The Mismatch Hypotheses in Law School Admissions
Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race, May 2011
45 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2014
Date Written: May 3, 2011
The match effects for five different student populations (Native American, Asian, Black, Hispanic, and White) are gathered and analyzed to determine whether these effects provide support for the match hypotheses with respect to law school grades, graduation, and bar passage. While some evidence was found supporting the negative match hypothesis for Black and Asian law school students in the lower propensity range, the match effects for bar passage in the upper range were much lower than Richard Sander‘s reports, and did not approach statistical significance. Moreover, no negative match effects for graduation were apparent. Thus, the bar passage rates difference seems very modest relative to the substantial social networking advantages of elite school attendance. Because the variables most strongly associated with higher levels of leadership are attainment of a bachelor‘s (B.A.) degree at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton; and attainment of a law degree, the implication is that leadership potential, which may fall outside the bounds of traditional admission criteria, is more suitably described as a benefit to society. Even Sander noted that he did not consider perhaps the single greatest benefit of affirmative action in law school: its role in building the long-term careers of Black lawyers, placing them in the most elite ranks of the profession and American society.
Keywords: mismatch, law school admissions, race, affirmative action, statistical analysis, quantitative analysis, Richard Sander, African American, Black
JEL Classification: J71, J78, K00, K30, K40,
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation