Archive for ‘Segregation’

March 17, 2011

Various Articles Lead to the Same Conclusion: Women’s Experiences in Law School are Unique

by Angela N. Johnson

Taken together, the articles reflected upon in “Hey There’s Ladies Here!” persuade the authors “that a substantial proportion of law students – many, but by no means all of them, women students – experience frustration, or alienation, or both, because of law schools’ failure to engage and develop the full range of intellectual capacities necessary for successful and responsible practice . . . legal education must be broadened and deepened to encompass neglected but important aspects of the intellectual work that legal professionals do” (Berger, et al. 1998, 1025).

“Hey There’s Ladies Here!” reflects on Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law School, and Institutional Change by Lani Guinier, Michelle Fine, and Jane Balin, Women in Legal Education: A Comparison of the Law School Performance and Law School Experiences of Women and Men by Linda F. Wightman, Law School Admissions Council, What Difference Does Difference Make?: The Challenge for Legal Education by Elizabeth Mertz with Wamucci Njogu and Susan Gooding, and Cultivating Intelligence: Power, Law, and the Politics of Teaching by Louise Harmon and Deborah W. Post.

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March 17, 2011

Socializing Both Sexes in the Classroom

by Angela N. Johnson

 

By implementing a feminist critique (defined as promoting a caring, results-oriented approach to the law, based on preserving relationships, nurturing, and expressing an ethic of care and compassion) in addition to the current teaching methods (logos/masculine), both men and women will realize greater success in law school. Methods beyond the current archaic arbitrator/adversarial model of teaching must be utilized. Moreover, instilling empathy and teaching dispute resolution skills in law school will promote the most effective lawyering and will benefit the students as future lawyers and the clients they serve (Proctor 2004, 585-589). Proctor argues “introducing the values traditionally associated with women, and traditionally undervalued, because an emphasis on collaboration, context, emotions, ethics and empathy will effectuate a much needed socialization of both sexes” (Proctor 2004, 578).

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March 14, 2011

A Forked River Runs Through Law School

by Angela N. Johnson

Timothy Clydesdale examines the differences in race, gender, and age on law school performance and bar passage using Law School Admissions Council data (the Bar Passage Study or “BPS”) which includes a dataset of 27,478 entering law students, along with their grade point averages, LSAT scores, bar examination results (up to five attempts) and of course the race, gender, and age of those individuals.  Having this detailed information allows Clydesdale to reveal how race, gender, or age might impact one’s predisposition for success.  Moreover, by controlling for various factors (which I will explain further in this summary) Clydesdale is able to hypothesize why or why not such predispositions within a given class (race, gender, age) may appear.  For example, once Clydesdale had determined that students over the age of 30 earned inferior grades to those under 30, Clydesdale was able to pinpoint why that might be – that rather than physical age, it is that students over the age of 30 have a greater likelihood to experience life events during the 1L year which hinder the student’s success, restrictions on study time (due to family responsibilities and demands), and a greater chance of being impacted by physical illness.  Nevertheless, there is a “4% gap in passage rates between those bar examinees who began law school at age 30 or older and their younger counterparts” (Clydesdale 2004, 713).  Clydesdale determines that law school grades correspond directly to bar passage rates; so knowing that law students over thirty are more likely to earn lower grades, it is not surprising that this also translates to lower bar passage rates.  Most importantly, Clydesdale sheds light on the disparity between the groups and even the disparity in six-categories of law schools. 

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February 9, 2011

Separate But Equal (Law Schools) Is Unequal – Examining All-Women Law Schools in the 21st Century

by Angela N. Johnson

Shannan Ball’s “Separate But Equal is Unequal: The Argument Against An All-Women’s Law School” is in response to recent discussion on creating all-women law schools.  Aside from the content, I found this Note especially interesting because it was published in Notre Dame’s Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy.  Why is that interesting? Well for one, I have been admitted and am considering attending in August.  Further, Notre Dame was the second to the last ABA-approved law school to admit women (their first woman law student was admitted in 1969).  Why so late in the 20th Century? It isn’t that the school was especially discriminatory against women students.  Rather, Notre Dame was an all-men’s school until roughly around that same time.  So in light of the school’s history of being a gender-segregated school until just a few decades ago, I found Ms. Ball’s note especially interesting – her argument is that gendered-segregated law schools would disadvantage both male and female law students. 

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