In 2011, the New York Law School Law Review launched its Law Review Diversity research project examining gender and minority diversity among law review membership and leadership at ABA law schools nationwide. This research builds upon the 2010 survey conducted by Ms. JD, an organization dedicated to the success of women in law school and the legal profession.
In its 2010-2011 Law Review Diversity Report
) NYLS found, based on self-reported data collected from law reviews in two samples, that law reviews at schools having a high percentage of female full-time faculty and at law schools having a high percentage of minority full-time faculty on average had significantly greater gender diversity among their 2010-2011 student membership and leadership, as well as a higher rate of female EICs, than law reviews at schools ranked in the Top 50 by U.S. News & World Report, which were surveyed by Ms. JD in 2010. Ms. JD reported in 2010 that the representation of women in editor-in-chief positions at law reviews at schools ranked in the Top 50 by U.S. News was “disproportionately low” as compared to those law reviews’ female membership.
In each of the three measures used in Ms. JD’s 2010 survey (i.e., rates of female law review membership and leadership, and gender of the EIC), law reviews in the two NYLS samples significantly outperformed those in the Top 50 sample. Read the full report here
Although the NYLS survey was limited in scope, the results suggest areas to explore in identifying factors driving or inhibiting diversity on law reviews, including any correlation between law school rankings, faculty diversity, or other factors and achievement of female students and students who identify as persons of color. Its 2011-2012 survey, now underway, will be sent to the general interest law review or journal at all ABA law schools.
Armed with this information, law schools and the wider legal education community will be in a better position to consider changes to ensure that all law students get the most out of the educational opportunities law school offers. Toward that end, the New York Law School Law Review
has posted its “diversity profile
, provided in the interest of transparency and the hope that other law reviews may do the same.