This course will provide a critical examination of the historical and contemporary treatment of women by and under the law. Areas of emphasis include the history of the women’s rights movement in the United States; federal constitutional constraints on gender based classification; and federal statutory restrictions on discrimination in employment and education. This course is open to all students and satisfies the certification requirement.
This course will provide an opportunity for students to achieve a theoretical grounding in the academic literature and empirical research on women and leadership and to develop personal insight and skills for exercising leadership. Class readings and discussion will focus on current theories and definitions of leadership, gender differences in leadership styles and current research on the legal, social and structural barriers to women assuming leadership positions in their communities, non-profit organizations, law, legal education, business, the judiciary, government and related societal sectors. The course will use case studies of women who have been trained as lawyers and their experiences in moving into leadership positions in these sectors. This course is open to all students and is a prerequisite for students who wish to apply to be selected as Fellows in the Women, Leadership & Equality Program. Course requirements include a substantial research paper, which may be written for certification.
This course will provide an opportunity for fellows to share their Practicum experiences and to explore the ethical and practical challenges to women exercising leadership in a variety of organizations including community groups, non-profit organizations, law, legal education, business, the judiciary, government and related societal sectors. Class readings and discussion will focus on the practical impediments to women in assuming leadership roles. Women lawyers who have achieved leadership positions will participate in the workshop and share their perspectives on the pressures, obstacles and dilemmas they faced in achieving their positions. Course requirements will include short research/writing assignments and class presentations.
Students who are accepted into the Women, Leadership & Equality Program as Fellows may earn academic credit by working for governmental and non-profit national or local organizations that focus on policy or legal issues affecting women. Students spend 12 or more hours per week during the semester working under the supervision of lawyers in these organizations on policy initiatives or providing direct legal services to women. Placements may include national organizations like the National Women's Law Center and local organizations like the House of Ruth, as well as state and federal agencies administering programs that advance women's social and legal equality and foster women in positions of leadership.
Goals: The Women, Leadership & Equality Program consists of a classroom component, a Fellows Program and a research component. The Program's goals include (1) offering courses that focus on the social, legal and structural barriers to women assuming leadership positions in community groups, non-profit organizations, law, legal education, business, the judiciary, government and related societal sectors; (2) developing a group of law students (Fellows) each year who become conversant, through academic study and field placement, in the issues facing women in terms of equality and assuming leadership in various sectors of society; (3) fostering and publicizing research by the faculty on women and leadership issues, as they relate to a variety of substantive areas of law, by creating a website and sponsoring conferences and symposia.
Selection of Fellows: Students interested in applying to become Fellows must take the Gender & Leadership Seminar in the Spring of their second year. They will complete an application process. A committee of faculty will select up to ten Fellows annually who demonstrate a strong intellectual interest in and commitment to women and leadership issues as indicated by their past experience and research and writing skills in the Gender & Leadership Seminar. Those Fellows will participate in a Workshop during their third year of law school. They will also assist faculty in the research component of the WLE Program by providing research assistance and by actively participating in website management and annual conference planning. Students who would like further information about becoming Fellows should contact Professor Paula Monopoli, Founding Director of the WLE Program.