those aren't the sites, i just mentioned google because i know plenty of academic studies have been done on this subject. but to answer your question, no, i don't think asians are disproportionately awkward because of studies i've read, but based on first hand experience. i've noticed, as have most people, that there are more socially awkward asians as a percentage than other groups. a lot of this has to do with the cultural upbringing. secondly, how is this making a "broad and unsubstantiated" stereotype? op made a claim about there being a disproportionate number of asians in firms. i offered this as a plausible explanation.
I didn't know there are studies on being "awkward". And if you base this on first hand experience, I think a lot of people can disagree base on their first hand experience as well.
Anyways, OP's claim isn't that valid either. Asians are actually overrepresented in law schools and law firms (at least on associate level) --- at least in more diverse cities.http://thecareerist.typepad.com/thecare ... wyers.html
"In New York, Asians represent over 50 percent of all minority lawyers, reports The New York City Bar in its latest diversity study. Nationally, they make up about half of all minority associates, reports NALP in its January bulletin. Moreover, even during the economic turbulence, when minority lawyer figures declined from 19.67 percent in 2009 to 19.53 percent in 2010, Asian Americans actually saw their numbers increase, from 9.28 percent to 9.39 percent."
The bigger problem is at partner level. I think a more plausible explanation is that law firms, as a service industry with emphasis on networking, will tend to be more conservative in terms of accepting new members into the establishment. This seems to be true for not just Asians, but other minorities as well. Are they all socially awkward people? I highly doubt that.
For you, I guess what you have seen could be true. Perhaps the Asian students around you are bad at talking and working with other people. But I do detect a sense of prejudgment on your part about Asian-Americans. You know, they could be just awkward to you if you already made up your mind that they are awkward. Human minds unfortunately work like that from time to time.