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Monday, December 12, 2016
Women Still Lagging Behind Men in Legal Profession
For many years, one of the most apparently gender-equitable spaces in American society could be found in a rather unlikely place: college campuses. Since the early 1970s, the gap in attendance between men and women has been narrowing. Around the turn of the millennium, women pulled ahead; today, between 55-57% of college students are women.
Unfortunately, this trend hasn't translated well in the working world. Perhaps that depends upon who you ask, but well-aerated statistics indicate that women continue to earn less than 80 cents to a man's dollar. There are 23 female CEOs in the entire Fortune 500. Senior partners in U.S. law firms are overwhelmingly male.
A recent analysis of demographic data within U.S. law schools has also revealed some unwelcome news. While it may not sound bad, just 50% of law school students are women; this means that somewhere between college and law school, women's chances of admission deteriorate. The report notes that there are more women than men obtaining master's and doctoral degrees-why the difference in law school?
Another problem? Law schools accept fewer women than men. And women who do make it into law school tend to be accepted to less prestigious institutions. Anyone working in the legal profession knows just how much pedigree matters.
Like any statistical analysis, drawing conclusions require evaluation of multiple variables. Neither the report nor this post can presume to answer the question of "why", although. Asking it, however, is as important as ever.
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