Why are there so few blacks in corporate law?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

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

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:51 pm

ajaxconstructions wrote:Basketball.

And banned for trolling/alting.

Funny or not, race-based trolling = ban.

User avatar
lisjjen
Posts: 1242
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:19 am

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

Postby lisjjen » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:51 pm

anitadonielle wrote:Im black and the area of law that I really want to practice it either corporate or tax. Are you all saying that this would not be a good field because I am black or because it is just a tough industry? I went to what people would call a bad high school yet I went to college wit 15 credit hours and able to be apart of the honors program. My mother didnt go to college but she taught me to always read and know numbers and from that I could read how to do what I needed to do for college. I think the same concept can apply with trying to be in corporate law or am I wrong?


statistics mean nothing to the individual

User avatar
Rising Son
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:52 am

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

Postby Rising Son » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:27 am

fingerscrossedxx wrote:
JustE wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:
Which is a main reason why TLS is awesome. It really is a great service.


+1000. This site helped me turn U of Iowa dreams into U Mich. No lie.


So very true. I was going to turn down Columbia for a full ride at Chicago kent before TLS. TLS saved my life lol.

ETA: I'm a black student, NOT the first in my family to go to graduate school but the first to go to law school. I had NO idea what I was doing before TLS.



...So that I'm clear, turning down a full scholarship at Chicago in exchange for six figure debt at Columbia saved your life? And TLS is credited for you making this decision? Interesting.

User avatar
BaiAilian2013
Posts: 919
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 4:05 pm

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

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:43 am

Rising Son wrote:
fingerscrossedxx wrote:
JustE wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:
Which is a main reason why TLS is awesome. It really is a great service.


+1000. This site helped me turn U of Iowa dreams into U Mich. No lie.


So very true. I was going to turn down Columbia for a full ride at Chicago kent before TLS. TLS saved my life lol.

ETA: I'm a black student, NOT the first in my family to go to graduate school but the first to go to law school. I had NO idea what I was doing before TLS.



...So that I'm clear, turning down a full scholarship at Chicago in exchange for six figure debt at Columbia saved your life? And TLS is credited for you making this decision? Interesting.

Read it again.

User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

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

Postby dingbat » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:59 am

roaringeagle wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:
bigboi403 wrote: agree. I am black myself, and most of my friends, which are black, have goals but none pertain too being a professional. O


Then you have a VERY limited social circle. In essentially any major U.S city (although admittedly probably less so on the west coast) there is a reasonably sized Black professional culture. I'm not saying it comes anywhere near the size of those cities' White professionals, but it's enough for you to notice if you care to look. And if you live in Atlanta or DC you'd have to be blind and deaf not to notice Black professionals.



Maybe my boy bigboi403 is from a bad neighborhood or a geographical place where black people do not view a higher profession as a life goal. I live in a DC suburb and most of my neighbors are black professionals. Cultural difficulties can really rip down black people though. I know a smart kid from GW that got kicked out for dealing drugs. Another guy just let alcohol take over his life. Latinos have a similar problems with hard drugs and alcohol. My very good friend Antonio who is Latino takes uppers then downs it with a shitload of alcohol. I have picked him up off the floor at 2-3am many times I feel that Antonio is very highly intelligent and just feels stuck where he is in life. He copes with hard drugs and alcohol. It hurts me to see my friends-these are all nice people, especially Antonio-mess up their lives.

I'm not even going to get into the discrimination blacks and Latinos face. Or the fact that plenty of white people are fucked up. I will just say that there needs to be greater support on all levels for the underprivileged, especially those who are discriminated against because of their race or immigrant status.

oh, so the reason black people and latino people don't make it is because they're all alcoholics or drug dealers?

User avatar
TrialLawyer16
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:43 pm

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

Postby TrialLawyer16 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:41 am

BaiAilian2013 wrote:
Rising Son wrote:
fingerscrossedxx wrote:
JustE wrote:+1000. This site helped me turn U of Iowa dreams into U Mich. No lie.


So very true. I was going to turn down Columbia for a full ride at Chicago kent before TLS. TLS saved my life lol.

ETA: I'm a black student, NOT the first in my family to go to graduate school but the first to go to law school. I had NO idea what I was doing before TLS.



...So that I'm clear, turning down a full scholarship at Chicago in exchange for six figure debt at Columbia saved your life? And TLS is credited for you making this decision? Interesting.

Read it again.

+1
Lol. You missed a key word there my friend. He probably made the right decision.

TheProsecutor
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 12:50 pm

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

Postby TheProsecutor » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:05 pm

As with most things, there a variety of reasons.

The first is access. Most aspiring Black attorneys do not have the grades/LSAT scores to be competitive for our nation's best law schools. Those law schools are the primary vehicle to positions in corporate law firms. Compounding the problem is that at lower ranked law schools where a majority of Blacks enroll, they aren't getting Order of the Coif, being selected for law review, obtaining Cali awards, or getting the accolades needed to make the case for entry into these firms. Without the proper credentials, the doors to these firms remain shut for most blacks (and everyone else for that matter).

The second is historical. Law firms have traditionally failed to promote African Americans to partnership positions. This can cause many African Americans to eschew firm life for places where they are more likely to be readily promoted such as in government or business. Also, traditionally where doors have been closed, African Americans have had an entreprenurial spirit and many pool resources and open up firms of their own.

The third is grapevine. The pool of current black associates will tell you in private that often times Blacks in biglaw are staffed on the worst matters, given the most mundane work and are not tapped to work on the interesting projects. The ability to develop you skill set in biglaw is often diminished as favorable assignments go to others. The lack of mentorship for Black attorneys prevents concerns from being raised or addressed in any meaningful way. Oh and by the way, the hours are soul crushing. Given the perception of how corporate black attorneys are treated in biglaw, many aspiring corporate attorneys opt out or leave very quickly after obtaining firm jobs.

The fourth is that I think many African American attorneys have a committment to the communities they come from that weighs on them heavily. There is pressure to come back and serve. While entering corporate law is not "selling out" there is a view that you may lose yourself representing some of the corporate clients. Many outstanding black attorneys move back to their homes where they get involved in non-profits, build organizations, work at local civil rights firms, or do other grassroots lawyering.

abc12345675
Posts: 373
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:27 am

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

Postby abc12345675 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:08 pm

Same reasons why there are so few blacks in every profession. Access, hardships etc etc

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

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

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:16 am

TheProsecutor wrote:The first is access. Most aspiring Black attorneys do not have the grades/LSAT scores to be competitive for our nation's best law schools.

AA exists. Debates about whether it's morally right or not aren't allowed, but that doesn't mean you have to pretend it doesn't exist. It exists, which means that aspiring black attorneys get into our nation's best law schools each year. If you look at the numbers, the representation of blacks in corporate law is lower percentage-wise than the representation of blacks in top law schools.

TheProsecutor wrote:Law firms have traditionally failed to promote African Americans to partnership positions.

Isn't this because they're not hiring blacks as associates? You can't promote someone if you never hired them.

TheProsecutor wrote:The third is grapevine. The pool of current black associates will tell you in private that often times Blacks in biglaw are staffed on the worst matters, given the most mundane work and are not tapped to work on the interesting projects.

So... They're not hiring blacks because blacks who fought their way into and through top law schools are choosing not to work these coveted, high-dollar jobs because they might experience adversity there. Right.

TheProsecutor wrote:The fourth is that I think many African American attorneys have a committment to the communities they come from that weighs on them heavily. There is pressure to come back and serve. While entering corporate law is not "selling out" there is a view that you may lose yourself representing some of the corporate clients. Many outstanding black attorneys move back to their homes where they get involved in non-profits, build organizations, work at local civil rights firms, or do other grassroots lawyering.

I'll buy this.

LOLyer
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:49 pm

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

Postby LOLyer » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:38 am

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?

bromance
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 3:29 am

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

Postby bromance » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:49 am

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?

Oh God. This thread has been interesting thus far, but can we just not go down this road please...

User avatar
Tom Joad
Posts: 4542
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:56 pm

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

Postby Tom Joad » Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:27 am

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?

AA is law school admissions is to remedy under representation in the legal profession. Legal employers and law schools want to have classes that reflect the general population. It isn't about individual "plights." It is a collective thing.

TheProsecutor
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 12:50 pm

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

Postby TheProsecutor » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:29 am

vanwinkle wrote:
TheProsecutor wrote:The first is access. Most aspiring Black attorneys do not have the grades/LSAT scores to be competitive for our nation's best law schools.

AA exists. Debates about whether it's morally right or not aren't allowed, but that doesn't mean you have to pretend it doesn't exist. It exists, which means that aspiring black attorneys get into our nation's best law schools each year. If you look at the numbers, the representation of blacks in corporate law is lower percentage-wise than the representation of blacks in top law schools.

TheProsecutor wrote:Law firms have traditionally failed to promote African Americans to partnership positions.

Isn't this because they're not hiring blacks as associates? You can't promote someone if you never hired them.

TheProsecutor wrote:The third is grapevine. The pool of current black associates will tell you in private that often times Blacks in biglaw are staffed on the worst matters, given the most mundane work and are not tapped to work on the interesting projects.

So... They're not hiring blacks because blacks who fought their way into and through top law schools are choosing not to work these coveted, high-dollar jobs because they might experience adversity there. Right.

TheProsecutor wrote:The fourth is that I think many African American attorneys have a committment to the communities they come from that weighs on them heavily. There is pressure to come back and serve. While entering corporate law is not "selling out" there is a view that you may lose yourself representing some of the corporate clients. Many outstanding black attorneys move back to their homes where they get involved in non-profits, build organizations, work at local civil rights firms, or do other grassroots lawyering.

I'll buy this.


First off all, the thread's question is why are there not more African American attorneys in biglaw. Unless you dispute the idea that if there were more Blacks getting into top law schools, there would be more blacks in law firms, I'm not quite sure what your problem with the first point is. Second, no one has pretended that affirmative action does not exist. It is a fact, however, that the percentage of blacks in top law schools is exceedingly small. Indeed, David Wilkins, Lani Guniner and others have identified the lack of African Americans at top law schools as a factor in their absence from corporate law firms.

And no, firms are not failing to promote African Americans because they are not hiring them. All of the biglaw firms hire Black associates. All of the biglaw firms have a few black associates that grind it out for years. Those associates rarely make partner - and the track record year after year has developed into a narrative that EVEN IF you become an associate, the likelihood of them promoting you to partner even if you participate, as David Wilkins calls it, in the "tournament of lawyers" is miniscule. That creates an incentive to go into arenas where blacks do better and are promoted more.

You reject the grapevine argument: The minority experience survey gives the foundation for the argument that Blacks get staffed on the worst assignments,given the most mundane work, bill the least hours and are looking to leave almost immediately. If you think that current associates don't pass this wisdom on to aspiring associates, then I don't know what to tell you.

Note that my analysis focuses heavily on the experience of black associates at law firms because that's really where the problem is. Yes, there is a problem of access. But law firms are HUGE and they have classes just like law school has classes. At Harvard, Yale, Stanford...if Black kids come in as 1Ls they generally graduate as 3Ls. That's not the case for law firms. The first year associates might not be there as fifth year associates. Yes, access to the firm is a big factor, but most firms have a good number of first year black associates. It is when you look at 3rd year, 4th year, 5th year associates, you see that there are hardly any left. Blacks aren't sticking around - and so as you get into the midlevel and senior associate classes and especially at the partnership levels, firms look whiter and whiter with fewer and fewer blacks in them. So when you look at firms overall, Blacks are heavily underrepresented. This thread has focused mainly on the reasons blacks aren't hired, but a huge problem (in terms of the numbers) is that Blacks don't stick around for very long.

Another reason people don't often bring up is that there are far more Black women in law school today than Black men. I'm not a woman, so I don't know how this would impact biglaw stats, but I know that at least some leave biglaw earlier to start families.

TheProsecutor
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 12:50 pm

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

Postby TheProsecutor » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:42 am

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?



Well, many Blacks don't get the benefit of Affirmative Action. At nearly all Tier 1 schools, Blacks are accepted at a lower rate than their white counterparts. Also, if you look at the applicants that are shut out of the game (applicants who fail to get into at least one law school) the group with the highest representation in that set is African Americans. So despite affirmative action, Blacks still have a very rough go of it in the law school admissions game.

I also think that the idea that people other than Blacks don't get a boost is ridiculous. The population of Black, Hispanic, and Native American kids at top law schools is WAY too small for those kids to be the only ones getting in with below median numbers. So things like essays where you can detail your upbringing do have an impact and can tip admissions decisions on the margins. I think kids who are legacies get in with less strong numbers regardless of their race or accomplishments. So I'd just encourage you to tell your story, get the best numbers you can and prepare the best application you can. Don't worry so much about your story vs Black kids' plight.
Last edited by TheProsecutor on Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Bigbub75
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:50 pm

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

Postby Bigbub75 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:48 am

TheProsecutor 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?



Well, many Blacks don't get the benefit of Affirmative Action. At nearly all Tier 1 schools, Blacks are accepted at a lower rate than their white counterparts. Also, if you look at the applicants that are shut out of the game (applicants who fail to get into at least one law school) the group with the highest representation in that set is African Americans. So despite affirmative action, Blacks still have a very rough go of it in the law school admissions game.

I also think that the idea that people other than Blacks don't get a boost is ridiculous. The population of Black, Hispanic, and Native American kids at top law schools is WAY too small for those kids to be the only ones getting in with below median numbers. So things like essays where you can detail your upbringing do have an impact and can tip admissions decisions on the margins. I think kids who are legacies get in with less strong numbers regardless of their race or accomplishments. So I'd just encourage you to tell your story, get the best numbers you can and prepare the best application you can. Don't worry so much about your story vs a Black kids' plight.


The bolded part is credited. At my school we have a minority student program that also focuses on the underprivileged. We have several white students that participate in this program every year. Many of them come from rural West Virginia or Nebraska, are the first in their family to attend college, etc. On the flip side one of my friends, who is part Cuban, was not accepted into the program because his father is a federal district judge. Sell your story and you will be fine. Race isn't the end all be all.

User avatar
TrialLawyer16
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:43 pm

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

Postby TrialLawyer16 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:56 am

vanwinkle wrote:
TheProsecutor wrote:The first is access. Most aspiring Black attorneys do not have the grades/LSAT scores to be competitive for our nation's best law schools.

AA exists. Debates about whether it's morally right or not aren't allowed, but that doesn't mean you have to pretend it doesn't exist. It exists, which means that aspiring black attorneys get into our nation's best law schools each year. If you look at the numbers, the representation of blacks in corporate law is lower percentage-wise than the representation of blacks in top law schools.

TheProsecutor wrote:Law firms have traditionally failed to promote African Americans to partnership positions.

Isn't this because they're not hiring blacks as associates? You can't promote someone if you never hired them.

TheProsecutor wrote:The third is grapevine. The pool of current black associates will tell you in private that often times Blacks in biglaw are staffed on the worst matters, given the most mundane work and are not tapped to work on the interesting projects.

So... They're not hiring blacks because blacks who fought their way into and through top law schools are choosing not to work these coveted, high-dollar jobs because they might experience adversity there. Right.

TheProsecutor wrote:The fourth is that I think many African American attorneys have a committment to the communities they come from that weighs on them heavily. There is pressure to come back and serve. While entering corporate law is not "selling out" there is a view that you may lose yourself representing some of the corporate clients. Many outstanding black attorneys move back to their homes where they get involved in non-profits, build organizations, work at local civil rights firms, or do other grassroots lawyering.

I'll buy this.

+1 to everything VanWinkle said.

Prosecutor, and I say this respectfully, you're talking a lot of nonsense right now. Us blacks are given all the opportunities (and then some) as any other race to succeed in the law school admissions game and the employment game. The tough part is just getting into a great school due to the socioeconomic disadvantages a person may have had up until that point in their life, but once you're in the opportunities are abundant. Almost everything you're saying doesn't hold in the face of AA. How much help can we really ask for? At some point we've simply got to perform and stop making these excuses.

TheProsecutor
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 12:50 pm

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

Postby TheProsecutor » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:22 pm

TrialLawyer16 wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
TheProsecutor wrote:The first is access. Most aspiring Black attorneys do not have the grades/LSAT scores to be competitive for our nation's best law schools.

AA exists. Debates about whether it's morally right or not aren't allowed, but that doesn't mean you have to pretend it doesn't exist. It exists, which means that aspiring black attorneys get into our nation's best law schools each year. If you look at the numbers, the representation of blacks in corporate law is lower percentage-wise than the representation of blacks in top law schools.

TheProsecutor wrote:Law firms have traditionally failed to promote African Americans to partnership positions.

Isn't this because they're not hiring blacks as associates? You can't promote someone if you never hired them.

TheProsecutor wrote:The third is grapevine. The pool of current black associates will tell you in private that often times Blacks in biglaw are staffed on the worst matters, given the most mundane work and are not tapped to work on the interesting projects.


So... They're not hiring blacks because blacks who fought their way into and through top law schools are choosing not to work these coveted, high-dollar jobs because they might experience adversity there. Right.

TheProsecutor wrote:The fourth is that I think many African American attorneys have a committment to the communities they come from that weighs on them heavily. There is pressure to come back and serve. While entering corporate law is not "selling out" there is a view that you may lose yourself representing some of the corporate clients. Many outstanding black attorneys move back to their homes where they get involved in non-profits, build organizations, work at local civil rights firms, or do other grassroots lawyering.

I'll buy this.

+1 to everything VanWinkle said.

Prosecutor, and I say this respectfully, you're talking a lot of nonsense right now. Us blacks are given all the opportunities (and then some) as any other race to succeed in the law school admissions game and the employment game. The tough part is just getting into a great school due to the socioeconomic disadvantages a person may have had up until that point in their life, but once you're in the opportunities are abundant. Almost everything you're saying doesn't hold in the face of AA. How much help can we really ask for? At some point we've simply got to perform and stop making these excuses.


I think you may not understand my point. You say +1 to everything Vanwinkle says, but she suggests that getting into a great school ISN'T the problem while I suggest that it is. Do you even understand the disagreements that vanwinkle and I have?

Next you say that once you are in a great law school, opportunities are abundant. Ok, where have I said that they are not? In fact, I said that many qualified Blacks choose NOT to go to firms because they have other opportunities.

Finally, you suggest that "[a]lmost everything " I say "doesn't hold in the face of" affirmative action. I don't even know what this means.

I'd like to know which points you disagree with.

Do you disagree that "most aspiring Black attorneys do not have the grades/LSAT scores to be competitive for our nation's best law schools?"

Do you disagree that law firms have failed to promote black associates to partnership levels at meaningful levels?

Do you disagree that current Black law associates generally have a tough time in biglaw, have a lack of mentoring, get stuck on mundane assignments, etc?

Do you disagree 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?

Which one of these factors is nonsense? And in which of these have I advocated for more benefits for Black attorneys. The question simply was "why aren't there more blacks in corporate law." The above are some of the most obvious reasons.
Last edited by TheProsecutor on Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
roaringeagle
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:11 pm

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

Postby roaringeagle » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:28 pm

I'm not black but I've heard this from more than one black person.

The fourth is that I think many African American attorneys have a committment to the communities they come from that weighs on them heavily. There is pressure to come back and serve. While entering corporate law is not "selling out" there is a view that you may lose yourself representing some of the corporate clients. Many outstanding black attorneys move back to their homes where they get involved in non-profits, build organizations, work at local civil rights firms, or do other grassroots lawyering.

User avatar
TrialLawyer16
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:43 pm

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

Postby TrialLawyer16 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:47 pm

TheProsecutor wrote:
TrialLawyer16 wrote:+1 to everything VanWinkle said.

Prosecutor, and I say this respectfully, you're talking a lot of nonsense right now. Us blacks are given all the opportunities (and then some) as any other race to succeed in the law school admissions game and the employment game. The tough part is just getting into a great school due to the socioeconomic disadvantages a person may have had up until that point in their life, but once you're in the opportunities are abundant. Almost everything you're saying doesn't hold in the face of AA. How much help can we really ask for? At some point we've simply got to perform and stop making these excuses.


I think you may not understand my point. You say +1 to everything Vanwinkle says, but she suggests that getting into a great school ISN'T the problem while I suggest that it is. Do you even understand the disagreements that vanwinkle and I have?

Next you say that once you are in a great law school, opportunities are abundant. Ok, where have I said that they are not? In fact, I said that many qualified Blacks choose NOT to go to firms because they have other opportunities.

Finally, you suggest that "[a]lmost everything " I say "doesn't hold in the face of" affirmative action. I don't even know what this means.

I'd like to know which points you disagree with.

Do you disagree that "most aspiring Black attorneys do not have the grades/LSAT scores to be competitive for our nation's best law schools?"

Do you disagree that law firms have failed to promote black associates to partnership levels at meaningful levels?

Do you disagree that current Black law associates generally have a tough time in biglaw, have a lack of mentoring, get stuck on mundane assignments, etc?

Do you disagree 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?

Which one of these factors is nonsense? And in which of these have I advocated for more benefits for Black attorneys. The question simply was "why aren't there more blacks in corporate law." The above are some of the most obvious reasons.

Yeah I know what you two are disagreeing on. When I said +1 to everything Vanwinkle said I meant that. I disagree with the first three points (that he referred to) of your post, and he and I both agree with your 4th point.

I do not believe getting into a great school is the problem (as suggested by Vanwinkle pointing out that there is a smaller proportion of blacks in corporate law than the proportion in top law schools). I believe the key to this dearth of blacks in corporate law is what happens after said students are in those schools.

TheProsecutor
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 12:50 pm

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

Postby TheProsecutor » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:06 pm

TrialLawyer16 wrote:
TheProsecutor wrote:
TrialLawyer16 wrote:+1 to everything VanWinkle said.

Prosecutor, and I say this respectfully, you're talking a lot of nonsense right now. Us blacks are given all the opportunities (and then some) as any other race to succeed in the law school admissions game and the employment game. The tough part is just getting into a great school due to the socioeconomic disadvantages a person may have had up until that point in their life, but once you're in the opportunities are abundant. Almost everything you're saying doesn't hold in the face of AA. How much help can we really ask for? At some point we've simply got to perform and stop making these excuses.


I think you may not understand my point. You say +1 to everything Vanwinkle says, but she suggests that getting into a great school ISN'T the problem while I suggest that it is. Do you even understand the disagreements that vanwinkle and I have?

Next you say that once you are in a great law school, opportunities are abundant. Ok, where have I said that they are not? In fact, I said that many qualified Blacks choose NOT to go to firms because they have other opportunities.

Finally, you suggest that "[a]lmost everything " I say "doesn't hold in the face of" affirmative action. I don't even know what this means.

I'd like to know which points you disagree with.

Do you disagree that "most aspiring Black attorneys do not have the grades/LSAT scores to be competitive for our nation's best law schools?"

Do you disagree that law firms have failed to promote black associates to partnership levels at meaningful levels?

Do you disagree that current Black law associates generally have a tough time in biglaw, have a lack of mentoring, get stuck on mundane assignments, etc?

Do you disagree 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?

Which one of these factors is nonsense? And in which of these have I advocated for more benefits for Black attorneys. The question simply was "why aren't there more blacks in corporate law." The above are some of the most obvious reasons.

Yeah I know what you two are disagreeing on. When I said +1 to everything Vanwinkle said I meant that. I disagree with the first three points (that he referred to) of your post, and he and I both agree with your 4th point.

I do not believe getting into a great school is the problem (as suggested by Vanwinkle pointing out that there is a smaller proportion of blacks in corporate law than the proportion in top law schools). I believe the key to this dearth of blacks in corporate law is what happens after said students are in those schools.



Yeah, but my view and your view are not mutually exclusive.

And the idea that blacks are not in corporate law, historically, has very little to do with the possibility that blacks aren't being hired. Sure, in this economy, blacks at top 14 schools might have a tough go if they are below median, etc. But historically, Blacks have had a fine time getting biglaw jobs if they went to top schools. The problem is that there's not a lot of black kids at these schools, many of the black kids opt not to do biglaw, and the ones that do go to biglaw don't stay.

User avatar
TrialLawyer16
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:43 pm

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

Postby TrialLawyer16 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:33 pm

TheProsecutor wrote:
TrialLawyer16 wrote:
TheProsecutor wrote:
TrialLawyer16 wrote:+1 to everything VanWinkle said.

Prosecutor, and I say this respectfully, you're talking a lot of nonsense right now. Us blacks are given all the opportunities (and then some) as any other race to succeed in the law school admissions game and the employment game. The tough part is just getting into a great school due to the socioeconomic disadvantages a person may have had up until that point in their life, but once you're in the opportunities are abundant. Almost everything you're saying doesn't hold in the face of AA. How much help can we really ask for? At some point we've simply got to perform and stop making these excuses.


I think you may not understand my point. You say +1 to everything Vanwinkle says, but she suggests that getting into a great school ISN'T the problem while I suggest that it is. Do you even understand the disagreements that vanwinkle and I have?

Next you say that once you are in a great law school, opportunities are abundant. Ok, where have I said that they are not? In fact, I said that many qualified Blacks choose NOT to go to firms because they have other opportunities.

Finally, you suggest that "[a]lmost everything " I say "doesn't hold in the face of" affirmative action. I don't even know what this means.

I'd like to know which points you disagree with.

Do you disagree that "most aspiring Black attorneys do not have the grades/LSAT scores to be competitive for our nation's best law schools?"

Do you disagree that law firms have failed to promote black associates to partnership levels at meaningful levels?

Do you disagree that current Black law associates generally have a tough time in biglaw, have a lack of mentoring, get stuck on mundane assignments, etc?

Do you disagree 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?

Which one of these factors is nonsense? And in which of these have I advocated for more benefits for Black attorneys. The question simply was "why aren't there more blacks in corporate law." The above are some of the most obvious reasons.

Yeah I know what you two are disagreeing on. When I said +1 to everything Vanwinkle said I meant that. I disagree with the first three points (that he referred to) of your post, and he and I both agree with your 4th point.

I do not believe getting into a great school is the problem (as suggested by Vanwinkle pointing out that there is a smaller proportion of blacks in corporate law than the proportion in top law schools). I believe the key to this dearth of blacks in corporate law is what happens after said students are in those schools.



Yeah, but my view and your view are not mutually exclusive.

And the idea that blacks are not in corporate law, historically, has very little to do with the possibility that blacks aren't being hired. Sure, in this economy, blacks at top 14 schools might have a tough go if they are below median, etc. But historically, Blacks have had a fine time getting biglaw jobs if they went to top schools. The problem is that there's not a lot of black kids at these schools, many of the black kids opt not to do biglaw, and the ones that do go to biglaw don't stay.

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)".

User avatar
lisjjen
Posts: 1242
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:19 am

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

Postby lisjjen » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:10 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?


Nope. I won't tell you that. I will tell you this.

"Those at the lowest economic level, the poor white and Negro, the aged and chronically ill, are traditionally unorganized and therefore have little ability to force the necessary growth in their income. They stagnate or become even poorer in relation to the larger society."

-Dr. Martin Luther King

ETA: I will say this though. Let's say we both go to the same school and go work at the same firm. Once you're on the other end, you very well may be promoted more often and get more interesting work.

TheProsecutor
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 12:50 pm

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

Postby TheProsecutor » Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:24 pm

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.

User avatar
Rising Son
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:52 am

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

Postby Rising Son » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:53 am

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?



"Further, even though I didn't know it at the time, I have been the victim of a hate crime."

You've answered your own question. Being white affords you this level of nuance. When black, this type of attack is often quite transparent. We usually know.

Having said this I've never once said in my life that my plight, as a black man, is so much more difficult than my white counterparts. Because to do so would be a blatant falsehood.

Perhaps a dose of common sense is required when speaking on this topic. One size fits all does not apply.

LOLyer
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:49 pm

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

Postby LOLyer » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:53 pm

Rising Son 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?



"Further, even though I didn't know it at the time, I have been the victim of a hate crime."

You've answered your own question. Being white affords you this level of nuance. When black, this type of attack is often quite transparent. We usually know.

Having said this I've never once said in my life that my plight, as a black man, is so much more difficult than my white counterparts. Because to do so would be a blatant falsehood.

Perhaps a dose of common sense is required when speaking on this topic. One size fits all does not apply.


I don't want to generalize, but in my experience, there tends to be more of a presumption of racial bias under one set of circumstances versus the other. I'll let you do the math there. Even so, the fact that the motivation might be more transparent under one set of circumstances doesn't change the difficulty of overcoming the obstacle. After all, we're trying to create a level playing field, right?

I'm not saying that the general African American population doesn't face substantial hardships -- they undoubtedly do. But using race as a metric to equalize these hardships is fundamentally flawed.

To be clear, my initial post was in response to all the people pointing to economic disadvantage as a reason for the racial disparity in corporate law.




Return to “Under Represented Law Student Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests