Trends Among Minority Law School Applicants
Diversity has always been an issue in the legal industry.
Just last year, the ABA found that minorities made up only a third of total enrollment at law schools in America.
As a minority applying to law school, it may seem like the odds are against you. But experts have highlighted a few helpful stats for minority law school hopefuls.
REPRESENTATION AT LAW SCHOOLS
Ethnic minorities continue to be underrepresented amongst law schools.
In 2019, according to a study, roughly 62% of law students were white – a statistic that is representative of the overall US population. 12% identified as Hispanic, with 7.8% African American, and 6.3% Asian.
Representation looks different when you compare higher-ranked law schools to lower-ranked ones too.
At the top 30 law schools, 10% of students are Asian American, 9% are Hispanic and 6% are African American.
At the lowest-ranked law schools, 23% are Hispanic, 16% are African American and 4% are Asian American.
Experts say this is an important note to highlight.
“Clearly, higher-ranked law schools are not meeting the rising interests of Black and Hispanic women,” Kuris writes. “There may be many causes for this shortfall, from opportunity gaps to inadequate outreach, but its consequences are worrisome. Graduates of low-ranked or unranked law schools may have trouble passing the bar, finding legal work and paying off tuition debt.”
Experts say that in order to make law school truly diverse, change has to be instituted structurally.
Dean Laura Rosenbury, of the University of Florida Levin College of Law, recently got rid of dues to the law school’s student bar association, making it easier for students to join and become active members.
When creating a community of inclusiveness, “It has to be bottom-up, it has to come from the student body themselves,” Rosenbury tells the ABA Journal.
Kuris’s advice to minority applicants? Show how you can contribute to diversity and inclusion.
“All law school applicants who feel they will contribute to the diversity of their law school community should express this in their applications by writing personal statements and diversity statements that give a full picture of their experience and interests,” Kuris writes.