Linklaters teams up with the National Women’s Law Center on Supreme Court amicus brief supporting race-conscious admissions

Linklaters has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and 37 other prominent civil rights and gender justice organizations in support of college admissions policies that foster diversity.

In the upcoming term, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a pair of cases that could potentially end race-conscious admissions policies in higher education, sometimes referred to as “affirmative action.” The two cases involve challenges to race-conscious admissions policies used by Harvard College and the University of North Carolina that consider race as one factor in a holistic admissions process to achieve a racially diverse student body.
Accordingly, on behalf of NWLC and its partner organizations, we are urging the Supreme Court to follow its nearly 50-year precedent by continuing to allow colleges to consider race as one of many factors in admissions policies. The brief focuses specifically on the profound contributions that women of color provide to higher education – from fostering the robust and fulsome exchange of ideas, to helping to break down shamefully persistent stereotypes – for the enrichment and benefit of all students, and ultimately, society at large. The brief also details the real-world statistics and overwhelming social science that demonstrate the necessity of race-conscious admissions to cultivate student body diversity.

Richard Smith, Linklaters partner and senior sponsor for the firm’s U.S. Black professional network, commented,

“Diversity makes all organizations stronger and allowing colleges to consider race, as one of many factors, in admissions is necessary for future students to have access to diverse and equitable educational opportunities.”

Linklaters partner Pam Shores, who is on the Leadership Advisory Committee of the NWLC, added,

“We were proud to work with the NWLC in support of holistic race-conscious college admission policies crucial to creating racially diverse and inclusive educational environments.”

The NWLC is a non-profit legal advocacy organization that fights for gender justice in the courts, in public policy and in society.

A team of Linklaters lawyers in Washington, D.C., New York, London and Singapore worked with the NWLC on the brief, led by partners Richard Smith and Pam Shores, alongside counsel Patrick Ashby, and senior associates Menaka Nayar and Meredith Riley.
View the amicus brief here.