Ms. JD Releases 2011-2012 Data on Gender Diverisity at Top 50 Law Reviews

Editors Note: Below is an excerpt from Ms. JD's press release on our publication of the 2011-2012 data regarding gender diversity on law reviews at the top 50 law schools as defined by U.S. News and World Report.

Ms. JD Publishes 2012 Law Review Survey: Survey Shows Women in Leadership Positions on Law Reviews Declined

Ms. JD, a national non-profit dedicated to the success of women in the law, published its 2012 Law Review Survey today. The survey, which examines the participation of women on Law Reviews at the Top 50 Law Schools and the number of women editors-in-chief, found that while women’s membership on law journals correlated strongly with the number of women awarded law degrees during the same time period, the number of women editors-in-chief was disproportionately low. The survey showed that women had lost approximately five percentage points to 28.6% of total EICs in 2011-2012 from Ms. JD’s previous survey that showed 33% of the surveyed EICs were women.

Ms. JD President, Katie Larkin-Wong said, “This year's data shows that we have a long way to go to achieve gender equity in law review leadership. Ms. JD remains committed to encouraging women to take on these leadership positions by posting interviews with female EICs on our blog and sharing best practices for promoting women’s membership on law journals through the National Women Law Students’ Organization.”

In 2010, Ms. JD conducted a survey of self-reported gender diversity data from general interest law reviews at the 2009 U.S. News and World Report “Top 50” law schools. The results showed that while overall percentages of women members of these law journals and women in leadership positions correlated strongly to the number of women awarded law degrees during the same time period; the number of women editor-in-chiefs was disproportionately low.

In 2011, New York Law School compiled an addendum to Ms. JD’s data, surveying two samples of law reviews based on criteria other than the U.S. News rankings: the percentage of women and minorities who are full-time faculty members of ABA-accredited law schools. New York Law School’s addendum found that law reviews at law schools having a high percentage of female full-time faculty and at law schools having a high percentage of minority full-time faculty had, on average, significantly greater gender diversity among their 2010-2011 student membership and leadership than law reviews at the “Top 50” schools surveyed by Ms. JD in 2010. These schools also had a higher rate of female editors-in-chief as compared to their “Top 50” counterparts.  New York Law School published this year’s data today as well.

On the partnership with New York Law School, Larkin-Wong, said, “Ms. JD is proud that we started the conversation about quantifying gender equality in Law Review leadership when we published the first report in 2010. We were thrilled when New York Law School expanded the survey and the conversation the following year. The resources and statistical rigor that they bring to the project has definitely improved it.” Larkin-Wong also expressed her gratitude to Ms. JD’s volunteers, “Ms. JD’s volunteers, led by Board Members Keisha Stanford and Kim Watson, did an incredible job completing Ms. JD’s portion of the survey. They provide excellent examples of women’s leadership in the law.”

To read the full report and press release, click here.  The full New York Law School Report is available here.

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