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Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Problems with Diversity in Law School and Legal Practice
For all of the discourse about affirmative action initiatives at the university and post-graduate level, what's often left out of the discussion are the de facto realities for minority professionals in the white collar world. Whatever your position upon the idea of preferential treatment in college admissions (and even the semantics are politically charged), people of color are still grossly underrepresented in high-salaried, high-powered professions. Are we living in a post-racial society? Probably not.

The National Association for Law Placement (NALP), an association dedicated to career counseling and planning for legal professionals, also tracks the presence of women and minorities within law firms across the country. In November of 2011, the NALP released a significant report noting that women still comprised fewer than 20% of national partnership positions (women account for just over 30% of associate positions). Minorities account for just 6% of partnership positions, with minority women comprising just over 2% of partnership spots. A January 2012 bulletin from the NALP reiterates the fact that, while the numbers of minority and women have been steadily growing over the past few decades, the growth is slow and statistics must be carefully parsed. For instance, many firms have no minority partners at all. Further investigation demonstrates that the growth in minority associates and partners is largely attributable to Asians, who account for nearly half of all associates in the firms polled.

Certainly, this is just one report, but both the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), recognize the need for encouraging minority enrollment in law schools. is the LSAC's answer to an outreach program introduced at the undergraduate level in order to encourage enrollment. Clearly, there's no quick fix for racial inequity in the legal profession, but keeping an eye on the current reality and trying to shift the current tide is an important first step in the right direction.


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