The perception of justice is undermined by few black lawyers in the courtrooms Kheng Guan Toh
According to the American Bar Association, 88 per cent of all lawyers are white and only 4.8 per cent are black, so for each of the 60,864 black lawyers, there are 686 black citizens needing assistance compared with only 282 white citizens for each of the 1,117,118 white lawyers. In reality, the disparity is of course much greater because African Americans are disproportionately entangled in the criminal justice system – one in 15 black men is incarcerated, compared to one in 106 white men.
The under-representation extends to the courtroom officials, judges and clerks. Again, according to the American Bar Association, in state trial courts, where the vast majority of cases are handled, only seven per cent of judges are black. For the clerks, the numbers are worse and declining – less than three per cent of clerks in the appellate courts are African American.