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Author Topic: New Stanford Law Review Article about black law students  (Read 5171 times)

Nemesis

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Re: New Stanford Law Review Article about black law students
« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2005, 01:43:10 PM »
Yes, there are flaws, but not the ones you presented.  Your points are not 'necessary' ones .  Sander's analysis is not fair to any AA individual since it treats the 'group blindly' mostly concerned with those around the first and second moments, however, the same inequity also factors in granting the AA boost in which he is arguing.  His major findings are sound and indicate a significant factor, however his flaw is asserting his remedy is the ONLY remedy.


I'm tempted to do an analysis of this article and try to present it in my Political Science class for extra credit  :D

How about we weigh this article for what it's worth. I guess we're trying to determine whether affirmative action is actually in the best interest of blacks, or works against them.

It's asserted that Blacks make lower in grades in law school and this is attributed to the fact that, due to AA policies, they are placed at a great "academic disadvantage". I'll buy that they make lower grades. Blacks also do much worse on standardized exams (which is one of the reasons why AA policies are implemented in the first place). There are simply not as many black students who perform as well as white students on these exams. Is it because they are genetically inclined to be less intelligent than other races? Or could it be that because of past and present policies that directly and indirectly discriminate against people of color? The fact is that most blacks receive a lower quality of education as a result of attending institutions with less resources. AA is recognition of the fact that, because of inherent disadvantages outside of their control, blacks traditionally do not perform as well as whites. Until this playing field is leveled, Black students will ALWAYS be at an academic disadvantage when compared to other students. Is it then justified to exclude blacks from "prestigious" institutions until such a time?

Adopting Sanders' mindset would lead us to continue to exclude blacks from a higher quality of education and rob them of the opportunity to be exposed to an environment with much more resources and richer academic challenge, thus perpetuating a vicious cycle "disadvantage".
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snikrep

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Re: New Stanford Law Review Article about black law students
« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2005, 03:24:11 PM »
Adopting Sanders' mindset would lead us to continue to exclude blacks from a higher quality of education and rob them of the opportunity to be exposed to an environment with much more resources and richer academic challenge, thus perpetuating a vicious cycle "disadvantage".

I disagree, adopting his mindset would push us to try to level the playing field BEFORE law school (and ideally before college) - making things all even is great, but there comes a point when it is too late.  It sounds like his study is simply pointing out that AA in law school is too late - sticking somebody who is not academically as qualified into this environment is a dumb decision, for the person and for the law school.

I can understand AA-type thinking for K-12 education - if you fix the underrepresentation at this level, all of a sudden you have a huge pool of minorities who can directly compete with the majority, and you can throw this AA stuff out at the college/post-college level.

Which is why I don't understand why more minorities don't get behind a school voucher type program, the rich white parents don't give a rip about such programs because they just send their kids to good private schools regardless, it's the disadvantaged minorities who have to put up with so-so public schools that severely limit their options.

SCgrad

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Re: New Stanford Law Review Article about black law students
« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2005, 07:24:23 PM »
I really don't see how this study, if you want to call it that, is helpful.  Even if some correlation does exist, the study can't make any reasonable claim as to what would happen if the rules were changed, there are too many factors, anything said is speculation.  The bottom line is if a student goes to a top school, does poorly and fails the bar, he or she only hurts himself or herself.  Also, there are a number of possible reasons for any student doing poorly at a school, inability is only one of them.

To address each of your three points:
1) It is helpful in the sense that it provides some empirical evidence concerning the performance of African American individuals who are unnaturally elevated to higher ranked law schools through the process of AA. Meaning- How do they perform once they are there? Would you prefer we allow AA and just not check its academic effects?

2) It is dismissive of you to say that if an African American goes to a law school beyond his ability and fails, then it is his own problem. AA is undertaken by American society, in large part, to advance a generation of successful African Americans and create a diverse classroom. If these individuals are failing or performing in mediocrity at alarming rates, it affects the entire social program and diminishes the cause.

3) When you say there are a number of possible reasons for a law student performing poorly beyond just a measure of ability, what do you really mean? Of course there are students that face personal or health issues, but what issues are present to blacks and not whites that would account for such gargantuan gaps in performance and bar passage rates?


1. You say it is emperical evidence, well, in that case you would have to compare the current situation to the situation before AA, wouldn't you?  Fabricating what could happen is not empirical. 

2. Your compassion is overwhelming.  In total, I disagree.  If you go beyond your means and fail, you only have yourself to blaim.  It's not like someone at a school too hard for them could not get into an easier school.  I do agree that failures should be addressed, but removing AA and returning to the all-white law schools of the past doesn't seem like the best alternative.

3. I don't know, niether do you.  I'm just pointing out a possibility, you seem to EDIT - accept(I was in a blazing hurry this morning, sorry for writing except) those quite frequently.

Nemesis

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Re: New Stanford Law Review Article about black law students
« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2005, 07:47:55 PM »
I disagree, adopting his mindset would push us to try to level the playing field BEFORE law school (and ideally before college) - making things all even is great, but there comes a point when it is too late.  It sounds like his study is simply pointing out that AA in law school is too late - sticking somebody who is not academically as qualified into this environment is a dumb decision, for the person and for the law school.

I can understand AA-type thinking for K-12 education - if you fix the underrepresentation at this level, all of a sudden you have a huge pool of minorities who can directly compete with the majority, and you can throw this AA stuff out at the college/post-college level.

Which is why I don't understand why more minorities don't get behind a school voucher type program, the rich white parents don't give a rip about such programs because they just send their kids to good private schools regardless, it's the disadvantaged minorities who have to put up with so-so public schools that severely limit their options.

Would force who to level the playing field? How often do we hear about how important it is the close the gap (with respect to education) between blacks and whites? It's hardly the focus of this administration. And when you have people you have previous held positions of power make statements like,"If you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose -- you could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down", (former Secretary of Education no less) it's very easy to see why the problem persists. No matter how "morally reprehensible" he thought that might be, he was still willing to throw it out there.

I'm all for leveling the playing field and I think that's everyone's ultimate goal. But until such a time, why would you propose getting rid of a system that is actually trying to make a difference?

And the voucher system is certainly no solution. The soultion should be make sure that all schools have the same or comparable resources. In some cases, the voucher system drains money out of schools that are already poorly funded (which is why students are leaing in the first place). And what do you think would happen if every student left and flooded to other schools? Do you think that would solve the problem? It may be a start but it's far from perfect. And you don't get rid of one solution without having a fully functioning replacement.
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navyseal69

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Re: New Stanford Law Review Article about black law students
« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2005, 08:50:33 PM »
I really don't see how this study, if you want to call it that, is helpful.  Even if some correlation does exist, the study can't make any reasonable claim as to what would happen if the rules were changed, there are too many factors, anything said is speculation.  The bottom line is if a student goes to a top school, does poorly and fails the bar, he or she only hurts himself or herself.  Also, there are a number of possible reasons for any student doing poorly at a school, inability is only one of them.

To address each of your three points:
1) It is helpful in the sense that it provides some empirical evidence concerning the performance of African American individuals who are unnaturally elevated to higher ranked law schools through the process of AA. Meaning- How do they perform once they are there? Would you prefer we allow AA and just not check its academic effects?

2) It is dismissive of you to say that if an African American goes to a law school beyond his ability and fails, then it is his own problem. AA is undertaken by American society, in large part, to advance a generation of successful African Americans and create a diverse classroom. If these individuals are failing or performing in mediocrity at alarming rates, it affects the entire social program and diminishes the cause.

3) When you say there are a number of possible reasons for a law student performing poorly beyond just a measure of ability, what do you really mean? Of course there are students that face personal or health issues, but what issues are present to blacks and not whites that would account for such gargantuan gaps in performance and bar passage rates?


1. You say it is emperical evidence, well, in that case you would have to compare the current situation to the situation before AA, wouldn't you?  Fabricating what could happen is not empirical. 

2. Your compassion is overwhelming.  In total, I disagree.  If you go beyond your means and fail, you only have yourself to blaim.  It's not like someone at a school too hard for them could not get into an easier school.  I do agree that failures should be addressed, but removing AA and returning to the all-white law schools of the past doesn't seem like the best alternative.

3. I don't know, niether do you.  I'm just pointing out a possibility, you seem to except those quite frequently.


This is your response? All of your refutations are terrible.

1) How would comparing the situation before AA help this discussion? What would such information reveal? The FACTS of the study (irrespective of the author's conclusion) reveal that black law students perform in mediocrity disproportionably to their white counterparts. Do you dispute this?

2) You are correct that without AA, elite law schools would be nearly entirely white and Asian. But this is your entire rational for AA? What is the point of sending masses of unqualified blacks to law schools beyond their means so they can most likely perform poorly. You are content to have blacks fail at alarming rates so they can be represented and make you feel moral? Do you not see the irony there?

3) "I don't know and neither do you". Great answer; The little catch is that YOU were the one who brought up the possibility of "other reasons" beyond lack of ability as an explanation for the alarming mediocrity of black law students. Did you actually mean anything when you said that or do you just enjoy throwing out red herrings?

ps: This guy will make you feel great: http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=whoknew

snikrep

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Re: New Stanford Law Review Article about black law students
« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2005, 08:57:39 PM »
If you insist on solutions only being perfect, you're never going to do anything (AA isn't perfect, no system is perfect).

My main issue is - why are people not focused on why there are so few minorities who can academically compete with white kids in terms of grades, LSAT scores, etc?  All this AA stuff is just a band-aid solution tacked on when it doesn't really matter - this doesn't get at the root of the problem.  If there were tons of blacks acing their SATs, LSATs, getting 4.0's through college - there wouldn't be this problem.  I can understand that AA can help in the short term, but has there really been any longterm improvement?  The fact that AA has had to continue in law schools for the past 20-30 years implies a massive failure at the undergrad/high school level that desperately needs to be addressed.  THAT is where the most energy should be placed (in my opinion).

And you can hold out for "all schools to be better"... it'll never happen and everybody knows that, the whole point of AA is a temporary adjustment in hopes that things overall become equalized - school vouchers have the same concept.  Long term it would be great if all our public schools were insanely good, but are you going to give the shaft to all the inner-city kids who will graduate and be long gone by the time anything has actually improved?  Give them the chances that the rich white kids have NOW, instead of wasting time figuring out a perfect political system.

I guess I'm surprised because school vouchers seems like something the rich white people would oppose (what do they care, they don't want all these poor people coming into their schools) and the repressed minorities would want it - but it's the other way round.  Just doesn't make sense, from what I can tell it's just a result of public teacher unions hijacking the political process, or perhaps I just don't know what I'm talking about ;).

SCgrad

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Re: New Stanford Law Review Article about black law students
« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2005, 12:56:01 AM »
I really don't see how this study, if you want to call it that, is helpful.  Even if some correlation does exist, the study can't make any reasonable claim as to what would happen if the rules were changed, there are too many factors, anything said is speculation.  The bottom line is if a student goes to a top school, does poorly and fails the bar, he or she only hurts himself or herself.  Also, there are a number of possible reasons for any student doing poorly at a school, inability is only one of them.

To address each of your three points:
1) It is helpful in the sense that it provides some empirical evidence concerning the performance of African American individuals who are unnaturally elevated to higher ranked law schools through the process of AA. Meaning- How do they perform once they are there? Would you prefer we allow AA and just not check its academic effects?

2) It is dismissive of you to say that if an African American goes to a law school beyond his ability and fails, then it is his own problem. AA is undertaken by American society, in large part, to advance a generation of successful African Americans and create a diverse classroom. If these individuals are failing or performing in mediocrity at alarming rates, it affects the entire social program and diminishes the cause.

3) When you say there are a number of possible reasons for a law student performing poorly beyond just a measure of ability, what do you really mean? Of course there are students that face personal or health issues, but what issues are present to blacks and not whites that would account for such gargantuan gaps in performance and bar passage rates?


1. You say it is emperical evidence, well, in that case you would have to compare the current situation to the situation before AA, wouldn't you?  Fabricating what could happen is not empirical. 

2. Your compassion is overwhelming.  In total, I disagree.  If you go beyond your means and fail, you only have yourself to blaim.  It's not like someone at a school too hard for them could not get into an easier school.  I do agree that failures should be addressed, but removing AA and returning to the all-white law schools of the past doesn't seem like the best alternative.

3. I don't know, niether do you.  I'm just pointing out a possibility, you seem to except those quite frequently.


This is your response? All of your refutations are terrible.

1) How would comparing the situation before AA help this discussion? What would such information reveal? The FACTS of the study (irrespective of the author's conclusion) reveal that black law students perform in mediocrity disproportionably to their white counterparts. Do you dispute this?

2) You are correct that without AA, elite law schools would be nearly entirely white and Asian. But this is your entire rational for AA? What is the point of sending masses of unqualified blacks to law schools beyond their means so they can most likely perform poorly. You are content to have blacks fail at alarming rates so they can be represented and make you feel moral? Do you not see the irony there?

3) "I don't know and neither do you". Great answer; The little catch is that YOU were the one who brought up the possibility of "other reasons" beyond lack of ability as an explanation for the alarming mediocrity of black law students. Did you actually mean anything when you said that or do you just enjoy throwing out red herrings?

ps: This guy will make you feel great: http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=whoknew


My response is terrible because you say so?  Wow, that is the kind of arguing I should take up I guess.  Anyway, good job answering things I didn't say and making more stuff up.  To spell it out:
1. You said it was emperical evidence, look up this word.  If you are using emperical evidence, you have to compare AA now verses the way things were before AA, otherwise it is not emperical, buddy.  But, no, I don't dispute that singular claim, just your bold conclusions based on this fact.
2. I don't know what you mean by "fail" or "alarming rate."  Anyway, I don't think getting rid of AA help blacks, if that is your argument.  There is no chance of success if you don't get a chance.  Also, I like how you question my morals, who's really throwing out the red herrings?  Again, you have stated blacks being incapable of succeeding as a reason to not let them into top law schools.  In reality, you have no perspective on this, how do you know any of this...
3. Yes, I threw out a POSSIBILITY.  I said it this, not a fact.  The difference between what I siad and what you said is I acknowledged not knowing the correct answer, you did not.  You blindly follow statistics to the conclusions you most want to be true.

PS. Your post script means jack sh*t, anyone can make a LSN profile amung other reasons that it is a worthless point.

hilljack

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Re: New Stanford Law Review Article about black law students
« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2005, 01:38:54 AM »
This is a little off subject, but I have heard a few lawyers say that they liked AA because the black students (and other AA recipients) fill up a large portion of the bottom of the class. 

Also, is it not a little disheartening to hear that blacks are doing so poorly, whether it hurts them in hiring or not?

snikrep

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Re: New Stanford Law Review Article about black law students
« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2005, 02:39:51 AM »
This is a little off subject, but I have heard a few lawyers say that they liked AA because the black students (and other AA recipients) fill up a large portion of the bottom of the class. 

Also, is it not a little disheartening to hear that blacks are doing so poorly, whether it hurts them in hiring or not?


EXACTLY!  I think it's a shame that instead of really trying to induce success in the black community, we think we can solve the problem by simply throwing a smattering of black people into a variety of elite colleges and assume that everything will even out.  I'm white, and if ideas could have color - that seems like a friggin "white" idea to me.

Our responsibility is not absolved simply because we setup a lawyer lottery for minorities - that's the easy way out, and while perhaps a decent temporary band-aid, I'm blown away at how we've used this as a cover for not doing anything else.

In an ideal world we simply don't need AA because there are plenty of minorities who are every bit as competitive as whites - until that happens, we're still living in the stone ages (my humble 2 cents, heh).  It's like giving some money to countries in Africa... vs. going there, seeing the problems, and actually trying to help out.  Sure the money is nice, but that's the easy way out.

SCgrad

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Re: New Stanford Law Review Article about black law students
« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2005, 03:52:07 AM »
This is a little off subject, but I have heard a few lawyers say that they liked AA because the black students (and other AA recipients) fill up a large portion of the bottom of the class. 

Also, is it not a little disheartening to hear that blacks are doing so poorly, whether it hurts them in hiring or not?


EXACTLY!  I think it's a shame that instead of really trying to induce success in the black community, we think we can solve the problem by simply throwing a smattering of black people into a variety of elite colleges and assume that everything will even out.  I'm white, and if ideas could have color - that seems like a friggin "white" idea to me.

Our responsibility is not absolved simply because we setup a lawyer lottery for minorities - that's the easy way out, and while perhaps a decent temporary band-aid, I'm blown away at how we've used this as a cover for not doing anything else.

In an ideal world we simply don't need AA because there are plenty of minorities who are every bit as competitive as whites - until that happens, we're still living in the stone ages (my humble 2 cents, heh).  It's like giving some money to countries in Africa... vs. going there, seeing the problems, and actually trying to help out.  Sure the money is nice, but that's the easy way out.

Very good point.  I agree that AA has not panned out the way most would like for it.  The problem I have is with people who say, "It's not working, lets can it."  That does not solve the problem, now I am getting back to my previous argument with (EDIT) navyseal.  This person seems to think that if people are struggling it is better to put them back in the situation they were in before.  Change is always a struggle and I don't think anyone thought putting a bunch of blacks in top schools, or in some cases in a school, was going to immediately solve any problems.  Going back to my American History class in college, I remember learning about the struggles of blacks AFTER slavery.  Many blacks were worse off after gaining their freedom than before, many died because of it.  I am not saying canning AA would be akin to slavery, so don't jump on me for that.  I am just drawing a parallel.  The only comprehensive study ever done on slavery from the slaves' point of view was conducted during the depression, which, granted was 60 years after slavery ended.  All of those studied were old at the time and young during slavery.  The study found that many of the people studied were happier as slaves than they were at that time (the depression wasn’t exactly good times for anyone though).  The point is, after slavery ended and blacks were struggling with their newfound freedom, it could be construed as the moral thing to do to enslave them again for their own good.  They may have been happier during slavery, but I doubt seriously they wanted to return.  Would slavery be better for blacks the long run?  Anyone would answer this question “No.”  I agree that AA by itself will have a very hard time working, although it is not inevitably doomed.  More equality in lower education would go a long way towards this remedy, I am all for that.  A change in the urban black community emphasizing academics over the hip-hop culture would be greatly beneficial.  But we live in the here and now, you can say that AA is a band-aid that is only slowing the bleeding, but removing the band-aid without another course of action seems to be inviting more bleeding.  I just don’t see how you can support removing AA from the black perspective.  If you just don’t care about diversity and a united America, I can see not liking AA.  But, to me, we have prospered as a country more because of diversity than in spite of it.  We are the most diverse country in the world and also the most successful, coincidence? you decide.