Penn State
Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA
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Penn State to host ‘All In’ panel on diversity in legal education


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State Law will host a panel discussion on diversity and bias in the legal academy on March 16 as part of Penn State’s “All In” initiative to highlight the importance of diversity at Penn State, demonstrate commitment to inclusivity, and inspire community members to take an active role in promoting respect and embracing diversity.

The event—titled “All In at Penn State Law: Addressing Diversity and Implicit Bias in the Legal Academy”—will be held from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. in the Sutliff Auditorium in the Lewis Katz Building, and will discuss questions of ethnicity, race, gender, and what these factors mean for law students, attorneys, and law professors.

Panelists will include:

  • Penn State Law professor and scholar of family law and feminist legal theory Dara Purvis, who will address gender diversity in legal education, how students of different genders tend to perform in law school, and the aspects of legal education that may contribute to these disparities;
  • Penn State professor of law and international affairs and globalization scholar Larry Backer, who will discuss the American Bar Association’s 2010 report on “Diversity in the Legal Profession: The Next Steps” with a focus on how it relates to the work of Penn State’s Joint Diversity Awareness Task Force, for which he served as chair for 2015-2016.
  • Penn State associate professor of education and scholar of educational inequity Erica Frankenberg, who will address racial and ethnic diversity in education, the trends of growing diversity, the educational pipeline as it contributes to stratification, and how this impacts professional schools;
  • Penn State Law student Shushan Sadjadi, a member of the school’s Minority Mentorship Program, who will discuss her personal experience as a minority student and her perspective on diversity issues in legal education; and
  • Penn State Law professor and director of the Penn State Law Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, who will moderate the discussion.

The panel is free and open to the public, but prior registration is requested.

Penn State Law is proud to support the All In initiative, which celebrates Penn State’s strong, storied history of diversity, inclusion, breaking barriers, pushing boundaries, and standing together and is a call for every member of our University community to build on those efforts by playing an active role in creating a climate of acceptance and inclusion.

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