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Study Reveals More Women Have Law Degrees, But Fewer Jobs

Study Reveals More Women Have Law Degrees, But Fewer Jobs

A new study reveals concerns for women in the legal world, because although women obtain nearly half the seats in today's law schools, the pipeline to job prospects has some leaks.

The poignantly titled study, "Leaky Pipeline for Women Entering the Legal Profession" reveals that not only do fewer women get admitted into law school then men, but they attend schools with significantly worse job placement rates than men.

This means women "start at a disadvantage" that may well continue throughout their professional lives, according to Deborah J. Merritt, co-author of the study.

These leaks seem to be new and growing. When the American Bar Association first collected detailed employment data, there was a correlation between a school's gender composition and its job outcomes. The relationship was considerably smaller than it is today, as noted in the study.

But some law schools, like Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, have taken active steps to recruit more women, according to The New York Times.

In 2013, the entering class shrank to 38 percent women — a drop from 45 percent the previous year.

"We noticed the dip in women and it was very disconcerting," said the school's dean, Nancy Staudt. "We have stepped up our efforts through social media and other means, to talk to those considering law school and those who have been accepted, and we try to find the right fit for them."

Washington University's current 2016 class is 50 percent women, says Staudt. More deans are following suit, having more hands-on recruiting efforts to further combat this problem.

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