Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education



First Advisor

Macey L. Edmondson

Second Advisor

Richard Gershon

Third Advisor

K.B. Melear

Relational Format



This qualitative study applies the conceptual framework of Positive Deviance and the theoretical framework of Critical Race Theory to understand the problem of low Black student enrollment at four public law schools in the South. Positive Deviance is based on the observation that in every community there are certain individuals or groups whose uncommon behaviors and strategies enable them to find solutions to problems than their peers without fully understanding how, while having access to the same resources and facing similar or worse challenges. Critical Race Theory analyzes the role of race and racism in perpetuating social disparities between dominant and marginalized racial groups.


Higher Education



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.