Here is what has come out so far through the political campaigns and through media reports.
1. Warren listed herself as a minority. The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) directory included, as of its 1986-87 edition, a list of "minority law teachers." Warren, then at the University of Texas, was on the list. Moving to the University of Pennsylvania the next year, she continued to be on the minority list through the directory's 1994-95 edition. The later years of her listing coincided with her recruitment by Harvard Law School, initially as a visiting professor.
2. Harvard was under pressure to diversify its faculty. Warren's listing came at a time when law schools around the country faced pressure from minority advocates to show greater diversity on their faculty, in race as well as gender. In one 1992 incident, students staged a sit-in in the office of the Law School dean to push for greater faculty diversity.
A sign of the times: The AALS list of minority law professors grew from four pages in length in 1986-87 to seven pages by the mid-1990s.
3. Harvard hired her, and she was viewed as boosting racial diversity. The Boston Herald cited a 1996 Harvard Crimson article in which a law school spokesman listed "one native American" as part of a diverse faculty, a reference to Warren. Similarly, the Crimson in 1998 referred to Warren as "the first woman with a minority background to be tenured" at the law school, the Herald said.