If a goal of SFFA v. Harvard was to put a chilling effect on non-white students from applying to law schools, I have good news: they have failed on that front. Early after the opinion, administrators and advisors have pleaded with students to work on their materials and send them in. After all, the most guaranteed rejection a student could get is the one they’d give themselves by not submitting the application. In record numbers, diverse students refused to self-select out of law school. From Reuters:
The current national law school applicant pool includes more than 43% people of color — the highest percentage on record, according to the latest data from the Law School Admission Council. The number of minority applicants has also grown, increasing nearly 7% compared with this time last year, the data show.
“Law schools and [the Law School Admission Council] have done a really good job of saying, ‘Schools still want you,’” said Susan Krinsky, the council’s executive vice president of operations, describing recent efforts to encourage minority candidates to apply.
It has been a great boost to morale knowing that schools still value diversity and have been doing to legwork to encourage applicants with diverse backgrounds to send in their materials. We are still waiting on the second shoe to drop though — what will be the conversion rate on applications to acceptances? The dream would be for a matching increase to acceptances, but an acceptance rate on par with acceptances prior to SFFA v. Harvard would be a close second.
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at email@example.com and by tweet at @WritesForRent.