In the wake of last summer’s protests, more law firms in the AmLaw 200 are being more vocal about plans to increase their diversity. For decades, Big Law has been one of the least diverse industries in America, especially when it comes to Black lawyers. In episode three of Black Lawyers Speak, we focus on the legal education pipeline and whether law schools and law students can push law firms to be accountable for their rhetoric.
Legal experts point out that one reason for the lack of diversity is the fact that elite firms tend to recruit and hire most from top-ranked law schools. And, not only are these schools expensive and difficult to get into, but they just don’t graduate enough students of color to diversify an entire corporate sector. Some law school deans argue that to be successful, the legal industry will need to start doing things differently. That could include hiring a larger percentage of students from schools ranked outside of U.S. News & World Report’s top 14 and re-evaluating the significance of law school rankings.
In episode three of Black Lawyers Speak, Bloomberg Law interviews:
- L. Song Richardson, dean and professor of law, University of California, Irvine School of Law
- Mariah Levy, law student, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
- Rashad Abdallah, law student, University of Michigan Law School
- Rachel Barnes, law student, University of Virginia School of Law; chair of the National Black Law Students Association
- Danielle Holley-Walker, dean and professor of law, Howard University School of Law
- Tsedale Melaku, sociologist, Critical Race and Gender Scholar
- Elie Mystal , justice correspondent at The Nation
- Wendell Taylor, Washington office managing partner of Hunton Andrews Kurth
- Merle Vaughn, managing director and national law firm diversity practice leader at Major, Lindsey & Africa
Black Lawyers Speak, a five-episode podcast series, is part of [Un]Common Law, Bloomberg Industry Group’s new home for audio documentaries. Subscribe to [Un]Common Law and the Black Lawyers Speak series wherever you get your podcasts:
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