NZA wrote:That having been said, the application process for the applicant is not about statistics or US history.
TBF, the bolded is question begging. This debate rests on whether or not that state of affairs should be the case. In any case, you can't treat "the history US race relations" as something static. The point is that the history then has resulted in systemic disadvantage even now (I don’t think you disagree with this).
I absolutely do not disagree with that, no.
mrmangs wrote:That said, the rest of the paragraph that follows (actually, the rest of your post) is reasonable. In an ideal world, admissions would consider the total socioeconomic picture, not just one’s minority status. But, URM status is a convenient heuristic.
True, and I think I should've mentioned that in my original post. That was going to be my justification for using race as a main or key factor, but I just didn't post it.
mrmangs wrote:Analogously, in an ideal world, admissions would go beyond the LSAT/GPA and judge applicants by their true potential.
Use the Sorting Hat?
mrmangs wrote:But, once again, it’s really hard to get at that period, let alone through some cyclical process that needs to move relatively quickly and not be overly inefficient. GPA/LSAT is a convenient, if not completely reliable, tool for making decisions.
As far as “your diversity enriching the classroom” point goes, you’re mostly right I think. I would add, however, that socioeconomics once again rears its head. That is to say, there are (and this has been pointed out) black people who grew up rich in the burbs and who are not culturally that different from their white peers (although they might feel pressured to pretend to be, if they are male at least). They still get an admissions boost even though they might not enrich the classroom any more than some white dude. But as I pointed out earlier, eliminating boojee ass “URMs” from the boosting process is difficult and perhaps unfeasible.
Absolutely. And no process is going to be perfect. There will always be someone out there gaming the system.
I think, though, there's too much of an emphasis with AA on "helping" URMs. It's not really about that, the way I see it. I think that putting the debate in that context tends to create alienation and hostility, as demonstrated by this thread.
If we really break it down, AA is about helping to recognize the extraordinary circumstances of URMs in our country. AA is thus an attempt to help bring about truly equal opportunity for individuals of any race to succeed.
The question that I am asking, I guess (if I can just clarify my point a little here), is how does AA do this?
I believe it does so by exposing future practicing attorneys, judges, etc., to people from different perspectives. It's like the whole "wise Latina" issue that came up with Sotomayor. Her point, IIRC, was that there are occasions were having a Latina justice will cause other justices to see a case from a different perspective. That in and of itself is a worthy accomplishment.
Thus, part of AA, and for me the main part, is that it gives law students the opportunity to take what they learn from their peers of different races out of the classroom and into their practice. This, to me, is a far more significant contribution to the goal of AA than the mere fact that a handful of URMs get into prestigious schools.