Thursday, August 31, 2006

Back Lash

The New York Times has just recently brought to our attention the diminished numbers of female supreme court law clerks.

Just under 50 percent of new law school graduates in 2005 were women. Yet women account for only 7 of the 37 law clerkships for the new term, the first time the number has been in the single digits since 1994, when there were 4,000 fewer women among the country’s new law school graduates than there are today.

Considering the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor has decreased the female leadership on the Supreme Court by 50% this is not where we want to be heading.

A post on one popular legal Web site, the Volokh Conspiracy, asked, “Why so few women Supreme Court clerks?” and drew 135 comments during a single week in July. The answers included the relative scarcity of female students among the top editors of the leading law schools’ law reviews — an important preclerkship credential — and the absence of women among the “feeder judges,” the dozen or so federal appeals court judges who, year in and year out, offer a reliable pipeline to the Supreme Court for their own favored law clerks.

There is much speculation as to why women are missing out on these important opportunities and I have a sneaking suspicion it is not due to availablitiy or career drive.

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