Hispanic Status as Underrepresented

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)

Is virtually every group of Hispanics or Latinos underrespresented in law school?

Yes
14
35%
No
23
58%
Other (Explain Below)
3
8%
 
Total votes: 40

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LexLeon
Posts: 400
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Hispanic Status as Underrepresented

Postby LexLeon » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:44 am

Consider the following four examples and bear in mind that myriad more can be provided:

Yukos wrote: ...TLS collective wisdom is only hispanics from Mexico/Puerto Rico get the URM boost; Colombians are NOT considered URMs. Me sabe mal.


Justin Genious wrote:Dominican's do not receive a significant URM boost. Only PR/MA see a boost.


twentypercentmore wrote:Unfortunately, Dominican is not a URM. However, that shouldn't keep you from writing diversity statements if you feel you have something to add to the classroom. There's a fellow on LSN that received a substantial boost even though he was a non-URM hispanic,


silver11 wrote:They are considered Hispanic/Latino and don't qualify for URM status. You could write a really good diversity statement and show the school how you can bring diversity to their class, but as far as getting a boost, you wouldn't qualify.


Now, please, contemplate the following question:

What support is there for the proposition that any Hispanic or Latino group (including but not limited to South Americans) is not underrepresented in any given law school class?

All the evidence that I've seen, or that is typically provided, supports just the opposite proposition: that any Hispanic or Latino group is underrepresented throughout higher education generally in the United States.

Please consider the following Census Bureau spreadsheet in conjunction with others provided at http://www.census.gov:

http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/educ ... le1-06.xls

This post can be aptly described as a challenge: I ask that whoever, including those quoted, thinks that a certain Hispanic or Latino group is not underrepresented in any given law school class--therefore that members of this group are not URM's--provide information supporting this position.

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PDaddy
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Re: Hispanic Status as Underrepresented

Postby PDaddy » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:14 am

Determining who is URM is far more complicated than "there are only X-number of [my group] in law school; therefore I should be a URM".

Under-representation does not simply denote that a certain group is not proportionally represented according to its general population; it also refers to lack historical socioeconomic access and historical, generational discrimination endured by groups in the U.S.. That applies to a small number of ethnic groups: African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Indians/Native-Americans, Filipinos, and a few other groups - in limited circumstances.

This is why, like many Hispanics, Chinese and Japanese students do not qualify. Their parents simply make too much money, they have attended economically enfranchised schools prior to UG and they have lived in economically enfranchised neighborhoods. Despite Japanese internment in the early 1900's, the Japanese have otherwise enjoyed relative economic enfranchisement - even if there is no question that they still face discrimination.

Add to the calculus a consideration for proportionality and other groups are not included for two reasons. First they are not "historically underrepresented'. The word "historically" is key here. If you are a member of a group that migrated to the U.S. by choice and was not historically disenfranchised by law and custom, you have no right to be called a URM.

Secondly, if you are a member of a group whose U.S. population is too small to warrant consideration - such as East Africans for example - and have migrated here by choice and without experiencing historical discrimination, you are and should be excluded from the URM designation. Certain immigrants are too new to be called historically anything, and they have never had U.S. laws directed towards their disenfranchisement. They cannot be underrepresented because their population in the U.S. is too small for their exclusion from law school to have any meaningful impact on their communities.

All of the above considerations factor into whether or not one is URM, which is why, if you are not Mexican or Puerto Rican you usually will not make the cut while there is an argument that Gays and Lesbians should be considered URM.

Now YOU tell ME/US why someone from Barcelona, Spain, for example, should be considered an underrepresented minority.

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twenty
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Re: Hispanic Status as Underrepresented

Postby twenty » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:49 am

I'm going to cautiously agree with PDaddy, though I think the reverse is more accurate. Massive groups of people don't collectively decide they're going to under-perform on the LSAT or not apply to law school at all. There's clearly structural barrier, sure, but it's the fact that they're so underrepresented in law schools (specifically top law schools), not the fact there's been cyclical discrimination.

you are and should be excluded from the URM designation


This doesn't happen, I'm afraid. If two east-African parents have a child in the US, who then goes to a US undergrad, conventional TLS URM tracking says that student will get the "full AA boost". Have you ever seen a situation where this does happen? I know I certainly haven't.

All that said, I reread the OP, and I'm not sure I understand the contention. Even if you're correct, and "other Hispanic" is underrepresented to the extent that Mexican Americans/Puerto Ricans are, law schools give only minor boosts, and usually as an attaboy for overcoming a language barrier.

If you look at Columbia's class profile, you'll notice that less than 15% of students are URM. Even if every URM student was under both medians, that still leaves quite a bit of wiggle room for students with sub-median numbers. I don't think URMs make enough of an impact to be upset about, even if one were to concede that it was unfair and terrible, or whatever.

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LexLeon
Posts: 400
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Re: Hispanic Status as Underrepresented

Postby LexLeon » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:45 pm

PDaddy wrote: This is why...Hispanics...do not qualify. Their parents simply make too much money, they have attended economically enfranchised schools prior to UG and they have lived in economically enfranchised neighborhoods....


From where do you draw this (alarmingly general) information?

PDaddy wrote: Add to the calculus a consideration for proportionality and other groups are not included for two reasons. First they are not "historically underrepresented'. The word "historically" is key here. If you are a member of a group that migrated to the U.S. by choice and was not historically disenfranchised by law and custom, you have no right to be called a URM.


From where do you draw the conclusion that one must be "historically disenfranchised by law and custom...to be called a URM"? It's not clear that you're entitled to pack that into the definition of underrepresented minority, at least the definition that law school admissions officials use in their determinations. The term "underrepresented minority" seems straightforward; I'm not clear on where your justification for complicating it in this way is.

PDaddy wrote:['(C)ertain immigrants'] cannot be underrepresented because their population in the U.S. is too small for their exclusion from law school to have any meaningful impact on their communities


Since when is a "meaningful impact on [a minority's] community" a necessary condition for URM status?

Anyway, on the contrary, it seems (when we consider the obvious meaning of "URM") that an immigrant who comes from an exceedingly small U.S. population group is likely to get an even bigger boost than a larger group that is better represented in law schools, notwithstanding a tougher history. Why would you assume that less representation is outweighed by the specifics of group history, given only the term "underrepresented minority" and few clarifications on what more it means beyond its obvious prima facie definition?

Besides, even if we proceed with your definition, why would you assume that someone from a smaller community would have less of an impact on that community, relative to the impact someone from a larger community would have on his or her community? That is not obviously true and seems false.

You've really only provided your own opinions which attempt to further complicate an already nebulous concept, without clear reason. If you think the ideas you've provided are in fact shared by admissions officials, provide some evidence for that position. Or if you think Hispanic groups other than Mexicans or Puerto Ricans are largely more "economically enfranchised" than these latter two groups, provide some data on that. As stated originally, the most reliable data doesn't distinguish between Hispanics in this way, and I'm wondering why you and others (if for any reason other than your intuitions and anecdotes) do make such distinctions.

Oh and if this is a real question

PDaddy wrote:Now YOU tell ME/US why someone from Barcelona, Spain, for example, should be considered an underrepresented minority.


I would respond to it by noting that the data from the government states that Hispanics--including those from Spain, I think--are underrepresented in higher education, law schools included.

"Why should one who is underrepresented in law school classes be considered underrepresented in law school classes," you ask?

edamame
Posts: 294
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:25 pm

Re: Hispanic Status as Underrepresented

Postby edamame » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:01 am

Wow, you should really stop posting. Being underrepresented and being considered underrepresented by adcomms are two different things. The latter receives a significant boost, but the former not necessarily so. The census doesn't write admissions rules; adcomms do.

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Drake014
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Re: Hispanic Status as Underrepresented

Postby Drake014 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:07 am

I've had this conversation before and actually looked up the statistics... too tired to do again. However, I'll summarize what I found. If you look at the advanced degrees of Hispanics such as Colombians, you find that they are not very underrepresented, if at all. The same result exists for most types of Asians. It goes doubley so if you look at enrollment in advanced degree programs (which is actually the most important indicator IMO).




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