Interviewing For Law School Admission

Gender Gap HandshakeClosing The Gender Gap

If law schools do have anything going for them – especially the top law schools and compared to other professional schools like business schools – it is that the top schools do a pretty good job at having equal numbers of men and women represented. Harvard and Yale are split at 50% of each gender. Stanford and Columbia have 45% women. Not too shabby.
Still, a gender gap remains at law schools. This gap is the performance of students grade-wise. Researchers from Stanford Law School recently had an article published in The Journal of Legal Studies that examined grades of law students from 2001 through 2012. From 2001 to 2008, they found, on average, women trailed men by about .05 grade-point-average points.
In 2008, Stanford adopted a low-pressure “honors and pass” system for grading. This systems shifts honors and recognitions from the entire class to individual classes (like torts). Results from 2008 through 2012 saw the gap vanish. What’s more, in a mandatory class, the size of the class was decreased and was switched to “simulation-intensive” which led meant the classes involved more student interaction and participation. In this class, the gap switched. Women outperformed the men.
So, why does a gap as small as .05 even matter? The researchers claim the difference between a 3.6 and a 3.65 GPA can lead to a 7% better chance of landing a federal appellate clerkship. While schools are in the process of revamping curriculum, they might as well make it a better learning environment and inclusive for all students, regardless of gender. Other schools can adopt a similar way of instructing.
Source: Inside Higher Ed
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