Diversity and Inclusion in Law School and Higher Education

Title

Towards a Pedagogy of Diversity in Legal Education

Document Type

Law Review Article

Publication Date

10-2014

Keywords

diverse campus environment, experiential learning

Abstract

There is resounding consensus that diversity in legal education is a priority. Yet, North American law schools continue to be criticized for failing to reflect the diversity of the society that they are training lawyers to serve. This article is a project of conceptual reorientation against a backdrop of critical scholarship and empirical evidence. Parts I and II examine the past twenty years of diversity promotion in legal education, concluding that, while several advances have been made, especially in increasing numerical representation of diverse groups in law schools, the promise of meaningful diversity remains unfulfilled. Part III suggests that reforms in legal education, though well-intentioned, have continued to focus on the production of a model of professional identity that is out of reach and out of touch for many minority students. In Parts IV and V, the author outlines a program for transforming the norm of lawyering taught in law school. Grounded in a normative framework of access to justice and equality, the author argues that experiential/clinical learning practices offer a useful method to achieve a more engaged pedagogical commitment to diversity in legal education.

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