Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
nellie06
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Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby nellie06 » Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:14 pm

I've heard that there is a similar bias towards urms with biglaw firms as there seems to be with t-14's...any evidence to support or reject this assertion? From a quick overview of a couple firm's websites, it seems like firms seem to be willing to reach outside of their normal range in terms of what schools they normally hire from or how low in a class they will recruit.

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longhorn350z
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby longhorn350z » Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:28 pm

i don't think there's as big a bias because firms only need to fill a certain quota. at the vault 50 firm i used to work at, i can only think of 2 african americans and 1 hispanic american in the entire firm.

but anyway, stop worrying about things out of your control and just focus on yourself and your grades. then it won't matter what race or background you come from.

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spanktheduck
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby spanktheduck » Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:29 pm

nvm, misread post

nellie06
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby nellie06 » Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:32 pm

Lol i am a minority, it isn't like i'm trying to turn this into an aa discussion. Plus law school doesn't start till august, so there really isn't any point worrying about grades for classes I've never taken. :wink:

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MTal
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby MTal » Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:34 pm

T1 and URM = guaranteed Biglaw.

Big firms have race quotas, just like schools.

sibarg2
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby sibarg2 » Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:35 pm

MTal wrote:T1 and URM + respectable grades= guaranteed Biglaw


TMBTCR

(THIS MIGHT BE THE CORRECT RESPONSE)

nellie06
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby nellie06 » Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:49 pm

Interesting. So might it be something like this? t-14 urm+ graduating = biglaw, t-25 urm+ top 75% = biglaw, tier 1 urm + median= biglaw? Not even going to bother breaking down with tier 2, 3, 4...seems like once you get into that area might as well head to howard, the hbcu's harvard lol.

imdashep
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby imdashep » Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:47 pm

Well, purely off of statistical breakdowns, URMs are proportionally rarer in the upper levels of their class (based on mismatch type theories).

I would think the main thing would be looking at high achieving people in lower schools than they would generally consider. In a work environment, getting people who come from disadvantaged upbringings would be a major positive I would think.

An interesting bit of research would be to look at URMs propensity to enter big law. A hypothesis could be that URMs tend to proportionally enter more public interest or human rights type things, at least with those who came from less advantaged backgrounds (since if you haven't heard, Barack Obama started as an organizer! South side of Chicago! Organizer!....PS, still voted for him, so no need to attack me for making fun of him).

nellie06
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby nellie06 » Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:01 pm

I think that urm's may avoid biglaw to a certain extent because of the glass ceiling associated with wall st firms, whether it be law, finance, or consulting. Many who do make it end up leaving for in-house positions/govt/ pub interest because of a sense that the walls are closing in. I doubt as a urm I would make biglaw a career. There are too few urm attorneys to help those under them succeed, or they get to the top and feel like they're now part of the establishment. Vicious cycle, I guess. But it is a great way to pay off loans, and get some nice experience for your resume. Not all of us can get a 2 million dollar advance like barak did to pay off his hls debt haha.

By the way my friend is in chicago in the organizing program. It's pretty damn hard. His group was full of future politicians, with phd's, ivy leaguers, and kids from top state schools. Over 2,000 applied, about 30 were accepted, and out of his group he is one of 4 who made it. Some kids didn't last a day, let alone a week. They couldn't take it and quit. Most people last barely a year if they do it. 5 years is no joke. Props to obama!

nellie06
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby nellie06 » Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:08 pm

anyone else? Figured ppl would have more to say on this.

Fourttier
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby Fourttier » Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:14 pm

I have heard that URM's get hired by Biglaw but they don't stay, they quit. Never heard any reasons why they tend to quit Biglaw.

mcds
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby mcds » Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:56 pm

Just work as well as you can and don't worry about anything else.

boston101
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby boston101 » Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:11 pm

imdashep wrote:Well, purely off of statistical breakdowns, URMs are proportionally rarer in the upper levels of their class (based on mismatch type theories).

I would think the main thing would be looking at high achieving people in lower schools than they would generally consider. In a work environment, getting people who come from disadvantaged upbringings would be a major positive I would think.

An interesting bit of research would be to look at URMs propensity to enter big law. A hypothesis could be that URMs tend to proportionally enter more public interest or human rights type things, at least with those who came from less advantaged backgrounds (since if you haven't heard, Barack Obama started as an organizer! South side of Chicago! Organizer!....PS, still voted for him, so no need to attack me for making fun of him).


imda...If I remember correctly, Obama was an organizer before he went to law school.

imdashep
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby imdashep » Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:27 pm

I think before and after.

nellie06
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby nellie06 » Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:32 pm

Fourttier wrote:I have heard that URM's get hired by Biglaw but they don't stay, they quit. Never heard any reasons why they tend to quit Biglaw.



I kinda answered this previously i think

I think that urm's may avoid biglaw to a certain extent because of the glass ceiling associated with wall st firms, whether it be law, finance, or consulting. Many who do make it end up leaving for in-house positions/govt/ pub interest because of a sense that the walls are closing in. I doubt as a urm I would make biglaw a career. There are too few urm attorneys to help those under them succeed, or they get to the top and feel like they're now part of the establishment. Vicious cycle, I guess. But it is a great way to pay off loans, and get some nice experience for your resume. Not all of us can get a 2 million dollar advance like barak did to pay off his hls debt haha.

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snowboarder2713
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby snowboarder2713 » Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:43 pm

I had dinner with recruitment/hiring people at a top, top law firm in DC and they said bluntly that they hire people only from t-14, GW (due to its proximity), and Howard. He said they recruit at Howard because diversity is so important.

nellie06
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby nellie06 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:06 am

snowboarder2713 wrote:I had dinner with recruitment/hiring people at a top, top law firm in DC and they said bluntly that they hire people only from t-14, GW (due to its proximity), and Howard. He said they recruit at Howard because diversity is so important.


Yea i'm a urm, there's no way i'd end up at howard, I'd rather not feel like I have no real shot of being anything else but a 'diversity hire'.

Anyone know if there's a differing gpa cutoff for urm's vs non?

bigben
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby bigben » Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:11 am

nellie06 wrote:I've heard that there is a similar bias towards urms with biglaw firms as there seems to be with t-14's...any evidence to support or reject this assertion? From a quick overview of a couple firm's websites, it seems like firms seem to be willing to reach outside of their normal range in terms of what schools they normally hire from or how low in a class they will recruit.



You have a strange way of phrasing things. Do you mean to ask whether or not there is affirmative action in biglaw hiring (as there is with all law schools)?

Anyway, Howard's placement data would be one example of evidence for this.

nellie06
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby nellie06 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:12 am

bigben wrote:
nellie06 wrote:I've heard that there is a similar bias towards urms with biglaw firms as there seems to be with t-14's...any evidence to support or reject this assertion? From a quick overview of a couple firm's websites, it seems like firms seem to be willing to reach outside of their normal range in terms of what schools they normally hire from or how low in a class they will recruit.



You have a strange way of phrasing things. Do you mean to ask whether or not there is affirmative action in biglaw hiring (as there is with all law schools)?

Anyway, Howard's placement data would be one example of evidence for this.


Lol sorry if it was muddled, but I think ppl get the gist.

bigben
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby bigben » Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:20 am

No problem. I remember that there was a thread about this a while back. Someone said that any firm that hires at Howard would presumably rather get their quota from a better school, but they can't know the race of a student before OCI, or something to that effect. So, they would jump at the opportunity to hire a minority from the T14 even if their grades were subpar. Maybe this was in reference to a specific school or something, I don't know, but it makes sense to me.

On a side note, wouldn't having a lower GPA cut off because you're a minority also qualify as a 'diversity hire?'

nellie06
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby nellie06 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:29 am

bigben wrote:No problem. I remember that there was a thread about this a while back. Someone said that any firm that hires at Howard would presumably rather get their quota from a better school, but they can't know the race of a student before OCI, or something to that effect. So, they would jump at the opportunity to hire a minority from the T14 even if their grades were subpar. Maybe this was in reference to a specific school or something, I don't know, but it makes sense to me.

On a side note, wouldn't having a lower GPA cut off because you're a minority also qualify as a 'diversity hire?'


I don't think that's (gpa cutoff) necessarily the case especially for t-14 urms, since the 't-14 bias' is definitely way more pervasive regardless of race. Sure maybe outside the t-14 your way of thinking does have relevance, but not for people in the t-14.

bigben
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby bigben » Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:33 am

I'm not sure I understand. Are you saying that you don't think that there is a lower GPA cutoff used by employers for minority candidates when they are hiring within the T14?

abh1981
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby abh1981 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:24 pm

Hi everyone, I work for a BigLaw firm in NYC (not a lawyer...yet). We hire almost exclusively from t-14, including minority candidates. The unofficial GPA cutoff for non-URM students is a 3.5; for URM students there is no cutoff. Even URMs with very, very low GPAs will be considered, provided that they are from a t-14. Basically, if you're a URM (particularly Black) and you go to a t-14 and don't fail, you should be all set for BigLaw. In fact, firms will fight for you.

As someone mentioned, retention of URM associates is a huge, huge problem. In reality, the work product of the URM associates is, on average, far below that of non-URM associates. This isn't all that surprising: when you're taking non-URM students almost exclusively from the top of the class and URM students from what is usually the bottom quarter of the class, the fact that the former performs better than the latter shouldn't be unexpected. Because the work product is inferior, partners generally won't want to work with those associates (because it will make them look bad to their clients, it takes up precious time to fix mistakes, etc.) The URM associates then get stuck doing boring, unfulfilling work, and choose to leave the firm(s) in search of greener pastures elsewhere.

That being said, there are a few very sucessful URM associates and partners where I work.

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lishi
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby lishi » Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:36 pm

How do they know you are black when they are looking at your resume and see that your GPA is below 3.5??

abh1981
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby abh1981 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:56 pm

That's a very good question. They have a number of ways, including looking at your name/guessing and noting your group involvement.

But you're right, it basically comes down to a guess. I've talked to recruiters about this, and they even take bets as to whether a candidate is Black or not (as Black students are generally the most difficult URM to identify by name). What it comes down to, of course, is the interview. If Janelle Smith from UVA turns out to be a white girl with a 3.3 who is involved in the African Law Students Association (for whatever reason), they interview her, say thanks, and never call her back.

Apparently, though, not listing race does often make it difficult for recruiters. I myself am Black, and when I told my good friend in recruiting that I never list that I'm Black on any appliactions, he said "It's people like you who make my job difficult!" (kidding with me, of course, though it is still true: part of his job is meeting certain diversity requirements).

But take note (!): if you want a recruiter to know that you're Black, it would be smart to join Black interest groups at law school!




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