Archive for March, 2010

University of Michigan Law Journal: Preserving a Racial Hierarchy:

Preserving a Racial Hierarchy: A Legal Analysis of the Disparate RacialImpact of Legacy Preferences in University Admissions. [108 Michigan Law Review 577 (2010)] Katherine Ladewski

This is a note in the University of Michigan’s Law Journal. I would like to link this back to a previous post which discussed an article in the Stanford Journal concerning blacks receiving preferential treatment. It’s 2010 and one still has to make academic arguments that this isn’t the case. The article’s topic demonstrates another form of excluding Black Americans from IVY League institutions. Just by looking at this title, isn’t this just another form of discrimination against blacks? It’s when I read articles like this I am truly baffled as to why blacks are blamed when a white person isn’t admitted to an IVY League, especially when you likely had generations of head start in economic, social and educational arenas. Oh because blacks and poor people are the root of America’s problems [sarcasm definitely intended]. Anyway, here we go.

The article first discusses how universities originated legacy admissions to exclude Jews who were recent immigrants. First thought, replace one unpopular group with another, Blacks, who are ironically more indigineous to this country then the former. This article touches on the notion (which some of the other blogs have mentioned) that younger generations of Americans sought education, owning a home to achieve the American Dream as part of upward mobility. However, legacy admissions have a disparate impact on Black Americans and other minorities. One of the articles I list on this blog points out that during the most recent economic recession Black Americans were affected the most and the attempt to obtain future employment is marred by the lack of connections that educated Blacks have in different arenas, so multiply this by a graduate or professional education where the door is tougher to wedge through and it should not be surprising how difficult it is for Blacks to navigate through the employment sector. The same lack of connections may be applied to the precursor for professional employment, that of a quality, top tier education.  Historically, with rare exception some (the “black” heirs of their mother’s -wealthy paramour-usually by rape and the ability to “pass” or be light-skinned enough) were granted elite mentorship into private schools. Although to note most mixed children were house servants of their slavemasters.

The article further argues that legacy admissions increases the prospects of alumni donations and fundraising, provide better employment opportunities for legacy graduates as previous generation of alumni (parents and the inner circle) will hire someone who graduated from the same law school as they. Thus, as whites are more likely to have legacy admission, legacy employment, blacks and other minorities are likely to be left outside of the cold of such education and employment prospects. Sounds like common sense, but not for those people who continue to claim “We’re losing everything to blacks.” I remember Chris Rock was espousing this sentiment and his response was “losing it to who…it ain’t us, I’ve looked around this [here]” [he used an expletive]* And yes he did this particular show in Washington, D.C.

However, the author states “Because the negative impact of legacy preferences on minority applicants is based on past patterns of attendance at American universities and the underrepresentation of such racial groups over that period, the negative impact of legacy preferences on racial minorities should decrease over time if the student bodies at American universities continue to diversify.”

Which is non-sensical based on her prior premise that the legacy admissions were historically racist and continue the same modis operandi which benefits whites and are to the detriment to Blacks. Perhaps she meant it as a recommendation. Though I doubt these universities have any incentives to change their methodology as they were doing this for decades with Federal funding and no consistent objection by the government.  Even if you were to take the current blacks who made it to IVY League law schools and BIGLaw, it is a known fact that in this recession that Blacks were likely to be let go first, thus affecting their standard of living, income, influence for fundraising and donations to their alumn. What’s interesting as some blogs have noted about education in general being promoted as a source of upward mobility, but taking this particular sub-section of legacy admissions, there is little or no chance for Blacks to even create future generations based on legacy and IVY League education.

Anyway, the author goes into further details and statistics on disparate impact of legacy admissions, rate of donations and fundraising and the lack of correlation between continuing legacy admissions the way they currently stand and the latter two factors. “A post-legacy residual of zero would indicate that eliminating legacy preferences had no effect on university fundraising outcomes.” [589]

Full text of the article can be found: http://www.michiganlawreview.org/assets/pdfs/108/4/ladewski.pdf

Just imagine the chances for upward mobility for a Black American who not only didn’t attend IVY League but a non-top tier school. One shouldn’t wonder why voices of dissent espouse the reality of systemic discrimination.

University of Chicago’s ‘All You Need Is Law: Because Love Is Inefficient’

Copyright, All Rights Reserved

Image from Disney's Aladdin

Ok, I’m not sure if this is direct retaliatory art scheme to Esq. Never’s A Law School Carol, but this is just frightening. Apparently the University of Chicago Law School does this annually. On its website it shows a law school musical entitled: “All You Need Is Law: Because Love Is Inefficient” [http://www.law.uchicago.edu/node/2744] Have people lost their minds? Is this a parody? As much as I hear about Americans disliking Disney, I think it’s just  odd and insulting to abuse a song from The Lion King?  The law students used the Circle of Life, in a way this makes sense. Predators attacking, eliminating and consuming their prey to carry on the tradition (the hunt) as they have been taught, ok I digress.

Why in the world would future professionals parade themselves while professors and deans clap and probably think “yes, dance for us, schuck and jive, entertain us while we profit off the federal student loans that is paying our salaries, sabatticals and pensions.” It’s not like you’re spending time with friends or family such as dinner, bowling, or the theatre, this is apparently an official law school activity. Is this the privilege of being in a T-14 law school, I can probably guess the extent if a lower ranked law school would dare subject its students to such activities.

Anyway, looking at the title of the musical this shows how if you not an elitist you better be a cut throat, arrogant, heartless, shrill to succeed in law. You will learn how to push the envelope, learn the difference between legal ethics and human ethics and the psychotic ones will manipulate or blur the lines between both, while true justice fades away in the distance. Forget about family life, cultivating nurturing relationships that will outlast the average legal career. All you need is law?, all you’ll need is an anti-depressant if you attend law school.

Note from a Harvard Legal Journal: ‘Rethinking Legal Education’

To quote Esq. Never: http://esqnever.blogspot.com/2010/02/hands-off-education.html “target=”_blank” “Nonetheless, I don’t think I’m too far off the mark. Driving schools teach people how to drive. Typing schools teach people how to type. Clown colleges even teach people how to be clowns. Why on earth don’t law school actually teach people to be lawyers?”

Someone is hearing the call for reform.

As you state the sentiment of others, I came across this brief note in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. The note is entitled: ‘Rethinking Legal Education’: http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/crcl/vol43_2/595-598_Chemerinsky.pdf

The line that yelled from the pages for me is: “But the reality is that few law students graduate from law school ready to practice law.” Honestly it was my understanding that most people received practical experience from clerkships at private firms, government agencies including the judiciary. These experiences do take place outside of law school but oft-times simultaenously on a part-time basis while a law student is matriculating.

It isn’t until the very end that you realize that although the note makes a good point, it’s a plug written by a dean for a new law school (the three horns music from the end of ‘A Law School Carol” comes to mind immediately).  Is it really necessary to open an entirely new law school, especially in California to implement these types of programs? One could’ve taken these ideas to law schools that are already in existence and struggling and raise their ranks and benefit the students that are already enrolled. Oh I forgot, actually investing in an American education isn’t worth much. Opening a new law school (August 2009)–priceless: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Although some are hearing the desparate pleas, no one is LISTENING. There’s always a caveat. Always.

NOTE:  Do you know how difficult it is to have a legal article read, accepted, edited and published in an IVY law school journal. Although this was only a note, I find it peculiar how a four-page advertisement is easily accepted by a Harvard Journal.

Ten Things You Should Not Brag About on Document Review

10) Discussing your favorite law school classes. Likely you have graduated a while ago or if you are a new graduate you are fresh meat for predatory contractors. Don’t discuss it, it doesn’t help you and it makes you appear more delusional than the actual document reviewers who really are crazy.

9) What law school you graduated from. Again, really? Do you think it even matters at this point on document review? No one cares, if anything people will view you as insecure for trying to use that as prestige in a electronic tapping, paper on the floor, not enough bathrooms, your agency is cheap, surrounded by bitter attorneys situation anyway. You scream “I require attention, I thought I was special, I went to a top 20–shouldn’t someone care?” But you know no one does. L-O-S-E-R.

8)How much you know about the employment situation and being an “expert” on advising other contract attorneys on how and where to get a job. This is  a real doozy, this person knows about all the employment sites and permanent job leads yet cannot secure one for himself. Can you spell ‘desperate for attention.’

7) How you have an “in” on an upcoming project. Nothing is how it seems, even if you’re accepted, they can withdraw you, tell you it’s been postponed or cancelled. This is at-will employment, you can be “released” for any reason (unless  you file suit–have to love the law-mindset).  Also, for those who don’t know where their next paycheck will come from, other reviewers will target you for getting “released” sooner than you expect.

6) Not paying your taxes or other bills. It could’ve been a joke, it might’ve been a statement about an issue you resolved years ago, just don’t do it. Don’t trust anyone. Period. Everyone, team leads, project leads, managers, agencies, reviewers are all out for themselves. The majority aren’t normal people and look for ways to stir trouble.

5) How you didn’t really qualify to be on a particular contract. This may encompass a myriad of reasons, but really? Why are a few attorneys so loose tongued? Why would you even bring such attention to yourself. You think people don’t care but you’re in a room full of bitter people with long hours and high debt-income ratio, they want to take someone down. Oh I forgot they likely suffer from lack of stability.

4) How you don’t do any work. Although contractual work is viewed as a joke and some consider it not practicing law, you are billing people. You are a licensed attorney. Don’t you think you can be sued for fraud, federal charges and ethics violations? Oh I forgot most attorneys are arrogant, even when they are just so obviously wrong.

3) How doing document review “isn’t that bad.” O.k. as the United States recover from the economy I will initially say it appears that this is an innocuous statement. However, it is that bad, to know how much prior associates were paid to do this work, that in three years they were most likely to pay off their student loans and the working conditions are similar to a pig pen with computers–it is that bad. Just accept the reality of it, if you don’t you will become comfortable and not search for anything better and that’s what these agencies want apparently, the ones who have given up, because they are the ones who won’t “bail” on projects (probably why they don’t do anything when people violate the law under their supervision).

2) How you get along with everyone. You lie. You didn’t before you went to law school and you don’t now. Just the reality of life, and most likely if you are espousing such nonsense, the majority of attorneys don’t like you because you are a troublemaker.

1) How this isn’t the practice of law. Although clicking and coding is somewhat menial work, one should remember that this was the bulk of BIGLaw associate work and that many still do this as part of their caseload. Staff attorneys do it as well, it’s just that well, you’re contractual and you don’t have prestige as you are not a permanent employee. But if we’re for the most part doing the same work, what does that say about the illisional prestiges that the others receive. Flash of mirrors. Jurisdictions will define “practice of law” to the extent they can absorb fees from individual attorneys especially contractual ones, it’s punishment for being in that position.

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