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October 5, 2018

Case Report

Sugarman Rogers joins NAACP legal defense fund representing student and alumni groups in Harvard race-conscious admissions litigation

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Sugarman Rogers is proud to work with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. (LDF) in representing Harvard University student and alumni organizations as amicus curiae in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard, a landmark case slated for trial this month in the U.S. District Court in Boston. The case involves a challenge to the legality of Harvard’s admissions process, which considers an applicant’s race and ethnicity as one factor in a holistic evaluation that also takes into account the applicant’s grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, recommendations, interviews and other factors.

As counsel for the student and alumni organizations, Sugarman Rogers attorneys Kate Cook and Ken Thayer have worked closely with LDF to file amicus briefs in support of Harvard’s consideration of race as a factor in its admissions process, as well as to petition the court for the organizations to participate directly in the upcoming trial. In an October 3rd ruling, Judge Burroughs granted the amicus organizations’ request and will allow the organizations to make an opening statement and to present four student/alumni witnesses during trial. By taking the unusual step of permitting amici to directly participate in trial, the court has recognized the importance of giving Harvard students and alumni of diverse racial and cultural backgrounds a voice and an opportunity to be heard on this critical topic.

Trial begins on October 15 and is scheduled for three weeks.