Abstract Title

So, Your Lawyer is A Lady? Attorney Gender and Judicial Decision Making at the U.S. Courts of Appeals

Disciplines

American Politics | Courts | Judges | Law and Gender | Legal Profession | Litigation

Abstract

An attorney’s ability to successfully litigate on behalf of their clients is of paramount importance. While women are entering the legal profession in larger numbers every year, they are less successful than their male counterparts. Coupled with reports of gender bias in the courtroom, female attorneys are seemingly at an automatic disadvantage. This raises questions about how equal justice under law is. In this early iteration of my senior thesis, I explore how attorney gender influences judicial decision-making at the U.S. Courts of Appeals utilizing data from 373 sex discrimination cases. I find female attorneys are less likely to succeed, unless they are arguing in front of a panel with at least one female judge. These results suggest that an attorney’s gender is an important component of judicial decision-making and the gendered composition of judicial panels and attorneys should become a part of future research on judicial behavior.

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Poster #W5

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So, Your Lawyer is A Lady? Attorney Gender and Judicial Decision Making at the U.S. Courts of Appeals

An attorney’s ability to successfully litigate on behalf of their clients is of paramount importance. While women are entering the legal profession in larger numbers every year, they are less successful than their male counterparts. Coupled with reports of gender bias in the courtroom, female attorneys are seemingly at an automatic disadvantage. This raises questions about how equal justice under law is. In this early iteration of my senior thesis, I explore how attorney gender influences judicial decision-making at the U.S. Courts of Appeals utilizing data from 373 sex discrimination cases. I find female attorneys are less likely to succeed, unless they are arguing in front of a panel with at least one female judge. These results suggest that an attorney’s gender is an important component of judicial decision-making and the gendered composition of judicial panels and attorneys should become a part of future research on judicial behavior.