Special Committee on Hispanic Law Faculty and Deans
The Special Committee on Hispanic Law Faculty and Deans is aimed at addressing the alarming lack of Hispanic/Latino representation among U.S. law school professors and administrators (including deans), as well as the shortage of professional development resources specifically for Hispanic/Latino professors, deans, and other administrators already in the legal academy. According to the most recent ABA Profile of the Legal Profession, only 5.8% of lawyers in the U.S. are Hispanic/Latino, even though we constitute over 19% of the general population. The shortage of Hispanic/Latino lawyers across the nation mirrors the paucity of Hispanics in legal academia. In early 2023, only 9 of the almost 200 deans of ABA-accredited law schools in the 50 states and the District of Columbia are Hispanic/Latino. Estimates have the percentage of full-time Hispanic/Latino law professors at only 5%.
Hispanic/Latino law professors and law school deans are leaders of the profession and play seminal roles in educating future generations of lawyers and law-related professionals. Legal educators are visible role models and mentors to young people aspiring to careers in law. An increase in the number of Hispanic/Latino law professors and law school deans will translate into an increase in law school enrollment by Hispanic and Latino/a students inspired by educators who hail from their same communities, share their backgrounds and struggles, and in many cases share a bilingual heritage.
The Special Committee on Hispanic Law Faculty and Deans will oversee the development of annual summer nationwide online workshops for prospective and existing Hispanic/Latino law faculty and law school deanship aspirants, through programs such as the Michael Olivas Summer Writing Institute and the GO LILA summer workshops, collaboration with other established workshops, and by organizing new initiatives to increase Hispanic and Latino/a diversity in the legal academy. This committee will plan in-person “how to become a law professor” workshops at the annual HNBA/VIA conferences, assist with matching law faculty and law dean aspirants with suitable mentors, support the professional development of and networking opportunities for currently appointed Hispanic/Latino law faculty, promote better data tracking by national accreditation and membership associations, and otherwise promote more Hispanic and Latino/a representation in the legal professoriate and decanal ranks.