Archive for discrimination

Reason Not to Go to Law School #16

Posted in Why Not to Go to Law School with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2010 by bl1y

Whiny minority kids.

As I’ve mentioned before, the Race to Be Offended is a pretty popular sport among ultra left-wing politically correct types, and law school is a breeding ground for them.  Normally people say dumb things when they’re in too much of a hurry to consider facts, such as a President calling a police officer stupid for investigating what appeared to be an obvious break in.

Now, imagine combining that level of stupidity with the drunken revelry that takes place on the last day of a semester’s exams in law school.

After the last exams of my 3L Fall semester, I was on the balcony of one of our dorms for the traditional drink-till-your-face-falls-off.  Towards the end, a black student and Jewish student got into a rather bizarre argument: who was treated worse, blacks or Jews.

Aside from the fact that it’s strange for anyone to even bother arguing over who’s discriminated against more (they couldn’t just agree that discrimination is bad; everyone wants to be special), what made this particularly bizarre was that they were arguing over which group was most discriminated against in universities.

They went to different schools, but no surprise, black student reported his school treated black students worse and Jewish student reported his school treated Jewish students worse.  Both of these students went to mother-freaking Ivy League schools for undergrad.

I knew both students, and neither one was a rags-to-riches story.  Both came from wealthy, influential families.  They were seriously arguing over who suffered the most from the discriminatory effects of education opportunities afforded to less than .01% of population.

The Dark Side of Merit Pay

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 11, 2010 by bl1y

UCLA recently held a debate between AbovetheLaw.com eidtor in chief and former editor in chief, Elie Mystal and David Lat.  The topic of the debate was whether firms should stick with lock-step promotions or switch to merit based compensation, and part of the debate, as reported on Ms. JD, was that minority and women associates may end up on the losing end of a merit based system.  The reason?  Old white men with their old white man prejudices will rate women and minorities lower and thus compensate them less.

While I agree that merit based compensation could lead to women and minorities earning less, there is a less politically correct explanation that’s pretty likely.  Instead of discrimination being the cause of lower pay, it could be affirmative action.

It’s no secret that law schools use affirmative action (aka: diversity) to admit more students from under-represented minorities (aka: black).  What no one likes to mention is that black students generally have far worse undergrad grades and LSAT scores than their white counter parts.  In fact, the numbers for the top 25% of black students tends to look like the bottom 25% of white students.

Now, you can chalk this up to black students having worse educational opportunities early on, and that might be the case.  But, it still means that black law students are generally just not as smart as their white counter parts (so far as GPAs and LSAT scores measure intelligence).  Common sense would say that this would end up getting reflected in their grades, and for the most part it does.  Black law students tend to get lower grades, even in classes where grading is based on entirely anonymous exams.

Now, at most law schools, poor grades will result in poor job opportunities.  But, at a top 10 school, you can be at the bottom of your class and still get a good job, because the bottom 25% of the top 1% is still really damn smart.  Unfortunately, affirmative action means that the bottom 25% might not really be part of the top 1%.  And to make problems worse, many top schools no longer give grades, GPAs, or class ranks.

So, law firms looking to recruit top talent will end up hiring minority associates who are in over their heads, and this will naturally result in them earning less under a merit based system.  I’m not saying pay won’t be affected by racism, it probably will be.  But, we also have to keep in mind the effects of affirmative action in law school admissions.