How Not to Lie About Affirmative Action

Abstract

Challenges to race-conscious admissions policies are, once again, making their way through the federal courts. Research proclaiming to identify the wide-ranging effects of affirmative action across a variety of educational settings is finding its way to this litigation through amici and expert testimony, yet quantitative social scientists on both sides of the issue appear to draw conflicting inferences from the same data. This Article empirically examines the six primary deficiencies impacting extant research on affirmative action in law schools and highlights how inattention to—and sometimes outright disregard for—these issues continues to muddy the debate over affirmative action. It concludes by describing what a scientifically defensible examination of the effect of affirmative action in legal education with currently available data would entail.

By uclalaw