When I attended Michigan Law School in 1966, as a 2L Harvard transfer, there was only one, or perhaps two, African Americans in a student body of about 1100 students, and if there were any students of Latino heritage their presence went unnoticed. When I began teaching at Michigan in the fall of 1968, the situation had begun to change. There were eight or nine African American students in the first year class, the first cohort to be admitted under a newly approved racially sensitive affirmative action program. Since then, Michigan has graduated more than 1500 minority students, most of whom would not have been admitted but for affirmative action. These students have gone on to have careers every bit as successful as those of their white counterparts; they have been of particular service to members of their ethnic communities, and from among their ranks have come leaders in business, the government, and the bar. Similar stories can be told of the affirmative action graduates of other law schools and the beneficiaries of affirmative action at undergraduate institutions. Yet affirmative action continues to be attacked, not just on doctrinal grounds reflecting different interpretations of what the Fourteenth Amendment requires, but also with the empirical claim that affirmative action harms those it is intended to benefit.
Lempert, Richard O. "Mismatch and Science Desistance: Failed Arguments Against Affirmative Action." UCLA Law Review Discourse 64 (2016): 136-173.