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Methodology: 2015 Law School Diversity Index

Find out how U.S. News calculated diversity at law schools.

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To identify law schools where students are most likely to encounter classmates from a different racial or ethnic group, U.S. News has created an index based on the total proportion of full- and part-time minority J.D. students – not including international students – and the mix of racial and ethnic groups on campus during the 2013-2014 academic year.

Groups that form the basis for our calculations are black, Asian, Hispanic, American Indian, Pacific Islander, white and multiracial.

Our formula produces a diversity index that ranges from 0.0 to 1.0. The closer a law school's diversity index value comes to 1.0, the more diverse the student population and the greater the likelihood that law students will encounter students from a different ethnic group than their own.

Keep in mind that law schools enrolling a large proportion of students from any one ethnic group won't receive a high diversity index number, since there is a low likelihood that law students at that school will encounter peers from a different ethnic group than their own.

This index also doesn't measure how successful schools are at meeting internal ethnic diversity goals or ethnicity standards set by outside bodies.

[See our Best Law Schools rankings.]

To be included in the table, a law school must be accredited by the American Bar Association. Because student-body ethnic diversity data are not consistently compiled and reported as yet for other types of graduate schools, U.S. News has prepared a diversity table only for law schools.

Note: The diversity index is based on ethnicity data collected by U.S. News from each law school. The methodology used to compute the index was published in a 1992 article by Philip Meyer and Shawn McIntosh in the International Journal of Public Opinion Research. For this index, students classified as ethnicity unknown/unreported were counted as white.

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