Big Law African American Hiring

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
washin34
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby washin34 » Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:12 pm

just a question to all of the posters....of all of you, which one can check black as racial or ethnic background when you take the LSAT?

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OperaAttorney
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby OperaAttorney » Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:59 pm

washin34 wrote:just a question to all of the posters....of all of you, which one can check black as racial or ethnic background when you take the LSAT?


I can. And I did. Black people do love the opera too :wink: .

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Kohinoor
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby Kohinoor » Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:15 pm

As the blackest person I've ever met, I did.

washin34
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby washin34 » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:02 pm

OperaAttorney wrote:
washin34 wrote:just a question to all of the posters....of all of you, which one can check black as racial or ethnic background when you take the LSAT?


I can. And I did. Black people do love the opera too :wink: .


I know, I'm aware that your intrest has much to do with your acculturation as oppossed to your race or ethnic background :wink:

but just to clarify....Opera and Kohinoor are black?

zero1
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby zero1 » Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:11 pm

Yes. They are black.


OBVI!

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gayblackrepublicans
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby gayblackrepublicans » Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:28 pm

Of COURSE Black people love opera. I'm black, and my life would be incomplete without Puccini.

Interesting thread; my impression has been that, in addition to a relative lack of elite black law students generally, black students tend to be more government/public service oriented. True?

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Kohinoor
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby Kohinoor » Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:36 pm

gayblackrepublicans wrote:Of COURSE Black people love opera. I'm black, and my life would be incomplete without Puccini.

Interesting thread; my impression has been that, in addition to a relative lack of elite black law students generally, black students tend to be more government/public service oriented. True?


True in my limited experience. The black law students I know tend to have gotten as far as they have in academia due to having a powerful driving force which typically involves social justice. I am the only black law student I know who is in it purely for cash.

21124
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby 21124 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:09 pm

me too! lol

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Kohinoor
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby Kohinoor » Tue May 19, 2009 2:49 pm

--LinkRemoved--

I'll begin by saying that the Sanders study is almost 20 years old. More current data would be highly appreciated.

With that said, if we accept the assertion of Sanders that blacks in law school heavily populate the lower deciles of grades, then wouldn't that kill the job prospects of many blacks that attend law school? Low grades = no chance to interview at most firms due to GPA cutoffs = future JDU poster. That doesn't seem to mesh well with earlier posts in this thread. Might it be more accurate to say that the few blacks that do perform exceptionally at top institutions have excellent job prospects?

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lawlover829
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby lawlover829 » Tue May 19, 2009 2:53 pm

Howard Law is the BEST example of this.
I think the starting salary is between 125-135000 for the private sector. Although, I think you have to be in the top 20% of your class.
As a URM, I can vouch for this with all the interactions I have had with partners at top law firms in DC (questions that I have asked them, etc).

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RVP11
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby RVP11 » Tue May 19, 2009 3:08 pm

Kohinoor wrote:With that said, if we accept the assertion of Sanders that blacks in law school heavily populate the lower deciles of grades, then wouldn't that kill the job prospects of many blacks that attend law school? Low grades = no chance to interview at most firms due to GPA cutoffs = future JDU poster. That doesn't seem to mesh well with earlier posts in this thread. Might it be more accurate to say that the few blacks that do perform exceptionally at top institutions have excellent job prospects?


When dealing with top schools, though, there is no pre-screening (assuming UVA's new half-lottery system). If firms can't see your grades/resume until you get into the interview room, they will know you're black for 100% of the time they're actually making hiring decisions.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby Kohinoor » Tue May 19, 2009 3:16 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:With that said, if we accept the assertion of Sanders that blacks in law school heavily populate the lower deciles of grades, then wouldn't that kill the job prospects of many blacks that attend law school? Low grades = no chance to interview at most firms due to GPA cutoffs = future JDU poster. That doesn't seem to mesh well with earlier posts in this thread. Might it be more accurate to say that the few blacks that do perform exceptionally at top institutions have excellent job prospects?


When dealing with top schools, though, there is no pre-screening (assuming UVA's new half-lottery system). If firms can't see your grades/resume until you get into the interview room, they will know you're black for 100% of the time they're actually making hiring decisions.
I forgot that UVA had introduced that new system. No T14 allows pre-screening?
Last edited by Kohinoor on Tue May 19, 2009 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RVP11
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby RVP11 » Tue May 19, 2009 3:18 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:With that said, if we accept the assertion of Sanders that blacks in law school heavily populate the lower deciles of grades, then wouldn't that kill the job prospects of many blacks that attend law school? Low grades = no chance to interview at most firms due to GPA cutoffs = future JDU poster. That doesn't seem to mesh well with earlier posts in this thread. Might it be more accurate to say that the few blacks that do perform exceptionally at top institutions have excellent job prospects?


When dealing with top schools, though, there is no pre-screening (assuming UVA's new half-lottery system). If firms can't see your grades/resume until you get into the interview room, they will know you're black for 100% of the time they're actually making hiring decisions.
I forgot that UVA had introduced that new system. No T14 allows schools to set GPA cutoffs?


Nope. UVA was/is the only holdout on pre-screening. Everyone else is pure lottery to my knowledge.

Rightly or wrongly, UVA seems to be phasing pre-screening out. I get the feeling it won't be around by the time we do OGI.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby Kohinoor » Tue May 19, 2009 3:19 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:With that said, if we accept the assertion of Sanders that blacks in law school heavily populate the lower deciles of grades, then wouldn't that kill the job prospects of many blacks that attend law school? Low grades = no chance to interview at most firms due to GPA cutoffs = future JDU poster. That doesn't seem to mesh well with earlier posts in this thread. Might it be more accurate to say that the few blacks that do perform exceptionally at top institutions have excellent job prospects?


When dealing with top schools, though, there is no pre-screening (assuming UVA's new half-lottery system). If firms can't see your grades/resume until you get into the interview room, they will know you're black for 100% of the time they're actually making hiring decisions.
I forgot that UVA had introduced that new system. No T14 allows schools to set GPA cutoffs?


Nope. UVA was/is the only holdout on pre-screening. Everyone else is pure lottery to my knowledge.

Oh. Darn.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby Kohinoor » Tue May 19, 2009 3:21 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:With that said, if we accept the assertion of Sanders that blacks in law school heavily populate the lower deciles of grades, then wouldn't that kill the job prospects of many blacks that attend law school? Low grades = no chance to interview at most firms due to GPA cutoffs = future JDU poster. That doesn't seem to mesh well with earlier posts in this thread. Might it be more accurate to say that the few blacks that do perform exceptionally at top institutions have excellent job prospects?


When dealing with top schools, though, there is no pre-screening (assuming UVA's new half-lottery system). If firms can't see your grades/resume until you get into the interview room, they will know you're black for 100% of the time they're actually making hiring decisions.
I forgot that UVA had introduced that new system. No T14 allows schools to set GPA cutoffs?


Nope. UVA was/is the only holdout on pre-screening. Everyone else is pure lottery to my knowledge.

Rightly or wrongly, UVA seems to be phasing pre-screening out. I get the feeling it won't be around by the time we do OGI.

Neither will biglaw. ::rimshot:: Try the coleslaw, folks. I'll be here all night.

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Tron
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby Tron » Thu May 21, 2009 4:06 pm

NYC hiring from Fordham. If you are an AA, and would like to practice BIGLAW, what would the % cutoff be? Not that I think I wouldn't crack top 50% (I hear it might even shrink to top 33%), but just in case. Any thoughts? Factor in 2012 economy, whatever you think it might be.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby Kohinoor » Thu May 21, 2009 6:10 pm

Tron wrote:NYC hiring from Fordham. If you are an AA, and would like to practice BIGLAW, what would the % cutoff be? Not that I think I wouldn't crack top 50% (I hear it might even shrink to top 33%), but just in case. Any thoughts? Factor in 2012 economy, whatever you think it might be.
Doubt you'll get an accurate answer here since that would require a level of insight limited to hiring partners. Here, responses will likely come from students who know as little on the subject as you do.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu May 21, 2009 6:22 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
Tron wrote:NYC hiring from Fordham. If you are an AA, and would like to practice BIGLAW, what would the % cutoff be? Not that I think I wouldn't crack top 50% (I hear it might even shrink to top 33%), but just in case. Any thoughts? Factor in 2012 economy, whatever you think it might be.
Doubt you'll get an accurate answer here since that would require a level of insight limited to hiring partners. Here, responses will likely come from students who know as little on the subject as you do.



My anecdotal evidence says if you make top 50% at a reasonably good school (nationally/regionally), and show some involvement in the law school community, you'll do just fine in the job hunt. The fact is there just aren't that many black males entering law schools (Howard, an HBCU, is almost 70% female), If you can prove you belong and string a few sentences together you'll be just fine imo.

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Drake014
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby Drake014 » Mon May 25, 2009 12:31 am

LawandOrder wrote:I can't imagine that it's as easy as being a high performing black and then having everything handed down on a silver platter.


Its a mixed bag. I don't know too much about law but I do know a little about academics. I've spoken with/heard from several black lecturers, professors, and grad students about trying to get into faculty as an African American. You get a boost getting in the door, but then you get fucked with in little ways (for lack of a better term). Maybe you'll want to be stuck in the Philosopy department but they won't let you out of the African Studies Department (Cornell West had this problem and many others have). Often times you'll be denied a position of authority or input into the decision making process. I knew an African American who was the only African American in the African Studies Department. Everyone else was foreign or not Black. After being there for about a decade, he was the only person in the department who they wouldn't make chair, even though he'd been there longer than several others who had been made chair.

Given there are programs to still get African Americans into Biglaw summer positions, I fully believe we get help getting our foot in the door. Usually the short end of the stick comes before we're trying to get into the door (education) or after we're in (advancement). Maybe its harder to make partner or maybe once you make partner you are pushed out of the decision making process. I've seen this in other areas as well.

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mallard
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby mallard » Mon May 25, 2009 12:37 am

Drake014 wrote:(Cornell West had this problem and many others have).


I am almost certain this had to do with philosophical differences and not with race.

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Drake014
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby Drake014 » Mon May 25, 2009 12:41 am

mallard wrote:
Drake014 wrote:(Cornell West had this problem and many others have).


I am almost certain this had to do with philosophical differences and not with race.


Who knows? Believe it or not, no place actually tells you when they're screwing you over because you're black. Sometimes the people screwing you don't even know that's the reason.

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Drake014
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby Drake014 » Mon May 25, 2009 12:44 am

Kohinoor wrote:
gayblackrepublicans wrote:Of COURSE Black people love opera. I'm black, and my life would be incomplete without Puccini.

Interesting thread; my impression has been that, in addition to a relative lack of elite black law students generally, black students tend to be more government/public service oriented. True?


True in my limited experience. The black law students I know tend to have gotten as far as they have in academia due to having a powerful driving force which typically involves social justice. I am the only black law student I know who is in it purely for cash.


I can understand you being in it for the cash initially, but surely you intend to do something in your life for social justice? If not, WHY NOT?

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Z'Barron
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby Z'Barron » Mon May 25, 2009 1:07 am

indiana_student wrote:
prophecy wrote:what does that mean? in reference to the comment about making partner.


The thing one must remember is that high performing African Americans (especially males) are VERY, VERY much in demand. The number one black retention problem at the Chicago NALP250 firm I am summering at is the blacks who hold their own often get better offers from the clients they work on. These corporations also have trouble attracting quality black candidates. The question becomes:

Do I stay on as a senior associate or do I take the Fortune 500 job where I will be in charge of North American legal affairs and make an extra $100,000 a year? Well, it's obvious which spot a lot of people will take.

This was the exact issue that happened to two fourth year black associates this summer (one female, one male). I witnessed it with my own eyes. The thing is, you could tell these two were going to be partners if they stuck with the firm, but they could make a huge jump without waiting four more years. As much as the firm wants to retain blacks, they will not offer them more money than their white counterparts and they sure as hell won't shorten the partner track.

The lack of black partners has more to do with poaching than it does underperformance by blacks. The recruitment is another issue. If you are top 20% out of Georgetown as a black (especially a black male) you are going to be able to write your own ticket. All of the firms will be dying for you, the corporations will all be dying to get you, prestigious government jobs will give you a chance.

If you are a black student, from a top school and have an adequate performance on the job...The world is yours.

Take my post as you want, but I believe this is how it is. Even if you struggle in school, you will still land a nice job (you are going to a great school). However, once at the firm, you will need to hold your own in order to stay on partner track. With that said, I fully believe it is easier as a black to become a partner. the reason is because of the dearth of blacks. The number of blacks entering law school is actually decreasing, and this makes blacks a more scarce commodity.

There is absolutely no doubt that a high performing black will have better exit options than a similarly performing white. I wouldn't worry about the relative lack of blacks in partner positions. Some of, even a lot of, this issue has to do with blacks getting poached.

One word of advice, make friends with the black partners. They will more than likely take you under the wing and tell you how to go about getting the important work, and as a result you'll become a more marketable attorney.


+100 There's a prevailing notion that blacks who go to BigLaw ultimately disprove that AA in law schools works. This turns that notion on its ear. It suggests that the T-14 or bust to get BigLaw paradigm doesn't apply to Aframs...which goes a long ways towards explaining why so many Black males get recruited to BigLaw out of just about any top-100 school, Howard, Suffolk or NCCU, and why, in addition to leaving because of lack of attention/politics, etc, they tend to bail for better opportunities.

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Drake014
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby Drake014 » Mon May 25, 2009 1:16 am

Z'Barron wrote:
+100 There's a prevailing notion that blacks who go to BigLaw ultimately disprove that AA in law schools works. This turns that notion on its ear. It suggests that the T-14 or bust to get BigLaw paradigm doesn't apply to Aframs...which goes a long ways towards explaining why so many Black males get recruited to BigLaw out of just about any top-100 school, Howard, Suffolk or NCCU, and why, in addition to leaving because of lack of attention/politics, etc, they tend to bail for better opportunities.


Some studies suggest that credentials matter less for African Americans. In one study, highly qualified blacks had the same chances of getting called for an interview based off of their application as less qualified blacks. The same didn't apply for whites. This actually means that good education (or education in general) is less an important investment for African Americans than whites. I believe this is the article (or its a similar one) I read on that subject a while back: http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=124232

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Z'Barron
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Re: Big Law African American Hiring

Postby Z'Barron » Mon May 25, 2009 1:22 am

LawandOrder wrote:I can't imagine that it's as easy as being a high performing black and then having everything handed down on a silver platter.


Gee...imagine that. Somebody besides a White male has something handed down on a silver platter. I'm incensed. lol. :wink:

That's one of the paradoxes of this country that URM's need to grasp. Past inequities have put URM's at a clear disadvantage in terms of "access". Yet, if one wants it badly enough, the inequities of the past enable them to have it, precisely b/c of the dearth of URM talent caused by those inequities. It's not fair, and I wonder how I would feel if I were White. But, as a URM, I can say this...it is "just".

Besides, nothing is ever "handed to any URM on a silver platter", I can assure you.




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