A Teacher Who Looks Like Me

Christine Chambers Goodman

Pepperdine University School of Law

Sarah E. Redfield

University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center)


St. John's Journal of Civil Rights & Economic Development, Vol. 21, p. 105, 2013
Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014/7

Professors Goodman and Redfield focus on the significance of the look of the faculty for successful student outcomes and then discuss possible “makeovers” to that look, both short and long-term. Part I discusses diversity in terms of numbers and briefly summarizes the history and other research literature on the importance of faculty diversity in law schools. Part II moves beyond just numbers to inclusive excellence and engagement and analyzes the particular manifestations of inadequate faculty diversity, addressing not only the student perspective, but also perspectives of faculty, administrators, and the larger communities with which they interact. This Part also includes an exploration of the culture of integration in law schools and the psychological research on how greater diversity lessens biases and permits a critical reframing of conventional approaches to education. Part III addresses how to change a faculty look and offers an approach to surveying existing resources and redeploying them to maximize benefits of diversity. This Part also explains the impact of faculty diversity on the goal of inclusive excellence, focusing on the climate, environment, and pedagogical issues that revolve around diversity. Recognizing that the obvious answer is not the immediately practical one, Part III.B provides a step-by-step approach of identifying and publicizing diversity goals, surveying human and other resources and considering other assets, and otherwise implementing identified strategies to maximize the school's manifestation of diversity characteristics, and thereby augment existing diversity. When hiring opportunities are infrequent, or non-existent, these strategies can showcase the school's current level of diversity in a more positive light and bring about some real change (short of new hires). The long-term goal is to hire more so you can more easily be diverse and inclusive for the educational benefit of our communities.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 63

Keywords: diversity, legal education, law school, faculty, law students, integration, diversity goals

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Date posted: May 4, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Goodman, Christine Chambers and Redfield, Sarah E., A Teacher Who Looks Like Me (2013). St. John's Journal of Civil Rights & Economic Development, Vol. 21, p. 105, 2013; Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014/7. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2432332

Contact Information

Christine Chambers Goodman (Contact Author)
Pepperdine University School of Law ( email )
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
United States
Sarah E. Redfield
University of New Hampshire School of Law ( email )
Two White Street
Concord, NH 03301
United States
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