women and law school

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Bruin2009
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women and law school

Postby Bruin2009 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:32 am

I understand that pretty much all law schools note that there is a 50/50 division between men and women at each school...
which is nice and dandy, but what about post-grad? are women 50/50 in the work place?

from my experience at law firms, I have noticed that it's still a boys club since men outnumber women by a large margin... so, I just wanted the general consensus on this. still discrimination? (I've worked in law firms for a few years and I would say YES) but I want to know other people's point of view...

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GATORTIM
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Re: women and law school

Postby GATORTIM » Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:58 am

I do not have any facts or research to support my hypothesis, but here it goes. I think there are more male practicing attys simply bc men do not have a uterus. The age when most exist LS just so happens to be the age many Americans start families, women transition from bloodsucking attorney to loving mother fairly easily and some firms either allow them to significantly reduce their hours or work from home. Some women will exist the workforce all together in effort to raise a child.

I'm sure there exists a myriad of reasons for your observation, but this is mine. The only evidence I have is a relative that works for a TOP firm and is currently exploring one of the above options in regards to scheduling due to recently having a child.

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TTH
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Re: women and law school

Postby TTH » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:01 am

Bruin2009 wrote:I understand that pretty much all law schools note that there is a 50/50 division between men and women at each school...
which is nice and dandy, but what about post-grad? are women 50/50 in the work place?

from my experience at law firms, I have noticed that it's still a boys club since men outnumber women by a large margin... so, I just wanted the general consensus on this. still discrimination? (I've worked in law firms for a few years and I would say YES) but I want to know other people's point of view...


I've looked on NALP directory at a lot of firms in the midwest, and while I wasn't specifically looking for this, it did seem like men usually outnumbered women substantially.

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Cole S. Law
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Re: women and law school

Postby Cole S. Law » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:14 am

Sexist theory based on years of observation: women tend to get more upset about criticism and negative feedback. Law firm life is full of this from partners disappointed with your inexperienced work, judges rejecting your motions, opposing counsel attacking your positions. After a few years many women probably find an exit strategy like profit driven marriage/working in your law school's library/career services office/legal writing department/stay at home mom/etc.

FeuerFrei
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Re: women and law school

Postby FeuerFrei » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:21 am

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Last edited by FeuerFrei on Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Yimbeezy
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Re: women and law school

Postby Yimbeezy » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:31 am

Another factoor may be that women self select away from firms. If you look at equal justice works fellows, women dominate. The disproportionate amount of women working in these public interest jobs could be the result of many different things, but I would imagine that interest in helping real people rather than faceless corps may be an interest shared disproportionately by wwomen.

At least I certainly hope this is the reason. As a male wanting to go into public interest, I hope self selection is the primary driver.

washed out
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Re: women and law school

Postby washed out » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:33 am

Profit-driven marriage is the greatest ad lib I have encountered within the past 48 hours. I make no judgments about its merit, but merely offer an observation as to its awesomeness. Rock on.

ram jam
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Re: women and law school

Postby ram jam » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:41 am

From my brief experience working in law firms during UG, I found that the firms were 80/20 men to women. A firm has to make an investment in first year associates, training a female associate for three years only to see her go as a result of being pregnant is an economic loss. Although, I must say, when it comes to hiring, the ratio was more like 60/40 men to women. Then, as time goes by, the women become pregnant and quit. However, I worked for a medium size firm which was partly owned and fully operated by a women, who was a former Judge, and mother.

Bruin2009
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Re: women and law school

Postby Bruin2009 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:49 am

washed out wrote:Profit-driven marriage is the greatest ad lib I have encountered within the past 48 hours. I make no judgments about its merit, but merely offer an observation as to its awesomeness. Rock on.


this is the conclusion i'm getting from this. by women joining law schools, they are prolonging the time for Profit-driven marriage and nothing more? I mean going to law school is a valid reason why one is not getting married, huh?

is 200K debt worth it?

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englawyer
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Re: women and law school

Postby englawyer » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:57 am

attorneys live ridiculous lifestyles with very poor work/life balance.

the bulk of the family work (giving birth, managing the household, attending PTA) usually falls on the woman, due to societal pressure, which is unfortunate.

women get stuck between a rock and hard place because they have a ridiculous job and also feel pressure to be the world's best mom. since law firms are generally unsympathetic to real lives outside the work place, they usually leave the field.

the only real way to fix the problem is to first encourage men as a society to take on more of the family stuff, and second to enforce mandatory family-friendly practices like substantial paid maternity leave in law firms. both are pretty unlikely, unfortunately.

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beebs
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Re: women and law school

Postby beebs » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:59 am

Bruin2009 wrote:
washed out wrote:Profit-driven marriage is the greatest ad lib I have encountered within the past 48 hours. I make no judgments about its merit, but merely offer an observation as to its awesomeness. Rock on.


this is the conclusion i'm getting from this. by women joining law schools, they are prolonging the time for Profit-driven marriage and nothing more? I mean going to law school is a valid reason why one is not getting married, huh?

is 200K debt worth it?


If you are going to law school to "husband shop", just make sure you pick a guy on law review so he can pay off your loans. Then you can use your legal skills debating with your three-year-old about whether to watch Blue's Clues or The Wiggles.

Amelie
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Re: women and law school

Postby Amelie » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:02 pm

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Last edited by Amelie on Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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rayiner
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Re: women and law school

Postby rayiner » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:03 pm

I agree with englawyer, but there is also another factor at work here. Women do tend to disproportionately pursue public interest, at least partially because they don't have the same pressure to earn a lot of money that men do. A woman doesn't trade off anything on the dating market by pursueing a lower paying (and quite possibly more interesting) job while a man certainly does.

There are also a decent number of PI-bound women in my class who have MBA/doctor/biglaw-bound boyfriends. Take that for what you will.

Bruin2009
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Re: women and law school

Postby Bruin2009 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:07 pm

beebs wrote:
Bruin2009 wrote:
washed out wrote:Profit-driven marriage is the greatest ad lib I have encountered within the past 48 hours. I make no judgments about its merit, but merely offer an observation as to its awesomeness. Rock on.


this is the conclusion i'm getting from this. by women joining law schools, they are prolonging the time for Profit-driven marriage and nothing more? I mean going to law school is a valid reason why one is not getting married, huh?

is 200K debt worth it?


If you are going to law school to "husband shop", just make sure you pick a guy on law review so he can pay off your loans. Then you can use your legal skills debating with your three-year-old about whether to watch Blue's Clues or The Wiggles.


lol that's what i was thinking

bree
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Re: women and law school

Postby bree » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:51 pm

There's some statistic out (I can't remember where it comes from) there that says that 80% of women who go into biglaw quit within four years, thus it's not all that surprising that men outnumber women at a large law firm.

With regards to PI work, yes, it's true that women dominate there but there really aren't that many PI jobs, so while PI explains part of the lack of women in biglaw, it doesn't explain everything.

I did find it interesting when I went to the graduation at Chicago Law in 2009 that of the 20 people who were in the top 10% of the class at Chicago (some sort of named scholar, Kirkland & Ellis methinks), only two or three were women. I was absolutely shocked. I have no idea whether this is consistent across law schools or if it's just an anomaly for that particular year or maybe it's particular to Chicago. I'm reluctant to draw any conclusions from this small sample, but it was surprising.

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WrappedUpInBooks
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Re: women and law school

Postby WrappedUpInBooks » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:06 pm

bree wrote:There's some statistic out (I can't remember where it comes from) there that says that 80% of women who go into biglaw quit within four years, thus it's not all that surprising that men outnumber women at a large law firm.


Don't most people - men and women - quit biglaw within four years?

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rayiner
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Re: women and law school

Postby rayiner » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:09 pm

bree wrote:I did find it interesting when I went to the graduation at Chicago Law in 2009 that of the 20 people who were in the top 10% of the class at Chicago (some sort of named scholar, Kirkland & Ellis methinks), only two or three were women. I was absolutely shocked. I have no idea whether this is consistent across law schools or if it's just an anomaly for that particular year or maybe it's particular to Chicago. I'm reluctant to draw any conclusions from this small sample, but it was surprising.


Northwestern 2009 graduation honors list (overall = 41% women):
http://www.law.northwestern.edu/registr ... s_List.pdf

Magna: 3 of 10 are women.
Coif: 7 of 27 are women.

Northwestern 2005 graduation honors list (overall = 50% women):
http://www.law.northwestern.edu/registr ... s_List.pdf

Magna: 4 of 9 are women.
Coif: 15 of 27 are women.

Northwestern 2004 graduation honors list (overall = 47% women):
http://www.law.northwestern.edu/news/sp ... onors.html

Magna: 2 of 5 are women.
Coif: 11-12 of 22 are women.

Doesn't seem like women underperform significantly except for maybe C/O 2009 which seems like a bit of an outlier.




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