December 17, 2007
Race And Bar Admission
The web page of the California State Bar reports that the bar has declined to provide information concerning the race of applicants for the bar to researchers who wish to study the impact of affirmative action on bar admission. The request was opposed by a number of students and former students, as well as from law schools on grounds that FERPA mandates that such information be treated as confidential. From the report:
"Alan Yochelson, chair of the bar examiners panel, said the committee’s decision was 'not based on the merits of affirmative action but on a consensus that applicants did not provide their data . . . for study by a third party not related to the bar.' While the committee has a history of doing research related to the exam and continually evaluates the exam for fairness, it cannot make public applicant information without individual signed releases, he said."
The UCLA law professor who made the request stated that he is considering his legal options. (Mike Frisch)
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