During the 1975-1976 school year, only 7.8% of law students were minorities. According to a December report from The Journal of Black Students in Higher Education, that number has more than tripled. However, minority student representation is still lacking in the top law schools. The percentages of African American judges, lawyers, law students and law school graduates are all below the percentage of African Americans in the overall U. S. population. In fact, at the top 15 law schools, no school is comprised of more than 9% African American students.
At the top of the list are Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania and Duke with 8.7%, 7.4% and 7.1%, respectively. The bottom three schools are Northwestern, the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Michigan with 4.7%, 4.4% and 3.6%, respectively. The report states, “We believe that educational equality will not exist until Blacks have achieved a proportionate level of enrollments at the schools that graduate the leaders of our society.”
Many law experts say that stats often do not tell the entire story of the law school. That is, just because percentages of minority students might be low, it could still be a very open campus with many resources and clubs geared towards minority students. Admissions counselors often let minority applicants know they should contact current minority students to get a realistic understanding of what it is like to be a minority at that respective school before deciding on which school to attend.
One key question to ask current students is how professors interact with and respond to minority students. Additionally, students should ask current or former students how successful the school is in helping find employment for minority graduates. It is interesting that the legal profession might be the most influential in advancing equality for all American citizens and that minorities are still underrepresented in top law schools.
Source: The Huffington Post
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