Women in Law


Anne Trebilcock

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1973


With women entering law in record numbers, law school curricula are changing to include a feminist perspective. Yet a great need remains for more feminist attorneys, jurists, and legislators. While law has lent itself to abuse by oppressive forces, it can be an aid in the liberation of women and other underrepresented groups. But isn't the problem of too few women lawyers taking care of itself? Granted, the female percentage of law students nationwide has more than doubled in the last five years. In the fall of 1972, 12,172 women were enrolled in 149 American Bar Association approved law schools. This is approximately the total number of women lawyers now in practice. However, women still constitute only a little over 10 percent of all law students. This marginal share could prove an ephemeral gain if steps are not taken to ensure a continuing upward trend. One wonders, too, if a threshold may be reached, limited by the pool of women whose self-image survived the damage of sexist childrearing so that they could even consider law as a possible career. Moreover, increasing the number of women will not mean much unless women who have discovered their feminism are prevalent among those admitted to law schools.



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