By Sarah E. Redfield
Diversity Realized Putting the Walk with the Talk for Diversity in the Legal Profession is a call to action, from an educator and a member of the bar. Our profession has been striving to attain diversity among its ranks because we understand the benefits of diversity for our clients and ourselves, but, as Redfield shows, the bar has not yet realized diversity.
Professor Redfield illustrates in this book how underrepresented minority students are underperforming from first grade through high school and college, not because they are not capable of doing better, but because of the constraints of poverty and low expectations. As the pages of Diversity Realized reveal, when educators expect little of children, they tend to meet those low expectations and don't push themselves any further. For legal professionals seeking to diversify the bar, our task becomes clear as we read Diversity Realized: we need to provide role models, mentoring and other forms of involvement to encourage underrepresented minority students to break free from the constraints of their environment to rise and meet our expectations for them--to help change the landscape of the legal profession.
Redfield does more than sound the alarm alerting our profession that our current efforts toward realizing diversity are inadequate, she shows us how to change our approach, based on the success of programs in our sister professions. Redfield spotlights those programs that have worked for the U.S. Army, for the medical profession, and those programs currently in place by law schools and members of the bar working to engage at risk students in the law through creative and non-traditional educational initiatives. Redfield shows us that to affect meaningful change in our profession we must be involved in the educational system in which underrepresented minorities are learning. We must re-focus the efforts of the bar and law schools into mentoring, and piloting unique educational programs designed to show these students all that they can achieve, and why they should want to achieve it.
The kinds of programs Redfield advocates will ensure that tokenism is once and for all a thing of the past.
This book should be read by everybody in the legal profession who understands that diversity in the profession is being demanded by clients who want quality representation. As Redfield artfully explains, we must change the way our young people are educated from the bottom up, so that we can realize a truly diverse profession. From the Foreword, Robert J. Grey, Jr., Past President, 2004-2005, American Bar Association.
Sarah Redfield is a member of the Maine bar. She is currently Professor of Law at Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, NH, An expert in education law, Professor Redfield is involved with a variety of diversity activities including serving as a Member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Presidential Advisory Council on Diversity (ACD) and chair of its Education Committee; a Member of the State Bar of California's Council on Access and Fairness and member of its Early Pipeline and US News & World Report subcommittees; an organizer of the Wingspread P20 Consortium; Chair of the Education Law Conference; a member of CLEO's Board of Directors; a member of the University of California at Irvine Saturday Academy of Law's Oversight and Curriculum Committees; and a Gubernatorial-Appointed Member of the Education Commission of the States and Elected Member of its Steering Committee.
December 2009, Paperback, 268 pages