Smith, Devianna. “Spaces Matter”, Boston College, 2023. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:109734.
This thesis explores the ways in which physical and ideological spaces influence the experiences of women of color in law school and their subsequent perception of those spaces. Participants were interviewed and asked questions about their holistic experience in law school. The researcher applied Oyserman’s racial-ethnic self-schemas theory and Crenshaw’s intersectionality approach to analyze and interpret the findings of the data. Ultimately, it was concluded that women of color recognized their law school’s ability to prepare them to be lawyers but felt less so about their ability to navigate the professional legal industry as a woman of color. In addition, the thesis argues that the negative experiences of women of color go beyond imposter syndrome and other identity-based elements. Instead, it is more directly rooted in the spaces in law school, specifically related to the pedagogical model of the institution that clashes with identity-based experiences. Thus, the thesis suggests ways that law schools can better support women of color and a direction for future areas of study.