Law School Discussion

Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist


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Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2005, 05:18:23 PM »
Celark, your example is flawed in that you're comparing someone taking a test from a country that they don't live in. The IQ tests in the article were given to people who all live in the same country. Also, it does not discount the variable of environmental factors. In fact, it specifically states that even controlling for environmental factors(socioeconomic class etc..) it still did not explain the difference, nor change the fact that the difference still exists.

DBgirl, you must not live in the same country I do. Last time I checked, black people committed a huge percentage of the crime relative to their makeup in the overall population(USdoj figures). It would make sense that there are a lack of black lawyers to defend such a huge population. Asians, to contrast, make up a fairly large percentage of the minority population in law schools compared to the number committing crimes.
 Call me crazy but that doesn't seem to be the same with other URMs.

Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2005, 04:22:42 PM »
Affirmative Action and White Privilege by Tim Wise

Ask a fish what water is and you'll get no answer. Even if fish were capable of speech, they would likely have no explanation for the element they swim in every minute of every day of their lives. Water simply is.

Fish take it for granted.

So too with this thing we hear so much about, "racial preference." While many whites seem to think the notion originated with affirmative action programs, intended to expand opportunities for historically marginalized people of color, racial preference has actually had a long and very white history.

Affirmative action for whites was embodied in the abolition of European indentured servitude, which left black (and occasionally indigenous)slaves as the only unfree labor in the colonies that would become the U.S.

Affirmative action for whites was the essence of the 1790 Naturalization Act, which allowed virtually any European immigrant to become a full citizen, even while blacks, Asians and American Indians could not.

Affirmative action for whites was the guiding principle of segregation, Asian exclusion laws, and the theft of half of Mexico for the fulfillment of Manifest Destiny.

In recent history, affirmative action for whites motivated racially restrictive housing policies that helped 15 million white families procure homes with FHA loans from the 1930s to the '60s, while people of color were mostly excluded from the same programs.

In other words, it is hardly an exaggeration to say that white America is the biggest collective recipient of racial preference in the history of the cosmos. It has skewed our laws, shaped our public policy and helped create the glaring inequalities with which we still live.

White families, on average, have a net worth that is 11 times the net worth of black families, according to a recent study; and this gap remains substantial even when only comparing families of like size, composition, education and income status.

A full-time black male worker in 2003 makes less in real dollar terms than similar white men were earning in 1967. Such realities are not merely indicative of the disadvantages faced by blacks, but indeed are evidence of the preferences afforded whites - a demarcation of privilege that is the necessary flipside of discrimination.

Indeed, the value of preferences to whites over the years is so enormous that the current baby-boomer generation of whites is currently in the process of inheriting between $7-10 trillion in assets from their parents and grandparents - property handed down by those who were able to accumulate assets at a time when people of color by and large could not.

To place this in the proper perspective, we should note that this amount of money is more than all the outstanding mortgage debt, all the credit card debt, all the savings account assets, all the money in IRAs and 401k retirement plans, all the annual profits for U.S. manufacturers, and our entire merchandise trade deficit combined.

Yet few whites have ever thought of our position as resulting from racial preferences. Indeed, we pride ourselves on our hard work and ambition, as if somehow we invented the concepts.

As if we have worked harder than the folks who were forced to pick cotton and build levies for free; harder than the Latino immigrants who spend 10 hours a day in fields picking strawberries or tomatoes; harder than the (mostly) women of color who clean hotel rooms or change bedpans in hospitals, or the (mostly) men of color who collect our garbage.

We strike the pose of self-sufficiency while ignoring the advantages we have been afforded in every realm of activity: housing, education, employment, criminal justice, politics, banking and business. We ignore the fact that at almost every turn, our hard work has been met with access to an opportunity structure denied to millions of others. Privilege, to us, is like water to the fish: invisible precisely because we cannot imagine life without it.

It is that context that best explains the duplicity of the President's recent criticisms of affirmative action at the University of Michigan.

President Bush, himself a lifelong recipient of affirmative action - the kind set aside for the mediocre rich - recently proclaimed that the school's policies were examples of unfair racial preference. Yet in doing so he not only showed a profound ignorance of the Michigan policy, but made clear the inability of yet another white person to grasp the magnitude of white privilege still in operation.

The President attacked Michigan's policy of awarding 20 points (on a 150-point evaluation scale) to undergraduate applicants who are members of underrepresented minorities (which at U of M means blacks, Latinos and American Indians). To many whites such a "preference" is blatantly discriminatory.

Bush failed to mention that greater numbers of points are awarded for other things that amount to preferences for whites to the exclusion of people of color.

For example, Michigan awards 20 points to any student from a low-income background, regardless of race. Since these points cannot be combined with those for minority status (in other words poor blacks don't get 40 points), in effect this is a preference for poor whites.

Then Michigan awards 16 points to students who hail from the Upper Peninsula of the state: a rural, largely isolated, and almost completely white area.

Of course both preferences are fair, based as they are on the recognition that economic status and even geography (as with race) can have a profound effect on the quality of K-12 schooling that one receives, and that no one should be punished for things that are beyond their control. But note that such preferences - though disproportionately awarded to whites - remain uncriticized, while preferences for people of color become the target for reactionary anger. Once again, white preference remains hidden because it is more subtle, more ingrained, and isn't called white preference, even if that's the effect.

But that's not all. Ten points are awarded to students who attended top-notch high schools, and another eight points are given to students who took an especially demanding AP and honors curriculum.

As with points for those from the Upper Peninsula, these preferences may be race-neutral in theory, but in practice they are anything but. Because of intense racial isolation (and Michigan's schools are the most segregated in America for blacks, according to research by the Harvard Civil Rights Project), students of color will rarely attend the "best" schools, and on average, schools serving mostly black and Latino students offer only a third as many AP and honors courses as schools serving mostly whites.

So even truly talented students of color will be unable to access those extra points simply because of where they live, their economic status and ultimately their race, which is intertwined with both.

Four more points are awarded to students who have a parent who attended the U of M: a kind of affirmative action with which the President is intimately familiar, and which almost exclusively goes to whites.

Ironically, while alumni preference could work toward the interest of diversity if combined with aggressive race-based affirmative action (by creating a larger number of black and brown alums), the rollback of the latter, combined with the almost guaranteed retention of the former, will only further perpetuate white preference.

So the U of M offers 20 "extra" points to the typical black, Latino or indigenous applicant, while offering various combinations worth up to 58 extra points for students who will almost all be white. But while the first of these are seen as examples of racial preferences, the second are not, hidden as they are behind the structure of social inequities that limit where people live, where they go to school, and the kinds of opportunities they have been afforded. White preferences, the result of the normal workings of a racist society, can remain out of sight and out of mind, while the power of the state is turned against the paltry preferences meant to offset them.

Very telling is the oft-heard comment by whites, "If I had only been black I would have gotten into my first-choice college."

Such a statement not only ignores the fact that whites are more likely than members of any other group - even with affirmative action in place - to get into their first-choice school, but it also presumes, as anti-racist activist Paul Marcus explains, "that if these whites were black, everything else about their life would have remained the same."

In other words, that it would have made no negative difference as to where they went to school, what their family income was, or anything else.

The ability to believe that being black would have made no difference (other than a beneficial one when it came time for college), and that being white has made no positive difference, is rooted in privilege itself: the privilege that allows one to not have to think about race on a daily basis; to not have one's intelligence questioned by best- selling books; to not have to worry about being viewed as a "out of place" when driving, shopping, buying a home, or for that matter, attending the University of Michigan.

So long as those privileges remain firmly in place and the preferential treatment that flows from those privileges continues to work to the benefit of whites, all talk of ending affirmative action is not only premature but a slap in the face to those who have fought, and died, for equal opportunity.


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Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2005, 07:17:10 PM »
I read that entire post. It has good points in it, but it also has a lot of facts and figures that are very questionable. For instance, picking out the "16 points for upper michigan residents". It's a state school, of course it will have preference for residents. No one is disallowing minorities to live in that part of Michigan. Also, I'm guessing that if it's largely rural, they're probably poor as well.

This article also digs waaaay back into history to try and prove it's "aa for whites" theory. What's prevented any minority of the last generation from getting a good job and owning a house?

The last part that is bolded says that white people don't have to think about race on a daily basis. That is true. I'm sure it is difficult to be a minority if you think that every white person is out to get you, and that you were denied a job because of your color, and not the way you dress or speak. How this "thinking about race everyday" impacts whether or not you do your homework or read in your spare time is beyond me.

Lastly, the most telling stat is the one from the Michigan study in question:
Of those students with a 3.5-3.74 and a 160 LSAT, 8 of 10 minorities got in. TWO of SIXTY-FIVE whites got in with those numbers. And another:
3.25-3.49 and 156-158 lsat, 15 of 18 minorities got in. ONE of FIFTY-ONE whites got in with those numbers.
So while that author might come up with some theoretical point value that he thinks will give white people a one-up over minorities, in reality it seems that the point value for minorities is indeed a huge bonus for them. In fact, I would go so far as to venture that in practice, they adcoms added MORE than 20 points, as that seems the only way to make up the huge gap between the gpa/lsat of the minorities admitted, vs. the avg white applicant.

I have no issue with someone that had a difficult background growing up getting a little edge over an identical numbers white person w/an affluent background. That information should be considered in the personal statement, not in an "instant points for you" type of deal that puts them up in the range of people with 3.5 and 170's. The problem with that system is the fact that most black people applying to law school are most likely going to come from those same affluent neighborhoods as the white applicants. That's where it's unfair.


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Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2005, 03:55:53 PM »
Spec, you're right of course. Every race is perfectly equal. No one has evolved differently at all.
Your reading comp needs work though, if you'd read the studies conducted on the site that I posted, you would see that the races ARE NOT within a standard deviation of each other, which is the WHOLE POINT of the study.

Oh, and the fact that average cranium size differs by approx 10%, which is also related to intelligence, has no bearing on the issue I'm sure.


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Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2005, 11:24:19 AM »
I don't care that you're curious.

If you've read it before, where did you get your "they're within one standard deviation" comment? All scientific lingo aside, it was a 15 point difference between some sect of jews, white people, and black. 115, 100, and 85 respectively. Avg cranium size went Asian > White > Black, with the largest difference between white and black, and a small difference between asian and white.
Is that the study that you had previously read, which you've somehow discounted as completely without merit?


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Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2005, 02:52:00 PM »
Hey, Bill Cosby can't be wrong.
I'll read your other sources, because I'm geniuinely interested in how they might refute scientific evidence, but I already tore that first site from hot_tamale to shreds.
Don't forget, this isn't about who's superior to who, it's a genuine explanation of why AA is instituted and why there is a lack of minority lawyers. I'm white, but you don't see me crying a river over the study's assertion that asians are smarter than me do you? Or jews? I would look at that as a good indication of why you see so many asians in the hard sciences, as doctors, and as lawyers. They're damn smart.
IQ is not completely genetic, it gives you a range of potential that your environment determines where you fall in. Now, whether blacks and hispanics are lagging behind because of genetics or environment is a good debate. If you try and argue that there is no gap, you're trying to sweep a mountain of evidence under the rug. In fact, you could examine why whites are behind asians, or the jews in the study. Why are asians craniums larger than everyone elses? Why are their IQs higher? If I had to guess, it would have a lot to do with their culture that values education and working hard. Can you say that about black culture, in general?

Like I said, this is a talk about AA and why there is a lack of minority lawyers(not including asians). So what is it that you're disagreeing about? Do you think that every race is equal and that all differences are measurement errors on the part of the scientists? A result of slavery and racial inequalities? I'm not sure what you're saying here. Do you dispute that a difference in intelligence exists, or the reasons why?
I'm white, I don't dispute that asians are more intelligent than the average white person, but then again I have no insecurities about my color or my own abilities. The average only applies if you think you're average.

My beliefs? I don't believe anything. If you somehow convince me that I'm wrong, I'll change what I think immediately. If I had a feeling of superiority I wouldn't admit that asians have higher IQs. I'd probably run and find a bunch of opinion articles that cry about why asians have had more opportunities than whites and why the scientists are all wrong.

Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2005, 09:40:36 PM »
I just looked up, and while I was surfing around I clicked on someone's name and viewed their profile because they're numbers looked almost identical to mine.  166/3.4 (my GPA is slightly higher).  Both of us went to Top 15 undergraduate schools.  Both have done service work and worked as a paralegal at prestigious firms after graduation.

One difference, she's a black female, I'm a white male.  Now I don't presume to know about her essay and recs, but I think mine were pretty solid.

She's in all over the place, Columbia, Harvard, Northwestern, the works.  No rejections, not wiat lists.  I, on the other hand, am getting waitlisted or rejected by these schools.

I've always considered myself a pretty liberal guy and have supported AA, but I must say that being on this side of the equation sucks.

Feelin gloomy.  Should I wait and see if Bush makes AA illegal?  I've always despised American conservativism but at this rate of anger I'll be a Republican by 30.

I have felt this same gut-reaction anger. But I have since realized that I am sort of glad about AA.  I really do want to attend a school that is diverse.  I really do want the legal market, legal representation to be diverse.  I really do want the URM to becoem less underrepresnted.  And there are some real obstacles out there that help prevent URM from reaching the applying-to-law-school stage.  While imperfect, AA does help URMs get into law school, at all levels and I'm glad for it. 

My one caviat is that, I think maybe AA causes people to assume that a URM peer is likely to be less-qualified and admitted/hired to fulfill diversity requirements.  That means lots of really qualified URm people are being underestimated.  If there was no advantage to being a URM in admission processes, nobody could dismiss a black man in their class as being "three to make the school look good" or "fulfill requirements". 

Also, I agree with an earlier poster, that we non-URMs need to keep in mind that the URM pool is so small it makes a negligible difference on our ability to get at a certain school.  If we have the stats, we are in.  If we don't have the stats, we shouldn't blame the oen person for whom they made an exception...


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Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2005, 08:49:46 AM »
Ok spec. I can buy that theory. You think it is 100% environmental. What environmental factors cause this underperformance in blacks/hispanics? What causes Asians to perform better? Also, what do you think about the measurement of cranium size, the fact that there are clear differences in size, and that it appears to be linked to IQ? Surely that must be genetics?

I agree with you that I'd like more diversity, as it helps everyone's learning. What I don't agree with is giving people instant bonus points that allow them to get in w/o having to put in the work that everyone else did. Tell the person who was on the bubble at the school of their dreams that they didn't get in because of a "negligible" impact of a URM getting in w/much lower credentials. Some people ARE affected by this. It's not the numbers affected, it's the principle of it. It says, "hey, you can do mediocre in school, barely study for the lsat, and we're still going to let you into a t14 school because of your color, which undoubtedly caused you to not be able to study and do well like everyone else"

I'm not saying racism is gone and that non-URMs don't have an advantage. I'm also aware that being black causes other issues to be a factor in their lives. However, I think that getting in with the help of AA just perpetuates the view that URMs aren't as smart and hard-working as everyone else. If you're going to get into the Harvard club, why not get there through hard work and doing well enough to get there on your own?


Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2005, 09:08:31 PM »
you mentioned that

"Avg cranium size went Asian > White > Black, with the largest difference between white and black, and a small difference between asian and white." 

You then lumped blacks and hispanics together when discussing underperformance.  Just curious how hispanics are reflected in the various studies you cite.  Do they get a separate class or are they lumped with whites...

Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2005, 11:58:00 PM »

What size hat do you wear?
(Just so I can know how smart you are)