The Educational Diversity Project examines the relations
between race (and other factors) and educational diversity in
incoming students at law schools in the United States. Grutter v. Bollinger affirmed that
educational institutions may consider race as a factor in
making admission decisions, because the Court believed that
racial diversity contributes to “educational
diversity.” However, controversy exists as to whether
racial diversity offers measurable educational benefits in the
law school setting and in the increasingly diverse workforce
and society beyond law school.
The Educational Diversity Project examines whether or not
educational benefits flow from a diverse student body, and if
they do exist: (a) what is the nature of these educational
benefits?; and (b) in what ways do race and other factors
impact how these benefits are manifest?
We use a multimethod approach to address these research
First, we administrated Year 1 EDP Baseline
Survey to over 8,000 incoming law students at 68
ABA-approved law schools in Fall 2004.
- This first part of our work involved a rigorous
development process, including pilot administration and
extensive psychometric analyses. We drew from a number of
major research programs and national surveys, generating
items where needed. As part of this work, we produced The Educational
Diversity Project Survey.
Second, we conducted focus groups with approximately 200
students at 11 law schools in the Spring of 2005, 2006, and
- Our focus group data collection allows us to provide
further nuance, depth, and richness to the survey data
about students and to develop a greater understanding about
educational diversity in general and as it is evidenced in
their law schools. The protocol for each year has a
different general theme corresponding with the salient
issues for that academic year.
Third, in Spring 2007 we administered a follow-up web survey
to a subsample of law students who completed the baseline
survey (the EDP Year 3 Follow-Up Survey).
Finally, we are currently conducting the EDP Law School
Faculty Interview Study to explore how student diversity enters
into professors' teaching (if at all) and pedagogical
approaches for dealing with issues around race and student
diversity in legal analyses in the classroom setting.
We are currently analyzing data and will continue to report
findings here and in other outlets as they emerge. Check back
at this site for updates!
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