Elizabeth Warren Did Not List as Minority on Law School Application, Was Touted as One by U. Penn

May 10, 2012 7:01pm

Debate surrounding whether or not Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren self-identified as Native American in law school directories to advance her career took several new turns on Thursday, as new documents revealed that Warren declined to apply for a law school program for minority students, and was listed as a minority faculty member at University of Pennsylvania, where she taught law in the 1980s and ’90s.

Warren has been facing criticism since reports that she listed herself as a minority in law school directories in the 1980s and ’90s. Republicans have suggested that Warren used her minority status to further her career in academia. Warren has denied the allegations, and several of her past employers have issued statements saying the status played no role in hiring decisions.

A document obtained by the Associated Press on Thursday showed that Warren did not apply to Rutgers Law School, where she received her law degree, under a program the school has for minority students.

An undated personnel file from the University of Texas, where Warren taught law from 1983 to 1987, showed that Warren listed her race as “white” at the time she filled out the form.

Finally, a minority equity report from the University of Pennsylvania surfaced on Thursday showing that the school, where Warren served as William A. Schnader professor of commercial law, listed Warren as a minority faculty member.

One of the pages in the report lists professors who were awarded the Lindback Award for distinguished teaching. In the report, names of minority faculty members who won the award are displayed in a bold, italicized font. Warren received the award in 1994, and her name appears bold and italicized, indicating that the school listed Warren as a minority faculty member, at some point.

There had been no reports indicating that Warren was listed as a minority by any of her employers besides Harvard prior to this one. It was known that Warren was listed as a minority in law school directories from 1986 to 1995.

Warren has said that she listed herself as a minority in directories in the hopes that she might meet what she described as people like her, not as a means of getting ahead in her career. The documents from Rutgers and the University of Texas appear to support Warren’s claims.

Earlier this week, Warren’s opponent in a race to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate, Republican Sen. Scott Brown, called on Warren to release her personnel files from her past employers, saying that would be the best way for Warren to put the issue to rest.

“The best way to satisfy these questions is for Elizabeth Warren to authorize the release of her law school applications and all personnel files from the various universities where she has taught,” Brown said in a prepared statement on Tuesday.

Polling shows Warren and Brown in a dead heat.

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