Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Williams: Law Schools As Gatekeepers Of The Profession

Christopher Williams (Chicago), Gatekeeping the Profession, 26 Cardozo J. Equal Rts. & Soc. Just. 171 (2020):

This article critically examines the structure of U.S. legal education and reveals how the structure of U.S. legal education serves as a racial gatekeeper that prevents black students from entering the legal profession in the United States. In addition, this article also reveals how the exportation of U.S. legal education to India resulted in a similar process, one in which legal education serves as a caste based gatekeeper that prevents dalit students from entering the legal profession in India. This connection is made by introducing and characterizing the model of U.S. legal education as an adaptive prejudice model whereby the model adapts and reproduces the prejudices of the society in which it is situated in

This article is consistent with scholarship that critiques prejudice inherent in U.S. legal education and legal education in India but adds to this body by situating black and dalit students experiences together instead of in isolation. Drawing on both stratification data based on race, caste, and class as well as legal education data in both India and the United States I draw parallels between the black and dalit student experience which creates new opportunities for solidarity and solutions to combatting the lack of diversity in legal education and the profession.

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