Women now make up the majority of law students in the United States. At some schools, including the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where I teach part-time, women are significantly in the majority. Yet, studies show that women law students volunteer and speak less frequently in class than male students, something that my own experience confirms. I tell my students that participating in class will increase their grade; that it will better train them for being lawyers in the real world; that I value all contributions; and that their participating makes a big difference to the class experience for everyone, including me as the professor. Every semester, I experience the same result: a handful of students (mostly, but not exclusively, men) who regularly volunteer and who seem to enjoy speaking in class, a straggler group of occasional participants, and a number of students whose voice I never hear through the entire semester. In thinking through how to address this issue, a few possibilities emerge.
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