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Columbia Law backtracks on ‘video statements’ request for applicants

The law school scrubbed the portion from its website following a media inquiry

Columbia Law School will no longer ask applicants to submit “video statements” after questions from the media.

“All applicants will be required to submit a short video, no longer than 90 seconds, addressing a question chosen at random,” the school’s admissions page previously said on Monday morning. “The video statement will allow applicants to provide the Admissions Committee with additional insight into their personal strengths.”

The school removed the video on Monday night after The Washington Free Beacon asked for comment.

Edward Blum, the founder of Students for Fair Admissions, suggested the request was part of a workaround of the Supreme Court’s ruling against race-based affirmative action.

The requirement “has all the hallmarks of a willful effort to evade the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act,” Blum told The Free Beacon. “What is a 90-second video supposed to legitimately convey that a written statement could not?”

“Video statements will not be required as part of the Fall 2024 J.D. application when it becomes available in September,” the law school told the Free Beacon. “It was inadvertently listed on the Law School’s website and has since been corrected.”

This is not the only action Columbia has taken with regard to the Supreme Court decision. “The reversal came after Columbia’s law journals delayed masthead acceptances in the wake of the affirmative action ban, saying they had an ‘obligation’ to ensure their selection process was ‘consistent with the law,’” Free Beacon reported.

Other universities have sought to introduce questions about race and background into the application process, possibly to circumvent the affirmative action ruling.

“Drawing upon examples from your life, a quality of your character, and/or a unique ability you possess, describe how you believe your goals for a college education might be impacted, influenced, or affected by the Court’s decision,” one essay option for Sarah Lawrence College applicants asked. The director of admissions justified the prompt because he said minorities were having “anxiety” due to the ruling.

“Through an application essay prompt, Sarah Lawrence College channels its disappointment that it can’t continue race-based admissions,” Neetu Arnold with the National Association of Scholars commented at the time.

“Perfect, huh? Maybe it’s just a guess, but I suspect there is a wrong answer to this question,” conservative commentator and former University of Chicago Professor Charles Lipson wrote in response to the question.

MORE: Ending affirmative action is ‘white supremacy,’ Democrats say

IMAGE: Columbia Law School with College Fix edit

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.