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"Race and Representation: Racial Disparities in Legal Representation for Employment Civil Rights Plaintiffs"

  • Publication: New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy

12/1/2012, Robert L. Nelson, Laura Beth Nielsen, New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy

New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, Vol. 15:3

Also with Amy Myrick, J.D.-Ph.D. Candidate, Northwestern University Sociology Department and School of Law. J.D. program completed 2009; M.A. Northwestern University, 2010; B.A. Brown University, 2003

This study finds a marked racial disparity in legal representation rates between whites and racial minorities in employment discrimination cases. The disparity may result from plaintiffs’ beliefs about lawyers, economic factors, and the unintended effects of how lawyers pre-screen their clients. Plaintiffs without lawyers are dramatically less likely than other plaintiffs to gain a successful outcome.

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