Correlation Between Diversity and Quality?
On May 6, Alfred Brophy (A law professor at UNC Chapel Hill) in the “Faculty Lounge” (a blog for legal academia) addresses the issue of correlation between U.S. News rankings and African American student enrollment. (http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2012/05/relationship-between-african-american-student-enrollment-and-law-school-ranking.html). Brophy makes several points about the relationship between the two. Importantly, Brophy notes that African American student enrollment is positively associated with perceived quality for U.S. News top tier schools—that is, as you move up in peer assessment reviews in U.S. News, there is a corresponding increase in African American enrollment. The article references a November 2011 article in U.S. News inviting discussion of how to include diversity numbers in law school rankings. (http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-rankings-blog/2011/11/23/us-news-debates-law-schools-over-adding-diversity-to-rankings) Both Brophy’s article and the U.S. News article highlight the importance of furthering this discussion, and within the next few years, law schools rankings may better reflect the most diverse and vibrant student bodies, rather than traditional top tiered elite.