University of South Carolina School of Law Professor Eboni S. Nelson was recently awarded a $115,000 grant by Access Group to conduct a new study aimed at seeing if there is a relationship between students’ racial identities and race-neutral identity factors for the purpose of law school admissions.
Nelson and her co-investigators will survey first-year law students on the race-neutral elements of their identity such as neighborhood demographics and schools attended. The ultimate goal is to see how schools can create a more diverse student body and provide greater educational access to students of color without having to specifically ask questions about race.
Her co-investigators include Dr. Ronald Pitner, with the University of South Carolina College of Social Work, and Carla Pratt, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Educational Equity and Professor of Law at Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law.
Access Group is a nonprofit membership organization comprised of about 200 ABA-approved and state-affiliated law schools that “works to further access, affordability and the value of legal education, specifically, and graduate and professional education more broadly, through research, policy advocacy, and direct member and student educational services.”