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Author Topic: Miles To Go: Progress of Minorities in the Legal Profession  (Read 4060 times)

blk_reign

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Miles To Go: Progress of Minorities in the Legal Profession
« on: February 01, 2006, 09:49:31 AM »
This is a good read..hope you guys take the time to read the article and respond..blk

http://www.law.harvard.edu/programs/plp/PDFs/Projects_MilesToGo.pdf.



Since 1998, the Program on the Legal Profession has collaborated with the American Bar Associationís Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity to focus attention on diversity issues in the legal profession. The ABA Commission was created in 1986 to promote the "full and equal participation" of minorities in the legal profession. As part of this effort, the Commission serves as a clearinghouse for data regarding the status of minorities in the profession. The primary vehicle for conveying this data is a Report entitled Miles to Go: Progress of Minorities in the Legal Profession, which has been published in 1998, 2000, and 2004. Professor Elizabeth Chambliss, who served as PLPís Research Director from 1999 until 2003 and is now a Professor of Law at New York Law School, is the principle author of these Reports. Miles to Go plays a critical role in assessing the profession's progress toward "full and equal" racial integration. Among the principle findings in the Report issued in 2004 are: 1. . Minority representation in the legal profession is significantly lower than in most other professions. - Total minority representation among lawyers is about 9.7 percent, according to the 2000 U.S. Census, compared to 20.8 percent among accountants and auditors, 24.6 percent among physicians and surgeons, and 18.2 percent among college and university teachers. - Nationally, African Americans are the best represented minority group among lawyers (3.9 percent), followed by Hispanics (3.3 percent). The pace of African American entry into the profession has slowed in recent years, however, and currently is significantly slower than that of Hispanics or Asian Americans. Asian Americans are the fastest growing minority group in the profession.

2.Minority entry into the profession has slowed considerably since the1980s and mid- 1990s. - Total minority representation among law students has dropped for the past two years, from 20.6 percent in 2001-02 to 20.3 percent in 2003-04. - Most of the drop is due to a drop in the number and percentage of African American law students. Over the past two years, African American representation among law students has fallen from 7.4 to 6.6 percent, representing a twelve-year low. The percentage of Hispanic students also has dropped slightly, from 5.8 to 5.7 percent. 3. The initial employment of minority lawyers still differs significantly fromthat of whites. - Minorities are less likely than whites to have judicial clerkships after law school. Among 2003 law graduates, 9.4 percent of minorities had judicial clerkships, compared to 12.3 percent of whites. Clerkship rates are lowest among minority men (8.1 percent), Hispanics (6.5 percent) and Latinos (7.1 percent). - Overall, minorities are less. likely than whites to begin their careers in private practice, and more likely to start off in government and public interest jobs. Among 2003 law graduates, 53.3 percent of minorities entered private practice, compared to 60.5 percent of whites. - Historically, minority women in particular have been less likely than other groups to begin their careers in private practice, apparently due to the combined effects of gender and race. The gender difference among minorities has diminished over time, however, and in 2003, minority women entered private practice at a slightly higher rate than
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...

blk_reign

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Re: Miles To Go: Progress of Minorities in the Legal Profession
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2006, 09:50:10 AM »

minority men (53.9 compared to 53.0 percent). The gender difference among white graduates also has decreased slightly, although white women continue to be less likely than white men to enter private practice (58.8 compared to 62.1 percent). - Minority women are the most likely to begin their careers in public interest jobs. Among 2003 graduates, 5. 7 percent of minority women started off in public interest jobs, compared to 3.5 percent of white women, 33 percent of minority men, and 5 percent of white men. - Minority men are the most likely to enter business or industry. Over 15 percent of minority men entered business or industry in 2003, compared to 11.1 percent of minority women, 10.6 percent of white men, and 8.8 percent of white women. 4. Minorities remain grossly underrepresented in top-level private sector jobs, such as law partner and corporate general counsel. - Nationally, minority representation among partners remains less than 4.0 percent in all but the very largest law firms, and only 4.4 percent in the nation's largest 250 law firms. Since 1999, national minority representation among partners has increased only 0.7 percent. - Minority representation among corporate general counsel is only 4.3 percent in Fortune 1000 firms. 5. Progress has been especially slow for minority women in the profession. - Although women make up a growing percentage of minority lawyers (44 percent in 2000), minority women are almost completely excluded from top private sector jobs. Minority women make up less than 1.0 percent of capital (equity) partners in Chicago law firms and only 1.1 percent of general counsel in the Fortune 1000.

Law firm attrition rates for minority women are higher than for any other group. Fully 12.1 percent of minority women leave their firms within the first year of practice and over 75 percent leave within the first five years. 6. Minorities in general continue to face significant obstacles to "full and equal" participation in the legal profession. - Due in part to the influence of the U.S. News & World Report rankings, most law schools base admissions decisions significantly on students' LSAT scores, despite the fact that this criterion serves as a barrier to minority access. The LSAT is only a weak predictor of law school grades and is wholly unrelated to professional success as a lawyer, whether success is measured by income, career satisfaction, or public service contributions. - Though the Supreme Court's decision in Grutter v. Bollinger acknowledges that student body diversity is a compelling government interest, and allows law schools to consider race as a "plus" factor in admissions, the Court's companion decision in Gratz v. Bollinger struck down the "point system" commonly used to increase diversity at large state universities, thus significantly raising the cost ofaffirmative action at those schools. - Legal employers' heavy reliance on the so-called "box credentials," such as law school rank, class rank, law review membership, and clerkships, disadvantages minority students in initial employment decisions, as well as in the distribution of opportunities for on-the-job training. Such training is essential for advancement in the profession. - When making initial employment decisions, law firms tend to be quicker to question minorities' academic credentials than whites'. - Minorities in law firms continue to suffer from a lack of access to clients and business networks outside of the firm. Among partners, minorities continue to be clustered at the bottom of the firm's financial and status pecking order.

The Report concludes with recommendations for bar associations, law schools, legal employers and individual lawyers for promoting the "full and equal" participation of minorities in the profession. A copy of the report can be obtained from the Commission at: www.abanet.org/minorities or by contacting Professor Chambliss at: echambliss@nyls.edu In addition to supporting Miles to Go, PLP also collaborates with the Commission on programs and projects designed to focus attention on diversity issues in the profession.
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...

Hybrid Vigor

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Re: Miles To Go: Progress of Minorities in the Legal Profession
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2006, 10:00:14 AM »
I glanced over the article, but I see 3 separate issues - race, gender, and the combo of both. Attrition rates for WOMEN at private practice firms are high, so it should be no wonder that they are even higher for minority women. I'm glad the article touched a littl bit on this fact, the obstacles facing minority women in male dominated fields are twofold.

I think the fact of the matter is that most minorities are not willing to sell their souls to corporate interests, and this is evidenced by the fact that more of us do public interest/gov't work. We are more interested in having a work/life balance. I don't think this is a bad thing, however, as a cultural practice it effectively bars us from the upper echleons of the legal field (big dog gov't/PI positions and partnership at firms). I think that until more minorities are willing to shift their priorities OR the industry itself changes its demands on employees' time, we will continue to see the dismal rates of minority participation.
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Re: Miles To Go: Progress of Minorities in the Legal Profession
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2006, 10:05:11 AM »
Nothing surprising there. Although they seem to have left out the impact of rising tuition costs. And have failed to consider the disproportionate impact of future planned cuts to government financial aid. Based on just those two factors, I would expect to see minority enrollment continue to slide, not just for law school, but for all forms of higher education.

Hybrid Vigor

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Re: Miles To Go: Progress of Minorities in the Legal Profession
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2006, 10:37:25 AM »
To harp on my point a little more, about women of color. In virtually every law firm in America, MEN - regardless of color - compose the upper rungs of the heirarchy - the partners, associates, of counsel - and women compose the lowest rungs - the file clerks, paralegals, and secretaries. In the other thread, we were discussing how many Black partners there are at firms - how many of those Black partners are women? How many women partners are there (of any race) at these firms? It's a dire situation for all of us.
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blk_reign

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Re: Miles To Go: Progress of Minorities in the Legal Profession
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2006, 10:53:51 AM »
back to Watchell

Men/Women Partner 71:9 Counsel 6:1 Associates 79:18 Senior Attorneys 2:2 Staff Attorneys 2:8 Summer 14:10

and of course..they don't break down racial demographics when it comes to women
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...

Hybrid Vigor

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Re: Miles To Go: Progress of Minorities in the Legal Profession
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2006, 10:59:52 AM »
Of course they won't - because every single one of those women is probably white, save the Summer Associates and "Staff Attorneys" - what are those anyway, contractors? 
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blk_reign

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Re: Miles To Go: Progress of Minorities in the Legal Profession
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2006, 11:41:00 AM »
yeah pretty much..but to work on an as needed basis in multiple depts for $80k isn't a bad deal at all....

Of course they won't - because every single one of those women is probably white, save the Summer Associates and "Staff Attorneys" - what are those anyway, contractors? 
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...

Hybrid Vigor

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Re: Miles To Go: Progress of Minorities in the Legal Profession
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2006, 11:58:36 AM »
yeah pretty much..but to work on an as needed basis in multiple depts for $80k isn't a bad deal at all....

Of course they won't - because every single one of those women is probably white, save the Summer Associates and "Staff Attorneys" - what are those anyway, contractors? 

so they are like "floating" attorneys - not contractors. They get paid less. Do they get full firm benefits ?
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Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Miles To Go: Progress of Minorities in the Legal Profession
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2006, 07:35:21 PM »
no surprise over here
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