Paul L. Caron

Thursday, June 16, 2022

HBCU Law Schools Face Severe Underfunding, HBCU Law Schools Face Severe Underfunding: 'Do We Have a Belt' Left to Tighten?:

HBCU (2019)There are six Historically Black Colleges and Universities law schools in the U.S., established because Black students were denied access to law school, and each is struggling due to underfunding.

The six HBCU law schools and deans are as follows: Florida A&M University College of Law with dean Deidre Keller; Howard University School of Law with dean Danielle Holley-Walker; North Carolina Central University School of Law, where dean Browne C. Lewis recently died; Southern University Law Center with John Pierre as chancellor; Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law with dean Joan R.M. Bullock; and the University at the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law with dean Renee McDonald Hutchins. ...

The six HBCU law schools are responsible for approximately 25% of the law degrees earned by Black students, while the six accredited law schools make up just 3% of the nation’s law schools, Pierre wrote in an article published in The National Jurist in April [The Value of HBCU Law Schools]. ...

For the six HBCU law schools there was a total of 2,829 J.D. students enrolled as of Oct. 5, with 1,660 (59%) of those students identifying as Black/African American and 2,228 (79%) identifying as students of color, according to the schools 509 Reports.

The percentages of Black law students ranged from 48% at Florida A&M and the University at the District of Columbia, up to 76% at Howard. The range for students of color was 70% at Southern University up to 96% at Howard, according to the 509s.

“We’re charged with producing most of the lawyers of color for the entire profession,” Howard’s Holley-Walker told ...

“At even the most well-resourced institutions, serving as the dean of a law school is a challenging job with numerous stakeholders, vocal and invested constituencies, and near continuous demands on your time and attention,” Hutchins, who serves as dean and Rauh chair of public interest law at the UDC law school, told

“For deans at HBCU law schools, however, that job is further complicated by the relatively modest resources our institutions have at hand to accomplish the mission,” Hutchins said. “While our schools are home to some of the brightest and most hardworking faculty and staff in the country, all too often we struggle with infrastructure and capital needs unimaginable to our better-resourced counterparts. ...

While Bullock says everyone is struggling, “our problems are disproportional, like they [other law schools] have a cold—we have the flu.”

Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink