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Law School Admissions / Re: law firms...
« on: July 24, 2007, 02:08:22 PM »
Don't bring up long hours until you have done either civil or site construction on the hot ass Miami tarmac from 6a.m. till 5:30p.m(and at least staying later than that twice a week) with a 30 minute lunch for chump change. When you have done that maybe we can discuss what its like to work long hours. I am addressing this to nobody particular I am just venting.

Incoming 1Ls / 0L Internships
« on: July 23, 2007, 11:50:03 AM »
Have any of you ever heard of firms letting you do a legitimate 0L summer?
Not an internship, but an actual summer associate position?

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Harvard (the it factor)
« on: July 22, 2007, 02:38:14 PM »

Discrediting an arguably racist tract in no way justifies AA. Off-topic flame wars detract from the real issue.

I AGREE WITH you whole-heartedly

It was just something I felt obligated to do.

But the question I have for you my formidable friendly foe is how do you combat hundreds of years of systemic and institutionalized racism. What method would you suggest beit a quick fix or shot in the dark? I would appreciate any dialogue you can give in respect to remedying AA and racial and gender discrimination?

Rushton’s arguments on brain size are based on the genetic distance studies of Dr Allen Wilson, from the University of California. Yet Wilson, having reviewed Rushton’s work, notes that those scientists using his work to argue for innate racial differences, let alone superiority or inferiority in intelligence, have “totally misrepresented” his findings. Furthermore, respected anthropologists like Christopher Springer at the British Museum have noted that Rushton’s brain size and head size data is completely without merit.

Rushton’s claims that blacks have higher levels of testosterone, thereby explaining higher rates of aggression and violence, and that the difference is racial, not environmental, ignore three commonly understood, entirely non-genetic factors that influence testosterone levels: diet, exercise and emotional state. (Hoberman 1996). Higher testosterone levels also could result from higher stress levels prior to giving blood, which in turn could easily result from the general uneasiness many black folks feel about a largely white medical establishment, and their interactions with health care providers.

The Bell Curve also relies heavily on the research of Richard Lynn, described by the authors as “a leading scholar of racial and ethnic differences.” As one example of Lynn’s scholarship, consider this quote, cited in Newsday, November 9, 1994:

“What is called for here is not genocide, the killing off of the population of incompetent cultures. But we do need to think realistically in terms of ‘phasing out’ such peoples…Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent. To think otherwise is mere sentimentality.”

Lynn has also explained, that in his opinion, “…the poor and the ill are weak specimens whose proliferation needs to be discouraged in the interests of the improvement of the genetic quality of the group, and ultimately of group survival,” and that “the Caucasoid and the Mongoloids are the only two races that have made any significant contribution to civilization,” leading one to wonder where Lynn—obviously no historian—would place the Ancient Egyptians among these two racial groups.

The Bell Curve references Lynn’s work in an effort to “prove” the following propositions that are central to the book’s arguments:

1) African Blacks have IQ’s substantially below the African American average;

2) East Asians have higher IQ’s than any other group; and,

3) Immigrants of color to the US have sub-par IQ’s

Taking a look at his “evidence” on African IQ, there is little doubt of its intellectual vacuity. Lynn’s “proof” was based heavily on a 1988 review by three South African psychologists who looked at Black South African test performance. But the authors of this study concluded the OPPOSITE of Lynn and Murray and Herrnstein. In fact, when presented with Lynn’s interpretation of their work, they responded with the following:

“It would be rash to suppose that psychometric tests constitute valid measures of intelligence among non-Westerners. The inability of most psychologists to look beyond the confines of their own cultures has led to the kind of arrogance whereby judgments are made concerning the ‘simplicity’ of African mental structure and ‘retarded cognitive growth’.”

The main source for the Bell Curve’s claims regarding African IQ was a Lynn article from Mankind Quarterly in 1991, in which he said mean African IQ was 70. Lynn claims that he arrived at this figure by looking at the “best studies” on the subject since 1929. The study he claimed was the “best” was conducted in 1989 and involved 1,093 16-year old blacks, who scored a mean of 69 on the South African Junior Aptitude Test. From this, Lynn then extrapolated mean IQ to the whole of Black Africa. Even worse, Lynn completely misconstrued the findings of the study in question. According to the study’s author, Dr Ken Owen, his test was “not at all” evidence of genetic intelligence. In fact, Owen has noted that the results were found directly related to the existence of apartheid era oppression, and the fact that the test was in English.

Another of the “definitive” studies cited by Lynn in his own article was a 1929 study, in which 293 blacks in South Africa were given the Army Beta Test and scored a mean of 65. But this test was administered by M.L. Finch, an open protagonist of the view that blacks were inherently inferior, even before he had done any studies to “prove” such a thing: he was, in other words, hardly a pure, unbiased scientist. Furthermore, the Beta Test was one of the most culturally biased tests in the world at that time: one question on the 1929 version in dispute showed people playing tennis without a net. To get full credit for the question, one would have to draw the net in the picture—something few black Africans could have possibly known to do in 1929, having never been exposed to the game. A leading proponent of the Beta Test, C.C. Brigham, actually admitted that the test had no validity whatsoever for non-Americans: a fact totally ignored by Lynn, and by the Bell Curve.

As for the East Asian IQ superiority, this “evidence” was as weak and uncompelling as that regarding African IQ’s. The data on this issue in the Bell Curve relies heavily on a Lynn article from 1982 in Nature magazine, in which he claimed the Japanese have a 10-point IQ advantage over European whites. In 1983, Lynn’s piece was dissected completely in the pages of Nature by two American psychologists who noted that Lynn’s study sample was made up of Japanese kids from well-off urban parents, likely to have higher IQ’s than the more mixed group of Europeans against which they were compared. Murray and Herrnstein only make mention of the Nature rebuttal to Lynn in a footnote, and even there, refuse to discuss its contents.

Two other studies cited by Lynn to “prove” higher Asian IQ’s are equally bogus. The first used samples of American, British and Japanese students on a test of abstract reasoning. On this test the Brits and Americans did far worse; and the second study found that 9-year-olds in the UK did worse on the Ravens Standard Progressive Matrices than 9-year-olds from Japan and Hong Kong. But if you check the footnotes for this “evidence,” you find that the author Lynn was citing for both of these studies was himself. And if you look up the studies, it doesn’t take long to notice the flawed methodology involved in both: The first of these studies consisted of a test given to 178 Japanese children that did not reflect the demographic makeup of the nation as a whole, economically, culturally, or in terms of gender. The testers showed up at two schools, one urban and one rural, and gave the tests to whomever was present that day. Lynn then took the results of this test and compared it to a test that was thirteen years old, had been given to 64,000 American children, and had been pre-screened for representativeness; he then compared the Japanese results to a similarly pre-screened sample of 10,000 British children who had been given a similar test in the previous decade.

In the second study, Lynn claims to have found a substantial difference between Japanese and Hong Kong student IQ’s on the one hand, and those of British children on the other. Yet this study looked only at 118 9-year olds from Hong Kong, 444 children from Japan and 239 British children, and involved no known controls for environmental and demographic representativeness.

Finally, in the section on “immigrant IQ,” meaning, to the authors, the IQ of mostly Latino immigrants to the U.S., Murray and Herrnstein claim that the mean Latino IQ is 91—about 9 points below whites, 14 points below Asians and 7 points above blacks—but provide absolutely no source for this claim whatsoever. And of course, there is no meaningful racial category known as “Latino” anyway, as the term refers to an ethnic/national/regional heritage group within which skin color and racial phenotype varies dramatically. The evidence from Lynn that they provide on “immigrant” IQ’s, which they claim indicates an IQ in the 90-95 range, takes no account of the fact that 11% of all immigrants in the period they studied were South Asian and Middle Eastern, not Latino, and many more were East Asian—the very group they have claimed to be

Irish need not apply.

Jewish quotas

Anti-German league.

West coast Asians please sell your business/home/possessions for pennies on the dollar and report to concentration camps.

People get over discrimination.  Blacks do not.

Bedtime reading:

Tim Wise

The “science” of books like The Bell Curve is inherently flawed, mostly because the concept of distinct biological “races” that can be studied, compared and found to be “superior” or “inferior” is itself a misnomer. The term race, in biology, properly refers to subspecies (i.e. subpopulations that are sufficiently different in genetic terms to be on the verge of “speciation,” or splitting into entirely new species). So, those who defend the notion of scientific “racial” differences must be able to demonstrate that human subpopulations diverge in such a manner and to such a degree.

Evidence from population genetics has indicated for years that less than 1% of all genes are linked to the transfer of pigmentation and other “racially distinct” characteristics, further limiting the effect of actual “race” on human genetic variation. (Allport, 1956, 1979)

The entire enterprise of books like the Bell Curve is suspect, when one considers some of the group differences it DOESN’T consider, in favor of those it does think relevant (namely those between whites, blacks and Asians). For example, as Hacker has pointed out (1994), while Murray and Herrnstein argue that IQ is a key factor in determining educational success and attainment, and that low black IQ is what explains the generally lower academic achievement among African Americans, they conveniently avoid mentioning or explaining the large gaps between various “white” ethnic/national groups, and what those gaps must (by their own logic) say about THEIR relative IQ’s. For example, according to the Census Bureau:

51% of Americans with Russian descent have a college degree, compared to only:

33.4% of Scots

28.6% of English

27.5% of Swedes

23.4% of Poles

22.1% of Germans

21.9% of Italians,

and 21.3% of Irish

Does this mean that Russian-descended “whites” are much smarter than all other whites, and that Irish whites are the least intelligent? And why has there been no study to explain these differences?

The Bell Curve is, from beginning to end, plagued by an overreliance on questionable sources, with overtly racist motives for their “science,” to put it kindly:

As Lane points out (1994), the book relies heavily on articles originally published in Mankind Quarterly, and individual researchers tied to Mankind Quarterly: a publication founded in 1960 explicitly to counter the influence of the civil rights revolution in the US and “egalitarian” thinking about race and inequality. MQ was founded by Robert Gayre, who remained the editor until 1978. Gayre was an open advocate of apartheid in South Africa, and white rule in Rhodesia. In 1968, he testified as an expert in a hate speech trial of British neo-Nazis, and noted in his testimony that blacks were “worthless.”

Other founders of MQ include Henry Garrett, who was a pamphleteer for the White Citizens Council; and Corrado Gini, a leader of Italy’s eugenics program under Mussolini.

Since 1978, MQ has been run mostly by Roger Pearson, who was a founder of the neo-Nazi Northern League in 1958, and once bragged that he had helped hide Nazi doctor Joseph Mengele. In the 1960’s, Pearson hooked up with notorious racist and anti-Jewish activist Willis Carto, to publish Western Destiny, where he would rail against the “Jewish culture distorters,” who were seeking to “capture the minds, morals and souls of our children.” The year that he took over at Mankind Quarterly, he was the conference chair at the national convention of the World Anti-Communist League, where his conference assistant (also a staffer at Pearson’s publishing house) was a former stormtrooper in the American Nazi Party.

During his tenure as Editor, he has published articles by Ralph Scott and Donald Swan, two Americans with open connections to neo-Nazis. In 1966, Pearson himself argued: “if a nation with a more advanced, more specialized, or in any way superior set of genes mingles with, instead of exterminating an inferior tribe, then it commits racial suicide.”

In the Bell Curve itself, the authors cite 13 “scholars” who have had their work funded by Pioneer. Among these is Phillipe Rushton of Ontario. Rushton is cited eleven times in the Bell Curve, and Murray and Herrnstein go to great lengths to ensure their readers that Rushton “is not a quack.” This despite the fact that Rushton’s “scientific methodology” has included approaching shoppers at a Toronto mall (one-third black, one-third white, and one-third Asian) and asking them “how far can you ejaculate,” or “how large is your penis?” He has also said, that intelligence is inversely related to penis size, because “it’s more brain or more penis. You can’t have everything,” and has claimed that the success of the Nazi army was due to its Aryan genetic purity.

Interestingly enough, Rushton’s data on penis size all comes from one study, conducted in 1898 by an anonymous French Army surgeon who traveled through Africa and recorded the size of African penises, and from a second study comparing the penises of Nigerian medical students to Czech army officers. In this study, it turned out the Nigerians penises were longer, and the Czech’s had greater circumference. So why is length more important in effecting brainpower than girth? Who knows? Neither the original study, nor Rushton, explains this point.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Harvard (the it factor)
« on: July 19, 2007, 12:41:45 PM »

If you go to HLS, you're guaranteed a biglaw job.  As good as Duke is, if you're at the bottom of your class, you're not.

Also, you will in fact always be able to impress people, employers, clients, etc. to some extent with your Harvard pedigree.  Everyone around the world knows Harvard.  Many people in the midwest know Duke only as an effeminate basketball team.

When it comes to partnership opportunities, assignments, etc., many Harvard partners will favor other Harvard grads, even over other top schools.  Some firms (though rare) will ONLY hire Harvard grads. 

And obviously, if you want to teach, either in law school or college, it will help.

That doesn't mean you can't screw up your career even if you come from Harvard -- I know harvard people doing document review.  But it's harder to do so, and usually results more from self-selection. 

Bottom line -- given that you're guaranteed a biglaw job, and have those other benefits, I'd definitely take HYS over a full-ride at many T14 schools.  (Yale would be even better in many ways, of course.)  If I was offered a full-ride at CCN, or even MV, I'd have to consider it, because those schools have more comparable traditional reputations.  But many would of course turn down even a full ride from Chicago or Columbia because of those benefits.

(Others, more self-driven, bottom-line focused, and self-confident of their own hustling and professional abilities would of course take the full-ride at any top 14/20 school.)

Great response

All things being equal lets shift the focus from Duke to a full ride at Columbia or Chicago vs. Harvard. What then? The 160K in cost just doesn't seem to be worth a full ride at a comparable school. No offense. I understand the academia point, but I think that only applies to those who wanna teach at another T14. I think the majority of law schools would be ecstatic to have faculty from columbia or chicago otherwise.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Gtown vs T14
« on: July 18, 2007, 07:48:49 AM »
IT does have a pretty snazzy name.

I think as far as names go the order is as follows

Just my opinion on which one has the nicest ring to it

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Gtown vs T14
« on: July 18, 2007, 07:12:11 AM »

You know what, I would consider going to UVa because I have the numbers, but being a Black man I am a little apprehensive about going to a school in Charlottesville, VA.
Don't get me wrong UVa is the sh*t. Despite its deplorable location in the confederacy. I as a bleeding heart liberal/(slash)/political junkee have such an infatuation, admiration and respect for Thomas Jefferson that I would be willing to face what ever potential prejudices I may encounter to attend a university that one of my idols founded. Plus coming from Florida State country UVA has a piss poor football and basketball program, but thats neither here nor there.

First off, let me note how hard it is for me not to make a snotty anti-FSU comment here.  :-X

Second, I think your reasons for being anxious about UVA are unfounded. You can't go wrong choosing UVA.

That said:

5.  If you have the numbers for UVa, you should be looking at HYS.


Go Gators.  ;)

By the way, if you dont think I am jealous of your GATORS dominating OSU in both football and basketball you got another thing coming. Damn, what a jewel of a season. I was routing for you guys though, sh!t like that happens once in a lifetime.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Gtown vs T14
« on: July 18, 2007, 07:09:45 AM »
The easy way to avoid this problem is to get into the top half of the class. And if you're in the top third, you'll have no problem getting DC Biglaw.

Or you could just to to UVa, have less competition, and have better job prospects.
You know what, I would consider going to UVa because I have the numbers, but being a Black man I am a little apprehensive about going to a school in Charlottesville, VA.
Don't get me wrong UVa is the sh*t. Despite its deplorable location in the confederacy. I as a bleeding heart liberal/(slash)/political junkee have such an infatuation, admiration and respect for Thomas Jefferson that I would be willing to face what ever potential prejudices I may encounter to attend a university that one of my idols founded. Plus coming from Florida State country UVA has a piss poor football and basketball program, but thats neither here nor there.

A few points:

1.  The confederacy has been dead for about 140 years
As someone born and raised in the South I would submit to you that there still is plenty of residual smoke that came out of the forest fire called the civil war.
2.  Florida was also part of the confederacy
As someone who currently lives in Virginia I can assure you that Florida particularly the central region is far more tolerant
3   Jefferson, while admirable, was a slaveowner from that slave state.
I am will aware of that fact and have been since I declared him one of my personal heroes. Having said that, living in a society that was saturated in hypocrisy (i.e. Christian’s slave ownership and witch hunts) and breaking out of that paradigm took some courage. Courage/Bravery and morals are two different things. In this case, morals are releasing your slaves. Courage/Bravery is becoming an activist for the slave. Jefferson eventually realized the hypocrisy/contradiction he bored and became instrumental (more so than any other figure to my knowledge) in the fight for freedom and equality of slaves. It’s funny that such a great man had so many inner demons infidelity, views on interracial marriage…etc, but I guess that is true of any great leader. Hell, it has even been postulated that Christ killed a man in his adolescence.

4.  UVa's football team isn't bad, especially compared to the rest of the east coast teams.

UVa's is in the ACC homey and they catch hell each and every year. But mark my word FSU will be back for the 07 football season

5.  If you have the numbers for UVa, you should be looking at HYS.

My GPA is too low

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