A Reckoning Over Law Faculty Inequality

14 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2020 Last revised: 23 Sep 2020

See all articles by Melanie D. Wilson

Melanie D. Wilson

University of Tennessee College of Law

Date Written: September 1, 2020


In this review, I examine Dr. Meera E. Deo’s book, Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia, published last year by Stanford University Press. In Unequal Profession, Deo, an expert on institutional diversity, presents findings from a first-of-its-kind empirical study, documenting many of the challenges women of color law faculty confront daily in legal academia. Deo uses memorable quotes and powerful stories from the study’s faculty participants to present her important work in 169 readable and revealing pages. Unequal Profession begins by outlining the barriers women of color face when entering law teaching and progresses through the life cycle of the law professor (including the treacherous tenure process). It covers leadership, before concluding with work-life balance.

Unequal Profession is especially timely and important. In the wake of George Floyd’s death and the national outrage it ignited, law schools denounced racism and vowed to take concrete, anti-racist steps to improve society, the legal profession, and law schools themselves. Many law faculties committed to hiring and retaining more underrepresented faculty colleagues and, correspondingly, to attracting a more diverse student body. If law schools are serious about changing, then they should read Unequal Profession. As this review demonstrates, Unequal Profession is a definitive resource for improving inequality in legal education.

Keywords: legal academia, book review, unequal profession

Suggested Citation

Wilson, Melanie D., A Reckoning Over Law Faculty Inequality (September 1, 2020). Denver Law Review Online, Vol. 98, 2020, University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 402, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3684921

Melanie D. Wilson (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee College of Law ( email )

1505 West Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States

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