What's the practical effect of classifying SES as a diversity criterion and not an an AA criterion in terms of the admissions profile of a particular law school?
Clarity and transparency is what is missing from the current system, so your proposal to distinguish among reasons and classes would constitute an improvement. Not sure about past grievances as a justification for AA, though - too complicated to calculate, administer and justify. Current grievance has a better chance of holding up under scrutiny, combined with the consequentialist argument that recognizes that law is a special profession, and finally the diversity argument that recognizes the educational benefits of a balanced classroom.In order to make this work work, though, law schools will need to adjust their numeric criteria from a "higher is better" stance to a "minimum standards" stance. The latter is used by other professional schools - notably MBA and MD schools. That way, it avoids the widespread impression that index numbers define merit (which is false), and gives schools wider latitude to admit a diverse student body.The current approach is clearly unsatisfactory, at least in terms of PR - it stigmatizes all minority applicants, leaves majority candidates feeling stirred and shaken, and minimizes the potential for creating a truly diverse incoming class.
Red, wouldn't the minimum standard likely be the same for each school? Since the material learned is the same at all schools, the competency level to understand the material is probably constant. However, at Harvard, for example, the class is made up of presumably smarter students than a much lower ranked school. It would seem that judging applicants on the numerical criteria compared with other applicants guarantees at least a class of comparable intellect; but since there are currently no cutoffs it allows for those subjective calls where a person's complete qualifications may indicate that they can compete irrespective of a weakness in one numerical qualification (ie, LSAT or GPA).If we allow schools to set different minimum standards wouldn't we risk having Harvard set a minimum standard that likely eliminates the vast majority of the poor and minorities? Almost like literacy tests for voting... I'm not sure how it works in B-school though and I'm unclear about how it works in general. Perhaps you can clarify for me.I do agree with your general philosophy though and the inadequacy of the current system.
Isn't that the question here. We would all probably agree that it was an immoral practice for schools to give preference to someone because they were White and Protestant when they did.
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