Chloe Le

The Injustice in Justice: Discrimination Against Minority Women in the Legal Field 

Mentor: Ljiljana Coklin

In today’s male-dominated workforce, women, particularly women of color, often face gender discrimination through glass ceilings, employment preferences, and barriers to advancement. This issue is prevalent in the legal field, where minority female attorneys are commonly mistaken for non-lawyers, constantly interrupted, and penalized for assertive behavior. Women of color in the legal field often occupy lower-paying positions, such as paralegals and district attorneys, with white men constituting the majority of the more prestigious legal positions, like private criminal defense lawyers and judges. Moreover, the hierarchical organization of the law firm often forces minority women to complete the “grunt work” tasks. These assignments are tedious and disadvantage women of color because they lead to job dissatisfaction, hinder career advancement, and ultimately cause minority women to leave the legal profession.

The examples above that I encountered during my internship at a law office show that minority gender equality is yet to be afforded to professional women in the legal field. As an aspiring attorney and a woman of color, I want to investigate this problem and bring attention to the struggles faced by minority women in the legal field. I plan to work on a project that holds the potential to level the playing field for future female lawyers of color and eradicate minority gender prejudice in the courtroom. In my research project, I intend to identify the different forms of minority gender discrimination in the legal field, analyze their sources, and suggest possible solutions.

Read Chloe’s research project The Injustice in Justice: Discrimination Against Minority Women in the Legal Field