Access Law Schools and Diversifying the Profession
Volume 92, No. 4, Summer 2020
By Deseriee A. Kennedy [PDF]

Lawyers do not reflect the racial diversity in the United States. The legal profession continues to struggle with ways to achieve and maintain racial diversity. Law schools play a critical role in the path to practice, and therefore an examination of the barriers to the profession they create is warranted. This Essay critiques the overreliance on standardized testing in law school admissions and advocates for an open admissions process that prioritizes racial and academic diversity. It suggests that the benefits of minimizing the role of standardized tests far outweigh any perceived costs in legal education. This Essay concludes that the quality of a law school should not be mainly measured by the numerical indicators of their first-year students but by their ability to provide a transformative education for a diverse group of students with a range of academic abilities and skills.

Deseriee A. Kennedy is Associate Dean of Diversity & Inclusion and Professor of Law, Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center.