Speak Up: Now What?

speak_up_now_what

SPEAK UP: NOW WHAT?

Inspired by earlier research on disparities at the Yale Law School (YLS), Yale Law Women (YLW) convened a working group in the fall of 2014 to delve into issues of climate, diversity, and achievement at YLS. We sought to answer the following three questions:

(1) Should diversity matter as an institutional value for a place like YLS?

(2) What steps, if any, have been taken in the last several years to improve diversity, and have

they been successful?

(3) If problems persist, what can students, professors, and administrators do next?

In search of answers, we looked to several sources of evidence. First, to understand diversity at YLS in the context of legal education more broadly, we collected records maintained by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and the American Bar Association (ABA). We then analyzed information from law school websites, journal mastheads, and competition announcements. Second, to capture qualitative data about the culture at YLS and recent initiatives, we conducted twenty-five interviews with faculty, students, and administrators. Lastly, we reviewed literature to explore the academic and social implications of diversity.

The goal of this report is to demonstrate the importance of diversity, as measured by many different metrics, to the success of Yale Law students, faculty, and the institution itself. It concludes by proposing next steps for the administration in increasing the inclusion and support of diverse students and faculty at the law school.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Thank you to our many collaborators and contributors, including the faculty, students, administrators, affinity group leaders, and practicing attorneys who contributed quotes and provided thoughtful insights and comments.

THE SPEAK UP: NOW WHAT? COMMITTEE

Charles Du

Jesselyn Friley

Chiyel Hayles Lum

April Hu

Beezly Kiernan

Monika Kothari

Emma Larson

Andrea Levien

Anna Mohan

My Khanh Ngo

John Rafael Perez

Joseph Samuels

Daniel Sheehan

Shelle Shimizu

Sophia Wang

Rachel Wilf

Alice Xiang

CHAIR OF THE SPEAK UP: NOW WHAT? COMMITTEE

Claire Simonich

ADVOCACY CHAIR OF YALE LAW WOMEN

Grace Heusner

CHAIR OF YALE LAW WOMEN

Stephanie Krent