Skip to main content
Unpublished Paper
Gender and the Legal Profession: The Michigan Alumni Data Set 1967-2000
ExpressO (2008)
  • Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt
  • Marc S. Galanter
  • Kaushik Mukhopadhaya, Emory University
  • Kathleen E. Hull, University of Minnesota

The entry of women into the legal profession has forever changed both lawyers and the profession. In the brief period since the 1970’s, women have gone from a few brave pioneers constituting 3% of the bar to almost half of all new law students and a third of practicing attorneys. Women have brought to the profession a different set of assets and problems than men, focusing attention on the problem of balancing work and family in a way not previously experienced by the profession. In this study, we use the University of Michigan Law School Alumni Data Set to undertake an empirical analysis of the impact of this transformation in gender composition on the legal profession and the differences that gender makes in the careers and lives of attorneys. We examine differences between the genders in their personal and family characteristics, experiences in law school, career aspirations, types of practice, areas of specialty, hours of work, promotion to partnership, income earned, satisfaction with family, satisfaction with work/family balance and satisfaction with career. With regular survey responses from Michigan alumni from 1967 until the present, the University of Michigan Law School Alumni Data Set provides a unique opportunity to examine these questions since it covers much of the relevant time period and is rich both in the number of observations and the information recorded on each respondent. Our findings present a detailed picture of the problems and successes on men and women as they strive for success both in their careers and their family lives.

  • Gender,
  • Legal Profession,
  • Legal Education,
  • Income,
  • Satisfaction
Publication Date
February 22, 2008
Citation Information
Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt, Marc S. Galanter, Kaushik Mukhopadhaya and Kathleen E. Hull. "Gender and the Legal Profession: The Michigan Alumni Data Set 1967-2000" ExpressO (2008)
Available at: