About Dr. Gill

Dr. Rebecca Gill is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She earned her doctorate in political science at Michigan State University in 2008. 

Dr. Gill’s recent research focuses on gender, politics, and courts. Her work on judges and judicial institutions focuses on courts in the United States and Australia. She is the recipient of a multi-year National Science Foundation grant to study gender and race bias in performance evaluations of state judges. She is working on collaborative research projects involving judicial behavior on the U.S. Courts of Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the High Court of Australia. Dr. Gill’s research interests also include state law, state judicial selection, and comparative judicial institutions and behavior. 

In addition to this, Dr. Gill is heavily involved in issues of gender and intersectional equity in academia. Dr. Gill’s #MeToo story gained national media attention, and she remains dedicated to finding ways to combat sexual harassment and support survivors. Along with colleagues Stella Rouse (University of Maryland College Park), Libby Sharrow (UMASS Amherst), and Nadia Brown (Purdue University), Dr. Gill has been awarded a collaborative grant totaling $1,000,794 from the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program. The project, called “#MeTooPoliSci Leveraging A Professional Association to Address Sexual Harassment in Political Science,” capitalizes on the power that professional associations have to model, facilitate, and incentivize change in the climate and culture of the disciplines they serve through a substantial partnership with the American Political Science Association.  

Dr. Gill is co-author of Judicialization of Politics: The Interplay of Institutional Structure, Legal Doctrine, and Politics on the High Court of Australia (Carolina Academic Press, 2012). Her work has appeared in scholarly outlets including the Georgetown Law Journal; Law & Society Review; State Politics & Policy Quarterly; the Journal of Women, Politics, & Policy; the Ohio State Law Journal; and Politics, Groups, and Identities. Her work has been featured in a number of popular outlets, like the Washington Post, the LSE USCenter’s American Politics and Policy Blog, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog. For more information about her research and media appearances, please click here.


The American Judicial Performance Database


The JPE Research TeamPhoto Credit: R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Photo Services
The JPE Research Team
Photo Credit: R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Photo Services

The American Judicial Performance Database (AJPD) project aims to refine our understanding of implicit social cognition theory, especially as it applies to assessments of people in leadership positions. The substantive focus is on the assessment of judges in the American states; an important secondary effect is that policy-makers, judges, and the public will be able to evaluate the quality of judges on the bench, as well as the fairness, reliability, and validity of the instruments used to measure judicial performance. Graduate research assistants are assisting the PI with collecting and organizing judicial performance evaluation (JPE) results data from all states that have instituted this procedure. These data come from the judicial performance commissions in the various states and will be supplemented with original data on the background of the judges who were the subjects of these evaluations, as well as alternative measures of judicial performance. The supplementary data come from publicly-available sources and state freedom of information requests, where necessary.

This project is funded primarily by the Law & Social Sciences Program of the National Science Foundation (SES: 1354544). The dataset will also include information gathered in two previous projects. The first is a project with coauthor Sylvia R. Lazos, in which we collected early version of the data on judicial performance evaluations in Clark County, Nevada. That project was funded in part by the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). These data have been updated as part of the NSF-funded research project for inclusion in the AJPD. The second previous project was funded by a Faculty Opportunity Award in 2012 from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas through the Office of Research and Economic Development. That project, “Assessing Judicial Performance Evaluations for Race and Gender Bias,” provided a pilot study of judicial performance evaluations in Colorado. These data have also been updated as part of the NSF-funded research project for inclusion in the AJPD.

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