New CWIL-NALP Report on Disparities in Social and Educational Experiences of Women of Color in Law School
Highlights among the study’s findings:
- Students were asked to assess race relations at their law school during the survey year (2017-2018); not surprisingly, opinions differ among student groups. While less than one-half (40%) of women of color provided a positive rating, 70% of white men did so, with 59% of men of color and 58% of white women rated race relations at their school positively.
- Although levels of satisfaction with the law school experience are high among all genders and race/ethnicities, a significantly lower percentage of women of color report they are “satisfied” with their overall law school experience (82%) than white women (89%). Furthermore, women of color reported that they were “extremely satisfied” with their law school experience at a level 14% lower than their white male peers.
- A higher percentage (31%) of women of color report they have seriously considered leaving law school than men of color (26%), white women (24%), or white men (22%). Among the responding women of color, Black/African American women report that they are the most likely to have seriously considered withdrawing from law school (38%), while Hispanic women/Latinas are the least likely (22%) to report this consideration.
- The average expected educational debt is much higher for women of color than their majority peers. In general, the amount of total post-graduate educational debt students anticipate varies greatly by race/ethnicity. Both the average and median anticipated total educational debt women of color are comparable - $105,021, and $100,000, respectively, with their estimated total educational debt ranging between zero and $500,000.
Thank you, Judge Marilyn G. Paja, for alerting NAWJ to this report. Judge Paja is a former NAWJ District 13 Director and currently chairs NAWJ’s ADA Compliance Committee. She is also Co-Chair of the Washington State Gender & Justice Commission.