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University of Iowa College of Law




It is with great pleasure and pride that I offer this introduction and welcome to this special Iowa Law Review issue in celebration of the Tenth Annual Commemorative Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Workshop. Named after Lutie A. Lytle, an African American woman who became the first female law professor in the nation (and, likely, in the world) in 1897, the Workshop has afforded diverse law faculty an unparalleled opportunity to prepare for the job market; to develop teaching and leadership skills; to hone scholarly agendas; and to workshop articles, book proposals, and "ideas-inprogress" since its founding at the University of Iowa College of Law in July 2007. The Workshop grew, in part, out of conversations (real and virtual) that I had with other African American black women faculty about the disturbing trend that a couple of Association of American Law Schools ("AALS") studies revealed about the experiences of faculty of color in legal academia. In particular, those AALS studies exposed a widening tenure gap between majority and minority law professors as compared to the nearly closed gender gap between male and female professors in the legal academy.2 The data also revealed a decline in the percentages of law faculty of color hired from two cohorts in the early 1990s to later cohorts by the end of that decade.3 Viewed together and in conjunction with anecdotal evidence about the tenure challenges of women faculty of color at law schools across the nation, these studies seemed to suggest that women of color were in an especially precarious position when it came to promotion and tenure.

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