Unequal Profession, Unleashed

12 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2021

See all articles by Meera E. Deo

Meera E. Deo

Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE); Southwestern Law School; American Bar Foundation

Date Written: April 30, 2021

Abstract

This Essay initiates the Rutgers Law Review symposium, "Taking Our Space: Women of Color and Antiracism in Legal Academia," a collection of essays inspired by my book, Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia (Stanford University Press, 2019). After briefly tracing the origins of the book project, I focus on five themes that outline responses as well as updates to Unequal Profession: (1) claiming my worth; (2) jumping on the bandwagon; (3) centering structural solutions; (4) being part of the solution—not the solution; and (5) understanding pandemic effects on legal academia. Together, these themes reveal the depth and difficulty of the work that the legal academy must take on in order to move our profession closer to equity.

The five themes presented here are insights I have gleaned along the way since Unequal Profession was published. Just as a qualitative researcher draws out patterns and observations from the data, I have performed some preliminary analyses on two-plus years’ worth of responses to Unequal Profession, as well as crafted a brief update on how various events of this past unfathomable year exacerbate raceXgender biases in legal academia. I share these observations so that aspiring authors, current academics, allies in practice, and administrative leaders can work together with me to craft a more equal profession. As the five themes outlined here demonstrate, achieving a more equal profession involves working not only to address naysayers, whose implicit and explicit biases may reinforce inequities, but also for each one of us to critically reflect on our own individual prejudices and opportunities for improvement.

Keywords: legal education, empirical research, diversity equity inclusion, COVID, academia

Suggested Citation

Deo, Meera E., Unequal Profession, Unleashed (April 30, 2021). Rutgers Law Review, Vol. 73, No. 3, 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3928810

Meera E. Deo (Contact Author)

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

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

Southwestern Law School ( email )

3050 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010
United States

American Bar Foundation ( email )

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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