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Temple University Beasley School of Law Professor Marina Angel has won several awards during her distinguished career. And each time she accepts such accolades from bar leaders, she uses the opportunity to send a very blunt message to her audience. During her 1996 acceptance speech of the Sandra Day O’Connor Award from the Philadelphia Bar Association, Angel shocked attendees by chiding the legal community for having an “abominable” record for promoting women and minorities into positions of importance. She was equally as candid in accepting the Anne X. Alpern Award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association two years later. So it was no surprise to her Temple Law colleagues who nominated Angel for the American Bar Association’s Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award that she did not shy away from controversy when accepting the prestigious honor last month. But they didn’t expect Angel to direct a portion of her venom at her own law school, which bought two tables at the Aug. 8 luncheon in Atlanta in the veteran professor’s honor. Angel began her speech by discussing how working at law firms is not a harmonious fit for many women. Then she turned her attention to law schools, saying the number of tenured faculty positions is limited, while the number of adjunct and contract professors is growing. Angel used Temple Law to demonstrate that law schools are not doing enough to cultivate women faculty members. She said the school hired four white males eligible for tenure, with one being eligible after only one semester. She added that the school hired a woman on a one-year contract as a legal writing professor, a position that is not on tenure track. “The reasons given for no women [hired] in tenure-track positions were, ‘We couldn’t find any, and those we found turned us down,’” Angel told the audience of 1,300 people. “Given the credentials and graduation rates of women in the last 20 years, these excuses will not wash.” Those in attendance, such as Philadelphia Bar Association chancellor Gabriel L.I. Bevilacqua, said members of the Temple Law table appeared to be shocked by Angel’s comments. Temple Law Dean Robert Reinstein said that faculty in attendance were upset at Angel’s remarks and questioned the numbers she presented. At the luncheon, Angel told the crowd that Temple had hired six tenure-track men this year but later corrected herself by saying four. Reinstein said Temple Law made eight offers to prospective faculty. All four men accepted but three of the four women declined offers for various personal and professional reasons. He said two cited family reasons while another decided to stay at her current school. The fourth woman accepted the legal writing professorship. As for the one male hire being offered tenure after one semester, he said that candidate already had tenure at his former law school and will spend this year as a visiting professor. “We wanted to see his teaching first hand and see what kind of colleague he would be,” Reinstein said. “And he wanted to see how he would fit in. It was a lateral hire and law schools do it all the time. I don’t see why Professor Angel has such a problem with it.” Temple Law professor Jane Baron spearheaded faculty-recruiting efforts for the past two years, including the most recent class of hires. She said when you have a professor with tenure at another school, you can either offer them tenure right away or ask the candidate to serve as a visiting professor for a year. She said the latter is the more prudent option. “I agree with Marina that we need to do a better job in recruiting women and minority faculty members,” Baron said. “But I tried very hard. The entire faculty did, for that matter. It just didn’t work out. But we ended up with five great people, so we’re pleased overall.” Reinstein said that Temple Law’s percentage of tenured professors who are women is at 34 percent, significantly above the national average provided by the ABA (25.7 percent) and above two other local law schools, Villanova University (33 percent) and University of Pennsylvania (19 percent). Angel, though, said in an interview that Temple officials should spend more time examining why the female candidates turned down offers and then change their hiring process accordingly. For instance, she said women tend to be less mobile geographically than men, so the school should spend more time recruiting locally than it does. Reinstein said Temple is doing just that, hosting a faculty-recruiting event at the school for applicants in the Mid-Atlantic region. While Angel admits the school does have its fair share of tenured female professors, she said it has not been successful in replenishing its ranks by hiring younger women and placing them on tenure track. She said the school only has one woman currently on tenure track. “And that’s well below the national average,” she said. Angel said most young female faculty members are legal writing professors, which is not a tenured position. She said the school should make that a tenure-track position. Reinstein, though, said when the school created the full-time legal writing positions, it was determined that because those professors were spending so much time with students, they would not have time for scholarly exploits like tenured professors do. He added that those on tenure track and those who are not receive one-year contracts. Tenure-track faculty are eligible for tenure after their sixth year, while contract faculty are eligible for a six-year contract after six years of service. Angel acknowledged during her speech that recruiting women faculty is a national problem. She said law deans are either consciously or unconsciously steering women faculty toward contract positions. She said women constitute 59 percent of all contract faculty at law schools and represent 77 percent of legal writing professors and 64 percent of skill teachers. Earlier in her remarks, Angel said law firms do not provide a realistic working environment for women who wish to have children. She said within five to seven years, most women have left their original firm. She said billing 2,000 hours is not conducive to having a life outside the office. While most women and minorities have figured this out, Angel said most white men haven’t — though she said studies show an increasingly high degree of dissatisfaction with their jobs. “Most women remaining in the large firms who do not want to lose their child-bearing years are shunted off into permanent senior associate, legal specialist, of counsel and non-equity partner positions,” Angel said. “Women have become the contingent workers of the legal profession. Leadership, money and prestige in large firms continue to be held by white males who dominate the power equity partner positions. Women’s intelligence, abilities and different views of the world are lost.” Bevilacqua said the Philadelphia Bar Association was one of the organizations that nominated Angel for the award, which was bestowed upon six female attorneys of distinction from across the country. U.S. District Judge Norma Shapiro was the last local lawyer to receive the honor prior to Angel. “We respect her clarity of vision, unflinching honesty and the leadership she had demonstrated on a number of important issues,” Bevilacqua said. “I think 2,000 hours is unrealistic to those who have families. And more and more, men are taking on a larger child-rearing role in households. I think it’s going to put a lot of pressure on the business model of law firms, which focuses on hours, origination and billing. That leaves little time for home life, especially when you factor in all of the non-billable responsibilities.” Bevilacqua and Pennsylvania Bar Association president Mike Reed, who also attended the luncheon, said that while all the recipients received hearty ovations after delivering their respective speeches, Angel’s clearly drew the most powerful audience response. Reinstein said he respects Angel for her teaching acumen and dedication to improving the legal profession, and supported her nomination for the award. “I just think she doesn’t have all of her facts straight, when it comes to what we are trying to do here with faculty recruiting,” Reinstein said. “But we’ll just agree to disagree and move on.”

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