From Supergirl to Invisible Woman: The Divide between Student Perception and Professional Reality in Corporate Legal Practice

Alternative Law Journal, Vol. 35, No. 3, p. 138, 2010

Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010/28

6 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2011

See all articles by Melissa Castan

Melissa Castan

Monash University - Faculty of Law

Jeannie Marie Paterson

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

While increasing numbers of women are studying law, females remain under-represented in the senior ranks of the legal profession. One factor influencing the participation of women in corporate legal practice is the dominant conception of the legal professional as a person with a single-minded commitment to the firm. Many law schools properly promote participation in the legal profession as a reason for studying law. However, the full story should also involve a discussion with students about the range of possible work options available to them in the law, and a commitment to promoting a range of representations of 'legal practice' in the law school culture. In this way, concern with the inevitable progression of super girl to invisible woman may be replaced by a critical analysis of the very structure of legal practice.

Keywords: supergirl, invisible woman, women, corporate legal practice, student perception, law firms, under-representation, gender, law schools

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K19, K31, K39, K40, K49

Suggested Citation

Castan, Melissa and Paterson, Jeannie Marie, From Supergirl to Invisible Woman: The Divide between Student Perception and Professional Reality in Corporate Legal Practice (2010). Alternative Law Journal, Vol. 35, No. 3, p. 138, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1930651

Melissa Castan (Contact Author)

Monash University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia

Jeannie Marie Paterson

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

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