- This event has passed.
Building on findings from the American Bar Foundation’s After the JD study, the initial National Asian Pacific Bar Association and Yale Law School study Portrait Project examined the role of Asian Americans in the legal profession. The original Portrait Project research documented the historically dramatic growth of Asian American lawyers over the past three decades, as well as the recent and sharp decline in law school enrollment, and the limited number of Asian Americans in the profession’s highest leadership positions – from judicial clerks, to law firm partners, to top prosecutors and judges, to law school deans and non-profit executives. Together, the two studies have begun to document and situate Asian Americans in the United States legal profession. Still, further research needs to be done.
The central goal of Portrait Project 2.0 is to begin the process of creating a more detailed descriptive dataset of Asian Americans in the U.S. legal profession. Before we can provide answers to the challenges of developing a more diverse legal profession, we must identify and analyze the factors that have facilitated and frustrated the goals of diversity and inclusion. Although there is growing interest in diversity in the legal profession, we currently lack a fundamental, baseline understanding of the more detailed demographics of the profession, particularly with regards to Asian Americans. This presentation furnishes some of the initial findings from the first phase of the broader research project, including (1) diversity in law school enrollment trends and (2) diversity within judicial clerkships.