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Law Students from Across the Nation to File Amicus Brief with Supreme Court in Support of Affirmative Action

January 23, 2003

Students at Over 100 Law Schools in 37 States Signing On to Brief in Favor of Diversity in Higher Education. One of Largest Group-Signed Amicus Briefs in Supreme Court History Argues That Diversity Imparts Invaluable Educational Benefits to Law Students.

WASHINGTON, DC — Law students at over 100 law schools across the nation are preparing to file an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in Grutter v. Bollinger, the University of Michigan Law School affirmative action case to be heard by the Court on April 1, 2003. The brief supports the use of race as one of many factors in admissions decisions, arguing that diversity is a compelling governmental interest and that a diverse student body imparts invaluable educational benefits to law students.

David Fauvre, a third-year student at Georgetown University Law Center who led the drafting efforts, explained the motivation behind the brief: “We want to send a powerful message to the Court, on behalf of law students across the country, that a diverse student body is vital to our development as effective lawyers. Students of all races benefit from a diverse student body. Since the nation‘s law students have so much at stake in this decision, it is essential to make our voices heard.”

The brief, drafted by students at Georgetown University Law Center under the supervision of Professor Julie R. O'Sullivan, argues that a diverse student body exposes all law students to a robust exchange of ideas; that diversity encourages speculation, experimentation and creation in law school; and that a heterogeneous student body ensures that law students are not isolated from the individuals and institutions that interact with the law. O'Sullivan will serve as Counsel of Record on the brief.

“The fact that students at over 100 law schools are participating in the filing of this brief shows how crucial the issue of a racially diverse student body is to law students,” stated Gretchen Rohr, a student at Georgetown who assisted in the drafting of the brief. “Those who follow us in law school should enjoy the same quality of education that we receive now as part of a racially diverse student body. Affirmative action is a constitutionally sound way of achieving a diverse student body, and we believe it is our duty to demonstrate to the Court the value of diversity from the perspective of those who experience its effects everyday — current law students.”

Darrin Hurwitz

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