Law School Recruiter: Ketanji Brown Jackson Appointment Could Attract More Students of Color – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather forecast
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A law school recruiter says it’s hard to overstate the significance of seeing someone like him vying for a seat on the nation’s highest court.
Nicole Burts is Associate Director of Student Recruitment at IUPUI McKinney School of Law.
Burts says that as a black woman in the legal field, she can relate to the struggles Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson described during her confirmation hearings at the U.S. Supreme Court. She says Jackson’s story of another black woman on the Harvard Law School campus encouraging her to persevere resonated with her.
Senator Susan Collins of Maine on Wednesday became the first Republican senator to endorse Jackson. Coupled with public support from Senator Joe Manchin, DW. In Virginia, this effectively guarantees that Jackson will be confirmed by the entire Senate without needing a deciding vote from Vice President Kamala Harris. Burts says it brings a sense of security to the nomination process.
“There are so many trailblazers going through my head and a feeling of emotions in general,” Burts said. “Just a historic moment.”
Burts says some of the scrutiny Jackson faced was painful to watch. She says women in traditionally male-dominated spaces face immense pressure not to show emotion for fear of being perceived as irrational, and black women in particular are often accused of being angry. or hostile. She thinks Jackson has done a great job handling those pressures.
Statistics show that the country’s courts remain heavily white and male. Jackson would become only the third black judge and sixth female judge in High Court history.
According to a 2021 report per the Brennan Center for Justice, people of color make up 40% of the nation’s population, but make up 17% of judges serving in state supreme courts. Twenty-eight states have no black justices on the Supreme Court. Burt says about 5% of the country’s lawyers are black, even though black Americans make up 13.4% of the population.
Burts says she witnesses the impact of inclusivity every day in her work, often receiving thank you notes and calls from students of color who are considering attending IUPUI.
“Before we take people to the bar, before we take them to the bench, we have to get them through legal training,” Burts said. “And so I think that helps a lot of our students to focus on the end goal and the opportunities, but I think for us it really creates the opportunity to not just encourage the students but to show the opportunities and continue to build the legal education pipeline to be inclusive.