Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Ahmuan Williams (J.D. 2023, Oklahoma), A Supreme Dilemma: Admissions v. Representation in Law School and Legal Profession:
Diversity in the legal profession does not have to be a myth, but we have to put in the effort to do it. A Supreme Dilemma: Admissions v. Representation in Law School and Legal Profession gives you an idea of the challenges and history of being a minority in the legal profession created exclusively for white men. This paper examines affirmative action and its need to diversify the legal profession. It starts by examining the controversies in diversity and the legal profession. Then it acknowledges the positive impacts of diversity initiatives in the legal profession. It concludes by recommending that we adopt long-term diversity initiatives through our state constitutions, amendments, and education.
The battle of admissions verses representation of minorities working in the legal profession is the critical race theory’s center stage. The United States Constitution sets arching requirements for attaining diversity through neutral concepts of law that are still not crystalline in the legal profession. Federal courts addressed the under-representation of minorities in the legal profession when the court established that diversity is a compelling governmental interest. Affirmative action programs and positive discrimination initiatives are constantly challenged despite the negligible number of minorities working in the legal profession. Today, the Fourteenth Amendment is one of the most widespread legal questions attorneys have, and through the Fourteenth Amendment, people gained civil rights, employment rights, and procedural rights that cannot be reversed without a constitutional amendment. Grutter v. Bollinger addressed the face of diversity in the legal profession by showing the University of Michigan’s Law School, a top law school, was not violating the Constitution in implementing its diversity program. Nevertheless, Justice Thomas, the only African American Supreme Court Justice, wants to reverse his concurrence. Although similar programs to achieve diversity in other professions are working, the legal profession is in a diversity crisis that is not getting better.
We must look forward and continue to use the Fourteenth Amendment to extend the reach of diversity to groups of all kinds. Why stop at the Fourteenth Amendment; States need to do their part to preserve equality in their political processes. The under-representation of minorities in the legal profession calls for judges to define how to implement diversity programs. The implementation of diversity programs needs to be constitutionally conformed. Affirmative action and positive discrimination are required to increase equal representation in the legal profession. The critical race theory of diversity in the legal profession is becoming a more significant issue. The 2008 adoption of Goal III proves that diversity is a critical goal of the American Bar Association. The question is then how to achieve diversity. Admissions, or representation. Should we increase representation through entries or increase admissions by a construct of the model? Furthermore, the court will continue to reconcile the legal profession’s diversity through its judgments of diversity initiatives increasing admissions and representation of minorities working in the legal profession.