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Minority Enrollment Down at Florida’s Public Law Schools; UF Dean Concerned

Posted Jun 27, 2011 12:42 PM CDT
By Sarah Mui

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The National Law School Admission Council reported last week that black enrollment at the University of Florida Levin College of Law dropped 10 percent between fall 2006 and 2010.

And at the Orlando, Fla.-based law school of historically black college Florida A&M University, Hispanic enrollment dropped by a third between 2008 and 2010, the Orlando Sentinel reported. University of Florida officials blamed part of the enrollment losses on its decision to cut the number of law students in its program in 2009.

According to state records, more than 85 percent of judges in Florida's county, circuit, district and Supreme Court systems are white, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Meanwhile, according to 2010 U.S. Census data, 16 percent of Floridians are black and 23 percent are Hispanic.

"If the legal profession does not appear to be broadly representative of our nation's population, then I'm concerned people will lose confidence in how the justice system is administered," University of Florida law dean Robert Jerry told the Sentinel. "And if that happens, the very fabric of our democracy could be in peril."

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