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Topics - jessesamuel

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Affirmative action study met with controversy

(U-WIRE) BERKELEY, Calif. - A recent study that found affirmative action hurts black students' performance in law school has stirred up controversy among faculty and students at law schools across the nation.

The report, published in the Stanford Law Review in December, revealed that many black students are unable to perform well at top-ranking law schools because they were admitted because of racial preference.

"Student expectations can backfire when they are too high," said Richard Sander, a University of California at Los Angeles professor who wrote the study. "Students who were in by affirmative action were not prepared for exams - law professors move at a faster pace at the elite schools."

Sander's report reveals that the average black student's LSAT score was 130 to 170 points below the average score of a white student's. According to his report, 52 percent of black law students have grades in the lowest 10th percentile after finishing their first year, while 8 percent rank in the top half.

But critics of the study slam Sander and his findings for leaving out other factors that could explain why black law students are performing below par.

University of California-Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu, who published a rebuttal to Sander's report in the California Bar Journal this month, said there is no direct correlation in the gap between law school entrance eligibility and law school grades.

"Entering credentials is not attributable to affirmative action," Liu said. "Blacks would still be at the bottom and not the top even if there is no affirmative action. The study is missing an important statistical step that has nothing to do with affirmative action."

Sander said his findings show black students would get better GPAs if they applied to less prestigious schools. Employers are now hiring more black lawyers, regardless of where they went to school, he said

I applied to the Program in Public Interst Law and Policy at UCLA, and I've heard that it's relatively easier to get in that way. Personally, I thought the UCLA application required the most effort. Anyway, has anyone who applied to the public interest program heard back? Does anyone know how much of a break PI applicants get?

Choosing the Right Law School / Why isn't American ranked higher?
« on: February 15, 2005, 06:06:06 PM »
Clinical - #2
IP - #27
International - #6
Tax - #17

Peer and professional evaluations are low (2.9), but why? Student/faculty ratio is pretty low (12.2). For some reason there are a lot more women than men there (63/37). Why? How is that related to rank? Median starting salary for the private sector is $100,000. Sounds pretty good to me. I'm asking because I might be choosing between AMerican and other DC-area schools soon.

I can't help but judge law schools based on their interactions with me during the application process. Maybe the efficiency/concern for the applicant shown now is indicative of how the whole school is.

Who have you guys been pleased/displeased with? Here's my experience:

Superior: Georgia, Iowa, Wisconsin, UC Davis (e-mail reminder to apply for scholarship), UCLA (they give you lots of opportunity to explain your application)

Acceptable: American (the only school that has called me for any reason but they're so SLOW), George Mason, Minnesota, Illinois, UC Hastings

Wish they'd get a move on: San Diego, GULC, W&L, USC, UVA, Tulane, Loyola, G Wash, W&M 

Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Georgetown part time decisions?
« on: February 07, 2005, 06:58:46 PM »
Has anyone who applied to GULC part time received a decision?

Incoming 1Ls / Public Interest salaries - what are the factors?
« on: February 04, 2005, 09:20:44 AM »
I paid for the US News premium thing so I could see all the detailed stats, including median starting salary for public interest jobs. UVA came in at $50,000 and most of the other schools I applied to are around $40,000-$45,000. But higher rank doesn't seem to always mean more $.

What are the factors that go into that statistic? What are the higher-paying public interest jobs? How much, for example, do the ACLU, Legal Aid, etc. pay to start?

What are considered the most prestigious public interest jobs?

I think I could get a sizeable scholarship at some schools ranked around 40-60, but I have a decent chance of admission at schools in the 20-range. So, for example, I could go into debt at Minnesota or I could not go into debt at Loyola (CA). I don't plan to go into big law. I'm interested in human rights, civil liberties, immigration and labor. What do I need to know to make a good decision on this?

GPA 361
LSAT 164

I am considering asking the director of the ACLU in Arizona (knows about how I restarted the ACLU chapter at my school) and my academic adviser (knows better than anyone about my particular struggles and how I overcame them) to write recommendations for me. I'm sure they would both be glowing and they know me well. Of course I would include at least one recommendation from a professor for each application.

Can you please comment on the advisability of including the ACLU director's and my adviser's recommendations? Thanks!

Law School Admissions / UCLA public interest - Can I get in?
« on: November 03, 2004, 04:05:53 PM »
I want to go into public interest law (I'm the president of the ACLU at my UG). My GPA is 3.61 but LSAC may reduce it a little bit. My LSAT is 164. I have lived in several foreign countries and speak Spanish fluently. I imagine UCLA is a longshot. Please comment, and suggest other law schools. Thanks!


I want to go into public interest law (I'm the president of the ACLU at my UG). My GPA is 3.61 but LSAC may reduce it a little bit. My LSAT is 164. I have lived in several foreign countries and speak Spanish fluently. I imagine UCLA is a longshot. Please comment, and suggest other law schools. Thanks!


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