The New York Times reports that the number and percentage of minority students enrolling in law school is declining. According to Columbia law professor, Conrad Johnson, Mexican American and Black students accepted to law school decreased from 1993 to 2008. Hispanic Americans in general made negligible gains in enrollment during the same period.
This trend is particularly confusing because in the same time period, LSAT scores and GPAs for these minority students have increased. Moreover, in 2003 the Supreme Court ruled in Gutter v. Bollinger that race can be taken into account in law school admissions. So if minority students have more competitive numbers and if considering race as an admission factor is kosher, then why are the numbers going down?
It’s hard to say, but if the study is accurate, we’re guessing it has something to do with those oh-so-troublesome US News Rankings that make law school so much of a numbers game. Despite being allowed to accept minorities at higher rates, law schools likely feel pressured to take those with the highest LSAT and GPA, regardless of race.
So the lesson, as always, kids: treat taking the LSAT like it’s the most important thing you will ever do, outside of remembering birth control.