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Portia Unbound: The Effects of a Supportive Law School Environment on Women and Minority Students

52 Pages Posted: 9 May 2007 Last revised: 31 Oct 2013

Judith D. Fischer

University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Date Written: 1996

Abstract

This article reports a study of first-year students at Chapman University School of Law in the spring of 1996. A survey investigated how minority and all women students fared at a new law school with a student-supportive environment and a faculty that was more diverse than average. Student respondents reported that some women and minority students felt less competent in law school than before, but the percentage of such students was lower than the percentages in comparison studies. Some student respondents (although a lower percentage than in comparison studies) thought women and minority professors had a higher burden of proving competence than did white male professors. The students also reported a positive effect from having diverse role models on the faculty. The article concludes that minority and all women students were faring better in self-esteem and classroom involvement at Chapman than respondents in comparison studies. Two of the article's tables were misprinted and a large comparison table was erroneously omitted from the print version of the article. Please contact the author if you would like to see the correct tables.

Keywords: Law school, women, men, student, female, male, self-esteem, competent, female faculty, women professors, male faculty, professors, questions, participate in class, study, survey, minorities, law school, supportive

JEL Classification: I20, K10

Suggested Citation

Fischer, Judith D., Portia Unbound: The Effects of a Supportive Law School Environment on Women and Minority Students (1996). UCLA Women's Law Journal, Vol. 7, p. 81, 1996. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=984328

Judith D. Fischer (Contact Author)

University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ( email )

Wilson W. Wyatt Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
United States

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