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Lawyers, Legal Ed, Diversity
Transcript of Lawyers, Legal Ed, Diversity
Law as a Profession Part 1
Role of Lawyer
What do Lawyers "DO"?
Where do the work?
Inquisatorial System (France)
"represent their clients zealously ... within the confines of the law"
American lawyers have a "wholehearted commitment to their clients"
"the assumption is that a partisan presentation by each side will ensure [everything] is evaluated thereby promoting a well-informed decision."
"In Germany, for example, the rules of legal ethics expressly forbid attorneys from coaching witnesses."
In an inquisatorial system, the lawyer is an "Independent organ in the administration of justice."
"the inquisatorial system places considerable faith in the wisdom of the judge"
Who do they represent?
Becoming a Lawyer
Pass the Bar Exam
Apply to Law School/s
Stages of Dispute Resolution
Mediation and Arbitration
Diversity and Bias in the Profession
47% women in local law schools
33% women in respondent firms
25% of equity partners (up from 18% in 2005)
Source: SAGE Study by MSBA
Respondents perceive more bias based on gender and ethnicity/race than based on religion, disability, or GLBT identification.
In every diversity category, respondents perceived law schools as the most bias-free, followed by courtrooms; respondents perceived the greatest bias in legal workplaces and in interactions with opposing counsel.
“[A]lmost never see another person of color in the courtroom speaking on behalf of another Fortune 500 client in any civil case I'm in. … and that is not a lot different than what I would say five years ago.”
Senior Management focus group participant: African-American male in practice
21-25 years, large firm
“I think with respect to a lot of these issues, particularly with respect to race, we have a
And by that, I mean we’re just not getting enough qualified
applicants in and through law schoo
l with the qualifications necessary to be able to — we’re not having that diversity at that level, not enough.”
Senior Caucasian Men focus group participant: in practice 25+ years
“I think a majority belief is that if we have a person here of color that’s all we have to do. WE don’t have to do anything else and hopefully they can sink or swim. If they swim great, but I don’t think they think long term about
career development, advancement opportunities
that are made available to everybody else in the office.”
African-American focus group participant: male in practice 6-10 years
“... one of the things that's difficult is putting in systemic programs that really work to try to both increase diversity, not just of people coming into law school or coming into whatever employer you're talking about, but creating a real
ladder into leadership.”
Asian-American focus group participant: female in practice 6-10 years