Friday, April 26, 2002

"SOMEBODY OUGHTA GET SUED": That's Roger Clegg's take on a new damning study from the Center for Equal Opportunity that shows that the University of Virginia School of Law blatantly discriminates on the basis of race in favor of black applicants. The study covers three public law schools, U.Va., William & Mary, and George Mason, using admission data obtained through the freedom of information act. The results: "At U.Va, the odds favoring a black candidate over an equally qualified white candidate were an astonishing 731 to 1 in 1999 and 647 to 1 in 1998." Just to put things in perspective:
In 1999, if you had an LSAT score of 160 and an undergraduate grade-point average of 3.25 -- these are the two measures that law schools typically weigh most heavily in making admissions decisions -- you had a 95 percent chance of getting into U.Va if you were black, but only a 3 percent chance of getting in if you were white.
To put this in a personal context, I could've gotten into U.Va if I'd had black skin when I applied. So would my friends in law school. Of course, if I could go back and do it all over again, I would make the same decision even if U.Va. was been an option. But it's galling to know that I was judged against a different standard because I have less melanin than other applicants. That's what racial discrimination boils down to: treating people differently based on the amount of pigment in their skin. Decent people know that's wrong and foolish, and a law school definitely knows it's illegal. Yeah, somebody oughta get sued. Class action, anyone?

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