The University of Mississippi School of Law has been named a Best Regional Law School for Black Students in the third edition of the Black Student’s Guide to Law Schools & Firms, published by Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Lawyers of Color.
“Because studies have shown African Americans have different legal career trajectories than their peers, it is imperative they be equipped with information and tools that can help them succeed,” said Yolanda Young, the group’s president and executive director. “We believe the law schools highlighted in the guide ensure black students have a great career launch.”
Law schools were evaluated based on 10 criteria that included the school’s bar passage rate and the percentage of jobs law students received that required a Juris Doctor. A bonus was calculated for law schools with black deans, of which there are a record 29.
At a quarter of law schools, more than 10 percent of faculty members are black.
“This increased diversity is due to increased mentoring and training of prospective law professors and administrators,” Young said. “The academy has been intentional in its efforts to increase the law school leadership pipeline. We are now seeing dividends.
“Having greater minority representation in the academy serves as inspiration for black law students.”
School were evaluated on criteria including bar passage rate, law degrees awarded to black students, federal clerkships, and tuition and career placement.
Besides overall scoring, a greater weight was given to the percentage of J.D. degrees a law school awarded to black law graduates and the amount of resident tuition, which could not exceed $35,000.
The UM School of Law is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion by providing an educational environment that is representative of the broader society said Susan Duncan, UM law dean. More than 30 percent of the incoming class of 2022 at the law school are students of color.
“It is very important for the legal field to accurately represent the diversity of our society,” Duncan said. “We are so proud to have such a diverse incoming class of students, and we continually strive to make UM law a welcoming place for all students. We are honored to be named one of the best regional law schools for black law students.”
Founded in 2008, Lawyers of Color is a nonprofit organization with the mission of promoting diversity in the legal profession and advancing equality in marginalized communities. Through publications, including the annual guide, the organization assists prospective and new lawyers in educational and career choices.