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Columbia Law School has launched a Web site documenting the declining trend of minority students’ enrollment in law schools. The site calls the trend disturbing and says that while African-American and Mexican-American students have applied to law schools in relatively constant numbers over the last 15 years, their representation has fallen by 8.6%, from 3,937 in 1992 to 3,595 in 2006. The site points out that this is occurring at a time minority students’ leading admissibility indicators have improved and the number of law schools has increased to provide room for nearly 4,000 more students. The Web site was created by Columbia Law School’s Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic, in collaboration with the Society of American Law Teachers, or SALT. It contains 12 graphs and nearly 200 data points based on yearly Law School Admission Council statistics. “We need diversity in our legal profession to promote better legal education and fairness in our system of justice,” Conrad Johnson, clinical professor of law at Columbia and a member of SALT’s board of directors, said in a news release. The site also includes an analysis of Grutter v. Bollinger, the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision that reaffirmed the limited use of affirmative action in university and law school admissions. Columbia Law School students Christina Quintero and Jeffrey Penn helped created the Web site as part of their Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic. The clinic provides hands-on experience in digital technologies that help shape the legal profession. Through the clinic, students work with public interest lawyers and members of the judiciary and handle issues such as eviction cases, advocate to restore government benefits and help organize pro bono efforts.

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