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1 Berkeley Women's L.J. 39 (1985)
Portia in a Different Voice: Speculations on a Women's Lawyering Process

handle is hein.journals/berkwolj1 and id is 43 raw text is: Portia in a Different Voice:
Speculations on a Women's
Lawyering Process*
Carrie Menkel-Meadowt
INTRODUCTION
As a scholar of the legal profession, I have asked whether the
increased presence of women in the legal profession might lead to alter-
native ways of seeing what lawyers do and how they do it.' Will it be
simply that more lawyers are women, or will the legal profession be
transformed by the women who practice law? In recent years, two devel-
opments in feminist scholarship have offered insights which promise to
shed some light on that question. This essay explores some of the poten-
tial applications to law of these two developments in feminist scholarship
stated as speculative hypotheses for further study.2
The first of these developments in feminist scholarship is the self-
conscious observation of how women's entry into formerly male-domi-
nated fields has changed both the knowledge base of the field3 and the
This essay is a revised version of a paper presented to the annual meeting of the Law & Society
Association in Boston (June 7, 1984) and of talks delivered at the 15th National Conference on
Women & the Law in Los Angeles (March 29-31, 1984) and the Mitchell Lecture Series,
Faculty of Law & Jurisprudence, State University of New York at Buffalo (November 20,
1984). I gratefully acknowledge the research assistance of Susan Nash and Laurie Taylor and
the affiliational and intellectual support of Emily Abel, Grace Blumberg, Sheila Bob, Christine
Littleton, Kitty MacKinnon and Fran Olsen. In addition, I especially thank editors Donna
Peizer and Catherine Fisk for their extremely caring and responsible editing.
t Professor of Law, University of California, Los Angeles. A.B., 1971, Barnard College; J.D.,
1974, University of Pennsylvania.
I Menkel-Meadow, Women as Law Teachers Toward the Feminization of Legal Education, in
ESSAYS ON THE APPLICATION OF A HUMANISTIC PERSPECTIVE TO LAW TEACHING 16
(1981) [hereinafter cited as Menkel-Meadow, Women as Law Teachers]; Menkel-Meadow,
Women in Law?, 1983 AM. B. FOUND. RESEARCH J. 189.
2 C. Menkel-Meadow & G. Blumberg, A Research Proposal on the Impact of Women on the
Legal Profession and Law (1983) (a study-in-progress of how women behave as lawyers
designed to test empirically some of the hypotheses contained herein). (The proposal is on file
with the author).
3 A FEMINIST PERSPECTIVE IN THE ACADEMY: THE DIFFERENCE IT MAKES (E. Langland &
W. Gove eds. 1981); A. RICH, Toward a Woman-Centered University in ON LIES, SECRETS
AND SILENCE: SELECTED PROSE 1966-1978 125 (1979); Abel & Nelson, Feminist Studie
The Scholarly Is Political, 2 THE WOMEN'S REV. OF BOOKS 10 (vol. 4 Jan. 1985).

BERKELEY WOMEN'S LAW JOURNAL

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