News and Events
School of Law Hosted a Conference on Diversity in the Legal Profession
The Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics hosted an all-day conference on Feb. 24 to discuss the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in law schools and the legal profession as well as what might be done to overcome it, including using the resources of the Christian faith.
People of color who have successfully faced the challenges of law school and the legal profession shared their stories and sources of inspiration at the conference. Speakers included Raul A. Gonzalez; Jack L. White II; Marchelle Bailey; David Dominguez; Jacqueline Wang; John W. Patton, Jr.; and Sarah Howard Jenkins.
The conference was open to pre-law students, law students, lawyers, law school administrators, professors, and clergy.
The lack of racial and ethnic diversity in law schools and the legal profession is well documented. To cite one example, in California, one of the most racially and ethnically diverse states in the country, only 1.7 percent of lawyers are African-American (down from 2.4 in 2001), 3.8 percent are Hispanic, and 5.3 percent are Asian. Statistics from law schools suggest that things will not get much better. The continued lack of racial and ethnic diversity within law schools and the legal profession raises significant questions as to whether we can achieve a just society.
Amidst all of the discussion on the lack of diversity, there has been little consideration of the resources of the Christian faith. Within the United States, African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians are among the most actively-involved Christians. Many of the greatest leaders in the ongoing fight for equality—including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Caesar Chavez—drew guidance, strength, and inspiration from the Christian faith.