posted by Gerard Magliocca
David Bernstein has an excellent post up over on Volokh about the law school admissions process and the Supreme Court’s consideration of racial preferences in the upcoming Fisher case.
The notion that law schools evaluate applicants holistically (as the Court said in Grutter) is highly dubious. Most schools, because of the US News rankings, care primarily about median LSAT scores. This is true because (as I’ve posted about before), the US News Rankings don’t give you any credit for being diverse. The opposite is true–you get penalized. Now are there a few schools (read Yale and Harvard) that do look at things holistically because they get applicants with ridiculously high scores? Sure. And are there individual applications that are reviewed holistically? Sure, if they are at or close to the median LSAT. But that is a fraction of schools and a fraction of applicants.
Basically, the US News Rankings are more powerful than the Supreme Court in dictating how law schools operate.