Thursday, September 11, 2014
Friday, January 2nd
WILE Business Meeting (and Networking Event), 6:30-7:30 p.m.
(Note: This is a change in date and time from the printed program you likely received last month.)
Come to the WILE Business Meeting to learn more about how to get involved with WILE and to network with your colleagues from around the country. Chair-Elect Wendy Greene, Cumberland Law, is working to make this a fun networking event!
Saturday, January 3
Co-Sponsored Program, Liberty-Equality: Gender, Sexuality, and Reproduction—Griswold v. Connecticut Then and Now, 8:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Presented by the Section on Constitutional Law and co-sponsored by the Sections on Women in Legal Education and Legal History, this program marks the 50th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, the ground-breaking Supreme Court decision recognizing a right to privacy that protected individuals in making decisions about the use of contraceptives from the reach of state criminal law, but spoke implicitly to the constitutional underpinnings of an individual’s rights or interests in intimacy, marriage, procreation, sexuality, and sexual conduct. Panelists will place the case in historical context, and explore the development of the Griswold doctrine, as well as its implications for current constitutional controversies over access to reproductive health care, marriage, sexuality and sexual conduct.
Section on Women in Legal Education Luncheon, 12:15 – 1:30 p.m.
We are pleased to announce that this luncheon honors both Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is scheduled to attend and for whom the Section on Women in Legal Education Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award is named, and this year’s Award recipient, Herma Hill Kay, UC Berkeley. Join us to spend some time with and hear from our honorees.
Joint Program: Engendering Equality: A Conversation with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, and New Voices in Legal History, 1:30 – 3:15 p.m.
This Section on Legal History and Women in Legal Education Joint Program, co-sponsored by the Section on Constitutional Law, explores the history of women’s equality and the legacy of Justice Ginsburg. The first portion of the program will, through a conversation between Justice Ginsburg and Wendy Williams, consider the ideas and strategies shaping Justice Ginsburg’s efforts as an advocate, an academic, and a Justice to equal citizenship for women. The second portion of the program will present a panel of new voices in Women’s Legal History who study the complex and often contradictory ways in which social, political, and legal actors have appealed to gender and equality in movements of the past, and suggest how such studies might engender/inform equality’s future.
AALS Crosscutting Program: The More Things Change . . . Exploring Solutions to Persisting Discrimination in Legal Academia, 2:00 – 3:45 p.m.
This program, spearheaded by WILE Member Meera Deo, draws from empirical data, legal research, litigation strategy, and personal experience to both further conversations about the persistence of discrimination in the legal academy and activate strategies for addressing ongoing structural and individual barriers. Intersectional bias compounds many of these challenges, which range from the discriminatory actions of colleagues and students, to the marginalization of particular subject areas in the curriculum, to structural hierarchies in the profession.
By creating an avenue for direct personal exchange regarding these topics, the program seeks to build community between like-minded individuals who are diverse across characteristics of race, gender, class, teaching status, institution, and age. The focus of the participants is to share best practices and explore new approaches for overcoming ongoing discrimination, with the hope that these strategies may be more broadly employed.
The program follows an innovative format. After short presentations by three speakers, the program transitions to an “open microphone” session of speakers (selected in advance from a “call for remarks”) including those who are untenured, women of color, allies to marginalized faculty, clinical, legal writing and library faculty, and others with perspectives that may differ from the majority. The final thirty minutes are reserved for questions and conversation.
Monday, January 5
Co-Sponsored Program: Emotions at Work: The Employment Relationship During An Age of Anxiety, 10:30 a.m. -12:15 p.m.
This program, presented by the Section on Labor Relations and Employment Law and co-sponsored by the Sections on Socio-Economics and on Women in Legal Education, recognizes that in uncertain economic times that translate into uncertain times in the workplace, many individuals are experiencing a greater range and intensity of emotions at work, both as employees and as employers. Employees may be anxious about job security even when they have an employment contract or other job protections, may feel more pressure with respect to their work responsibilities, and may be emotionally (and not just financially) unprepared for sudden changes to their employment relationships and changes in career plans. Employers also are experiencing heightened pressure as they try to steer their work organizations safely past the rough economic waves while needing to make some hard decisions along the way. Are these emotions in the workplace openly recognized and managed, and if so, how? This panel explores the emotional aspects of the employment relationship and how employment law or workplace policy should address these concerns.
This year WILE established a subcommittee to organize an oral history project so that we might capture the law school experiences of women professors who have retired or are close to retiring before we lose touch with them in the profession. The subcommittee, headed by Marie Failinger at Hamline, has been working on an interview packet (invitation letter, release, tips for interviews, and sample questions) and on inviting senior law professors to be interviewed. Justice Ginsburg will be interviewed this month, but we still have several interviewees who need to be matched with an interviewer; we hope to have as many as 12 videotaped interviews on the Saturday and Sunday of AALS.
We could use your help as an interviewer for this project. Those who have done oral histories know that it's a great opportunity to forge a bond and learn a lot about what a previous generation of women law professors experienced. As mentioned, interviewers would be matched with an interviewee and supplied with the materials you need to do a good interview. All that is required of interviewers is a small amount of prep time and about an hour for the interview at AALS. If you are willing to interview, please contact Marie Failinger at firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>, 651-523-2124, or Kerri Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org, 305 348-1154. Many opportunities to do interviews at future conferences or at home schools will be available, so even if you're not coming to AALS or have a full schedule there, please let us know if you'd be interested in interviewing at some point.
See you at AALS!
The AALS Section on Women in Legal Education Executive Committee
Kirsten Davis, Chair
Wendy Greene, Chair-Elect
Bridget Crawford, Immediate Past-Chair
Rebecca Zietlow, Secretary
Kerri Stone, Treasurer
Cindy Fountaine, Member-At-Large
Thursday, August 28, 2014
As we begin this new academic year, a reminder of the power and beauty of the law from a past address of Professor Cheryl Hanna. (Re)Committing to a Life of the Law
But more importantly, I don’t just love the law, I love lawyers. I have the greatest admiration and respect for what you do. Now, that is not to say that we don’t have problems in the profession . . . . But it is my humble opinion the law and those who practice it are among the most important people in our democracy.
But I have been very disturbed lately by what I see as unjustified attacks on the profession. . . .
To that end, Todd asked me to give an inspirational talk. I am not sure that I can do that, but as a professor, I can give you homework. In the medical field, there is something that is called the model of the reflective practitioner. The premise is simple: professionals who intentionally reflect upon what they do and why they do it learn in more profound ways and express greater satisfaction with their profession. Doctors are being trained to actively engage in professional reflection as part of their medical education. However, law schools have not done a good job of implementing similar training for lawyers, and thus, lawyers often don’t have the tools or guidance to become a reflective practitioner, and, as a result I think, often experience greater ambivalence about the legal profession and their role in it.
So, I’d like to introduce some concept about intentional reflection to you and give you some tools to use to try to become a reflective practitioner with the hope that you will do yourselves justice and find more meaning in your professional lives.
[h/t Jackie Gardina]
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
As we start back to school, lots of thinking about what faculty do.
- What goes through a professor's mind. TaxProfBlog, Shadow Syllabus
- Professors should stop assigning textbooks. ATL, Professors, The Cause Of and the Solution To the Great Textbook Scam
- Elite education has become only about achievement, not expanding minds. NYT Book Review, The Enclosure of the American Mind
- Online education rush requires faculty to give away their intellectual property rights. Chronicle, The Erosion of Faculty Rights
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Highlights of the July 2014 Issue of The Federal Lawyer magazine on "Women in Law" include
Ruth Ann French-Hodson, The Continuing Gender Gap in Legal Education (WL Link), reporting the results of a law-school study conducted by Yale Law Women.
Gender disparity in law school continues both inside and out of the classroom. These effects spill over as women enter the legal workforce and are exacerbated by similar institutional problems across the profession. Additionally, the legal profession has played a role in perpetuating some of the education structures that alienate and disadvantage women through prioritizing certain markers of taw school success. Change will not automatically happen over time; it requires commitment and action from students, faculty, administrators, and the broader legal profession.
Melanie Wilson (Assoc. Dean, Kansas), Sentencing Inequality Versus Sentencing Injustice (WL Link):
This essay considers the empirical evidence showing that women receive more lenient treatment from the American criminal justice system than men. It recognizes that this may be attributed to stereotypes about women as the weaker sex or to gender bias from prosecutors and judges, but ultimately rejects both scenarios. The essay argues that disparities in the way women are prosecuted and sentenced are more likely linked to legitimate differences in women's culpability compared to their male counterparts and that this mirrors current societal influences, including unequal opportunities for women in training, employment, pay, and similar factors.
Zeenat Shaukat Ali, The Dynamic Nature of Islam's Legal System with References to Muslim Women.
Some have criticized Muslim law as being oppressive of women. This article challenges that notion by encouraging the reconsideration of some of the interpretations of Muslim law. Specifically, the article examines some of the law's foundational tenets and philosophies, arguing that they have either been misapplied or should be reconsidered in light of their true meaning. Ultimately, the article concludes that, in changing the paradigm of gender-related issues, the understanding of the dynamic nature of shari'ah, with several legal mechanisms at its command, could play a major role in shaping and effecting reform and restoring the rights of women bestowed on them by the Quran.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
From the ABA Journal, Pay Discrimination Alleged in Prof's Suit Against FAMU Law School
An associate law professor at Florida A&M’s law school claims in a lawsuit filed last week that the school pays male and female professors unequally.
According to allegations in the suit by Jennifer Smith, male associate law professors are “paid considerably more” than women in those positions, and the school “consistently hired men at considerably higher rates than women,” the Tampa Tribune reports at its Fresh Squeezed blog. Her suit claims equal pay violations, gender discrimination and retaliation.
Smith says she was granted tenure in 2010 but was denied a promotion to full professor, most recently last month. She claimed an administrator “sabotaged” her promotion by putting bad recommendations in her file in place of good ones, partly in retaliation for filing public records requests for pay information, the story reports. She also says she complained about the administrator after the person made some “threatening comments” about her.
A second female professor, Barbara Bernier, filed a similar complaint last year.
Saturday, August 9, 2014
LIVING THINKERS: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF BLACK WOMEN IN THE IVORY TOWER examines the intersection of race, class and gender for Black women professors and administrators working in U.S. colleges and universities today. Through their diverse narratives, from girlhood to the present, Black women from different disciplines share experiences that have shaped them, including segregated schooling as children, and the trials, disappointments and triumphs encountered in Academia
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
For a summary of Prof. Hanna's contributions as a professor, see Respected Vermont Law School Professor Dies. "She made her name known by creating an intellectual environment and by making everyone feel smart."
For her important work as a legal advocate for women's equal pay, see Key Lawyer Dies Before Equal Pay Case is Heard. "Hanna brought the case to the attention of the Vermont Commission on Women and wrote the organization's amicus brief in the case, which she would have presented Wednesday."
For insights from her husband, see Cheryl Hanna's Husband on Her Battle With Depression and The Mystery of a Popular Professor's Death Solved
And the official statement of the cause of death.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Carmen Gonzalez (Seattle) and Angela Harris (UC Davis) have posted Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia:
Abstract:On March 8, 2013, the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice hosted an all-day symposium featuring more than forty speakers at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law to celebrate and invite responses to the book entitled, Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia (Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, Yolanda Flores Niemann, Carmen G. González & Angela P. Harris eds., 2012). Presumed Incompetent presents gripping first-hand accounts of the obstacles encountered by female faculty of color in the academic workplace, and provides specific recommendations to women of color, allies, and academic leaders on ways to eliminate these barriers. The symposium held at Berkeley continued the conversation begun in the book through a series of concurrent and plenary panels, poetry readings, and keynote addresses. Selected papers from the symposium were published in both the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice and the Seattle Journal for Social Justice (SJSJ). This introduction discusses and contextualizes the papers published in the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice. These papers reflect the exhilarating breadth and depth of the discussions that took place during the symposium. Like the papers published in SJSJ, they enhance our understanding of the hierarchies of the academic workplace, and offer additional tools to promote a more equitable and inclusive campus environment.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Updated June 25: New Additions to the List
I thought I would try and track the new law deans that are women. Please help me add to this list by sending me an email (email@example.com) or posting a comment below. For background, see Laura Padilla (Cal Western), A Gendered Update on Women Law Deans: Who, Where, Why and Why Not? (2007)
Jocelyn Benson, (Interim Dean, Wayne State), Dean, Wayne State
Jennifer Collins (Vice-Provost, Wake Forest), Dean, SMU
Phyllis Crocker (former Interim & Assoc. Dean, Cleveland State), Dean, Detroit Mercy
Danielle Holley-Walker (Assoc. Dean, South Carolina), Dean, Howard
Jean Holloway (corporate attorney), Dean, Hamline
Jennifer Johnson (professor, Lewis & Clark), Dean, Lewis & Clark
Gillian Lester (acting Dean, Berkeley), Dean, Columbia
Andrea Lyon (criminal attorney), Dean, Valparaiso
Wendy Scott, (former Associate Dean, NC Central), Dean, Mississippi College
Nancy Staudt (Vice Dean, USC), Dean, Wash U
Judith Areen (former Dean, Georgetown), Executive Director, AALS
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
A list of recent books from professor members of the Feminist Legal Theory Critical Research Network, recently gathered at Law & Society.
Angela Campbell, Sister Wives, Surrogates and Sex Workers: Outlaws by Choice (Ashgate 2013)
June Carbone & Naomi Cahn, Marriage Markets: How Inequality is Remaking the American Family (Oxford University Press 2014).
Feminism, Law and Religion (Marie A. Failinger, Susan Stabile, & Elizabeth Schiltz eds., Ashgate 2013)
Gender and Sexuality in Latin America: Cases and Decisions (Cristina Motta & Macarena Saez eds., Springer 2013)
Leslie Harris, June Carbone, & Lee Teitelbaum, Family Law (5th ed. Aspen 2014)
Jill Elaine Hasday, Family Law Reimagined (Harvard University Press 2014)
Clare Huntington, Failure to Flourish: How Law Undermines Family Relationships (Oxford University Press 2014)
Ummni Khan, Vicarious Kinks: S/M in the Socio-Legal Imaginary (University of Toronto Press 2014)
Nina A. Kohn, Elder Law: Practice, Policy, & Problems (Aspen 2014)
Douglas O. Linder & Nancy Levit, The Good Lawyer: Seeking Quality in the Practice of Law (Oxford University Press 2014)
Elizabeth Palley & Corey Shdaimah, In Our Hands: The Struggle for U.S. Child Care Policy (New York University Press 2014)
Kara W. Swanson, Banking on the Body: The Market in Blood, Milk and Sperm in Modern America (Harvard University Press 2014)
Saturday, June 7, 2014
No, this is not more from the Princeton mom.
Bachelorette Using What She Learned in Law School to Choose Fake Husband. Bachelorette Andi Dorfman says law school taught her the value of “going there and asking questions that, you know, are sometimes off limits, but really get you the answers that you need, you know.”
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Ok, we have two days of the writing retreat under our belt. How are we doing?
Sarah Morath says "Having a week dedicated to writing is a treat. Grades are in, the fall seems like the distant future, the kids are still in school. This week is my week to write!" She adds: "The week is further sweetened by lunching with my colleagues each day. (Eating a proper lunch in good company four days in a row! Now, that's as rare as having a week dedicated to writing)."
Me? It's been slower than usual for me. Lots of stops and starts. Both figuratively and literally. I'm thinking its because last year I had a discrete project - a book introduction. This year I am in the middle of chapter 4 of my book project.
But it's a new day...
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Today begins my week long women's writing retreat. The idea was first suggested to me seven years ago by Prof. Mae Quinn. It adopts the concept of the novelist's writers' group to law scholarship. I previously wrote about it here.
In the early years, four of my female colleagues and I rented a house at Lake Chautauqua. We spread out into sunrooms, dining rooms, and porches to jump start our summer research away from meetings, carpools, and other distractions. Nestled in idyllic tranquility the creative juices flowed and a good bulk of research or written pages achieved. And need I say how wonderful it was to have a week where people made and brought you coffee, chopped the salad vegetables, cleaned up their mess and yours, and changed the TP roll.
These days many of us have a hard time leaving town due to other work, family, and financial demands. So we've adapted to a day retreat. Like day camp instead of overnight camp. We meet off campus at a community library and work at the carrels and tables. We go out for lunch, sharing our ideas, testing theses, mentoring and generally rooting each other on. At the end of the week, we have an informal workshop sharing what we've produced. That has the added push of some goal achievement as the research summer has just begun.
We have a great, eclectic group of six women this year. Assitant professor to dean. Four years of teaching to thirty plus. First-year teacher, clinician, legal writing professor, and upper-level teacher. Projects range from book reviews and essays, to traditional law reviews, and book projects.
I'm hoping they will be inclined to share some of their thoughts about this process as we blog this week.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
I just published the book chapter, Teaching Women's Legal History in Teaching Legal History: Comparative Perspectives (Robert Jarvis, ed. 2014). Here's an excerpt:
My objectives for the class focus on women, historical relevance, and feminist methodology. First, the class is designed to explore the historical development of women’s rights in the law, information that is mostly absent in other courses except for a scattered representation in constitutional law. Second, my goal is to foster an appreciation for the modern significance of that history. This “applied legal history” approach seeks a useable past that enables history to be relevant to ongoing legal disputes of gender. Finally, the course introduces and utilizes feminist methodology of deconstruction and integration. It trains the students to read the law with suspicion by looking beyond the seeming objectivity of the law to expose assumptions and biases. It also then adds to that law and context the omitted experiences of women. There is value in expanding feminist methodology beyond the usual feminist theory class because it offers a critical way of approaching the law, emphasizes social context, and teaches gender as a core value.
Thursday, May 1, 2014
five fields of legal study, which will be organized into "factions": Abnegation, which will focus on public interest work and "street law;" Amity, which will focus on dispute resolution; Erudite, which will focus on the most cerebral of legal work, corporate, securities and tax law; Candor, which will focus on governmental agency work; and Dauntless, which will focus on litigation. Each field of study will require different lengths of training. Dauntless training will be completed in three months by zip-lining from the Sears Tower through downtown Chicago. Erudite training will take six years and take place exclusively indoors.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Maria Lopez (Loyola, New Orleans) and Kevin Johnson (Davis) have posted Presumed Incompetent: Important Lessons for University Leaders on the Professional Lives of Women Faculty of Color, Berkeley J. Gender, Law & Justice (forthcoming).
Academics have long known that the experiences of women faculty members of color differ in important respects from those of any other faculty members. Adding significantly to that body of knowledge, Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia edited by Professors Angela P. Harris and Carmen Gonzalez in a collection of essays of different voices offers important lessons for scholars, university administrators and leaders, faculty members, and, for that matter, students interested in the experiences of women of color in academia. People of good faith who want to “do the right thing” may find it difficult to read the unsettling stories and pleas for empathy, internalize the lessons as based on common occurrences rather than outlier experiences, and consider how to address and redress the issues. Still, we as a collective have the obligation and responsibility to think about what might be done to improve the day-to-day lives of the next generation of women faculty of color.
To that end, this review essay directs attention at one chapter of the volume, which offers invaluable commentary and perspective on the other chapters and provides many lessons for university leaders hoping to make a positive difference. This is terrain where one might expect two minority law school deans (and faculty members) to feel most comfortable. In addition, as people of color with real life experience with these issues, we hope to provide insights that help university leaders to better appreciate, grapple with, and attempt to effectively address the concerns of women faculty of color
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
From the new Clinical Law Prof Blog, Do Women Professors Underperform? By perform, the post means produce scholarship and advance to full professor. After being somewhat taken aback by the title, I was even more taken aback by this assertion. "Women comprised just 24.5 percent of scholarly authors in the field of law from 1991 to 2010."
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Law teaching conferences on pedagogy often fail to really offer much new, but this conference looks quite promising, Igniting Legal Education. Interesting talks include "Why Law Schools Must Change," flipping the classroom, experiential learning, learning theory, 21st century competencies, simulations, and more.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Dahlia Lithwick, at Slate, has a sit down with Anita Hill over her new documentary in Talking to Anita Hill. Interesting how, in true feminist form, her own life experiences almost involuntarily drew her into her life's work, transitioning from her early legal career in commerical law and contracts to a focus on sexual harassment. She thought her experience would only take a few years to explore the permutations of harassment, but instead it became a full-time focus.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
AALS Mid-Year Meeting, Thursday through Saturday | June 5 – 7, 2014 . Looks like a terrific line-up.
2013 was an important year for issues concerning sexual orientation and gender identity. The U.S. Supreme Court issued rulings in Hollingsworth v. Perry and U.S. v. Windsor that have broad implications for sexual minorities, as does the earlier repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” But these developments have raised as many questions as they resolved, and the reverberations from them will continue to shape the landscape for many years. At the same time that marriage equality is spreading through the U.S. and other countries, many states and countries still retain laws that negatively impact sexual minorities and their families. The majority of countries in the world and half the states in the U.S. provide no protection against discrimination based on sexual minority status, and the federal government does not prohibit this discrimination. Bullying and suicide continue to plague LGBTQ youth, and religious liberty continues to be offered as a basis for discriminatory action. Additionally, scholars and activists are writing about sexual orientation and gender identity from many perspectives and challenging many of the constructs that limit individuals’ freedom to express their sexuality and identity in creative, autonomous ways.