Academic Mismatch II

Walter Williams, Creators Syndicate, September 10, 2008

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The American Bar Association is the accreditation agency for all law schools. If a law school has not been accredited by the ABA, it is ineligible for federal funding; its students are ineligible for student loans; most states do not allow graduates of a non-ABA-accredited law school to sit for the bar examination. {snip}

George Mason University Law School’s experience provides an excellent example of ABA abuse. In 2004, the ABA summoned the university president and the law school dean before its Accreditation Committee and threatened the institution with revocation of its accreditation for its supposed lack of diversity. Shivering in their boots, the GMU administration reported a diversity improvement since the ABA’s site visit in 2000. Their entering class of 2003 was 17 percent minority and their 2004 class was 19 percent minority and they had appointed a diversity czar. Despite these efforts, the ABA was not satisfied. They complained that of the 99 minority students admitted in 2003, only 23 were black, and of the 111 minorities admitted in 2004, still only 23 were black, even though, in 2004, 63 black students had been offered admission.

Virginia has two other major public law schools, College of William & Mary and the University of Virginia.

They did not win the ire of the ABA because unlike GMU, they practiced a racially discriminatory admissions policy. The Center for Equal Opportunity monitors racially discriminatory college policy. Their publication, “Racial and Ethnic Preferences at the Three Virginia Public Law Schools” (http://www.ceousa.org/content/view/467/119/), reported that at the University of Virginia, a student with a LSAT score of 160 and an undergraduate GPA of 3.25 had a 96 percent chance of admission if he or she was black, but only a 3 percent chance of admission if white. At William & Mary, a black with a LSAT score of 155 and an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 had a 92 percent chance of being admitted while a white with the same credentials had a 3 percent chance of admission. At GMU, not having racist policies, the chances for admission were roughly the same. Blacks with a LSAT of 155 and an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 had a 53 percent chance of admission while similar whites had a 50 percent chance.

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[Editor’s Note: Walter Williams’s column “Academic Mismatch I” can be read here.]

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