The Importance of Students and Faculty Diversity in Law Schools: One Dean's Perspective
Law Review Article
diverse campus environment, faculty diversity, student diversity impact
This Essay builds on the premise that diversity is highly relevant to evaluating the quality of a law school and the education of its student body. It sketches the arguments for the importance of a multitude of diversities – racial, socioeconomic, gender, and more – for U.S. law schools in their student bodies and faculties to best achieve their educational mission. Borrowing liberally from the Supreme Court’s rejection of a constitutional challenge to the University of Michigan Law School’s race-conscious admissions program in Grutter v. Bollinger, Part I of this Essay considers the educational benefits offered by a diverse law student body. Part II outlines the similar, yet somewhat different, teaching and scholarship benefits that a diverse law faculty bring to a high quality legal education. Part III outlines the educational importance of diversity among law students and faculty based on a wide array of experiences, characteristics, and knowledge other than race. Part IV of this Essay summarizes some of the legal restrictions, as well as limited incentives, for deans and law schools engaged in the active pursuit of diversity among students and faculty.