The Women and Men of Harvard Law School: Preliminary Results from the HLS Career Study

The Preliminary Report presents the results of the Harvard Law School Career Study (HLSCS), conducted by the school’s Center on the Legal Profession (CLP). Begun with a generous grant from a group of women alumnae in connection with the 55th celebration of the graduation of the school’s first female students in 1953, the study seeks to deepen the understanding of the career choices made by HLS graduates by providing for the first
time systematic empirical information about the careers trajectories of graduates from different
points in the school’s history. This report offers a first look at the Study’s findings about the salient similarities and differences between the careers of the school’s female and male graduates.

Limitations of findings

This is a study of the careers of students from a single law school—one that arguably occupies a
distinctive place in the marketplace. As a result, the experiences of Harvard Law School
graduates will undoubtedly differ in important ways from those of the graduates of other law
schools—just as the experiences of future graduates of all law schools are likely to differ from
those who have come before.

Nevertheless, it is hoped that this systematic look at the similarities and differences in the careers
of a group of women and men who have admittedly had unique opportunities to build successful
and satisfying careers will provide an important reference point for those seeking to ensure that
the legal profession achieves greater gender equality for all lawyers in the coming decades.

Link to the full report

Wilkins, David B. and Fong, Bryon and Dinovitzer, Ronit, The Women and Men of Harvard Law School: The Preliminary Results from the HLS Career Study (May 22, 2015). HLS Center on the Legal Profession Research Paper No. 2015-6.

Available at SSRN:

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