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4 Colum. J. Race & L. 1 (2013)

handle is hein.journals/cjoral4 and id is 1 raw text is: COLUMBIA JOURNAL OF RACE AND LAW

DIVERSITY IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION:
MOVING FROM RHETORIC TO REALITY
HELIA GARRIDO HULL*
The legal profession, more than others, is uniquey positioned at the helm of social change. The law is
shaped by cultural shifts, and it is the lawyer that plajs the role of architect. Yet, the legal profession is
the least diverse and inclusive profession of all, failing to adapt to the ever changing demographics of
American society. Dejpite numerous attempts at creating diversity and inclusion within the profession,
the /egalprofession remains today much as it was at its inception-white, male dominated. This Article
aims to make contributions that will raise awareness to the crucial need for diversity and inclusion within
the /egal profession such as logical measures beyond sanctions, which are cost effective, reponsible, and
deeply rooted in the profession. The current call by diversity groups for an aff irmative ethics rule that
would sanction lawyers who engage in discrimination in employment practices would be costly and
duplicative. Thus, this Article discusses a cross-section of available rules that are less costly, more
manageable alternatives. The Article proposes that the goal of diversity and inclusion within the
profession cannot be forced, but must be realiZed through consistent measures aimed at creating
accountability, educational awareness, and building supporting connections at each level of the
professional hierarchy.
I.      INTRODUCTION.............................................. 2
II.     A HISTORY OF EXCLUSION WITHIN THE LEGAL PROFESSION ...                             4
A.      Gender in the Profession: It's Still a Man's World ...       .............  6
B.      Race and Ethnicity: A Profession Void of Color       .................. 8
C.      Disability: Incorporating the Differently Abled      ..................    9
D.      Sexual Orientation: Out and Still Underrepresented .....        ..........  10
E.      Towards Closing the Gap: Current Efforts Towards Racial Inclusion
Fall Flat .................................................                11
Associate Professor of Law and Coordinator of the Student Professionalism Enhancement Program, Barry
University Dwayne 0. Andreas School of Law; B.A. Providence College; J.D. Stetson University College of Law. The
author would like to thank her research assistant, Angela R. Wright, for her diligence, enthusiasm, and patience. The
author would also like to thank her husband, Eric V. Hull, and children, Kayleigh and Tyler, for their never-ending love,
support, and encouragement.

2013

1

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