11.06.2004

The reporter could have gotten a better quote than the one below, but this article ("Beyond Sweetie") about the new majority of women in some graduate programs, from The New York Times is an interesting and illuminating read:
Despite new teaching methods, the achievement gap between the sexes remains. A 2002 study at Yale Law showed that disproportionately more men than women took prestigious clerkships at the Court of Appeals after graduation. A study at Harvard Law released earlier this year found that far fewer female students win spots on The Harvard Law Review's editorial board. Of 46 editors added this year, only 14 are women. Editors attribute the gender gap to the fact that men tend to perform better on the writing exercise that is the criterion for Law Review selection -- mainly an analysis of court opinions -- just as they have been shown to do in class with similar assignments. Assuming they have little chance, women may be less engaged in the exercise. ''I worry that the current imbalance contributes to a vicious cycle that, unfortunately, discourages some women from putting their best foot forward,'' says Thiru Vignarajah, president of The Law Review. Editors are stepping up recruiting efforts, taking first-year women for coffee and holding special information sessions.

Ruth O'Meara-Costello, a second-year student who didn't apply for a spot, ventures a different explanation: ''Maybe we are less interested in The Law Review than the men because it's often boring and tedious,'' she says. ''Yes, being an editor is very prestigious and looks great on the resume. But many women I know don't care.''
Definitely read the whole thing; it's great. Imagine how provocative it would be if that kind of analysis could find its way into the Book Review...

-Lauren
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