Law School Admissions


The Struggle for Access from Sweatt to Grutter: A History of African American, Latino, and American Indian Law School Admissions, 1950–2000

Document Type

Law Review Article

Publication Date



affirmative action, enrolled student demographics, law school diversity, race and ethnicity


In this Article, using a wide array of published and unpublished data, researchers attempt to document and analyze law school admissions opportunities for African American, Latino, and American Indian Students over the past fifty years. In particular, they review the meager representation of students of color in law schools in the pre-affirmative action era. They also analyze the early development of affirmative action in the late 1960s, particularly at so-called ‘elite’ law schools, and researchers consider the increase in competitiveness of law school admissions during this same period -a phenomenon that led schools to place increasingly greater reliance on the LSAT. In chronicling the national enrollment and admissions decision patterns since the 1970s, the Article also focuses partly on the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Regents of University of California v. Bakke.