Paul L. Caron

Thursday, July 14, 2022

A Black Woman Law Dean Speaks About The Precarity Of Leadership

Danielle M. Conway (Penn State-Dickinson), A Black Woman Law Dean Speaks About The Precarity of Leadership, 51 Sw. L. Rev. 240 (2022):

SWI was honored to write an essay as a contribution to the Southwestern Law Review Symposium dedicated to amplifying the Professor Meera Deo's groundbreaking book, titled Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia (Stanford University Press, 2019). Unequal Profession is a triumphant work in large part because of its data-driven analysis about the pervasiveness of raceXgender bias and discrimination within the legal academy, but also it is in great measure because of its timing.

In this most recent era of racial reckoning, we are confronting law and the legal academy’s complicity in scaffolding systemic inequity around what should be strong democratic structures. The manner in which the legal academy has perpetuated a status quo that feeds for its existence off of raceXgender subordination is clearly demonstrated in Unequal Profession as both a real and pervasive phenomenon, weakening the legal academy as a democratic institution.

What the legal academy does with the data and analysis that Professor Deo’s work unmasks will determine whether and how committed lawyers and leaders will be to changing the structures of the academy and the legal profession from edifices of systemic inequity to institutions dedicated to transforming themselves and the society around them to those built on systemic equity.

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