Law students these days are more diverse than ever before. And going hand in hand with a more diverse law student body, law school leadership is as diverse as it has ever been too.
Recently, Law.com reported about two new law school deans that are both women and minorities, and which significantly bring up the percentage of women and minority deans at law schools. Now, according to the Association of American Law Schools, 35 percent of law schools are headed by women. Impressively, half of the top 10 law schools have women deans.
Law School Diversity Is Important
Simply put, diversity is important in education because students benefit from the varied perspective of their classmates and instructors. The real world is diverse, clients and co-workers will be diverse, and when students are exposed to diversity in school, they will be more equipped to handle the real world after graduation.
But to attract a diverse pool of student applicants, schools have found that having a diverse faculty, and diverse leadership, helps, but is only one part of the process of improving diversity. And since students know that a diverse student body and faculty benefits them, these become part of the criteria that students look for when choosing a school.
Notably, the recent increase in women leadership at law schools is helping to close the gap between the percentages of women in law school and women in leadership positions at law schools. Currently, women account for a little bit more than half of all first-year law students. The same is true for minority law students and school leadership, but to a lesser extent at approximately a third of incoming law students, with approximately 16% of leadership roles being held by minorities.