This Independent Study examines the effect that female mentorship has on women’s experiences in law school. Previous literature indicates seven areas in which women’s experiences differ from men’s: their attitudinal changes over time in law school, their relationships with professors, their participation in class, their perception of their academic achievement, their feelings of alienation, and their confidence. In every way, women’s experiences are worse than men’s. Some mentorship literature suggests that these experiences could be improved by female mentorship, though other literature demonstrates that female mentorship has no effect. Therefore, I ask, what is the effect of female mentorship on women’s experiences in law school? I hypothesize that women with female mentors will have less attitudinal change, better relationships with professors, higher levels of participation, improved perception of their academic achievement, reduced feelings of alienation, increased confidence relative to women without female mentors, and more political ambition. Through a survey including close-ended and open-ended questions and a series of interviews, I find partial support for these hypotheses. There is support for the hypotheses in the qualitative analysis of the open-ended questions and interview responses, though no support for the hypotheses in the quantitative analysis of the survey results. The qualitative results indicate that, regardless of measurable quantitative effect, women seek out and gain from female mentorship, which has important implications. The literature surrounding political ambition finds that women, including women lawyers, do not have as high ambition as their male counterparts. If female mentorship in law school can improve women’s experiences, making them more confident, they may be encouraged to run for political office.


Bos, Angela


Political Science


Political Science

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



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