Affirmative Action in American Law Schools
U.S Commission on Civil Rights
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The November 2004 publication of Richard Sander’s Systemic Analysis of Affirmative Action in American Law Schools in the STANFORD LAW REVIEW set off an intense debate in American legal education. Some aspects of Sander’s work may achieve broad agreement, such as data on the disparate performance of blacks and whites on grades, graduation and bar passage. However, other aspects have already sparked significant disagreement. Many of Sander’s critics take issue with his contention that racial disparities in law school academic performance and bar passage rates are a result of an academic “mismatch,” whereby the intended beneficiaries of large racial preferences are admitted to law schools for which they are not otherwise academically qualified. This brief points out some insights and arguments about the affirmative action in American Law Schools.