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Gatekeeping in Canadian law schools : a history of exclusion, the rule of "merit", and a challenge to contemporary practices

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Title: Gatekeeping in Canadian law schools : a history of exclusion, the rule of "merit", and a challenge to contemporary practices
Author: Tong, Dawna
Degree Master of Laws - LLM
Program Law
Copyright Date: 1995
Abstract: This thesis explores the decision-making processes in law school admissions by focussing upon admission criteria, affirmative action admissions categories, and the goals underlying such policies in order to determine whether this process results in the exclusion of racial and ethnic minorities. Central to the thesis is an examination of the notion of merit, particularly the reliance on traditional measures such as Grade Point Average, and the Law School Admission Test score. An empirical study of four Canadian common law schools was conducted. Critical race theory was used to inform the analysis. The thesis argues that the emphasis on numerical factors in law school admissions perpetuates inequality and fails to promote the goals under its affirmative action policies. Though the nature of exclusion of racial and ethnic minorities has changed over time from overt discrimination to more covert and systemic forms, exclusion still persists. It is concluded that law schools must redefine merit by reassessing their admissions criteria and decision-making processes in order to be truly committed to the social goals espoused by their admission policies.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/4662
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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