AccessLex Institute Research
affirmative action, race-neutral alternatives, student attrition, bar passage correlates
With landmark affirmative action decisions pending from the United States Supreme Court in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, this paper examines whether the educational benefits that flow from diversity acknowledged in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) persist twenty years later in a law school context. Using data from the American Bar Association (ABA), the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE), we model law school campus diversity as a predictor of attrition, predicted law school GPA, and first-time bar passage among underrepresented law students of color. Campus diversity is operationalized as both a U.S. News-style index and as a factor derived from the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE). Our findings demonstrate benefits for Black law students across the range of outcomes, likely without concomitant harm to other groups.