Young Researcher Workshop: Legal Education as Empowerment: Chinese Females Going to Law Schools and Their Gendered Battle

Thursday, May 16, 2024
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Goldman Room, Encina Hall, E409

  • Hongyun Yu, Master of the Science of Law Student, Stanford Law School

Legal Education as Empowerment:  Chinese Females Going to Law Schools and Their Gendered Battle

Speaker: Hongyun Yu, Master of the Science of Law Student, Stanford Law School

In the gender ratio of newly enrolled undergraduate law students and barred lawyers in China, the number of women has approximately doubled that of men. How has this female-dominated trend formed, and how does it impact legal education, the legal profession, and legal knowledge? Utilizing field evidence from three law schools in China, this research attempts to interpret the gender transformations and dynamics within Chinese law schools, especially focusing on the process of female empowerment. Women enter this knowledge field and professional culture, traditionally seen as male-dominated and even discriminatory, because of gendered motivations. They construct their gender advantages while successfully challenging the labor gender division that suggests "women are unsuited for studying law" and the stereotype that they lack "legal rationality." Males exhibit two types of responses: the "cynical" and the "bystander," with the latter occasionally gaining an advantageous minority status in female-dominated law schools. The female-dominated structure also influences the "safe harbor" effect in law schools for gender minority and diverse gender students. This study transcends discrimination and male-centric power models, offering a pathway through which women shape legal education, transform the legal profession, and generate legal knowledge.

About the Workshops

The SCCEI Young Researcher Workshops are a bi-weekly series of presentations from scholars around campus who are working on issues related to China’s economy and institutions. The aim of the series is to bring together young scholars by providing a platform to present new research, get feedback, exchange ideas, and make connections. Each session features a single presenter who may present a new research plan, share results from preliminary data analyses, or do a trial run of a job talk or conference presentation. The Workshop Series is an opportunity to give and receive feedback on existing research, get to know other researchers around campus who are working on or in China, and be a testing ground for new ideas, data, and presentations.

Workshops are held every other Thursday from 1 - 2 pm. Afternoon refreshments will be provided! 

Visit the Young Researcher Workshops webpage for more information on the content and format of the series and to learn how to sign up to present.