Roadmap to Enrolling Diverse Law School Classes - Volume 2: Developing a Diversity Plan

Diversity Programs
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This is the second volume of a multi-part series of guides focused on providing meaningful and actionable tactics for increasing law student diversity. Despite good intentions, the law school shut-out rates for people from underrepresented backgrounds remain high. Law school diversity is both necessary and possible, but it will not happen without a strategic approach. The Roadmap to Enrolling Diverse Law School Classes series will provide insights on developing an effective way forward.

Practically every law school professes a commitment to diversity. Yet, many law schools struggle to enroll diverse classes, often despite tangible efforts. Diversity is necessary and possible; but achieving it is not always easy. Enrolling classes that live up to the lofty pronouncements often made about diversity requires a plan of action centered on clear goals, tangible objectives and measurable outcomes. The purpose of this second volume of the Roadmap to Enrolling Diverse Law School Classes series is to provide law schools with tactics for engaging in strategic planning around student diversity.

Strategic planning is the development of steps or objectives that actively serve the purpose of achieving clearly defined goals. Goals express an institution’s values. Strategic plans are how those values are lived. Together they provide focus for your efforts – direction for your resources and energy. Strategic planning around student diversity can be undertaken as a standalone activity or as part of a larger effort to chart the direction of the entire institution. Planning is critical. Diversity is rarely achieved by happenstance. For most law schools, it can be achieved only through deliberate planning and implementation.  

This volume will discuss the following steps to effective strategic planning around student diversity:

Step 1:   Involve the right people in the right ways.

Step 2:   Set diversity goals.

Step 3:   Create diversity objectives.

Step 4:   Identify diversity outcome measures.