By Sarah Green
LAW WEEK COLORADO
Although the number of racial minorities and women pursuing a legal education is increasing in the U.S., the percentage of law students with diverse backgrounds who graduate from law school, and ultimately obtain high-ranking positions in law firms, is still significantly low. According to a study conducted by the American Bar Association, “diversity is widely embraced in principle within the legal profession but seldom realized in practice.” Thus, women and racial minorities have become grossly underrepresented at the top. Consequently, law continues to be one of the least diverse professions in the U.S.
Bruce Smith, who recently took over as dean of the University of Denver Sturm School of Law, said he feels there is still a lack of diversity among law students, despite accomplishments that have been made over that past few decades.
“In some ways, the field of law has been responsible for breaking down barriers to educational access, perhaps most notably in Brown v. Board (of Education), but the revolution, if we wish to call it that, is significantly incomplete,” he said.
Smith currently serves on several educational, civic and corporate boards, including the board of advisors of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System as well as the board of directors of the Center for Legal Inclusiveness, giving him a platform to discuss the importance of inclusivity and diversity within the field of law.