Diversity and Inclusion in Law School and Higher Education

Affirmative Action, Educational Equity and Campus Racial Climate: A Case Study of the University of Michigan Law School

Document Type

Law Review Article

Publication Date



affirmative action, race-neutral alternatives, diverse campus environment, campus climate


This study involved a systematic, empirically-based examination of campus climate and how campus climate is related to the access and achievement of Black, Latino, Asian and Native American students at the "feeder" schools to the University of Michigan Law School and at the University of Michigan Law School itself. Previous research demonstrates that campus climate is a central determinant of college access and achievement for underrepresented students. Specifically, this research shows that students of color and women often underachieve on campuses characterized by hostile racial or gender climates. Beyond this general case, studies of law schools reveal that women and students of color often experience these environments as hostile - they often feel alienated, isolated, devalued and attacked. Where this is the case, whether it be in law school or at the undergraduate level, the educational experiences and educational outcomes for these students are negatively affected.