Dwayne Allen Thomas

Since 2012, Dwayne Allen Thomas has used interdisciplinary research to help improve social mobility and social diversity. Recognizing there were no silver bullets to solve social issues, Dwayne combined data, history, anthropology, law, and psychology in his master’s thesis to propose a strategy for increasing the pass rate of African-American bar examinees. His recent continuing legal education program, Channeling the River: Using Social and Cognitive Science to Steer Inclusion Efforts, added neuroscience and sociology to this approach to propose a strategy for improving inclusion efforts throughout the legal industry. 900 people have viewed the program since November 2018.

Dwayne has written and presented on topics including lawyer well-being, impostor phenomenon (for the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Today), learned helplessness (for Positive Psychology News Daily), overcoming fear, improving communication (for the High Performance Institute), and bar exam pass rates (for the New York Law Journal). He also helped edit Integrating Positive Psychology Into Legal Education by R. Lisle Baker in the Southwestern Law Review, and served as the editor-in-chief of The BLS Advocate, Brooklyn Law School’s student newspaper. From 2014-2016, Dwayne founded and ran a volunteer bar exam preparation program for the Black Law Students Association at Brooklyn Law School and revised the program in 2019 for the Caribbean Attorneys’ Network.

Dwayne holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Bernard M. Baruch College, a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School. He has won several awards for his work, including Elected Student Commencement Speaker (Brooklyn Law School, 2013), 3L of the Year (BLS Black Law Students Association, 2013), the SBA President’s Award for Public Service (BLS, 2013), Alumnus of the Year (BLS BLSA, 2014) and the Chris Peterson Memorial Fellowship (2015, Penn).


(2017) 3 Ways to Keep Conversations on Track. High Performance Institute

(2017) Two New Views of Learned Helplessness. Positive Psychology News

(2017) Positive Psychology is Not Equivalent to Positive Thinking. Positive Psychology News

(2016) Channeling the River: Using Positive Psychology to Prevent Cultural Helplessness, as Applied to African-American Law Students[Master’s Thesis]

(2015) Could Bar Exam Pass Rates be Returning to Normal? New York Law Journal

(2014) The Art of Saying I Don’t KnowNew York County Lawyer

(2014) What is Business Development (And Five Tips For Developing Your Business). 

(2014) Three Networking Tips You Might Not Have