Latinas in the Legal Profession: Challenges and Catalysts to Latina Attorneys' Career Success
Latinas are members of the largest and fastest growing minority group in the United States. Despite this, they appear to be the most disproportionately underrepresented attorney group within the legal profession, especially at the profession’s highest levels. Recognizing the significance of this endemic problem, this chapter advances a framework that demonstrates how the intersection of certain factors related to Latina attorneys’ status as ethnically and racially diverse women may negatively impact their educational attainment, career choice, and ultimate career success in the legal profession. As such, these factors serve, both individually and collectively, to perpetuate Latinas continued underrepresentation across the various legal sectors. The empirical results from the two recent research studies conducted by the Hispanic National Bar Association Commission on the Status of Latinas in the Legal Profession, as well as other related and supporting research and theory on this population, provide the basis for this theoretical examination of the challenges and catalysts to their educational and career development processes, as well as recommendations aimed at helping Latinas achieve successful and satisfying attorney careers.
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