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Affirmative Action in American Law Schools: A Critical Response to Richard Sander's - A Reply to Critics

55 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2006  

Richard Lempert

University of Michigan Law School

William C. Kidder

Sonoma State University

Timothy T. Clydesdale

College of New Jersey

David L. Chambers

University of Michigan Law School

Date Written: February 22, 2006

Abstract

Richard Sander's Stanford Law Review article, A Systemic Analysis of Affirmative Action in American Law Schools, has generated considerable attention and criticism. This included a critical essay in the May 2005 Stanford Law Review by the four of us, as well as others in the same issue by Professors Ian Ayres and Richard Brooks, Michele Landis Dauber, and David Wilkins. Sander's A Reply to Critics also appeared in the same issue. For those following this empirical debate about the costs and benefits of affirmative action, we provide this working paper as a response to Sander's A Reply to Critics. We show the weaknesses in the logic that underlies many of Sander's assumptions and arguments and show that his reply does not salvage the case against affirmative action that he claimed to have made in his Stanford article. Rather, Sander's reply explicitly or implicitly repudiates much of the methodology and many of the claims he made in Systemic Analysis, even as he clings firmly to its conclusion and compounds earlier analytic mistakes with new ones.

NOTE: Also see The Real Impact of Eliminating Affirmative Action in American Law Schools: An Empirical Critique of Richard Sander's Study, Chambers et al, Stan. L. Rev. 57, no. 6 (2005): 1855-98.

Keywords: Affirmative Action

JEL Classification: J78

Suggested Citation

Lempert, Richard and Kidder, William C. and Clydesdale, Timothy T. and Chambers , David L., Affirmative Action in American Law Schools: A Critical Response to Richard Sander's - A Reply to Critics (February 22, 2006). U of Michigan Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 06-001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=886382 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.886382

Richard Lempert (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States

William C. Kidder

Sonoma State University ( email )

1801 East Cotati Ave.
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
United States

Timothy T. Clydesdale

College of New Jersey ( email )

P.O. Box 7718
Ewing, NJ 08628-0718
United States

David L. Chambers

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States
802-295-5824 (Phone)

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