No Progress in Increasing Black Faculty at the Nation’s Top Law Schools

A recent JBHE survey finds 107 black scholars teaching at the 25 highest-ranked law schools. They make up 7.1 percent of the 1,508 faculty members at these law schools.

Washington and Lee University had a law school faculty that was 11.8 percent black, the highest level among law schools responding to our survey.

There are 10 blacks on the law school faculty at Georgetown University, the most black scholars at any leading law school. Blacks make up 9.8 percent of the faculty at the Georgetown Law Center, the second-highest level in our survey.

The University of Southern California and Stanford University are the only other law schools among the nation’s 25 top-ranked institutions where blacks are more than 9 percent of all faculty.

Among the Ivy League law schools, the highest percentage of black faculty was at Yale University. The six black scholars at the top-ranked Yale Law School make up 8.7 percent of the total faculty. Cornell University comes in a close second. At Cornell, there are three blacks, or 8.3 percent of the 36 faculty members at the law school.

The University of Chicago School of Law had the fewest black scholars. There is only one black faculty member among the 37 law professors at the University of Chicago. There are only two blacks on the law faculties at Berkeley, Notre Dame, Duke, and Vanderbilt. Four of the top law schools have faculties that are less than 5 percent black. They are Notre Dame, Berkeley, the University of Texas, and the University of Chicago.

In 1999 a JBHE survey found 84 black scholars at the nation’s 25 highest-ranked law schools. They made up 6.8 percent of the 1,234 faculty members at these schools. Therefore, there has been almost no progress in increasing the percentage of black scholars at our leading law schools.