Orrick Amicus Efforts Back Diversity in College Admissions in U.S. Supreme Court Case

August.02.2022

Urging the U.S. Supreme Court to preserve policies ensuring racial diversity in college admissions, two Orrick teams supported separate amicus efforts in a closely-watched case involving admissions policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina.

An appellate team led by partner Mark Davies filed an amicus on behalf of leading science and technology companies, including Gilead, Applied Materials, Microsoft and Micron, citing 40 years of legal precedent upholding racial diversity as a factor in college admissions.

“For science and technology companies to achieve … competitive advantages, universities must admit racially diverse classes of students and foster inclusive cultures,” the brief states. “[C]ompanies whose workforces are racially and otherwise diverse will be better equipped to identify and address any number of scientific and technological challenges … Tech companies work on unconventional questions that require creative solutions, and diverse groups consistently outperform homogenous groups on exactly that type of problem solving.”

In another brief, an appellate team led by associate Upnit Bhatti filed an amicus on behalf of the Washington Bar Association and the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia, arguing there is a continued need for affirmative action in colleges and universities “to correct the injustices perpetrated against Black Americans through centuries of enslavement and second-class citizenship.”

In addition to Upnit, the team on the Washington Bar Association brief includes partner Danny Rubens and associates Max Carter-Oberstone and Amari Hammonds.

In addition to Mark, the team on the brief for tech and science companies includes senior counsel Tom Bondy, partners Josh Rosenkranz and Lorraine McGowen and associates Sheila Baynes, Katherine Kopp and Sarah Sloan.