Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Law Schools Are Dropping The Ball On Diversity

Following up on my previous post, LSSSE: New Research Provides Insight Into Diversity And Inclusion In Law School:  Karen Sloan (, Law Schools Are Dropping the Ball on Diversity and Inclusion:

LSSSEI’m not going to sugarcoat this one: Law schools aren’t making the grade when it comes to ensuring that their minority, first-generation, and other non-traditional students feel included, valued, and supported on campus. Sure, white students think their schools are doing pretty good when it comes to teaching diversity skills and ensuring everyone is welcome and included. But ask the non-white students, and it’s a different story.

That’s the thrust of the latest data from the Law School Survey of Student Engagement, which annually surveys students across a wide swath of schools about their experience on campus. The 2020 iteration included a special section of questions on diversity and inclusion that was completed by students at 28 schools, and results are eye opening. The survey shows us that while students are attending the same school and the same classes, their perceptions of inclusiveness and diversity efforts differ greatly depending on their own backgrounds. ...

Among white students, 28% said their schools “do very much” to create a sense of overall sense of community. That figure was 20% among Black students. Similarly, 31% of both white men and Black men strongly agree that they feel valued by their law schools. Among Black women, just 18% felt the same way. ...

The survey sheds some light on an issue that I’ll admit I had never really considered, which is how educational debt levels impact how students feel about their schools. The survey found a direct correlation between the amount respondents owe and whether they feel valued by their law schools. For instance, 31% of students who borrowed $40,000 or less to finance law school strongly agree that they feel valued by their law school. That percentage drops in lockstep among higher debt bands. Just 17% of students owing $160,000 or more strongly agreed that they feel valued. ...

Taken as a whole, the survey tells us that law schools are succeeding if the purpose of diversity and inclusion efforts is to get those issues on the radar of white students. But the actual point of diversity and inclusion to make sure that all students—especially the most vulnerable groups—feel welcome and are able to be themselves on campus. That’s where schools need to do better.

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So law schools -- the very bastions of Marxism -- are racist? Say less.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 13, 2020 11:11:59 AM

Translation: law schools are sticking to their principles and not giving in to the crowd. Good for them.

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Oct 14, 2020 2:29:49 AM

In skimming through this report, you'd be left with the impression that nobody agrees on these issues. It's very selective in describing students who "strongly agree" or "strongly disagree" on a variety of questions, but they're always minority shares, 20-30%. Nowhere does this report mention the share of students who "somewhat agree" or "mostly agree" on the same issues.

It's almost like the researchers went out of their way to obscure to full picture and give the impression that there is no majority consensus whatsoever.

Wonder why...?

Posted by: MM Classic | Oct 15, 2020 11:37:38 PM

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