Where Have All the Women Gone? The Gender Gap in Supreme Court Clerkships

45 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2006 Last revised: 9 Dec 2012

See all articles by David H. Kaye

David H. Kaye

PSU - Penn State Law (University Park); ASU - College of Law & School of Life Sciences

Joseph L. Gastwirth

George Washington University - Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Date Written: October 1, 2009

Abstract

In the world of American law, a Supreme Court a clerkship is a position desired by many but attained by few, particularly when it comes to women and minorities. Although women make up nearly half of all law students, they constitute only about a third of all Supreme Court clerks. This article examines the flow of aspiring clerks from law school to the Justices’ chambers in recent years in an effort to locate bottlenecks that lead to this gender gap. It also analyzes whether the Justices, as a group or as individuals, hire fewer women than would be expected in a random draw from a pool of men and women with comparable credentials. We find that some Justices hire fewer women than our simple model would predict, while others hire somewhat more. There are many possible explanations for this pattern, and we discuss several of them.

Keywords: Supreme Court, law clerks, gender, discrimination, statistics, multiple hypothesis testing

JEL Classification: C12, C19

Suggested Citation

Kaye, David H. and Gastwirth, Joseph L., Where Have All the Women Gone? The Gender Gap in Supreme Court Clerkships (October 1, 2009). Jurimetrics, Vol. 49, No. 4, 2009, Penn State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=944058

David H. Kaye (Contact Author)

PSU - Penn State Law (University Park)

Lewis Katz Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.personal.psu.edu/dhk3/index.htm

ASU - College of Law & School of Life Sciences ( email )

111 E Taylor St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.personal.psu.edu/dhk3/index.htm

Joseph L. Gastwirth

George Washington University - Columbian College of Arts and Sciences ( email )

Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-6458 (Phone)
202-994-6917 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.gwu.edu/~stat/gastwirth.html

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
328
Abstract Views
4,137
rank
115,143
PlumX Metrics