Ongoing Challenges in Researching Affirmative Action in Legal Education: Maximizing Public Welfare Through Transparency
26:1 Texas Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy 57 (2020)
28 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2020
Date Written: July 1, 2020
The public good often depends on social science research that employs personal data. Volumes of scientific breakthroughs based on data accumulated through access to public information demonstrate the importance and feasibility of enabling research in the public interest while still respecting data privacy. For decades, reliable and routine technical methods have ensured protection for personal privacy by de-identifying personal data. Social science research into legal education and admission to the bar is presently a matter of urgent public interest and importance, requiring solid empirical analysis of anonymized personal data that government authorities possess. Social science research into the effects of affirmative action represents standard, indeed commonplace, research practice furthering the public interest, while employing established methods that minimize the risk to privacy. Yet, when seeking information regarding admissions standards and success metrics, researchers have faced remarkable headwinds from government officials. In this article, we continue to discuss a topic that we have devoted significant professional energy: the proper balance of privacy, transparency, and accountability in researching legal education.
Keywords: civil rights, freedom of information, access to information, privacy, transparency, accountability, legal education, social science, research methods
JEL Classification: H52, I22, I23, I24, I28, K23, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation