SWLAW Blog | Diversity
May 25, 2022
APALSA Celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
On behalf of Southwestern APALSA, we are honoring and celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The U.S. Asian population is diverse, and the AAPI community includes cultures from the Asian continent - including East, Southeast, and South Asia - and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. As of 2019, there were about 22.9 million people of Asian or Pacific Islander descent in the United States.
We cannot ignore the rise in anti-Asian sentiment since the Covid-19 pandemic; however, this should not overshadow the accomplishments of members of the AAPI community. This month is a celebration of those historical and cultural contributions.
Today, Asian Americans comprise approximately 5% of lawyers in the United States. Over the past three decades, the number of Asian Americans in law school has quadrupled to roughly 8,000, now comprising nearly 7% of total enrollment— the largest increase of any racial or ethnic group. While this is a leap in growing the diversity of the legal field, Asian Americans are still significantly underrepresented in the leadership ranks of law firms, government, and academia.
Southwestern Law School and APALSA are committed to uplifting the AAPI community and broadening the careers and opportunities in the legal field for all people, as diversity in the legal industry nurtures attorneys that are emboldened to better advocate for all members of society.