round 6: lawsuit re: Jean Lattimore v. The College

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An applicant who was not offered admission by the Admissions Committee has brought a discrimination lawsuit against The College and argues that:

a) The College offered admission to racial minorities who had lower academic qualifications than the plaintiff, a white student.


b) The plaintiff’s constitutional rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment were violated because The College treated him differently than other applicants based on their race.

Persuasive essay assignment:
For the final round of this simulation, each member of the seminar will be randomly assigned to a legal team, which may not necessarily represent your personal view. You must research and write an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) persuasive essay that is consistent with your assigned role. You are encouraged to coordinate your research and arguments inside your legal team, and to discuss your ideas with anyone, but your writing must be your own work.

Team 1: Center for Individual Rights: advocates for color-blind admissions

Team 2: NAACP Legal Defense Fund: advocates for color-conscious admissions

Team 3: Richard Kahlenberg, The Century Foundation: advocate for class-based affirmative action

Team 4: Sheryll Cashin, Georgetown University: advocate for place-based affirmative action

Your persuasive essay may not exceed 1500 words (including references) and will evaluated by your peers and the instructors based on these criteria:

1) Does the author present a clear and focused thesis statement in the introduction? Does it state a position in favor of the plaintiff, the defendant, or neither party, and why? Does it state what kind of admissions policy and practices The College should use to create an entering class?

2) Is the author’s reasoning persuasive and well developed?  Are the claims supported with appropriate evidence?  Are counter-arguments fully considered?

3) Is the essay well organized with smooth transitions between focused paragraphs? Does it include sufficient background for audiences unfamiliar with the topic?

4) Does the author choose precise and meaningful wording, with fluent syntax and correct grammar and spelling?

5) Does the author cite sources in a standard academic format (Chicago-style full notes, or MLA/APA in-line citations with bibliography) so that readers may easily locate them?

6) Does the essay inspire the reader to think about the topic in a new way?

NEW Advice on supporting your arguments with sources: For this assignment, you are expected to make effective use of course readings, simulation documents, and external readings that you have researched beyond our syllabus.

– Search your assigned organization or individual’s website for sources relevant to a higher education admissions case

– Search for recent news stories on higher education admissions in selected databases, such as:

Chronicle of Higher Education (use “Search the Chronicle”; some articles require username and password; see instructor)

Inside Higher Education

– See amicus curiae “friend of the court” briefs in related cases, such as Fisher v Texas (compiled by U of Texas)

– Since Cashin’s book, Place Not Race, has been ordered by Trinity Library, but is not yet available, see excerpt in our Moodle.

– Conduct a broad search with Google Scholar

Citing sources: Use any standard academic citation format, to the best of your ability. When citing a simulation document, be sure to include essential information (title, seminar website, year) and the word “simulation”, similar to these Chicago-style endnote examples:

Cliff Anderson, Simulation applicant files, Color & Money seminar at Trinity College, Fall 2015,

Dean of Admissions simulation correspondence, Color & Money seminar at Trinity College, Fall 2015,

F-Round Simulation Google Spreadsheet data, Color & Money seminar at Trinity College, Fall 2015,






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