5 questions with Dean Janet Levit

Friday, March 08, 2013

Published in the Tulsa World, Friday, March 8, 2013

By Rod Walton
Tulsa World

Janet Levit is dean of The University of Tulsa College of Law. She attended Yale University, where she received a law degree and a master's degree in International Relations.

1: What's behind the boom in women going to law school?

I question whether it's appropriate to characterize this point in time as a "boom."
Three decades ago, women accounted for only about a third of law student enrollment. During the next two decades, the number of women in law school increased significantly, and percentages of women entering law school classes in 2000 and 2001 were just shy of 50 percent. This increase likely reflected growing rates of women graduating from college, overall progress in gender equity and a steady increase in women entering the legal profession.
However, in the past decade, the percentage of women entering law school has started to decline. Nationally, women accounted for 46.7 percent of all law students entering in 2011. At the TU College of Law, our entering classes have consisted of 40 percent female for the past three years.

2: Are there particular areas of practice that women seem drawn to?

Today, women are drawn to every area of the law - public, private and nonprofit. The TU law school resident faculty is 42 percent female, and our women professors teach a variety of courses areas - corporate law, criminal law, employment law, energy law, constitutional and international law.
TU women students currently fill the three top editorial positions on the Energy Law Journal, as well as the top position on the Tulsa Law Review.