New report looks at how law students view their schools’ diversity work
Image from Shutterstock.com.
Law schools say they are focused on improving diversity. But students still feel marginalized based on race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status, according to a new report released by the Law School Survey of Student Engagement.
The report, called 2020 Diversity & Exclusion, is based on a survey of more than 5,200 student participants. Of the respondents, 26% of Black women and 14% of Black men indicated that they saw little institutional support for racial and ethnic diversity at their schools, as did 17% of Latino women and 5% of Latino men. A total of 14% of Asian American women and 12% of Asian American men also indicated that they saw little support for racial and ethnic diversity at their law schools.
At the same time, 8% of white women and 6% of white men reported that their law schools offered little institutional support for racial and ethnic diversity.
“I worry that while institutions have been touting a commitment to equality with broad diversity statements and written policies supporting equal opportunities, traditional insiders see these words as doing the work while underrepresented students pay the price for ongoing inequities,” wrote Meera E. Deo, director of the LSSSE, in the report.
Regarding gender diversity, 27% of women surveyed and 39% of men surveyed reported that they saw very much institutional support for gender diversity. Only 9% of respondents who identified as other genders shared that view.
“If schools want to do better, and we should all want to do better, the data in this report is a good place to start,” wrote Kimberly M. Mutcherson, co-dean and a professor at the Rutgers University Law School, in the report.
Mutcherson is the first Black gay woman to be the law school’s dean.