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

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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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 7:22 pm

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


Well I'm screwed lol. My name puts me in a completely different race category, and then if you were to meet me based off my last name you wouldn't think I was black.

Also I didn't think they had a race box in job applications. I didn't think that was allowed.

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

Postby abh1981 » Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:27 am

Not necessarily. Recruiters go by word of mouth from professors and contacts within schools as well. Also, if you're in a few majority Black/Black-centered groups, that could very well be enough to get you an interview, at which point you could drop in that you're Black (I'm using Black as an example, maybe selfishly, but you get the idea :-) ).

No, they do not have a "race box" on applications. Sorry, I see how that might have been misinterpreted. I meant applications to anything...the recruiter meant that my not communicating my race - whether it be by checking a box on a scholarship application or by including subtle (or less than subtle) hints on a resume - I made his job more difficult. There are many ways of bringing one's ethnic background to the attention of people whom you want to know about it. The rule of thumb is that if there is no reference anywhere on a resume/application to race/ethnicity, the applicant is white (or at least not a URM).

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

Postby dat_raw_n_tellect » Thu May 08, 2008 1:39 am

Big firms have race quotas, just like schools.


Sorry...have to disagree with you, dude or dudette. I just completed Con Law and I am pretty sure "race quotas" are unconstitutional in many cases. See Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger (for school admissions) and Richmond v. Crosson (for employment).

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

Postby bigben » Thu May 08, 2008 1:38 pm

dat_raw_n_tellect wrote:
Big firms have race quotas, just like schools.


Sorry...have to disagree with you, dude or dudette. I just completed Con Law and I am pretty sure "race quotas" are unconstitutional in many cases. See Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger (for school admissions) and Richmond v. Crosson (for employment).



Which is why they are really more like 'guidelines'

To some extent, I think schools and firms have no choice because of the bad press/harassment they would receive otherwise

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

Postby kritiosboy » Thu May 08, 2008 2:30 pm

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Last edited by kritiosboy on Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby raskolnikov » Thu May 08, 2008 2:40 pm

kritiosboy wrote:Does anyone else get the feeling abh is a flame? If not, then that is some awesome insight into the hiring process.

It's just....usually people's first post is "what are my chances?", not "bombshell insider info into the hiring practices of top law firms!".

The coolest people already know their chances and can skip ahead to posting insider information.

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

Postby iwasgoingtobeasenator » Thu May 08, 2008 2:43 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).


Obama met his wife Michelle at Sidley Austin I hear... that's biglaw baby.

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

Postby iwasgoingtobeasenator » Thu May 08, 2008 2:55 pm

dat_raw_n_tellect wrote:
Big firms have race quotas, just like schools.


Sorry...have to disagree with you, dude or dudette. I just completed Con Law and I am pretty sure "race quotas" are unconstitutional in many cases. See Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger (for school admissions) and Richmond v. Crosson (for employment).


Lol! Bro, I was reading those cases on UMich in ugrad, and I can tell you right now that all the Bollinger cases did was obscure the transparency of their minority recruiting, not eliminate it. They don't use formulas, they don't use quotas, they don't use point systems. They say, "Uh, oh you're URM, that's a ... um... +...."

Now, I didn't read the Richmond v Crosson case, but it is extremely obvious that law firms actively recruit minorities. For instance, my law firm began to see a market pressure (as a mid sized firm not on the radar) to create a "diversity action committee" and begin actively searching for minority applicants. Our summer associate pool went from 8-10 applicants, 1 or 2 being minorities in one year, then shifting to more like 10 applicants, 6 or 7 being minorities. HUGE shift. It may not be a "quota" that the firm sets, but make no mistake that minorities are NEEDED when you're bidding for some big clients who want to see your firm demographics. Also, those "quotas" are more likely to be the percentages that those clients want to see, as opposed to firm set quotas. Just a thought, but I think I'm right.

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

Postby dat_raw_n_tellect » Thu May 08, 2008 8:05 pm

^^^^Exactly. Law firms are usually a completely different animal because many are within the private sphere. I think the "increase" in diversity that is being seen in law firms is due to several factors, especially the ones you pointed out.

On a sidenote: University of California v. Bakke was the case that made having out right quotas in public schools illegal. Like you said, the Michigan cases just threw more confusion in the whole mix of AA in public schools: race can be an element that you look at, but you can't give 20 automatic points for it type of thing. But again, this is all in the public sphere. (I believe private schools may have a federal statute restricting admission based on race.) The AA in employment cases are a bit more complicated. Overall, under equal protection, all race classifications receive strict scrutiny.

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

Postby nellie06 » Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:55 am

I guess it just comes down to general counsels of fortune 500 companies putting pressure on firms to have more diversity in their ranks. You can't bite the hand that feeds you haha.

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Mr.Big
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby Mr.Big » Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:33 pm

lthough nonwhites now account for nearly one-fifth of new attorneys, they still make up less than four percent of the partners at large law firms. Most commentators have blamed some combination of firm discrimination and minority disinterest for this disparity. In this Article, the author uses several new sources of data to explore this phenomenon, finding significant support for the following findings. Each of the major nonwhite groups (Asians, Hispanics and blacks) are as interested during law school in careers with large firms as are whites. Large law firms use very large hiring preferences for blacks, with the result that blacks are overrepresented among firm hires (relative to their numbers among law graduates) and tend to have much lower grades than their white counterparts. The large preferences are plausibly linked to a variety of counterproductive mechanisms that cumulatively produce very high black attrition from firms and consequently low partnership rates. Similar patterns, on a less intense scale, affect Hispanics entering large firms. While many questions are open, the author concludes that aggressive racial preferences at the law school and law firm level tend to undermine in some ways the careers of young attorneys and may, in the end, contribute to the continuing white dominance of large-firm partnerships

--LinkRemoved-- and
--LinkRemoved-- or
http://www.metrocorpcounsel.com/current ... tryNo=2649 plus
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/29/us/29 ... kskBHIu40g

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ogman05
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby ogman05 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:17 pm

Interesting reads.

hax123
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby hax123 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:13 pm

Law firms practice affirmative action in the same manner as do law schools and colleges: they reserve a number of available spots for minority applicants. Even though this practice is illegal, employers and universities do it anyway. (Justice Rehnquist even brought up this violation in Grutter v. Bollinger, but none of the liberals on the Supreme Court cared.)

Anyway, because qualified minority, especially black, law school graduates are extremely rare, law firms significantly lower the standards for minority job seekers. Inevitably, many of these minority recruits are unable to manage the workload at law firms and drop out before they can become partners (hence the dearth of minority partners in top firms).

I would guess that the degree of affirmative action in law firm recruitment is even greater than that in law school admissions. I believe this is true because potential lawyers must pass the bar exam, whereas potential law students must simply take the LSAT.

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ck3
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby ck3 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:55 pm

I have seen many job applications in the last 25 years that had a race or ethnic status box. Not for law firms but for many companies. They always say that it is voluntary to give that information and they always have a blurb that stresses that the company is an equal opportunity employer. Maybe that has been phased out but I have seen it many times.

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

Postby poopstains » Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:57 pm

Is anybody out there an urm and an associate at a firm (biglaw or otherwise) that can speak as to his/her actual experience with hiring?

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

Postby YCrevolution » Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:14 pm

..

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

Postby poopstains » Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:16 pm

YCrevolution wrote:
poopstains wrote:Is anybody out there an urm and an associate at a firm (biglaw or otherwise) that can speak as to his/her actual experience with hiring?

There was a URM patent/IP attorney at a biglaw firm posting a few weeks ago, IIRC.


sorry, i'm new to this, IIRC?

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

Postby YCrevolution » Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:17 pm

..

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

Postby Kohinoor » Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:53 pm

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.

Hm. I'd say there's a bit of a boost but not nearly as significant as the LSAT boost in admissions. It also seems really hit or miss. Some UVA people with decent but not great grades struck out completely. The ones that really thrived had SUBSTANTIAL work experience or ridiculous extra curriculars.

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

Postby Kohinoor » Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:13 pm

abh1981 wrote: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.

Without going into why this guy seems like flame, I'll counter his "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." There were URMs above the bottom quarter unemployed in the last year. Don't think that the T14 is a guarantee or even a near guarantee of anything.

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

Postby mallard » Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:15 pm

Kohinoor wrote:Without going into why this guy seems like flame, I'll counter his "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." There were URMs above the bottom quarter unemployed in the last year. Don't think that the T14 is a guarantee or even a near guarantee of anything.


He made that post in 2008.

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

Postby Kohinoor » Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:16 pm

mallard wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:Without going into why this guy seems like flame, I'll counter his "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." There were URMs above the bottom quarter unemployed in the last year. Don't think that the T14 is a guarantee or even a near guarantee of anything.


He made that post in 2008.

Goddamnit.

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

Postby mallard » Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:21 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
mallard wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:Without going into why this guy seems like flame, I'll counter his "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." There were URMs above the bottom quarter unemployed in the last year. Don't think that the T14 is a guarantee or even a near guarantee of anything.


He made that post in 2008.

Goddamnit.


I think it's still important to note that he might either (1) have been flame or wrong or speaking for a firm that differed from the norm, or (2) have unknowingly highlighted a difference in boom-time and ITE minority recruiting.

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

Postby Coco_Local » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:49 pm

I did the biglaw guantlet, left to clerk, and am now happily working for the federal government. I am happy to answer questions about the URM experience since there seems to be a lot of disconnect between what people think happens and the reality of biglaw/legal industry facing minorities.

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Quan292
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Re: Biglaw bias towards urm similar to t-14's?

Postby Quan292 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:32 pm

Coco_Local wrote:I did the biglaw guantlet, left to clerk, and am now happily working for the federal government. I am happy to answer questions about the URM experience since there seems to be a lot of disconnect between what people think happens and the reality of biglaw/legal industry facing minorities.


Cool, so what are the job prospects like for urms ite.




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