Research Paper Number


Subsequently published Osgoode Hall Law Journal.

Document Type


Publication Date



Legal education; equality; pedagogy; diversity; access to justice


There is resounding consensus that diversity in legal education is a priority. Yet, North American law schools continue to be criticized for failing to reflect the diversity of the society that they are training lawyers to serve. With the backdrop of critical scholarship and empirical evidence, this paper is a project of conceptual reorientation. The first part examines the past 20 years of diversity promotion in legal education and concludes that, while several advances have been made, especially in increasing numerical representation of diverse groups in law schools, the promise of meaningful diversity remains unfulfilled. The next part situates the site of reform on the model of professional identity being produced, which the author suggests is out of reach and out of touch for many minority students. In the final part, the author elucidates a program of transforming the norm of lawyering that is taught in law school. Grounded in a normative framework of access to justice and equality, the author argues that experiential/clinical learning practices offer a useful method to achieve a more engaged pedagogical commitment to diversity in legal education.