Bench Memos


Richard Sander’s Fight with the California Bar

George Leef has a fine essay here on Richard Sander’s fight with the California state bar. Professor Sander has done great work over the years documenting the “mismatch” effect of racial preferences — that is, how university admission of students with significantly lower qualifications than the rest of the student body results in those students struggling at the school. They are less likely to graduate, get lower grades, and are more likely to switch majors. In the case of law-school students, they are are also less likely to pass the bar, so that we actually have fewer black lawyers now than had there been no affirmative action. Unintended consequences, indeed.

Professor Sander wants to continue his work in this area by looking at the bar passage rate in California, but the politically correct state bar there is having none of it. It has refused to share the relevant data, even though Sander has made clear that he’s happy to have all personal information redacted. Unsurprisingly — since all involved are lawyers or would-be lawyers — the matter is now in court. Mr. Leef’s essay relates the disturbing story.

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