2005 The Whitest Law School Report
and Other Law School Rankings Related
to Racial/Ethnic Diversity in Law School

Professor Vernellia R. Randall

Chapter 7: The Isolation Factor
Chapter 7: Performing Well in Law School - The Isolation Factor

What's New!

(Based on 2004 ABA/LSAC Information)





Isolation-Law Schools
Minorities and Isolation
Blacks in Law Schools
Asians in Law Schools
Indians in Law Schools
Latinos in Law Schools



The Impact of Isolation on Academic Performance or
Isolation is the worst possible counselor!!

Cathaleen A. Roach

            "Isolation is the worst possible counselor," wrote an early 20th century writer and those timeless words are particularly apt in modern legal education. The generic first-year law student experience--described by at least two authors as "the dark night of the soul" --leaves many first-year law students isolated and very alienated. Much of the literature has discussed the psychological effects of isolation (e.g., alienation , withdrawal, and hostility ); however, too little attention has been paid to the important academic effects of isolation.

            There should be an increased awareness that the "distress" many law students experience is not limited to how students feel. Isolation has important academic and institutional repercussions as well. Institutionally, this isolation results in uneven testing and a potentially inaccurate, skewed grade distribution for all students.

Additionally, isolation can especially burden minority and other non-traditional students, causing them further prejudice. [I]solation often leads to poorer grades regardless of academic ability. This is because exam grades do not necessarily measure ability. Instead, to a large extent they may measure who has access to the essential survival information which is not generally taught in the first-year classroom. Moreover, not only can isolation prevent minority and non-traditional students from a fair assessment of their actual academic ability, but isolation may also disproportionately impact minority students' job opportunities with law firms and law school academic appointments as well. Thus, . . . isolation in [law school] . . . fosters continued long-term segregation in the legal and academic communities.


Cathaleen A. Roach, A.B. Indiana University, J.D. University of Illinois, is Assistant Dean for Educational Services and Director of the Academic Support Program at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois.; Excerpted from: A River Runs Through It: Tapping into the Informational Stream to Move Students from Isolation to Autonomy, 36 Arizona Law Review 667-678, 697-699 (1994).

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2005 TWLS
01 Introduction
02 Discrimination
03 Top Ten
04 National
05 Regional
06 State
07 Isolation
08 Law Schools





Always Under Construction!

Always Under Construction!

Last Date Website Updated:
Sunday, February 05, 2006

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Vernellia Randall.  All Rights Reserved


Contact Information
Professor Vernellia R. Randall
The University of Dayton School of Law
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469-2772



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