This paper reports the results of a 1997-98 survey designed to explore the careers of the University of Michigan Law School's minority graduates from the classes of 1970 through 1996, and of a random sample of Michigan Law School's white alumni who graduated during the same years. It is to date the most detailed quantitative exploration of how minority students fare after they graduate from law school and enter law practice or related careers. The results reveal that almost all of Michigan Law School's minority graduates pass a bar exam and go on to have careers that appear successful by conventional measures. In particular, the survey indicates that minority graduates (defined so as to include graduates with African American, Latino, and Native American backgrounds) are no less successful than white graduates, whether success is measured by the log of current income, self-reported satisfaction, or an index of service contributions. Also, although an admissions index that combines LSAT scores and undergraduate grade-point average is a significant predictor of law school grades, it does not predict career success on any of our three outcome measures. Michigan is a highly selective law school; our results may not generalize to people who have graduated from other law schools.
Lempert, Richard O. "Michigan's Minority Graduates in Practice: The River Runs through Law School." D. L. Chambers and T. K. Adams, co-authors. Law & Soc. Inquiry 25, no. 2 (2000): 395-505.