Becoming gentlemen: women, law school, and institutional change

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Beacon Press, Apr 30, 1997 - Law - 175 pages
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As a student at Yale Law School in 1974, Lani Guinier attended a class with a white male professor who addressed all the students, male and female, as "gentlemen." To him the greeting was a form of honorific, evoking the values of traditional legal education. To her it was profoundly alienating. Years later Guinier began a study of female law students with her colleagues, Michelle Fine and Jane Balin, to try to understand the frustrations of women law students in male-dominated schools. In Becoming Gentlemen Guinier, Fine, and Balin dare us to question what it means to become qualified, what a fair goal in education might be, and what we can learn from the experience of women law students about teaching and evaluating students in general. Including the authors' original study and two essays and a personal afterword by Lani Guinier, the book challenges us to work toward a more just society, based on ideals of cooperation, the resources of diversity, and the values of teamwork.

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Becoming gentlemen: women, law school, and institutional change

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The Socratic method of teaching is one factor contributing to the lack of success of women in law school, according to a study by Guinier with coauthors Michelle Fine and Jane Balin at the University ... Read full review


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About the author (1997)

Lani Guinier lectures widely on issues of civil rights, social justice, and democracy. Currently Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania, she will join the faculty at Harvard Law School, beginning in Fall 1998. The author of "The Tyranny of the Majority: Fundamental Fairness in Representative Democracy" and coauthor of "Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law Schools and Institutional Change, " she now lives in Philadelphia with her husband and son.

Michelle Fine is a Distinguished Professor of Social Psychology, Women's Studies and Urban Education at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She is the author of a long list of award-winning books in the fields of education and psychology, including "Framing Dropouts", "Becoming Gentlemen", and "Speedbumps: A Student Friendly Guide to Qualitative Research" and "The Unknown City", both with Lois Weis. She is also coeditor of NYU Press's Qualitative Studies in Psychology series.

Balin is assistant professor of sociology at Colgate University

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