Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2020

Publication Title

Journal of Legal Education


student experience, law careers, diversity, legal education, legal profession


The Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) is an extraordinary asset for examining a vast array of topics related to the educational experiences of law students. By focusing on student-oriented surveys, LSSSE provides law schools and researchers an invaluable opportunity to delve into a wide range of issues dealing with the law student experience, including the career preferences and expectations of students throughout their law school years. In particular, there remains a wealth of opportunity for scholars interested in using LSSSE data to explore issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in legal education and the profession.

The American Bar Foundation's (ABF) nascent project on diversity and judicial clerkships is just one modest example of how researchers can take advantage of LSSSE data to tackle the pressing concerns facing legal education and the profession. The lack of diversity among judicial clerks is the focus of increasing attention and an animating force behind proposals to reform the clerkship application and selection process. Understanding how race, gender, and socioeconomic status intersect with students' career perceptions is a vital first step in informing this ongoing inquiry. Such insights play an instrumental role in how we approach any future study of diversity and judicial clerkships. We hope other scholars will join us in engaging with LSSSE data to address the enduring issues that will shape the future of legal education and the profession.