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The Legal Education of Twenty Women

Catherine Weiss and Louise Melling

Many of these women find legal education alienating. ... The sections of this essay show four faces of alienation: from ourselves, from the law school community, from the classroom, and from the content of legal education. ... We sought community in the law school but saw competition. ... All I remember is that the professor ended up saying that the witness's prior statement was "material" to the defense because it tended to show that the woman "wanted to be raped," that "she had stood around in the park waiting to be raped," or maybe that "she had dreamed the whole thing up." ... I thought I could compete on an academic level but not on a showmanship level. . . . [Professor T's] sort of flamboyant dress, his wittiness, and the jokes he cracked and the kind of people whom he obviously liked in the class were those who could raise their hands and make flip remarks and make others laugh or who would astound them with their brilliant asides.

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