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Author Topic: Morality of AA  (Read 6529 times)

fincavigia

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Morality of AA
« on: March 05, 2006, 11:13:35 PM »
Is it right to give someone preference because of their race?

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.

One of my professors would always emphsize that ethics should always be consistent- otherwise they are just justifications. Why can't they have an application with no RACE box? If Harvard wants to admit URM's despite their lower scores, why would it be wrong for another school to admit whate males over minorities with lower scores because they want more white males?

HK

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Re: Morality of AA
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2006, 11:55:56 PM »
Is it right to give someone preference because of their race?

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.

One of my professors would always emphsize that ethics should always be consistent- otherwise they are just justifications. Why can't they have an application with no RACE box? If Harvard wants to admit URM's despite their lower scores, why would it be wrong for another school to admit whate males over minorities with lower scores because they want more white males?

This is a good point. Whether AA is a necessary evil or not I still regard it as unfortunate that race plays any part at all.

TopGunna

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Re: Morality of AA
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2006, 11:35:42 AM »
Is it right to give someone preference because of their race?

Race is not the only factor that makes up a URM.  Things such as handicaps and sex make up that category as well.

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.
[/quote]

It is not about preference being given to a person only because of their color, sex or handicap.  AA is about evening the playing field for UnRepresented Minorities.  The action is enforced to cultivate progress in academia's atmosphere, political system and eventually our culture.  There is no progress without different points of view being heard.  This is what makes America so great.


One of my professors would always emphsize that ethics should always be consistent- otherwise they are just justifications. Why can't they have an application with no RACE box?
[/quote]

There is always the choice not to record your race if it means that much to anyone.

If Harvard wants to admit URM's despite their lower scores, why would it be wrong for another school to admit whate males over minorities with lower scores because they want more white males?
[/quote]

All URM's do not have lower scores.  Many times their scores are higher than the majorities' that make up the percentiles that were accepted.  URM status helps when the background of an individual limits the access to certain opportunities that the majority take advantage of.

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PSUDSL08

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Re: Morality of AA
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2006, 11:50:11 AM »
There is always the choice not to record your race if it means that much to anyone.

Not necessarily. My father works with a black woman who was a Rutgers grad. She was accepted to Rutgers based upon her own merit, but the school called her and forced her to check off the "African American" box. She's strongly opposed to AA, yet was forced to check off the box for the sake of her admission.
I'm opposed to AA not because I don't think we need greater diversity in law school, but b/c I don't feel this is the right way to do it. Our LS has had about 8 dropouts from our class this far, and 5 of them are of URM status. I read an article about the problems with dropout rates in LS. In many schools, the vast majority of the bottom 10% of the class are URM. In addition, the lack of diversity in the legal field is a result of AA. People are going to schools where they're not qualified to attend, therefore they're either in the bottom half of their class, or drop out after a semester. This does not apply to all URM's, but this is a trend among many schools. Our school is having such a tough time keeping URM's enrolled that they were actually discussing implementing a different grading system for URM and non-URM students (definetly wouldn't fly constitutionally).
I think the solution isn't to admit people into schools with lower scores, but to give higher academic scholarships to URM's at schools where they are admitted based upon their qualifications.

john83

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Re: Morality of AA
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2006, 12:28:28 PM »
AA is tough. i think it can do a lot of good, but i think it brings a lot of bad with it. the question is, is the good worth the bad? we're seeing a number of minorities become better represented at top law schools/top firms/as judges/in politics/etc-- and i have a feeling that AA practices have a little to do with this--plus the fact that many of these people are self-motivated.

but, it spurs racism. i wonder how many black females at top law schools get looked at in the first few weeks of class by their white peers wondering, "did they get in b/c they were black?" and thus are treated differently. not to mention all the law school applicants who lash out hatefully on african americans because it appears they got into a specific school because of URM status.

is AA moral? i think it's amoral. it does good, it does bad, but in and of itself it's amoral. we, as a society, just have to decide if it's worth it.

TopGunna

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Re: Morality of AA
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2006, 01:01:20 PM »

Our LS has had about 8 dropouts from our class this far, and 5 of them are of URM status. I read an article about the problems with dropout rates in LS.  

People are going to schools where they're not qualified to attend, therefore they're either in the bottom half of their class, or drop out after a semester. This does not apply to all URM's, but this is a trend among many schools.

You can not take a dropout rate of one school into account when opposing AA.  But, even if all but one person who got in due to AA were to dropout and that one person goes on to be a lobbyist, is it not all worth it?

It is not like HYS or any other T14 school has a tough time recruiting.  A spot that opens up after the first year will promptly be filled by a majority transfer student.

AA is not about cheating majority people, it's about trying to create a better society with its long term mission.  A small number make up people that actually get in because of AA in the first place.  I would be happy to give up a spot into a T14 for someone less fortunate in life than I was.  
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shaz

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Re: Morality of AA
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2006, 02:03:59 PM »
re: urms leaving school

you do realize that finances do play a part in this, right?  what happens if you lose your scholarship because you have a 3.2 and you needed a 3.25 to keep the $$$$?  is that your fault? 

re: bottom 10%

this depends on the school.  bottom 10% at harvard likely has the numbers to be there without aa.  bottom 10% at a 4th tier, if the rumour about cooley failing out half the class is true, is not so terrible. 

data can interpreted in many ways. 

the problem with aa action is not found in the statistics but in the minds of the majority.  they all too quick to hitch their prejudicial wagon to it.  aa does not 'harm' the black community.  the idea that it does is just asinine.  the best schools in the country are supposed to provide the best education.  90% of the best education is better than 100% of the worst.  even a bottom 10% harvard grad has a better career outlook than a top 3rd/4th tier grad. 

damn, sometimes i just wish i could go around smacking sense into people. 

i love how people keep using the same ideas about how aa is "the wrong way to do it."  well what is the right way?  how do you even out economics.  how do you take personal preference in job hiring (i.e. prejudice) into account?  how does the poor student afford that expensive suit for his interviews?  if you honestly think blacks would be more competitive for jobs coming from low ranked schools with higher gpa's your crazy.  let's say for example that EVERY worthy black applicant was funneled into the 15-30 ranked schools.  what is to stop many big firms from adopting a "only top 14 grads" approach?   

in many ways the law IS about who you know and where did you go. 
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PSUDSL08

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Re: Morality of AA
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2006, 09:52:37 AM »
re: urms leaving school

you do realize that finances do play a part in this, right?  what happens if you lose your scholarship because you have a 3.2 and you needed a 3.25 to keep the $$$$?  is that your fault? 

re: bottom 10%

this depends on the school.  bottom 10% at harvard likely has the numbers to be there without aa.  bottom 10% at a 4th tier, if the rumour about cooley failing out half the class is true, is not so terrible. 

data can interpreted in many ways. 

the problem with aa action is not found in the statistics but in the minds of the majority.  they all too quick to hitch their prejudicial wagon to it.  aa does not 'harm' the black community.  the idea that it does is just asinine.  the best schools in the country are supposed to provide the best education.  90% of the best education is better than 100% of the worst.  even a bottom 10% harvard grad has a better career outlook than a top 3rd/4th tier grad. 

damn, sometimes i just wish i could go around smacking sense into people. 

i love how people keep using the same ideas about how aa is "the wrong way to do it."  well what is the right way?  how do you even out economics.  how do you take personal preference in job hiring (i.e. prejudice) into account?  how does the poor student afford that expensive suit for his interviews?  if you honestly think blacks would be more competitive for jobs coming from low ranked schools with higher gpa's your crazy.  let's say for example that EVERY worthy black applicant was funneled into the 15-30 ranked schools.  what is to stop many big firms from adopting a "only top 14 grads" approach?   

in many ways the law IS about who you know and where did you go. 

Yes, a bottom 10% person at Harvard has a better outlook for the future than anyone at the top 10% at a T3 or T4. I'm not really concerned about the people who are graduating, whether in the top or bottom 10% of their classes. Nor do my comments apply to anyone who is qualified on their numbers without their URM status. I'm concerned about the people who aren't graduating, period.
If you're trying to promote diversity, is it better to have a small percentage of people eek by in the bottom 10% of their respective classes, or a higher percentage of people graduate period from a less acclaimed school? Is it better to have 10 URM grads from Harvard and 50 dropouts of schools between 15-30, or reverse those numbers?
Your focus is on top students. Top students are getting into top schools based upon their own merit. I'm talking about the people in the middle...those getting into T1 and T2 schools with a 146 LSAT...who can't hack it, who would be better served getting their degree from a T3 or T4 than flunking out of a T1/T2

shaz

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Re: Morality of AA
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2006, 11:30:58 AM »
re: 146s at tier1 and tier2.  prove to me that these are the urms that are failing out of law school.  i bet these individuals likely have very high gpas and are capable students.  where do you get that data.  in general urms have stats at the 25s (at least one of the numbers is usually at the 25 for those given any boost).  you are first going to have to show me data on how many 146 scores getting into tier1 and tier2.   i bet it's not that many in the tier1.  even if its 50 total in the top 50 schools and 100 in the tier 2 that would not have a really strong impact on the data.  that's only 1/2 students per school.  and some of these students will presumeably do just fine. 

i love how you said you were talking about the people in the middle.  a 146 does not place anyone in the middle.  you just implied that most urms in law school have sub 150 lsats and good percentage have sub 146s.  i don't care what the averages say.  only a small percentage of urms scoring that low are going to get in anywhere.  i bet these students are the highly motivated, poor standardized test taker, types who will do quite well in law school or atleast study hard enough to pass their classes. 

"If you're trying to promote diversity, is it better to have a small percentage of people eek by in the bottom 10% of their respective classes, or a higher percentage of people graduate period from a less acclaimed school? Is it better to have 10 URM grads from Harvard and 50 dropouts of schools between 15-30, or reverse those numbers?"

reverse those numbers? do you mean 50 grads from harvard and 10 dropouts from schools between 15-30?  i really don't think this was clear, but i get what you are trying to say.  i have to say (if i have to choose) that it IS better to have more prestigious urm grads than shear volume of grads, for the short term.  the thing is that this whole profession has a strong prestige component.  it does matter where you went to school.  it does matter who you know.  the thing that many people don't do is look at the extremes.  say you have 1000 tier4 urm grads entering the market but there is no urm representation in the highering firms and no desire to do so.  those 1000 tier4 grads are going to be looking for work somewhere else.  that's what the aba is trying to prevent.  corporations, which tend to be representative of the face of america want diversity in the firms representing them.  the thing is that no firm is going to be forced to higher a tier4 lawyer who they can argue is incompetent.  it is very hard to say a top 20 grad is incompetent.   if this means that some tier 2 numbers student gets bumped into the tier 1, so be it. 

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PSUDSL08

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Re: Morality of AA
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2006, 04:30:47 PM »
re: 146s at tier1 and tier2.  prove to me that these are the urms that are failing out of law school.  i bet these individuals likely have very high gpas and are capable students.  where do you get that data.  in general urms have stats at the 25s (at least one of the numbers is usually at the 25 for those given any boost).  you are first going to have to show me data on how many 146 scores getting into tier1 and tier2.   i bet it's not that many in the tier1.  even if its 50 total in the top 50 schools and 100 in the tier 2 that would not have a really strong impact on the data.  that's only 1/2 students per school.  and some of these students will presumeably do just fine. 

i love how you said you were talking about the people in the middle.  a 146 does not place anyone in the middle.  you just implied that most urms in law school have sub 150 lsats and good percentage have sub 146s.  i don't care what the averages say.  only a small percentage of urms scoring that low are going to get in anywhere.  i bet these students are the highly motivated, poor standardized test taker, types who will do quite well in law school or atleast study hard enough to pass their classes. 

"If you're trying to promote diversity, is it better to have a small percentage of people eek by in the bottom 10% of their respective classes, or a higher percentage of people graduate period from a less acclaimed school? Is it better to have 10 URM grads from Harvard and 50 dropouts of schools between 15-30, or reverse those numbers?"

reverse those numbers? do you mean 50 grads from harvard and 10 dropouts from schools between 15-30?  i really don't think this was clear, but i get what you are trying to say.  i have to say (if i have to choose) that it IS better to have more prestigious urm grads than shear volume of grads, for the short term.  the thing is that this whole profession has a strong prestige component.  it does matter where you went to school.  it does matter who you know.  the thing that many people don't do is look at the extremes.  say you have 1000 tier4 urm grads entering the market but there is no urm representation in the highering firms and no desire to do so.  those 1000 tier4 grads are going to be looking for work somewhere else.  that's what the aba is trying to prevent.  corporations, which tend to be representative of the face of america want diversity in the firms representing them.  the thing is that no firm is going to be forced to higher a tier4 lawyer who they can argue is incompetent.  it is very hard to say a top 20 grad is incompetent.   if this means that some tier 2 numbers student gets bumped into the tier 1, so be it. 



Shaz,

I wish I had the article link, it was posted a while ago (pdf file)...so I don't have the "concrete proof" you're looking for...nor do I have the time to go searching for it. I could ask you the same thing: to prove to me that schools aren't having trouble keeping minority students enrolled.
You're reading into what I'm saying entirely too much. I am in no way implying that minorities all have sub 146 LSAT's, or that all minority students aren't qualified or are dropouts. A girl who got into Minnesota had a 146 on her LSAT last year. I was using her as an extreme example. I wouldn't doubt that she's highly motivated. I happen to be one of those highly-motivated people who bombed the LSAT. I agree with what you say below: if it means that T2 students gets bumped into a T1, then so be it. However, it's often not the case. More accurately, it's T3 students getting bumped up to a T1 school, and T4 students getting bumped up to a T2 school.
What should be the ultimate goal of AA: to have more diversity at prestigous firms, or to have more diversity within the legal field in general? If you're talking about increasing diversity within top firms, then it's better to have quality over quantity. You can't argue that 10 students of a top 20 school are incompetent. Can you argue that 100 students at a lower T1/T2 are incompetent? Or can you argue that the 1000 T4 students are incompetent if they demonstrate the skills and intangibles necessary to make great attorneys?
I think youre view of T4 schools is skewed. I'm at a T4 and know plenty of 2nd year and 3rd year students of all races lining up work at small to mid sized firms. I've met plenty of T4 grads with private practices who happen to do quite well. A degree from a top school definetly gets your foot in the door, and gives you greater opportunities. However, over time your clients aren't going to care whether a Harvard or Cooley degree hangs in your office...they're going to care whether you're the best person to represent their interests.