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March 15, 2014


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Anthony Infanti

Given the history of exclusion from the practice of law on the basis of sexual orientation, this is a form of diversity that definitely should be measured. The lack of measurement or valuation of diversity along sexual-orientation- and gender-identity-based lines is not explainable by any reason other than discomfort or ignorance on the part of those doing the measuring. NALP has measured diversity along these lines for years (I can remember, many years ago, being the only "out" LGBT person at the law firm I worked at who was reported to NALP--I certainly wasn't the only LGBT individual, just the only one who was out). It is long past time for USNews (and others, they are far from alone) to start counting LGBT individuals in their measures of diversity.

M. Jones

There are all kinds of diversity that could potentially be measured that are not (e.g., class). Enter Occam's razor. I would hazard a guess that the ABA doesn't collect data on every form of diversity because they are not wanting to expressively value and incentivize all forms of diversity. The same could be said of other organizations. The other side of this would be to question why we measure racial diversity or sex-based diversity and I expect the answer is because it is seen (in proportions approaching consensus, if not yet there) as socially valuable.

Jeff Redding

Anthony: Thanks for your perspective and the information on NALP!

M. Jones: Thanks too for your input. In addition to race, gender, and sexual orientation diversity, I can see class, religion, and dis/ability as important diversities to measure as well. I'm sure there might be others too.


Sex diversity has been attained. Racial diversity is on the way.

There is no diversity in law schools when it comes to STEM background and ability. Indeed, our Supreme Court is a model for lack of religious diversity and STEM diversity: only Breyer among the nine has a clue about math and science.

After he leaves, we'll be left with the usual crowd of Engllish, history, and political science majors. No matter, COTUS and POTUS are equally handicapped.


What the heck does a disembodied female leg poking out of an armoire have to do with the topic of this post?


A few years back, Bank of America sought to collect information from its employees regarding their sexual orientation and it caused a huge backlash, even though it appeared that the bank wanted the information so that it could better meet the needs of its employees. They ceased the effort almost immediately because of the negative press. It is still a hot button issue and not so easy to measure.

Jeff Redding

Anon: Thanks for the information. Is this the incident you were thinking of?

It sounds like there was a fair amount of distrust between the employees and employer in the first instance there. I wonder if the dynamic is different between students filling out a survey for their law school, including information about their SOGI, and this situation of employer/employee conflict.

Jeff Harrison

Ideally, the quality of the education is influenced by diversity and should be part of the analysis. And, as things stand now, if gender and race count the exclusion of sexual preference and socioeconomic class makes little sense. Age would also be a factor. My classes often benefit by having students who have been out for some time. USN@WR should include them all. What increasingly concerns me is that I am not sure we get diversity when we admit or hire diversity. In faculty hiring most minority hires have upper middle class backgrounds and elite degrees. The bring some diversity. The same is likely true of other "diverse" groups. I think diversity in the student body is more important but I am not sure a single characteristic can be used any longer to identify meaningful diversity.

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