The Whitest Law Schools, The Most Alienated Academic
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It's so tough being a student in springtime! Everywhere you look, Mother Nature and daring coeds do their best to distract by showing a little skin. Lectures are interminable and midterms are only just wheezing their last dying breaths.

And, as if that weren't enough, graduate schools are sending out acceptance letters.

Taking its cue from parents everywhere, the University Of Dayton School Of Law has started handing out unsolicited advice. According to an annual report produced under its auspices, diversity—not geography, faculty or reputation—should be the key factor in deciding between law schools. [ note: The Dean of UDayton Law is Lisa Kloppenberg (email her)]

For the last two years, Professor Vernellia Randall (email her here) has produced The Whitest Law Schools Report. She not only ranks the "best" and "worst" law schools in terms of diversity, but also attacks "excess whiteness" in the profession of law and the institutional racism of the LSAT.

This in itself fails to surprise me, a veteran of four years' college brainwashing. But it's striking how seriously her report is being taken. And yes, Professor Randall is being taken seriously. In a simple Google search for "whitest university" I found her mentioned in the Lexington Herald-Leader, the National Jurist, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Kansas City Star. The University of Montana school paper Kaimin, ran an article defending itself against her pejorative rating. The report was mentioned at, a law research website,,, and countless websites promoting diversity and tolerance. She's no stranger to sometimes hostile blogs, either.

But why?

Unsubstantiated emotional appeals are nothing new to academia (or politics). But even without analyzing Randall's numbers, there are several aspects of her report that call its integrity into question.

  • In both the prologue and the introduction, Randall describes several red herring instances of racism. It's beyond me how exactly the long-since torn-down Greenville, Texas sign reading "The blackest dirt, the whitest people" is relevant to law school admissions, and why she objects to the use of "nigger" in a law school class as an example of hate speech.
  • In her statistics, Randall uses the classification "white" to describe those students who describe themselves either as "Caucasian" or as "unknown". This, supposedly, is because "schools with large number of whites who failed to report their race would look less white than they actually were," and she doesn't want to provide incentives for not listing a race. But in refusing to believe that any non-white would relinquish their ethnic identity, Randall penalizes those who are actually working toward color-blindness.
  • Randall fails to acknowledge legitimate reasons certain schools may have for having "excess whiteness". In the comments page linked to her report, critics defend several of the whitest schools, including Campbell University and Cumberland. They point out that, in states where there are highly ranked traditionally black law schools, that's where blacks go. An expensive, low-tier law school attracts neither scholarship-worthy blacks nor lower scoring students who would have to pay their own tuition.
  • The report itself is riddled with grammatical and typing errors, e.g.:
    • "Seas of whiteness that contributes to the legal profession being more white than medicine."

Despite her constant insistence that "affirmative action babies" are just as competent as normal applicants, she can't seem to master simple writing skills.

In the report, Randall predicts that by 2050, when she hopes the whites in the US will no longer be the majority, the US will be in "a de facto apartheid":

"We could have an America in which a white minority controls the legal system similar to South Africa in the last half of the 20th century," Randall says. "People have a difficult time trusting a system [of law] disproportionately dominated by persons who do not share their racial or ethnic experiences."

But we won't get more black lawyers without first getting more blacks into law school. So standards for admission, like Undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) and scores on the LSAT, should be thrown out.

Needless to say, the idea of getting rid of ranking systems may be greeted with cheers and keg-stands all along fraternity row. But I doubt the honors college would recognize its merit. However, Professor Randall says "failing is not about intellect in law school." So I guess merit isn't an issue there anymore.

What Randall fails to recognize is that law school should provide training for lawyers, not remedial education for those who can't make the cut. Making a tax law professor into an English tutor will not improve the profession. Randall is pushing for the establishment of a complete education system in place of law school—one that can make up for a lifetime of bad schooling—not a simple redistributive admissions process.

And she's getting down to business. On March 2, Randall's Coalition for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Law School and the Legal Profession drew up a proposal for challenging the use of the LSAT, which they will bring before the American Bar Association committee in June. If it passes, law schools will be prohibited from relying on the LSAT, because of the "disparate impact" the test seems to have on minorities. The coalition demands that law school admissions boards practice racial preference, even if it breaks the law. (To see a discussion of this and other diversity standards in law schools, see here.)

Randall as a professor is predictably bitter. On the popular (among students) website, she has numerous scathing reviews. Her own students report that she "hates life and lives the stereotype of liberalism," and that "she is such a [sic] angry woman who hates the world. Very liberal and believes everyone is ****…she bends over backwards to help minority students … definitely has a chip on her shoulder."

There isn't a single positive rating.

Randall's constant mantra, inscribed on virtually every webpage she can get her hands on, is: "I grew up during Jim Crow."

Because Randall can't get past her childhood memories of segregation, she is working relentlessly to extirpate the American majority from the law schools it founded.

In an attempt to highlight what she sees as the plight of blacks in law school, Randall quotes philosopher Miguel de Unamuno: "Isolation is the worst counselor."  Really, all that she's highlighting is her own profound alienation.

Athena Kerry (email her) recently graduated from a Catholic university somewhere in America.

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