Florida Frets Over Decline in Law School Diversity
(Orlando Sentinel) — Law schools in Florida have struggled for years to draw more minorities into legal fields long dominated by white men. Yet despite recruitment drives and other efforts to boost their enrollment, the numbers at some colleges have remained stagnant or have fallen off. That troubles scholars and college administrators as Florida becomes more and more diverse. Soaring tuition, tougher admission requirements and other factors have discouraged many minorities from seeking law degrees. At the University of Florida, black enrollment at the state’s largest public law school dropped 10 percent from fall 2006 to fall 2010, the national Law School Admission Council reported last week. The overall number of full-time minority students studying law dipped as well. Meanwhile, Hispanic enrollment fell by more than one-third at Florida A&M University’s law school in Orlando from 2008 to 2010. And even though black student enrollment remained about the same at Florida A&M, which has served mostly black students for decades, a smaller percentage of the law school’s student body is now black.