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Author Topic: what do you all think about this?  (Read 4120 times)

mercutio_13

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Re: what do you all think about this?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2005, 03:52:22 PM »
I didn't say the man was racist. I really just wonder why so many Caucasions are so concerned about African Americans' performance in law school. If you need clarification, I was quite sarcastic in my first response... It was directed moreso at those that really believe that people of other races are inferior to them in their methods of thinking and performance.

my bad, then.  missed the sarcasm.

blk_reign

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Re: what do you all think about this?
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2005, 03:53:42 PM »
I didn't say the man was racist. I really just wonder why so many Caucasions are so concerned about African Americans' performance in law school. If you need clarification, I was quite sarcastic in my first response... It was directed moreso at those that really believe that people of other races are inferior to them in their methods of thinking and performance.

my bad, then.  missed the sarcasm.

No worries...
We're not accepting this CHANGE UP in the rules. Period. American presidents have been in the bed with organized crime, corporate pilferers, and the like for years. And all u want to put on this man is that his pastor said "Gotdamn America?" Hell, America.U got off pretty damn well, if you ask me...

giffy

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Re: what do you all think about this?
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2005, 04:06:56 PM »
Quote
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.

The first sentence makes no sense. That would mean that some are getting a negative LSAT on a scale that stops at 120.

maricutie

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Re: what do you all think about this?
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2005, 04:19:56 PM »
Quote
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.

The first sentence makes no sense. That would mean that some are getting a negative LSAT on a scale that stops at 120.

Hmm. Wonder why no one caught that earlier ..

headlesschicken

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Re: what do you all think about this?
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2005, 04:51:19 PM »
The "130 to 170 point" phrase is based on a scale he created that combines UGPA and LSAT score in a 0 to 1000 point scale (basically, he created his own academic index formula for the purposes of the study). as an advocate of affirmative action and (hopefully) a future civil rights lawyer, i've read the entire article, along with multiple rebuttals. here's my take.

(1) Sander is a bit of a contrarian who espouses liberal principles but also enjoys "outsmarting" other liberal academics and showing how programs supported by liberals fail to achieve their intended ends. i visited his website on the ucla webpage, and he has a lot of anti-living wage/minimum wage writing as well, all of which is based on a similar "let's see if this is actually helping those it intends to help" approach to evaluating the proposals.

(2) Sander's article is useful in that there have been very few attempts to evaluate the efficacy of affirmative action, i.e. is it actually helping remedy the effects of past discrimination by increasing the number of minority lawyers and expanding minority opportunity in the legal profession? most of the writing on both sides of the issues has been philosophical and qualitative in nature, with very little in the way of empirical research. it may be useful to start thinking about affirmative action in this way so that we can figure out how to make it work better (although this line of thinking may be politically perilous--which is why so many are rushing to attack Sander; they're afraid his article will bring about an end to all affirmative action programs by giving the conservatives quantitative support for their arguments). on the issue of dealing with black law students rather than other minorities, Sander states that he chose black law students because this is the group for which the most data is available. however, he is working on a book which will include examinations of the effects of affirmative action on other minority groups.

(3) the raw data in Sander's article seems hard to refute, although a huge number of academics are rushing to figure out if and where he screwed up. basically, he shows that black law students predominantly graduate in the bottom half of their law school classes, have much higher attrition rates than white law students, and fail to pass the bar at much higher rates than white law students. he also demonstrates that, outside of the top 14 or so schools, in post-law school employment the prestige benefits of attending a higher ranked school are outweighed by the resulting lowering of one's gpa and class rank.

(4) the big issue with sander's article is the story he draws from these numbers. he argues that the low gpas and bar passage rates of black law students are a result of a "mismatch" between black law students and the schools they attend. however, there is a compelling counter argument that there are features of the educational climate at law schools themselves that play a role in the lowering of gpas and bar passage rates. if this is true, then the effects of the "mismatch" are either reduced or nonexistent.

also, his argument that low gpas RESULT in low bar passage rates is based on a theory that is highly contestable. the low bar passage rates may be related to problems with the bar exam or with the climate at US law schools rather than to the low gpas of black law students. he has to spin a pretty complex theory in order to explain how a student who will not pass the bar with affirmative action in place WILL pass the bar if, in the absence of affirmative action, he or she attends a lower ranked school and attains a higher gpa.

(5) moreover, Sander's argument that getting rid of affirmative action would actually increase the number of black lawyers presupposes that the number of black law students totally excluded from law school is much smaller than it would have been 30 years ago, and that there will be a smooth redistribution of black law students through the different law schools. many argue that the drastic reduction in black law students at the top schools would have an effect throughout the world of legal education and could dramatically impact the willingness of young black men and women to even apply to law school.

[edited to change willing to willingness in the last sentence]
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maricutie

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Re: what do you all think about this?
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2005, 04:57:44 PM »
Possibly the best respond I've seen to this study. Bravo!

headlesschicken

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Re: what do you all think about this?
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2005, 04:59:09 PM »
thanks, and sorry for the length. i haven't had anything to do at work, which is why i'm writing seven paragraph posts!
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giffy

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Re: what do you all think about this?
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2005, 05:00:55 PM »
Yes a most excellent post and thanks for clearing up the LSAT thing.

maricutie

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Re: what do you all think about this?
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2005, 05:02:16 PM »
thanks, and sorry for the length. i haven't had anything to do at work, which is why i'm writing seven paragraph posts!

Hey, I somehow missed the columbia money. Or maybe I just temporarily forgot. But that sure muddies up your ability to make a decision, I'd imagine ... !

headlesschicken

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Re: what do you all think about this?
« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2005, 05:12:22 PM »
Hey, I somehow missed the columbia money. Or maybe I just temporarily forgot. But that sure muddies up your ability to make a decision, I'd imagine ... !

It does, largely because i talked to the dean of columbia on the phone and he went on and on about the long history of columbia grads at the NAACP LDF and the number of NAACP LDF people now on the Columbia faculty. He said the 8 magic letters for someone interested in civil rights law =] On the other hand, with the LRAP programs at Stanford and Yale, the financial difference between those schools and a full tuition scholarship is not quite as great as it seems. For example, if I were to get a public interest job paying $50k/year right out of law school, Stanford and Yale's LRAP programs would each provide approximately $70k over ten years. So it's a difference of $50k, not $120k.
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Total payments to Yale, 1999-2008: >$250,000