Monica Ingram, University of Texas School of Law assistant dean for admissions and financial aid ()
Although the recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Fisher v. University of Texas, Austin applied to undergraduate admissions, University of Texas School of Law assistant dean for admissions and financial aid Monica Ingram responded to Texas Lawyer’s emailed questions about the law school’s diversity efforts. Her answers have been edited for length and style.
Texas Lawyer: What does the law school do to achieve diversity among its admitted students?
Monica Ingram: Our diversity efforts are a work in progress. We recruit heavily across the country and throughout the state at HBCUs [Historically Black Colleges and Universities], HSIs [Hispanic-Serving Institution] and major colleges and universities. We look for diversity of experience in addition to racial, ethnic and gender diversity. A white student raised in a majority-minority community, for example, brings an equally diverse experience to share within the law school community as well as the profession. We continue to work with pipeline programs at the undergraduate and high school level. We spend a great deal of time doing outreach. Ultimately, what attracts diverse students to our program is the same as what attracts majority students, an elite education where our students are supported and encouraged.
TL: Is there any reason to expect the law school to become more diverse? If yes, how and why so, in the next five years?
Ingram: The Fifth Circuit’s ruling is narrow in its direct applicability to our undergraduate campus’ admission program. However, it is encouraging in its continued support of the ability to consider race and ethnicity as one of many factors in admission decisions. I don’t anticipate a change in our current recruitment efforts or programs. Our admission goals remain the same—identify talented students from a cross-section of backgrounds, communities and experience who will contribute to the legal profession.