Friday, April 8, 2016
Following up on my previous posts on two new papers by J.T. Manhire (Texas A&M):
Kevin R. Johnson (Dean, UC-Davis), Measuring Law School Excellence: Diversity Among Law Students, 101 Iowa L. Rev. Online 50 (2015):
Professor J.T. Manhire constructively offers measures of a variety of kinds of diversity among law students that might be worthy of U.S. News consideration. He appears to accept as a starting premise the continued use of the “diversity index” that U.S. News publishes as a supplement to the annual rankings of law schools. As Professor Manhire summarizes his position, “[t]he U.S. News index assumes race/ethnicity to be the sole indicator of diversity. This Essay disagrees and proposes an expansion of a law school diversity index by incorporating, at a minimum, indicators organized across three categories that cause cognitive diversity: identity, experience, and training.” He proposes to improve the index by measuring diversity beyond simply the race and ethnicity of the student body. Professor Manhire ultimately hopes to address the question, “[h]ow do law schools know how diverse their student bodies are?”
Professor Manhire offers useful ways to improve the measure of student diversity in the U.S. News diversity index. His proposed proxies for gauging diversity make sense and represent a move in the right direction of possible reforms to the U.S. News index. ... Professor Manhire makes it clear that, if U.S. News in fact wanted to better measure diversity, it could do so objectively. However, the influential magazine has made the judgment to not attempt to evaluate diversity of faculty and students in the overall ranking of law schools at all. Such arbitrary judgments will hinder any attempt to offer a more accurate gauge of the excellence of law schools.
The Most Diverse Law Schools (pre-Law Magazine, Spring 2016):
Manhire has taken it upon himself to quantify the level of diversity at ABA-accredited law schools. He devised a system to determine how well students at law schools represent the gender, race and ethnicity of the United States as a whole, as well as in the state where each school is located.