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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Missing Minorities in a New Publication About Law School Diversity

The publication Lawyers of Color just published a special issue on diversity in the legal academy, apparently aimed at students.  It identifies "50 Under 50", the most influential minority law professors under 50 years old, a very distinguished group.  It also purports to list the most diverse law faculties and to identify every minority law professor teaching at every law school. 

Unfortunately, the reliability of these lists is impaired by the fact that many people were left off the list of minority law faculty.  For example, at UC Davis, 10 colleagues were listed, but I was omitted.  I might suspect that this was my dean's way of trying to tell me something, but he was another one of the ten faculty in total who were left off.  The missing faculty may explain why UC Davis made the National Jurist Diversity Honor Roll but not this list.  Seattle University, which has around 18 minority law faculty, was not mentioned at all.    

Because this is a digital publication, I hope it can be corrected and updated before students making decisions are misled.

Posted by Jack Chin on May 16, 2013 at 06:20 PM | Permalink


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Why do they not count religious minorities?

Posted by: Leland Unruh | May 21, 2013 8:56:33 AM

Jack - yes, you understand my point correctly. Thanks for the information re: the AALS directory.

Posted by: K | May 19, 2013 1:28:29 PM

Hi K, There is a list of minority law teachers in the Directory of Law Teachers published by the AALS. The list is the product of the AALS contacting every law professor in the US and asking how they identify themselves. One would have hoped that the publishers would have known about the Directory, which is the basic source of information about law professors. I agree with what I think you are saying, namely, that casual creation of a list like this is unwise and the result is unreliable.


Posted by: Jack | May 19, 2013 12:51:43 PM

Unless all law professors in the US were contacted and asked how they identify themselves, of course this list would be inaccurate and incomplete for a host of reasons. Stating the obvious, you can't always tell from a person's name or photo what race or ethnicity that person is, and it is dangerous to make assumptions based on such indicia.

Posted by: K | May 19, 2013 10:18:15 AM

It does look like there are some sloppy aspects to this chart, but I, for one, appreciate having an easily accessible chart on this issue. Perhaps we should figure out how to fix it and encourage this good project, rather than slam it.

Posted by: andy | May 17, 2013 6:05:04 PM

After a very quick glance I saw several mistakes, too.

Posted by: Bill Araiza | May 17, 2013 2:08:43 PM

The list is laughably inaccurate. Just at my school alone (SMU), it counts our white, Italian-American Dean as being black, and another Italian-American colleague as being hispanic. And it doesn't count me, who actually is hispanic.

Posted by: Nathan Cortez | May 17, 2013 12:18:47 PM

This list is full of mistakes.

Posted by: LawProf | May 16, 2013 10:40:19 PM

Yes, this list is far from complete. While it is somewhat understandable that they list only one of three minorities for my school (we do not have photos on our website), most schools have photos on their website and it should be easier to locate the minorities. For example, Capital University lists 2 minority professors when they actually have 5, all prominently displayed on their site. I am sure the 2nd annual edition will be more inclusive (no pun intended).

Posted by: kdi | May 16, 2013 8:57:55 PM

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