Are ideal litigators white?

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This study examined whether explicit and implicit biases in favor of Whites and against Asian Americans would alter evaluation of a litigator’s deposition. We found evidence of both explicit bias as measured by self-reports, and implicit bias as measured by two Implicit Association Tests. In particular, explicit stereotypes that the ideal litigator was White predicted worse evaluation of the Asian American litigator (out group derogation); by contrast, implicit stereotypes predicted preferential evaluation of the White litigator (in group favoritism). In sum, participants were not colorblind, at least implicitly, toward even a “model minority,” and these biases produced racial discrimination. This study provides further evidence of the predictive and ecological validity of the Implicit Association Test in a legal domain.

Source: “Are Ideal Litigators White? Measuring the Myth of Colorblindness” from Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Volume 7, Issue 4, pages 886–915, December 2010

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