The Women of Harvard Law Review

This article from the Chronicle of Higher Education talks about the striking gender imbalance on this year’s Harvard Law Review editorial board. The author, Carl Straumsheim, puts it like this:

The number of women editors this year fell to its lowest point in about two decades — even as the Harvard Law School itself nears gender parity. Of the law review’s 44 editors, only 9 are women. Women make up 48 percent of the class of 2015.

Apparently, the school is planning to address this by allowing for the consideration of gender in the selection of the 12 members chosen by a discretionary committee. But what is interesting to me (and unexplored in the article) is how the remaining editors are chosen:

Of the remaining 34 positions on the board, 20 are filled based on the results from the law school’s first-year writing test, and 14 on a combination of their grades and writing test results.

It is interesting to me how the women seem to be systematically unable to match the performance of their male counterparts on these measures. It must be at least partly the case that women are not achieving the top scores on the legal writing test–but why?

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