Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?  (Read 21688 times)

planet rugby

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #70 on: July 21, 2008, 08:32:56 AM »
THE JOURNAL OF BLACKS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Weekly Bulletin
July 10, 2008
Law School at North Carolina Central University to Host the Chief Justice Roberts

Students at the historically black law school at North Carolina Central University in Durham will have to be well prepared for next spring’s moot court competition. The judge presiding over the final competition will be John Roberts, chief justice of the United States.

Raymond Pierce, dean of the law school, met the chief justice at a judicial conference and Roberts offered to officiate at the moot court proceedings.

It will be the first time a current member of the U.S. Supreme Court has made an appearance on the campus of the law school. There are about 600 students at the law school, about one half of them are African Americans.

http://www.jbhe.com/latest/index.html

Chief Justice Roberts was nominated July 19, 2005.

THE JOURNAL OF BLACKS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Weekly Bulletin
George W. Bush, the NAACP, and the Persistent Damage to Black Higher Education

"Both of President Bush’s nominees to the Supreme Court — John Roberts and Samuel Alito —appear to be strong opponents of affirmative action. In late 1981 Roberts wrote a critique of a Civil Right Commission report in which he said the “obvious reason” for the failure of affirmative action programs was because they “required the recruiting of inadequately prepared candidates.”

The record on Roberts appears to be even worse due to information that came to light in his confirmation hearings. Before the hearings it was discovered that a file headed “Affirmative Action” was missing from the White House files stored at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Roberts had worked as a White House aide during the Reagan administration.

A report from the National Archives inspector general found that White House aides from the Bush administration visited the Reagan Library to do a background check on Roberts. The report found that the aides were permitted to bring personal items into the library and they were left alone at times with the document collection. The report says that the White House aides were the last known people to see the file entitled “Affirmative Action.”...."
http://www.jbhe.com/features/51_specialreport.html

I was wondering if the Roberts gesture to North Carolina Central University students will make him more popular among African Americans? Does this sort of thing matter?

greenplaid

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 233
    • View Profile
Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #71 on: August 13, 2008, 12:33:00 AM »


I was wondering if the Roberts gesture to North Carolina Central University students will make him more popular among African Americans? Does this sort of thing matter?

It's doubtful. (unless he begins to vote like Ruth Bader Ginsburg) ;)

treefity350

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 290
    • View Profile
Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #72 on: August 13, 2008, 11:44:59 AM »
I'm getting into this thread late, but I have to point out that there is evidence against this claim:

Quote
the difference between analytical thinkers and non-analytical thinkers becomes one of upbringing and environment.

In fact, in numerous studies of identical twins raised in different homes (sometimes at opposite ends of the economic and cultural spectrums) the twins nearly always test within a couple points of each other in terms of IQ. This would suggest that IQ is almost totally genetically determined.
Remember when I was at the picnic - the company picnic - and I hit the ball over the fence? You guys didn't think I'd catch it too but I did. I'm fast as s**t - 17 stolen bases in '72, 18 in '91.

greenplaid

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 233
    • View Profile
Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #73 on: August 14, 2008, 11:38:03 AM »
I'm getting into this thread late, but I have to point out that there is evidence against this claim:

Quote
the difference between analytical thinkers and non-analytical thinkers becomes one of upbringing and environment.

In fact, in numerous studies of identical twins raised in different homes (sometimes at opposite ends of the economic and cultural spectrums) the twins nearly always test within a couple points of each other in terms of IQ. This would suggest that IQ is almost totally genetically determined.

The author of the above quote may want to comment, but certain types of thinking patterns are learned. (to greater and lesser degrees) People go to law school to learn how to "think like a lawyer." On average these people are considered very bright, but they still must learn not only legal concepts but how to analyze and apply them and how to make legal arguments.

As to the issue of twins, studies of black children reared by white families suggest that some of the studies of twins are flawed or incomplete. If the average IQ of black children reared by whites is significantly higher than the average IQ of similar black children reared by blacks, then IQ cannot be prescribed primarily by genetics.

You may want to check out a book called Cognitive Evolution mentioned in the beginning of this thread. It proposes that the act of thinking itself has biological consequences. Heady stuff.


treefity350

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 290
    • View Profile
Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #74 on: August 14, 2008, 12:39:10 PM »
Do you have a link to this study on black children raised by white families?

I can't link you to the studies because I heard the results first hand from the researcher, who was a professor of mine, but I can tell you that the author of the studies I'm referring to was Al Maisto.
Remember when I was at the picnic - the company picnic - and I hit the ball over the fence? You guys didn't think I'd catch it too but I did. I'm fast as s**t - 17 stolen bases in '72, 18 in '91.

greenplaid

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 233
    • View Profile
Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #75 on: August 14, 2008, 03:38:15 PM »
Do you have a link to this study on black children raised by white families?

I can't link you to the studies because I heard the results first hand from the researcher, who was a professor of mine, but I can tell you that the author of the studies I'm referring to was Al Maisto.

Here is a link to
Psychology, Public Policy, and Law
2005, Vol. 11, No. 2, 235–294
THIRTY YEARS OF RESEARCH ON RACE
DIFFERENCES IN COGNITIVE ABILITY
http://psychology.uwo.ca/faculty/rushtonpdfs/PPPL1.pdf

There is a section included on transracial adoptions which identifies by name some of the key studies and findings. You'll also find arguments that the studies require follow-up studies and cannot be taken at face value.

IMO, if you want a cutting edge perspective, take a look at the cognitive evolution book. It analyzes new brain studies to interpret what the iq data mean.


planet rugby

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #76 on: August 27, 2008, 10:40:25 PM »
THE JOURNAL OF BLACKS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Weekly Bulletin
July 10, 2008
Law School at North Carolina Central University to Host the Chief Justice Roberts

Students at the historically black law school at North Carolina Central University in Durham will have to be well prepared for next spring’s moot court competition. The judge presiding over the final competition will be John Roberts, chief justice of the United States.

Raymond Pierce, dean of the law school, met the chief justice at a judicial conference and Roberts offered to officiate at the moot court proceedings.

It will be the first time a current member of the U.S. Supreme Court has made an appearance on the campus of the law school. There are about 600 students at the law school, about one half of them are African Americans.

http://www.jbhe.com/latest/index.html





I was wondering if the Roberts gesture to North Carolina Central University students will make him more popular among African Americans? Does this sort of thing matter?

It's doubtful. (unless he begins to vote like Ruth Bader Ginsburg) ;)
Any other thoughts?

greenplaid

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 233
    • View Profile
Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #77 on: September 16, 2008, 09:34:56 PM »
More on this Generous Gesture

http://media.www.thehilltoponline.com/media/storage/paper590/news/2008/07/21/Campus/Howard.Grad.Creates.Lsat.Prep.Scholarship-3392882.shtml

Howard Grad Creates LSAT Prep Scholarship
Jessica Lewis
7/21/08
Campus
 Students planning to take the LSAT may be able to prepare for the exam for free with the help of Kristina Maury.

Maury, a 2007 Howard graduate and Harvard Law student, introduced a scholarship for students interested in pursuing a career in law - The Terrance Mac Maury Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will cover the full cost of a Kaplan Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) classroom course, which averages about $1,299. Test takers will then be responsible for the $127 exam itself.

"The scholarship is named after my dad," Maury said. "He was murdered after getting involved with drugs and my scholarship represents the chance he never had."

After looking at the scoring pattern for blacks when compared to other races, who tend to be "overrepresented" in law school, Maury decided to hold a fundraiser to start her own scholarship fund to help adjust the trend.

"For my birthday, I held a mini fundraiser and asked my family and friends to make donations versus giving me gifts," she said. So far, Maury has raised enough funds to distribute the scholarship to one person in November 2008.

Junior legal communications major, Angela Porter expressed gratitude for the scholarship, as she thinks there is always a need for LSAT Prep courses, making this scholarship extremely beneficial to students.

"African-Americans tend to lag behind the majority when it comes to standardized testing," Porter said.

The average LSAT score for whites was 152.47 in 2004, and 142.43 for blacks, according to "The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education."

Maury recognizes this imbalanced trend. "I think the problem lies more in the tests versus whether or not we, as African Americans, are being prepared for it, but I think that I could make a bit of a difference," she said.

Along with the family and friends that contributed to the fund, Maury will judge applicants based on the criteria outlined on the Web site, www.makingtheway.org.

The scholarship is available to one black junior or senior currently enrolled at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States. The applicants must have a 3.5 GPA with a demonstrated financial need.

In terms of "demonstrated financial need," Maury requests applicants to define their need rather than provide documented proof.

Coming from a single parent, middle-class family, Maury says that she understands that financial need goes beyond numbers and income.

Porter is already planning to apply for the scholarship having met the criteria.
To increase the impact of the scholarship fund, Maury intends to provide the recipient with any help they may need in terms of preparation.

Maury plans to continue this scholarship in the coming years and increase the award amount by partnering with law firms and associations.

greenplaid

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 233
    • View Profile
Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #78 on: October 13, 2008, 01:38:22 PM »
THE HUFFINGTON POST
Yolanda Young
Law Firm Segregation Reminiscent of Jim Crow
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yolanda-young/law-firm-segregation-remi_b_91881.html
Posted March 17, 2008 | 11:35 AM (EST)

At Georgetown University Law Center, I studied Constitutional Law with Father Robert Drinan. Having served paradoxically as both a priest and a Congressman, he was an apt guide through the maze of cases--Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Topeka Board of Education, and the Bakke decision--that underscored the dichotomy between justice and law when race and power clash.

After graduating from law school, I sold my first book to Random House for a six-figure advance, lectured at Vassar and did commentary for NPR. Today I host the video blog, spadeproject.com and write frequently for newspapers. Still, a writer's income is inconsistent, so I've always kept my resume on file with legal placement agencies. Three years ago, a recruiter suggested a staff attorney position at Covington & Burling LLP as a "great opportunity." And it was...to experience the race/power dynamic firsthand.

Staff attorneys are non-partner track lawyers who handle the menial legal tasks--generating binders and attaching "relevant" or "not relevant" codes to thousands of emails, spreadsheets, and any other documents associated with a particular case--that associates shun. While paralegals have their own offices, as many as ten staff attorneys share windowless file rooms. Segregated from other lawyers in the firm, we go uninvited to attorney-only firm functions and are not provided jury duty or maternity leave. The base pay and bonus structure is half that of a 25 year old first year associate's.

Blacks at Covington comprise less than 5% of the Washington office's partners and associates, but make up 30% of its staff attorneys. A peek at the firm's website doesn't reveal this since, unlike all other lawyers there, staff attorneys aren't pictured. Were they, a peculiar pattern would emerge.

In a Legal Times essay, "The Unqualified Myth," Veta T. Richardson, Executive Director of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association wrote, "Law firms claim to have consistent hiring criteria, but their ranks are actually filled with exceptions to the rule. These exceptions are more likely to be white lawyers." Indeed, Covington's black staff attorneys (like its black partners and associates) hail from top law schools like Harvard, Duke and Georgetown while several white associates and partners attended schools like Catholic, Kentucky and Villanova (all ranked well below 50). Taken as a whole, the black staff attorneys' average law school rank is higher than that of white staff attorneys at the firm.

Blacks bought into the notion, stressed by legal literature, ranking systems and law firm recruiting departments, that investing in a top legal education is paramount for those wishing to work at top law firms. It's disheartening to then discover that the black student who borrows $120,000 to attend Georgetown will only earn half that of the white associate who's paid $60,000 to attend the University of Maryland.

Covington began stockpiling its staff attorney ghetto with blacks and other minorities in 2005, shortly after the General Council of some of the country's largest companies joined Roderick A. Palmore, Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of Sara Lee in taking a tougher stance on law firm diversity. Signed by hundreds of General Counsel, this new "Call to Action" states they will retain firms that demonstrate a level of diversity reflective of their employees and customers and end their relationship with firms "whose performance consistently evidences a lack of meaningful interest in being diverse."

Covington has certainly diversified its firm; however, its attorneys are far from equals. The vast majority of Covington's black attorneys do no substantive work, have no control over their case assignments and no opportunity for advancement. This seems to be just the sort of structure the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission warned against in its 2003 "Diversity In Law Firms" report which stated, "In large, national law firms, the most pressing issues have probably shifted from hiring and initial access to problems concerning the terms and conditions of employment, especially promotion to partnership."

Palmore has made clear that in drafting the "Call", his hope was that rather than utilize minority attorneys solely to satisfy a billables requirement, firms would use diversity to advance a firm's culture so that a variety of perspectives influence how a firm functions. It is clear that when true diversity is absent, a dysfunctional work place arises, one in which even purveyors of racial jokes are tolerated.

At a staff meeting to address concerns regarding a colleague's reading aloud a Wikipedia list of racial slurs, the staff attorney manager downplayed the incident then recalled how as a child when his pet monkey got out of its cage, his mother never cared about the why or how. She simply wanted it not to happen. The analogy was ill-advised but the inference clear--rather than rooting out racism in the workplace, he only cared that the offender cease the behavior and the offended desist complaining about it.

One might wonder, "Why do blacks stand for such monkey business?" Because they know that to object, one risks ruining one's career. In the law review article, "Why Are There So Few Black Lawyers in Corporate Law Firms? An Institutional Analysis," authors David Wilkins and Mitu Gulati assert that black lawyers lack mentors who can protect them.

Recently, I contacted the black graduates from my law school class to find out how others were fairing in the legal profession. Many are working in government, a few have been very successful at careers outside the law and some are in-house attorneys. Nearly all who'd had experience in a large firm environment expressed chagrin, sighting instance after instance of suspect treatment. Of the few still at firms, I could only find one out of a class of more than 50 blacks who had made partner at a large law firm. How'd he accomplish this? "Sure I worked hard, made myself indispensable, but I'm not going to say I'm the only person who's ever done that. You have to have a Partner willing to be an advocate for you. I had several actually. There was a black partner who was helpful, but my most vocal advocate was a Jewish guy who made sure I stayed on track."

Absent a mentor, it's easy to be derailed. On August 14th, at 10am, I was told that I was being laid off. I received no severance and my computer was switched off at noon. Since then I have been resisting the impulse to question whether Covington's staff attorney policy is unfair to blacks and other minorities. It's a question no black professional wants to confront. We know the eye-rolling and impatient sighs the issue provokes. To protest, one faces reproach and career suicide. Firms know this and bank on everyone's silence.

Conservative columnists like Stuart Taylor Jr. have suggested that minorities aren't bringing discrimination lawsuits against law firms because disparate treatment doesn't exist, but try this logic.

Black attorneys know law firms have the resources to crush an adversary. It is possible that Covington or, more specifically, the partner charged with managing our group were not bias. Perhaps he was simply inept, better equipped for his other firm duties -- planning Friday Happy Hours, organizing the firm's NCAA pool and choosing the band for the office Holiday party. Even he remarked that it took him 17 years to make partner. Unfortunately, blacks don't get to stick around that long. I wish Father Drinan was still alive to help me make sense of this.
                             
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
LAW BLOG
http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/03/18/ex-staff-attorney-takes-aim-at-biglaw-minority-hiring/
Ex-Staff Attorney Takes Aim at BigLaw Minority Hiring
Posted by Dan Slater

Covington began stockpiling its staff attorney ghetto with blacks and other minorities in 2005, shortly after the General Council [sic] of some of the country’s largest companies [took] a tougher stance on law firm diversity. . . . Covington has certainly diversified its firm; however, its attorneys are far from equals. The vast majority of Covington’s black attorneys do no substantive work, have no control over their case assignments and no opportunity for advancement. — Yolanda Young, The Huffington Post
 
In recent years, major companies like Wal-Mart and Sara Lee have directed that their outside law firms increase the number of women and minorities among associate and partner ranks. The effort began when Roderick A. Palmore, Sara Lee’s general counsel, wrote a letter encouraging other GC’s to end or limit “relationships with firms whose performance consistently evidences a lack of meaningful interest in being diverse.”

Since then reports have varied as to how successful firm diversification efforts have been. But, according to Yolanda Young, who worked briefly as a staff attorney at Covington & Burling’s D.C. office, they’ve not been successful. In yesterday’s HuffPo, Young writes that Covington hired blacks into its staff attorney program after the call for greater diversity.

“Covington’s black staff attorneys (like its black partners and associates) hail from top law schools like Harvard, Duke and Georgetown, while several white associates and partners attended schools like Catholic, Kentucky and Villanova (all ranked well below 50),” claims Young. “Taken as a whole, the black staff attorneys’ average law school rank is higher than that of white staff attorneys at the firm.” Young writes that blacks at Covington ....

greenplaid

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 233
    • View Profile
Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #79 on: November 02, 2008, 10:56:08 AM »
"Of the 420 black students who entered the top 18 law schools in 1991, only 24 of them would have been admitted in the absence of affirmative action."

TODAY ???

BOUNDLESS WEBZINE
"Defending the Race"
by David Orland     
      
A Review of John McWhorter’s Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, The Free Press (New York, 2000).

This is a great moment for black America. In ways that would have been unthinkable just 30 years ago, black Americans today enjoy a place at the table of public life. Institutional barriers to black advancement are long departed. Jim Crow is dead. More black students graduate high school and university than ever before, swelling the ranks of the robust and growing black middle class. And white racism, once a virtual given in any encounter between the races, is today a marginal phenomenon, the preserve of a tiny band of closely monitored and universally reviled yahoos. On almost every indicator, black America seems close to attaining the mountaintop famously evoked by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Every indicator but one, that is. Despite the apparent strides made in the direction of social equality, black college students continue to post starkly lower test scores and grades than their white and Asian counter-parts. It has long been assumed that academic performance is a function of wealth: that the greater the number of middle class or better families in a given population, the greater the number of academically successful children it will produce. And yet as any number of recent studies have shown, the conventional wisdom fails in the case of African-Americans. Though the children of middle class black families do perform at a higher level than those of their co-ethnics who are impoverished, they still perform significantly worse than the similarly placed children of white and Asian families.

In Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, John McWhorter, a Professor of Linguistics at UC, Berkeley, attempts to unravel and resolve this great irony of contemporary African-American life. According to McWhorter, the persistent under-performance of black students is the result, not of poverty or white racism, but of such culture-internal features of black American life as a sense of separateness and a deep-seated strain of inherited anti-intellectualism. "My aim," McWhorter writes, "is to show that while there is a reason beyond laziness or mental unfitness that the black kids in front of the Lexus are unlikely to be stars in school, that reason is not class ... we have expectations of blacks so different from those we have of other groups for a reason: because of something specific to black culture." It is a bold thesis and one which has earned McWhorter, who is himself black, more than a few enemies....

http://www.boundless.org/2000/departments/pages/a0000385.html