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Gender equity in law review

“Making law review” may be on students’ minds as the academic year gets underway at Virginia’s eight law schools.

Holding an editorial post on a law review is an even bigger boon, and may be essential for students seeking judicial clerkships or academic positions.

The top law review posts go disproportionately to male law students, according to a report by “Ms. JD,” a blog that has been highlighted by the American Bar Association Journal.

Ms. JD collected self-reported gender diversity data from general interest law reviews at the 2009 U.S. News “Top 50” law schools for the 2008-2010 academic years. According to their survey, while overall percentages of women members of these law journals (44.3 percent) and women in leadership positions (46.2 percent) correlates strongly to the number of women awarded law degrees during the same time period (45.7 percent in 2008), the number of women editors-in-chief is disproportionately low (33 percent).

Mastheads for law reviews at Virginia’s eight schools show even lower numbers. Checking the most recent editorial boards posted at the schools’ websites, the count is one female top editor, Alexandra W. Taylor, at the University of Virginia. The other seven schools have male students at the helm, assuming we can count “Matthew, Geoffrey, Robert, Stanley and Floyd” as male names. We did fact-check “Vanner” and “Brandon” as male monikers.
By Deborah Elkins

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