This week's guest blogger is Richard Sander, who is an economist and law professor at UCLA School of Law. As I noted in an earlier post, Sander is best known for his empirical
work on racial preferences in legal education (Systemic
Analysis of Affirmative Action in American Law Schools, 57 Stan L. Rev. 367
(2004)) and corporate law firms (The Racial
Paradox of Corporate Law Firms, 84 N.C. L. Rev. 1755 (2006)). These articles raise the possibility that racial preferences in legal education may have significant, unintended consequences that may work to the detriment of many aspiring minority lawyers. Obviously, this is a very troubling prospect for those of us who work within the legal academy, especially since most law schools and law professors strongly supported the Supreme Court's decision in Grutter.
Not surprisingly, over the last two years, Sander has garnered no shortage of critics. Yet, Richard Sander's earlier scholarship and professional activities belie the perception that his work is motivated by politics or ideology. During the last 20 years, Sander has been a ardent advocate of fair housing laws and worked on the successful campaign and transition team of Harold Washington, the first black mayor of Chicago. Since joining the UCLA faculty in 1989, Rick has served as President of the Fair Housing Congress of Southern California, founded the Fair Housing Institute, and helped the City of Los Angeles design and implement what was, at the time, the nation's most ambitious living wage law. He also participated in the effort to develop outreach programs that sharply increased the local use of the Earned Income Tax Credit, generating tens of millions of dollars annually for LA's poorest working families. In addition to scholarship on housing integration and living wage laws, Sander has done important empirical work on legal education, including effective strategies in academic support programs and how law students perceive the law school experience.
At UCLA, Sander teaches courses in Property, Quantitative Methods, Urban Housing, and Policy Analysis. I look forward to his postings over the coming week.