In response to the Supreme Court’s decision to rule against affirmative action, Verna Williams, CEO of Equal Justice Works (EJW) issued the following statement:
“Throughout modern history, affirmative action has remained a crucial tool for students of color to access the quality education they deserve. Today, the Supreme Court handed down a decision that will adversely affect students of color and upend decades of work to make our country more equitable. When our institutions of higher education reflect the powerful diversity of this country, it opens the door for so many young minds to pursue their biggest dreams—including becoming a lawyer.
“With or without affirmative action, there is already an unacceptable lack of representation among law students and practicing attorneys. The percentage of lawyers of color has remained largely unchanged over the last decade, accounting for only 19% of the total profession.
“Now, as many university and graduate school admissions offices are forced to change their policies, we have a duty – as law schools, law firms, and legal organizations – to come together and help aspiring lawyers of color achieve their dreams. While we are disheartened by the Supreme Court’s decision, Equal Justice Works remains grounded in its mission to support students of color who have a passion for public service and to build a more diverse talent pipeline that fulfills the promise of equal justice for all.”