February 14, 2023

Using Behavioral Insights to Drive Diversity & Inclusion in Law School Students’ Academic Choices | Behavioral Insights Institute | Grant Outcomes 

Diversity Programs


This study sought to examine the factors that expand or reduce underrepresented students’ sense of belonging at American law schools. It explored whether student-faculty demographic match impacted attrition rates, J.D.s awarded, and bar passage for women and minority law students. Results indicated that diverse faculty (gender and race) improved each of these metrics for women and minority students. 

The research built upon existing K-16 scholarship noting similar impact of demographic match and advanced it to the graduate level. The study confirmed that students’ sense of belonging shapes their decisions to either persist or leave law school. Researchers recommended that institutions prioritize faculty diversity as part of demonstrating commitment to improved outcomes for women and minority law students.