Where are the Women? Not Among 80+% of Illinois Law Review Authors

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Looking at the professional articles (not student notes)  published by the Illinois Law Review in years 2007, 2008 and 2009, I count:

  • 72 total articles published
  • 90 total authors published
  • 10 single-author articles published by women
  • 6 multiple-author articles with a female co-author

In other words, 13.88% of all articles published by the Illinois Law Review during this period were  written solely by  women. 17.77% of all authors published by the Illinois Law Review during this period were female.

Happenstance?   Maybe.   But by asking the questions and examining the article selection process, one can arrive at a more informed answer.

In Of Authorship and Audacity: An Empirical Study of Gender Disparity and Privilege in the ‘Top Ten’ Law Reviews, Minna Kotkin studies authorship by gender in 15 “top” law reviews over a 3-year period.   She finds that the percentage of female authors in this group is 20.4%, suggesting “there is at least the possibility of gender bias.”   Kotkin compares this to the percentage of tenure-track teachers who are female (44%).

Comparing my results to Professor Kotkin’s, Illinois publishes even fewer women than the average journal in her study, and that average journal didn’t publish female authors at a rate even close to their percentage of tenure-track faculty.

This “Where are the Women” series is very discouraging.   Is any journal listening?

-Bridget Crawford

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3 Responses to Where are the Women? Not Among 80+% of Illinois Law Review Authors

  1. rhandrich says:

    I’ve been listening although I edit a non-traditional digital journal. As Editor of The Jury Expert, I pay attention to not only gender, but age, ethnicity and academic background in the selection of authors and what we call ‘respondents’ in our publication. The goal is to have a diverse voice (which reflects the diverse jury pool) and to offer practical ideas that improve litigation advocacy.

    So I read this post and I thought “I wonder if my intent is actually reflected in my numbers?” and so I went back and counted up the articles we’ve published in the past 7 issues of The Jury Expert. I counted any female author or co-author as a woman author and then added up the total number of pieces.

    We have published 51 articles and had 25 women authors for a 49% rate of women authors. I did not include my trial consultant respondents to articles because I did not want to unfairly skew the numbers.

    And I’m relieved! We are actually walking the walk and not just talking the talk. We would welcome submissions to our trial skills journal from Feminist Law Profs. Where are the women? They are in The Jury Expert! http://www.astcweb.org/public/publication/

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