DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION: A MISSED OPPORTUNITY FOR THE ANTITRUST PRACTICE
By Anthony Leon1
Discussions about the importance of diversity in the workplace have flourished over the past few decades. In an inherently and historically diverse American society, various professions remain overwhelmingly held by white men. The legal profession has not been spared from this critique. On average, 83.5% of the people working in legal occupations in 2020 self-identified as white.2 While not surprising, this assessment is stark: it is evidence that the legal jobs market in the United States remains largely non-diverse and unequal.
Yet, diversity could triumph in the legal profession. The law and its enforcement are at the core of our democracy. It is a singular profession where one gets to reflect on past decisions to guide decisions in the present. It is also a profession where one can elect to work on the subjects they most care about. Lawyers’ interpretation of the law contributes to design and shape society. It is an essential political instrument that can be utilized to reach specific goals. Traditionally used to enhance consumer welfare, antitrust law enforcement may be targeted to have a more significant social impact. For instance, practitioners can focus on combatting anticompetitive conduct having adverse effects on people of color. All in all, people from diverse backgrounds and experience, often motivated with a desire to change society, help others, and make a difference, should have every reason to join the legal professionâand why not practice antitrust law.