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U.S. Supreme Court

Recent research has revived concern about a persistent and undeniable aspect of U.S. Supreme Court practice: Women are significantly underrepresented among the ranks of advocates who argue before the court.

From 2012 through the term that ended in June, just under 18 percent of the advocates before the high court were women, according to Adam Feldman of Empirical SCOTUS. Only 13 percent of lawyers arguing for the parties in a case were women, while women made up almost a third of those arguing amicus curiae. And when female lawyers from the federal government are taken out of the equation, only 11 percent of advocates on the merits were women. 

In recent years, the solicitor general’s office has been a rich source of female advocates. (View a chart of the busiest women SCOTUS advocates here.)

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Tony Mauro

Tony Mauro, based in Washington, covers the U.S. Supreme Court. A lead writer for ALM's Supreme Court Brief, Tony focuses on the court's history and traditions, appellate advocacy and the SCOTUS cases that matter most to business litigators. Contact him at [email protected] On Twitter: @Tonymauro

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