10 Nova L.J. 319 (1985-1986)
Application of the Tipping Point Principle to Law Faculty Hiring Policies

handle is hein.journals/novalr10 and id is 337 raw text is: Application Of The Tipping Point Principle To Law
Faculty Hiring Policies
Derrick A. Bell, Jr.
Derrick Bell is a professor and former dean at University of Ore-
gon School of Law. Previously he taught at Harvard Law School
for ten years. An experienced civil rights litigator, he has taught
and written extensively in the areas of civil rights and constitu-
tional law.
The cry of the harassed supervisor - Dammit, don't just stand
there; do something, even if it is wrong! - is a desperation-born ad-
monition that could well be the anguished plea of black and other
teachers of color, called out from increasingly tenuous positions on the
faculties in America's mainly white law schools. Consider the facts.
The modest but measureable growth in the number of black and brown
teachers on the faculties of white schools that climbed from almost
none to 200 in the last 15 years has stagnated and is now in decline.1
Moreover, a conference of Minority Law Teachers held at the Univer-
sity of San Francisco Law School in October, 1985,2 found teachers of
color suffering the same debilitating work tensions, isolation and aliena-
tion reported by their predecessors in the early 1970s.1 The SALT Re-
1. The sad statistics are contained in Society of American Law Teachers State-
ment on Minority Hiring in AALS Law Schools: A Position Paper on the Need For
Voluntary Quotas (1984) [hereinafter cited as SALT report]. In summary, the report
finds that among the 92 AALS schools responding to a SALT survey, there were 28
schools with no minority faculty and 32 schools with only one. Another 20 schools have
two minority faculty members. Excluding the four historically black schools, Howard,
North Carolina Central, Southern, and Texas Southern, there are only 14 schools
with more than two minorities; (10 schools with three, 3 with four and 1 with five) with
minorities in these schools representing from 4% to 11% of the faculty. Id. at 1. It is
not wild surmise to assume that these figures would not be much improved had the
approximately 50 non-responding schools submitted data on their other-than-white
faculty members.
2. The papers presented at the conference will be published in a future edition of
the San Francisco Law Review.
3. See, e.g., Report of Conference of Minority Administrators and Law Teach-
ers, Northwestern University School of Law (1976) [hereinafter cited as Northwestern

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