"No single minority group in the United States accounts for more than 4% of the lawyers in the United States"
We live in a diverse society, lawyers serve a diverse population worldwide and diversity is an integral part of doing business anywhere in the world. This diversity should be reflected in the field of law, but it is not.
Law schools and law firms are working towards increasing diversity in the field of law. In the classroom, diversity adds different perspectives to discussion and can help us all get a more well rounded education.
When I think about diversity in law, I always think about the film, "Rabbit Proof Fence". I think anyone questioning the need for diversity among those who make legislature that affects the entire population, will understand the need after seeing this film.
This film is based on true events, and reflects the negative parts of our history as human beings. In this film, mixed children (Aborigini and White) where taken from their families and sent to institutions which taught them to forget their culture and language and to assimilate into the White Australian population.
This sort of legislature was present all over the world and had enormous effects on minority populations, like the American Indians and African slaves of the US.
Looking at the film today, it is obvious that the Aborigini voice was not heard and that their perspectives should have been reflected in the legislature that so dramatically affected their families for generations.
Today, minorities still face many obstacles for equal access to health care, educational opportunities, etc.
Minority Status in the Application Process
It is important that minorities state their ethnicity in the law school application process. It can help the Admissions Committee get a better understanding of your background and the challenges you have faced and overcome.
It is just as important that you give the Admissions Committee an in depth view of what being a minority has meant to you. One Admissions Representative said in a Law School Conference,
"Saying you are Black or Asian or American Indian means nothing to me. I will not assume it automatically means you faced obstacles. It is up to you to show me how, and why your path has brought you to law school."
What does this mean? It means share your story.
Take the time to write those optional essays which can show the Admissions Committee aspects of your life that no GPA or LSAT score can show. You are more than numbers and for many minorities, numbers are incapable of showing your potential or passion for success.