Students for Fair Admission Inc. v. University of North Carolina et al.

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Relying heavily on our expert’s testimony, the judge found in favor of the University of North Carolina in this case, upholding the use of race in undergraduate admissions.

Retained by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

Defense counsel retained Cornerstone Research in this high-profile case in which the plaintiff sought to end the University of North Carolina (UNC)’s consideration of race in admissions decisions. After a two-week trial, the judge ruled that UNC’s admissions process, and its consideration of race, is constitutionally permissible. Cornerstone Research supported Caroline Hoxby of Stanford University who provided expert testimony on behalf of UNC.

A U.S. district judge found Professor Hoxby’s analyses persuasive on both of the questions at issue, citing her testimony throughout the opinion.

Professor Hoxby analyzed whether there was statistical evidence that UNC was using race as a dominant factor in admissions. She also examined whether there are workable race-neutral alternative policies that would enable UNC to continue to meet its goal of having a diverse student body. To address these questions, Professor Hoxby analyzed data on all applicants to UNC and all North Carolina public high school students.

A U.S. district judge found Professor Hoxby’s analyses persuasive on both of the questions at issue. The judge cited Professor Hoxby throughout the opinion. For example, she stated “[i]t is clear to the court that Professor Hoxby’s first-hand familiarity with the nuances of the data she is using allows her to provide a deeper level of analysis for each plan that has been presented in evidence. Indeed, the court finds her research to be, for all practical purposes, exhaustive in considering the race-neutral admissions policies that have been proffered by either party.”

The plaintiff is appealing the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the Court should hear this case together with its lawsuit against Harvard College.


For more information, contact Darwin Neher or Daniel Schmierer.