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Author Topic: New, Reasonable AA Proposal  (Read 10863 times)

Lindbergh

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #50 on: August 31, 2007, 04:54:29 PM »
And, in all honesty, I might even factor ethnicity into this at every level if it appeared that it did constitute an actual obstacle that the student had to overcome, and that therefore showed potential strength of character, etc.  However, I would not weigh that more heavily than academic achievement, or the factors that directly impact academic achievement (educational opportunity), and I would not assume that everyone from a certain ethnic group is similarly challenged/advantaged. 

This is probably fair as well.  I'm sure that for some people, their race/ethnicity has been a greater obstacle than for others.  The situation we have at the moment is that admissions offices assume that it has been an obstacle of a certain degree.  For some, that might be overstating the case and for others it might be understating.  Maybe what we should want is for admissions offices to try to evaluate at an individual level whether race/ethnicity had been an actual obstacle rather than simply assuming it.  :)

That would make sense.  Oddly enough, this might even involve requesting photographs of applicants. 

It's also unclear to me why we would automatically weigh that any more heavily than obstacles faced by non-urms.  In some cases, of course, ethnicity might be a larger obstacle than other obstacles, and should be weighted accordingly.  In other cases, ethnicity might well be a smaller obstacle than those faced by a non-urm. 

Lindbergh

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #51 on: August 31, 2007, 06:17:10 PM »
In some cases, of course, ethnicity might be a larger obstacle than other obstacles, and should be weighted accordingly.  In other cases, ethnicity might well be a smaller obstacle than those faced by a non-urm. 

Probably.  Administrative ease perhaps?  It's a lot easier to see whether or not someone has checked the URM box than to read thousands of statements on overcoming adversity of different kinds.  Admissions offices have assumed that in general, someone who is a member of a URM has overcome some kind of adversity.  It's not a bad assumption, though undoubtedly it applies less to rich applicants than to poor ones.  :)

Well, you could also argue that administrative ease justified the discriminatory practices of the past, when minorities couldn't even apply to law school.  After all, the vast majority were simply unprepared for that level of study, and it was probably a pain searching for qualified applicants at the time. 

However, I would hope we've reached the point where racial/ethnic justice is more important than administrative ease, and where we recognize that making assumptions based purely on race/ethnicity is generally bad policy, just as it was in the past.

In this vein, we should also probably keep in mind the harmful effects of unnecessary/unjustified preferences on minorities themselves when deciding what constitutes an excessive burden on adcoms.

dashrashi

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #52 on: August 31, 2007, 06:18:04 PM »
PN is a wiener.

For a second I thought you had called him a whiner.

That too. For SERIOUS.
This sig kills fascists.

http://lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=dashrashi

Saw dashrashi's LSN site. Since she seems to use profanity, one could say that HYP does not necessarily mean class or refinement.

Lindbergh

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #53 on: September 01, 2007, 02:18:12 AM »
After all, the vast majority were simply unprepared for that level of study, and it was probably a pain searching for qualified applicants at the time. 

How would this have been more difficult from finding qualified white applicants?  ???


Because of the vast differentials in educational opportunity at the time, most white applicanst were probably qualified, while most minority applicants probably would not have been. Hence, it would've been more difficult to find qualified minority applicants, and more efficient to simply ban minority applications.

PNym

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #54 on: September 02, 2007, 02:22:18 AM »
I can't imagine why anyone would question your good faith.

Go easy on the blacks and hispanics.  It's not necessarily their fault their all in jail.  :-\


Someone was expressing anger that minorities were supposedly "all in jail" and not in law school.  I simply made the observation that it's not always someone's fault if they're incarcerated.  Would you disagree?

Looks like sarcasm opens you up to being quoted out of context by leftist trolls.

I wasn't even being sarcastic.  I honestly don't think it is always someone's fault when they're incarcerated.  People from poor backgrounds don't always have the same opportunities as people from wealthy backgrounds.  The author of that thread seemed angry that certain people were in jail instead of school, which seemed unfair, at least to me.  Again, not everyone has the same opportunities.

Ooops, looks like I misunderstood the circumstances surrounding that statement  :-\

PNym

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #55 on: September 02, 2007, 02:41:45 AM »
In some cases, of course, ethnicity might be a larger obstacle than other obstacles, and should be weighted accordingly.  In other cases, ethnicity might well be a smaller obstacle than those faced by a non-urm. 

Probably.  Administrative ease perhaps?  It's a lot easier to see whether or not someone has checked the URM box than to read thousands of statements on overcoming adversity of different kinds.  Admissions offices have assumed that in general, someone who is a member of a URM has overcome some kind of adversity.  It's not a bad assumption, though undoubtedly it applies less to rich applicants than to poor ones.  :)

That's another reason why I oppose attempting to discern the impact of ethnicity on educational opportunities; to accurately assess that, adcomms would need significantly more information than they could possibly gather, especially since due to the number of applications they must look at, to maintain their sanity, the adcomms necesssarily must limit on the time they need to spend on each applicant, which requires placing page limits on applicant statements, which constrains the amount of information available to them for judging if, how, and to what extent the applicant overcame educational adversity due to their ethnicity.

The process cost of taking this approach is significantly higher than one where the adcomms merely look at the applicants' LSAT scores and GPA, and compare personal statements, LORs, and resumes. This higher cost, and my presumption that law schools don't want to allocate an inordinate amount of their budget to their admissions department, makes it highly unlikely that an attempt to follow this approach will yield honest, quality assessments of the applicants' overcoming of obstacles that they faced due to their ethnicity.