Women at Thomas Jefferson School of Law

May 2014 Valedictorian Kimberly Roth

The Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecture Series and the annual Women and the Law Conference are only two aspects of the important role of women at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. At Thomas Jefferson, faculty, administration, staff and students work together to create a unique learning atmosphere in which women are given the opportunity to excel.

Empirical research demonstrates that female students at many other law schools may not perform as well as male students who entered law school with comparable academic credentials. The same is not true of women who choose to attend Thomas Jefferson. In recent years, approximately half of our student population has been women. Seven of the last ten valedictorians have been women and in recent graduating classes, women have made up approximately one-half of the summa cum laude and magna cum laude graduates. In 2011, seventy percent of the summa cum laude graduates were women. Female law students also are chosen for positions of honor by their peers. Women always have a significant presence on the managing board of the Thomas Jefferson Law Review.

A Law School Admission Council study ranked Thomas Jefferson eleventh in the nation for percentage of women on the faculty, but this number does not tell the whole story. Many law schools have increased the number of female faculty members they have hired. Recent studies indicate that these women are often hired into non-tenure track, lower-paying and lower prestige jobs. At Thomas Jefferson, however, women have long comprised approximately one-half of the tenured, tenure track, and emeritus professors. Few, if any, law schools in the country have come close to matching this consistently high percentage of successful female faculty members.

Finally, almost one-third of the full-time Thomas Jefferson faculty members include gender as a special focus of their research and teaching. Their scholarship includes articles and books on workplace sex discrimination; women and human rights law; gay, lesbian, transgender and other sexual identity issues; women migrants; sexual privacy issues; women’s treatment by the medical profession; assisted reproductive technologies; sex slavery and trafficking; the intersection of gender, race and intellectual property; and women’s rights and cultural groups.