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Monday, November 13, 2006

Michigan's Future AA Path

Later this evening, at the University of Miami, Chief Justice Roberts will be speaking at the BankUnited Center. I (or perhaps Steve V.) may have some update later if one of us is able to go.

On another topic, I haven't seen any discussion in the prawfosphere so far about last week's developments in Michigan re: affirmative action. (H/t: B Clerker at ATL) The voters in Michigan banned the use of race, gender, or national origin in the determination of state college admissions, contracting, or hiring. UMich's President Mary Sue Coleman sounds determined nonetheless:

"We defended affirmative action all the way to the Supreme Court because diversity is essential to our mission as educators," Coleman said. "Regardless of what happens with Proposal 2, the University of Michigan will remain fully and completely committed to diversity."

The article cites Maya Kobersy (who was a year ahead of me at HLS), the assistant general counsel, as indicating that the "University would look for ways to maintain a diverse educational environment." I'm wondering if others can comment on how schools in those jurisdictions with similar rules banning affirmative action have tried to ensure diversity among students and faculty. Have certain strategies been more effective than others? Do we have a sense of whether any strategies are both effective and less likely to rankle opponents of affirmative action?

As to how this applies to faculty selection, I would think that those who are contemplating entering the meat market of law schools in the next couple years may want to review Paul Caron's comprehensive post regarding fellowships to prepare future law professors. Some of them are designed with minority candidates in mind (e.g., Houston and Lewis at HLS; Hastie at Wisconsin).

Posted by Dan Markel on November 13, 2006 at 09:13 AM in Life of Law Schools | Permalink

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Michigan will probably do what Boalt did: de-emphasize the LSAT and re-emphasize the GPA (and other measures of academic achievement). That is, if you can't quasi-ignore low minority LSAT scores in otherwise strong minority applicants, do it for *everyone*. It seems to solve the problem, and is less frequently and less viciously objected to than admitted AA measures.

Posted by: one l | Nov 13, 2006 3:27:43 PM

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