Five years ago, a novel study titled A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law found that “Asian Americans have penetrated virtually every sector of the legal profession, but they are significantly underrepresented in the leadership ranks of law firms, government, and academia.” Its key results were cited in a range of advocacy efforts, including before Congress, state bars, law firms, and leading companies. Since then, the Asian American community has been significantly affected by major events, including a disturbing rise in anti-Asian hate and violence. One in six Asian Americans reported experiencing a hate incident in 2021, up from one in eight in 2020.
The past five years have also seen a growing movement to address anti-Black racism as well as myriad challenges posed by a global pandemic. Against this backdrop, we present A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law 2.0: Identity and Action in Challenging Times. This study again canvasses Asian American attorneys for insights into law school enrollment, career advancement, and political participation. To these ends, we researched the literature on diversity in the legal profession, conducted our own survey of Asian American attorneys (2022 Survey), and led focus groups with Asian American lawyers to gain qualitative insights.