Dear Mr. Kelly,
I was scheduled to be a panelist with
you on the "AALS Panel: The LSAT, US News and Minority
Admissions". Professor Baynes shared with us your letter
withdrawing from the AALS meeting.
This is a disappointment. While the use
of LSAT in your methodology has put added emphasis on LSAT by
school, I have never thought of US NEWS as the "primary
source" of the minority admissions problem. Rather the primary "villians"
in this issue are law schools and law school faculty.
Nevertheless, USNews is a significant
player.. The USNEWS contributes to the problem in the failure of
USNews to integrate diversity into the overall rankings. By separating
diversity into a separate ranking from all the other factors in
your methodology you make a politicial decision - a value judgment that
diversity is not important to law school quality. This value
judgment is not surprising given the USNews g eneral political
leanings but it is surprising in light of your assertion that
use LSAT because "Law schools told [you] that they
consider the LSAT to be an important factor in admissions
decisions". Law schools are telling you that they consider
diversity to be important in the admission decision; the Supreme Court
has said that diversity is a legitimate factor in admission decision .
Nevertheless, you relegate it to a separate ranking system. Why
then do you not include diversity as a factor in your ranking
methodology? Because you make this political/value choice, you
have put the US NEWs in the middle of the admission decision by these
choices. The way to take USNews out of the middle would be to include
diversity as another factor.
It is particularly disappointing that you
refuse to discuss your methodological choices and their impact on
minority admission in the most legitimate forum there is for this kind
of discussion - the annual meeting of law professors - the American
Association of Law Schools.
I would hope that journalistic integrity mean
that you not avoid a controversey merely because it is highly charge.
Clearly you are a player in this problem and your refusal to participate
in the discussion is symptomatic of the problem - everyone looking for
someonelse to take responsibility.
Since part of AALS panel discussion
is about USNew do not consider diversity " to be [an]
appropriate factors and [its] relative importance of criteria used in
law school admissions" , Your presence is important to the
Professor of Law
The University of Dayton School of Law