An examination of the admissions data shows that even the most qualified majority(19) students (those with an LSAT over 170 and a GPA over 3.75) do not achieve the perfect admissions percentages for under-represented minority students with a GPA nearly a point less and an LSAT score in the 164-66 range. More roughly speaking, under-represented minorities with a high C to low B undergraduate average are admitted at the same rate as majority applicants with an A average with roughly the same LSAT scores.(20) Along a different axis, minority applicants with an A average and an LSAT score down to 156 (the 70th percentile nationally) are admitted at roughly the same rate as majority applicants with an A average and an LSAT score over a 167 (the 96th percentile nationally).
The figures indicate that race is worth over one full grade point of college average or at least an 11-point and 20-percentile boost on the LSAT. In effect, the Law School admits students by giving very substantial additional weight to virtually every candidate designated as an "under-represented minority" or, equivalently, by substantially discounting the credentials earned by every student who happens to fall outside the Law School's minority designation.
For the potential applicant, the Law School's system creates very different dilemmas depending on his race. If confronted a year before they applied to the Law School with the records of two students, whose non-racial credentials were equivalent, we might evaluate their prospects for admission as follows: Student A could work harder and raise her GPA by a full point. Student B could reveal the fact of his skin color or ethnicity, it being in one of the preferred categories.(21) The Law School's admissions officer, who before both changes would have rated the students equally, would now find the students equal, the effort of the one being counterbalanced by the background of the other.
More shocking is the comparison of the chances of admission for applicants with the same academic credentials (at least numerically). Taking a middle-range applicant with an LSAT score 164-66 and a GPA of 3.25-3.49, the chances of admission for a white or Asian applicant are around 22 percent. For an under-represented minority applicant, the chances of admission (100%) would be better called a guarantee of admission.
At some point, however, comparison of the admissions rates of white, Asian, and other unselected ethnic applicants and the minority groups designated for preference becomes impossible. The Law School simply stops meaningful consideration of non-minority candidates below certain grade point and LSAT figures,(22) a practice demonstrated by admissions rates well below 10 percent, and often the absence of a single admitted student, in these credential categories. "Under-represented minorities," on the other hand, not only continue to have respectable chances of admission in these categories, but in most cases enjoy rates of admission in excess of 80 percent.(23) Far from receiving "competitive consideration," majority applicants are all but summarily rejected with credentials, but not ethnicity, identical to their under-represented minority "competitors" who are virtually guaranteed admission. The Law School's admissions practices betray its claim that it gives meaningful individual consideration to every applicant notwithstanding their race.