Diversity and Inclusion in Law School and Higher Education

Preventing Attrition: Critical Interventions to Close the Racial Gap in Non-Transfer Attrition

Document Type

Law Review Article

Publication Date



student attrition


Law schools are losing students of color to non-transfer attrition at a rate nearly 19% higher than that of white students. This racial disparity is unacceptable, and law schools must take concrete steps to eliminate it. In order to do so, law schools will have to take action both inside and outside of the classroom. Faculty must be more directly engaged in the teaching of metacognitive and academic skills. Student Affairs Offices must work with Academic Affairs Offices to develop programs that foster and sense of belonging, and assist students with navigating the challenges of law schools. Finally, the entire law school community must work to address the mental health and substance abuse issues that are far too prevalent in the legal academy and the legal profession. It is only by treating each student as an individual capable of growth and academic success, that law schools will be able to close the attrition gap.

Part I of this article addresses interventions that faculty can undertake to help students improve their own learning process. Part II focuses on enhancing the law school community for student success. Part III addresses the pervasive problem of mental health and substance abuse concerns among law students and legal professionals, which also leads some law students to leave law school.