Department of Sociology

DEPARTMENT OF

Sociology

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Dr. Fiona M. Kay

B.A.H. (Queen’s), M.A., Ph.D. (Toronto)

Professor

E-mail: kayf@queensu.ca
Office: Room D-527 Mackintosh-Corry Hall
Phone: 613-533-6000 ext. 74486
Fax: 613-533-2871

On leave:  1 January 2017 - 1 July 2017

Research Interests

  • Careers in the legal profession
  • Race, ethnicity and gender in occupations 
  • Professional development, mentoring, and organizational culture
  • Access to justice and pro bono legal services

Teaching Areas

Sociology of law, work and occupations, sociology of professions, criminology, research methods.

Current Research

Professor Kay has three on-going projects. The first is a twenty-year longitudinal study examining the career pathways of men and women lawyers. A second study focuses on career progress and retention of racial minorities in large corporate U.S. law firms. A third study explores issues of access to justice and altruism with a focus on pro bono (free) legal service among lawyers. These projects are funded by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).

Recent Publications

Plickert, Gabriele, Fiona M. Kay, and John Hagan. 2017. “Depressive Symptoms and the Salience of Job Satisfaction across the Life Course of Professionals.” Advances in Life Course Research 31:22-33. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.alcr.2016.11.001

Kay, Fiona M., Stacey Alarie, and Jones Adjei. 2016. “Undermining Gender Equality: Female Attrition from Private Law Practice.” Law & Society Review. 50(3): 766-801.

Gorman, Elizabeth H. and Fiona M. Kay. 2016. “Which Kinds of Law Firms Have the Most Minority Lawyers?: Organizational Context and the Representation of African-Americans, Latinos, and Asian-Americans.” Pages 263-300 in Racial Diversity in the Legal Profession. Edited by Spencer Headworth, Robert L. Nelson, Ronit Dinovitzer, and David B. Wilkins. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Mathieu Deflem and Fiona M. Kay. 2016. “The Legal Profession.” In The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Edited by George Ritzer. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Kay, Fiona M. 2015. “Lawyers: The Social Organization of the Profession.” In Levine Kay, Rosann Greenspan, and Barbara Painsack (editors).  International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd Edition. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier, Pp. 628-634. 

Kay, Fiona M. 2015. Brief Summary and Comparison of Two Recent Ontario Studies of Departures from Private Practice: Leaving Law and Barriers to Re-entry (2013) and the Diversification of Career Paths in Law (2015). A Report to Law Society of Upper Canada. January 2015.

Kay, Fiona M. 2014. “Gender and Crime.” In Neil Boyd (Editor). Understanding Crime in Canada. Toronto, ON: Emond Montgomery Publications, Pp. 215-240.

Kay, Fiona M., Jones Adjei, and Stacey Alarie. 2014. The Diversification of Career Pathways in Law. A Report to Law Society of Upper Canada. January 2015. 118 pages. http://www.lsuc.on.ca/uploadedFiles/Equity_and_Diversity/Members2/Fiona_Kay_Diversification_report_Jan_2015%281%29.pdf

Kay, Fiona M., Stacey Alarie, and Jones Adjei. 2013. “Leaving Private Practice: How Organizational Context, Time Pressures, and Structural Inflexibilities Shape Departures from Private Law Practice.” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 20(2): 1223-1260.

Gorman, Elizabeth H. and Fiona M. Kay. 2013. Law Firm Employment Practices and the Representation of Minority Associates and Partners.  A Report to the Law School Admissions Council. May 2013. 110 pages. http://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source/research-%28lsac-resources%29/gr-14-01.pdf

Kay, Fiona M., Stacey Alarie, and Jones Adjei.  2013.  Leaving Law and Barriers to Re-entry: A Study of Departures from and Re-entries to Private Practice. A Report to the Law Society of Upper Canada (86 pages). See: http://www.lsuc.on.ca/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=2147494539

Wallace, Jean E. and Fiona M. Kay. 2012. “Tokenism, Organizational Segregation, and Coworker Relations in Law Firms.” Social Problems 59(3): 389-410.

Kay, Fiona M. and Elizabeth H. Gorman. 2012. “Developmental Practices, Organizational Culture, and Minority Representation in Organizational Leadership: The Case of Partners in Large U.S. Law Firms.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 639:  91-113.

Hagan, John and Fiona M. Kay. 2011. “The Emotional Toll and Exhilaration of Human Rights Activism: Gender and Legal Work at The Hague International Criminal Tribunal.”  Queen’s Law Journal 37(1): 257-301.

Hagan, John and Fiona M. Kay. 2010. “The Masculine Mystique: Living Large from Law School to Later Life.” Canadian Journal of Law and Society 25(2): 195-226.

Gorman, Elizabeth H. and Fiona M. Kay. 2010. “Racial and Ethnic Minority Representation in Large U.S. Law Firms.” Special Issue: Law Firms, Legal Culture, and Legal Practice.  Studies in Law, Politics and Society 52: 211-238.

Kay, Fiona M. and Jean E. Wallace. 2010. “Is More Truly Merrier?: Mentors and the Practice of Law.” Canadian Review of Sociology 47(1): 1-26.

Kay, Fiona M.  2010. “John Hagan and Bill McCarthy: Social Capital Theory.” In Francis Cullin and Pamela Wilcox (Eds.). The Encyclopedia of Criminological Theory (Sage Publications), Pp. 424-427.

Kay, Fiona M. and Elizabeth Gorman. 2010. “Women in the Legal Profession.” In Andrew L. Kaufman and David Wilkins (editors.).  Problems in Professional Responsibility. Fifth edition. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

Kay, Fiona M. 2009. “Intra-professional Competition and Earnings Inequalities across a Professional Chasm: The Case of the Québec Legal Profession.” Law & Society Review 43(4): 901-938.

Kay, Fiona M. and Jean E. Wallace. 2009. “Mentors as Social Capital: Gender and Career Rewards in Law Practice.” Sociological Inquiry 79(4): 418-452.

Kay, Fiona M. 2009. “‘The First Legal Profession’ of New France in Jeopardy or Revival?: History and Futures of the Quebec Notariat.” International Journal of the Legal Profession 16(1): 1-32.

Wallace, Jean E. and Fiona M. Kay. 2009. “Are Small Firms More Beautiful or is Bigger Better?: A Study of Compensating Differentials and Law Firm Internal Labor Markets” Sociological Quarterly 50: 475-498.

Kay, Fiona M. 2009. “Professional Monopolies and Divisive Practices in Law: ‘Les Femmes Juridiques’ in Civil Law Canada.” The International Journal of Law in Context 4(3): 187-215.

Kay, Fiona M., John Hagan, and Patricia Parker. 2009. “Principals in Practice: The Importance of Mentorship in the Early Stages of Career Development.” Law & Policy 31(1):69-110.

Hagan, John and Fiona M. Kay. 2009. The Masculine Mystique: Living Large from Law School to Later Life. The Law School Admissions Council (44 pages). http://members.lsac.org/Public/MainPage.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fPrivate%2fMainPage2.aspx

 

Recent Conference Presentations

2016. “Undermining the Pipeline to Gender Equality: Female Attrition from Private Law Practice.” American Sociology Association Annual Meetings, Seattle, Washington, 22 August 2016 (with Stacey Alarie and Jones Adjei).

2016. “Clientele and the Progress of Women and Racial Minorities in U.S. Corporate Law Firms.” Law & Society Association annual meetings. New Orleans, Tennessee. June 2-5, 2016 (with Elizabeth Gorman).

2016. “Clientele and the Progress of Women and Racial Minorities in U.S. Corporate Law Firms.” Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics annual meetings. Berkeley, California, June 2016 (with Elizabeth Gorman).

2016. Critic on author-meets-critics panel: Oxford Handbook of Professional Service Firms edited by Laura Empson, Daniel Muzio, Joe Broschak, and Bob Hinings. Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics annual meetings. Berkeley, California, June 2016.

2015. “Mentors and Retention: Do Mentors Stem the Flow of Talent from Law Firms?” Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics. London School of Economics and Political Science, 2-4 July 2015.

2015. “Levelling the Playing Field? Developmental Practices and Diversity in Professional Service Firms.” Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics. London School of Economics and Political Science, 2-4 July 2015 (with Elizabeth Gorman).

2015. “Leveling the Playing Field? Developmental Practices and Minority Representation in Law Firms.” American Law & Society Association Annual Meeting. Seattle, Washington. May 2015 (with Elizabeth Gorman).

2015. “Levelling the Playing Field? Developmental Practices and Minority Representation in Professional Service Firms.” American Sociological Association Annual Meetings. Chicago, Illinois, August 2015 (with Elizabeth Gorman).

2015. “Longitudinal Studies of Lawyers Careers Across Borders.” Panel member of roundtable, “Globalization and its Influence on Methodology: Approaches for Studying Lawyers and the Legal Profession.” Session organizers: Carole Silver (Northwestern) and Jayanth Krishnan (Indiana-Bloomington). American Law & Society Association Annual Meeting. Seattle, Washington. May 2015.

2015. “Leveling the Playing Field? Developmental Practices and Minority Representation in Law Firms.” Southern Sociological Society. New Orleans. March 2015 (with Elizabeth Gorman).

2014. “Early Career Innovation among Law Firm Lawyers: Staying the Course, Bridges Outbound, and Gateways In.” American Law & Society Association Annual Meeting. Minneapolis, 30 May 2014.

2013. “Developmental Practices and Minority Representation in Among Law Firm Partners: Patterns in 1996 and 2005.” American Bar Foundation Diversity in the Legal Profession Conference.  10-11 May 2013 (with Elizabeth Gorman).

2013.  “Diversifying Career Paths in Law.” Law & Society Association Annual Meetings. Boston, Massachusetts.  30 May to 2 June 2013 (with Stacey Alarie and Jones Adjei).

2012. “Practices, Organizational Culture, and Minority Representation in Law Firm Leadership: Change from 1996 to 2005.” American Sociological Association. Denver, Colorado, August 2012 (with Elizabeth Gorman).

2012. “Leaving Law and Barriers to Re-Entry: A Study of Gender and Departures from Sectors of Law PracticeAmerican Law and Society Association Annual Meeting.  Honolulu, Hawaii (with Stacey Alarie and Jones Adjei).

2012. “Racial Diversity in Large U.S. Corporate Law Firms.” The American Southern Sociological Society meetings, March 21-24, New Orleans (with Elizabeth Gorman).

2012. “Racial Diversity in Large U.S. Corporate Law Firms.”  Conference on Power, Status, and Influence at Northwestern University, May 2012 (with Elizabeth Gorman).

2011. “The Value of Practice or the Practice of Values? Training, Culture, and Racial Integration in Law Firms.” American Law and Society Annual Meeting, San Francisco (with Elizabeth Gorman).

2011. “The Value of Practice or the Practice of Values? Training, Culture, and Racial Integration in Law Firms.” American Southern Sociological Society meetings (with Elizabeth Gorman).

2010. “Open Doors and Locked Vaults: Ethnic Diversity and Earnings Attainment in the Practice of Law.”  Society of Legal Studies Conference: The Human Rights Act Ten Years On.  The University of Southampton, Southampton, England.

2010.  “Tokenism, Organizational Segregation and Coworker Relations in Law Firms.” American Sociological Association Annual Meeting. Atlanta, Georgia (with Jean Wallace).

2010. “Minorities, Promotions and Resistance in the Large Law Firm.” American Sociological Association Annual Meeting. Atlanta, Georgia (with Elizabeth Gorman).

2010. “Racial and Ethnic Minority Representation in Large U.S. Law Firms.” American Law and Society Association Annual Meeting. Chicago, Illinois (with Elizabeth Gorman).

2009. “Building Bridges, Breaking Bonds: Ethnic and Racial Diversity and Earnings in the Legal Profession.” American Law and Society Association Annual Meeting. Boulder, Colorado.