, the Symposium will conclude with a final reception and rap session, where participants will be encouraged to share their reflections in an open discussion.

In seeking to explore this Gender Sidelining phenomenon, we invite proposals for three interactive salon-style sessions surrounding the themes of Employment, Entrepreneurship/Business, and Popular Culture.  Interested participants also are free to suggest other salon session topics that are consistent with the Symposium’s broader theme.  Each individual submitting a proposal should indicate the following: (1) whether you would like to serve as a primary anchor for one of the themed salon-style sessions or (2) have an interest in providing commentary in one of the themed salons. 

Proposals should be submitted to jfink@cwsl.edu no later than November 17, 2017, and include an abstract that indicates the specific themed salon session of interest, the presenter’s proposed role (primary anchor or commentator), a description of the presenter’s research/expertise, and a CV. We also welcome proposals that are fully developed in terms of a primary anchor and commentators. Please include “Gender Sidelining Symposium” in your email subject line.  Please use Microsoft Word or the equivalent, but do not use PDF.    Questions should be directed to Professor Jessica Fink at jfink@cwsl.edu.  More complete descriptions of the salon sessions appear below.

Employment: Women in the workplace often face obstacles which may impede their advancement and success, but which may not – without more – provide grounds for legal action.  For example, women are significantly under-represented in positions of leadership and power across professional sectors; they often are not given adequate credit or recognition for their work; they may find their voices silenced in meetings with their male peers; they may lack appropriate mentors or other professional guidance.  While such barriers and slights, standing alone, generally will not rise to the level of being legally actionable, the aggregation of these incidents leads to egregious inequality in the workplace that begs solutions.  In this salon, participants will contribute to a vibrant discussion on this visible, yet often unactionable, inequality in employment contexts like academia, the military, religious institutions, law enforcement, law, medicine, and beyond.

Entrepreneurship and Business: The news has been replete of late with stories of sexism at tech startups and reports finding gender bias in business funding, especially in the world of venture capital.  For this salon, we invite contributions to a discussion about how gender sidelining plays a role in business and entrepreneurship.  How does gender impact decisions about which entrepreneurs are funded, which markets are “disrupted,” or who is appointed to boards of directors and other leadership positions? How might these decisions affect both women in the business world and women as consumers?  How do issues of intersectionality complicate this analysis?  And is there a role for the law to play in addressing these issues, which are traditionally left to the market to sort out?  Ideally this salon will feature a mix of academics, practitioners, and business leaders.

Popular Culture: Popular culture often contributes to narratives that displace women and make them secondary in status to men within the collective imagination. From sports, to movies, to mainstream news and music, popular culture reproduces cultural norms, practices, and narratives that allow women to be overlooked and disregarded. Proposals that address the relationship between popular culture and gender sidelining might consider any of the following questions: How does mainstream news media coverage overlook the contributions of women politicians, lawyers, judges, and businesswomen, or subject them to different standards than men? How are women athletes and other women in entertainment exposed to unequal conditions due to gender sidelining? How do pop culture portrayals of women politicians, athletes, professionals, and artists create barriers that prevent or discourage women from entering these fields, or make it difficult for women within these fields to advance? Is there a role for the law to mitigate any of these issues?

Thank you,

Symposium Committee

Hannah Brenner

Leslie Culver

Jessica Fink 

Catherine Hardee

India Thusi

Daniel Yeager

October 16, 2017 in Call for Papers, Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Women's Leadership in Academia at AALS

Monday, October 9, 2017

More on Manels and How to Fix Them

I posted last week about "manels" -- all male discussion panels at legal and academic conferences. See Chronicle, "Man-els": Should Universities Ban Single-Gender Discussion Panels?

Here's more thinking about manels and some ideas of what to do about it:  Brigid Shulte, Slate, There is no Excuse for all Male Panels: Here's How to Fix Them

In the public arena, there is never a shortage of white men who are asked to step into the spotlight and give expert opinions. The world is filled with all-male panels at mostly male conferences, featuring male keynote speakers and discussions dominated by men—including one at Oxford—that didn’t include a single woman—on “Being a Human Being.” One academic study of prestigious TED talks found that male speakers outnumber females by a ratio of 3 to 1. That’s about the same ratio of male-to-female political analysts on top cable news shows talking about the 2016 presidential campaign, which had the first female major party candidate.

 

Men are even asked to take starring roles in conversations about women. PayPal hosted an all-male panel—a “manel”—on gender equality. A manel has held forth on the topic of #WhenWomenThrive at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. And in June, an all-male panel at the PRWeek Hall of Femme Conference told female attendees they’d do better in the “macho” PR culture if they would only “speak up more loudly.”

 

....In Sweden, I met a nonprofit group called Equalisters. It’s working to change assumptions about who we think of as an expert—i.e., white men—and offer concrete proof that expert women, immigrants, and diverse voices do, indeed, exist across a wide range of fields. “We believe people saying, ‘There aren’t any’ is just a lazy way of saying, ‘I don’t have them in my network,’ ” said project manager Tina Sayed Nestius. “With our lists, we’ve got a really good way to prove them wrong.”

 

....Witness Fresh Speakers. Co-founder Vanessa Valenti, a speaker herself, got sick of complaining about the whiteness and maleness of conferences. Then she found out that a white male speaker was paid $10,000 and flown first class to a conference while a black female speaker at the same conference had to argue to get a coach ticket refunded and wasn’t paid a dime. “We thought, ‘OK, we have to do something,’ ” Valenti said.

 

She and her two partners opened their own speakers bureau and began curating a list of diverse experts and speakers. Now, 73 percent of their speakers are nonwhite, 71 percent are women, and 51 percent are women of color. “In the conference world, a very common response you hear is, ‘Oh, we couldn’t find enough women speakers for this event. We couldn’t find enough people of color,’ ” Valenti said. “Well, here they are.”

 

The thing is, she said, you have to want to find them. As Elizabeth Broderick, sex discrimination commissioner on the Australian Human Rights Commission, has said, “If you don’t intentionally include, the system unintentionally excludes.” (The commission publishes a “Panel Pledge Toolkit to help, it says, broaden the range of perspectives and the quality of public conversation.)

 

In this era of big data, there are more ways to quantify, create accountability, and publicize the problem of a lack of diversity on the public stage. The nonprofit Gender Avenger creates social media campaigns to track the presence of women on panels as speakers and in the news. And a new app, Are Men Talking Too Much, allows users to time how long “dudes” speak compared with those “not a dude."  

 

Tumblr’s “Congrats, you have an all male panel!” plasters a thumbs-up from David Hasselhoff on photos of testosterone-heavy public forums. The Gendered Conference Campaign of female philosophers not only publicly shames all-male public events but boasts a catchy theme song: “When I flip the page/ I feel something close to rage/ If not a single name of a lady can be found.”

Hey AALS Women in Legal Ed Section-- maybe a Speakers' List of our own. 

October 9, 2017 in Conferences, Gender | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 6, 2017

"Man-els": Should Universities Ban Single-Gender Discussion Panels?

Should Universities Ban Single-Gender Discussion Panels?

One source of controversy at some academic conferences is the tendency for discussion panels to be composed largely of white men. In recent years, there’s been a heightened awareness among scholars of the importance of both gender and racial diversity when organizing such discussions — be they at conferences or on campuses.

 

In July, the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University took an unorthodox step to ensure gender diversity in its panel discussions: It adopted a rule banning single-gender panels. Specifically, the policy requires panels with more than two speakers to include both men and women. And if all speakers happen to be of the same gender, the moderator must be of a different gender. Violating the policy could result in a panel’s cancellation.

 

But there was backlash. Some faculty members complained, and news outlets like Breitbart seized upon the controversy. "It’s a total, obvious infringement on common sense to begin with, and academic freedom," said Jonathan Chaves, a professor of Chinese in the Elliott school, told the university’s student newspaper. "There’s only one standard that applies to an institution of higher education," said Mr. Chaves, "and that is who the best person is in the field. Period."

[However...]

 

"Part of privilege is just not having to think about this, you just call your friends, you call your buddies, or you call people in your network, to be on panels like this," she said. "In a practice of exclusion, like all-male, all-white panels are, we are not allowing the merits of somebody’s scholarship to actually bubble to the top."

 

One of the most recognizable efforts to diversify panels hasn’t come from administrators but from professors themselves.

 

Last year, women in political-science departments across the nation founded a searchable database called Women Also Know Stuff in an effort to bring attention to what they call "man-els," or all-male panels.

 

Melissa Michelson, a professor of political science at Menlo College and one of the founders, said she’s seen more women included in news stories and in conferences since the site launched.***

 

But single-gender panels aren’t always all-male. Aili Mari Tripp, chair of the gender and women’s studies department at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, said her department has the opposite problem: all-female panels, because of a lack of men working in gender and women’s studies.

 

As for a rule enforcing gender diversity, Ms. Tripp said that other means are more effective.

 

"The way to go is to create incentives for gender diversity, model it, and find ways to value and recognize the expertise of women and minorities," Ms. Tripp wrote in an email. "rather than legislating it in this way, which will only create unnecessary hostility."

Note, the ABA has adopted a similar rule requiring both gender and racial diversity on ABA CLE and conference panels.  More here The ABA's New Rule Mandating Diverse CLE Panels

October 6, 2017 in Conferences, Education, Gender | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

CONF Gender Equality: Progress & Possibilities

Law Review Symposium--Gender Equality: Progress & Possibilities

GENDER EQUALITY: PROGRESS & POSSIBILITIES

Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, 8 a.m. 
The University of Toledo, College of Law
McQuade Law Auditorium

Discussions of gender in American society have been ongoing since the suffrage movement began in the 19th Century. Today, “feminism” is a controversial term. Intersectional critiques of the historic whiteness and privilege of the feminist movement have likewise challenged feminism’s relevance. The recent divisive political climate has further catalyzed dialogue about this topic, suggesting a retrenchment of traditional perspectives on gender and highlighting serious patterns of ongoing discrimination that may increasingly render feminism relevant.

The University of Toledo Law Review’s 2017 Symposium will explore the ways in which gender equality has been achieved or remains aspirational in nature. Four panels of experts will discuss gender as applied to various areas of life and law. Panels will include:  Sex Inequality in the Workplace;  Gender Equality in Education; Gendered Violence; and Reimagining Family Law

Lisa Pruitt, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law at the University of California, Davis, will present the keynote address, “The Women Feminism Forgot:  Rural and Working-Class White Women in the Age of Trump.”

Panelists will publish a collection of essays in Volume 49, Issue 3 of The University of Toledo Law Review.

This symposium will be of interest to attorneys and other professionals in a multitude of practices and settings, particularly those whose practice involves representing women in any area of the law.

October 3, 2017 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Law & Gender Programs at AALS 2018

Mark your calendars for panels on law and gender at the annual Association of American Law Schools (AALS) meeting, January 2018.

Thursday, Jan. 4 

10:30am  AALS Open Source Program – Mainstreaming Feminism 

Saturday, Jan. 6

9:00am Women in Legal Education –Whispered Conversations Amplified 

10:30am Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues – Relationships Between Religious
Exemptions and Principles of Equality and Inclusion 

12:15pm  Women in Legal Education Luncheon. Ticket price $75 per person.

1:30pm Women in Legal Education – Speed Mentoring

Full AALS Draft Program is here.

 

September 26, 2017 in Conferences, Education, Gender, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Gender and Law Talks at Legal History Conference

Here are the presentations on gender and law and the upcoming annual conference of the American Society of Legal History.  The full preliminary program is here.

Lauren Thompson, Kennesaw State University, “Not for Physicians to Decide”: Medicine, Law, and Mary Ware Dennett in the Early Birth Control Movement

Cookie Woolner, University of Memphis, “Framing Women in Harlem”: Regulating Black Women’s Sexuality in the Prohibition Underworld

Katherine Luongo, Northeastern University, Mens Rea as a Cultural Matter: Adjudicating Witch-Killings in Nigeria and Tanzania

Stephanie Jones-Rogers, University of California, Berkeley, Women, American Slavery, and the Law

Luisa Stella de Oliveira Coutinho Silva, Universidade de Lisboa, Women in Colonial Paraíba: A Feminist Postcolonial Study of Brazilian Legal History, 1580s–1822

Hannah Francis, Rice University, The Impact of American Law on Free Women of Color in Nineteenth Century New Orleans

Jeffrey Gonda, Syracuse University, “All the Feeling of Being a Lady Had Been Crushed”: Black Women and Jim Crow Transportation in the 1940s

 

Roundtable: Making Reproductive Rights Law from Griswold to Whole Woman’s Health 

Chair: Kate Shaw, Cardozo Law School

Reva Siegel & Linda Greenhouse, Yale Law School, The Story of Roe v. Wade

Serena Mayeri, University of Pennsylvania, The Story of Planned Parenthood v. Casey

Cary Franklin, Yale Law School, The Story of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

Khiara Bridges, Boston University School of Law, The Story of Harris v. McRae

 

September 8, 2017 in Conferences, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Prof Julie Suk to Speak on Constitution Day on "The Constitution of Mothers" and a New ERA

The Center for Constitutional Law at the University of Akron School of Law will host Professor Julie Suk as the featured Constitution Day speaker on September 18, 2017.

Professor Suk's talk is entitled "The Constitution of Mothers:  Gender Equality and Social Reproduction in the United States and the World."  

One of the largest mobilizations in recent American history was the Women’s March of 2017, with  millions of participants in U.S. cities and in concurrent events throughout the world.  Despite diverse backgrounds and agendas, the marchers unified around the general theme of equality for women.   It was a constitutional moment:  The unity principles included a call for a new Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and in March 2017, Nevada became the first state to ratify the ERA 35 years after the 1982 deadline had lapsed.  Nevada’s ratification raises questions about the legitimacy of post-deadline ratification of a Congressionally adopted constitutional amendment, as well as deeper normative questions about the desirability and  meaning of constitutionalizing equal rights for women in the 21st century.   If Nevada’s ratification is valid or can be made valid by Congressional action, two additional states’ ratifications will put the ERA in the U.S. Constitution.  Would such an amendment change what the law does, or would it be merely symbolic? 

This lecture will argue that an ERA is needed in the twenty-first century, but for reasons different from those that motivated the 1972 adopters.  Meanwhile, most constitutions around the world explicitly guarantee sex equality, and many of these constitutions also guarantee special protections for mothers.  Drawing on global constitutionalism, this lecture argues that constitutional equality for women must go beyond prohibiting sex distinctions in the law, and reach the disadvantages faced by largely by women due to the burdens of raising the next generation of citizens.  The challenge of making the constitution regulate social reproduction, however, is illustrated by the history of women’s participation in advocating for the Prohibition Amendment and its repeal, both of which engaged the politics of the home and child-rearing.  The legacy of women’s past struggles to change the Constitution, in light of contrasting narratives outside the United States, should inform our present gender equality efforts. 

Full details here:  Download ConLawSpeakerSukF2017

Julie Suk is a Professor of Law at the Cardozo School of Law – Yeshiva University in New York, where she has taught since 2005.  She is a leading scholar of comparative equality law. Her research brings a transnational perspective to equality and antidiscrimination law in the United States, drawing on primary legal materials in multiple languages from multiple jurisdictions.  Professor Suk's articles compare European and American approaches to a broad range of issues in law and public policy, such as the enforcement of antidiscrimination norms in various legal systems around the world, holocaust denial, maternity leave, and women’s equal representation in political and corporate leadership positions.   Professor Suk’s current research projects focus on women, work, and family in comparative constitutional law, as well as education rights in the context of socioeconomic inequality.  Representative publications include: An Equal Rights Amendment for the Twenty-First Century: Bringing Global Constitutionalism Home (Yale Journal of Law and Feminism), Are Gender Stereotypes Bad for Women?  Rethinking Antidiscrimination Law and Work-Family Conflict (Columbia Law Review), Discrimination at Will: Job Security Protections and Equal Employment Opportunity in Conflict (Stanford Law Review), Gender Parity and State Legitimacy: From Public Office to Corporate Boards (International Journal of Constitutional Law). 

 

August 28, 2017 in Conferences, Constitutional, Family, Gender, International, Law schools | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

CFP Feminist Legal Theory Network, Law & Society Annual Meeting

Call for Papers – Sunday September 17 Deadline

The Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network

Seeks submissions for the

Law and Society Association Annual Meeting

June 7–10, 2018 in Toronto, Canada

Submission link:  https://form.jotformpro.com/pijip/2018fltcrn

Dear friends and colleagues,

We invite you to participate in the panels sponsored by the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network at the Law and Society Annual Meeting in Toronto in June 2018. The Feminist Legal Theory CRN brings together law and society scholars across a range of fields who share an interest in feminist legal theory. Information about the Law and Society meeting is available at http://www.lawandsociety.org.

This year’s meeting invites us to explore LAW AT THE CROSSROADS/LE DROIT A LA CROISÉE DES CHEMINS.  We seek in proposals that explore the application of feminist legal theory to this rich theme, across any substantive area.

If you would like to present a paper as part of a CRN panel, submit your 500 word abstract to https://form.jotformpro.com/pijip/2018fltcrn by the deadline of September 17, 2017. 

Our goal is to stimulate focused discussion of papers on which scholars are currently working. While you may submit papers that are closer to publication, we are particularly eager to receive proposals for works-in-progress that are at an earlier stage and will benefit from the discussion that the panels will provide.  We are also especially interested in hearing from junior scholars, and welcome submissions from scholars in VAPs, fellowship programs, non-tenure and pre-tenure positions. 

The Planning Committee will group accepted papers into panels of four, based on subject matter.   Each presentation should run roughly 10 minutes to allow ample time for discussion.  A chair or discussant will provide feedback on each paper. 

If you would like to propose a pre-formed panel of four papers with a chair and a discussant, please email us at 2018lsacrn@gmail.com.  Include that information in the appropriate box on the submission form for each of the papers as well.    

 In addition to traditional panels, we are open to some of the other formats that the LSA allows, including Author meets Reader, Salon, or Roundtable. If you have an idea that you think would work well in one of these formats, please email us at 2018lsacrn@gmail.comPlease note that for roundtables, organizers must provide a 500-word summary of the topic and the contributions they expect the proposed participants to make. Please also note that LSA rules limit you to participating only once, either as a paper panelist or as a roundtable participant.


As a condition of participating as a Feminist Legal Theory CRN panelist, you must agree to also serve as a discussant or discussant/chair for another Feminist Legal Theory CRN panel
. The planning committee will assign two discussants for each panel, to provide feedback on the papers and promote discussion. One of the discussants will also serve as the panel chair.   This requirement helps us to create and sustain a supportive community of scholars.  We will take into account expertise and topic preferences to the degree possible.

Chairs organize the panel, as well as moderate.  Chairs will develop a 100-250 word description for the session and submit the session proposal to LSA before the anticipated deadline of mid-October.  This will ensure that each panelist can submit their proposal, using the panel number assigned. Each chair will also serve as discussant for two papers. 

Discussants read the two to three papers assigned to them and prepare a short commentary to offer feedback and serve as a basis for discussion among the panelist and audience members. 

 

Proposals due Sunday, September 17 to https://form.jotformpro.com/pijip/2018fltcrn

While we’re always happy to hear from you, please do not send submissions to individual committee members. 

The form requires the following information:

  • The title of your proposal;
  • A 500 word abstract or summary;
  • Your name and title;
  • Number of years you have been a law teacher/scholar;
  • Your areas of interest and expertise within feminist legal theory;
  • Whether this paper is part of a group of papers submitted together as a pre-formed panel.

This information will permit us to organize panels and submit them prior to the LSA’s anticipated deadline in mid-October. In the past, we have accommodated as many panelists as possible, but have been unable to accept all proposals. If we are unable to accept your proposal for the CRN, we will notify you by early October so that you can submit your proposal independently to LSA.

We hope you will join us in Toronto to share your current scholarship and connect with this vibrant community of feminist legal theorists.

Best,

2018 LSA Feminist Legal Theory CRN Planning Committee

Daniela Kraiem (co-chair)

Seema Mohapatra (co-chair)

Eylem Umut Atilgan

Kim Pearson

Samantha Godwin

Grace Howard

Sital Kalantry

August 24, 2017 in Call for Papers, Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 4, 2017

Conference: Women in Law and Leadership

Women in Law and Leadership Symposium
Friday, November 3, 2017
Marcum Conference Center at Miami University
Oxford, Ohio

You are invited to the Women in Law and Leadership (W.I.L.L.) Symposium from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, November 3, 2017.

Miami University and its Pre-Law Program are proud to present a daylong conference focused on issues related to women in law and leadership. The conference will bring together lawyers and current Miami students. Miami Pre-Law students will moderate panel discussions featuring successful Miami alumni in the legal profession. Panel topics include gender issues in the workplace, work/life challenges, keys to success, and career trajectories and possibilities. Each session has significant intellectual and practical content designed to improve each participant’s professional competence and understanding of leadership. Application for Ohio CLE credit is pending.

More details to follow online.

For more information, please contact prelaw@MiamiOH.edu

August 4, 2017 in Conferences, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

CFP FutureLaw Workshop 2.0

Conference Announcement and Call for Papers
2017 Junior Scholars #FutureLaw Workshop 2.0 at Duquesne


The conference is organized by Seth Oranburg, Assistant Professor, Duquesne University School of Law (oranburgs@duq.edu). Funding is provided in part by the Federalist Society. All papers are selected based on scholarly merit, with an emphasis on scholarly impact, topical relevance, and viewpoint diversity.

September 7-8, 2017

By invitation only

OVERVIEW: The conference aims to foster legal and economic research on “FutureLaw” (as defined below) topics particularly by junior and emerging scholars by bringing together a diverse group of academics early in their career focusing on cutting-edge issues.

TOPICS: The conference organizers encourage the submission of papers about all aspects of FutureLaw, which includes open-data policy, machine learning, computational law, legal informatics, smart contracts, crypto-currency, block-chain technology, big data, algorithmic research, LegalTech, FinTech, MedTech, eCommerce, eGovernment, electronic discovery, computers & the law, teaching innovations, and related subjects. FutureLaw is an inter-disciplinary field with cross-opportunities in crowd science, behavioral economics, computer science, mathematics, statistics, learning theory, and related fields. Papers may be theoretical, archival or experimental in nature. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

- Innovation in legal instruments (e.g., new securities, new corporate forms, new litigation procedures, etc.)

- Innovation in legal technology (e.g., new law firm governance, legal automatic, democratizing access to legal services, legal chatbots, etc.)
- Innovation in legal teaching (e.g., new classroom techniques, distance learning studies, experiential learning, transactional clinics, etc.)

Papers regarding the effect of these innovations (e.g., diversity, inclusion, equity, equality, fairness, return on investment, productivity, security, etc.) are also welcome.

DUAL SUBMISSION PROCESS: For the 2017 conference, the FutureLaw Workshop and the Duquesne Law Review (DLR) announce a new, non-exclusive, combined submission process. At your discretion, a paper submitted to the 2017 FutureLaw Workshop 2.0 may also be considered for publication by DLR free of charge. The rules for this dual submission process are as follows:

(1) You must apply online at http://law.duq.edu/events/junior-scholars-futurelaw-workshop-20. Submitted papers will be considered for publication by the DLR free of charge. A reply to your submission in acceptance to the Workshop or invitation to publish in the DLR is your option, not your obligation.

(2) If you do not wish to be considered by the DLR while submitting for the FutureLaw Workshop, please indicate this in the comments field provided.

(3) Papers submitted for dual consideration must not already be accepted by another journal.

(4) While under consideration as a dual submission for the 2017 FutureLaw Workshop and invitation by the DLR, a paper may be submitted to another journal (or JAR).

PAPER SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: Please upload a PDF version of your working paper, by August 4, 2017 via the online submission form at http://law.duq.edu/events/junior-scholars-futurelaw-workshop-20. When you select the radio button for “Attendance Category: Participant,” you will see an option to upload a paper.

The FutureLaw Workshop may reimburse presenters and discussants reasonable travel expenses and accommodations. Please let us know if your academic institution does not provide you with travel and accommodation expenses.

CONFERENCE ATTENDANCE: Attendance is free and by invitation only. Academics interested in receiving an invitation to attend but who do not wish to submit a paper may apply online as “observers” at http://law.duq.edu/events/junior-scholars-futurelaw-workshop-20

 

August 3, 2017 in Call for Papers, Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)