December 21, 2012 Articles

Reality Check: Combating Implicit Bias

By J. Dalton Courson

Many readers may hold an impression that law is a common profession for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. The idea may stem from popular sitcoms, because two of TV's most beloved gay characters are Will Truman from Will & Grace and Mitchell Pritchett from Modern Family, both lawyers. Other television shows have featured gay, lesbian, or bisexual attorneys as characters, including Smash, Brothers & Sisters, Law & Order, Ally McBeal, Queer as Folk, and L.A. Law. Yet, despite the number of LGBT attorneys on TV, recent data published by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) suggest that, in reality, members of the LGBT community are disproportionately unlikely to become lawyers and that LGBT law school graduates appear more likely than straight peers to leave their firms and perhaps exit the profession.

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