Paint By Number? How the Race and Gender of Law School Faculty Affect the First-Year Curriculum

Chicana/o-Latina/o Law Review, Vol. 29, No. 1, p. 1, 2010

Thomas Jefferson School of Law Research Paper No. 1957246

42 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2011

See all articles by Meera E. Deo

Meera E. Deo

Thomas Jefferson School of Law; Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE)

Maria Woodruff

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

Rican Vue

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

While there is a relatively standard first-year curriculum at all ABA-accredited law schools in the U.S., no two classrooms are identical. This article examines how the race and gender of law school faculty affect both what is taught in the first year and how that material is taught. Using focus group data from a national, longitudinal, multi-method study of American law schools, this article reveals that faculty of color and female faculty are more likely to engage in "diversity discussions" (discussions involving race and gender) than their white male counterparts. While many students appreciate these discussions and mention numerous ways in which these conversations enhance their legal education, some prefer their exclusion. Also, a few professors are so insensitive to diversity issues that they may be creating a hostile learning environment for some students. The article concludes by offering implications and policy suggestions to improve learning outcomes for students, retention rates for both students and faculty, and faculty diversity generally.

Keywords: legal education, law school curriculum, law students, diversity, race discrimination, gender discrimination, sex discrimination, learning outcomes, faculty diversity

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K30

Suggested Citation

Deo, Meera E. and Woodruff, Maria and Vue, Rican, Paint By Number? How the Race and Gender of Law School Faculty Affect the First-Year Curriculum (2010). Chicana/o-Latina/o Law Review, Vol. 29, No. 1, p. 1, 2010; Thomas Jefferson School of Law Research Paper No. 1957246. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1957246

Meera E. Deo (Contact Author)

Thomas Jefferson School of Law ( email )

701 B Street
Suite 110
San Diego, CA 92101
United States
619-961-4227 (Phone)

Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) ( email )

1900 E. Tenth Street Eigenmann Hall
Suite 419
Bloomington, IN 47406-7512
United States

Maria Woodruff

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Graduate School of Education and Information Studies ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1520
United States

Rican Vue

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Graduate School of Education and Information Studies ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1520
United States

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