Blacks Are Being Pushed Down Into Second-Tier Law Schools in Florida

Under Jeb Bush’s One Florida plan, state-operated universities and graduate schools are not permitted to use race as a factor in admissions decisions. Since the plan went into effect four years ago, the black percentage of all law school students at state-operated schools in Florida has increased from 11.1 percent to 12.3 percent. Overall there are 153 more black students in law school in Florida than in 1999.

But these statistics are highly misleading. One of the main reasons for the increase in black students at state-operated law schools is the opening in 2002 of the law school at Florida A&M University, a historically black educational institution. Today 44 percent of all enrollments at the school are black.

As might be expected, black enrollments have plummeted at the state’s two most prestigious public law schools. Black enrollments at the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida at Gainesville are down by nearly 50 percent since 2001. Blacks now make up 6.9 percent of the students at the law school.

At the Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee, black enrollments have dropped by one third since 2001. Blacks are now 5.5 percent of the students at the Florida State law school.

Copyright © 2006. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.