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Good Intentions Are Not Enough: An Agenda on Gender for Law School Deans

Sylvia Law

This essay first reminds us how recently women were not welcomed as equals in legal education. ... I attended NYU Law School from 1965 until 1968 and joined the NYU faculty as an assistant professor in 1973. ... The late Robert McKay, who was the dean when I entered legal education, was a noble, intelligent, sweet person, dedicated to public service. ... Becoming sensitive to concrete manifestations of embedded sexism and racism can help faculty become better teachers. ... Further, a law school can decide that it wants to gather together a faculty possessing a particular quality, such as, for example, a penchant for cats, that is wholly extraneous to excellence in teaching or scholarship. ... More concretely, deans should convey an institutional message that says, "We live in a culture that has a deep history of sexism, racism, homophobia, discrimination, and oppression. ... It reaches out to students and faculty to say that bias, in any form, is not acceptable in the NYU community. ... But serious problems of bias remain, problems that are more difficult to understand and address than the earlier issues of explicit, intentional discrimination.
  • Print Location 77 Iowa L. Rev. 79

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