Family Law Is Low-Prestige and Female-Dominated

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Family law is a relatively low-prestige, female-dominated field in the legal academy. Only 7.6% of law facility on the 1992-93 Faculty Appointments Register indicated a willingness to teach family law.^ In the 2002-2003 Association of Amercian Law Schools (AALS) Directory of Law Teachers, 59% of professors who reported teaching family law were women. That’s nearly double the 32% share of women law professors overall.^

The dominance of women in writing about family law is probably much greater than the female teaching share. Sex and gender are clearly recognized, central issues in family law. Among law journals included in a major electronic database of law journals and law reviews, ten have “women” or “feminism” as title words, while no law journals have “men” or “masculinism” as title words. Among 271 law professors who reported teaching courses containing the words “women,” “feminism,” “sex,” or “gender” in the 2003-4 AALS Directory of Law Teachers, 94% were women. No law professors reported teaching courses containing the worlds “men” or “masculinism.”

In the ordinary life of most persons, family law is far more significant than constitutional law. Constitutional law is a high-prestige, male-dominated field in the legal academy. The logic of legal academy prestige has little relation to real life. Family law is the experienced constitutional law of everyday life.

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