Gender and the Law Prof Blog

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Equal Pay Lawsuits by Women Law Professors Allege Significant Continuing Gender Discrimination in Academia

ABA J, Recent Equal Pay Lawsuits by Female Law Professors has Shined a Light on Academic Compensation Process 

*** Linda Mullenix’s annual salary, however, is at least $31,000 less than three male law professors at her school. Like Mullenix, some of these male professors teach civil procedure. However, they have had shorter careers and fewer publications than she has, and for the most part, similar student evaluations, according to the Equal Pay Act lawsuit she filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in December 2019. The complaint also alleged sex discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Additionally, she alleged her raise for the 2018-2019 academic year was only $1,500, while other UT law professors with fewer accomplishments received $10,000 raises.

 

And this is not the first time Mullenix has complained to the university about compensation issues. In 2011, she retained counsel and sent a demand letter asserting an equal pay claim after she discovered a male professor with less experience annually earned $50,000 more than she did. Eight years later, that pay gap had decreased—by $17; that professor now earns $49,983 more than Mullenix, per her 2019 lawsuit. As a result of her actions, she has been described as “poison” by school administrators, according to the complaint, because she repeatedly speaks out about pay inequity at the law school.

 

In May, a Texas federal judge granted the university’s motion to partially dismiss Mullenix’s lawsuit on the basis that she failed to allege a causal connection between her pay complaints and receiving the lowest raise of any law school faculty member. The order dismissed Mullenix’s Title VII retaliation claim; her Equal Pay Act and sex discrimination claims are ongoing.

 

Mullenix’s lawyer, Colin Walsh of the Austin firm Wiley Walsh, told the ABA Journal he will continue with her Title VII discrimination and Equal Pay Act claims and looks forward to entering the discovery phase. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the university told the Journal the institution “strongly supports” equal pay based on merit and performance, and it has done work to ensure salary equity for faculty members. Law school faculty pay, he wrote in an email, is decided by “a committee review of teaching, service and scholarship with professional criteria applied to make these determinations.”

 

At least five equal pay lawsuits have been filed by female law professors since 2016; the actions involve four schools. One of those schools has been sued more than once, and three of the lawsuits remain open.

 

Although law schools may rely on several factors in determining compensation, in actuality, law school deans often have significant discretion in deciding what to pay professors, and their unchecked decisions can be tainted by gender bias, according to lawyers interviewed by the ABA Journal. Salaries, raises and appointments should be based on teaching, service and scholarship. But dean evaluations in those areas can be biased as well, some say, with men getting better appointments and more respect for their research and writing, with little regard for the work’s quality and importance.

 

Moreover, professors who have filed Equal Pay Act claims have seen their careers impacted in other ways. For instance, more than one used the word “poison” to describe how they were viewed after confronting law school leadership with discrimination concerns. Others found themselves removed from important faculty committee assignments (a factor used in determining pay) and put on “‘do nothing’ committees.”

‘Institutional misogyny’

Walsh says pay discrimination against women is just as much of a problem in the law schools as it is in the private sector.

 

“It may be a bit worse because of instances of institutional misogyny. Any place you have a large contingency of older white men, you’re going to have a pay gap,” Walsh adds.

 

In all of the Equal Pay Act lawsuits, plaintiffs say they were treated worse by the schools after suing.

 

See also Chronicle of Higher Ed, A Raft of Pay-Gap Lawsuits Suggests Little Progress for Academic Women

Last week, five female professors at Rutgers University filed a lawsuit in state court accusing their institution of paying them tens of thousands of dollars less than their male colleagues. Days earlier, Princeton University agreed to a settlement, worth nearly $1.2 million, after a U.S. Department of Labor review found that 106 female full professors had been paid less than their male counterparts between 2012 and 2014. And in September, four female professors at Northern Michigan University settled their own pay-discrimination lawsuit for $1.46 million.

 

The University of Arizona resolved a pair of similar cases in 2019, doling out $190,000 to a trio of female former deans and $100,000 to an associate professor, all of whom alleged they’d been underpaid. And the University of Denver settled in 2018 with seven female law professors to the tune of $2.66 million.

 

To understand the raft of pay-discrimination lawsuits, The Chronicle spoke to Jennifer A. Reisch, who represented the lead plaintiff in the Denver case and argued on behalf of a professor at the University of Oregon who awaits a ruling on her own gender-discrimination case

October 21, 2020 in Education, Equal Employment, Law schools, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Study Documents Gender Pay Disparities Among Tenured Law Faculty, Particularly Acute for Women of Color

CJ Ryan & Meghan Dawe, Mind the Gap: Gender Pay Disparities in the Legal Academy, Georgetown J. Legal Ethics (forthcoming)

Differences in pay between women and men in the same jobs have captured the public’s attention in recent years. However, public interest in and press coverage of salary differences on the basis of gender—or any other ascriptive class—in the learned professions are wanting. Moreover, few studies have spoken directly on the gender pay disparities in the legal academy, despite emerging evidence of it at multiple law schools. In this Article, we use a unique dataset, drawn from the only nationally representative survey to date of tenured law professors in the United States, to track how gender and race are tied to salary outcomes. But we look beyond the raw differences in salary, probing the mechanisms that undergird gendered pay inequities.

Part I of this Article introduces the concepts of human capital and social capital as important factors underpinning inequalities in outcomes for the legal profession. We then provide an overview of how careers in law—and particularly in the legal academy—are stratified by access to social capital and returns to human capital. In Part II, we introduce the After Tenure survey, from which our data originate. Next, we describe our analytical approach, examining the demography of the legal academy and the legal profession more broadly to discuss the ways in which law professors experience their jobs differently along lines of gender and race. In Part III, we provide evidence of gendered earnings disparities among tenured law professors that is particularly acute for women of color. We conclude by demonstrating how these disparities stem from the differential valuation of human capital., 

October 13, 2020 in Equal Employment, Gender, Law schools, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 28, 2020

Book Review: A Reckoning Over Law Faculty Inequality, Reviewing Meera Deo's Unequal Profession

Melanie Wilson, A Reckoning Over Law Faculty Inequality, 98 Denver L.Rev. (2020)  

In this review, I examine Dr. Meera E. Deo’s book, Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia, published last year by Stanford University Press. In Unequal Profession, Deo, an expert on institutional diversity, presents findings from a first-of-its-kind empirical study, documenting many of the challenges women of color law faculty confront daily in legal academia. Deo uses memorable quotes and powerful stories from the study’s faculty participants to present her important work in 169 readable and revealing pages. Unequal Profession begins by outlining the barriers women of color face when entering law teaching and progresses through the life cycle of the law professor (including the treacherous tenure process). It covers leadership, before concluding with work-life balance.

Unequal Profession is especially timely and important. In the wake of George Floyd’s death and the national outrage it ignited, law schools denounced racism and vowed to take concrete, anti-racist steps to improve society, the legal profession, and law schools themselves. Many law faculties committed to hiring and retaining more underrepresented faculty colleagues and, correspondingly, to attracting a more diverse student body. If law schools are serious about changing, then they should read Unequal Profession. As this review demonstrates, Unequal Profession is a definitive resource for improving inequality in legal education.

September 28, 2020 in Books, Law schools, Race, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Symposium 9/25: Two Centuries of the Equal Rights Amendment

Symposium, Fri. Sept. 25, Two Centuries of the Equal Rights Amendment, University of Florida School of Law

Please join scholars, legislators, and practitioners on Friday, September 25 for the Symposium, Two Centuries of the Equal Rights Amendment. This Symposium addresses many questions left unanswered after the recent ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment by Virginia. It has taken 97 years for the ERA to meet the technical requirements of Article V. But will it take its rightful place as the Twenty-Eighth Amendment? And will it be Congress, or the courts, that make it happen?

Please visit the Symposium website for a detailed schedule. This Symposium may be attended on a per panel basis and is free and open to the public. Please register to receive the Zoom link and Outlook invitation. 6.5 Florida CLEs pending.

September 22, 2020 in Conferences, Constitutional, Law schools, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Best Practices for University Faculty on Gender Equity for People of Color

Constance Wagner, In Search of Best Practices on Gender Equity for University Faculty: An Update" 
Norman Shachoy Symposium at Villanova Law School, 2019

This article updates the author’s earlier work on the search for gender equity among women faculty in the university setting in the United States. The author reflects on the fact that some of the literature in this area does not sufficiently address the challenges facing women of color. She seeks to fill the gap in her own research by referencing best practices discussed in three recent books on the professional lives of university faculty who are women of color. She argues that future work on best practices for achieving gender equity must address issues of intersectionality of race, gender, and class in order to develop effective tools for change in the university setting. This article was prepared for the 2019 Norman Shachoy Symposium at Villanova Law School, which focused on “Gender Equity in Law Schools”.

June 4, 2020 in Education, Gender, Law schools, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 13, 2020

Court Dismisses on Standing Grounds, Lawsuit Against NYU Law Review for Gender and Racial Preferences for Staff and Articles

NYU Law Review Wins Dismissal of Suit Challenging its Racial and Gender Preferences

The New York University Law Review has won dismissal of a suit challenging preferences given to women and minorities in selection of members and choice of articles.

U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos tossed the suit Tuesday by Faculty, Alumni and Students Opposed to Racial Preferences but allowed the group to file an amended complaint. Ramos said the FASORP had not demonstrated standing to sue and had not stated a viable claim for relief.

Law360 has coverage.

The FASORP had alleged that its members were being subjected to race and sex discrimination when they submitted articles for publication, and when their work was judged and edited by “less capable students” who won spots on the law review through preferences.

The New York University Law Review has 50 spots available each year. Fifteen students are selected based on a writing competition, 15 are selected based on their first-year grades, and eight are based on a combination of both, Ramos said in his March 31 opinion. The remaining 12 slots are filled by the law review’s diversity committee.

Authors of articles submitted for publication in the law review are invited to include demographic information that includes their race, sexual orientation and gender identity. The law review says it is committed to publishing scholarship by “authors from underrepresented backgrounds.”

The FASORP had sued for alleged violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title VI bars racial and national origin discrimination in programs receiving federal financial assistance, while Title IX bars discrimination in education programs receiving federal assistance.

Ramos found several problems with standing.

The FASORP had failed to identify even one injured member with specific allegations of harm, Ramos said. The FASORP also failed to plead a concrete and particularized injury or a real or immediate threat of repetition of that injury, he said.

April 13, 2020 in Courts, Gender, Law schools | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 13, 2019

Professor Linda Mullenix Files Equal Pay Lawsuit Against University of Texas Law School

 

Linda S Mullenix

From the complaint in Mullenix v. University of Texas (W.D. Tex. filed 12/12/19)

Plaintiff Linda Susan Mullenix files Plaintiff’s Original Complaint & Jury Demand, and sues the University of Texas for violations of the Equal Pay Act, as well as for sex discrimination and retaliation. Over the past three years, Professor Linda Mullenix, one of UT Law’s most distinguished professors, has been paid $134,449 less than male professor Robert Bone. Professor Bone has the same above-average teacher evaluation rating as
Professor Mullenix, but almost a decade less overall teaching experience, fewer than a third of Professor Mullenix’s overall publications, and fewer professional honors. This pay gap is sex discrimination.

 

Moreover, UT Law has retaliated against Professor Mullenix for opposing the law school’s unequal pay practices. For the last several years, Professor Mullenix has received among the lowest raises of any tenured faculty. For example, Professor Mullenix received a $1,500 raise for the 2018-2019 academic year, which was the lowest raise given to any faculty member. That same year Professor Bone, and many other professors less accomplished than Professor Mullenix, received $10,000 raises, some of the highest raises given. Dean Farnsworth also retaliated against Professor Mullenix and attempted to chill reports of discrimination by telling Professor Mullenix that he would pay her the same as Professor Bone only if she agreed to resign in two years. At that time and at present, Professor Mullenix has no plans to resign.

 

Another example of retaliation is that despite Professor Mullenix’s repeated requests to be appointed Associate Dean for Research or to be put on the prestigious Budget Committee, she has been relegated to “do-nothing” committees that have little impact on the governance of the law school. Most disturbingly, because of Professor
Mullenix’s opposition to UT Law’s unequal pay practices, she has been made a pariah by the administration. New professors are told to stay away from her and that she is “poison.” Professor Mullenix’s marginalization is also held out as a warning to other professors who might speak out.

 

UT Law has reason to be worried about others speaking out about unequal pay and sex discrimination. For at least the last three years, UT Law has, on average, paid tenured female professors over $20,000 less than tenured male professors. By paying Professor Mullenix less than a similarly-situated male professor and retaliating against her for opposing unequal pay based on gender, UT Law has violated Title VII, the Equal Pay Act, and the Texas Labor Code.

December 13, 2019 in Equal Employment, Law schools, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

AALS Programs on the History and Modern Implications of the 19th Amendment

Legal History Section, A Century of Women's Suffrage

2020 marks one hundred years since the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, ushering in a century of women's suffrage in the United States. This program brings together scholars writing on the history of women's suffrage, including scholars who will explore the suffrage movement that culminated in the Nineteenth Amendment; address how the Nineteenth Amendment affected political parties in the subsequent century; and compare the women's suffrage movement to analogous social movements.

Speaker: Dr. Martha S. Jones, Johns Hopkins University

Speaker from a Call for Papers: Elizabeth D. Katz, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law

Speaker: Holly McCammon, Vanderbilt University Law School

Speaker from a Call for Papers: Kara W. Swanson, Northeastern University School of Law
 
Moderator: Evan C. Zoldan, University of Toledo College of Law
 
 
Women in Legal Education, A Century Since Suffrage: How Did We Get Here? Where Will We Go? How Will We Get There?
This session will explore the legal accomplishments and failures of the women’s movement since 1920. A century ago, women won the right to vote. Since then, women garnered additional rights in virtually every legal area, including in the realms of employment, property, reproduction, education, care taking, sexual freedom, and protection from violence. Despite significant success, much work remains. This session will consider the future of the women’s movement through a critical examination of our past.
Speaker from a Call for Papers: Lolita K. Buckner Inniss, SMU Dedman School of Law
Speaker from a Call for Papers: Nan D. Hunter, Georgetown University Law Center
Speaker from a Call for Papers: Leslie G. Jacobs, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
Moderator: Rona Kaufman, Duquesne University School of Law
Speaker from a Call for Papers: Diane J. Klein, University of La Verne College of Law
Speaker from a Call for Papers: Danaya C. Wright, University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law
 
 
Constitutional Law Section:. The Constitution and the Modern Right to Vote

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment and the 150th anniversary of the Fifteenth, the Constitutional Law Section is putting on a joint program with the Section on Election Law (co-sponsored by the Section on Legal History). The program will run from 2 pm – 5 pm on Thursday, January 2nd in Virginia Suite C.

The overall program is described as follows:

While the constitutional amendments related to voting rights have suggested that all citizens ought to be included in the franchise, the modern right to vote has nonetheless been heavily contested. The efforts to meaningfully include all citizens in the franchise in the century after the Nineteenth Amendment (and the 150 years after the Fifteenth Amendment) have been complicated, fraught, and have often diverged from the underlying idea of inclusion. Tensions still exist in modern voting rights law regarding the meaning of the right to vote, as illustrated by the litigation and activism around issues such as partisan and racial gerrymandering, voter identification, and proof of citizenship requirements. These examples reveal the complexities of the project of democratic inclusion, and this panel will explore how those complexities have evolved and are manifest in today’s right-to-vote doctrine.

Panel 1 (2:00 pm - 3:30 pm): This panel will explore the Nineteenth Amendment’s role in constitutional interpretation both inside and outside of the courts in the century after suffrage.

Speakers:   

Steven Calabresi, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
Paula A. Monopoli, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law (selected from a Call for Papers)
Reva B. Siegel, Yale Law School
Julie C. Suk, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Moderator:  Louis J. Virelli III, Stetson University College of Law

 

December 4, 2019 in Conferences, Constitutional, Gender, Law schools, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Best Law Schools for Women Law Students

The Best Law Schools for Women

Ever since the 2016 election and the legal turmoil that began shortly after President Donald Trump’s swearing in (and has continued to this day), thousands of college graduates — and women in particular — have been inspired to go to law school.

As our readers know, the latest Princeton Review law school rankings are out, and today, we’ll focus on yet another incredibly important ranking during the #MeToo #TimesUp era in America, an era where a woman who’s a law school graduate could become the Democratic nominee for president: The law schools with the greatest resources for women.***

According to Princeton Review, these are the law schools where women stand on equal footing with their male classmates:

  1. Stanford University School of Law
  2. Vermont Law School
  3. University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law
  4. New England Law – Boston
  5. University of Toledo College of Law
  6. UC Davis School of Law
  7. Washington University School of Law – St. Louis
  8. Brooklyn Law School
  9. Temple University Beasley School of Law

Law school may be the perfect place for women in America to resist, persist, and prove that the future is female. The law is a powerful tool, and we hope that women who want change will wield it wisely. 

November 25, 2019 in Gender, Law schools | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 1, 2019

The Elusive Goal of Gender Equity in Law School Enrollment

Deborah Jones Merritt & Kyle P. McEntee, Gender Equity in Law School Enrollment: An Elusive Goal, Journal of Legal Education (forthcoming)

Women finally make up more than half of law students nationwide, but that milestone masks significant gender inequities in law school enrollment. Women constitute an even larger percentage of the potential applicant pool: for almost two decades, they have earned more than 57% of all college degrees. As we show in this article, women are less likely than men to apply to law school — or to be admitted if they do apply. Equally troubling, women attend less prestigious law schools than men. The law schools that open the most employment doors for their graduates enroll significantly fewer women than schools with worse job outcomes and weaker access to the legal profession.

We explore here the factors that may contribute to this ongoing gender gap in law school attendance. We also propose several strategies for closing the gap. Enrollment equity alone will not put women on an equal footing with men; a sizable literature probes gender biases that pervade the law school environment. Recognizing and addressing the enrollment gap in legal education, however, is an essential first step toward improving the representation of women throughout the legal profession.

November 1, 2019 in Education, Gender, Law schools | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Call for Panelists AALS "Teaching in a #MeToo World"

 

I am writing to solicit volunteers to participate in a moderated panel discussion at the AALS Annual Meeting. The Session, Teaching in a #Metoo World will take place on Friday, January 3, 2020 from 3:30-5:15pm.

 

This Session will focus on how we teach law in the age of #Metoo, Time’s Up, Justice Kavanaugh, Intersectionality, President Trump, Proper Pronoun Use, the Women’s March, and other recent developments. This session will consider how we, in our capacity as law teachers, are adapting our teaching as the world around us changes. Panelists are invited to discuss their teaching innovations: courses they have created or adapted or other ways in which they have engaged with students in this #Metoo World.

 

If you have created a new course, adapted an existing course, or otherwise shifted your engagement with students, in response to recent changes in our world, please consider applying to participate on this panel. Panelists will participate in an informal moderated discussion of how they have adapted their teaching. The audience will be encouraged to participate in the discussion by sharing comments and asking questions.

 

If you would like to be part of this panel, please email a description of your Teaching/Student Engagement Innovation (limited to 650 words) to Rona Kaufman at kitchenr@duq.edu by Monday, November 4th (yes, that is just 5 days from now).

 

Panelists will be selected and confirmed by Wednesday, November 6th.

October 31, 2019 in Conferences, Law schools | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Conference "Gender Equity In Law Schools"

Conference, Villanova Law School, Gender Equity in Law Schools

Friday, October 25, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Arthur M. Goldberg '66 Commons Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Despite the significant demographic change in the gender composition of law faculty during the last 25 years, persistent questions of unequal treatment and unconscious bias continue to hamper the ability of female faculty to achieve full equality in law schools.

  • The symposium will examine a broad variety of issues relating to gender equity in law schools, such as:
  • Teaching issues — whether excellent teaching is valued in law schools, whether women faculty have a disproportionate teaching load, whether women are disproportionately present/absent in particular substantive courses, whether women are evaluated differently by students
  • Scholarly issues — whether areas of particular interest to women are undervalued, whether the work of women is given equal weight by law reviews, and whether female faculty bring a different voice to legal scholarship
  • Service issues — whether non-scholarly tasks performed by female faculty disproportionately disadvantage them with respect to status and compensation
  • The gender disparity in legal writing and in clinical education, which also produces substantial pay disparities that fall disproportionately on women in legal education
  • Intersections with issues of race, class, gender, and sexual identity

The symposium will also examine recent pay discrimination litigation at Denver Law School and focus on best practices for law schools that want to avoid similar litigation in the future.

This event takes place on Friday, October 25 from 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the Arthur M. Goldberg '66 Commons at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. The program is approved for 7 substantive CLE credits.

October 2, 2019 in Conferences, Law schools, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Trump Bump Sees More Women Going to Law School

Trump is Driving Women Into Law School

A few short years ago, law schools were falling out of favor with young Americans looking for a route to affluence, influence, or both. Business schools, on the other hand, were attracting more students than ever. ***

This year, the number of applicants to U.S. law schools is up an estimated 3.2%, after rising 8.1% last year.
 
Still, a law degree is rightly no longer seen as quite the path to a secure and remunerative career that it used to be, and a lot of today’s law school applicants seem less interested in their future earnings profiles than in using their legal skills to fight the power, or something like that. In one survey conducted by test-prep provider Kaplan, 87% of law-school admissions officers said “the current domestic political climate” was a significant factor in 2018’s applications increase. In another, 45% of students taking Kaplan LSAT prep courses this February said the political climate affected their decision to apply for law school, up from 32% a year earlier.

 

In legal circles this phenomenon has come to be called the “Trump bump,” which sounds about right. More precisely, with young people and college graduates both tending to give the president low approval ratings, it seems likely that most of these political-climate-inspired applicants are inspired by opposition to Trump and his policies. Also, all of this year’s and most of last year’s applicant gains were driven by women, who as a rule like the current president a lot less than men do. As recently as 2013, women were still a minority among applicants to U.S. law schools. This year they accounted for 55%. So U.S. law schools will for at least the next few years be churning out more smart, politically engaged, probably left-leaning lawyers, most of them women.

September 17, 2019 in Law schools, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

CFP Gender Equity in Law Schools

CALL FOR PAPERS VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY CHARLES WIDGER SCHOOL OF LAW

ANNUAL NORMAN J. SHACHOY SYMPOSIUM, OCTOBER 25, 2019 VILLANOVA LAW REVIEW 

“GENDER EQUITY IN LAW SCHOOLS” 

            Call for Papers:  The Villanova Law Review invites proposals from faculty to present and/or publish at the upcoming annual symposium, which will focus on gender equity in law schools.  Accepted presenters will have the opportunity to participate in the symposium at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law in Villanova, Pennsylvania, on Friday, October 25, 2019.  In addition, their papers will be published in the symposium issue of the Villanova Law Review, volume 65. 

            Deadline for Proposals:  July 15, 2019

             Submission Requirements:  Submissions should include contact information, a CV, and an abstract (up to 500 words) of the proposed presentation.  Preference will be given to submitters who intend to write an article for the symposium issue.  Submissions should be forwarded to Professor Cathy Lanctot, lanctot@law.villanova.edu, and to Alexandra Rice, arice4@law.villanova.edu. Managing Editor of Operations for the Villanova Law Review. 

             Selected presenters will be notified by August 1, 2019.  The Villanova Law Review will cover reasonable travel expenses for presenters. 

             Scope of Topic:  Despite the significant demographic change in the gender composition of law faculty during the last 25 years, persistent questions of unequal treatment and unconscious bias continue to hamper the ability of female faculty to achieve full equality in law schools. 

        The symposium will examine a broad variety of issues relating to gender equity in law schools, such as:  teaching issues (e.g., whether excellent teaching is valued in law schools, whether women faculty have a disproportionate teaching load, whether women are disproportionately present/absent in particular substantive courses, whether women are evaluated differently by students);  scholarly issues (e.g., whether areas of particular interest to women are undervalued, whether the work of women is given equal weight by law reviews, and whether female faculty bring a different voice to legal scholarship); service issues (whether non-scholarly tasks performed by female faculty disproportionately disadvantage them with respect to status and compensation); the gender disparity in legal writing and in clinical education, which also produces substantial pay disparities that fall disproportionately on women in legal education; intersections with issues of race, class, gender, and sexual identity;  and the effect of gender inequity on law students.  The symposium will also examine recent pay discrimination litigation at Denver Law School and focus on best practices for law schools that want to avoid similar litigation in the future. 

June 11, 2019 in Call for Papers, Law schools | Permalink | Comments (0)

Feminist Legal Theory CRN Engagement

A message from the organizers of the Feminist Legal Theory Critical Research Network:

Dear Feminist Legal Theory CRN members, 

First, thank you for a fabulous annual meeting!  Our twenty-two panels were an enormous success, generating tremendous interest and engagement.  The submission cycle for 2020 will come before we know it, so we need volunteers to plan the CRN panels for the LSA annual meeting in Denver in 2020. If you are interested in helping to plan next year’s meeting, please sign up here by Friday, June 7th.  

 Second, we write to follow up on the evening of action.  As you know, we converted the CRN’s social event into a brainstorming session to explore what we can do – as CRN members – in our scholarship, teaching, and advocacy to further gender equality generally and especially in light of the Supreme Court’s current make-up. There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and we generated many terrific ideas (see below) for each track: scholarship, teaching, and advocacy.  Our next step is that we need volunteers to (1) play a leadership role for each track, and (2) serve on the committee for each track.  Our goal is for each committee to develop an action plan for achieving some of the ideas we identified.  Each committee will work separately and then present the action plan at a gathering that will coincide with the AALS annual meeting, in D.C. in January. If you are interested in either leading or participating in these efforts, please use this sign-up sheet and respond by Friday, June 7th.  

 Finally, Susan Hazeldean volunteered (thank you, Susan!) to reactivate our TWEN site.  We will use this for all CRN communications from now on.  More information to come soon.   

 Many thanks,

 

Jamie Abrams 

Maxine Eichner

Clare Huntington

Daniela Kraiem

Elizabeth MacDowell

Maya Manian 

Seema Mohapatra

June 11, 2019 in Conferences, Law schools, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 15, 2019

Legal Rules of Professional Ethics as an Enforcement Mechanism Against Gender Violence and Harassment

Katherine Yon Ebright, Taking #MeToo Seriously in the Legal Profession, 32 Georgetown J. Legal Ethics (2019)

With the advent of the #MeToo movement, we have seen unprecedented interest in taking, and real initiatives to take, gender violence and harassment seriously. Actors and directors have been forced out of Hollywood. Conductors have been forced out of their concert halls, chefs out of their kitchens, professors out of the hallowed halls of academia. What of the legal profession? Attorneys are rarely professionally sanctioned for committing rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, or domestic violence. Indeed, some jurisdictions have interpreted these gendered acts as falling outside the ambit of the rules of professional conduct.

This Article examines how the legal profession has thus far addressed gender violence and harassment, as well as how it might do so in the future. Part I reviews different states’ rules of professional conduct and their interpretations with respect to gender violence and harassment. It homes in on state-to-state discrepancies in interpreting certain shared provisions that could be used for disciplining rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and domestic violence. Part II then reviews enforcement patterns for states that either do or might professionally sanction gender violence and harassment. Noting that enforcement rates are staggeringly low, Part II identifies deficiencies in the rules of professional conduct that permit abusers to keep practicing without professional sanction. Part III concludes by proposing a series of reforms that would harmonize states’ understandings of gender violence and harassment and address, to some extent, the enforcement problem.

April 15, 2019 in Equal Employment, Gender, Law schools | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 11, 2019

New Book: Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia

Meera Dao, Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia (Stanford U. Press 2019)

This book is the first formal, empirical investigation into the law faculty experience using a distinctly intersectional lens, examining both the personal and professional lives of law faculty members. Comparing the professional and personal experiences of women of color professors with white women, white men, and men of color faculty from assistant professor through dean emeritus, Unequal Profession explores how the race and gender of individual legal academics affects not only their individual and collective experience, but also legal education as a whole. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative empirical data, Meera E. Deo reveals how race and gender intersect to create profound implications for women of color law faculty members, presenting unique challenges as well as opportunities to improve educational and professional outcomes in legal education. Deo shares the powerful stories of law faculty who find themselves confronting intersectional discrimination and implicit bias in the form of silencing, mansplaining, and the presumption of incompetence, to name a few. Through hiring, teaching, colleague interaction, and tenure and promotion, Deo brings the experiences of diverse faculty to life and proposes a number of mechanisms to increase diversity within legal academia and to improve the experience of all faculty members.

March 11, 2019 in Books, Equal Employment, Law schools, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Book: Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia

Meera Dao, Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia (Stanford U. Press 2019)

This book is the first formal, empirical investigation into the law faculty experience using a distinctly intersectional lens, examining both the personal and professional lives of law faculty members. Comparing the professional and personal experiences of women of color professors with white women, white men, and men of color faculty from assistant professor through dean emeritus, Unequal Profession explores how the race and gender of individual legal academics affects not only their individual and collective experience, but also legal education as a whole. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative empirical data, Meera E. Deo reveals how race and gender intersect to create profound implications for women of color law faculty members, presenting unique challenges as well as opportunities to improve educational and professional outcomes in legal education. Deo shares the powerful stories of law faculty who find themselves confronting intersectional discrimination and implicit bias in the form of silencing, mansplaining, and the presumption of incompetence, to name a few. Through hiring, teaching, colleague interaction, and tenure and promotion, Deo brings the experiences of diverse faculty to life and proposes a number of mechanisms to increase diversity within legal academia and to improve the experience of all faculty members.

March 11, 2019 in Books, Equal Employment, Law schools, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Law Schools Enrolling the Most Women

Friday, February 1, 2019

The Story of the First Woman (also the First Black Woman) Law Professor, Lutie Lytle

Taja-Nia Y. Henderson, "I Shall Talk to My Own People": The Intersectional Life and Times of Lutie A. Lytle, 102 Iowa L. Rev. 1983 (2017).

In the fall of 1898, the Chicago Tribune hailed Lutie A. Lytle of Topeka as the “only female law instructor in the world.” Notwithstanding this purported shattering of the legal academy’s glass ceiling, Lytle’s accomplishments—her path to the professoriate, and her career in the years following her appointment to the faculty of a Nashville law school—have been largely lost to historians of legal education. She is not among those honored or commemorated by our profession, and her name is largely unknown beyond a small circle of interest. The biographical sketch that follows fills this scholarly gap through an examination of Lytle as a historical figure, using contemporary newspaper accounts and other primary source material to provide context for her achievements and linking her life to previously understudied legal, political and social movements.

 

As a genre, biography seeks to use the life of the individual to tell a larger story about the collective. Feminist biography—probably best understood as both subgenre and method—has the same goals, but moves gender “to the center of the analysis.” This methodology asks not only how gender as a social category has impacted the lives of historical actors, but also how the unequal distribution of power resulting from existing gender hierarchies has influenced epistemologies of scholarly inquiry.

 

A biographical sketch of Lutie A. Lytle, a woman coming of age in the second half of the nineteenth century, warrants such treatment. Lytle’s career in the law was certainly impacted by gender as she was among the earliest cadre of women lawyers in the nation. As a student, she was the only woman enrolled in the Law Department of Central Tennessee College. When she was appointed as an instructor at the College, moreover, she was the only woman among the law school’s faculty. As a woman of African descent born during Reconstruction, however, Lytle (and her story) “cannot be captured wholly by” a methodology that moves only gender to the center. The intersection (or overlap) of Lytle’s identities as a woman of color and the daughter of former slaves requires that gender and race (and arguably, status and class) move to the center. In other words, a biographical sketch of Lytle’s life cannot privilege gender in isolation; it must also grapple with the persistence of race, racism, and the myriad legacies of chattel slavery in the subject’s world.

February 1, 2019 in Law schools, Race, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)