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Author Topic: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?  (Read 13417 times)

Netopalis

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #60 on: July 04, 2007, 01:17:14 PM »
That begs the question, though, is affirmative action required for diversity?  Perhaps not.  LSAC takes measures to ensure that their tests are racially neutral, and the student has the option to find a college that will fit their skills.  Therefore, everyone has an equal opportunity to receive these numbers.  Why do we need to give preference just based on race, when it will arguably solve itself through the standard admissions process?
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philibusters

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #61 on: July 04, 2007, 02:20:45 PM »
That begs the question, though, is affirmative action required for diversity?  Perhaps not.  LSAC takes measures to ensure that their tests are racially neutral, and the student has the option to find a college that will fit their skills.  Therefore, everyone has an equal opportunity to receive these numbers.  Why do we need to give preference just based on race, when it will arguably solve itself through the standard admissions process?

LSAT doesn't really claim to test all problem solving skills applicable to the real world, they only attempt to test ability to work with legal concepts by using logic.  Being a lawyer means doing much than dealing with cases, it means working with clients and their peculiarities, it means interacting with other lawyers, being persuasive to choices, and a lot of other things.  When I said problem solving skills, I was thinking more ability to deal with situations, where you have a difficult client, or when you really think you client has been screwed, but you don't like their chances in court, and the other lawyer is being a prick and not giving you anything-you need to be creative to find a solution in that case cause if you go to court you know the law is against you and that the other side won't help you. 

Secondly, you did the same thing again, you just focused on one aspect of diversity, different viewpoints.  But like I pointed out, diversity promotes tolerance a value unto itself and there are numerous social and political aspect to diversity. 
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Netopalis

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #62 on: July 04, 2007, 03:17:06 PM »
Let me rephrase the first question: Is affirmitive action necessary for racial integration?  I'd argue that it's not.  Further, I never said that the LSAT tests all problem-solving skills - I merely said that the LSAT is carefully measured to ensure that no particular minority does statistically worse than another race.  Therefore, my argument is that if the GPA and LSAT are the same, due to the fact that the LSAT is so carefully monitored and the student has the ability to choose a school which fits his or her background, then the admissions process will integrate itself, without a specified statement giving preference to members of a particular race.
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philibusters

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #63 on: July 04, 2007, 06:09:34 PM »
Let me rephrase the first question: Is affirmitive action necessary for racial integration?  I'd argue that it's not.  Further, I never said that the LSAT tests all problem-solving skills - I merely said that the LSAT is carefully measured to ensure that no particular minority does statistically worse than another race.  Therefore, my argument is that if the GPA and LSAT are the same, due to the fact that the LSAT is so carefully monitored and the student has the ability to choose a school which fits his or her background, then the admissions process will integrate itself, without a specified statement giving preference to members of a particular race.

If all you are trying to say is that the LSAT is not racially biased, I can probably agree with that. But so what.  The whole point of AA is to further policy goals like increasing diversity, et cetera, not make admissions even more based on academic credentials and merit.  I had just wrote a long post talking about the impact of diversity, you confused me by changing the conversation suddenly to academic merit. I support AA, not because I think its promotes an admissions system based on academic merit more, but because I believe diversity is a good thing I believe there are numerous political and social goals that AA could serve to promote...In essence I probably agree with most of your statement to an extent, yet I don't follow your conclusion.

As for your question is AA necessary for racial integration--of course its not, we live in a racially integrated world, you put enough different people into a limited space and they will racially integrate to the extent that they have to survive, which depending on the setting can be a lot or a little.  But racial integration is a very poor proxy for diversity, which is what I think the question you meant to ask.  As for the question of whether AA is necessary for racial diversity to permeate our institutions, the answer depends.  It is not absolutely  necessary, there are plenty of alternatives, but I think it does promote diversity, it serves a policy goal.  Eating a balance diet is not necessary for being a good athlete, but it can help you become a better athlete, likewise I think you are confusing the argument for AA, most people would not argue its necessary for diversity in law schools, merely that it promotes the diversity.
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School

Netopalis

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #64 on: July 04, 2007, 06:47:10 PM »
I guess that what I am trying to say is this...if we have integration, we have diversity.  We are going to have integration with or without Affirmative Action.  Logically, we can have diversity without Affirmative Action.  I fail to see the difference between integration and diversity - and by integration, I mean a racially mixed group of students, not assimilation. 
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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #65 on: July 04, 2007, 07:29:41 PM »
I guess that what I am trying to say is this...if we have integration, we have diversity.  We are going to have integration with or without Affirmative Action.  Logically, we can have diversity without Affirmative Action.  I fail to see the difference between integration and diversity - and by integration, I mean a racially mixed group of students, not assimilation. 

I haven't read the first few pages of this thread, but can you explain the bolded?  That doesn't seem right to me, but I'm probably not understanding it correctly.

Netopalis

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #66 on: July 04, 2007, 08:04:40 PM »
My argument was simply that because the LSAT is racially neutral, and the student has the ability to choose a school that fits them, therefore everyone has an equal shot at admission to law school without affirmative action.  Therefore, the admissions process will work itself out to ensure that there is a diverse student body without requiring quotas, index boosts, etc.
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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #67 on: July 04, 2007, 08:19:30 PM »
My argument was simply that because the LSAT is racially neutral, and the student has the ability to choose a school that fits them, therefore everyone has an equal shot at admission to law school without affirmative action.  Therefore, the admissions process will work itself out to ensure that there is a diverse student body without requiring quotas, index boosts, etc.

But certain races do better than others on the LSAT, even if the test is racially neutral.  If you were to get rid of AA at, for example, Harvard, there would probably be very few people now considered URMs at Harvard - meaning the student body would not be "diverse" - at least not in the way that the term "diverse" is usually used in regards to student bodies. 

So we get rid of AA --> schools are not "diverse" anymore.  I think you agree with that.  But you're saying that over time, schools will become diverse?  How will this happen?  (Sorry if this is tedious, but I'm not sure exactly what you're saying.)


Netopalis

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #68 on: July 04, 2007, 08:28:27 PM »
I am saying, quite simply, that if the LSAT is, as it claims to be, racially neutral, then the numbers will be the same for people of all races.  If one race scores consistently lower than another, then the people at LSAC should look into that.  However, I am not aware that this is the truth, and would like to see some proof. But, furthermore, it logically follows that if people of all race can get the same score, and people of all race can receive comparable GPAs, then there is no reason to give preferential treatment to minorities, as long as a proportionate level of minorities are admitted.  This, I think, is better than slavishly adding 5 to the LSAT score of a member of a minority, or better than upping their index by X points.
Mercer University School of Law '12

philibusters

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #69 on: July 04, 2007, 08:43:23 PM »
I guess that what I am trying to say is this...if we have integration, we have diversity.  We are going to have integration with or without Affirmative Action.  Logically, we can have diversity without Affirmative Action.  I fail to see the difference between integration and diversity - and by integration, I mean a racially mixed group of students, not assimilation. 

Actually, looking bad, I misunderstood your argument.  You argument if I am now understanding it correctly, is if the law school market was left without interference, things would naturally work out, maybe not right away, but sooner or a later because as long as there is not bias (for example if the LSAT was bias against minorities that would influence things), then the law school market will eventually correct itself and in the future the number of urm's would be proportional to other races as it was in the general population.  Thus you don't need AA to get urm lawyers, eventually as long as there is no bias in the system, they will come in numbers.

Thats a logical argument, I think it makes sense.  However, I don't think it fits reality.  URM have been and probably will continue to be unrepresented for a variety of reasons, some of it may be that their education is underfunded at early levels, some of it may just be that qualified urm's choose other professions, whereas a white person situated in the same place may choose law, that could be because of stigmas associated with the legal profession in urm communities because of their groups past experience with thelegal system.  Some of it may actually be self-correctable by market conditions given enough time, for example, if urm's can prosper in the legal field, the stigma currently associated with the legal field may disappear and a higher % of qualified potential applicants may apply to law school, others problems are probably more systematic, I am not sure how much of the discrepancy would self correct on its own, but I think AA is probably in part a paternalistic policy aimed at self corrected the market.  The problem with AA is it may only correct the part of the discrepancy that would self-correct anyway, for example it might make a higher % of qualified applicants apply to law school but not address the systematic problems that lead to there be a limited number of qualified applicants in the first.   Which brings up another point that people that don't like AA make.  AA could be seen as an incentive to induce a higher % of the qualified urm applicant pool to apply to law schools by offering spots at slightly better schools (hence slightly better job prospects after law school), however that would not be solving any long term problems with getting better education systems in minority communities, its merely masking the problem.  By this logic as soon as you took away th incentive the problem would return (lack of certain minorities in the legal profession).  The counter I think is that you are building a base from which to start on and that base will naturally grow once firmly established.  Both arguments are plausible.
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School