A recent National Law Journal report describes efforts being made to increase the presence of people of color in the field of law because only approximately ten percent of the nation’s lawyers are people of color. The fact that the number of law school applicants of color are few makes this a greater challenge to settle.
In an effort to address the disparate representation of minorities in law, the National Bar Association, which is a premier professional organization of African-American lawyers and judges, has sponsored Crump Law Camp, which is a summer program for potential law students of color, since 2001. The goal of the camp is to expose students of color to the legal profession because due to the low representation of minorities in the field of law, many of the students do not have family members who are lawyers and so the students do not know what the legal field has to offer. Students in the camp participate in simulated law courses, hear presentations from legal professionals, visit a variety of settings where a legal professional can work, and participate in a mock trial competition. One past participant explained that he was inspired to pursue a career in law (and to return as a Crump Law Camp counselor) after he heard a presentation from a lawyer form the D.C. Public Defender’s Office.
The camp has beneficial results with over half of the student participants attending law school afterwards.
Patrice Garnette, Joint Center Graduate Scholar, The George Washington University Law School