May 17, 2005
Women Scholars and the HLR
Posted by Christine Hurt

My colleague Eric sent me this article to make me feel better about not having published in the Harvard Law Review (yet).  This article, written by three graduating HLS seniors, includes gender and race information on both the staffs of the HLR and the authors.  In volumes 116, 117, and 118, out of 93 authors, only 16 of those authors were women (17.2%).  (As a point of reference, the 2003 AALS statistics show that women make up 25.2% of full law professors, 46.1% of associate professors and 50.1% of assistant professors.) 

Worse for me, most of the pieces authored by women were solicited.  Of the pieces published that were received through the submission process, only two of the published pieces were written by women.  (However, the piece does not say overall how many pieces are published that are received through the submission process.  If only two unsolicited pieces a year are published, and one is by a woman, that's a different story than 5 to 1.)

The article makes a starker point about race though; out of the 93 pieces published, only six were authored by someone who is not white.

The article lists one author as "an international author."  I guess in other countries, they neither have gender nor race?

One last note.  According to the HLR website, the HLR has an anonymous selection process.  I would like to hear from someone who knows that to be the case in pratice.  How do expedite requests affect the anonymity?  Obviously, if the selection process is truly anonymous, these numbers would be interesting and lead to more questions.

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