Wednesday, June 23, 2021

A look at this year's lateral moves by race and gender

Professor Orin Kerr (Berkeley) looked at the list of laterals this year and posted his findings on Twitter:  There were 40 men on the laterals list, of whom 21 were "people of color"; there were 53 women on the laterals list, of whom 23 were "people of color."

Put differently:  there were 49 white laterals (of whom 30 were women, and only 19 men); while there were 42 POC laterals (of whom 21 were men, and 23 were women).

I have sometimes seen people claim on Twitter that it is harder for women to lateral; this was once true (especially when look-see visits were the norm for a lateral offer), but it is no longer true now.  (The pattern, above, has held for awhile now.)  Given that the legal academy is still overwhelmingly white, it is also clear that POC faculty are lateraling in much higher proportions to their current representation in the academy.  This no doubt reflects the increased efforts I started noticing about five or six years ago by law faculties to increase racial diversity.  Unfortunately, doing so via laterals just creates diversity deficits lower down in the hierarchy of schools.

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