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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, October 20, 2012

2011-2012 Law Review Diversity Report

New York Law School Law Review, 2011-2012 Law Review Diversity Report:

The New York Law School Law Review (NYLS) has issued the 2011-2012 Law Review Diversity Report, its second annual report examining female and minority student representation among law review membership and leadership nationwide. The report, based on research conducted in collaboration with Ms. JD, includes 2011–2012 results for the flagship law review or journal at 85 ABA-approved law schools.  ...

The report includes information Ms. JD compiled from 35 law reviews at law schools ranked in the Top 50 by U.S. News & World Report, as well as information NYLS compiled from law reviews at 50 additional ABA-approved law schools that are ranked outside the Top 50, and a combined sample of all 85 responding law reviews. ...

Faculty diversity has a positive relationship to diversity of law review membership. The higher the percentage of full-time female faculty at a law school, the higher the percentage of female membership on its law review.

Women and minority students lag behind men in achieving the editor in chief (EIC) position. Overall, women held 43% of leadership positions on average, but just 31% of the EIC positions. These findings were similar among law reviews both at Top 50 law schools (32%) and at schools outside of the Top 50 (29%). Among the Top 50 law reviews, 15% of EICs identified as a person of color, compared to 4% of EICs at law reviews outside of the Top 50.

The low percentage of women EICs may foreshadow low percentages of women in leadership in the legal profession. When viewed in the context of female achievement in the legal profession (chart below), the results raise the question of whether the low percentage of female EICs (31%) is a precursor to the low percentages of women on state and federal benches, in law firm partnerships, and as general counsel of Fortune 500 companies. 

NYLS Law Review Issues Report on Diversity on Law Reviews Nationwide Chart_Page_2

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