As 1Ls prepare application materials in a bid to participate in the 2022 SCBA Diversity Fellowship, John Gutierrez (’23) shared his experience as a fellow in last year’s program and what it has done for his law school journey. Read John’s story below:

John Gutierrez, ’23

“I have always loved storytelling. As a child, my mother would lull me to bed with old Mexican-heritage stories from her abuelita that painted reminiscent pictures of Jalisco’s red-dirt ranches that we would visit in the hot summers. Although I did not know it at the time, these stories were my first cultural connection to my Mexican heritage. Their folkloric lessons introduced me to my family values and, in time, taught me to love my Chicano identity that seemed ever fleeting as my family assimilated into an American lifestyle.


Continue Reading Student Spotlight: John Paolo Gutierrez (’23)

Why do we need diversity?

Diversity in law brings diverse perspectives. As I read cases in my classes, I notice how laws and rulings impact a wide range of communities. However, the legal field does not reflect a diverse population. According to the American Bar Association, 2008 statistics show that only 34.4% of lawyers are women, 4.6% Black or African American, 2.9% Asian, and 3.8% Hispanic or Latinx. 86% are non-Hispanic white people. Further, in 2019, LGBTQ+ lawyers represented only 3% of all lawyers at firms that participated in a National Association for Law Placement report, and only 0.5% of lawyers identify as having a disability.

What do we mean by a diverse population?

Diversity means representation from a wide range of communities. However, representation is not enough. Systemic racism may be linked to the lack of diversity within the legal profession. It is embedded in various institutions within society and the legal profession is not excluded. Systemic racism exists when ideas of white supremacy operate in various levels of institutions. It is difficult to dismantle considering we are still speaking out against oppressive systems in society today. As diversity efforts in these institutional levels are pursued, it is important to understand that it is not isolated from civil rights movements. Rather, it should propel them forward by creating equitable access to the legal field.


Continue Reading Diversity in Law