How do race, class, gender, and law school status condition the career trajectories of lawyers? And how do professionals then navigate these parameters?
The Making of Lawyers’ Careers provides an unprecedented account of the last two decades of the legal profession in the US, offering a data-backed look at the structure of the profession and the inequalities that early-career lawyers face across race, gender, and class distinctions. Starting in 2000, the authors collected over 10,000 survey responses from more than 5,000 lawyers, following these lawyers through the first twenty years of their careers. They also interviewed more than two hundred lawyers and drew insights from their individual stories, contextualizing data with theory and close attention to the features of a market-driven legal profession.
Their findings show that lawyers’ careers both reflect and reproduce inequalities within society writ large. They also reveal how individuals exercise agency despite these constraints.
- Robert L. Nelson, American Bar Foundation and Northwestern University
- Ronit Dinovitzer, American Bar Foundation and University of Toronto
- Bryant Garth, American Bar Foundation and University of California, Irvine
- David B. Wilkins, Harvard Law School
Additional Authors in Attendance
- Joyce S. Sterling, University of Denver College of Law
- Meghan Dawe, American Bar Foundation and Harvard Law School
- Ethan Michelson, Indiana University
- John P. Heinz, American Bar Foundation and Northwestern Law
Want to receive the latest issues of The Practice for free? Subscribe now to stay up-to-date.