The Role of Lawyers’ Gender in Today’s French judicial system

  • Introduction 

According to a report from the French Ministry of Justice, the number of women lawyers has increased dramatically in the last decades. In 2009, women were for the first time more numerous than men in the profession. In 2019, women represented 56,4% of French lawyers, while they were still a minority in other legal careers: 48% of the total number of notaries, and only 27,4% of judicial auctioneers. However, this finding is not isolated amid justice: more and more judges are also women. In 2017 already, they represented 66% of the field. We can therefore describe this phenomenon as being a general tendency, commonly referred to as the “feminization of justice”. In this essay, we decided to determine whether or not the increase in the number of women in the judicial field represents a decline in gender inequalities in France. This issue was explored by sociologists such as Mustapha Mekki, whose work is one of the bases of this essay. To explore our subject, we will use a different and more restricted insight, focusing on the law profession. Our research is based on field observations in French Courts. We went to the judiciary Court of Paris, as well as to both the judiciary Court and Tribunal des Prud’hommes in Reims. Our research presents a set of quantitative and qualitative data collected by each of us during these observations. Since one of the writers of this paper, Ananya does not speak French, it limited her ability to understand the actual proceedings of the case. However, because of this limit, she was able to truly focus on body language, gestures as well as the way the lawyers acquit themselves. This helped us better understand the professional relations between men and women. To discuss the potential persistence of gender-based inequalities in the lawyer profession, we articulated our essay following two main parts. Firstly, based on our observations, we explore more deeply the feminization of the lawyer profession. We define it as being a “social fact” and try to determine if there is a gender-based distribution of judicial cases among lawyers. Secondly, we focus on the gender inequalities which remain in the professional relations between lawyers, and we wonder what factors could explain them. Finally, as a conclusion, we study the sociological implications of our research on the macro level.

I/ The feminization of the lawyer profession and the decrease of gender inequalities in treatment

1-  The feminization of the lawyer profession as a social fact testifying of a decreasing gender-based inequality

To answer our question about feminization and inequalities in the law profession, we went to different courts. In each court, we observed trials on different topics: correctional trials, immediate appearances, and claims opposing firms, or individual citizens. We also discussed with some lawyers the feminization of the profession, and their experience concerning the possible inequalities that women can be subjected to. In this part, we will focus on the percentage of women we observed in each court and prove that our conclusion is supported by previous studies on the same subject, such as Mustapha Mekki’s work. Firstly, we went to the judiciary Court of Reims situated in the center of the city. The judiciary Court is specialized in civil disputes, generally opposing two private agents who are not attributed by the law to another civil jurisdiction, in other words treating cases related to the penal field. In the judiciary Court, decisions are made by a collegial group, composed of three judges. We went as well to the judiciary Court of Paris, situated in the 17th arrondissement of the city. As regards the tribunal of Prud’hommes, situated in rue Chanzy in Reims, the court specializes in judging individuals’ disputes caused by an employment contract of private right, in other words, cases related to the industrial and professional fields. In both kinds of court, each individual, or company, is represented by one lawyer. To have the most significant and representative sample possible, we went to the courts at different times of the day, which corresponds to different kinds of trials: in the judiciary Court for example, the civil disputes take place in the morning, and the correctional trials in the afternoon. It is a way to be more certain about the conclusion that we can draw. Since the feminization of the judicial profession is the starting point of this research, we must demonstrate that we did see a significantly higher number of women lawyers than of men lawyers during our observations. We will thus detail our findings for each court. After sharing our notes we computed the number of lawyers we saw, differentiating them according to their gender, to see if there is a predominance of women in the profession. In total during the trials, we saw 31 lawyers whose 25 were women and only 6 were men. Thus, if we convert these numbers into percentages, we obtain significant results: 80,6% of the lawyers that we saw were women and only 19,4% were men. Therefore, there are three times more women in the law profession than men. This answers positively our previous question about the feminization of the lawyer profession. Nevertheless, if there is for sure a feminization of the judicial branch, our results have to be nuanced. Indeed, the proportion of women in the profession can change across cities, and we could not of course observe the total number of lawyers in Reims. During our study, we saw 31 lawyers, whereas 266 lawyers are currently active in the city. Thus, our sample shows that there is a feminization of the profession, but we cannot conclude that 80% of lawyers in Reims or France are women. Indeed, based on previous calculations on this topic made by “le Barreau d’avocats de Paris”, 56,4% of lawyers are women whereas ten years ago only 50% of lawyers were women. These percentages help us to assume that there is an increasing number of women lawyers in the last few years. As mentioned in the introduction of this paper, Mustapha Mekki did conduct a study relative to the feminization of the judicial profession. He explained that this phenomenon was also correlated with the fact that there was an increase in women who came to get a professional jobs. Indeed, for a long time, women were meant to be housewives: they were assigned to take care of children and the house. Based on different socialization and previous social norms women were traditionally allocated to reproductive and domestic labor within the household. However, these social norms and the general society’s mentality concerning women progressively changed. In the 1960s women started to get professional jobs, which also impacted the judicial sector. Thus, the feminization of the law profession appears as being a social phenomenon exceeding the individual in itself. Even if it is, of course, the women’s studies and competencies that bring them to become lawyers, we consider the dramatic increase in the number of women among lawyers as being first and foremost the result of exterior factors, marking the evolution of the social perception of women. In other words, the evolution of women’s role in society. In Suicide, a Study in Sociology, Durkheim makes the same conclusion about suicide. About this social phenomenon, he explains that it “does not principally depend upon the congenital qualities of individuals but upon causes exterior to and dominating them”. Thus, as Durkheim does with suicide, we will consider the feminization of the lawyer profession as a “social fact” to establish a link between the conclusions drawn from our observations, on the micro level, to a general statement on society, on the macro level. By discussing with women lawyers that we saw during our observation, we have realized that the lawyer profession is not the only judicial profession that experienced a significant increase in the relative number of women. Indeed, as they explained, more and more women become judges, which contributes to reducing the inequalities in numbers of treatment between women and men lawyers. One of the women lawyers who was working for more than thirty years discussed with us the phenomenon of feminization of the profession, and the evolution of inequalities. She argued that, since the beginning of her career, she saw an ever-increasing number of women integrating into the profession. She added that this feminization was also a way to reduce inequalities since it makes the work of women lawyers appear as more credible and valuable than before. Therefore, the increasing number of women lawyers would testify to the progressive disappearance of gender-based inequalities in the law profession.

2- The absence of a gender-based distribution of judicial cases among lawyers

To assert this finding, we found it interesting to determine whether or not there is a distinction based on gender in the distribution of judicial cases between lawyers. An increase in the number of women in the law profession does not necessarily mean a decrease in gender inequality if we take the example of the attribution of cases. This interrogation is founded on the concept of occupational segregation: the traditional assumption, which we will discuss later, that women tend to be for example more present in professions involving contact with people while men are more oriented towards commercial and financial matters, due to their over-representation in the mathematical and scientific studies. Bourdieu calls such determined inclinations the habitus: women tend to develop expectations according to their gender-based position in the social structure and restrain their objectives depending on what is possible for them at the society’s level. Then, their taste is conditioned by society. Then, we make the hypothesis that women are more assigned to civil cases, which are more related to human relations, and men to professional cases, involving conflicts between firms or within them. Our supposition concerning the repartition of cases naturally leads us to expect that we will find more women in the judiciary Court and more men in the Court of Prud‘hommes. However, our diverse observations in both courts, the Judiciary Court and the Court of Prud’hommes testify that, on the contrary, the distribution of cases does not depend on the gender of the lawyer. Indeed, following our observations, we counted 7 women and 4 men in the judiciary court, while we observed that 18 women and 2 men were pleading in the tribunal of Prud’hommes. These results do not significantly support our hypothesis, since the relatively small number of men observed in the Court of Prud’hommes can be attributed to the feminization of the lawyer profession we previously discussed. Furthermore, if this result was significant enough to be considered in our research, it would show the exact reverse of what we wanted to assert, namely the over-representation of women in the industrial and professional cases in the Tribunal des Prud’hommes. To further support our finding, which is the apparent absence of gender inequalities in the distribution of cases, we discussed with three different women lawyers to give us their opinion on this subject. Through these informal discussions, they all agreed that no distinctions were made in the repartition of different cases. They explained that the repartition is usually made randomly when a new case arrives in the cabinet: the lawyer with the less work at the moment takes it and then constructs a defense for the client. Moreover, our assumptions are supported by the work of Mme. la Bâtonnière Laurence Junod-Fanget, who conducted research on gender equality in the lawyer profession at the Barreau de Lyon, a city situated in the south of France. By asking a large sample of lawyers in the town, she came to the following percentage concerning the proportion of men and women lawyers concerning social rights: 25% of women were assigned to social rights against 21% of men. Because these results do not indicate a significant difference, just like ours, they support our conclusion that there is no distinction based on gender concerning the repartition of cases. Thus, this first phase of our study leads us to consider that the law profession is exempt from any formal inequality. We understand formal inequality as a significant difference in representation or treatment based on gender, and that can be empirically proven statistically. Indeed, we have seen that nowadays women are more numerous than men in the law profession and that no gender distinctions are made concerning the repartition of cases. This positive conclusion decided us to go further by analyzing lawyer behaviors during trials, and discussing with lawyers inequalities in a broader sense. By discussing the repartition of the cases more broadly, women lawyers state that in the commercial tribunal, which we had not the opportunity to go to during our observation, cases are often more assigned to men lawyers because they are considered more competent in financial affairs than women. We will not further discuss these results since they are not part of our research and observations; however these statements lead us to nuance our conclusion about the “perfect equality” between both genders, men and women in the law profession, since as we mentioned previously, our findings are limited by the restricted number of Courts in which we could lead our observations. The very consideration that women are less valuable and competent to defend clients in the commercial tribunal shows that inequalities are still present within the lawyer profession. In this research, we understand gender as a social and symbolic system, which means that it is a definite social order involving a distinction and hierarchy between the sexes. To deepen our study on gender-based inequality, we are going to analyze in the second part of this essay the lawyers’ behavior we could observe. We will use it to verify our hypothesis. Indeed, we consider each of our observations on lawyers not as being individual characteristics, but rather the result of a social system; not a single anomaly but the production of society itself. This is also the assumption of Bourdieu’s concept of habitus: as we explained, the women lawyers’ behavior we are going to study is both a characteristic of their gender as a whole and an individual trait. The lawyers’ habitus is both shaped by society and contributing to shaping it; they are both determined by society and determining it. We study a social fact translated by individual behaviors: our research is thus not only significant at the individual level but also at the level of society. Thus, we will study individual behaviors to wonder if the decrease of formal gender inequalities in representation and cases’ attribution is proof of a real and significant withdrawal of gender inequalities in the law profession. 

II) The persistence of informal gender-based inequalities as a result of a gender-differentiated socialization 

1- The gender-based inequalities in professional relations

However, more informally, women still have to prove their legitimacy as lawyers. This statement is the result of our observations of different trials, both of men lawyers’ and women’s lawyers’ advocacies. Even though, of course, there is no formal discrimination institutionalized in the law, it nevertheless still exists. In a study carried out in 2019, it was found that even though 66% of the total associates in large firms in France were women, only 33% of them were in a partner position. So was the case a few years ago when 52.7% of associates in large firms in Paris were women out of which only 12.5% were partners. As is evident, there is a continuous gender-based disparity. The reason behind this discrepancy is the ever-present glass ceiling effect. This phenomenon is aptly named to showcase how minorities, and particularly women, can be significantly represented in a profession at the same level as men but will be far less numerous in the top ranks of management in large corporations. As an example, in the academic field, women are overrepresented among undergraduate and master’s students (57%) but then gradually disappear, until being only 14,8% among chief academic officers and University provosts. Such a phenomenon is common in many sectors, including the law profession. Therefore 

Thus, research shows that men with more than five years at the Bar have twice more chances to become a partner as women. There are certain competencies, qualities, and abilities that a candidate needs to fulfill to attain a position. Even still, the assessment of their fulfillment is subjective, owing to the lack of transparency, and can be influenced by gender-based prejudice: as a result, men will generally be preferred for top positions. Because of such prejudice, which we will detail later in this essay, women lawyers often explain that they have to prove their competence more than men to feel legitimate. To collect empirical evidence for this assertion, we discussed this topic with women lawyers in the context of our observations. One of them told us that she had been the target of remarks or behaviors aiming to make her appear less credible than men. In addition, we could assert the merits of this assertion during one of our observations in the Tribunal des Prud’hommes. The male lawyers, sitting in the gallery, were snickering and making disrespectful remarks mocking the fact that their female colleague went over the time that she had been allotted for her statement. They rolled their eyes at the lawyer and acted contemptuously in open court, while their behavior could be noticed by anyone assisting the trial. This clearly shows that even though there are no inequalities by law, that does not mean that women do not face discrimination.

To see the true effect of the glass ceiling, we chose to draw a comparison between France and Switzerland. We chose Switzerland to draw a comparison with France because it is another European country that follows the civil law system, and also because even though it has less number of female lawyers than France, it still poses better opportunities for women to become partners. This factor helps us in understanding the extent to which the glass ceiling effect is pertinent to French female lawyers. In Switzerland, the chances of a female lawyer becoming a partner are considerably higher compared to France: in 2011 already, half the partners were women. In France, women who have been in the Bar for less than 10 years see their likelihood of becoming a partner lowered by 66%, even though France has a higher proportion of female lawyers. This justifies the focus of our research on France by pointing to the fact that the glass ceiling effect is significantly prominent in this country. Most women during their career are ‘pulled sideways’, having to leave their jobs when they are pregnant for example, whereas men are ‘pulled up’, leaving their job because of instances such as a promotion. Men usually use the reason of family responsibility to express their desire to get promoted whereas, for women, it is the reverse since it is usually seen as a reason not to get promoted. The effect of the maternal wall is everpresent. Women often face this stark obstacle where they are considered not to be as capable after starting a family. This could contribute to the reason why, in France, 45% of women intend to leave the Bar to start a family. Even if we did not, unfortunately, have the resources to be able to research to deepen these results, the impact of this inequality is non-negligible and deserves to be mentioned. 

Furthermore, other gender-based inequalities within the lawyer profession and in professional relations must be evoked. A woman lawyer we interviewed stated her distaste for how men blatantly disrespect female lawyers by calling them ‘Madame’ instead of ‘Maitrer’ which is the accepted practice. Such behavior makes women lawyers feel less legitimate since it aims to remind them that they are first of all women. It denies them equality with men because they are not called the way they are, even though it is the official appellation of any lawyer. Another noticeable inequality related to language is that the Presidents on trial are always called “Monsieur le Président” even if they are women, just as if women were not considered in the profession. In this case, however, this is the official appellation, but the authors of this paper do believe that language matters and can be considered as a factor of informal inequality. The lawyer with whom we discussed this also explained that she saw the lawyers’ gowns as being protective barriers for women. According to her, it keeps men from making sexist comments: thus, the traditional lawyers’ gown, identical for men as for women, prevents any potential discrimination that would be based on women’s outfits, or physique. She contrasted with the fact that men wear their robes as a sign of pride whereas for them it signifies protection and equality. This enforces our thesis that, even though there is a feminization of the profession, women are still facing sexism daily. 

Another gender-based inequality we have noticed is the predominance of women lawyers chosen to defend men accused of sexual harassment. Thus, one of the women lawyers with whom we discussed testified that law firms choose women as a priority for this kind of case. The main reason is that, because of their gender, they appear as “having a better understanding” of the subject and are more credible in defending a man accused of such crimes. This testimony was also supported by one of our observations in the judiciary Court of Reims. During this trial, the defendant was accused of exhibitionism on the public highway, notably toward the police. Moreover, he was accused of sexually harassing his neighbor. His lawyer was a woman. This goes to showcase the informal inequality which persists inside this profession. Besides, if we take a closer look at this particular trial, the rhetoric of the lawyer while defending her client deserves to be analyzed. Indeed, to defend her client she essentially referred to his private life and his emotions. She evoked the complicated relationship between the defendant and his major son, that he did not see anymore, his alcoholism and bipolar, and that he had been potentially the victim of acts of violence himself when he was a child. What is even more interesting is that she also mentioned arguments as subjective as his deep loneliness, the fact that he was “of goodwill, but unlucky”, or even his real will to get away. The link between these elements and our research is that these exact kinds of arguments were observed in other women lawyers, while they were not seen in men lawyers’ advocacies. Thus, even though there is on paper perfect equality between men and women in the law profession, we assert that, in reality, there are informal inequalities that these women face daily. Besides, these inequalities, such as the difference in arguments between men and women, testify to a completely diverging perception of the profession. Even more, they are witness to a gender-based inequality that exceeds the lawyer profession itself.

2-  The persistence of gender-based inequality in the lawyer profession as produced by society

               As we have seen, the feminization of the lawyer profession does not induce a decrease in gender inequalities within this very profession. What we can therefore wonder about is how the persistence of these inequalities can be explained. As we have seen, we have noticed during our observations that the behavior, rhetoric, and attitude of lawyers are very distinct whether they are men or women. While men tend to be very comfortable and at ease, laughing and using irony, women are far more restrained, often hesitating and using their notes. Furthermore, we have perceived a difference in their very posture, since men are deeply rooted in the ground, stable, and using their hands while talking, while women are generally balanced from one foot to another and talk with a lower tone. Another fact we have noticed is the different attitudes of lawyers toward the defendants. Men lawyers are generally more distant from their clients and use arguments predominantly objective facts and statistics. On the contrary, even if women do use facts and statistics as well, they mostly refer to the subjective feelings and perceptions of their clients, evoking for example their mental condition, familial situation, and past difficulties that could explain their present appearance, just as we saw in the case of the man accused of sexual harassment. In doing so, they aim to create the compassion and empathy of the judge while the use of facts aims, on the contrary, to convince rationally. For example, during one of our observations, we assisted in a trial relating to evictions. The lawyers and the judge were women. The last appearance was one of a young man around eighteen years old. He had a procuration from his mother who was unable to attend for health reasons. Despite the lawyer’s defense, the judge finally declared that the eviction was inevitable. It is interesting to consider that this judgment was made with regret: the judge and the lawyer kept talking with the defendant, advising him to find informal solutions, such as talking to his mother or asking for family help. They stayed very close to him in an informal way and comforted him while he was crying. Our question is therefore to determine whether or not a man would have behaved in such a way. According to our observations, men lawyers never demonstrated empathy or regret for their clients, at least in public, staying very distant and professional. How can the specificity of women of such behavior be explained? As we saw, the lawyers’ behavior is what Bourdieu calls their habitus, which links individual actions and society. Therefore, the position adopted by the authors of this paper is that the habitus’ origins and the roots of inequality must be found in childhood, during primary socialization.

Thus, very early children undergo the first step of socialization, mostly in their families. They are confronted with formal rules defining the way to behave in society and informal practices by imitating their relatives’ behavior. Primary socialization differs according to gender: formal rules are meant to teach children how to behave in a “normal” way. This implies the conformation to assigned gender identity markers: typically, relatives will offer girls dolls and propose them to dance, while they will offer boys toy cars and register them for football.These gender identity markers are enforced by informal learning: girls will instinctively imitate the women members of their family, such as their mother, while boys will learn by observing male members of the family, such as their father. This includes the imitation of a specific behavior: girls will learn to be more empathic, soft, and affectionate, than boys who will learn to be tough and virile, both assimilating formal rules and informal gender behaviors. In doing so, they reproduce the gender-differentiated behavior of their parents and assimilate assigned gender roles that will shape their behavior in society and their habitus: this phenomenon is described by Erving Goffman who uses the theatrical metaphor. Women, just like any other society member, are perpetual actors who conform to the role they were given because of their gender, which influences their relations and determines their position in society. This is later pursued during secondary socialization: according to their assigned empathic and soft behavior, girls are oriented towards more literary and humanitarian professions, in which they are in touch with children or people. They will be encouraged to become teachers or nurses for example. With the glass ceiling we previously evoked, women are also less present in skilled jobs and qualified positions. This is the case of the judiciary: the numerical inferiority of women until 2009 shows the result of primary and secondary socialization, directing women towards less skilled professions. However, today we realize an evolution of gender roles and of the view of women, which led to a feminization of many professions, including the judicial professions, to the point that women became even more numerous than men. Nevertheless, the divergences in socialization between men and women lead to a different apprehension of the job: women are still expected to be more comprehensive, empathic, and soft, in one word “mothering”, while men must be convincing, striking, and eloquent. Women are therefore closer to their clients than men and feel even more responsible for finding solutions, and not hurting them. This explains to us the difference in behavior between men and women lawyers, but also the persisting informal gender inequalities in the professional relations between lawyers. A possible counter-argument to our explanation would be to argue that these differences in behavior between men and women are not entirely, or even not at all, the product of socialization but in part or completely natural. To this contradiction, we answer that the attribution of gender roles, and the assimilation of gender identity markers are not at all natural, since it is not a common denominator to all societies. To support our argument we use the observations of Margaret Mead, a pioneer of anthropology in the United States. She particularly challenged the common belief of a biological distinction between men and women. In her book Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies (1935), she focused on the social construction of norms. By studying three different people she demonstrated that gender roles are understood very differently, and vary according to a society’s culture and customs: for example, she observed that in the Tchambuli people, the roles assigned to men and women seemed to be the reverse than in Western societies: the men stayed at home while women were assigned to work and accomplish the practical tasks. Thus, the findings we collected during our observations do effectively support our hypothesis that gender inequalities in the law profession are due to gender-based differentiated socialization and not biological difference. This differentiated socialization can be more or less acute, depending on the society’s culture and history: thus, we have shown previously that there is more gender-based inequality in France than in other European countries such as Switzerland. However, these inequalities are more informal than formal or institutionalized. A limitation of this research could be that we do not consider the differences within the very groups that are the object of this study. This consideration relates to the intersectionality concept, introduced in the 1980s by the scholar and civil rights advocate Kimberlé Crenshaw. Thus, if we focus on the diversity within the very group of women, we make the constatation that, according to our observations, we did not observe a single Black woman lawyer. Therefore, if there are still informal inequalities between men and women, these inequalities are sharper for Black women, who are just not represented at all in our sample, and therefore significantly underrepresented in the lawyer profession as a whole in France.

  • Conclusion

This sociological research aimed to prove whether or not there are gender inequalities in the law profession. To do so we have conducted observations and collected quantitative data and qualitative data through informal discussions with lawyers. Moreover, we have used some previous research on this subject to support and complete our analysis. In this essay, we have first detailed the current context of the judicial field, which is a significant feminization in general and, more related to our research, of the lawyer profession. We have also described the feminization of the lawyer profession as a social fact, following Durkheim’s definition. Then, we tried to determine whether or not there is a difference in the repartition of 

cases between men and women, based on gender prejudice. Our results draw a negative conclusion and refute our hypothesis, which we previously defined as the presence of formal gender-based inequalities. However, according to further observation, the feminization of the lawyer profession and the absence of gender-based repartition of judicial cases do not mean that there is no gender-based inequality at all. Following Bourdieu’s concept of habitus, we use lawyers’ behavior to demonstrate this assumption. Thus, our observations empirically support the existence of a more informal inequality between men and women lawyers in professional relations since we prove that women are often not considered credible or legitimate, and are regularly mocked or ignored. Having stated this, we tried to enlarge the scope of our analysis by explaining the possible reasons for such a difference. We stated that socialization, and more specifically the primary socialization that takes place during childhood, is since the beginning gender-differentiated and, for that reason, creates an informal inequality in the very attitude and perception of the profession of lawyers. Finally, we evoke the intra-group differences through the intersectionality concept, and demonstrate that they are almost void: if white women still face gender-based inequalities, Black women are completely absent from our women sample. Therefore, we state that Blackness increases the level of inequality, in particular in representation, faced by a woman lawyer.  However, these results must be nuanced by considering some limitations. First, our observations were only conducted in only two different cities, Reims and Paris, and in two different kinds of courts, the Judiciary Court and the Tribunal des Prud’hommes. Secondly, they were also conducted in a relatively short period, the observations being distributed over two months. Finally, we had only the opportunity to discuss the subject of our research with women lawyers, not with men lawyers, which would have been interesting to have a maybe diverging view on gender-based inequalities. As we asserted that the feminization of the law profession is a social fact, according to Durkheim, we do believe that the results of our research do not only inform us on gender-based inequalities in the law profession, but also in society as a whole. As we stated at the end of our essay, the differentiated socialization that inculcates specific gender roles, is for us the root of the persisting inequalities between men and women, despite the feminization of the lawyer profession. These inequalities are therefore less formal than a concrete difference in salaries or the allocation of cases but do exist, in particular in professional relationships or the relationship with clients. They are based on gender prejudice and the assimilation of gender-assigned identity markers during socialization: for example, the women have to be more empathic, and men more convincing and relentless. For us, these inequalities are not only significant at the micro-level but also at the macro-level: they are at the basis of society. Gender, as understood in society today, is a social and symbolic system shaping assigned gender roles and justifying the gender-based inequalities women keep facing in their professional midst. 

– Ananya Goyal, Audrey Bonn and Solene Jourdan


  • Ordre des Avocats de Reims – Grand Public – Des avocats au coeur de votre vie quotidienne. Consulté le 17 avril 2022.
  • Books
  •  Mekki Mustapha, Mission de recherche Droit et justice, and Mekki Mustapha. La féminisation des métiers de la justice. Paris: Mission de recherche Droit et Justice, 2010.
  • Emile Durkheim, Suicide: A Study in Sociology (Taylor and Francis, 2005)
  •  Bourdieu Pierre, and Nice Richard. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge New York Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 1977.
  •   Goffman Erving. Interaction Ritual : Essays on Face-to-Face Behavior. New York: Pantheon Books, 1982.
  • Mead Margaret. Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies. New York (N.Y.) London Toronto [etc: Harper Perennial, 2001.
  • Crenshaw, Kimberle. “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color.” Stanford law review 43, no. 6 (1991): 1241–1299.
  • Academic articles
  • “ This Is an Earlier Version of Boni-Le Goff I., Le Feuvre N., Lépinard E., Mallard G., Morel S. ‘Do Gender Regimes Matter? Converging and Diverging Career Prospects Among Young French and Swiss Lawyers.’ in Marta Choroszewicz and Tracey Adams, Gender, Age, and Inequality in the Professions, London: Routledge, 2019,” n.d.
  • Galligan, Yvonne, Renate Haupfleisch, Lisa Irvine, et al. “Mapping the Representation of Women and Men in Legal Professions across the EU. Brussels : European Parliament. 2017.,” n.d.
  • Lectures
  • Cousin, Bruno. Lecture 3: social norms, culture, socialization. Presentation during the Sociology class at Sciences Po. Reims, France, February 2022.
  • Cousin, Bruno. Lecture 5: Gender, race, intersectionality. Presentation during the Sociology class at Sciences Po. Reims, France, February 2022.

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