The University of Michigan Law School has had a longstanding commitment to diversity. In 1870 as one of the oldest and largest law schools in the nation, the University of Michigan became the second American university to confer a law degree on an African American. That same year, Michigan was the first major law school to admit a woman, and in 1871, graduate Sarah Killgore became the first woman with a law degree in the nation to be admitted to the bar. By 1890, Michigan had graduated more women than any other law school. That commitment to access and diversity joined an equally powerful commitment to excellence which continues to this day.
The Law School has also taken a leadership role among academic institutions through its continued effort to admit a diverse student body. In 2003, the Law School's admissions policy, which took race into account as one of many factors, was upheld by the Supreme Court in its decision in Grutter v. Bollinger. This decision has enabled many institutions of higher education to continue serve as pathways to a more fully integrated society.
More recently, in response to Proposal 2 or the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative which amends the state constitution of Michigan to prohibit programs that grant preferential treatment to individuals or groups on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting, the faculty recently adopted the following statement on admissions:
The University of Michigan Law School has long understood that enrolling students from a broad spectrum of perspectives and experiences generates a vibrant culture of comprehensive debate and discussion. The Law School fosters interactions among students and faculty on terms of analytical rigor, passion, civility, and respect. The wide-ranging and challenging conversations of our diverse student body, inside a