Affirmative Action in College Admissions and Employment

July 6, 2023


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U.S. Supreme Court Issues Landmark SFFA College Affirmative Action Decision (June 29, 2023)

On June 29, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision on the use of race as a factor in undergraduate college admissions in two cases brought by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA).

As expected, the Court held that Harvard’s and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s admissions practices violate Title VI and, with respect to the public university, the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment in the manner in which the universities consider race. The Court’s ruling and reasoning will have significant legal and practical implications for education and beyond.

Join a panel of appellate, education, and labor and employment team members from McGuireWoods for a discussion of the Supreme Court’s decision and related takeaways for colleges and universities — and for employers across all industries.


  • Overview of the decision
  • Changes to the current framework regarding the use of race in undergraduate admissions
  • Comparisons with legal tests and affirmative action limits for employers under Title VII
  • Impact of the decision on diversity initiatives in admissions
  • Impact of the decision on corporate affirmative action and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts

McGuireWoods Speakers

  • Jonathan Y. Ellis, Partner, Appeals & Issues
  • Sarah K. Wake, Partner, Labor & Employment
  • Brian D. Barger, Partner, Labor & Employment

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