A case for debate

December 23, 2005

To find out why Pakistani applicants are disadvantaged when applying to law schools, researchers must not forget the context of the source of the data ("Law schools in dock over race", December 2).

Researchers collate data that the admissions tutors produce by making offers and refusing candidates for reasons known only to them. Withholding applicants' names is a modest remedy, since you cannot hide your skin colour and your accent at interview, and this will not explain why some candidates were deselected. You also have a good chance of finding out about candidates' racial identity in their profile.

Applicants should be encouraged to participate in an open debate, where admission tutors and applicants explain their perceptions of the process; and admission tutors in particular explain what concerns they have and what difficulties they think the applicants would encounter during the course or their future professional life.

Angelo Mastrogiovanni
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