Thanks to Feminist Law Profs for putting HTUW on the recommended bookshelf, together with a great article by Marina Angel. “Women of All Colors Steered to Contingent Positions in Law Schools and Law Firms.” I’ve excerpted the abstract below.
The sexist division of labor in the academy (via the feminization of disciplines and the permatemping of majority female job descriptions) is hand-in-glove with similar racist and sexist trends in corporate and professional fields, as well as in the professional schools themselves. Angel notes that speed-up (ratcheting up job demands) in the best-paid sectors, paired with de-skilling and aggressive permatemping, has enormously gendered consequences for the division of professional labor:
A young woman graduating from law school at twenty-five loses her child bearing years if she goes for equity partner. Successful professional men are married with children. Successful professional women are too often unmarried and without children. Women who want a life are presented with several new options at law firms. They can go part-time, they can become permanent Associates, non-equity Partners, Of Counsel, Legal Specialists, non-partner Administrators, or members of the new expanding category of Contract Lawyers. Agencies now supply hundreds of temporary lawyers to large firms.
At the same time there are fewer and fewer equity partners, thereby upping the “earnings per equity partner.” The gap between the highest paid lawyers in a firm and the lowest paid has grown larger.
Law schools have also changed drastically in the last 30 years. Full time faculty now consist of a limited number of tenured and tenure track professors with an emphasis on multi-disciplinary and research expertise, growing numbers of full time specialized clinical, legal writing, and other skills teachers, expanding numbers of lower level administrators with some teaching responsibilities, and exploding numbers of adjuncts teaching both substantive and skills courses.
Status, money, and job security go to tenured and tenure track teachers. There are strong indications that this category is reverting back to being a white, male preserve. An individual will be hired as an entry level tenure-track Assistant Professor only with an already established publication record. Few women with family responsibilities can manage this. Additionally, highly qualified women of all colors are being steered to lower paying, lower status, less secure contract and at will positions.
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