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Author Topic: advantage of being a minority  (Read 9250 times)

Denny Crane

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Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #40 on: August 15, 2005, 05:04:15 PM »
Yes, they certainly did, but law schools want diversity not simply for the sake of diversity, but also because it better prepares its students with the real-world necessity of interacting with other kinds of people (of different ethnicities, nationalities, religions, etc.).  Diversity serves a very practical purpose.  Socioeconomic AA would not be sufficient to achieve this kind of diversity.
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John Galt

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Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #41 on: August 15, 2005, 06:14:41 PM »
ImVinny and Swat:

Both of your statements about affirmative action are misguided. If you are going to frame the debate about affirmative action talking about qualified vs. unqualified, then you've got to tell me what merit is. Are you saying that merit is defined by the average scores of whites on the LSAT and average scores of whites on their GPA? That seems like a silly measure of merit.  The problem is that you all are defining merit as some sort of competition between groups as if we are all evaluated on a curve. Yet, with most things, merit is a clearly defined number. For example, on the bar exam a score is determined and anything above it is passing; any thing below is failing. Everyone who is above the score is qualified. A person who scores a perfect on the bar exam is not more qualified than the person who barely passed.

With law school admissions, merit is purposely vague. Numbers are obviously an important factor. But we don't know at which LSAT score makes a person qualified and at which GPA makes a person qualified. We know that LSAT scores along with GPA's predict 1st year law performance...but we don't know the formula to determine at which GPA/LSAT combo the applicant would be predicted to not do well. Nor do we know the marginal rate of substitution. For example, why is it that a 159/3.8 is seen as unqualified for Harvard...but a 3.2/178 is seen as an ok admit?

Merit must also mean additional considerations as well. Work experience, recommendations, ability to overcome adversity, awards, etc. Your collective experiences should be accounted for. Even your membership to groups. In fact, we are evaluated based on our membership to groups. Do we belong to a certain group of high test takers, are we Rhodes Scholars, are we in a group of first generation college student, etc). In fact, membership to racial groups is a consideration because it can be reasonably inferred that whites have gained many many opportunities because of their membership to that group, while blacks have missed out on many many opportunties because of membership to that group. If whites and blacks were equal in terms of opportunity, then preferences for minorities would seem silly, but since that is not the case...evaluating a white applicant and a black applicant based on the same criteria seems silly (just as silly, say, as evaluating a physics major at Princeton with the same criteria as a fashion merchandising applicant from Ten Buck Two University).

Further, since merit is based on more than numbers, statistical analysis breaking minority scores with majority scores is little help. Also, it is complicated since whites with "sub-par" scores are regularly admitted as well. Thus, since you don't know what merit is I don't understand how you guys can post the things you post. Additionally, without knowing the specifics of each affirmative action program, I don't understand how you can generalize about abolishing it on the whole.


 


John Galt

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Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #42 on: August 15, 2005, 06:15:54 PM »
Yes, I think that that IS, and I agree that there would probably be more asians at the top law schools, but they earned it, did theynot?

STOP SAYING THIS. anyone admitted earned it. You don't know what MERIT is!

Denny Crane

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Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #43 on: August 15, 2005, 09:37:33 PM »
The only thing I said about merit was that it was nebulous, which is exactly what you're saying John.  I agree, merit is not what we, as applicants, think should constitute a "qualified" applicant.  Merit is entirely decided by the individual institution itself (with the exception of public institutions, which usually define merit by score: higher score = more merit).  Just because a school is considered "the best" (let's say Harvard), it doesn't necessarily follow that they have an obligation to admit the highest scorers or the biggest achievers.  If they wanted to accept someone who finished at the bottom of their class from podunk U, then that is their prerogative. 
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ImVinny!

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Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #44 on: August 16, 2005, 09:47:02 AM »
Yes, I think that that IS, and I agree that there would probably be more asians at the top law schools, but they earned it, did theynot?

STOP SAYING THIS. anyone admitted earned it. You don't know what MERIT is!

I was only answering a question that someone posed, maybe if you read some of my other posts you would see that I am not saying ANYTHING you think I am saying , just by reading one post of mine.

ImVinny!

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Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #45 on: August 16, 2005, 09:47:35 AM »
The only thing I said about merit was that it was nebulous, which is exactly what you're saying John.  I agree, merit is not what we, as applicants, think should constitute a "qualified" applicant.  Merit is entirely decided by the individual institution itself (with the exception of public institutions, which usually define merit by score: higher score = more merit).  Just because a school is considered "the best" (let's say Harvard), it doesn't necessarily follow that they have an obligation to admit the highest scorers or the biggest achievers.  If they wanted to accept someone who finished at the bottom of their class from podunk U, then that is their prerogative. 

I agree that we were both misread. Sheesh...

John Galt

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Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #46 on: August 16, 2005, 10:05:23 AM »
The only thing I said about merit was that it was nebulous, which is exactly what you're saying John.  I agree, merit is not what we, as applicants, think should constitute a "qualified" applicant.  Merit is entirely decided by the individual institution itself (with the exception of public institutions, which usually define merit by score: higher score = more merit).  Just because a school is considered "the best" (let's say Harvard), it doesn't necessarily follow that they have an obligation to admit the highest scorers or the biggest achievers.  If they wanted to accept someone who finished at the bottom of their class from podunk U, then that is their prerogative. 

I agree that we were both misread. Sheesh...

Oh shut up, you doofus. I know exactly what you wrote.

ImVinny!

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Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #47 on: August 16, 2005, 10:05:51 AM »
And WHAT exactly WAS that?

XYZZY

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Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #48 on: August 16, 2005, 11:34:03 AM »
ImVinny and Swat:

Both of your statements about affirmative action are misguided. If you are going to frame the debate about affirmative action talking about qualified vs. unqualified, then you've got to tell me what merit is. Are you saying that merit is defined by the average scores of whites on the LSAT and average scores of whites on their GPA? That seems like a silly measure of merit.  The problem is that you all are defining merit as some sort of competition between groups as if we are all evaluated on a curve. Yet, with most things, merit is a clearly defined number. For example, on the bar exam a score is determined and anything above it is passing; any thing below is failing. Everyone who is above the score is qualified. A person who scores a perfect on the bar exam is not more qualified than the person who barely passed.

With law school admissions, merit is purposely vague. Numbers are obviously an important factor. But we don't know at which LSAT score makes a person qualified and at which GPA makes a person qualified. We know that LSAT scores along with GPA's predict 1st year law performance...but we don't know the formula to determine at which GPA/LSAT combo the applicant would be predicted to not do well. Nor do we know the marginal rate of substitution. For example, why is it that a 159/3.8 is seen as unqualified for Harvard...but a 3.2/178 is seen as an ok admit?

Merit must also mean additional considerations as well. Work experience, recommendations, ability to overcome adversity, awards, etc. Your collective experiences should be accounted for. Even your membership to groups. In fact, we are evaluated based on our membership to groups. Do we belong to a certain group of high test takers, are we Rhodes Scholars, are we in a group of first generation college student, etc). In fact, membership to racial groups is a consideration because it can be reasonably inferred that whites have gained many many opportunities because of their membership to that group, while blacks have missed out on many many opportunties because of membership to that group. If whites and blacks were equal in terms of opportunity, then preferences for minorities would seem silly, but since that is not the case...evaluating a white applicant and a black applicant based on the same criteria seems silly (just as silly, say, as evaluating a physics major at Princeton with the same criteria as a fashion merchandising applicant from Ten Buck Two University).

Further, since merit is based on more than numbers, statistical analysis breaking minority scores with majority scores is little help. Also, it is complicated since whites with "sub-par" scores are regularly admitted as well. Thus, since you don't know what merit is I don't understand how you guys can post the things you post. Additionally, without knowing the specifics of each affirmative action program, I don't understand how you can generalize about abolishing it on the whole.




a lengthy post to obfuscate a simple issue.  You argue against absolute merit of lsat/gpa scores based on availability of opportunity.

what's wrong with gauging merit relative to the opportunities given?

in that gauge, all law school applicants have the opportunity to attend college, and all have the opportunity to take the lsat.  So color is not an issue. the real issues would not be socioeconomic but specific to the individual candidates in this case.

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Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #49 on: August 16, 2005, 12:31:40 PM »
Thansk for twisting words. I think merit is BETTER than gonig on ANY AA, I don't like AA at all, I was just merely saying if we HAD TO have it, it should be based on socioeconomic means.