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Diversity in Practice: Race, Gender, and Class in Legal and Professional Careers

  • Publication: Cambridge University Press Studies in Law and Society
  • Research area: Legal Profession/Legal Education

6/30/2016, Robert L. Nelson, Ronit Dinovitzer, Cambridge University Press Studies in Law and Society

Cover of Diversity in Practice: Race, Gender, and Class in Legal and Professional Careers

Diversity in Practice: Race, Gender, and Class in Legal and Professional Careers

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Editors:

Part of Cambridge Studies in Law and Society

Expressions of support for diversity are nearly ubiquitous among contemporary law firms and corporations. Organizations back these rhetorical commitments with dedicated diversity staff and various diversity and inclusion initiatives. Yet, the goal of proportionate representation for people of color and women remains unrealized. Members of historically underrepresented groups remain seriously disadvantaged in professional training and work environments that white, upper-class men continue to dominate. While many professional labor markets manifest patterns of demographic inequality, these patterns are particularly pronounced in the law and elite segments of many professions. Diversity in Practice analyzes the disconnect between expressed commitments to diversity and practical achievements, revealing the often obscure systemic causes that drive persistent professional inequalities. These original contributions build on existing literature and forge new paths in explaining enduring patterns of stratification in professional careers. These more realistic assessments provide opportunities to move beyond mere rhetoric to something approaching diversity in practice.

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