University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender & Class
Law schools, in an effort to produce practice-ready graduates, are in an opportune position to take the lead in confronting social justice. Many schools are shifting from traditional classroom instruction to more experiential learning environments which place students early in their academic pursuits in contact with clients and legal problems. While academic support originally focused on racial integration in law schools, today’s Academic Support professionals support students who are diverse in various ways. As professionals, we cannot assume that our diverse students do not carry bias. Implicit bias, a bias one is not consciously aware of, has the ability to derail relationships with clients and peers. Complicating matters is the general assumption that Millennials, the “colorblind” generation, are the most tolerant of all previous generations. Yet, studies have found Millennials just as susceptible to bias as previous generations. Thus, law schools have the responsibility to train their students to become lawyers who are capable of working with diverse groups of people and do so with the ability to mitigate their biases, which could potentially bring a fairer administration of justice. This training must go beyond informing students about implicit bias but also teach them mechanisms to combat such bias.