California Bar LawsuitProject SEAPHE, along with Joe Hicks, long-time civil rights leader and Vice President of Community Advocates, Inc., and the California First Amendment Coalition (CFAC), has filed suit against the California Bar for the disclosure of anonymized bar exam data. The suit follows an unsuccessful effort by Project SEAPHE to collaborate with the State Bar. The research study had been designed over a year and a half by one of the State Bar's own data analysts and a team of economists and law professors, including Sander, labor economist Doug Williams of the University of the South, and Professor Vikram Amar of UC Davis School of Law. Although the official reason for the denial was concern over the privacy of law school graduates, the Bar was under pressure from several law schools and affirmative action interest groups to avoid getting involved with controversial mismatch research.
The lawsuit is based on public record requests denied by the Bar earlier this year. The requests included detailed instructions for redacting the records to safeguard privacy and assure that no test-takers could be identified.
All relevant documents, court filings, and press materials are available here.
Our proposal to the California Bar
California Bar memos
William Kidder's critique
Letter of opposition from SALT
The Bar's summer 2007 decision
May 2008 public records requests
Data release precedent
Court filings and orders
Past Bar Research