Stanford Law School Has ‘Rapidly’ Increased Its Diversity, Equity And Inclusion Program

Stanford Law School (SLS) has rapidly increased its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs over the past five years, according to its website.

SLS made several reforms in 2018 at the request of a DEI working group made up of faculty, students and staff including the establishment of a Racial Justice Center, the inclusion of a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging session at first-year orientation, the implementation of a Critical Race Theory course and a speaker series featuring experts on topics such as prejudice and implicit bias, its “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion In Action at SLS” web page reads. The website provides a timeline of the DEI advancements that the law school has made between 2018 and 2022.

“Legal education must prepare students to work effectively in a highly diverse society still grappling with racism and other forms of inequality,” its website reads. “Students, staff, and faculty have collaborated over the last five years in mutual recognition that past reform efforts at Stanford have not been equal to this charge and that change in the profession as a whole must begin with legal education.”

The law school bolstered increased DEI trainings, the launch of its Stanford Center for Racial Justice and several courses related to race, diversity and the law, according to its website. It established its Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion position in 2020 and appointed Tirien Steinbach in 2021, who currently holds the position and appeared to encourage students to heckle a conservative judge invited to speak on campus on March 9.

Private universities should have to justify “that any DEI activity is actually producing positive results” to their Board of Trustees and alumni, Jonathan Butcher, Will Skillman fellow in education at The Heritage Foundation, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“They would need to do that because the evidence on DEI programs is that they do not change individual attitudes. They do not change people’s opinions. They don’t create more tolerance on campus.”

The position was created through the Dean’s 2020 DEI Initiative, which “represents SLS’s commitment to expand and develop innovative policies and practices across the entire institution to ensure that the law school is a model for 21st century legal education in a diverse society,” according to the announcement. Steinbach’s job description included creating new programs, using equity to help make decisions, counseling students and serving as the liaison to improve DEI in student experiences.

The law school’s Federalist Society chapter hosted Fifth Circuit Judge Kyle Duncan to speak about Covid, guns and Twitter, but was heckled by students who showed up to disrupt the speech. Steinbach can be seen on video taking over the podium after Duncan called for an administrator to help calm the room, but instead asked him to consider if his speech was “worth the pain that this causes and the division that this causes” and said his work has caused “harm.”

“We believe that the way to address speech that feels abhorrent, that feels harmful, that literally denies the humanity of people, that one way to do that is with more speech and not less,” she said. She said that Duncan would have “space to finish” his remarks.