And what it tells us about ourselves
Another reason why non-white lawyers may be "preferred" is bc there's the perception that they'd be taken more seriously by opposing counsel, the jury, the media, and everyone else involved. Even if I feel more comfortable working with an Asian American lawyer, the first chair or media-facing lawyer on my team is gonna be a white dude, especially if I'm the defendant. There will be an Asian American woman on my legal team, but I may not put her in the very front for optics reasons. It's not fair, but if it's between me going to prison vs. me selling out to white lawyers, I'm going with the latter. I can do more to promote Asian lawyers on the outside than from the inside of a prison or if I'm convicted.