Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
JFC, stfu with your self righteousness. I don't whine IRL about this because it doesn't do anything. Neither does '"responding with positivity and confidence" because frankly that doesn't do anything in a white, old boys club either. Good luck painting your face white, changing genders, or looking the part when you're clearly not a white man. I ended up marrying into a white family where my FIL is akin to a biglaw partner, but it doesn't make my POV about old, white racist boomer partners any different.

I can't wait for boomers to die for many reasons, this is just one of them. It's not bitterness either - fact of the matter is they have destroyed this planet (environmentally, culturally, the US financially, etc.) and ruined the work culture of America. I'm looking forward to the young people perhaps making this planet a better place to live for most, rather than just having the top 0.1% getting richer at the expense of every other poor human/animal out there.


Look, I'm sorry if you had a different experience because I know it must have been a lot more difficult in the past but things are getting better now. Minority associate rates are rising and so are minority partnership rates, even if the latter might be rising at a slower pace than the first.

Positivity and confidence have had an impact on my experiences thus far in terms of recruitment. I don't know how jaded you are but I don't think there's ever been a case where attitude & adapting to the situation/taking advantage of the resources available hasn't helped an individual. You might say that I'm still due to be crushed in actual biglaw but at the very least, this mindset has helped me and has gotten me into the door, which was the topic of the original poster's link.

This entire thread's been circlejerk over how shitty the situation is and it strikes me as awfully bitter & pointless to rally against any form of positivity, especially when framed like, "yeah, things might suck right now but things are slowly getting better and there are things that we can do to give us more opportunities and overcome some of these boundaries." Otherwise, what's the point of this thread, to just host a pityparty? Shouldn't we be talking about ways to succeed in spite of these obstacles? At the very least, I've suggested things that I've been able to use to perform better that could help other aspiring asian american attorneys.

Lastly, I wasn't targeting your distaste for boomers particularly, but rather the inane statement that followed: "China has all the power and money now, so these old boomers will have to start kissing some Asian ass in some capacity." Putting aside the fact that the income inequality is also remarkably shitty in China and that Chinese folks have also done a remarkable amount of damage to the environment/economy, the whole sentiment of "f you, just wait until our positions are reversed so you can see how it feels" seems incredibly childish/vengeful and more apt to cause future damage than good.

Anyways, this thread is a cesspit now and I clearly do not fit the narrative here; goodbye.


Anon, it's great you have such a positive attitude and good work ethic. However, I'd like to point out there is a bit of a generational issue here as well. By generation I mean, generation of law school cohorts. It seems you are currently in law school now and have had many successes. That's great, you should keep doing whatever you're doing. I graduated closer to the recession, when people - especially the Asians around me - were not getting jobs, even with decent grades at T14 schools. Heck, I know an Asian who was laid off as a junior associate (come to think of it I know two), had to do contract work, and only ended up pulling herself out of that shithole when she landed a consulting job. She went to Harvard law school btw. I also know a Latino attorney (T14, ok grades, on a competitive journal) who has been doing contract work for over a year now.

For you to just smile and tell us about your successes and basically say you think hard work is the way to overcome racism can come off as self-righteous and full of it. I personally am not offended - I'm doing just fine, too - but I know many hard working, smart Asians who graduated during the recession and their careers suffered a lot. I think they would feel really insulted if the I heard your spiel about hard work and having a good attitude. Sometimes, it's the circumstances period.

That being said I completely agree with your message, I'm just telling you why it might come off the wrong way.


He's still in law school...why is he talking to me about dealing with racism in biglaw? This kid has no idea what's coming to him, not just in terms of racism, but in terms of handling biglaw workload/pressures generally.


Not just that but, can we all agree it's a lot easier to get into law school these days with the declining rates of law school applicants? For those of us who graduated around the recession, there was a lot more competition with a lot fewer jobs. No amount of hard work or good attitude could overcome those circumstances.


Right. Most can get biglaw out of T-14 these days, except maybe Georgetown. Getting biglaw as an Asian isn't surprising or "overcoming racism" if you go to a top law school and don't shit the bed. Just LOL.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect interview?

Postby MrT » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:41 pm

Genius wrote:
MrT wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/02/23/516823230/asian-last-names-lead-to-fewer-job-interviews-still

Basically, if you have an Asian last name, you better apply to more places than your anglo peers because you will come up 28% short. This is not a knock on someone for just being white/having anglo last name. But this study seems to dispell the notion that Asians do well in the workforce. If you have an ethnic minority sounding name, have you had difficulties getting interviews compared to your anglo peers? Chances are you wont know it.

Why is this anon?


Accidental. But who cares you petty little immature name calling boy!

Oh the irony...

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby elendinel » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Positivity and confidence have had an impact on my experiences thus far in terms of recruitment. I don't know how jaded you are but I don't think there's ever been a case where attitude & adapting to the situation/taking advantage of the resources available hasn't helped an individual.


You're in for a treat if you think improving yourself and being positive is all you need to succeed against systematic racism.

I don't disagree that there is value in being positive and being the best you can be, but the reason all these people in the industry are "bitter" about prejudice, is that racism makes people assume you shouldn't be given the chance to prove yourself, no matter your attitude or your self-development. To act like people just need to deal with racism by staying upbeat and being good at interviews is both condescending and incredibly naive.

I'm glad you were lucky in that you haven't faced this kind of obstacle yet, but don't be so dismissive of people who have already been where you are, and who speak from experience in dealing with racism in biglaw.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby dabigchina » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:01 pm

Npret wrote:
dabigchina wrote:I wouldn't characterize this as "micro aggressions." I don't give a fuck about "micro aggressions" or whatever. Old white babyboomers can offend me all day long if they don't fuck with my career.

The problem is of course they do fuck with my career. Just take a look at how many asian associates there are vs asian partners. It's like they are trying to build a railroad.

You realize almost no one makes partner? Where are your numbers of Asian associates passed over for partner compared to other groups? Making partner is unlikely for everyone.
I'm not disagreeing with the main point about names as discussed in the article but I don't think a random comment about the partner: associate ratio is strong evidence.

So you don't think the steep drop off in percentage of Asian partners compared to the percentage of Asian associate is symptomatic of ongoing bias against Asian Americans?
Last edited by dabigchina on Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:03 pm

elendinel wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Positivity and confidence have had an impact on my experiences thus far in terms of recruitment. I don't know how jaded you are but I don't think there's ever been a case where attitude & adapting to the situation/taking advantage of the resources available hasn't helped an individual.


You're in for a treat if you think improving yourself and being positive is all you need to succeed against systematic racism.

I don't disagree that there is value in being positive and being the best you can be, but the reason all these people in the industry are "bitter" about prejudice, is that racism makes people assume you shouldn't be given the chance to prove yourself, no matter your attitude or your self-development. To act like people just need to deal with racism by staying upbeat and being good at interviews is both condescending and incredibly naive.

I'm glad you were lucky in that you haven't faced this kind of obstacle yet, but don't be so dismissive of people who have already been where you are, and who speak from experience in dealing with racism in biglaw.


I'm not assuming that. I'm not attacking them or dismissing them for their bitterness towards prejudice. I'm just defending my statements on the things that we CAN do now in this current generation as an asian american law student to help out in the hiring practice, as this is what the thread was originally about. (Asides from on that one ridiculous quip on how someone couldn't wait for the baby boomers to kiss Chinese asses which was just inane.)

Anonymous User wrote:
Thank you for politeness. But that's the thing though, I was never addressing the older generation because I recognize that things were worse back then and that the current situation is different. I repeatedly referred to that in my posts. I am just trying to offer my perspective to the 0Ls and 1Ls who are in this thread, as I was once a 0L who was curious about this kind of stuff too. I never proffered to tell people how to solve the problem of racism in practice; the initial post addressed the issue of biases in hiring, which was the sole topic of what I've been discussing in terms of ways to get ahead/what's worked for me, which I feel should be relevant given that I am neither in a T14 nor was I in the top 10 or even 25% and still landed multiple screeners, multiple callbacks, and ultimately 2 offers for vault ranked firms as a 1L.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Phil Brooks » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:13 pm

All the lower-class candidates had lower success rates than the upper class male, though, and I don't think it's surprising that lower-class women might be perceived as better able to "fit" than lower-class men, without the concerns about flight the employers applied to upper-class women. Just because the researchers are highlighting (in this brief piece) that the upper-class benefit doesn't apply to women doesn't mean they're ignoring the lower-class stuff, they're just making a different point in this article (and one I think is a little more nuanced than "patriarchy exists").


Not talking about it = ignoring it. The results reveal two different types of gender-discrimination: one against women (upper class), and one against men (lower class). The authors choose to talk only about the one against women. Shocking. It is naïve to think that this deliberate omission was not motivated by the same idiotic ideology that says that in no context can there ever be racism against whites, or sexism against men.

Also, whether or not the awards chosen were weird or not, they were a constant across all the fake resumes.


You missed my second point. Not all of the resumes had "University award for outstanding athletes on financial aid." Only some of them did. Frankly, if I were a hiring partner and someone had bad enough judgment to decide to include a "poor people's award" on their resume, their candidacy would be ended by that decision, not by the fact that the award revealed that they needed financial aid (as I did).

And adding the racial element would be an interesting future study but not doing so doesn't invalidate what they talk about here.


It does greatly limit the practical importance of the findings here. There is a strong correlation between being a poor law student and being a minority. So a lot fewer people would be made worse off by implicit bias than the authors suggest, because the people who would have been hurt are helped thanks to the preference for racial diversity.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect interview?

Postby Genius » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:39 pm

MrT wrote:
Genius wrote:
MrT wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/02/23/516823230/asian-last-names-lead-to-fewer-job-interviews-still

Basically, if you have an Asian last name, you better apply to more places than your anglo peers because you will come up 28% short. This is not a knock on someone for just being white/having anglo last name. But this study seems to dispell the notion that Asians do well in the workforce. If you have an ethnic minority sounding name, have you had difficulties getting interviews compared to your anglo peers? Chances are you wont know it.

Why is this anon?


Accidental. But who cares you petty little immature name calling boy!

Oh the irony...


Double irony. ZINGMASTER!!!

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:52 pm

Phil Brooks wrote:
All the lower-class candidates had lower success rates than the upper class male, though, and I don't think it's surprising that lower-class women might be perceived as better able to "fit" than lower-class men, without the concerns about flight the employers applied to upper-class women. Just because the researchers are highlighting (in this brief piece) that the upper-class benefit doesn't apply to women doesn't mean they're ignoring the lower-class stuff, they're just making a different point in this article (and one I think is a little more nuanced than "patriarchy exists").


Not talking about it = ignoring it. The results reveal two different types of gender-discrimination: one against women (upper class), and one against men (lower class). The authors choose to talk only about the one against women. Shocking. It is naïve to think that this deliberate omission was not motivated by the same idiotic ideology that says that in no context can there ever be racism against whites, or sexism against men.

You are reading this through the lens of your own bias against what you call an "idiotic ideology" (I will leave aside the problems with your definitions of racism and sexism here). This was a brief online discussion of some results of the study. It wasn't a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of all results. Here, they discussed whether being upper class helps, and they found it does, but it doesn't help women as much as men. That doesn't mean they ignored issues of gender in lower-class applicants; it just means that issues of gender in lower-class applicants don't tell you whether being upper class gives an applicant a boost, which was the question they set out to answer in this particular online piece. Just because you want them to talk about something else (and have already decided what you think that means) doesn't make the conclusion they did talk about, wrong.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Phil Brooks » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:13 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:
All the lower-class candidates had lower success rates than the upper class male, though, and I don't think it's surprising that lower-class women might be perceived as better able to "fit" than lower-class men, without the concerns about flight the employers applied to upper-class women. Just because the researchers are highlighting (in this brief piece) that the upper-class benefit doesn't apply to women doesn't mean they're ignoring the lower-class stuff, they're just making a different point in this article (and one I think is a little more nuanced than "patriarchy exists").


Not talking about it = ignoring it. The results reveal two different types of gender-discrimination: one against women (upper class), and one against men (lower class). The authors choose to talk only about the one against women. Shocking. It is naïve to think that this deliberate omission was not motivated by the same idiotic ideology that says that in no context can there ever be racism against whites, or sexism against men.

You are reading this through the lens of your own bias against what you call an "idiotic ideology" (I will leave aside the problems with your definitions of racism and sexism here). This was a brief online discussion of some results of the study. It wasn't a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of all results. Here, they discussed whether being upper class helps, and they found it does, but it doesn't help women as much as men. That doesn't mean they ignored issues of gender in lower-class applicants; it just means that issues of gender in lower-class applicants don't tell you whether being upper class gives an applicant a boost, which was the question they set out to answer in this particular online piece. Just because you want them to talk about something else (and have already decided what you think that means) doesn't make the conclusion they did talk about, wrong.


Lol, using the word bias is not a trump card. It depends on the reason for the bias. Being biased against immutable characteristics is wrong. Being biased against inaccurate premises is not wrong.

So yes, to use your terms, I am "biased" against an ideology that has as its premise the inaccurate notion that the only type of bias that can exist is institutional bias, as if individual bias does not exist. According to this ideology, since there can be no institutional sexism against men, there is no sexism against men, period. Since there can be no institutional racism against whites, there is no racism against whites, period.

I am "biased" against this ideology because I believe that individual bias also exists. I don't like it when studies like this gloss over examples of individual bias against members of the majority group.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Npret » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:19 pm

dabigchina wrote:
Npret wrote:
dabigchina wrote:I wouldn't characterize this as "micro aggressions." I don't give a fuck about "micro aggressions" or whatever. Old white babyboomers can offend me all day long if they don't fuck with my career.

The problem is of course they do fuck with my career. Just take a look at how many asian associates there are vs asian partners. It's like they are trying to build a railroad.

You realize almost no one makes partner? Where are your numbers of Asian associates passed over for partner compared to other groups? Making partner is unlikely for everyone.
I'm not disagreeing with the main point about names as discussed in the article but I don't think a random comment about the partner: associate ratio is strong evidence.

So you don't think the steep drop off in percentage of Asian partners compared to the percentage of Asian associate is symptomatic of ongoing bias against Asian Americans?

I didn't say that. I think that so few people make partner that it's a tough metric to draw broad conclusions. Many of those associates may have left the firm for better jobs and not even been around to be up for partner. Maybe they left because they knew no one in their practice group would make partner. Maybe they left because of discrimination. It's hard to tell because few people stick around long enough to be considered for partnership.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Genius » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:34 pm

Npret wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
Npret wrote:
dabigchina wrote:I wouldn't characterize this as "micro aggressions." I don't give a fuck about "micro aggressions" or whatever. Old white babyboomers can offend me all day long if they don't fuck with my career.

The problem is of course they do fuck with my career. Just take a look at how many asian associates there are vs asian partners. It's like they are trying to build a railroad.

You realize almost no one makes partner? Where are your numbers of Asian associates passed over for partner compared to other groups? Making partner is unlikely for everyone.
I'm not disagreeing with the main point about names as discussed in the article but I don't think a random comment about the partner: associate ratio is strong evidence.

So you don't think the steep drop off in percentage of Asian partners compared to the percentage of Asian associate is symptomatic of ongoing bias against Asian Americans?

I didn't say that. I think that so few people make partner that it's a tough metric to draw broad conclusions. Many of those associates may have left the firm for better jobs and not even been around to be up for partner. Maybe they left because they knew no one in their practice group would make partner. Maybe they left because of discrimination. It's hard to tell because few people stick around long enough to be considered for partnership.


I think you make a fair point. This study shows discrimination at lower levels of hiring, where there's plenty of spots (relatively speaking). At partnership level, the spots are probably not proportionately fewer, but rather exponentially, hence extremely competitive.

Having said that, it's also intellectually dishonest to say that the same discrimination won't be applied at partnership level. Why would such systematic discrimination all of a sudden stop there? If anything, partners make hiring decisions and they are peers and equals of one another. I would think discrimination would be heightened at partnership level.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Phil Brooks » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:46 pm

Genius wrote:
Npret wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
Npret wrote:
dabigchina wrote:I wouldn't characterize this as "micro aggressions." I don't give a fuck about "micro aggressions" or whatever. Old white babyboomers can offend me all day long if they don't fuck with my career.

The problem is of course they do fuck with my career. Just take a look at how many asian associates there are vs asian partners. It's like they are trying to build a railroad.

You realize almost no one makes partner? Where are your numbers of Asian associates passed over for partner compared to other groups? Making partner is unlikely for everyone.
I'm not disagreeing with the main point about names as discussed in the article but I don't think a random comment about the partner: associate ratio is strong evidence.

So you don't think the steep drop off in percentage of Asian partners compared to the percentage of Asian associate is symptomatic of ongoing bias against Asian Americans?

I didn't say that. I think that so few people make partner that it's a tough metric to draw broad conclusions. Many of those associates may have left the firm for better jobs and not even been around to be up for partner. Maybe they left because they knew no one in their practice group would make partner. Maybe they left because of discrimination. It's hard to tell because few people stick around long enough to be considered for partnership.


I think you make a fair point. This study shows discrimination at lower levels of hiring, where there's plenty of spots (relatively speaking). At partnership level, the spots are probably not proportionately fewer, but rather exponentially, hence extremely competitive.

Having said that, it's also intellectually dishonest to say that the same discrimination won't be applied at partnership level. Why would such systematic discrimination all of a sudden stop there? If anything, partners make hiring decisions and they are peers and equals of one another. I would think discrimination would be heightened at partnership level.


Anecdotal: at my firm, partners don't behave like peers or equals at all. They all try to steal associates from each other, try to squeeze each other out of origination credit for new business that was jointly generated, react with envy at firm-wide emails saying that another partner will argue before SCOTUS, and generally behave in a very childish and petty way. They view each other as competitors rather than peers. Therefore, in a very perverse way, if partners do have low opinions of Asian-Americans, they would actually be more inclined to make an Asian-American partner, out of a sick sense that they such a partner would not be a "threat" to them in the competition that is the partnership.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Hikikomorist » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:47 pm

Phil Brooks wrote:
Genius wrote:
Npret wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
Npret wrote:
dabigchina wrote:I wouldn't characterize this as "micro aggressions." I don't give a fuck about "micro aggressions" or whatever. Old white babyboomers can offend me all day long if they don't fuck with my career.

The problem is of course they do fuck with my career. Just take a look at how many asian associates there are vs asian partners. It's like they are trying to build a railroad.

You realize almost no one makes partner? Where are your numbers of Asian associates passed over for partner compared to other groups? Making partner is unlikely for everyone.
I'm not disagreeing with the main point about names as discussed in the article but I don't think a random comment about the partner: associate ratio is strong evidence.

So you don't think the steep drop off in percentage of Asian partners compared to the percentage of Asian associate is symptomatic of ongoing bias against Asian Americans?

I didn't say that. I think that so few people make partner that it's a tough metric to draw broad conclusions. Many of those associates may have left the firm for better jobs and not even been around to be up for partner. Maybe they left because they knew no one in their practice group would make partner. Maybe they left because of discrimination. It's hard to tell because few people stick around long enough to be considered for partnership.


I think you make a fair point. This study shows discrimination at lower levels of hiring, where there's plenty of spots (relatively speaking). At partnership level, the spots are probably not proportionately fewer, but rather exponentially, hence extremely competitive.

Having said that, it's also intellectually dishonest to say that the same discrimination won't be applied at partnership level. Why would such systematic discrimination all of a sudden stop there? If anything, partners make hiring decisions and they are peers and equals of one another. I would think discrimination would be heightened at partnership level.


Anecdotal: at my firm, partners don't behave like peers or equals at all. They all try to steal associates from each other, try to squeeze each other out of origination credit for new business that was jointly generated, react with envy at firm-wide emails saying that another partner will argue before SCOTUS, and generally behave in a very childish and petty way. They view each other as competitors rather than peers. Therefore, in a very perverse way, if partners do have low opinions of Asian-Americans, they would actually be more inclined to make an Asian-American partner, out of a sick sense that they such a partner would not be a "threat" to them in the competition that is the partnership.

Not to be a dick, but how's your firm's financial health?

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby dabigchina » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:56 pm

Npret wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
Npret wrote:
dabigchina wrote:I wouldn't characterize this as "micro aggressions." I don't give a fuck about "micro aggressions" or whatever. Old white babyboomers can offend me all day long if they don't fuck with my career.

The problem is of course they do fuck with my career. Just take a look at how many asian associates there are vs asian partners. It's like they are trying to build a railroad.

You realize almost no one makes partner? Where are your numbers of Asian associates passed over for partner compared to other groups? Making partner is unlikely for everyone.
I'm not disagreeing with the main point about names as discussed in the article but I don't think a random comment about the partner: associate ratio is strong evidence.

So you don't think the steep drop off in percentage of Asian partners compared to the percentage of Asian associate is symptomatic of ongoing bias against Asian Americans?

I didn't say that. I think that so few people make partner that it's a tough metric to draw broad conclusions. Many of those associates may have left the firm for better jobs and not even been around to be up for partner. Maybe they left because they knew no one in their practice group would make partner. Maybe they left because of discrimination. It's hard to tell because few people stick around long enough to be considered for partnership.

Somebody already linked this for you. http://www.nalp.org/0214research#table1

Yeah it just so happens that minorities are all predominantly in practice groups where nobody makes partner, whereas non-minorities are all in booming practice groups where there are much better chances at making partner. I think you're reaching too hard to make your point.

Even if what you say is true, that only reinforces what people have been saying in this thread. Minorities are disproportionately thrust onto less desireable projects that offer less upward mobility.

ETA: you might argue minorities are leaving firms in larger numbers because they get better in house offers than non-minorities. If you believe the results of this survey, that is most likely not true either.
Last edited by dabigchina on Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby dabigchina » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:00 pm

Phil Brooks wrote:they would actually be more inclined to make an Asian-American partner, out of a sick sense that they such a partner would not be a "threat" to them in the competition that is the partnership.

Partners retire. Partner retirements is probably the biggest reason why new partners are minted. If you can inherit a book of business you make partner.

Who do you think the average non-minority babyboomer partner is going to pass on their book of business to? Someone who looks like him or some dark dude whose name he has trouble pronouncing?

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Postby champloo » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:16 pm

dabigchina wrote:
Npret wrote:
dabigchina wrote:I wouldn't characterize this as "micro aggressions." I don't give a fuck about "micro aggressions" or whatever. Old white babyboomers can offend me all day long if they don't fuck with my career.

The problem is of course they do fuck with my career. Just take a look at how many asian associates there are vs asian partners. It's like they are trying to build a railroad.

You realize almost no one makes partner? Where are your numbers of Asian associates passed over for partner compared to other groups? Making partner is unlikely for everyone.
I'm not disagreeing with the main point about names as discussed in the article but I don't think a random comment about the partner: associate ratio is strong evidence.

So you don't think the steep drop off in percentage of Asian partners compared to the percentage of Asian associate is symptomatic of ongoing bias against Asian Americans?


I don't think anyone knows the true reason for this. I can see how people automatically point to this statistic and jump to the racism argument but I feel theres a lot more going on here. Most of the Asian attorneys I know around the western world chose to go in-house or to government by choice long before they were up for partner consideration. Beacuse of how hard it is for anyone to make partner, gunning for partner is risky especially if career options become limited the longer someone stays at a firm (as has been reiterated on TLS as well as just talking to attorneys). I'm not sure about others here but as an Asian American I grew up in a fairly risk-averse household especially when it came to careers. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc were considered the best careers because of how stable those careers were. In Korea, because of how stable and safe it is, government jobs are considered one of the best jobs making it so damn competitive even with shit pay. So ime, at least for first generation Koreans and by extension (via upbringing) second generation Korean Americans, we generally try to migrate towards stable careers. Biglaw partnership, or more specifically the road to get there, is probably not a safe and stable career compared to in-house or government. I.e. while i admit there is some negative Asian bias, the low Asian partner to associate ratio at big law firms may have more to do with our own preferences and attitudes rather than a real bamboo ceiling.

Also, I'm curious what the Asian associate to partner ratio is for California+NYC compared to other states. I can see bias being a real problem in some states more than others.

Genius

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Genius » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:23 pm

Strong 0L presence here.

Ppl nobody is saying racism is the only problem why there is a 28% drop in interviews for ethnic minorities. Nor is anyone saying most firms/partners are racist.

For fuck sakes.

dabigchina

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby dabigchina » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:26 pm

Genius wrote:Strong 0L presence here.

Ppl nobody is saying racism is the only problem why there is a 28% drop in interviews for ethnic minorities. Nor is anyone saying most firms/partners are racist.

For fuck sakes.

I agree. Racist is too harsh and if I used the term I would retract the characterization. Systemic bias is probably a better term.

The problem is not that this bias exists. The problem is people vocally questioning the existence of the bias.

Phil Brooks

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Phil Brooks » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:47 pm

dabigchina wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:they would actually be more inclined to make an Asian-American partner, out of a sick sense that they such a partner would not be a "threat" to them in the competition that is the partnership.

Partners retire. Partner retirements is probably the biggest reason why new partners are minted. If you can inherit a book of business you make partner.

Who do you think the average non-minority babyboomer partner is going to pass on their book of business to? Someone who looks like him or some dark dude whose name he has trouble pronouncing?


He would pass the business on to the partner who has gotten along better with the clients, who has proven to do a better job of anticipating those specific clients' needs, and who has done higher quality legal work for him.

If, and only if, all of those factors are somehow equal between the two candidates, then he may unfortunately prefer the white person.

I find it telling that you did not put these necessary qualifiers in there. Please do so in the future. If you say that white people succeed only because of racism (which you did in your post), then you open the door to white people being able to say that non-white people succeed only because of affirmative action.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Npret » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:52 pm

dabigchina wrote:
Genius wrote:Strong 0L presence here.

Ppl nobody is saying racism is the only problem why there is a 28% drop in interviews for ethnic minorities. Nor is anyone saying most firms/partners are racist.

For fuck sakes.

I agree. Racist is too harsh and if I used the term I would retract the characterization. Systemic bias is probably a better term.

The problem is not that this bias exists. The problem is people vocally questioning the existence of the bias.

Who has a problem with questioning a bias? I don't follow.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:53 pm

Phil Brooks wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:they would actually be more inclined to make an Asian-American partner, out of a sick sense that they such a partner would not be a "threat" to them in the competition that is the partnership.

Partners retire. Partner retirements is probably the biggest reason why new partners are minted. If you can inherit a book of business you make partner.

Who do you think the average non-minority babyboomer partner is going to pass on their book of business to? Someone who looks like him or some dark dude whose name he has trouble pronouncing?


He would pass the business on to the partner who has gotten along better with the clients, who has proven to do a better job of anticipating those specific clients' needs, and who has done higher quality legal work for him.

If, and only if, all of those factors are somehow equal between the two candidates, then he may unfortunately prefer the white person.

I find it telling that you did not put these necessary qualifiers in there. Please do so in the future. If you say that white people succeed only because of racism (which you did in your post), then you open the door to white people being able to say that non-white people succeed only because of affirmative action.


Sorry but, a lot of the time the tall white male associates are the ones who get introduced to the similarly tall white male clients. I know a very talented attorney in biglaw who is facing this precise problem right now: her creds couldn't be better, she routinely gets excellent performance reviews, but rather than getting face time or direct interaction with clients she's hidden in the office to do research/writing or trial prep-related work. Not work that would help her develop the soft skills to become a partner who can handle clients. Sometimes, these opportunities are foreclosed to minorities to begin with. I do think we need to step up to the plate and ask for them whenever possible.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby dabigchina » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:55 pm

Phil Brooks wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:they would actually be more inclined to make an Asian-American partner, out of a sick sense that they such a partner would not be a "threat" to them in the competition that is the partnership.

Partners retire. Partner retirements is probably the biggest reason why new partners are minted. If you can inherit a book of business you make partner.

Who do you think the average non-minority babyboomer partner is going to pass on their book of business to? Someone who looks like him or some dark dude whose name he has trouble pronouncing?


He would pass the business on to the partner who has gotten along better with the clients, who has proven to do a better job of anticipating those specific clients' needs, and who has done higher quality legal work for him.

If, and only if, all of those factors are somehow equal between the two candidates, then he may unfortunately prefer the white person.

I find it telling that you did not put these necessary qualifiers in there. Please do so in the future. If you say that white people succeed only because of racism (which you did in your post), then you open the door to white people being able to say that non-white people succeed only because of affirmative action.

That's incredibly naive. If you think client succession is 100% based on merit I have a bridge to sell you.

And no, I am not saying this hypothetical partner is intentionally being racist. What I am saying is he would subconsciously prefer one candidate over the other. He would also most likely evaluate the quality of both candidate's work based on this subconscious bias. I saw stuff like this happen again and again in my pre LS career and I seriously doubt it is different in law.

dabigchina

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby dabigchina » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:55 pm

Npret wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
Genius wrote:Strong 0L presence here.

Ppl nobody is saying racism is the only problem why there is a 28% drop in interviews for ethnic minorities. Nor is anyone saying most firms/partners are racist.

For fuck sakes.

I agree. Racist is too harsh and if I used the term I would retract the characterization. Systemic bias is probably a better term.

The problem is not that this bias exists. The problem is people vocally questioning the existence of the bias.

Who has a problem with questioning a bias? I don't follow.

Because you don't fix something that you question the existence of.

Npret

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Npret » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:57 pm

dabigchina wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:they would actually be more inclined to make an Asian-American partner, out of a sick sense that they such a partner would not be a "threat" to them in the competition that is the partnership.

Partners retire. Partner retirements is probably the biggest reason why new partners are minted. If you can inherit a book of business you make partner.

Who do you think the average non-minority babyboomer partner is going to pass on their book of business to? Someone who looks like him or some dark dude whose name he has trouble pronouncing?

That's a strong binary question. But I will tell you that a partner is damn well going to know the names of anyone he works with closely enough to trust with his major clients. Your scenario doesn't make sense. Also you seem irrationally biased against older baby boomer partners but you don't seem to know any.

I'm done with this thread because I don't think you have a clue about big law or big law partners. Nothing against you I'm just not interested in proceeding.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:08 pm

Biglaw associates who stick around to the senior associate level are all highly competent. Having the privilege of working directly with clients often depends on how much the partner likes you, likes hanging around you, and feels comfortable with introducing you to the client. So much of client interaction is schmoozing around. It's human nature to like and be more comfortable around people who look like you, sound like you, and have similar interests. Even though I'm Asian, I can understand that on a human level. I think it is often the reason why Asians work doubly hard in America. Unfortunately working hard only gets you so far on the partnership track, so as a junior associate right now I'm thinking of ways I can develop the partner's trust early on, and also work on my client development skills.



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