In Grutter v. Bollinger, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld affirmative action at the University of Michigan Law School on the grounds of educational diversity. Yet, the Court’s assumption that admitting diverse students into law school would result in improved race relations, livelier classroom conversations, and better professional outcomes for students has never been empirically tested. This article relies on survey and focus group data collected at the University of Michigan Law School campus itself in March 2010 to examine whether and how diversity affects learning. Data analysis makes clear that there are sufficient numbers of students of color on campus to yield diverse interactions, and that positive interracial student exchanges are occurring. However, the lively discussions that the Grutter Court anticipated are infrequent visitors inside the classroom, where they may be especially important; by excluding these “diversity discussions,” law schools may fail to achieve the optimal academic and professional outcomes often associated with educational diversity.
- legal education,
- higher education,
- empirical research
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/meera_deo/2/