Ms. Caporusso’s letter in your fall issue calling my classmate Mr. Schnadig’s claim that he saw no law school discrimination against women “simply ridiculous” should not go unchallenged.
With the important exception that the law school did not accept women until 1950, all examples of discrimination cited by Ms. Caporusso relate to finding a job or being admitted to the bar. If anything, Ms. Caporusso’s examples indicate that law schools did not discriminate even if the job market did: Justice Ginsburg graduated in the top of her class, and Ms. Estrich was president of the Law Review.
That less than 5 percent of our 1964 class is female is certainly prima facie evidence of discrimination by the law school. However, in the classroom, the only discrimination I observed was in Barton Leach’s 1L property class, when he held “Ladies’ Day” and called only on women. That aside, the HLS classroom experience was equally disagreeable to all, regardless of gender. I cannot address instances of law school discrimination outside the classroom, because I never met any of our female members. However, some discrimination apparently worked in reverse. My classmate Judith Richards Hope, writing in the Bulletin some years back, stated that she was invited to dinner by some of our professors. This is strikingly different from my experience and that of all my friends in the Class of ’64. Our outside contact was zero.
Whether women in our class faced law school discrimination is, of course, best known to them. I do not pretend to speak for them and apologize in advance if they find my opinion ill considered.