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The Status of Women on Law School Faculties: Recent Trends in Hiring

Deborah Jones Merritt

In The Status of Women on Law School Faculties: Recent Trends in Hiring, Associate Dean Deborah J. Merritt analyzes data on tenure-track hiring at accredited law schools in the United States. She argues that a pattern of sex bias emerges when teaching positions, tenure-track rank, and teaching assignments are examined. ... Women were significantly more likely to start on the bottom rung of the tenure-track ladder, as assistant professors. ... Both white women and women of color received appointments at lower ranks than did white men or men of color with comparable credentials. ... Faculty members with nonemployed partners started teaching at significantly higher ranks than did single faculty members. ... Even after controlling for credentials and the other characteristics in our study, men were significantly more likely than women to reap this plum teaching assignment. ... For white women, however, this advantage was eroded through sex bias in starting rank and teaching assignments. ... Women, on the other hand, were significantly more likely than men to have imposed major geographic constraints on their job searches. ... Indeed, the prestige of the graduating law school is the single most important factor in determining the prestige of the school where a professor teaches, while imposition of a major geographic constraint significantly reduces the prestige of the school where a professor lands a job.
  • Print Location 1995 U. Ill. L. Rev. 93

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