The paucity of minority students in law schools has been the source of handwringing for decades, not only by legal educators but also by advocates who recognize that the larger legal profession can’t diversify unless law schools do so first. Countless pipeline programs attempt to interest underrepresented students as young as elementary school in legal careers; law schools go to great lengths to attract minority and low-income students.
Still, national minority enrollment made only modest gains during the past decade. Minorities comprised slightly more than one-fifth of all J.D. students in 2003 and just more than one-quarter in 2012, according to the American Bar Association. That means legal education still has a long way to go before it reflects the diversity of the country as a whole, considering that minorities made up 37 percent of the population in 2012. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that whites will lose their majority status by 2043.
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