Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: advantage of being a minority  (Read 8840 times)

Intuition

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 719
  • We wander down darkened pathways in a daze.
    • View Profile
Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #50 on: August 16, 2005, 09:10:00 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.


 



Women have the opportunity to give birth. I do not have this same opportunity. What do I get? ;D

Denny Crane

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5383
  • Where's my Shirley Schmidt-ho?
    • View Profile
Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #51 on: August 16, 2005, 09:18:17 PM »
The opportunity to run away when you accidentally impregnate that birth-giver.
Yale.Law.School.2010

Intuition

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 719
  • We wander down darkened pathways in a daze.
    • View Profile
Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #52 on: August 16, 2005, 09:33:46 PM »
The opportunity to run away when you accidentally impregnate that birth-giver.

I'll take it. Sounds like a fair deal.

John Galt

  • Guest
Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #53 on: August 16, 2005, 09:40:18 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.




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.

If this is your contention, how would socioeconomic status be a factor?

To suggest that overcoming previous hardship should be erased at the point where an individual is admitted to college is silly. Being admitted to college does not erase the struggles or lack of opportunities being black has placed on the individual. Nor has college magically placed a black person on a level playing field with his white counterparts. It can be inferred that a black person who has similar scores as whites has had to overcome more than the white person because of past discrimination and current lingering (subtle or overt) racism.

socio-economic status is not as big a bar to opportunity as race is. I don't feel like debating, so if you don't believe me you can look it up, but I don't care one way or the other.

John Galt

  • Guest
Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #54 on: August 16, 2005, 09:42:08 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.

vin, I know it is hard...but what is merit in your opinion?

inthesun

  • Guest
Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #55 on: August 16, 2005, 09:51:11 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.


 



Women have the opportunity to give birth. I do not have this same opportunity. What do I get? ;D

Spousal maintenance and child support.  :)

ImVinny!

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2242
  • What am I?
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #56 on: August 17, 2005, 09:55:32 AM »
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.

vin, I know it is hard...but what is merit in your opinion?


Merit is your accomplishments, ie your GPA SAT LSAt scores, all the number things. But also activities you have participated in, and anybody can join activities in school.
Even if your school doesn't have, say, a wrestling team and you want to wrestle, you can join neighboring school's teams. My school didn't really have a band so I joined two local high school bands, all you need to do is ask.
Merit is things that often show up on resumes, job experience you have had, things like that.
Leadership, involvement, commitment, and dedication.

Denny Crane

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5383
  • Where's my Shirley Schmidt-ho?
    • View Profile
Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #57 on: August 17, 2005, 10:31:45 AM »
Merit is your accomplishments, ie your GPA SAT LSAt scores, all the number things. But also activities you have participated in, and anybody can join activities in school.
Even if your school doesn't have, say, a wrestling team and you want to wrestle, you can join neighboring school's teams. My school didn't really have a band so I joined two local high school bands, all you need to do is ask.
Merit is things that often show up on resumes, job experience you have had, things like that.
Leadership, involvement, commitment, and dedication.

That's a very idealized definition of merit.  Merit is whatever people in power say it is (adcomms in our case).  Merit is who THEY think has it, not who WE think should have it.  That's why law school, and life, is a crapshoot. 
Yale.Law.School.2010

ImVinny!

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2242
  • What am I?
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #58 on: August 17, 2005, 10:32:30 AM »
Well, you asked for my def, and I gave it to you. That's what I really think merit is.

pop_tort

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 178
    • View Profile
Re: advantage of being a minority
« Reply #59 on: August 18, 2005, 01:00:49 AM »
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.

vin, I know it is hard...but what is merit in your opinion?


Merit is your accomplishments, ie your GPA SAT LSAt scores, all the number things. But also activities you have participated in, and anybody can join activities in school.
Even if your school doesn't have, say, a wrestling team and you want to wrestle, you can join neighboring school's teams. My school didn't really have a band so I joined two local high school bands, all you need to do is ask.
Merit is things that often show up on resumes, job experience you have had, things like that.
Leadership, involvement, commitment, and dedication.

Wake up from la-la land......  Swat07 is right - this is totally idealistic.

I can see why you're against AA - you seem to believe that in 2005, everyone of every race is dealt the same hand of cards in American society; although the civil rights movement fought to give folks equal rights, it's amazing to me that you think that everyone truly truly has equal opportunites in this society, and do not experience race based limitations. As I have said before, sure we all can drink of out the same drinking fountaintoday, but the good ol' boys network ain't dead yet.