Skip to content

Why It Took 233 Years to Get the First Black Female Supreme Court Nominee

Black women make up less than 5% of first-year law students, and attrition rates among Black and Latino attorneys are almost three times that of their White peers.

Video player cover image
Supreme Court Nominee Says She'll Look at Cases From 'Neutral Posture'
Updated on

Ketanji Brown Jackson has achieved something that few Black women in the legal profession have: Made it through the leaky pipeline.

While Black women make up just under 5% of first-year law students, attrition rates among minority attorneys are as much as three times that of their White peers, according to the American Bar Association. Black women make up just over 3% of associates and less than 1% of partners. Jackson, who President Joe Biden last month nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, is just one of 70 Black women to have served as a federal judge, and if confirmed, would be the first to sit on the nation’s highest court.