Monthly Archives: October 1966

1966.10.18: Memo on Minority Group Admissions to UCLAW Admissions and Standards Committee

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October 18 , 1966

TO: FACULTY

FROM: AD 7~.1ISS TONS AND STllNDA HDS COMMITTEE

RE: MINORITY GROUP ADMISSIONS ·

Enroll ment of members of disadvantaged groups i n the

l ;J~.w school is exceed ingly small. In this r espect we reflect a

widespread, nationa l phenomenon. It has been 1·ecently estimated

that no more than 700 Negroes are to be found among t he 65,000

students studying l aw i n t he u.s.1 ‘l’he r atio of Negro l aw students

to the Negro population is therefore about one-tenth that prevailing

2 for the popul ation as a who l e. Comparable disproportions no doubt

exist with r espect to Mexican-Americans and other disadvantaged

groups, for which we l ack statistics.

At UCLA this condition i s , of course , in no way attribut

able to discrimination in the admission processo This very f act

suggests there will be no significant i mprovement i n the foreseeable

future unless the law school undert akes an aff i rmat ive program to

deal with the imbal~nce. The Committee accordingly reco1nmends adop•

tion of a program designed to increase l aw school enrollment of

persons disadvantaged by r eason of poverty and ethnic discriminationo

1 . Toepfer, Harvard s Special SUli!_Dler School Program , 18 Jo of

Lego Ed. 443 (1966) . The period for which the estimate was

made presumably i s 1965o Durin~ t hat year the Howard Law

School , with a predominant l y Negro student body, had a

t otal enro llment of 320 studentso 18 Jo of Leg. Edo 200 (1966)o

The number of Negro l aw students i n all othm.· l aw schools

was t herefore probably about 400o

2o If one turns his inquiry to the total pool of licensed Negro

l awyers, the ratio may prove even more lop-sided, since

Negro enrollment in l av1 schools has been on the UlJSwing in

r ecent years and has probably never been as high as now.

J. Page 2

Programs similar to that suggested here have been

developed by a number of universities, both state and privateo

To cite but a few:

–The Berkeley campus has launched a drive aimed at recruiting

Negroes, Mexican-Americans, and American Indian studentso

(At present, only about 1% of the Berl~eley enrollment — 226 out

of over 26,000 students are Negroeso Only about 1/3 of 1% are

Mexican-Americans, and about 1/4 of 1% are Indians.) Representatives

were sent to sixty California high schools, searching for promising

minority students. At present the University is free to accept only

2% of its undergraduate students from those who do not meet the

3

general admission requirementso To implement that program, a

4 Berkeley official has advocated an increase in this quota.

Coordinating Council for Higher Education is currently considering

such an expansion.5

~-CoCoN.Y. is searching for 1,000 high school graduates from

ghetto neighborhoods who cannot get into college without special

help, and admissions standards have been altered to effectuate the

programo A million-dollar ~tate appropriation has been made to cover

6 the cost of special tutoring, stipends, etco

–For the second year running, the Harvard Law School has

conducted n special summer program for about 40 southern Negro co”llege

juniors and seniors, designed to acquaint them with the prospects

of a legal career. It was financed by two successive grants of about

$85,000 each by the Rockefeller Foundationo The program has been.

highly successful in inducing applications of Negroes to the IIarvard

Law Schoolo Admissions standards h~vc been altered in n number of

3.

4o

5.

1960 Master Plan for Higher Education,

Los Angeles Times, May 20, 1966, Part II, Po2, col. 1-3

Coordinating Council for Higher Education, Increasing

Opp6rtunities in Higher Education for Disadvantaged Students 7(1966)

New York Post, August 12, 1966, Po 67, col. 3-4

Page 3

~ases, and.the school’s experience with such students to date has

been very encouraging.7

Following is a summary of the Committee’s proposed program,

a discussion of the premises underlying it, and a consideration of

the detailed steps embraced by ito

SUMMARY OF PROPOSALS

1) Accept a limited number of disadvantaged students —

10 to 15 for the 1967-1968 academic year — under a different set of

admis~ions sta-ndards, di.ffe.rently administered, than i~ now the case.

2) Develop a program to seek out and encourage applications

from such studentso

3) Conduct a program this coming summer for a group of

such students who are in their third or fourth year of college, with

the aim of a) acquainting them with the nature of legal study;

b) encouraging- them. to consider a legal career; and c) evaluating

their respective capacities for legal study, to be considered in the

event they subsequently apply for admission to the law school.

4) Develop a counselling-tutorial program for such

specially-selected studentso

5) Seek to establish a scholarship fund to help meet the .

financial needs of such studentso

7o Sec Appendixo For a detailed description of the Summer Program,

see Toepfer, Ha.rvard ws SP-ecial Summer _P~{E_£._11_!, 18 J o of Leg o

Edo 443 (1966)o Since this report was prepared we have received

further information concerning the Harvard r.aw School experience

with its Negro enrollees, found in Appendix Bo

t !-

.Page 4

6o Establish a faculty committee (either ad hoc or

as a subcommittee of the Admissions and Standards Committee) to

supervise all aspects of the program and continually evaluate its

operation.

PREMISES AND OBJECTIVES

The values the program is intended to advance can be illustrated

from three viewpoints.

1) From the viewpoint of the disadvantaged student.

It is appropriate that steps be taken to counteract the effects of

poverty and discrimination, given the enormous impact these conditions

have on a student’s pre-legal education, not to speak of the

innumerable other ways each works to deny its victims an equal opportunity

in life. That this is a widely shared value backed up by

a substantial national commitment needs no documentation.

2) From the point of view of the law school’s educational

objectivcso Students learn about the law, in the deepest sense of the

term, not only through their study of formal legal mechanisms, but

also through their observations about the concerns, values and modes

of operation of their law schodo The school is in its own right a

highly significant type of legal institution. It, perhaps more than

any other, molds student attitudes as to what are appropriate concerns

for lawyers and as to what the law is “really” abouto It

would help develop a desirable quality in the life of the law school

to have it identified with practical efforts to meet one of the ~reat·

present-day crises in our national lifco

Page 5

The school might also gain academically from the inclusion

of students of widely divergent backgrounds and attitudes even though of

lower academic attainment. This might prove beneficial both through

its impact on the informal give and take between students as well as

in some of the classroom discussions.

3) From the P-oint of view of the law school’s service to

the community. A sharp increase in the number of minority-group

lawyers is desirable for many reasons: to meet the accelerating

demand for such professionals in many areas of American life; to have

such lawyers serve as examples to encourage others to pursue professional

careers; and to contribute at least modestly to the opportunities

available to the disadvantaged to improve the circumstances

of their lives in order to break the self-perpetuating generation-togeneration

cycle of disadvantage.

It is-furthermore important that all public institutions

demonstrate a sensitivity to the problems of poverty and discrimination

and some commitment to counteracting the effects, at least in their

areas of special competence. This is important for the moral leadership

it offers the community as well as the immediate tangible results.

THE PROPOSALS

1) Accept a limited number of disadvantaged students–10 to 15 for

the 1967-68 academic year–under a different set of admissions standards,

differently administered, than is now the case.

How would the selection be made?

Before considering this question, it is useful to describe

the present admission standards and the technique for applying them.

Page 6

Present admission standards. The sole present standard

is said to be academic excellence–determined as follows: We first

assume that the best indicator of academic quality is the applicant’s

predicted law school grade performanceo We then predict such performance

primarily on the basis of a combination of LSAT score and

undergraduate GPA. Indeed, for about one-half of those who were

offered admission for the current year (about 226), virtually no

other factor was considered. They were selected automatically based

on their combination score. Likewise, about 1/3 of the applicants

(about 500) were automatically rejected on the same basiso

With respect to the group of applicants from which the

remaining half of those offered admission were chosen, the combination

score was regarded as sufficiently equivocal to warrant a somewhat

more personalized evaluation of the applicant by the admissions committee,

based on the rest of his file. Even here the relevance of

the non-score factors theoretically lies in their bearing on the applicant’s

academic qualities and are not intended as a basis for

implementing other values in the selection process. Such judgments

are, however, highly subjective. Quite conceivably, committee

members’ views as to the preferred composition of the student body

have played a part in their decisions.

How, in contrast, would students be selected under our

proposal?

a) Academic promise would remain an important standard.

It is not proposed to admit unqualified people. We propose the admission

only of those who in the school 9s judgment have the ability

Page 7

to successfully complete law school careers but who do not qualify

under our present extremely high (and rising) standards and whose

chances of success if admitted would accordingly not match the 95%and-

up rate now prevailing. The gamble, in other words, would be

greater than under our present method of selection. A careful,

responsible scrutiny should, however, enable us to ~ect those for

whom there is a reasonable probability of successo Clearly, it would

serve neither the interests of the individual nor of the school to

accept those whose chances were remoteo No relaxation in grading

standard is contemplated, nor would it be possible under our blind

grading system. And, of course, specially admitted students would

have to facea bar examination just as other students.

b) How would we determine the student’s academic qualities?

We would not rely exclusively on LSAT or GPA. These factors yield,

at best, a rough approximation of those qualities we value in students.

This is not to condemn generally the present method of selection.

The fact that it is a handy, relatively inexpensive, and

reasonably accurate method justifies its use with respect to the

bulk of applicants. A more individualized and extensive type of

evaluation, however, might prove more accurate and enable us to find

students of promise who would not pass muster under our present techniques.

In selecting students under this program we propose to

consider the following factors as bearing on the applicant’s probable

law school performance:

1) His LSAT score and GPA;

Page 8

2) Evidence in his college transcript of trends of

improvement over time, or of special competence

in areas of significance to us;

3) Personal interview with the student; (lt is contemplated

that many applicants would have participated

in the proposed summer program [Proposal 3]. This

would furnish an extremely useful source of information

for evaluating the student’s capacityo)

4) Interviews with people who have had close contact

with the applicant in college: advisors, instructors,

etc.;

5) Evidence of relevant interests and motivationo

It is not suggested that the above listing exhausts the

available sources of relevant information or the techniques for evaluating

it. As ~xperience accumulated it might be expected that our

techniques for predicting law school performance would improve.

There may be skepticism that such a program would work, regardless of

the care and attention given to the ~ection processo Would students

so admitted be able to compete, especially under our blind grading

system? While the circumstances are by no means identical, it may

be relevant to refer to the experience of the Harvard Law School,

which has embarked on a program to increase Negro enrollment and has

accordingly adjusted its entrance requirements o Even against the ·rugg-

ed llt’.rvard cor:llJCtition, the overwhelr.ting majority of such admittees

for whom results are so far available have “made it” though many came

.,_

Page 9

from weak schools and with extremely low LSAT’so The experience

is presented in detail in the Appendices A and B.

c) The factors that would be weighed in admitting a

student under this program, in addition to his capacity to do

effective legal work, would be:

1) His background with respect to discrimination and

poverty;

2) The quality of his pre-law educational opportunities;

3) The extent to which other relevant opportunities had

or had not been available to him;

4) Our assessment of his motivation and interestso

Under these c~iteria some cases will be easy to decide,

others noto This is inevitable given a standard for selection that

makes relevant a variety of factors of indeterminate weight. Such

a phenomenon is, however, not unknown to the law and bears testimony

to the complexity of the problem under consideration. It seems

neither feasible nor desirable to attempt n rigid definition of how

the factors arc to be applied and the relative weight to be assigned

to cncho

The committee is aware of problems inherent in special

treatment. How is the ;;roup entitled to it to be defined in n way

that is both rational and not in sharp conflict

Page 10

with other important values? For some, any awareness of race in

our selection process, however benign the purpose, is objectionable.

We appreciate the reasons for this and concede they may have weight.

In our view, however, race is regrettably relevant not because we

desire it but because our national history has made it soo What

we propose is to recognize the impact of a history of discrimination

and undertake steps to help overcome ito

It is sometimes suggested that we can achieve the same result

by focusing exclusively on “poverty” and ignoring “race.” In

part this is trueo But the impact of discrimination i~ not merely in

the poverty it produces, though it does that in abundant measureo

It creates a variety of problems unique to minority groups, as well

as compounding those problems its members share with other disadvantaged

groups. This, in our judgment, warrants the suggested focus

on minority groups, though the proposed standards are broad enough

to encompass also those who suffer “merely” from poverty.

The argument above has attempted to justify a focus on

minority group members in terms of fairness to the individuals involved.

An additional dimension is the relative public urgency of

the problem.

On both counts it seems not unreasonable to recognize the

special character of discrimination and its effects and take selective

remedial steps even though there are other classes of people

for whom somewhat similar problems existo·

Page 11

2) Develop a program to seek out and e~~ourage applications from

such students.

We assume that the present base of students available for

such a program is quite smallo This is in itself, of course, an

expression of the magnitude of the problem. The first proposal

therefore means little unless coupled with a serious effort to recruit

such students. Such effort should be directed primarily to

state colleges and private schools throughout the state and to schools

in other states. Community organizations might also be a source of

help. Professor Dershowitz of the Harvard Law School reports that

he has conferred with people familiar with the problems of the Indian

minority and found considerable interest in getting Indian college

8

students into legal educationv A variety of Mexican-American organizations

are to be found in Los Angeles that might provide assistance.

The university administration as well as various federal agencies may

also have relevant information.

3) Conduct a program this coming summer for a group of such students

who are in their third or fourth year of college, with the aim of

a) acquainting them with the nature of legal study; b) encouraging

them to consider a legal career; and c) evaluating their respective

capacities for legal study, to be considered in the event they subsequently

apply for admission to this law school.

8. His report is in the possession of the Admissions Committee

and is aunlable for inspection.

Page 12

The proposal is to organize a program analogous to the

Harvard Special Summer Program. It has been described in detail

9

by Dean Toepfer. It was designed to encourage Negro college students

to enter careers in law. About 40 Negro students in their

third and fourth years of college, mostly from historically segregated

southern schools, were broug~to the Harvard Law School for

the summer. Their curriculum consisted of four law courses and a

mock trial project. In the course of the latter, students participated

as “counsel” in arguntent on a motion, a full-scale trial and

an appeal, presided over by faculty members nnd distinguished

judges. Examinations were given. In addition, a program of informal

discussions was a~ranged in the course in which the students

heard Thurgood ~~1arshall, Solicitor General of the United States;

Floyd McKissick~ National Director of CORE; and Judge Wade McCree

of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The program was

fully financed by the Rockefeller Foundation and was in its second

year this summer.

The program we propose would differ from Harvard’s

in several significant respects: it would place greater

emphasis on local (i.e.~California) undergraduates; and it

would broaden the group to include not only Negroes, but Mexican-

Americans, Indians and other similarly disadvantaged groupso This

proposal would of course be contingent on financing, which, it is

hoped, would be forthcoming from a foundation or a federal agency.

9o Toepfer, supra note 1.

Page l:J

~) Develop a counselling-tutorial program for such spec.i.a];.!1,sclected

students.

To take students because of their special problems and

then to ignore the problems as they manifest themselves in law school

would be irresponsible and self-defeatingo Admission implies rcalistic

efforts to help mal-::c thei.r law school careers successful. Such

Si_)ecial attention mi{;ht tal<.c various forms:

First, we could aim to establish a close one-to-one

rclntionship between students admitted under this program and

tJ1ird-year students carefully selected for their qualification and

interest. We believe there will be no lnck of enthusiasm on the part

o:f: an adequate number of students to <lo this jobo

Secondly, we could arrange for relationships between faculty

members and such studcntso We make no recommendation as to the precisc

form these relationships should take. That might best be worked

out by t ho~=;e f acu 1 t y tlCI!lbc rs who des ire to work closely with such

students. Thus .L’nr, ten faculty nn mbers have indica ted willingness

to do so o (This is :1ot intended to suggest they necessarily agree

with the entire ~reposed program; only that if a~optcd they would be

willing to participate as indicated.) Such personal relationships

might prove of critical importance to the success of this programo

Until experience indicates otherwise, both types of advisory-tutorial

relationships might be established, i.e., between student and student

and between student and faculty,since each would tend to fulfill a

different nccdo

,_

Page 14

Two problems may arise from such special attention. Given

a background of some student sentiment that faculty members are impersonal,

unavailable or unapproachable, the fact that faculty attention

was being lavished, relatively speaking, on this limited group

might produce resentmento On the other hand, many students would

surely understand the reasons for such a program and would sympathize

with it. Ways should be considered for discussing this program with

students. This would be desirable not merely for the negative purpose

of warding off criticism, but to further meaningful dialogue

with students on matters appropriately within their concerno While

worth noting, this problem is not in our judgment a major one.

Quite ironically a further problem might be generated by

the impact of special treatment upon the beneficiary himself. He

has been admitted under special standards and is being given special

tutorial help. This special consideration might produce resentment

because of the implication that he needed it. Any such tendency would

of course be aggravated many-fold if the program took on an at~osphere

of condescension. It is important to deal with this problem candidly

with the student from the outset, pointing out that different entrance

standards were being used, the reasons for this, the difficulties

that could be anticipated, and the reasons for guarded optimism

that the undertaking would work out successfullyo While this would

not eliminate what is 9robably an inherent problem in the program,

it might serve to mitigate ito

Page 15

5) Seek to establish a scholarship fund to help meet the financial

needs of such students.

The extent of the need is, of course, impossible to determine

in advance. It would be important to learn in a general

way at an early.date what support might be available from university,

foundation or governmental sources for this purpose.

6) Establish a faculty committee (either ad hoc or as a sub-committee

ef the Admissions and Standards Committee) to supervise all aspects of

the program and co~tinually evaluate its operationo

This program indisputably calls for a large expenditure of

time and energy. The various facets of the program ~re sufficiently

interrelated so that the work canaet· feasibly be divided between a

number of committees. Hence ·che proposed special committee.

One of the suggested functions of the committee is con-

~ tinual evaluation of all aspects of the programo As our experience

developed, it would clearly be important to review our assumptions

and techniques. An incidental benefit of such an endeavor might be

an expanded knowledge about sound techniques for selecting students

in .gencralo

* * * *

It is appropriate to conclude with a recognition of the

limited scope of this report. We have proposed neither a comprehensive

blue-print nor even detailed solutions for every signficant problem

that may arise. We regard that as an· impossibility at this stageo

Our aim has been rather to present sufficiently detailed proposals to

permit realistic determination of the basic merits of the plan, realizing

that various problems, some anticipated and others not, would

present themselves for solution as the program unfolded.

A P P E N D I X A

(Excerpts from a Report to the Admissions Committee

by Leon Letwin)

This information concerning the Harvard Law School experience

was given to me by Russell Simpson, Director of Admissions, on

August 17, 1966. He’s willing to supply whatever additional information

we desireo I may have made minor errors in transcribing

figures, but I think that the data is substantially correct.

The following summarizes the information found in the

Appendix.

1) In 1963-64, the Harvard Law School decided an attempt

should be made to increase Negro enrollment, with the following results:

Year

1963

1964

1965

1966

Applicants

?

?

32

65

Admitted

3

12

15

21

2) The increased enrollment resulted in part from the

fact that Negro applicants were not judged by regular admissions

standards. This was particularly true in the case of applicants

from Southern Negro schools. In such cases, the standard used was

not so much grade point or LSAT, as the prospect of the student’s

success at the law school, based on thorough, personal, evaluation

of their capacity. In a number of cases Dean Toepfer traveled South

to interview applicants as part of the selection processo

In 1964, 4 out of 12 Negro enrollees coming from

Southern Negro schools had LSAT scores ranging from 352 to 463 and

were taken as a trial effort. This compared with an average LSAT

for all students admitted in 1964 of 651.

In 1965, at least half of the 15 students came from

Southern schoolso The LSAT distribution for the entire group was

about as follows:

Under 400

400-450

450-500

500-600

2

4

3

4

(Information on 2 is missing)

.•

Page 2

During 1965, the average LSAT for all first year students was about 665o

In 1966, at least half of the 21 admitted came from

Southern NegrOSchools. LSAT dis.tribution for the total group:

Under 400

400-450

450-500

500-600

Over 600

3

2

3

10

3

This compares with an anticipated average LSAT for all first year

students in 1966 of 675.

The sharp rise in number of applications in 1966 is undoubtedly

due partly to the operatiop of the Harvard Special Summer

Program for Negro students •••• The program produced applicants for

Harvard in several ways. First, a considerable number of Summer

Program students applied to the law school–9 or 10 in 1966 (of whom

5 or 6 were accepted). Secondly, through tha participants in the

Summer Program the word got around that it was not unrealistic for

the better students from such schools to apply, and it was not unlikely

that they would pass if selected.

3) Experience in Law School. Of the 4 trial-basis students

admitted in 1964, all passed, though well down in class rank. But

these 4 had an average LSAT of only 407! In 1965, when the average

LSAT was about 455, only 3 of the 15 failed.

It is legitimate to inquire whether the grades for

these.students are strictly comparable to those for all Harvard

students. Were the Negro students beneficiaries of a laxer grading

standard? It is difficult to answer confidently and precisely.

Some Harvard instructors grade blind, others do not. Perhaps the

judgments of those that do not were influenced to a degree, consciously

or otherwise, by the student’s background. There was certainly

no general policy to grade the Negro students on a less demanding

standard. For what it’s worth, several instructors with whom

I discussed the point thought that at most there might have been a

laxer standard, with only marginal effect, in the case of students

right on the borderline between passing and failing a course. However

they doubted any general tendency to give the Negro students

grade bonuses •••

Steps were • • • taken to assist the students once th~y

were in school, though the value of this effort is hard to gaugeo

The form of this special attention was the supplying of these stud~nts

with law review members, available for frequent, informal consultation

o • •

L ,,f

Page 3

Harvard Law School’s Admissions of Negro Students

And Grade Results for Such Students, 1963-66.

Harvard Grading System:

Undergrad.

School

Harvard

Radcliffe

Marquette

75 and above A

70-74 B

66-69 C+

62-65 c

55-61 D

To maintain satisfactory academic standing

a student must receive a general average of

at least 58 during each year, and at least

one point higher in any year he has a course

grade below 55

* * * *

1963

Undergrad.

Grade Avgo LSAT

Law School

Avg.(3 year)

BB

B+

1964

583

584

638

65

66

68

12 Negroes admjttedo 8 had LSAT’s of 544 and up, coming

from Harvard, Uilliarns, Yale, Uo of Soo Calif., Amherst, Lafayette,

U. of Delaware. 4 were admitted more or less on a trial basis:

Undergrad

School

Morehouse

Morehouse

Tuskegee

Spellman

Undergrad.

Grade Avg.

BB+

B+

B+

LSAT

463

352

395

417

Law School

Avg. (1st year)

62

63

63

61

(A pprox ima te ly

bottom lOth

percentile)

,j

•- -r

Page 4

Applied: 32

Admitted: 15

1965

About 50% admitted, compared to general admission ratio of

approximately 17%.

Undergrad Undergrado

School Grade Avg. LSAT

U. of San Fran. B- 518

Vassar C+ 494

Fisk B- 523

Rutgers c 352, 400

Harvard B- 535

Brown C+ 393, 494

Morris Brown & Morgan St. A- 470

Morehouse & U. of Miami B; A- 443

Va. State C+ 414′ 405

Fisk B- 458

Morehouse B- 340, 389

Fisk B+ 511

Talladega B- 429

?

?

1966 (Current year)

Applied: 65 (9 or 10 from Special Summer Program)

Admitted: 21 (5 or 6 from Special Sunmer Program)

Law School

Avg. (1st xear)

64

withdrew

64

56 (failed)

67

58 (failed)

63

60

62

63

56 (failed)

65

58 (didn’t fail)

About 1/3 admitted compared to general admission ratio of

about 16%. Note higher quality of applicants compared to previous

year.

Undergrado Undergrad.

School Grade Avg. LSAT

Fla. A. & M. B+- 466

Indiana U. A- 520

Harvard B- 600.

Morgan State A- 566

Hobart B- 636

E. Michigan B- 411·

Fisk B 446, 444

No. Carolina Col. B+ 384

U. of Michigan C+ 576

J.C. Smith A- 395

Howard B 571

Florida A. & M. A 594

UCLA B+ 649

Fisk C+ 582

Morehouse C+ 547

. ,

Undergrade~

School

Wheaton

Harvard

Wash. U.

Columbia

Kenyon

Tenn. State

Undergrado

Grad. Avgo

B+

B- .

BB

BB+

LSAT

593

489

586

653

500, 588

395

Page 5

_..)

APPENDIX B Page 6

JLnw ~rbool of j!)arbarb Wniber9’ifp

Q!:cunhribgc, :!llns.s’. 02138

ADMISSIONS OFFICE

Professor Leon Letwin

School of Law

University of California

405 Hilgard Avenue

Los Angeles, California 90024

Dear Leon,

October 13, 1966

Your memorandum of August 30th to the Admissions Committee

concerning minority group representation at your law school was a

fine presentation and I can find no substantial inaccuracies.’

Thanks for sending roe a copy.

I have been waiting to comment on your memorandum until the

computer data we prepared this summer was finalized. Enclosed please

find the statistical results concerning a group of thirty Negro

students for whom first year law school performance at Harvard was

available. All these students entered Harvard Law School within the

past four years. While the sample size is too small to lean on very

heavily, it does seem quite clear that LSAT scores are excellent

predictors of the relative law school performance of these students.

It is also clear that Negro students we have admitted perform much

better than white students who have similar qualifications. \\’bile

part of the reason for this is selective admissions procedures, the

high motivation of Negro students is also a factor.

On Thursday, November 3rcl, I will be in Los Angeles to speak

with a group of UCLA undergraduates interested in law school. Professor

J.A.C. Grant, of the Political Science Department, has kindly offered

his home for this purpose. I huQe to arrive in Los Angeles early enough

in the day to stop by and say hello.

If I could be of any further help, please feel free to call on me

at any time. With kindest personal regards and with warmest wishes from

the Law School,

RAS:slf

encl.

Sincerely,

·*.4 Russell A. Simpson

Assistant Dean and

Director of Admissions

.

SCHOOL: NEGRO STUDENTS

This analysis is based on a sample size of 30

New Prediction Equations

1. y a:: 1 539X + c;P,.7

I

2. y = 023X

2

0:::1 7

3. y = J .484 + {·’>3¥ + 47 43

I 2

4.

5. _______________________________ __

Prior Prediction Equation

6·——–~~0I~l-~——————–

Coefficient

of Mult. Corr.

.1670

,f:M>S

66{;4

Where Y = predicted lL average x3 = LSAT-writing

Page 7

Standard

Error of Est.

3.41

2,6(,

2 61·

x1 = undergraduate academic record

x2 = LSAT-aptitude

.x4 c LSAT-background

x5 = Jr. year undergraduate record

BRIEF EXPLANATIONS

Prediction Equations: These yield an estimate of how a student will perform during

his first year at HLS. This estimate is based upon his performance measured by the

various X predictors in comparison with that of other students from the same general

pop.u lation who have completed their first year at HLS .

. Coefficient of Multiple Correlation: This figure gives some indication of how well

the X predictors actually forecast 11 averages. It may be converted to a percentage

for general analysis. A coefficient of .50 would be squared and converted to a

percent figure-·-25%, which would indicate that 25% of the differences in lL performance

among those in the population from which the sample was taken can be explained

using only the X predictors in the prediction equation.

Standard Error of the Estimate: The SE of E indicates the confidence we can have in

the accuracy of the prediction equation. A student will achieve an actual 11 average

within one SE of E, plus or minus, of his predicted average 68 times out of 100.

He will almost always achieve an actual lL average within two SE of E’s of his predicted

average. For example, given a 3.00 SE of E, a student with a predicted

average of 67 will achieve an actual lL average between 64 and 70 on the average of

68 times out of 100. He will nearly always achieve an actual lL average between

· 61 and 73 ( 67 ± 2 X 3.00)

MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS OF VARIABLES

Actual lL average

Undergraduate academic record

LSAT-aptitude

LSAT-writing .

LSAT-background

Predicted lL avg.-Old prediction equation

Jr. year undergraduate record

Mean

63.17

2.88

50ft

Std. Dev.

3.40

‘369

95.75

.. ,

SCHOOL: l’lEGRO STUDL;~JTS

xl

X2

x3

x4

xs

EQ. 1

beta %

. 167 1()(

BETA WEIGHTS OF THE VARIABLES

EQ 2

beta %

EQ. 3

beta %

.1610 20

.t41 100 ,6390 SO

EQ. 4

be ta %

BRIEF EXPLANATION

EQ. 5

beta %

Page 8

Prior Prediction

Equa tion

beta %

Beta coefficients: Beta coefficients are direct measures of each X predictor’s

r elative importance . They indicate how much the predicted lL aver age will rise

if the predictor in question rises by one standard deviation.

The percentage is computed directly from the beta coefficient . For example, in

an equation with t wo predictors , X1 and Xz, a percent age of 67 for X1 and 33 for

Xz would mean that the predictive value of undergraduat e academic record (X).),

was twice tha t of the LSAT-aptitude (Xz) in forecasting perfonnance .

T conf .

xl

xz ~”— x3

–1-/—x4

xs

——

T TEST ON BETA COEFFIC IENTS

{3Q:J. Ga. 3 JE.G J

T con£ . T conf . T conf.

I 1.]1 ‘)t;

4 .ld. .Ul ‘• ·‘•2 .01

I

I

I

I

BRIEF EXPLANATION

T conf.

P~IO~

PI?{; Dt c. TIc IV

fi.Q..

T conf.

T t es t s : T t ests are used to ca l culate confidence l evel s . The confidence l evel

indicat es the probablilty t hat we would get as l arge a beta coefficient by pure

chance as was actually obtained if there were no r el a tionship whatsoever be tween

lL averages and the X predictor in quest i on . A confidence l evel of .01 indicates

that \\‘e \oJOuld get a value as l arge as the one in question by chance only 1 time

in 100.