Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Just the Stats

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Just the Stats

Article excerpt

The set of statistics compiled for this annual law edition presents a mixed picture of the status of minorities and women in the legal profession. Though minorities have been applying to law schools in record numbers, the percentage of African-American and Mexican-American first-year law students has steadily declined in recent years. And though most students who sit for the bar exam eventually pass, African-Americans and Hispanics tend to lag behind Whites and Asian-Americans.

For women, the situation is more grim after law school: although women make up nearly half of law school enrollment--47 percent, according to an American Bar Association analysis of 2008-09 academic year data--women comprise only 31 percent of all lawyers. Only 15 percent of General Counsel at Fortune 500 companies are women.

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Another area where diversity and law intersect: the rise in discrimination cases. The number of racial and gender discrimination lawsuits have increased during the past decade, while the percentage of closures have declined, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Here are other telling facts and figures regarding diversity for this law-themed edition.

Women in the Legal Profession

1,180,386

Total Lawyers

31%

Percent women

SOURCE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION, 2009

Decrease in representation of African-American and Mexican-American Matriculants, 1993-2008:

-7.5%

African-American

-11. …

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