Exploring Women’s Experience in Ivy League Law School Classrooms

Emily Kindschy, Jeffrey Perrin, Jennifer O'Neil


This study seeks to explore the experiences of women in the law school classroom. Participants from an Ivy League law school were placed in focus groups and asked to reflect on their law classroom experiences as it pertained to their gender. Results indicated that in an environment that adheres to typical law school pedagogy – such as the Socratic method – women experienced a multitude of challenges within the classroom. The issues reported by the focus group participants generally fell into these five main themes: (1) concern about being perceived as overly emotional or speaking from experience, (2) apprehension about discussing women’s issues, (3) gender differences in participation and reinforcement, (4) gendered speech, and (5) differential treatment of female faculty members. This study demonstrates the need for an examination of pedagogical approaches to eradicate unfavorable learning environments for women in law school classrooms.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijsss.v2i4.482


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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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