Everyday Discrimination in a National Sample of Incoming Law Students

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Abstract

Everyday discrimination experiences are associated with negative mental and physical health, less positive cross-racial counseling relationships, and alienation in educational environments for underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. This report describes the prevalence and experiential and attitudinal correlates of self-reported everyday discrimination in a national sample of over 8,000 incoming students from 64 U.S. ABA-accredited law schools. Race/ethnicity, gender, past lifetime discrimination, neighborhood context, beliefs about societal discrimination experienced by minorities, and expectations about future professional encounters with racial discrimination were associated with reported everyday discrimination. Parental racial socialization and affirmative action support did not show associations. These data provide diversity officers and admissions professionals with a descriptive snapshot of this experiential diversity that exists as students begin their legal education. This diversity may provide insight into student differences in managing of academic stress, forming relationships with faculty and students, and assessing the quality of the educational experience.

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