3124  Gender/Women in the Legal Profession III: Gender and Careers in the Legal Academy

WG Comparative Studies of Legal Professions

Room: B2.02


The session combines papers which result from a current research project on gender and careers in the legal academy for which a publication in the Onati series at Hart publishing is prepared  (Sessions organized by Ulrike Schultz).


Chair: Ulrike Schultz | FernUniversität in Hagen

Maria da Gloria Bonelli | Federal University of Sao Carlos -Brazil

Women, difference and identities in the Brazilian legal professoriate


Full Paper




This paper focuses on how the fragmentation of higher education models and the diversification of the social composition of faculty through the incorporation of women and difference have changed the legal academy in Brazil. It examines if this process decenters the practice and the professional identity of legal professoriate at the same time that produces certain homogenization of teaching. The research links such dislocations and how they are sutured in the subjectivities, building a categorization of the identifications of the group. Methodologically, the study compares data provided through the National Higher Education Census in 2009 and 2014, focusing on law programs and faculty, as well as qualitative interviews with male and female legal academics on the meanings of these experiences.

Córa Hagino | CES/Unifoa

Gender and LGBT studies at Coimbra Law School: a sociology of absence?




The present research has as object of study the teaching of the Family and Minors Law course from the Coimbra Faculty of Law. The subject of this research is interdisciplinary, involving sociology, law and education. The main objective is to analyze if gender and LGBT studies are present or absence from family law classes with a focus on the educational codes: curriculum, pedagogy and evaluation. The legal education was studied through the perspective of Sociology of Absences from Boaventura de Sousa Santos. Methodologically, the following research techniques were used: documentary analysis; interview with a teacher of family law and participant observation in classes (theoretical and practical). In this investigation, it was observed the absence or shortage of current topics of Family Law as gender and LGBT studies. Concerning the Family and Minors Law classes, one notices that legal education in Coimbra Faculty of Law changes even more slowly than the changes in family legislation and families in the Portuguese society.

Harriet Silius | Åbo Akademi University

Inkeri Anttila, legal reformist and Scaninavian feminist of the 1960s




A third of women who studied law in the 1930s in Finland dropped out before the LLM-degree. Inkeri Anttila did not. She graduated rapidly and continued working first in the field of criminal law. After earning her doctorate as the first woman in 1946, she worked as a teacher in higher education and became the first woman to be appointed to a full professorship in 1961. Many legal scholars at this highest level of professorship remained within the “ivory tower” of academia, but not Inkeri Anttila. She became an important reformer of Finnish law, both as an expert and as a practitioner. Her engagement in feminist activities of the 1960s are still corner stones of the welfare society Finland at that time gradually turned in to. How was this possible for a married woman with three children? The paper explores the career of Inkeri Anttila and investigates what time, class, societal context implied in her case.

Hilary Sommerlad | University of Leeds

The reasonable man and how patriarchal discourses persist in the feminised legal academy




Starting from around the early 1980s, the legal academy in England and Wales has undergone a number of dramatic changes, ranging from the diversification of the demographic profile of its student body to the influence of new critical discourses and pedagogical innovations.  We can see the mass entry of outsiders, and most particularly women, into the academy as a moment of contestation of the symbolic order: it is notable that within the general intellectual challenge to traditional legal epistemologies, the role played by Legal feminism  was particularly significant in changing the legal academy.
This paper will argue, however, that beneath the surface changes, patriarchal culture has remained hegemonic.  Conceptualising culture as a system of inherited conceptions – ‘a web of significance man himself has spun’ (Geertz, 1973: 89) – which is essentially semiotic in nature and therefore expressed and reproduced through shared language, rituals, dress codes etc, the paper will argue that the naturalisation of this culture obscures its masculine and patriarchal nature,  until exposed through feminist challenge.  Drawing on an incident which recently took place in a UK law school, the paper will reflect on some of the mechanisms which facilitate its survival.  This will include the discursive mobilisation of such traditional motifs as freedom of speech; the transformation of the critic/ victim into the oppressor, and the new subjectivities which the neo-liberal, managerialist academy has produced, enabling the co-option of those who were once critics of patriarchal ideology.
The paper will conclude by considering how the current anti-feminist climate works to reinforce patriarchal culture's hegemonic position – even at moments of critical exposure such as are occurring now following the Weinstein revelations.

Jan Kober | Charles University, Prague / Institute of State and Law of the Czech Academy of Sciences

The Position of Women in the Czech Legal Academia between 1945 and 2015




The paper researches the emergence and the development of the position of women teachers in the legal academia of the Czech part of the former Czechoslovakia (1945-1992) and later of the Czech Republic (1993-2015). Based on archival researches and on oral history interviews, the paper focuses on the dynamics and obstacles of the legal scholarship and teaching careers of women. The number of women law teachers in the Czech legal academia raised especially during the late 1970s and during the 1980s. The following decades of large personal changes in legal academia led rather to conservation of the share of women and men at the existing and traditional institutions. On the other hand, the presence of women at newer or newly established institutions increased. The paper delivers the analysis of causes of such development.



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