ANALYZING MINORITY ENROLLMENT AT AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ACCREDITED LAW SCHOOLS BETWEEN 2004 – 2012 USING FEEDBACK LOOPS
BY NEVERSON HEATLEY, III
Chair: Dale Franklin Campbell
Major: Higher Education Administration
This study investigated the effect of American Bar Association (ABA) 301-6 on minority enrollment at ABA accredited law schools. The Interpretation sets limits on bar passage rates that schools must adhere to in order to retain accreditation. Citing the historically poorer performance of minority students on bar exams and standardized tests, it was hypothesized the Interpretation would have a chilling effect on minority enrollment. Using data obtained from the Law School Admissions Council and the U.S. News and World Report treated with t-tests and mixed models, it was found that the overall proportional enrollment of minority students increased following the adoption of the Interpretation while the overall incoming credentials of students did not change between the two periods. The results demonstrate a need for increased access to law student data and a review of a school's ability to prepare students for legal careers. Additionally, while feedback loops may be used to show macro trends and demonstrate a further stratifying of class advantage during declining enrollment, it may not be the most appropriate framework for studying relationships between groupings of law schools.