A self-described anti-racism group has filed a federal civil-rights complaint against the State University of New York’s Buffalo School of Law for running a summer program that gives preference to “students of color” over white students.

SUNY Buffalo Law’s Discover Law Undergraduate Scholars Program chooses 20 students who are interested in studying law to spend four weeks on-campus over the summer at no cost, while receiving a stipend. 

“Preference is given to students of color and first-generation college students,” UBL Law says in promotional brochures. 

In its June 27 complaint, the Equal Protection Project told the US Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights that the racial preference program “based on race and skin color” violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment as well as Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

“A law school above all should be familiar with the law, particularly such clear law as it prohibits discrimination on the basis of race or color. We can only assume that the law school understood that what it was doing violated the anti-discrimination laws, but chose to do it anyway in the service of ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ ideology,” said William A. Jacobson, founder of EqualProtect.org.

Buffalo School of Law
SUNY Buffalo Law’s Discover Law Undergraduate Scholars Program chooses 20 students who are interested in studying law to spend four weeks on-campus over the summer at no cost, while receiving a stipend.
Buffalo State Website

“We expect a law school to lead the way in upholding the anti-discrimination laws, not subverting them. That it took place at the flagship law school of the SUNY system is extremely troubling, and may reflect a broader systemic SUNY problem where discrimination is tolerated or embraced so long as it comports with DEI ideology,” he said.

The conservative group recently filed another federal complaint for a face-based library internship program that had been sponsored by SUNY Albany.  

In UBL’s brochure for the DLUSP, the law school states that the program “focus[es] on students of color,” in order “to diversify law school classes” with the ultimate goal of “mak[ing] the legal profession look more like America.”

If applicants are not “students of color,” they are automatically excluded from consideration unless they can demonstrate that they are first-generation college students, the complaint said.

Meanwhile, the US Supreme Court could rule on Thursday whether to reverse decades of precedent and ban the use of race-conscious admissions policies.

A conservative group challenging the policy in two cases argues they discriminate against Asian American applicants, in Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina and Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard.

“The open racial preferences at SUNY Buffalo law school show why ‘race-conscious’ admissions currently under consideration at the Supreme Court must be ended. What starts as ‘race-consious’ invariably devolves into racism,” the Equal Protection Project complaint said.

William A. Jacobson
Founder of EqualProtect.org William A. Jacobson said, “A law school above all should be familiar with the law, particularly such clear law as it prohibits discrimination on the basis of race or color.”
Legal insurrection foundation.org

Jacobson said EPP “will not allow discrimination on the basis of race or color to go unnoticed or unchallenged, particularly at major government institutions such as the SUNY system. We make no exceptions for law schools, which must abide by the same laws as apply to others.”

A spokeswoman at SUNY Buffalo Law said, “We do not comment on pending litigation.”

SUNY has faced some criticism for requiring all incoming freshmen this fall to take at least one course that includes a so-called DEI — or diversity, equity and inclusion — component to earn a diploma.

But the public university brass says such content is integral to so many existing courses that the need can generally be met by students fulfilling existing requirements.