Despite their rising LSAT scores and undergraduate grade point averages between 1993 and 2008, the number of African-American and Mexican-American students admitted to law schools for the same period decreased, according to a new study by Columbia University.
Paradoxically, civilrights.org reports, the study also found that the size of law school classes and the number of law schools increased during the same period, which theoretically should have provided more opportunities for qualified African Americans and Mexican Americans to obtain a law degree.
African Americans and Mexican Americans applied to law schools at roughly the same rate for two decades. However, from 2003 to 2008, 61 percent of African-American applicants and 46 percent of Mexican-American applicants were denied admission, compared with 34 percent of White applicants.
The study suggests that following the 2003 Supreme Court ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger – which said that race can be used as one of many factors in university admissions – law schools have not redesigned their admissions policies to take the more holistic approach.
Columbia University School of Law and the Society of American Law Teachers have created a web site with the findings of the study, as well as best practices law schools can use to create diversity-building admissions policies consistent with Grutter.