UMinn Law School will no longer give preference to minorities for fellowship: ‘Win for civil rights’

A University of Minnesota Law School diversity fellowship will now give equal consideration to White and male applicants following a civil rights complaint.

According to The College Fix, the application for a full-ride diversity fellowship sponsored by the Jones Day law firm has been changed after education watchdog Adam Kissel filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).


A March 25 memo from the OCR obtained by The College Fix noted that the complaint had been resolved and closed after the university told the office the fellowship criteria “does not include a preference based on race or sex.”

Instead, recipients will be chosen “based on their commitment to enhancing diversity and inclusion” and “whose life experiences bring unique, extraordinary, or other fresh perspective to campus, including first generation college graduate and students from socioeconomically challenged backgrounds.'”

Kissel told The College Fix that the news was “a win for civil rights” but said the change is likely “just whitewashing” because administrators “still understand the purpose of the program is to help minority students, otherwise it would not exist.”


“In other words, the intended outcome is that minority students, but few to no non-minority students, get the advantages of the program. That difference in outcome by race is intended. Even if that outcome were unintended, the program would still risk a finding that it is out of compliance with Title VI,” Kissel said.

“Whether a difference in outcome by race is intended or unintended, OCR investigates discrimination claims based on unequal outcomes,” he added.

The Jones Day Diversity Fellowship launched in December 2022 and includes a full-tuition scholarship for three years at the law school. It also allows the recipient to work as a summer associate at Jones Day, a firm with offices worldwide.

The firm website states, “We aggressively pursue hiring, retaining, and developing lawyers from historically underrepresented groups and backgrounds.”


In its application, the program stated that its purpose is “to prepare students of color and Native Americans for graduate school.” The application process requests that inquiring students fill out demographic information.

The University of Minnesota Law School did not return Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Fox News’ Sarah Rumpf-Whitten contributed to this report.

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