Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

April 22, 2012

Defending UT Austin's admission standards? Pricey.


The Associated Press

AUSTIN — The University of Texas at Austin has agreed to pay a Los Angeles-based law firm nearly $1 million to defend its admission standards, which consider race and ethnicity.

A contract between the university and Latham & Watkins LLP says the firm will receive a flat $977,000 fee and up to $10,000 for expenses representing UT before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The case stems from a 2008 lawsuit filed by two white, female students denied admission then.

Abigail Fisher and Rachel Michalewicz alleged the university violated their constitutional right to equal protection.

About two-thirds of UT freshmen are admitted based on high school class rank.

The American-Statesman reports (http://bit.ly/IdNOno ) that it obtained a copy of UT's contract with the law firm from the state attorney general's office, which approved the agreement.