January 09, 2012
Diversity Officers--for Corporations, Law Firms, and Law Reviews
The Wall Street Journal reports that law firms and many Fortune 500 companies have an executive who is responsible for promoting diversity within the firm: "About 60% of Fortune 500 companies currently have a CDO or executive role designated for diversity, according to a recent study by Heidrick & Struggles, an executive search firm." One law firm which has recently created such a position did so because it found that "Without any rigid structures in place, the firm's majority—white male attorneys—were unconsciously choosing to partner with other white male colleagues on assignments," according to the firm's chairman.
Could law review editors be subject to similar unconscious biases--reflected in the selection of new editors, the selection of articles, and the selection of symposium contributors?
The California Law Review (one of my favorite law reviews) has been proactive on this front--appointing a Diversity Editor to consider these issues. Perhaps law reviews could assess their past practices--along the three axes of editor selection, article selection, and symposium contributor selection--and see whether the results require a review of their practices, and perhaps the installation of a diversity officer.
November 15, 2011
Does Having a Diverse Law School Faculty Affect Students? One Study
A fascinating study, summarized here by National Jurist.
Faculty diversity impacts law review membership, study finds
Law schools with a diverse faculty are more likely to have law review members and leaders who are minorities or women, a new study suggests. The report, completed by The New York Law School Law Review, looks at female and minority representation among law review membership and leadership at ABA-accredited law schools. Membership on a school's law review is an indicator of future career success.
“Getting into law school is only half the battle — for better or worse, grades matter a lot and law review membership is one of the most prominent indicators of academic achievement,” said Dana Brodsky, one of four 3L editors who conducted the research. “Our survey shows a possible connection between the overall environment a school provides and the achievement of its women and minority students.”
More empirical research here would seem to be in order to understand the effects, if any, of faculty diversity on student outcomes.
August 26, 2011
Diversity in Deans: A Workshop at Seattle U. School of Law
Seattle University School of Law through its Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality, University of Washington School of Law, and the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), offer this biennial workshop to encourage and assist members of underrepresented groups to pursue deanships and other university and law school leadership positions. The workshop will help you
- Determine whether you want to be a dean and find the right time and place to pursue a deanship;
- Understand the nuts and bolts of the dean's role;
- Prepare yourself to be a successful dean candidate;
- Learn how to negotiate the terms of your appointment and ensure a successful transition to the decanal role;
- Determine what other forms of university and law school leadership roles may be right for you.
This workshop is suggested not only for those considering deaning, but also for those who are planning an upcoming dean search and for those who work closely with the dean, including associate deans.