CLEAR Distinguished Critical Race Theory Lecture: Meera E. Deo

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Education Building (EDU), 1131
401 East Peltason Drive Irvine, CA 92697-8000

Meera E. DeoProfessor of Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and the Director of the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE), will discuss her book, Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia (Stanford University Press, 2019). The book draws from Professor Deo’s landmark Diversity in Legal Academia (DLA) project, the first formal empirical study to investigate raceXgender challenges and opportunities facing law professors from diverse backgrounds around the US. Professor Deo’s data expose ongoing biases—but also individual strategies and structural solutions to maximize success.   

Book signing and reception to follow. Refreshments will be provided.

1.0 hours of MCLE credit for Recognition and Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession approved by the State Bar of California. UCI School of Law is a State Bar-approved MCLE provider.

About the Book
In Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia, Professor Meera E. Deo reveals troubling findings of ongoing raceXgender bias in the law school faculty ranks. The book draws from her Diversity in Legal Academia (DLA) project, which is the first formal mixed-method study of the law faculty experience. Her study utilizes a framework of intersectionality from Critical Race Theory to survey and interview women and men from various racial and ethnic backgrounds and amplify the voices of those who are traditionally underrepresented and marginalized.

Professor Deo’s findings of intersectional bias are grim. Classroom confrontations and biases in course evaluations have devastating effects on tenure and promotion. Colleagues who mansplain, hepeat, and silence marginalized faculty contribute to the higher rate of attrition for female professors of color. The data reveal interesting parallels between hiring and leadership for women of color faculty, as many do not pursue faculty or administrative positions primarily because they are told (directly or indirectly) that they do not belong. These experiences of exclusion and marginalization also parallel those of traditionally underrepresented students. Unequal Profession outlines individual strategies for success that worked for many study participants and can be adapted for others. Necessary structural solutions—from thinking “outside the box” to purposefully working against implicit bias—are also emphasized in the book.

Unequal Profession is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple iBooks. Readers can find more information and also purchase the book from the Stanford University Press website.

About the Author
Meera E. Deo, JD, PhD, is Director of the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE), Professor of Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and Visiting Professor at UC Davis School of Law. She was a Visiting Scholar at UC Irvine School of Law from 2016-2017 and has held visiting positions at UCLA School of Law and Berkeley Law. Her research utilizes empirical methods to interrogate institutional diversity, affirmative action, and racial representation. Professor Deo's scholarship has been published in leading law journals and cited in numerous amicus briefs filed in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Professor Deo’s book, Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia (Stanford University Press, 2019), draws from her landmark Diversity in Legal Academia project, the first national empirical study of law faculty utilizing an intersectional framework. The book examines how race and gender affect interactions with faculty and students, tenure and promotion, work/life balance, institutional support, and other aspects of the personal and professional lives of law faculty. Professor Deo’s sobering findings expose ongoing raceXgender inequities in legal academia. She also proposes structural solutions to improve legal education overall.

A proud gradute of Long Beach Polytechnic High School, Professor Deo earned a B.A. with High Honors from UC Berkeley. While a law student at the University of Michigan, she was an Intervening-Defendant and member of the legal team supporting integration and affirmative action in Grutter v. Bollinger. After graduating, she practiced civil rights law with the ACLU National Legal Department in New York City and the California Women's Law Center in Los Angeles. She later pursued a PhD in Sociology from UCLA. The National Science Foundation (NSF), the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship, and numerous grants and awards have supported her research. The Coalition for Asian Pacific American Law Faculty (CAPALF) awarded her their 2018 Eric K Yamamoto Award for demonstrating “outstanding promise.” She is also a 2019 Scholar-in-Residence at Berkeley Law’s Thelton E Henderson Center for Social Justice. Professor Deo was a Senate-appointed Member of the California Commission on Access to Justice and is the current Chair of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Law and the Social Sciences.

Event Type

Speaker/Lecture/Workshop/Seminar, CLE Credit


Students, Alumni, General Public, Faculty, Staff




Centers, Center on Law, Equality and Race
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