Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Law no bar to diversity 

You should follow this debate going on about diversity requirements in law schools. The Chronicle of Higher Education this morning (temp link) notes its passage. David Bernstein wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (temp link) about it. Bernstein's argument, in short:
If passed, the new written standards will only embolden the accreditation bureaucracy, composed mainly of far-left law professors, to demand explicit racial preferences and implicit racial quotas -- all in brazen defiance of the law.
The Chronicle article quotes someone from the American Bar Association saying it is not a requirement. But, the Chronicle continues,

If they do not, however, they must demonstrate specific steps they are taking to achieve the goal of diversity, such as recruiting at historically black colleges, offering scholarships to minority or disadvantaged students, or holding summer programs to help potential applicants prepare for law school.

The policy says that law schools must demonstrate, "by concrete action, a commitment to providing full opportunities for the study of law and entry into the profession by members of underrepresented groups, particularly racial and ethnic minorities," and that the schools must commit "to having a student body that is diverse with respect to gender, race, and ethnicity."

It also says: "Consistent with sound educational policy and the standards, a law school shall demonstrate by concrete action a commitment to having a faculty and staff that are diverse with respect to gender, race, and ethnicity."

The revised standard also clarifies that "the mere fact that you may be in a state that has a statutorial provision prohibiting the consideration of race in the admissions process does not relieve you" of that obligation, Mr. Sebert said.

That last line is a killer, says Bernstein -- the bar is going to require law schools to find a way to circumvent the results of Grutter.

Bernstein quotes a statistic saying 42% of black students entering law school never become lawyers. What are the numbers for other ethnic groupings? I don't see them easily through Google.