Are Discipline Code Proceedings Another Example of Racial Disparities in Legal Education?

22 U. Md. L.J. Race Religion Gender & Class 1 (2022)

Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2022-12

40 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2022 Last revised: 2 Nov 2022

See all articles by Andrea Anne Curcio

Andrea Anne Curcio

Georgia State University - College of Law

Alexis Martinez

Georgia Institute of Technology

Date Written: July 22, 2022

Abstract

Addressing racism within legal education has historically focused on diversifying the faculty and student body, as well as integrating teaching about institutional and structural racism into the law school curriculum. More recently, law school faculty have begun to focus on creating an inclusive campus culture, which requires looking at all systems and procedures that affect our students' sense of belonging and potential success as students and lawyers. One system that merits this attention is law school disciplinary code proceedings. This Article reviews studies from K-12, undergraduate, and lawyer disciplinary proceedings--all of which have found disparities exist. Given those findings, it is unlikely law school disciplinary code proceedings are a disparity-free zone. Because of the effect of disciplinary code proceedings on students' academic and career trajectories, as well as their emotional well-being, if law schools truly seek to address the institutional, structural, and interpersonal racism within our institutions, this area needs to be explored. The Article argues that law schools should collect demographic data from all phases of disciplinary code proceedings. Without this data, law schools cannot fully understand the impact of systems believed to operate neutrally but are, in fact, not neutral. If, as we suspect, the data shows disparities, the data also moves legal educators from a framework where we believe disparities, if they exist, are unintentional and we have no accountability, to a new framework of collective accountability for institutional practices that systematically disadvantage particular groups. The Article concludes with ideas to help ameliorate disciplinary code proceeding disparities should a law school find that they exist.

Keywords: legal education, disciplinary proceedings, honor code, ethics, racial disparities, discrimination

Suggested Citation

Curcio, Andrea Anne and Martinez, Alexis, Are Discipline Code Proceedings Another Example of Racial Disparities in Legal Education? (July 22, 2022). 22 U. Md. L.J. Race Religion Gender & Class 1 (2022), Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2022-12, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4170269

Andrea Anne Curcio (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

Alexis Martinez

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA 30332
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
24
Abstract Views
184
PlumX Metrics