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Univ. of Toledo College of Law

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Analyzing the "Top Ten" Lists on Corporate and Securities Law Review Articles

As many of you know, The Corporate Practice Commentator conducts an annual survey of the “ten best” corporate and securities articles (there are usually one or two more, because of ties).  Law school professors in corporate and securities law are asked to select the best articles from a list of articles published during the year. Professor Robert B. Thompson of Vanderbilt conducts the survey and posts the results on his website.

The 2006 “Top Ten” was recently posted.  In reviewing the list, I noted that it included only one woman, Fordham’s Jill Fisch.  Wondering if 2006 was an aberration, I compared the lists since 2002.  Here are the numbers:

2006.  Twelve articles, seven of which were co-authored.  A total of 20 authors, one of whom is a woman -- Fordham’s Jill Fisch (co-author).

2005.  Eleven articles, two of which were co-authored.  A total of 13 authors, one of whom is a woman -- Yale’s Roberta Romano (sole author).

2004.  Eleven articles, four of which were co-authored.  A total of 14 authors, five of whom are women – NYU’s Jennifer Arlen (co-author), National Bureau of Economic Research’s Alma Cohen (co-author), Vanderbilt’s Margaret Blair (sole author), Iowa’s Hillary Sale (sole author), UCLA’s Lynn Stout (sole author).

2003.  Eleven articles, seven of which were co-authored.  A total of 18 authors, three of whom are women -- Alma Cohen (co-author), Jill Fisch (co-author), Hillary Sale (co-author).

2002.  Eleven articles, seven of which were co-authored.  A total of 18 authors, none of whom is a woman.

The bottom line is that in the years 2002-2006 there are 51 individuals who appear on the lists, seven of whom are women (about 14%).  If we compare only sole authors: there were 19 individuals, four (about 21%) of whom are women – Romano, Blair, Sale, Stout, each with one article – and 15 men with at least one article on the lists.

Where the professors taught is important in making the lists.  All the U.S. professors, male and female, on the lists teach at first tier law schools (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report), and most of them are at schools at the top of the first tier: Harvard (6 professors); NYU (5 professors); Columbia (4 professors); Stanford, Vanderbilt, Yale (3 professors each); UCLA, Texas, Penn, Georgetown, California, USC (2 professors each); Fordham, Michigan, Duke, Wisconsin, Washington & Lee, Illinois, Arizona, Iowa (one professor each).

Where the article is published is also important in making the lists.  These articles were published in a total of 25 publications.  Harvard leads the pack (8 articles), followed by  Vanderbilt and Stanford (6 articles each); Yale (four articles); NYU, Business Lawyer, Northwestern (3 articles each); Penn, UCLA, J.L. Econ.& Org., California, Duke, and Chicago (two each).  Georgetown, Columbia, Illinois, Cornell, J.Corp. L., Michigan, Del.J. Corp. L., Tulane, J.Leg. Studies, Texas, and Washingon U. had one article each (one article appeared in two journals).

  From these data, can we make any findings about the representation of women on the lists?  While, in 2002-03, more than 30% of law professors were women, the more relevant information is the percentage of women teaching in the corporate and securities field, the percentage of senior women in the field, and, in particular, the percentage of senior women teaching in the field at first tier law schools.  I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has collected these data.

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