Law School Discussion

Specific Groups => Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students => Topic started by: *devo* on July 05, 2008, 07:56:40 PM

Title: Native Americans, AA, and Law School
Post by: *devo* on July 05, 2008, 07:56:40 PM
I was looking at the incoming class profiles on LSAC and I am surprised at how few NAs are enrolled at top law schools.  NYU for example has ZERO, while African Americans are around 10%. 

So are there much fewer Native Americans applying or do Native Americans not get as much of a boost as other minorities, like African Americans for example?  I know there are fewer NAs as a population, but NYU couldn't find at least ONE over a three year period?  This seems strange to me and makes me wonder how wide my net needs to be when I apply this fall.
Title: Re: Native Americans, AA, and Law School
Post by: mbw on July 05, 2008, 10:18:59 PM
Native Americans/American Indians (or as I shorthand, NDN  ;)) are very underrepresented in law school.  Less than 500 Indians (average over the past 5 years) apply to law school, less than 350 actually matriculate (and I suspect a fair number of those are Indians in Card/Ancestor Only, with little to no cultural affiliation.)  The T20 take 40 of those, traditional NDN programs such as Arizona, NM, OK and Denver, another 80-90.  The mean LSAT for NDNs in 2006 was around 149, versus 154 for white/Asians; fewer than 1% of NDNs score a 165+.

I'm Maine/Quebec Abenaki, strongly culturally affiliated (as well as involved in pan-Indian politics), and will be applying to most of the T14 from T6 on down (although I'll probably throw an app at Stanford.)  What are you thinking about for schools?

Title: Re: Native Americans, AA, and Law School
Post by: uiucwannabe on July 05, 2008, 10:21:40 PM
The answer is no.  I applied to 20 schools:  Rejected at 8 accepted at 8 WL at 3.  20th is incommunicado.  So much for my American Indian heritage as a benefit to law school acceptance.  My #1 choice has me on the WL (still) and they use an Indian tribe as their mascot.  Go figure...
Title: Re: Native Americans, AA, and Law School
Post by: mbw on July 05, 2008, 10:29:30 PM
The answer is no.  I applied to 20 schools:  Rejected at 8 accepted at 8 WL at 3.  20th is incommunicado.  So much for my American Indian heritage as a benefit to law school acceptance.  My #1 choice has me on the WL (still) and they use an Indian tribe as their mascot.  Go figure...

What were your #'s?  My friends who are LS profs (I'm also a non-trad age-wise) felt I needed to be median on either LSAT or GPA (but not both) to benefit from any diversity measures (hence my third retake.)

When you say "Indian Heritage", do you mean Indian ancestry, or that you are an active member of an Indian tribe?  Frankly, I think schools are becoming more and more leery of people asserting Indianness, and want to see lots of cultural affiliation on the resume, DS and PS.
Title: Re: Native Americans, AA, and Law School
Post by: *devo* on July 05, 2008, 10:45:25 PM
When you say "Indian Heritage", do you mean Indian ancestry, or that you are an active member of an Indian tribe?  Frankly, I think schools are becoming more and more leery of people asserting Indianness, and want to see lots of cultural affiliation on the resume, DS and PS.

This is also what I assumed, realizing that self-selecting as NA is different than black or hispanic. 

Still, to restate my concern in a different way:  if law schools can legitimately "weed out" those self-selected NDNs, resulting in the matriculation of only one or two NDNs, how much of a sense of urgency is there to matriculate as many Native Americans as reasonably possible?  While I support the law schools' need to "weed out" some NDNs, I am concerned that it is becoming acceptable for law schools to matriculate very few NDNs.  As a result the reasoning becomes 1) there are not enough qualified NDNs and 2) there aren't enough NDNs who are "Indian" enough. 

I guess the numbers make me question the sense of responsibility that the T14 has to enroll NDNs.
Title: Re: Native Americans, AA, and Law School
Post by: mbw on July 05, 2008, 10:57:57 PM
When you say "Indian Heritage", do you mean Indian ancestry, or that you are an active member of an Indian tribe?  Frankly, I think schools are becoming more and more leery of people asserting Indianness, and want to see lots of cultural affiliation on the resume, DS and PS.

This is also what I assumed, realizing that self-selecting as NA is different than black or hispanic. 

Still, to restate my concern in a different way:  if law schools can legitimately "weed out" those self-selected NDNs, resulting in the matriculation of only one or two NDNs, how much of a sense of urgency is there to matriculate as many Native Americans as reasonably possible?  While I support the law schools' need to "weed out" some NDNs, I am concerned that it is becoming acceptable for law schools to matriculate very few NDNs.  As a result the reasoning becomes 1) there are not enough qualified NDNs and 2) there aren't enough NDNs who are "Indian" enough. 

I guess the numbers make me question the sense of responsibility that the T14 has to enroll NDNs.

To be honest, I've worried about this myself.  I guess I'll find out this cycle, neh?
Title: Re: Native Americans, AA, and Law School
Post by: jitcher on July 07, 2008, 11:53:20 AM
I'm not sure that the problem lies in T14 universities attitude towards Native Americans.  My experience as a Native American who just finished the application process this last cycle is only anecdotal, but I feel there was a real boost given to me based on my ancestry.  It came down to two T14 schools for me.  Both increased scholarships to compete for me and I got personal phone calls from admissions deans both talking about opportunities there.  While this is only my personal experience and only represent two T14 schools, it seems that they made a real effort to recruit me to their school.  I was only outright rejected by one school, and even got onto Harvard's waitlist. 

I think the problem lies more with the numbers of Native Americans applying.  I've heard the same stats that frybread said before- about 500 apply and about 350 matriculate.  And I would even venture to say that of the 350 that matriculate, few have a real connection to their culture or even know much about their heritage, but have the documentation to justify checking the box.  I think that schools probably look at Native American applicants that have grown up on a reservation/ are actually connected to their culture differently than they look at Native Americans who can check the box, but have nothing to talk about in a diversity statement.

Also, law school admissions largely judge URM applicants against each other rather than against all applicants.  (Whether or not they will admit it.)  So with so few Native Americans scoring about a 160 with many more blacks, hispanics, etc. scoring in that range, few Native Americans are competitive with other URMS for spots in T14 schools, leaving somewhere between 0-4 in each entering class.
Title: Re: Native Americans, AA, and Law School
Post by: Steve Jones on July 08, 2008, 09:23:55 AM
Native Americans/American Indians (or as I shorthand, NDN  ;)) are very underrepresented in law school.  Less than 500 Indians (average over the past 5 years) apply to law school, less than 350 actually matriculate (and I suspect a fair number of those are Indians in Card/Ancestor Only, with little to no cultural affiliation.)  The T20 take 40 of those, traditional NDN programs such as Arizona, NM, OK and Denver, another 80-90.  The mean LSAT for NDNs in 2006 was around 149, versus 154 for white/Asians; fewer than 1% of NDNs score a 165+.

I'm Maine/Quebec Abenaki, strongly culturally affiliated (as well as involved in pan-Indian politics), and will be applying to most of the T14 from T6 on down (although I'll probably throw an app at Stanford.)  What are you thinking about for schools?



What's with the big "cultural affiliation" obsession?  ::)  Do you think blacks should carry a spear and wear bones in their noses in order to claim URM status?
Title: Re: Native Americans, AA, and Law School
Post by: pame on July 08, 2008, 07:14:39 PM
   Frybread could you tell me where you found the data suggesting 1% of American Indians score over 165? As part of the application process I am researching urm representation at law schools and have not found data broken down to that extent. Is it lsat report 04-01 from October 2004? I wish you the best of luck in the application process; I am sure you will have great results.


p.s. i count 47 American Indians at top 20 schools, last year Chicago and Duke also lacked a single incoming American Indian 1L.Five schools in the top 20 have 1 incoming American Indian. Schools with highest American Indian 1L enrollment: Oklahoma 18, Tulsa 13,Arizona 12, Arizona State 12, Florida Coastal 10, New Mexico 8, Wisconsin 8, Oklahoma City 8, Berkeley, Texas Wesleyan 7.
Title: Re: Native Americans, AA, and Law School
Post by: mbw on July 08, 2008, 08:36:07 PM
   Frybread could you tell me where you found the data suggesting 1% of American Indians score over 165? As part of the application process I am researching urm representation at law schools and have not found data broken down to that extent. Is it lsat report 04-01 from October 2004? I wish you the best of luck in the application process; I am sure you will have great results.


p.s. i count 47 American Indians at top 20 schools, last year Chicago and Duke also lacked a single incoming American Indian 1L.Five schools in the top 20 have 1 incoming American Indian. Schools with highest American Indian 1L enrollment: Oklahoma 18, Tulsa 13,Arizona 12, Arizona State 12, Florida Coastal 10, New Mexico 8, Wisconsin 8, Oklahoma City 8, Berkeley, Texas Wesleyan 7.

That's funny, Pame, as I just updated the numbers yesterday too (my old numbers were from the previous year, and may have been rounded, as I pulled them out of memory.)  The LSAT number was from a friend who is an NDN law professor.  I put the numbers in a spreadsheet (would we have known to combined our effort, neh? ;)) and am adding LSAT/GPA 75-med-25 and other pertinent info.  Anyone who wants the info in excel format is welcome to it.
Title: Re: Native Americans, AA, and Law School
Post by: mbw on July 08, 2008, 08:41:37 PM
Native Americans/American Indians (or as I shorthand, NDN  ;)) are very underrepresented in law school.  Less than 500 Indians (average over the past 5 years) apply to law school, less than 350 actually matriculate (and I suspect a fair number of those are Indians in Card/Ancestor Only, with little to no cultural affiliation.)  The T20 take 40 of those, traditional NDN programs such as Arizona, NM, OK and Denver, another 80-90.  The mean LSAT for NDNs in 2006 was around 149, versus 154 for white/Asians; fewer than 1% of NDNs score a 165+.

I'm Maine/Quebec Abenaki, strongly culturally affiliated (as well as involved in pan-Indian politics), and will be applying to most of the T14 from T6 on down (although I'll probably throw an app at Stanford.)  What are you thinking about for schools?



What's with the big "cultural affiliation" obsession?  ::)  Do you think blacks should carry a spear and wear bones in their noses in order to claim URM status?

Due to the nation-to-nation relationship between the federal government and the domestic-dependent Indian Nations, being NDN in the US is political and cultural - it is not about "race" or ethnicity, as is being "black"/African-American.  Thus, cultural/political affiliation is central to one's "Indianness".  There is no "status" Indian designation, as in Canada - you're Indian if you're enrolled/culturally affiliated, not because your great-great-granny was supposedly a Cherokee Princess.
Title: Re: Native Americans, AA, and Law School
Post by: UFBoldAsLove on July 09, 2008, 10:05:08 AM
Tag for later.
Title: Re: Native Americans, AA, and Law School
Post by: mbw on July 09, 2008, 04:58:00 PM
Native Americans/American Indians (or as I shorthand, NDN  ;)) are very underrepresented in law school.  Less than 500 Indians (average over the past 5 years) apply to law school, less than 350 actually matriculate (and I suspect a fair number of those are Indians in Card/Ancestor Only, with little to no cultural affiliation.)  The T20 take 40 of those, traditional NDN programs such as Arizona, NM, OK and Denver, another 80-90.  The mean LSAT for NDNs in 2006 was around 149, versus 154 for white/Asians; fewer than 1% of NDNs score a 165+.

I'm Maine/Quebec Abenaki, strongly culturally affiliated (as well as involved in pan-Indian politics), and will be applying to most of the T14 from T6 on down (although I'll probably throw an app at Stanford.)  What are you thinking about for schools?



What's with the big "cultural affiliation" obsession?  ::)  Do you think blacks should carry a spear and wear bones in their noses in order to claim URM status?

Due to the nation-to-nation relationship between the federal government and the domestic-dependent Indian Nations, being NDN in the US is political and cultural - it is not about "race" or ethnicity, as is being "black"/African-American.  Thus, cultural/political affiliation is central to one's "Indianness".  There is no "status" Indian designation, as in Canada - you're Indian if you're enrolled/culturally affiliated, not because your great-great-granny was supposedly a Cherokee Princess.

For some reason, my posts are disappearing on threads, yet they show up in my "latest posts" on my profile.  Anyone else having this problem?
Title: Re: Native Americans, AA, and Law School
Post by: Laura Roslin on July 09, 2008, 05:28:52 PM
For some reason, my posts are disappearing on threads, yet they show up in my "latest posts" on my profile.  Anyone else having this problem?

Actually, yes, now that you mention it.  A big chunk of the June LSAT score release thread disappeared, but my posts are still in my history.  I assumed that it was just due to the score day traffic overload, but perhaps the problem is more widespread.   ???
Title: Re: Native Americans, AA, and Law School
Post by: uiucwannabe on July 09, 2008, 07:40:26 PM
I'm not certain how being Native American is relevant to looking or acting Native American.  If I choose to be involved in the culture and I can prove my authenticity, does it matter that I no longer live on a reservation or am more assimilated?  I must admit that I have already had a school give me a cold shoulder because I no longer look NA.  If they want me for diversity, it should not matter what I look like, as long as I am what I say I am.