Introduction to this guide
The following bibliography consists of resources pertaining to diversity, equity, and inclusion in law school settings, particularly any that discuss student and faculty experiences and diversity issues in current law school curriculums. It tries to consider Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as broadly as possible, including: gender; race and ethnicity; indigeneity; sexuality; disability/ableism; mental health; generation/ageism; neurodiversity; and intersectionality. This guide is intended to be a living list of resources, to be edited, added to, and commented on as needed.
Materials in this guide contain difficult discussions about legal education, many featuring or referencing actual lived experiences featuring, prejudice, trauma, mental illness and other factors causing deleterious effects on students’ law school experiences. This pervasiveness warrants a blanket trigger warning; readers should be aware that any or all of these resources discuss these topics, in whole or in part, and may trigger personal memories or sensitivities. Please take care when reading.
Resource Organization and Accessibility:
This blog is organized into broad categorical pages reflecting a resources’ apparent primary topic (these pages are located in the menu at the top of the page), and the listings are organized by authors’ last names. When possible, a resource may be cross-listed under additional pages; but, readers should be aware that, in order to create a holistic, belonging environment, intersectional identities across race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality require that all of these categories must remain fluid. So, readers should take this guide and its included resources as a whole, rather than taking only from individual sections they find most relevant, otherwise they may miss important considerations from other perspectives.
This guide has been designed with accessibility in mind, and all paged should meet standards for use with assistive technology; however, it is not guaranteed that the resources linked are themselves accessible and may need further remediation (i.e. PDFs). All of the resource titles here are linked to the original text or publisher’s website, and all links will open in a new window. Where possible, the author has linked scholarly articles to open-access scholarship databases, such as various university scholarship commons, SSRN, and law reviews’ official websites, allowing easier access and shareability. Where open access is not available, the author has provided a disclaimer that the link will take users to HeinOnline and that an account will be required. If you need assistance in accessing your HeinOnline account, or accessing any of the materials presented here, please contact the law library for assistance.
Key Vocabulary, Search Terms, and Disciplines:
Some of these resources relate and refer to “critical” or “outsider” theories, such as “Critical Race Theory,” and the sub-theories “LatCrit,” “QueerCrit,” “GenderCrit,” “Critical Legal Research,” and “Critical Legal Studies,” as applied to “legal education” or “law schools.” These theories offer the ability to review the current status quo through perspectives of traditionally marginalized communities and help foster DEIB improvements in law schools generally, with curriculum changes making up just a part of those improvements.
Resources here also criticize existing facets of law school education environments, such as curriculum delivery, the Socratic method, faculty hiring and publishing practices, and student competitions, making these other important search terms to consider. Other key vocabulary to search with include: “Critical Legal Education” and “cultural humility” (which is replacing “cultural competency”).
Omitted and Silenced Voices:
Importantly, there are vocabularies that may have changed or that have been omitted over time, so, when researching, users should also consider a publication’s date, then-current social demographics, and possible author identities; given changes in language, contemporary terms may not represent prior vocabularies, creating unintentional silences if not considered; however, in other narratives, readers should also consider which voices are explicitly missing or not represented.
This guide consists primarily of books, law review, and peer-reviewed legal journal scholarship about incorporating diversity into law school curriculum and environments. However, this offers only select perspectives and solutions limited to those who can and do publish on the topic; for example, there are not many queer voices who publish on changing law school environments, because queer scholars tend to write more frequently on jurisprudence. But, the resources here point to an array of other scholarly disciplines that may even better inform how law schools properly adapt to the needs and demands of their increasingly diverse law school communities, including from: medicine, social work, higher education and learning, anthropology, sociology, economics, and even library and information sciences. As professional schools, medicine and social work programs are regarded as being on the forefront of adapting their environments and curricula, and, as pipelines to law school, higher education research offers information on the incoming student populations; together, research in these disciplines may provide greater and more parallel insights into how law schools could or should proceed.
The author is a millennial, first-generation student, law school graduate, and librarian; he identifies as a multiracial, queer, cis-gendered male, with mental health and neurodiverse diagnoses. These lenses helped inform this list, but naturally come with their own implicit or experienced biases. If there are any resources reflecting broader views to add to this blog or resources that prove problematic and should be removed, please discuss further with the author.