Retaining Diversity in the Classroom: Strategies for Maximizing the Benefits that Flow from a Diverse Student Body
Christine Chambers Goodman
Pepperdine University School of Law
Pepperdine Law Review, Vol. 35, No. 3, 2008
In Grutter v. Bollinger, the United States Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether diversity is a sufficiently compelling government interest to justify an affirmative action program that considered race and ethnicity in allocating law school admission offers. The Court determined that diversity was a compelling interest, resolving the conflict in the federal circuits on that issue. In this article, Goodman argues that the courts must examine the tightness of the fit between the goal of either achieving diversity or of realizing the benefits that flow from a diverse student body, and the means used to try to accomplish either of these particular goals. In Part II of this article, Goodman contends that diversity, and the benefits that flow from that diversity, are worth pursuing now that its stature as a compelling interest continues to hold a majority of the United States Supreme Court. Recognizing the critiques of the diversity rationale, as provided by other scholars, Part II also summarizes and responds to some of those critiques. Part III of this article presents concrete strategies for faculty to use in the classroom to help maximize the benefits of any existing diversity, to help retain that existing diversity, and to promote a higher appreciation of diversity within a law school community. Goodman concludes the article with a call to action to maximize these benefits of diversity before the doors to access shut further.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
Keywords: diversity, race, Supreme Court, law school, admission
JEL Classification: K39Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 23, 2010
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