Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Kortegast, Carrie A.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


The purpose of this study was to understand how women law professors navigate the gendered organizational realm of law school. Stories of women’s experience illuminate structures within the gendered organization of the law school that reproduce gendered inequities. By understanding how these inequities are reproduced, we may learn how to create more equitable structures. This research thus provided an opportunity for women law professors to tell their stories, thereby giving voice to their experiences within the gendered organizations of law schools.

This study used the qualitative approach of narrative inquiry to explore participants’ experiences. Eight women law professors, either tenured or tenure-track faculty, participated in this research. Their personal stories were collected through lengthy one-on-one interviews, artifact collection, and field notes. The data was then transcribed, and open coding was used to identify patterns. The data collected was examined using Acker’s Gendered Organizations theory, with higher education and law analyzed as gendered professions.

The findings centered around the fact that gender still mediates the lives of women law professors. Four main themes emerged from the data: gendered assignment of workloads; the feminization of work in the Pink Ghetto of legal education; gendered expectations of students; and the disproportionate responsibility of childcare and family obligations falling more heavily to women than men. The study concludes by discussing how this research adds empirical data to the literature surrounding women professors in legal education and offers recommendations to law schools and other women professors.


211 pages




Northern Illinois University

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