ABA Article Shows Why Employees Who Have Been Discriminated Against Should Seek Competent Legal Representation

Mar 22nd, 2013
Topics: American Bar Association Article


According to an article on the American Bar Association’s website, a new study of employment discrimination cases found:

African-Americans are 2.5 times more likely than white plaintiffs to file employment discrimination claims pro se, according to the study (PDF) by the American Bar Foundation. Other racial minorities, including Hispanics and Asians, are 1.9 times more likely to file pro se than their white counterparts.

“This difference is salient,” the study says, “because pro se plaintiffs have significantly worse litigation outcomes than those with representation. Furthermore, we show that pro se plaintiffs tend to misunderstand their legal issues and … feel that the courts have failed them.” A press release summarizes the findings.

Factors that contribute to the disparity include a lack of information about the legal system, lack of trust in lawyers, and lack of time and resources to search for a lawyer, according to authors Amy Myrick, Robert Nelson, and Laura Beth Nielsen. The study also points to prior research showing minorities have smaller professional networks and less access to “elite” networks of legal professionals.(http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/blacks_are_more_likely_to_file_job_bias_suits_without_a_lawyer_are_lawyer_w/?utm_source=maestro&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly_email).

The ABA’s article elucidates the need for employees who have been discriminated against to obtain competent legal representation. Failing to do so can harm a litigant’s case significantly, and prevent them from obtaining justice.