But my question is why Law. I don't have any statistics at my immediate disposal, but it really seems as though there are more Black male doctors, MBAs, PHDs and other post graduates than lawyers. Even within my own Frat(we almost 101 years old) I know of only a handful of brothers that aspire to be lawyers and even fewer who are lawyers. Is there something about the practice of law that we as educated Black men are turned off by?? Is it a lack of interest? What?
Actually the answer to this could be somewhat a look into the socio-psychological aspect of it all. Care to explain Pulchy? Why yes, I'm glad you asked (Ok that was corny, but stay with me please).
Think about it, at least in the perception of black males what entity in the United States besides the political entity has been the most unfair and unjust to us? Yes exactly right the LEGAL system. Hold on though, I'm not at all saying that most of the AA men in prison are innocent, but there are more than a few that feel as if they have received a raw deal. There is such an amazing distrust in the law and anything legal that is ingrained in African-American males that Law School is the furthest away from our minds as far as career opportunities.
The other institutions mentioned don't quite have the same effect on AA men as in law. Yes it's true that some feel that the medical community has no real interest in them, but the consequences of bad health doesn't hold the same emotional bind as spending a significant portion of your life behind bars.
So as a rebuttal one can say "yes Pulchy, I can see your point, but not all black men feel as if their life is leading them on the "prison career path" - (yes one can argue that the disproportionate amount of AA males in prison is almost like it being a career path. BTW that was meant to be tongue in cheek.)- but even amongst the achievers of the AA male community knows of or is related to another black male that in their eyes have been mistreated in the justice system. This leads to distrust in the legal system even with black males who aren't in the system themselves. Also for the achieving AA males that are upstanding citizens they sometimes feel that they are one traffic stop away from being just "anudda nigra"...see Crash the movie.
Basically there is just a general dis-ease about the legal system that African-American males have. Some of it unfounded I will admit, but as we all know sometimes perception is reality. Oh and there is the issue of that LSAT. So from the very few who do aspire to become lawyers, a lot are eliminated from the process because of the test. I'm not gonna go into what is fair and what isn't, I'll just say that the assessment is brutal to African-American males for a variety of reasons, therefore reducing the pool of aspirants even further.
Oh and why doesn't this seem to affect the African-American females as much? That is a very good question, and one of the answers is one of the reasons why I respect black women so much.(Warning this explanation will follow a path of digression). From the overall theory of oppression it seems as if the most efficient way to oppress a group of people is to attack and retard the progression of the leader or head of a particular group. In this case it was the black males. Through humiliation and demasculinization some of the inherent strengths of black males has been tapped. This led to a self replicating and almost indelible cycle of underachieving in the AA male community. Through it all the one pillar of strength and the glue who kept it all together has historically been the black woman. They have been the ones to step up to the plate and hold things down including playing dual roles in the family. So to me at least there is no surprise in seeing African American females doing so well in contrast to African-American males. This is my personal opinion here, but I feel as if the Majority feels less threatened by an upward bound population of black women than an upward bound community of black men, so they are more likely to promote the upward movement of "sisters" over "brothers". Again this is just my opinion.
Cliff Notes version: Basically there is a general uneasiness,distrust, and ignorance in the legal system in the eyes of black males, which could explain the lack of knowledge and interest in attaining legal education or even starting the legal education process.
My opinion about the LSAT is simple, I just don't think we take it as seriously as our white counterparts. White folks and asians approach preparation for the LSAT with a level of somberness and discipline that we typically don't. I know I am generalizing and the evidence I could present would be anecdotal anyway, but I think most would tend to agree. It has always been my contention that if brothers and sisters studied for the LSAT like they studied information when they were pledging (i.e. poems, prior lines,history...etc) we have on average scores in the mid to high 160s. There is no reason in terms of racial bias that person who graduated with 3.5+ gpa (regardless of the major) can't overcome any biases racial or otherwise if they have had the intellectual fortitude and academic discipline to secure a 3.5 at graduation in the first place, bUT WHAT DO I KNOW?