Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
rando
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Re: Do URM's struggle more than others?

Postby rando » Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:44 am

PDaddy wrote:
If these URM's are "less qualified", it sure doesn't show when they get into the field. In fact, statistics are showing the exact opposite: they thrive! Richard Sander would have you believe that URM attrition from BigLaw firms is ultimate vindication of the anti-AA position, when, in reality, URM's at prestigious firms often perform so well that they are poached into more satisfying in-house corporate positions by headhunters working for corporate clients who patronize the top firms, many often doubling their firm salaries.

URM's leave BigLaw and other prestigious firms not because they cannot cut the mustard, but because they can. And the racial politics that persist in those environments make it an easy decision to do so.

And I still have a problem with Whites saying someone is "less qualified" for law school or the profession when the best data availabnle shows that the people with the best grades and test scores often make terrible lawyers. Did you see how Erin Brockovich did circles around her Ivy League counterpart? those clients didn't even want that lady back in their homes. She had no people skills, and that made her a poor lawyer. Boalt is not spending every breath to come up with a better law admissions test for no reason. All of the top schools (the ones admitting students with the best numbers and gaming the rankings) know that it's BS.

GPA/LSAT is about as accurate an indicator of potential for law practice as athletic ability is for success in pro sports. There are just too many intangibles left unexplained: staying injury free, tenacity, coachability, persistence, work ethic, luck, ability to work with others, etc. Having skills is a good start, but it doesn't predict much.


Can you direct us to the data? As much as I like Erin Brokovich, my intellectual side craves more persuasive empirics. You make two bold claims;
1 - The statistics by Richard Sander are wrong because blacks are poached by other firms/in-house;
2 - Best data available shows that the people with the best grades and test scores often make terrible lawyers
Thanks

I do like your athletic ability analogy. I think it is pretty accurate. The LSAT would be the NFL scouting combine and GPA is college stats? I like it.

krogers
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby krogers » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:04 am

URM's at prestigious firms often perform so well that they are poached into more satisfying in-house corporate positions by headhunters working for corporate clients who patronize the top firms, many often doubling their firm salaries.


I don't think this is true. In fact, I'm pretty sure that most URMs at "prestigious firms" are predicted to leave in two or so years at the firm. From what I've heard, it's usually because they perform so poorly (well, URMs whose 1L grades were far below the grades they typically took in).

I'm curious. Do you even know what you're talking about? I'm not being sarcastic. I've never heard of headhunters gunning for in-house positions. Typically, those positions are filled by lawyers at the firms they traditionally use and are often not publicized outside of that system. Also, the money in-house rarely parallels the money you get at a firm, to speak nothing of doubling.

I will say that I think firms are extremely worried about URMs. Because so many don't make it to partner (and I DON'T think it's because they get those in-house positions), it seems that URM-based hiring is ultimately a sham. It doesn't really diversify the partnership-ranks as much as firms thought it would. But I guess it at least increases the chances that at least one or two URMs will make it every one or two or three years.

It's worth pointing out that, from what I've seen, "URM" means something entirely different in BigLaw: It includes asians. I don't know if they receive a boost, but I've seen them get a lot of those diversity scholarships and firms definitely see hiring asians as part of hiring diverse candidates.
Last edited by krogers on Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

krogers
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby krogers » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:06 am

my intellectual side craves more persuasive empirics.


And god I hope you are not the douche walking around school saying "my intellectual side craves more persuasive empirics" all the time. Don't be "that guy."
:lol: :roll: :roll: :roll:

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Borhas
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby Borhas » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:54 am

Ayeshabelle wrote:Why are there so many spontaneous AA debates here?

The law review article that someone posted earlier showed some interesting information about underperformance of students who got into schools they were numerically unsuited for. That is a frightening prospect. If I could not keep up at the school I decide to matriculate at I would probably have no choice but to transfer or find a new vocation, which would suck. Does anyone here have any advice on what a student should do prior to attending law school if they are afraid they are in over their head at the school they picked, or for someone who realizes it after they start? I'm choosing between a school in which I'm in the median range and another where I'm a couple of points below on the LSAT.

It is always fun to have another worry to keep you up at night.


the easy solution would be to take the fat scholarship at the slight lower school... but if I were in that person's shoes I would just buckle down and not worry about it

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Unemployed
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Re: Do URM's struggle more than others?

Postby Unemployed » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:02 am

PDaddy wrote:If these URM's are "less qualified", it sure doesn't show when they get into the field. In fact, statistics are showing the exact opposite: they thrive! Richard Sander would have you believe that URM attrition from BigLaw firms is ultimate vindication of the anti-AA position, when, in reality, URM's at prestigious firms often perform so well that they are poached into more satisfying in-house corporate positions by headhunters working for corporate clients who patronize the top firms, many often doubling their firm salaries.

URM's leave BigLaw and other prestigious firms not because they cannot cut the mustard, but because they can. And the racial politics that persist in those environments make it an easy decision to do so.

And I still have a problem with Whites saying someone is "less qualified" for law school or the profession when the best data availabnle shows that the people with the best grades and test scores often make terrible lawyers. Did you see how Erin Brockovich did circles around her Ivy League counterpart? those clients didn't even want that lady back in their homes. She had no people skills, and that made her a poor lawyer. Boalt is not spending every breath to come up with a better law admissions test for no reason. All of the top schools (the ones admitting students with the best numbers and gaming the rankings) know that it's BS.

GPA/LSAT is about as accurate an indicator of potential for law practice as athletic ability is for success in pro sports. There are just too many intangibles left unexplained: staying injury free, tenacity, coachability, persistence, work ethic, luck, ability to work with others, etc. Having skills is a good start, but it doesn't predict much.


1. You have misread (or didn't read) Sander's paper. Biglaw attrition is but a secondary phenomenon. Beyond performance while in law school, he's much more interested in bar passage rates. His study "showed" that even after multiple tries, only 57% of African Americans who took the bar exam passed the bar (leaving the other 43% with law school debt and no ability to practice law). In contrast, 78% of whites pass the bar on their first try. His data is not beyond reproach, but he had to make do with what he had. The California bar association refused to release comprehensive data with respect to race and bar passage rates citing "privacy concerns," but since there were many ways to protect anonymity of individual test taker (Sander is only asking for race and P/F after all), many people suspect that the decision was influenced by political pressure.

2. Poaching of URM biglaw attorneys is a real phenomenon, but that hardly proves that all URMs thrive. Since it's an obvious point, I'll let you figure this one out for yourself.

3. "Boalt is not spending every breath to come up with a better law admissions test for no reason?" Actually, Boalt is not trying to come up with a better test. Two professors at Berkeley (one law, one psychology dep) are, and Boalt happens to support them.

rando
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby rando » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:09 am

krogers wrote:
my intellectual side craves more persuasive empirics.


And god I hope you are not the douche walking around school saying "my intellectual side craves more persuasive empirics" all the time. Don't be "that guy."


Well played.

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Unemployed
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby Unemployed » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:12 am

rando wrote:
krogers wrote:
my intellectual side craves more persuasive empirics.


And god I hope you are not the douche walking around school saying "my intellectual side craves more persuasive empirics" all the time. Don't be "that guy."


Well played.


Unless you go to Chicago. Then by all means, say it over and over, and try to throw in the word "rigor" as much as possible. You'll fit right in. :lol:

And yes, it would be great if PDaddy provided some (any!) empirical evidence to back up the plethora of shockingly erroneous things he says.

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evilgenius
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Re: Do URM's struggle more than others?

Postby evilgenius » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:16 pm

rando wrote:
evilgenius wrote: Having a 180 only shows that one either (a) had a lot of time to study for the LSAT or (b) had a lot of $ to pay for an LSAT course.


You can't be serious


Uhh...I don't know why everyone thinks this statement is crazy. Rarely does someone just walk into a test center after opening an LSAT book a few times and score a 180. It requires having significant time and/or resources to prep.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Do URM's struggle more than others?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:18 pm

PDaddy wrote:GPA/LSAT is about as accurate an indicator of potential for law practice as athletic ability is for success in pro sports. There are just too many intangibles left unexplained: staying injury free, tenacity, coachability, persistence, work ethic, luck, ability to work with others, etc. Having skills is a good start, but it doesn't predict much.

Yes, but those other things are hard to objectively measure, and it's easier to coach and train someone in other areas that can run a 4:30 40 and make them a sucessful player than it is to get someone who works well with others but can't run close to a 4:30 40 to do so. This is one reason why objective athletic talent is a strong focus in recruiting.

It's also why GPA/LSAT are such a strong focus in admissions. They're not a completely accurate indicator, but nothing is. What they are is the most accurate objective thing available, and the rest can be sorted out through focus on soft factors.

I support AA, but the railing against the use of UG GPA/LSAT on these boards is pretty ridiculous.

krogers
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Re: Do URM's struggle more than others?

Postby krogers » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:20 pm

evilgenius wrote:
rando wrote:
evilgenius wrote: Having a 180 only shows that one either (a) had a lot of time to study for the LSAT or (b) had a lot of $ to pay for an LSAT course.


You can't be serious


Uhh...I don't know why everyone thinks this statement is crazy. Rarely does someone just walk into a test center after opening an LSAT book a few times and score a 180. It requires having significant time and/or resources to prep.


nah i know quite a few people who did just that. stop being dumb/jealous/dismissive/etc.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Do URM's struggle more than others?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:20 pm

evilgenius wrote:
rando wrote:
evilgenius wrote: Having a 180 only shows that one either (a) had a lot of time to study for the LSAT or (b) had a lot of $ to pay for an LSAT course.

You can't be serious

Uhh...I don't know why everyone thinks this statement is crazy. Rarely does someone just walk into a test center after opening an LSAT book a few times and score a 180. It requires having significant time and/or resources to prep.

Signfiicant time/resources to prepare may be necessary for most people, but it's not sufficient. You've still got to have enough underlying talent to be able to hit a 180 with practice. I think anyone can score pretty highly on the LSAT with enough practice, but hit a 180? No, I don't think that's something everyone could do with time/practice, which is what the statement above implies.

Unless maybe you're talking about like, years of prep for someone who needed it, in which case maybe, but who practices for the LSAT for several years?

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evilgenius
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Re: Do URM's struggle more than others?

Postby evilgenius » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:30 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
evilgenius wrote:
rando wrote:
evilgenius wrote: Having a 180 only shows that one either (a) had a lot of time to study for the LSAT or (b) had a lot of $ to pay for an LSAT course.

You can't be serious

Uhh...I don't know why everyone thinks this statement is crazy. Rarely does someone just walk into a test center after opening an LSAT book a few times and score a 180. It requires having significant time and/or resources to prep.

Signfiicant time/resources to prepare may be necessary for most people, but it's not sufficient. You've still got to have enough underlying talent to be able to hit a 180 with practice. I think anyone can score pretty highly on the LSAT with enough practice, but hit a 180? No, I don't think that's something everyone could do with time/practice, which is what the statement above implies.

Unless maybe you're talking about like, years of prep for someone who needed it, in which case maybe, but who practices for the LSAT for several years?


I figured that folks on this thread with pick apart my words, that's why I said rarely. I guess I'll add - for many it requires significant time and resources to prepare in addition to underlying talent.

My point was that in most cases underlying talent also isn't enough to attain a high LSAT score. It usually requires having time and resources to prep. And in many cases these resources just aren't accessible for URM's.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Do URM's struggle more than others?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:35 pm

evilgenius wrote:I figured that folks on this thread with pick apart my words, that's why I said rarely. I guess I'll add - for many it requires significant time and resources to prepare in addition to underlying talent.

You said you didn't understand why people thought your original statement was crazy, in which you didn't qualify anything with "rarely". Instead, you said this:

evilgenius wrote: Having a 180 only shows that one either (a) had a lot of time to study for the LSAT or (b) had a lot of $ to pay for an LSAT course.

There's no "rarely" there. That just says that a 180 is accomplished through a) a lot of time or b) a lot of money, and also implies anyone can achieve that (since it focuses solely on time/money and not talent). That's why people think that statement is crazy.

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evilgenius
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Re: Do URM's struggle more than others?

Postby evilgenius » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:53 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
evilgenius wrote:I figured that folks on this thread with pick apart my words, that's why I said rarely. I guess I'll add - for many it requires significant time and resources to prepare in addition to underlying talent.

You said you didn't understand why people thought your original statement was crazy, in which you didn't qualify anything with "rarely". Instead, you said this:

evilgenius wrote: Having a 180 only shows that one either (a) had a lot of time to study for the LSAT or (b) had a lot of $ to pay for an LSAT course.

There's no "rarely" there. That just says that a 180 is accomplished through a) a lot of time or b) a lot of money, and also implies anyone can achieve that (since it focuses solely on time/money and not talent). That's why people think that statement is crazy.


Ok, you win. Again, my point is that in most cases underlying talent isn't enough to attain a high LSAT score. It usually requires having time and resources to prep. Often, these resources just aren't accessible for URM's. Thus the LSAT score, in many cases, isn't an accurate indicator of a URM's underlying talent.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Do URM's struggle more than others?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:56 pm

evilgenius wrote:Ok, you win. Again, my point is that in most cases underlying talent isn't enough to attain a high LSAT score. It usually requires having time and resources to prep. Often, these resources just aren't accessible for URM's. Thus the LSAT score, in many cases, isn't an accurate indicator of a URM's underlying talent.

This point I actually agree with.

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tomhobbes
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Re: Do URM's struggle more than others?

Postby tomhobbes » Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:04 pm

evilgenius wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
evilgenius wrote:I figured that folks on this thread with pick apart my words, that's why I said rarely. I guess I'll add - for many it requires significant time and resources to prepare in addition to underlying talent.

You said you didn't understand why people thought your original statement was crazy, in which you didn't qualify anything with "rarely". Instead, you said this:

evilgenius wrote: Having a 180 only shows that one either (a) had a lot of time to study for the LSAT or (b) had a lot of $ to pay for an LSAT course.

There's no "rarely" there. That just says that a 180 is accomplished through a) a lot of time or b) a lot of money, and also implies anyone can achieve that (since it focuses solely on time/money and not talent). That's why people think that statement is crazy.


Ok, you win. Again, my point is that in most cases underlying talent isn't enough to attain a high LSAT score. It usually requires having time and resources to prep. Often, these resources just aren't accessible for URM's. Thus the LSAT score, in many cases, isn't an accurate indicator of a URM's underlying talent.


Have you seen the lecture by the former LSAC president who argues that this is not the case? His arguments seemed pretty convincing to me. I think he said that even when you compare blacks and whites of similar socioeconomic status (meaning similar time and resources) the scoring gap remains constant.

If you haven't seen it yet, it's really interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7_xHsce57c

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Kohinoor
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby Kohinoor » Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:23 pm

krogers wrote:you know... T1 to T14 transfers are a good case study. the t14 was definitely a reach for them as a 1L, but i wonder how they perform as 2Ls at their new schools.

It's actually a terrible case study because nobody tries nearly as hard 2L year AND everyone has experience with law school exams.

krogers
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby krogers » Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:38 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
krogers wrote:you know... T1 to T14 transfers are a good case study. the t14 was definitely a reach for them as a 1L, but i wonder how they perform as 2Ls at their new schools.

It's actually a terrible case study because nobody tries nearly as hard 2L year AND everyone has experience with law school exams.


well that claim is a bit too strong. surely *some* people try even harder as 2Ls (hello? clerkships?).

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phoenix323
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby phoenix323 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:43 pm

Hi there! Welcome to top-law-schools.com. Are you looking for an AA thread today? Great! We have huge variety here. We have overt threads, thinly veiled threads (like this one), roundabout threads.

Oh...You're looking for an intelligent, civil, logical, AA thread? We're fresh out of those... Have been for months.

Why don't you come again next cycle. We'll have a whole new batch in!

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vanwinkle
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:46 pm

phoenix323 wrote:Hi there! Welcome to top-law-schools.com. Are you looking for an AA thread today? Great! We have huge variety here. We have overt threads, thinly veiled threads (like this one), roundabout threads.

Oh...You're looking for an intelligent, civil, logical, AA thread? We're fresh out of those... Have been for months.

Why don't you come again next cycle. We'll have a whole new batch in!

This was funny the first time it was posted.

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phoenix323
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby phoenix323 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:47 pm

I think I'll keep posting it until people stop these ridiculous threads.

KG_CalGuy
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby KG_CalGuy » Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:48 pm

Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers actually cited a study completed by the University of Michigan that said while URMs admitted with lower credentials than their peers typically do worse in law school than their peers, the post-graduation performance (measured by job placement, salary, ability to partner, etc.) is negligible.

So yes, people who get into reaches MIGHT struggle relative to their more qualified peers, but long-term success isn't going to be a major factor. In fact, Gladwell suggested that rather than admit the highest achieving people into a university, it might be best to just do a raffle for all of those that meet the minimum requirements... not sure if that's the best idea but you get my point.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby Kohinoor » Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:56 pm

krogers wrote:
URM's at prestigious firms often perform so well that they are poached into more satisfying in-house corporate positions by headhunters working for corporate clients who patronize the top firms, many often doubling their firm salaries.


I don't think this is true. In fact, I'm pretty sure that most URMs at "prestigious firms" are predicted to leave in two or so years at the firm.
Most incoming lawyers at prestigious firms are predicted to leave in two or so years.

From what I've heard, it's usually because they perform so poorly (well, URMs whose 1L grades were far below the grades they typically took in).
Any sources on this?

Because so many don't make it to partner (and I DON'T think it's because they get those in-house positions), it seems that URM-based hiring is ultimately a sham.
How does one prove the other?

krogers
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby krogers » Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:03 pm

Most incoming lawyers at prestigious firms are predicted to leave in two or so years.


No, not really. Maybe a quarter of the class is expected to leave in two years, definitely not more than 50%. You would need at least 50% for the "most" part of your claim to be true. I'm assuming you know what "most" means.

Any sources on this?


"From what I've heard"

I know, I know. You're a URM, so you're not going to buy this. It's cool and all. And if your grades are similar to ones your non-URM peers had that are working at your firm, I'm sure you'll be fine. But if you're a diversity associate, from what I've heard, that statistics just aren't in your favor.

How does one prove the other
?


So implicit in my post (I was sort of hoping you were intelligent enough to spot this-guess not) is that the goal of hiring URMs is to diversify the partnership ranks. Clients love it, rankings love it, it improves the image of the firm, etc. However, if most URMs aren't partner-track to begin with, it kind of ruins the point of going out of your way to hire them.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Do people who get into reaches struggle more than others?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:06 pm

phoenix323 wrote:I think I'll keep posting it until people stop these ridiculous threads.

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