But my concern doesn’t stem from the upcoming finals week, law school applications, or that first episode of the Gilmore Girls revival that I just watched (Rory, is that you?!). Rather, I’m worried about my future employment prospect as a female soon to be entering the legal field.
The ABA Journal published some positive news for women in law, reporting more women are attending law school. However, women are overrepresented at lower-ranked schools, perhaps due to law school admissions committees tending to focus on candidates’ LSAT scores. The Journal says, “women on average score lower than men on the test’s multiple-choice questions, even though women tend to have higher college GPAs than men.” This clearly disadvantages one gender and works in the favor of another.
I fit the Journal‘s description of an average female law school applicant. I have an above average GPA (it’s actually pretty darn good) and an LSAT score slightly above average that I feel does not represent my academic abilities or work ethic. I am more than a number, and I hope law schools recognize that.
Some of my consternation, however, cannot be soothed even once I am admitted to law school (in only a few more weeks, hopefully). I have an uphill battle to face, largely due to my demographic. While I am by no means oppressed, I will be in the minority as an under-30 female attorney.
In 2016, the American Bar Association reported 64 percent of all lawyers in the United States are male. That’s a heck of a lot better than 16 years ago, when 72 percent of all U.S. attorneys were male.
It also comes as no surprise to me that my age demographic once I graduate from law school and enter the legal field will be in the minority at 4 percent and that most of my colleagues will be ages 45-54.
I recognize this discrepancy is surely not unique to young female professionals, but frankly, I’m not sure how I’ll be able to relate to some of my future colleagues. I’m thankful my parents (who are 39 years older than me) provided me with the skills and wisdom to approach my superiors respectfully and with some common ground. I can recite James Taylor lyrics backwards and my parents know nearly every Taylor Swift lyric. We make a good team.
Above all, I hope I can make a positive contribution to the world I will enter in four years. I hope it will be welcoming. I hope I’ll be ready.
Until then, I’ll focus on my time left as a senior and keep on keeping on. 🙂