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The State Bar of California has rejected a request by a group of legal scholars who want to use data it collects regarding bar exam test-takers’ race, gender and other details for research. The group wants the data to conduct research related to affirmative action admissions in law schools. The bar association rejected the request because it said it was not authorized by exam-takers to release the data to third parties. One of the scholars seeking the information is Richard Sander, a University of California at Los Angeles School of Law professor. His controversial study published three years ago in the Stanford Law Review asserted that preferential admissions create a “mismatch” between the educational level of some black students and the demands of the law schools that admit them, resulting in academic and economic disparities for blacks. The group, which attributes the association’s rejection to the controversial nature of the research, is considering legal options to obtain the data.

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