Event Title

It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know: Networking and Getting into Law School and Beyond

Location

King Building 123

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-27-2019 3:00 PM

End Date

4-27-2019 4:20 PM

Abstract

Current research shows trends in inequalities associated with individual's access to the legal field. While sociologists have documented the presence of social inequalities in the legal profession, there is little significant research on how inequalities shape the experiences of individuals. There has also been limited sociological research on how networking affects the path to a legal career. This paper investigates whether an individual’s interpersonal connections can help them to circumvent social barriers to the legal field, like that of standardized tests and admissions practices; also whether or not differences in race and class privilege shape an individuals experience of networking. This paper will bring light to how interpersonal connections can help propel an individual’s career in the legal field, specifically Black, Latino, Asian American, and White individuals. It will most importantly show how race shapes the experience of networking. I argue that individuals experiences of networking varies depending on their racial identity. This is done through a qualitative analysis of interviews with twelve legal professionals who have already navigated the pipeline. I trace how their interpersonal connections have helped them to navigate and surpass barriers to the legal field. From this analysis, several patterns emerge that have implications for the networking process. The paper concludes by noting some of the limitations of the study as well as what is in store to further this research.

Keywords:

Networking, Race, Class Privilege, Legal Field

Notes

Session V, Panel 14 - Labor | Inequalities

Moderator: Daphne John, Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and Associate Professor of Sociology and Comparative American Studies

Major

Sociology; Law & Society

Advisor(s)

Greggor Mattson, Sociology

Project Mentor(s)

Clovis White, Sociology

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Apr 27th, 3:00 PM Apr 27th, 4:20 PM

It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know: Networking and Getting into Law School and Beyond

King Building 123

Current research shows trends in inequalities associated with individual's access to the legal field. While sociologists have documented the presence of social inequalities in the legal profession, there is little significant research on how inequalities shape the experiences of individuals. There has also been limited sociological research on how networking affects the path to a legal career. This paper investigates whether an individual’s interpersonal connections can help them to circumvent social barriers to the legal field, like that of standardized tests and admissions practices; also whether or not differences in race and class privilege shape an individuals experience of networking. This paper will bring light to how interpersonal connections can help propel an individual’s career in the legal field, specifically Black, Latino, Asian American, and White individuals. It will most importantly show how race shapes the experience of networking. I argue that individuals experiences of networking varies depending on their racial identity. This is done through a qualitative analysis of interviews with twelve legal professionals who have already navigated the pipeline. I trace how their interpersonal connections have helped them to navigate and surpass barriers to the legal field. From this analysis, several patterns emerge that have implications for the networking process. The paper concludes by noting some of the limitations of the study as well as what is in store to further this research.