University at Buffalo School of Law – Undergraduate Law Program for Students of Color and First-Generation College Students

Case Particulars


Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education

Date Filed

June 27, 2023

Docket No.


Case Status

OCR Complaint Filed

Case Overview

The University at Buffalo School of Law conducted a program designed for undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in law that explicitly gives admission preference to “students of color.” The Discover Law Undergraduate Scholars Program was a “four-week residential summer program for 20 academically promising college students who have completed their freshman or sophomore year, but who will not begin their junior year before the end of the program.”


The law school’s program page explicitly states that “[p]reference is given to students of color and first-generation college students,” and the University at Buffalo – the law school’s parent institution – also promoted the program, stating similarly that admissions “[p]reference will be given to students of color.” By negative implication, the requirement that white applicants demonstrate that they are first-generation college students to qualify for the DLUSP makes the program underinclusive in that it excludes students whose parents may have previously enrolled in college-level courses.


Equal Protection Project is the Complainant in this matter, which is under evaluation by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.