In short, affirmative action, as it applies to law school, is simply enforced to increase diversity in the legal world. When you have laws that are, and have been since the beginning of time, controlled by white-males, it becomes increasingly diffcult for them to represent the rest of the world (non-whites, non-males) properly. White men, usually from wealthy backgrounds, are a minority in this country, yet they hold majority of the legal positions. If you don't see a problem with that, then you are either biased or retarded.
Furthermore, black people were legally enslaved for hundreds of years in this country, giving an economic boost to the white males described above, while being deprived the simplest of educations, let alone a wage. HUNDREDS OF YEARS! AA doesn't even begin to address that, and neither will the white males that make and uphold the law. Slavery robbed black people of their culture and identity, and left them at a disadvantage that will forever be present in our society. Rather than get into a history lesson, you should all read up on this for yourselves. It should be a requirement for anyone studying in this country.
Other "minorities", such as females and immigrants from other backgrounds were not placed in situations remotely near as critical as black people, and therefore AA does not benefit them as much.
I can honestly say, as much as it hurts to, if I was not accepted into a gifted program for junior high school (who knows, may have been a result of AA), I would not be the person I am today. The school was pretty diverse, but the majority of students were white. It was there that I honed my writing skills and learned to speak proper English. It was there that I had to stop worrying about getting into fights everyday, as my school was no longer in the center of four housing projects. It was there that I was introduced to a new way of life. It completely changed who I was. Most importantly, it was there that I realized I was intellectually capable of doing, and exceeding, what white students were doing. Going to school with all black students, and living around all black people, one couldn't help but feel that white people were superior people. I went into that gifted program feeling that I was less than the white students, and that they were advanced, despite the fact that they were 12 year old kids, just as I was. Although many of them were extremely advanced, and many more had their doctor and lawyer parents completing science fair projects for them, I was able to compete and I was accepted into an advanced program at one of the top high schools in the city (who knows, may have been a result of AA).
That experience with white kids in jr. high opened many doors for me. I got a job at a law firm, while in HS, that I have until this day, and has sparked my interest in law - leading me to this forum. But while I have endured limited success, most of the other kids in my neighborhood have experienced the opposite. They went to schools with terrible teachers, and gang members, and pregnant teens. They weren't embarrased in front of their class for speaking improper English, in fact, slang was the norm. There were no coporate America summer jobs lined up for them. There was no hope. They are still here today, working temp jobs, with no idea what to do when it ends. They were not encouraged to persue college, they didn't know the process. They didn't take the SATs until June, drasticlaly limiting their chances of college acceptance. For those that did go to college, many of them chose majors that they thought would land them jobs, rather than something to build their skills and character. Many of them graduated and are jobless, with no optimism with which to look forward to future possibilities.
While some many consider me lucky, I know that the white kids in my jr high pitied me, and probably still do. They looked at my brown brick apartment building with disgust, as it couldn't compare to the million dollar brownstones they called home. What many black people consider golden, many more white people consider inferior, and that's why AA is effective. Taking a black kid out of his dismal environment and removing his mentality that he is inferior, can reveal his true greatness - potential that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.
I noticed some argued that AA should be geared more towards economically challeneged individuals. I urge you all to open your eyes, and realize who the economically challeged are. There will be poor and rich people of all races, but those that benefit from AA are usually the poorest. The idea is that, if your family didn't have 300 years in which to build financial stability in this country, then an admissions office will overlook your less than stellar, 3.2 gpa, you earned while working full-time to pay your rent. They will overlook your subpar LSAT score, a test you took with no one to turn to for advice or study tips, and no $1200 to pay for prep courses.
I gotta run for a conference call (@ internship which I got out of the pity of a former white-coworker), but I hope you all get my point. Speaking of the internship, everyone else here (billion dollar company), is rich and white! I look, and often feel, so out of place. I suspect it will be the same in law school, but no one can deny my intelligence, which will always keep my head above water.
Here's a youtube link to a debate in favor of AA, by Tim Wise.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uH0vpGZJCo