Date of Award

Spring 2010

Project Type


Program or Major

Justice Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Ellen S Cohn


This study examines the experiences of female attorneys and law students with respect to gender bias. Contemporary evaluations indicate that while women comprise approximately 50% of the job force, they are significantly underrepresented in management positions and continue to be paid less than men; this is especially true in the legal field. Thirty-five in-depth interviews were conducted, 25 with women who had obtained a juris doctorate and 10 with female law students. Women discussed their experiences in the legal field relative to law school, expectations for their careers, media influences, gender discrimination and harassment. Qualitative analysis revealed that pregnancy was the most salient issue that participants felt women still faced with regard to equality in the workplace. Women felt that gender bias in the workplace is increasingly subtler, and consequently more difficult to identify and combat. Additionally, while many women described experiences with gender discrimination or harassment, few labeled their experiences as such.