A study done by Nextions revealed that reviewers of a legal brief were more likely to find more errors once they learned that the author was Black.
Based on a previous study done by the researchers that indicated that supervising lawyers perceived African American lawyers to be subpar in their writing skills compared to their Caucasian counterparts, this new study sought to confirm whether or not these supervising lawyers would unfairly evaluate legal writing by Black lawyers.
Nextions researchers drafted a fake research memo from a third year litigation associate that focused on trade secrets in internet start-ups. They purposely added 22 different errors to the memo and distributed it to 60 partners from 22 different law firms who’d previously agreed to participate in a “writing analysis” study (only 53 were returned for the study). Out of those partners, 23 were women, 37 were men, 21 were racial/ethnic minorities and 39 were White.
All of the partners received the same memo but here’s the catch – half received one noting that the author was White and half received one stating that the author was Black.
The findings showed that on the exact same memo the “Black” Thomas Meyer averaged a 3.2/5.0 rating while the “White” Thomas Meyer averaged a 4.1/5.0. Check out the comments on each writer…for the same memo *rolls eyes*.
What do you think of the findings of this study? Racism is definitely not dead.