Date of Award

January 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services

First Advisor

Kara Wettersten


The development of multicultural education and cultural competency standards for legal professionals is an important topic within the legal field (Bryant, 2001; Weng, 2005; Curcio, Ward, & Dogra, 2013). The legal profession plays a major role in American society, with legal professionals working in prominent positions within the government, financial sector, and business, in addition to private law firms. These professionals create policy, write laws, and advocate on behalf of others. They are leaders and experts who possess enormous power, and we rely on them to make decisions that will allow our society to thrive. In recent decades, however, our society is has begun to change (United States Census Bureau, 2010; Tavaras, 2017). The United States is becoming increasingly diverse, and in order for legal professionals to fulfill their professional duty, they must understand how to work with and represent culturally different others. Multiculturalism has been embraced by other helping professions, including psychology, education, and medicine (Dogra and Karnik, 2003; Sue, 2001). Educators, researchers, and clinicians within these disciplines have developed standards for understanding the cultural background of clients and students, which has allowed them to better meet their needs. The current study utilized the Delphi method (Linstone & Turoff, 1975; Hasson, Keeney, & McKenna, 2000). to explore how multicultural education and cultural competency standards can be translated to the legal profession. Thirteen legal experts completed 1-3 rounds of an anonymous online survey in which they provided 150 suggestions related to multicultural education and cultural competency. They ranked their level of agreement to these suggestions via a Likert scale and were able to provide feedback related to the ideas of others. Results suggested that while there was nearly unanimous agreement that multicultural education should be provided to law students and professionals, there was no consensus on what multicultural education should be comprised of. Implications of the law field falling behind medicine and psychology (where multicultural education components are already implemented and evolving) is discussed, and future directions are considered