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Unpublished Paper
Student Body Diversity: A View from the Trenches
ExpressO (2007)
  • Gail S. Stephenson, Southern University Law Center

Although educators have stressed the value of classroom diversity for 150 years, American law schools are becoming less diverse. Total minority enrollment in ABA-approved law schools was down for the academic year 2005-2006, and the number of African Americans enrolled has reached its lowest point since 1990-1991. The ABA revised Standard 211 (renumbered 212) to require law schools to “demonstrate by concrete action” their commitment to diversity. This revision has been quite controversial, drawing opposition from those who do not believe that diversity is important.

The author, who teaches at a historically black law school with a fairly even mix of black and white students, has a different perspective from most of the diversity opponents. Using her own experiences and the insights of her students, she discusses the challenges and rewards of a diverse student body. She concludes that the rewards far outweigh the challenges and that law schools with homogenous student bodies need to be pushed out of their comfort zones by the ABA.

  • diversity,
  • Standard 211,
  • Standard 212,
  • pedagogy,
  • equity pedagogy,
  • civil rights,
  • culture clash,
  • cultural relevance,
  • classroom diversity
Publication Date
February, 2007
Citation Information
Gail S. Stephenson. "Student Body Diversity: A View from the Trenches" ExpressO (2007)
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