skin color, to googler, is a compensatory factor, which implies that there is a gap between the non-URM and the URM, a gap in which the non-URM has the higher status and the URM uses AA to "catch up." does that not support the idea that a non-URM has an advantage even before the URM is supposedly "given" one?
I completely agree. AA serves a very important role in that it is meant to fill an advantage gap. But I want to be clear that being an URM alone is not an advantage gap, being a URM is merely an over simplified generalization about groups that have historically been disadvantaged. This is where I feel HippieLawChick's point is extremely valuable. Being lower class is the real disadvantage and while traditionally being an URM was a fairly safe indicator of being lower class, today it merely perpetuates a racist myth and IMO is counterproductive in fighting real racism.
Again, if it is true that URMs tend to outperform LSAT scores in law school then the system is fair. However, the LSAT ought to be adjusted in such a manner as to make it a better indicator of URM success. Not doing so leaves open speculations like these about people getting in because they are black/latino. Furthermore, preference should be given based on family income, area of living, family academic history, and other overcoming-the-odds style variables instead of having them lumped into one check box on a test asking if you are an URM.
Finally, I again want to comment on magnumalv's "I got in because I'm white" argument. I'm sorry, but while I see your point it is not really applicable to the argument at hand. While my being white did shape my development so did being short, skinny, blue eyed, an only child, a pet owner, etc. Every minor detail in my life has effected my development and led me to the advantages and disadvantages I've had today. Adcoms really could care less about those factors as their job is to infer my personality (and in that my development) through several key factors including my LSAT, my GPA, my LORs, my personal statement, etc. My whiteness and the experiences that have come with that do not cross an adcoms mind except to say that I'm NOT a URM. While in the vast scheme of things magnumalv is right and I do owe an indeterminate amount of who I am and what I achieve to being white, in the vacuum of admissions decisions being white or asian is not a factor while being an URM is.