Share this event with friends and colleagues

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 6/23/2016

Contact: Lauren DiTullio

617-778-1944

SCOTUS agrees: Diversity in Higher Education is Essential

The Boston Bar Association applauds today’s ruling from the US Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which will promote diversity in higher education and in the legal community. 

The BBA filed an amicus brief in the case—as it did in 2012, when the Fisher case was previously before the high court—arguing that the university’s race-conscious admissions policy serves a compelling governmental interest, one that is directly relevant to the goals of the legal profession. Increased diversity enhances the legal profession and society as a whole.  The BBA was joined in its amicus brief by a coalition of organizations united by a shared commitment to advancing diversity in the legal profession.

Today’s decision shows the High Court agrees with the BBA’s argument that experimentation in admissions is necessary to balance the pursuit of diversity with Constitutional requirements of equal treatment, and means that the University of Texas, as well as other schools across the country, may continue to experiment with admissions policies intended to create a more racially inclusive classroom, and society.

“Diversity within the legal profession could not be achieved without a continuous pipeline of diverse law school students, and diversity at the law school level, in turn, could not be supported without diverse representation in undergraduate institutions,” said Jon Albano, a partner at Morgan Lewis and an officer of the BBA, who drafted the amicus brief in both cases. “The limited use of race in college admissions is vital to the legal profession’s goals of achieving racial and ethnic diversity. Without diversity, the legal profession cannot reflect the society it serves, an outcome that ultimately erodes public confidence in the judicial system.” 

Joining the BBA in signing the brief were the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys, Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association, Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys, Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association, South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston, and the Women’s Bar Association.

The Boston Bar Association traces its origins to meetings convened by John Adams, who provided pro bono representation to the British soldiers prosecuted for the Boston Massacre and went on to become the nation’s second president. Its mission is to advance the highest standards of excellence for the legal profession, facilitate access to justice, serve the community at large and promote diversity and inclusion.