Why Don’t More Women Want To Be Law Professors?

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4 Responses

  1. Dave! says:

    And here I just thought this was more evidence of women being smarter than men. :)

  2. Doug B. says:

    I think it is generally well understood that to be a “serious” applicant for a tenure-track teaching position, one need to be willing to relocate nearly anywhere in the country. I have a hunch that more men have a family dynamic that empowers them — or at least enables them — to be able to relocate.

  3. KCuj says:

    Here’s a test: Look through the AALS for the candidates that have lots of publications. Gender imbalance or not?

  4. Ann Bartow says:

    You pose an interesting question. Here are some possibilities:

    1. Women have less pleasant experiences in law school than men, and so are less interested in returning to a law school environment.

    2. Women receive less encouragement from law professors to consider teaching careers.

    3. Women are aware that women in law teaching get disproportionately steered toward nontenure track positions in legal writing, clinics, law libraries, “institutes” and “centers,” and as lecturers, and “visitors from nowhere.”

    4. Women get discouraged or rejected by law schools that do part (or most) of their hiring outside of the AALS process. I don’t know the current statistic but at one time over half of entry level hires were done outside the process. Many people use professional connections to obtain teaching jobs, and I suspect the vast majority are men.

    5. Women get turned off more than men by scholarly climates that seem to start from a position of “you are stupid and your ideas are stupid and here’s why.” Not all law schools have this climate, thank goodness, but some surely do.

    6. Talk to the dean or faculty at any law school in which women are underrepresented and you will often be told, “Women don’t want to come here.” This has other permutations: “This area isn’t a good place for professional/single/lesbian women.” Often this is blamed on the city or region in which the law school is located, but it is a message that is clearly conveyed to women who might otherwise want to teach. I can’t remember ever hearing a law school lament that “men don’t want to come here.” I think men get more enthusastically recruited and “sold” on teaching at any particular law school, and on teaching in general – simply my observation but an opinion that many law prof friends share with me.

    7. Men get offered more money and better “deals.” This obviously is a controversial assertion, but rather than flaming me, people should collect the data at their own law schools, comparing starting salaries, current salaries, “chair” stipends, teaching loads, teaching schedules, release time, service loads, administrative loads, number of research assistants, research and travel money, and special benefits and accomodations.