Law Students

ABA Proposes Expanded Diversity Standards for Law Schools
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

Law schools are urged to further enhance their inclusivity as the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Standards Committee contemplates expanding diversity standards. The move comes in response to a perceived need for broader inclusivity beyond race and gender, as outlined in Standard 206.

Evolution of Diversity Standards

While law schools have made strides in embracing diverse faculty, the ABA believes that more needs to be done. Recent discussions within the Standards Committee highlight a desire to expand the definition of disadvantaged faculty to include aspects such as religion, national origin, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, military status, Native American tribal citizenship, and socioeconomic background.

Proposed Revisions

The proposed revisions are anticipated to undergo further consideration by the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. The Standards Committee recommends that law schools establish and adhere to policies promoting professionalism, mutual respect, and a sense of belonging for all members of the law school community.

  
What
Where


Long-Term Commitment Amid Legal Challenges

Despite legal challenges such as the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling against affirmative action admission policies, law school faculty, and deans seem committed to the long-term goal of fostering a more inclusive environment. The surveys and anecdotal evidence suggest a collective willingness to address diversity issues persistently.

Ongoing Concerns and Past Revisions

The ABA has revisited Standard 206 several times in recent years, prompted by compliance issues in various law schools. Even those deemed compliant are perceived to have room for improvement. Meera Deo, a professor at Southwestern Law School, views these changes positively, asserting their alignment with existing laws and their potential to enhance access to legal education for historically marginalized communities.

Shifting Demographics and Educational Impact

While the Center for the Study of Applied Legal Education notes increased diversity among faculty over the past two decades, challenges persist. Angela Winfield, the vice president and chief diversity officer at the Law School Admission Council, emphasizes the importance of expanding faculty identifications covered by Standard 206. This not only reassures applicants but also aligns with the profession’s requirements, preparing students for a diverse legal landscape.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




Implementation Challenges and Strategies

The committee has not outlined specific enforcement measures for the revised Standard 206. However, Joan Howarth, a visiting professor at the University of Nevada, believes the lack of new data collection requirements should ease the transition for law schools. The changes are seen as promoting diversity without raising constitutional concerns, directing schools to eliminate barriers to entry.

Proactive Measures and Available Resources

Many law schools have already taken proactive steps to embrace the proposed changes, seeking faculty who were previously excluded. Angela Winfield encourages schools to leverage resources available through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and other law associations to support their efforts in creating a more inclusive environment.



Don’t be a silent ninja! Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.



 

RELEVANT JOBS

Associate Attorney

USA-PA-Exton

ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY McKenna Snyder LLC, a law firm in Exton, PA has an immediate opening for an ex...

Apply now

Attorney

USA-MI-Sturgis

Qualifications: HaasCaywood is seeking associate attorneys for our Coldwater and Sturgis, Michiga...

Apply now

Attorney

USA-MI-Coldwater

Qualifications: HaasCaywood is seeking associate attorneys for our Coldwater and Sturgis, Michiga...

Apply now

Deputy General Counsel / Senior Deputy General Counsel

USA-CA-Sacramento

Cal Cities Culture and Mission Cal Cities is dedicated to creating a collaborative and inclusive ...

Apply now

BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Education Law Attorney

USA-CA-El Segundo

El Segundo office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks an education law attorney with ...

Apply Now

Education Law Attorney

USA-CA-Carlsbad

Carlsbad office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks an education law attorney with 4-...

Apply Now

Education Law and Public Entity Attorney

USA-CA-El Segundo

El Segundo office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks an education law and public ent...

Apply Now

Most Popular

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top