Why are there so few blacks in corporate law?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
Coco_Local
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Re: Why are there so few blacks in corporate law?

Postby Coco_Local » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:15 pm

I don't even know where or how this thread took such an insane turn. Ugh.

Listen, black law students do get hired into biglaw. Period. If you look at incoming classes, they are there. The issue, which I went out of my way to point out, is that they don't stay for some obvious reasons I don't even want to get into again (just read my comment).

That said, the issue with law students everywhere (and I am guessing most of you all are law students) is that you don't understand the biglaw industry. So all this talk about pipeline, etc. is kind of pointless. Many black law students go into biglaw. The overwhelming bulk of them bolt fairly quickly. I kind of think the more interesting discussion is why but then you'd all have to acknowledge how horrid biglaw is (for everyone).

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TrialLawyer16
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Re: Why are there so few blacks in corporate law?

Postby TrialLawyer16 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:07 pm

TheProsecutor wrote:
TrialLawyer16 wrote:Right, but the reasons why are what we're disagreeing on. I don't think it's because of the disadvantages you posted above. That would be suggesting blatant racism that's too obvious to not be noticed. There are alternative reasons, it's not just "black leaves or does not rise in corporate law --> black was discriminated against (i.e. to lack of mentoring/being assigned mundane tasks/whatever else you were saying)".


You haven't actually told me any reasons why. If it is not because of the disadvantages that I posted, then what are the reasons in your mind? If you can, just help me understand why I'm wrong.

Also, I am not suggesting racism at all. I don't think there's "blatant" racism at firms. I think Blacks: 1) often don't have the credentials to get into a corporate firm; 2) many of those that do choose to do other things; 3) and most of those that do go to biglaw do not stay in biglaw for very long for various reasons (lack of good assignments, lack of mentoring, lack of partnership prospects, desire to do other things).

That's why, and I mean this respectfully, I asked if you're having trouble understanding the points being made. Am I not being clear? It seems to me that either you don't understand what I'm saying, which could be my fault or you are heavily mischaracterizing my posts. So I just am curious, if you have time, to see what reasons you think. Thanks.

I think you're partially ignoring the numbers in this situation. About 12% of the U.S. is Black. In the T14 about 5-10% of each school is black. Now, hypothetically, if every student had the exact same ability to get (and desire for biglaw) you'd see 1 to 2 black associates for every 20 non-black associate. Even though representation at the top law schools doesn't equal the black US population, under the aforementioned assumption in the worst case scenario you would see at least 1 black associate for every 20 non-black associate. As we can see by checking big law profile pages this is not the case.

There are many possible reasons for this. I remember someone stating before that talented/well-known black big law associates get snatched up for in-house/government jobs. Also, look at the associate profiles of many big law firms. How many 1st year black associates do you see? This is where I agree with VanWinkle that many blacks don't get promoted to partner mainly because many aren't hired in the first place. It's as if you're acting like blacks should differ from any other race in the fact that all races tend to leave biglaw for one reason or another. If less blacks are being hired as associates, and if blacks are just as likely as any other race to leave, then it makes complete sense that you don't see many black biglaw partners.

To expand further. I initially responded to your post because I disagree with some of the claims you made. You said that "most aspiring Black attorneys do not have the grades/LSAT scores to be competitive for our nation's best law schools." I disagree because this statement is relying on a false assumption. Black aspiring attorneys aren't competing with the entire law school applicant population, they are competing against their fellow black applicants. That's why a 3.6/170 AA Male has a solid chance at Yale. So you're mistaken there, that is not the problem because that is what the urm boost is meant to compensate for and why T14 schools are anywhere from 5-10% black. You said that "law firms have failed to promote black associates to partnership levels at meaningful levels." This is true, but it is, as Vanwinkle pointed out, because biglaw firms don't hire a large proportion of black associates compared to other races and if blacks are just as likely to leave biglaw as non-blacks it makes complete sense as to why you would see drastically fewer black biglaw partners. You also said "that current Black law associates generally have a tough time in biglaw, have a lack of mentoring, get stuck on mundane assignments, etc.". No more than an equally credentialed candidate of another race would have. If biglaw firms dip lower into the class for blacks than other races for diversity reasons then what do you expect as far as the quality of the work they're given? If you think that if the #1 student at Michigan happened to be a black male and as an associate he'd have a lack of mentoring and get stuck on mundane assignments because he was black then you're mistaken - everybody respects talent. Lastly, you said "that Black associates leave biglaw early in their careers and that there's very few of them in the mid-level or senior associate ranks." Yes, but this is true of all races. What you're employing is a number vs. percentage flaw. My point is that the reasons for such a small amount of biglaw blacks isn't because of discrimination - pretty much any disadvantages present for black associates would be present even if those associates were not black. It's because there is a significantly smaller proportion of black associates to begin with compared with most other races, and therefore (if all associates are as likely to leave as each other) if you follow the rope it makes sense that there are fewer senior associates and partners. And since the demand for talented/well-known black attorneys is high, it makes sense that they are even more likely to leave biglaw due to being poached for other opportunities.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Why are there so few blacks in corporate law?

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:21 pm

LOLyer wrote:I'm white and, statistically speaking, I come from a lower income family just about all of the black people on this board. I paid for all of my education (undergrad and law school) and expenses (books, food, gas, clothes, etc.) by myself. Growing up around lots of black kids, I have been racially discriminated against many, many times. Further, even though I didn't know it at the time, I have been the victim of a hate crime.

Can someone PLEASE tell me why the plight of the black man is so much more difficult than mine, as a white person?

Tempbanned for inciting AA debate. As a reminder, debating/criticizing AA in on-topic forums will get you banned. That includes responding to this moron, who has been dealt with.

LOLyer
Posts: 134
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Re: Why are there so few blacks in corporate law?

Postby LOLyer » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:53 am

vanwinkle wrote:
LOLyer wrote:I'm white and, statistically speaking, I come from a lower income family just about all of the black people on this board. I paid for all of my education (undergrad and law school) and expenses (books, food, gas, clothes, etc.) by myself. Growing up around lots of black kids, I have been racially discriminated against many, many times. Further, even though I didn't know it at the time, I have been the victim of a hate crime.

Can someone PLEASE tell me why the plight of the black man is so much more difficult than mine, as a white person?

Tempbanned for inciting AA debate. As a reminder, debating/criticizing AA in on-topic forums will get you banned. That includes responding to this moron, who has been dealt with.


I stand in awe of your power.

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briviere
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Re: Why are there so few blacks in corporate law?

Postby briviere » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:41 am

PDaddy wrote:my friend; I don't care what your dictionary says.


amazing




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