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Applicant Charges Florida A&M Law School With Discrimination

Edward A. Horton has filed a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, against Florida A&M University College of Law over its admissions practices regarding age and race.

In the complaint, Horton, age 61, says that FAMU's use of the Law School Aptitude Test discriminated against him on the basis of age because the LSAT test results show a disparate impact on older test takers.

The LSAT has been under challenge in the past by the Law School Admission Council, a national oversight body on law school admission practices. A 1990 research study conducted by Dr. Linda Wightman, vice president of LSAC, said that LSAT scores and other simple numerical measurements are poor predictors of law school graduation and bar passage rates.

The LSAC study concluded that "more than 75 percent of all minority law school graduates would have been denied admission under a strictly numerical admissions scheme with heavy emphasis on LSAT scores." Horton's complaint against FAMU says that the same LSAT bias applies to the factor of age because statistical data from recent testing cycles show that applicants' LSAT scores progressively decline in direct relationship to the age of the test takers.

Horton's complaint also raises a reverse race discrimination charge against FAMU in that its admission practices at the law school show a discriminatory intent to favor minority applicants. The complaint alleges that FAMU, a predominately black university and recipient of federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education, admitted non-caucasian applicants with lower LSAT scores to its law school to achieve the "educational needs of blacks and other ethnic minorities" focus stated in its mission statement.

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, located in Atlanta, is handling the complaint.

Press Release:

December 04, 2003 01:24 PM US Eastern Timezone

Florida A & M School of Law Charged With Age and Race Discrimination by Applicant Edward Horton

PLANO, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 4, 2003--Edward A. Horton has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights against Florida A& M University, College of Law (FAMU) over its admissions practices regarding age and race. In the complaint Mr. Horton, age 61, asserts that FAMU's use of the Law School Aptitude Test (LSAT) discriminated against him on the basis of age because the LSAT test results show a disparate impact on older test takers.

The LSAT has been under challenge in the past by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), a national oversight body on law school admission practices. A 1990 research study conducted by Dr. Linda Wightman, Vice President of LSAC concluded that LSAT scores and other simple numerical measurements are poor predictors of law school graduation and bar passage rates. The LSAC study concluded that "more than 75% of all minority law school graduates would have been denied admission under a strictly numerical admissions scheme with heavy emphasis on LSAT scores." Mr. Horton's complaint against FAMU asserts that the same LSAT bias applies to the factor of age because statistical data from recent testing cycles show that applicants' LSAT scores progressively decline in direct relationship to the age of the test takers.

Mr. Horton's complaint also raises a "reverse" race discrimination charge against FAMU in that its admission practices at the law school show a discriminatory intent to favor minority applicants. The complaint alleges that FAMU, a predominately Black university and recipient of federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education, admitted non-Caucasian applicants with lower LSAT scores to its law school to achieve the "educational needs of Blacks and other ethnic minorities" focus stated in its Mission Statement. The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, located in Atlanta, is handling the complaint.