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Becoming Gentlemen:  Women’s Experiences at One Ivy League Law School

Lani Guinier, Michelle Fine, and Jane Balin, with Ann Bartow, and Deborah Lee Stachel

In this Article we describe preliminary research by and about women law students at the University of Pennsylvania Law School -- a typical, if elite, law school stratified deeply along gender lines. Our database draws from students enrolled at the Law School between 1987 and 1992, and includes academic performance data from 981 students, self-reported survey data from 366 students, written narratives from 104 students, and group-level interview data of approximately eighty female and male students. ... Our three-part research design investigated gender-related differences in levels of academic performance, law student attitudes toward career goals, and general satisfaction with law school experiences. ... Our qualitative data include the 104 narrative responses to the open-ended question about student experiences of gender discrimination in the Bartow Survey, focus group data collected from twenty-seven students (including white students and students of color, both male and female), our observation of and participation with two classes of a critical perspectives seminar, a meeting with the Women's Law Group, and several meetings with Law School faculty. ... Across years, male students appear to be far more comfortable speaking with faculty of either gender than female students. ... Question 15: Do you think that the nature or content of classroom interactions between professors and students are affected by the sex of the professor?
  • Print Location 143 U. PA. L. REV. 1

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