Diversity in Law: Can Legal Tech Education Help Move the Needle?

Posted on Monday, June 3, 2019

Law Technology Today / June 3, 2019

Nichelle Perry

Nichelle J. Perry

The legal field has come a long way in recent years. However, there are many areas where it lags, primarily in diversity. Following natural sciences and dentistry, the American Bar Association finds lawyers are one of the least diverse groups of professionals. Progress has been made in recent years to diversify the field. In the United States, racial and ethnic minority groups constitute approximately one-fifth of law school graduates. Women account for upwards of one-third of lawyers.

Durham-based North Carolina Central University School of Law, a member of the Relativity Academic Partners Program, is dedicated to supporting a diverse student population. As of October 2018, NCCU had 371 JD students with total minority students comprising 233 of that figure. In the 2017-2018 academic year, NCCU provided scholarships and grants to 53% of their students. Additionally, the school paid full tuition for 12% of their student population that academic year.

“We have recruited populations who historically were not allowed to enter the law profession,” said Nichelle Perry, law library director at NCCU. “At NCCU, we aim to promote diversity and recruit students that are underrepresented in the field.”

NCCU partnered with Relativity on the Academic Partners Program to give their students the opportunity to learn about e-discovery and gain experience using the technology.

“Giving our students exposure to an e-discovery platform has been remarkable,” said Nichelle. “Being a small school, we don’t have access to the same resources as some of the big players out there.”

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