Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:01 pm

Phil Brooks wrote:
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.

This is a strawman because no one holds this ideology. Everyone recognizes that individual bias can exist. But individual bias is different from institutional/systematic bias, is studied differently, and requires different solutions (e.g. segregated school systems v. how one specific teacher treats students). No one says that patriarchy doesn't also hurt men, or that individuals can't hold anti-white sentiment. Wrt the latter, though, it's different from racism in that racism requires institutional/systematic power structures that enforce the prejudice. White people haven't had that.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Phil Brooks » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:14 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:This is a strawman because no one holds this ideology. Everyone recognizes that individual bias can exist. But individual bias is different from institutional/systematic bias, is studied differently, and requires different solutions (e.g. segregated school systems v. how one specific teacher treats students). No one says that patriarchy doesn't also hurt men, or that individuals can't hold anti-white sentiment. Wrt the latter, though, it's different from racism in that racism requires institutional/systematic power structures that enforce the prejudice. White people haven't had that.


You just contradicted yourself in the span of one paragraph. Your last sentence reveals that you believe that there can be no racism against white people. What about individual racism?

Or do you feel that, by definition, individual racism cannot exist?

It's ludicrous arguments like this that give credence to the nutjobs who proclaim "Anti-racism means anti-white."

Keep propagating this view and Trump will get re-elected.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Hikikomorist » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:20 pm

Phil Brooks wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:This is a strawman because no one holds this ideology. Everyone recognizes that individual bias can exist. But individual bias is different from institutional/systematic bias, is studied differently, and requires different solutions (e.g. segregated school systems v. how one specific teacher treats students). No one says that patriarchy doesn't also hurt men, or that individuals can't hold anti-white sentiment. Wrt the latter, though, it's different from racism in that racism requires institutional/systematic power structures that enforce the prejudice. White people haven't had that.


You just contradicted yourself in the span of one paragraph. Your last sentence reveals that you believe that there can be no racism against white people. What about individual racism?

Or do you feel that, by definition, individual racism cannot exist?

It's ludicrous arguments like this that give credence to the nutjobs who proclaim "Anti-racism means anti-white."

Keep propagating this view and Trump will get re-elected.

I don't think I agree with the definition, or at least I'm not sure that the definition forecloses anti-white racism, but it's really not that hard to understand that the people talking about there not being racism against white people are starting with a definition of racism different from merely "bias based on race." That those who voted for the current administration might be, generally speaking, too stupid to parse the difference is unfortunate, though.
Last edited by Hikikomorist on Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:21 pm

Racism is about systems, not individual beliefs. Prejudice is about individual beliefs. There's anti-white prejudice. There isn't anti-white racism, because there simply hasn't ever been systematic use of law/economics/force/etc to enforce anti-white prejudice. Individuals can be racist, or they can be anti-white, but they're not really the same thing. It's not a ludicrous argument, it's a pretty common way to talk about the different situations.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby zot1 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:36 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Racism is about systems, not individual beliefs. Prejudice is about individual beliefs. There's anti-white prejudice. There isn't anti-white racism, because there simply hasn't ever been systematic use of law/economics/force/etc to enforce anti-white prejudice. Individuals can be racist, or they can be anti-white, but they're not really the same thing. It's not a ludicrous argument, it's a pretty common way to talk about the different situations.


I hate to disagree with you, but imma have to. Every single time a "diverse" kid takes a spot at an elite school, regardless how high their qualifications, the system is showing systematic racism against our white boys. This is war and we must do something about it.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby elendinel » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
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.)


If these employers decide they don't even need to see you to "know" all there is to know about you, and to "know" that you won't be a good pick, you never get that chance to show them how much self-improvement you've done. This is the point of studies like this: to show that Asian candidates are being tossed into rejected piles before any of the things you suggest (like improving interview skills/etc.) would even come into play.

That's also why you're getting criticized so heavily; because you're preaching self-help and improvement in response to a study involving a part of the process where applicants only get to showcase their improvement if they're lucky to get past that prohibitive bias to begin with. I'm all for positive outlooks and developing interview skills, etc., but you can't really argue that a positive attitude and great social skills would have made any difference in the situation explored in this study.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:53 pm

elendinel wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
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.)


If these employers decide they don't even need to see you to "know" all there is to know about you, and to "know" that you won't be a good pick, you never get that chance to show them how much self-improvement you've done. This is the point of studies like this: to show that Asian candidates are being tossed into rejected piles before any of the things you suggest (like improving interview skills/etc.) would even come into play.

That's also why you're getting criticized so heavily; because you're preaching self-help and improvement in response to a study involving a part of the process where applicants only get to showcase their improvement if they're lucky to get past that prohibitive bias to begin with. I'm all for positive outlooks and developing interview skills, etc., but you can't really argue that a positive attitude and great social skills would have made any difference in the situation explored in this study.


Right, but that's also something that I commented on for younger attorneys. With the advent of the diversity movement, whether through outright diversity positions or greater recognition of its need, which has been surprisingly receptive to Asian Americans from my experience, our roads beyond the auto-reject pile have been aided tremendously. We do qualify as minorities, even if we don't get the same bump as African Americans or Hispanics (and even less of a bump if you're in California). Furthermore, all of what I alluded to does get to play a tremendous amount in this if you hustle/network and meet people before they look at your resume. I recognize that not every firm will visit every school but for the firms that do (whether through receptions or booths or etc), that is something that would have affected this study and did affect my own experience. I get that this stuff is applicable to all students in general but I'm highlighting this because I would argue that this has a disproportionate benefit to students like us who are facing this initial bias to begin with due to our names. (Since it theoretically takes us from Tentative/Disfavored -> Neutral -> Favored vs. the standard Neutral -> Favored) Furthermore, from my experiences as a student, the turnout % in terms of asians and wasps at the receptions I've been at suggests that as a whole, we tend to be less active/take less advantage of these kind of social opportunities to distinguish ourselves/ameliorate any immediate perceptions that the attorneys might have from a resume by itself, which is why I feel that this is worth mentioning.


So yeah, I would argue that the things I discussed ARE relevant and DO help in the initial hiring practice at least, which is the topic of the thread, and which is I commented on this. It might be difficult for us with just a resume by itself but there are definitely things that we can do prior to that and after that, during the interview. However, people on here seem to be overwhelmingly inclined towards bitterness, hate, nastiness, ad hominem attacks, and reading beyond the scope of what I'm suggesting (to the point of saying that I'm claiming to be able to fix racism or etc.) just to belittle and dismiss any points I have, however valid they may have been, which saddens me. Just because the general situation sucks doesn't mean that we can't appreciate/encourage/emphasize the ways that it is getting better. All I'm doing is offering what worked for me, because I think that I did well enough for my stats (for my experiences to be relevant), to any other asian-american students that are reading this, because this topic is about the uphill battle that we face and we should try to help each others out. Nothing more, nothing less. And with that, I'm out. I ended up coming back and responding to you because at least you were polite in your responses, but I don't think that there's anywhere else to go in this conversation.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby lavarman84 » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:43 am

Genius wrote:
lawman84 wrote:
Probably more in the opposite direction...


I knew you were a member of the oppressed conservative white men's club but dayum you're cold.


I'm just telling it how it is. But no, I'm neither conservative nor oppressed.

If America and Western Europe turn into festering shitholes and China becomes the superpower as Anon predicts, it won't cause Americans to start kissing ass. It will breed resentment, bitterness, jealousy, anger, and contempt. It won't make things better for Asian Americans. If anything, it'll probably just lead to a worse and more widespread version of the hyper-nationalism than we have now.

What will make things better for Asian Americans? I don't know. I think time will help (as older generations die off). And I could see the rise of China helping if the U.S. remains as powerful. But that could also lead to another America vs. Soviets type issue (where the two Superpowers battle for supremacy). That obviously wouldn't make things better. So who knows. I'll just hope that things get better and continue to treat people with respect regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:05 am

With all due respect, I think this may be a victim mentality.

Law firms are businesses after all. The executives that the law firm works for are mostly white. Call it a glass ceiling, call it a macro societal problem but it's just this way and how things work currently. Until we get more ethnic minority leaders to raise to the top, clients will want to work with who they're comfortable with. Honestly I also think that many ethnic minority students are just plain awkward; I'm at T14 and I've seen my asian peers slowly locking themselves up with just being friends with asians. They don't come to our parties, they consciously see us as different. They're the one that approach life with them vs. us mentality. Yeah, Asians may be smart and know how to crunch exams (it's well known that apalsa outlines are one of the best) but many just don't do well during interviews and aside from few who are decent and fun, I wouldn't want to work with them past 2am. People don't want to work with awkward people.

Not to mention that White males also have to deal with the stereotype that we're loud, assertive, less smart, and a d-bag. Look we can table this discussion because it's obviously a complex issue but this reminded me of something that I noticed in undergrad and at a law school. Why do asians stick with just asians?

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby whysoseriousbiglaw » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:
elendinel wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
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.)


If these employers decide they don't even need to see you to "know" all there is to know about you, and to "know" that you won't be a good pick, you never get that chance to show them how much self-improvement you've done. This is the point of studies like this: to show that Asian candidates are being tossed into rejected piles before any of the things you suggest (like improving interview skills/etc.) would even come into play.

That's also why you're getting criticized so heavily; because you're preaching self-help and improvement in response to a study involving a part of the process where applicants only get to showcase their improvement if they're lucky to get past that prohibitive bias to begin with. I'm all for positive outlooks and developing interview skills, etc., but you can't really argue that a positive attitude and great social skills would have made any difference in the situation explored in this study.


Right, but that's also something that I commented on for younger attorneys. With the advent of the diversity movement, whether through outright diversity positions or greater recognition of its need, which has been surprisingly receptive to Asian Americans from my experience, our roads beyond the auto-reject pile have been aided tremendously. We do qualify as minorities, even if we don't get the same bump as African Americans or Hispanics (and even less of a bump if you're in California). Furthermore, all of what I alluded to does get to play a tremendous amount in this if you hustle/network and meet people before they look at your resume. I recognize that not every firm will visit every school but for the firms that do (whether through receptions or booths or etc), that is something that would have affected this study and did affect my own experience. I get that this stuff is applicable to all students in general but I'm highlighting this because I would argue that this has a disproportionate benefit to students like us who are facing this initial bias to begin with due to our names. (Since it theoretically takes us from Tentative/Disfavored -> Neutral -> Favored vs. the standard Neutral -> Favored) Furthermore, from my experiences as a student, the turnout % in terms of asians and wasps at the receptions I've been at suggests that as a whole, we tend to be less active/take less advantage of these kind of social opportunities to distinguish ourselves/ameliorate any immediate perceptions that the attorneys might have from a resume by itself, which is why I feel that this is worth mentioning.


So yeah, I would argue that the things I discussed ARE relevant and DO help in the initial hiring practice at least, which is the topic of the thread, and which is I commented on this. It might be difficult for us with just a resume by itself but there are definitely things that we can do prior to that and after that, during the interview. However, people on here seem to be overwhelmingly inclined towards bitterness, hate, nastiness, ad hominem attacks, and reading beyond the scope of what I'm suggesting (to the point of saying that I'm claiming to be able to fix racism or etc.) just to belittle and dismiss any points I have, however valid they may have been, which saddens me. Just because the general situation sucks doesn't mean that we can't appreciate/encourage/emphasize the ways that it is getting better. All I'm doing is offering what worked for me, because I think that I did well enough for my stats (for my experiences to be relevant), to any other asian-american students that are reading this, because this topic is about the uphill battle that we face and we should try to help each others out. Nothing more, nothing less. And with that, I'm out. I ended up coming back and responding to you because at least you were polite in your responses, but I don't think that there's anywhere else to go in this conversation.


Tl;dr summary: "I goth biglaw becauth of my pothitive athithude."

Mod edit: user outed for anon abuse
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:With all due respect, I think this may be a victim mentality.

Law firms are businesses after all. The executives that the law firm works for are mostly white. Call it a glass ceiling, call it a macro societal problem but it's just this way and how things work currently. Until we get more ethnic minority leaders to raise to the top, clients will want to work with who they're comfortable with. Honestly I also think that many ethnic minority students are just plain awkward; I'm at T14 and I've seen my asian peers slowly locking themselves up with just being friends with asians. They don't come to our parties, they consciously see us as different. They're the one that approach life with them vs. us mentality. Yeah, Asians may be smart and know how to crunch exams (it's well known that apalsa outlines are one of the best) but many just don't do well during interviews and aside from few who are decent and fun, I wouldn't want to work with them past 2am. People don't want to work with awkward people.

Not to mention that White males also have to deal with the stereotype that we're loud, assertive, less smart, and a d-bag. Look we can table this discussion because it's obviously a complex issue but this reminded me of something that I noticed in undergrad and at a law school. Why do asians stick with just asians?


Tl;dr summary:

"Asians are weird as fuck and awkward. I hate these Asian bitches and never want to hang out with them. God they are weird. All they are good for is cooking rice and making my law outlines. Ok, and maybe they are ok at making Kung Pao chicken."

"But seriously, like seriously, Asians have victim mentality. White men ain't no racists, you fucking weird awkward bitches who I'd never I want to hang out with. It's all in your head. Now get back to making my law outlines. *whipping noise reminiscent of slavery and the Chinese building railroads in the US*."

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 25, 2017 5:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:With all due respect, I think this may be a victim mentality.

Law firms are businesses after all. The executives that the law firm works for are mostly white. Call it a glass ceiling, call it a macro societal problem but it's just this way and how things work currently. Until we get more ethnic minority leaders to raise to the top, clients will want to work with who they're comfortable with. Honestly I also think that many ethnic minority students are just plain awkward; I'm at T14 and I've seen my asian peers slowly locking themselves up with just being friends with asians. They don't come to our parties, they consciously see us as different. They're the one that approach life with them vs. us mentality. Yeah, Asians may be smart and know how to crunch exams (it's well known that apalsa outlines are one of the best) but many just don't do well during interviews and aside from few who are decent and fun, I wouldn't want to work with them past 2am. People don't want to work with awkward people.

Not to mention that White males also have to deal with the stereotype that we're loud, assertive, less smart, and a d-bag. Look we can table this discussion because it's obviously a complex issue but this reminded me of something that I noticed in undergrad and at a law school. Why do asians stick with just asians?


Asians stick with Asians at times for the same reason white people stick with white people and black people stick with black people: it's human nature to navigate towards those who are similar to them.

I'm sorry you've had go deal with the stereotype of being considered "loud, assertive, less smart, and a d-bag" your entire life. That sounds really rough.

Replace Asian with black in your entire comment and replace awkward with a stereotype about black people if you want to understand how completely inappropriate and racist your comments are.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby encore1101 » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:With all due respect, I think this may be a victim mentality.

Law firms are businesses after all. The executives that the law firm works for are mostly white. Call it a glass ceiling, call it a macro societal problem but it's just this way and how things work currently. Until we get more ethnic minority leaders to raise to the top, clients will want to work with who they're comfortable with. Honestly I also think that many ethnic minority students are just plain awkward; I'm at T14 and I've seen my asian peers slowly locking themselves up with just being friends with asians. They don't come to our parties, they consciously see us as different. They're the one that approach life with them vs. us mentality. Yeah, Asians may be smart and know how to crunch exams (it's well known that apalsa outlines are one of the best) but many just don't do well during interviews and aside from few who are decent and fun, I wouldn't want to work with them past 2am. People don't want to work with awkward people.

Not to mention that White males also have to deal with the stereotype that we're loud, assertive, less smart, and a d-bag. Look we can table this discussion because it's obviously a complex issue but this reminded me of something that I noticed in undergrad and at a law school. Why do asians stick with just asians?


How is implicit bias in hiring a "victim mentality," but there are nonetheless factors that contribute to its existence?

And honestly, I think you're just suffering from confirmation bias. Maybe those asians just don't want to hang out with you because you think they're awkward and feel unwelcome.

And, like the posters before you, you missed the point of the article. The point wasn't about Asians not being hired after an interview. It was that minorities weren't even being called for an interview in the first place, before the interviewer knew anything about the applicant's personality. They could not have possibly known whether the applicant was someone they'd "want to work with past 2 am," or whether they're "awkward people," without some sort of prejudice.

Again, the problem isn't that the minority applicant had an interview but didn't get the job because s/he was a turd interviewee. It's that the applicant didn't get that opportunity in the first place.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:With all due respect, I think this may be a victim mentality.

Law firms are businesses after all. The executives that the law firm works for are mostly white. Call it a glass ceiling, call it a macro societal problem but it's just this way and how things work currently. Until we get more ethnic minority leaders to raise to the top, clients will want to work with who they're comfortable with. Honestly I also think that many ethnic minority students are just plain awkward; I'm at T14 and I've seen my asian peers slowly locking themselves up with just being friends with asians. They don't come to our parties, they consciously see us as different. They're the one that approach life with them vs. us mentality. Yeah, Asians may be smart and know how to crunch exams (it's well known that apalsa outlines are one of the best) but many just don't do well during interviews and aside from few who are decent and fun, I wouldn't want to work with them past 2am. People don't want to work with awkward people.

Not to mention that White males also have to deal with the stereotype that we're loud, assertive, less smart, and a d-bag. Look we can table this discussion because it's obviously a complex issue but this reminded me of something that I noticed in undergrad and at a law school. Why do asians stick with just asians?

What? How is this not completely inappropriate? Unless it's a joke.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby hopefuljumbo23 » Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:23 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:With all due respect, I think this may be a victim mentality.

Law firms are businesses after all. The executives that the law firm works for are mostly white. Call it a glass ceiling, call it a macro societal problem but it's just this way and how things work currently. Until we get more ethnic minority leaders to raise to the top, clients will want to work with who they're comfortable with. Honestly I also think that many ethnic minority students are just plain awkward; I'm at T14 and I've seen my asian peers slowly locking themselves up with just being friends with asians. They don't come to our parties, they consciously see us as different. They're the one that approach life with them vs. us mentality. Yeah, Asians may be smart and know how to crunch exams (it's well known that apalsa outlines are one of the best) but many just don't do well during interviews and aside from few who are decent and fun, I wouldn't want to work with them past 2am. People don't want to work with awkward people.

Not to mention that White males also have to deal with the stereotype that we're loud, assertive, less smart, and a d-bag. Look we can table this discussion because it's obviously a complex issue but this reminded me of something that I noticed in undergrad and at a law school. Why do asians stick with just asians?

What? How is this not completely inappropriate? Unless it's a joke.


Yeah, seriously. How come that user wasn't outed for anon abuse?

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:28 am

Pretty sure they're not actually a white male, which is why I wondered if it was meant as sarcasm. No response/explanation and I'll probably out.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:58 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Pretty sure they're not actually a white male, which is why I wondered if it was meant as sarcasm. No response/explanation and I'll probably out.


The anon poster. Sorry- yes. meant as a sarcasm but looking back I was all heated up and got carried away and didnt address the meaty part of the article. I wish I can undo it. I apologize for my immaturity. I'm asian and I was actually told to my face that we were awkward by the white guy I was posing as. I was at a party talking to other asian classmates (note that this was prior alcohol) and that's when he came up and asked with an innocent smile, why "seriously whats up with asians always sticking with asians" and was encouraged to go speak with other non-asian classmates. I was in shock because I'm pretty social and I have a wide circle of friends at law school. Then I went to this oci prepping event and when I expressed anxiety over this whole process, another fellow "mate" with good intention assured me that I shouldn't worry because I'm asian. He then went rambling about how he has 343252343 friends at law firms and how asians are always present at those said prestigious law firms because we know what we're doing.

I mean I have bunch of other micro-aggression stories but I found it so bizarre that people really do come from diverse backgrounds and beliefs and varying preconceptions about asians. Sorry for stirring up drama guys.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:40 am

Disclaimer: not really diverse in any typical sense, so this is more inquisitive/exploratory than proposal of a theory

Is there an intractable issue at play with these systemic bias problems that people, by and large, group themselves according to those they are comfortable with beyond social aligning? It's entirely normal that people regularly align socially with people of similar race, religion, socioeconomic background, geographic background, etc. due to a feeling of comfort and familiarity. These are not the sole reasons people make friends (obviously similar interests, personalities that attract, maybe similar worldviews should all be much bigger determinants of who you're friends with), but they are arguably unstated reasons for people to make friends easier with those they share commonality with. I have yet to see someone bat an eye at these social decisions because it's inherent in our subconscious desire to find community and belonging, and beyond the blatantly racist, sexist, etc. people aren't making these decisions consciously because of the above reasons.

The problem becomes when people are making professional decisions on these same criteria. Partner at a law firm shouldn't be reading a person's name and base a hiring decision on a preconceived notion that they would be uncomfortable working with them (and this doesn't even address the problem of deploying baseless stereotypes based only on a resume and a name). It's ridiculous and clear indication of a systemic issue of bias, but how do we raise that subconscious decision we make in social situations and eliminate it consciously when it moves to a decidedly more systemic bias level?

I regularly try to cross my personal biases from subconscious to conscious so I can do everything in my power to eliminate them or at least address them personally. And being the type who doesn't experience this implicit bias issue, what sort of actions can the non-marginalized take to fight these problems? If I ever see baseless discrimination based on something like this, I never hesitate to respectfully stomp on it, but I doubt this has any meaningful effect on curbing the more systemic problems at play.

I'm not suggesting there is no solution here, but I do seriously question what the solution is. A focus on diversity hiring is great on a superficial level, but that will not cease the partner making decisions based on who they feel comfortable around, which shockingly is the person they feel the most comfortable around socially. I don't think they should be making staffing decisions based on these subconscious tendencies, as different perspectives have immense value that adds to the firm's culture, but it does nothing to stop that partner from exercising fairly normal human behaviors that are likely even more ingrained in them being older and of a different generation. Maybe it is a generational issue, but issues like this get imbued on following generations to some degree whether we like it or not.

Sorry for pontificating on this, but I'd genuinely like to be a part of the solution vice the faceless part of the problem.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:51 am

I think hiring decisions do make a big difference, actually, because people are only more comfortable around people who look like themselves when they aren't familiar with anyone else. Actually forcing interactions through having a diverse workplace is a one way to get people past subconscious assumptions. The more minority partners there are, the more normal it becomes for everyone to see them in those kinds of positions.

I get that your concern may be the gap between hiring minority associates and those associates making partner, which I agree is clearly an issue.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:05 pm

I'd probably go so far as to say that it's a problem without a solution, or at least without a good one. You can anonymize application materials, but that just kicks the can down the road to the interview. Mostly, it's just a matter of waiting, lying to yourself about how much better things will get with the next generation, and, most importantly, making utility-maximizing decisions within the existing framework (e.g., not sticking around to try to get partnership, targeting certain practice areas/companies).

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby elendinel » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
elendinel wrote:If these employers decide they don't even need to see you to "know" all there is to know about you, and to "know" that you won't be a good pick, you never get that chance to show them how much self-improvement you've done. This is the point of studies like this: to show that Asian candidates are being tossed into rejected piles before any of the things you suggest (like improving interview skills/etc.) would even come into play.

That's also why you're getting criticized so heavily; because you're preaching self-help and improvement in response to a study involving a part of the process where applicants only get to showcase their improvement if they're lucky to get past that prohibitive bias to begin with. I'm all for positive outlooks and developing interview skills, etc., but you can't really argue that a positive attitude and great social skills would have made any difference in the situation explored in this study.


...Furthermore, all of what I alluded to does get to play a tremendous amount in this if you hustle/network and meet people before they look at your resume. I recognize that not every firm will visit every school but for the firms that do (whether through receptions or booths or etc), that is something that would have affected this study and did affect my own experience.


I mean, okay, but the reason it doesn't affect this study is because the study, and others like it, are not just about racism in the abstract. They exists to show you that in instances where you won't be able to network hustle (which will be numerous), someone will have written you off before you have a chance to get in the door. Their biases are so strong that they don't feel the need to speak to you to see if you prove them wrong; they already have decided you won't.

You were lucky to face a number of employers whose biases weren't so entrenched that they gave you a chance in-person; good for you. You frankly don't know if they're the 72% who might have given you a chance anyway, or the 28% who would have tossed your resume in the trash bin (i.e., you don't know that you changed minds by speaking to them in person; you just as easily could have just happened to try to get into firms that would have given you a chance anyway).

So again, congratulations on getting your job; undeniably impressive. But PLENTY of outgoing and social Asian kids are still not getting interviews over their socially-awkward white peers. Let's not overestimate the number of socially-awkward Asians who don't try to network, or underestimate the number of socially-awkward white applicants who don't try to network and are still able to get good jobs anyway.

Not really a response to you I guess, so much as for others who feel similarly.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:44 pm

I think a lot of the racism in law firms isn't obvious, but it is subtle. Even in everyday life, rarely will you get in your face racism. I work at a V100 in a extremely liberal city and I have had a couple of situations where someone made a somewhat inappropriate joke about Asians and I was around. One time the caterer forgot the soy sauce, and someone made a joke about me eating all the soy sauce. Often these jokes are subtle and situations are such that if you point it out as kinda inappropriate, they will just say "oh I didn't mean it like that."

While I think it may be a slight disadvantage being Asian (especially Asian male) at the associate level, the larger disadvantage comes into play more at the higher levels, i.e. making partners. Obviously making partner is incredibly difficult, but I think it is a much bigger disadvantage for Asian males. I say this because I think a while back I read a study that someone gave 50 random partners each the same essay written by a 3L student. One just casually mentioned that one student was white and other was black. The black essay got a lower score (I think it was 3.7/5 vs 4.3/5) and the comments were much more harsh on the black essay. While Asians aren't thought of as lazy or stupid, the common stereotype is that Asians don't have leadership skills. Applied to Asian Americans' situation, I bet there are many situations where if a white and asian person does the same exact thing, the asian will be considered not to be "leadership material." Most people don't think they are racist and generally people are good and don't want to be racist. The problem is that it is often hard to control subtle biases.

Lastly, one of the above posters said something about generally Asians don't want to be friends with whites. I really think this is a little insulting. By stating that, you assume that Asians stick together because they really really want to. Perhaps it is because the white group of friends don't want to accept an Asian (especially Asian males) into their circle? Obviously not all whites are racist, and some have very little or no subtle bias against asians. Obviously this is not to say that there Asians don't have subtle biases. One time I was on a subway and a brown man with traditional muslim garb got on with a huge backpack, trolly and 6 huge packages. I saw people start moving away from him and I think two people got off the train after he came on. Honestly, I can't say that I didn't at least think about getting off the train too for a split second or about the "terrorist" stereotype. Often a lot of it is due to the mainstream media too. In both cases stereotyping Asians as meek and Muslims as terrorists. While it is difficult NOT to have these thoughts at all, what people should do is make sure that they are at least aware of these biases. In many instances people don't even realize they have these subtle biases. At least if you know you have the bias, you can control it by constantly checking yourself to make sure that you are being fair.

However, I have seen that Asian females can integrate with white society much better. Also asian females and asian males grow up in the same types of households. I've found that Asian females generally have many more white friends and integrate into white society much better than Asian males. You have to ask yourself why is that? Perhaps white society is more accepting of Asian women vs Asian men?

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby encore1101 » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Lastly, one of the above posters said something about generally Asians don't want to be friends with whites. I really think this is a little insulting. By stating that, you assume that Asians stick together because they really really want to. Perhaps it is because the white group of friends don't want to accept an Asian (especially Asian males) into their circle? Obviously not all whites are racist, and some have very little or no subtle bias against asians. Obviously this is not to say that there Asians don't have subtle biases. One time I was on a subway and a brown man with traditional muslim garb got on with a huge backpack, trolly and 6 huge packages. I saw people start moving away from him and I think two people got off the train after he came on. Honestly, I can't say that I didn't at least think about getting off the train too for a split second or about the "terrorist" stereotype. Often a lot of it is due to the mainstream media too. In both cases stereotyping Asians as meek and Muslims as terrorists. While it is difficult NOT to have these thoughts at all, what people should do is make sure that they are at least aware of these biases. In many instances people don't even realize they have these subtle biases. At least if you know you have the bias, you can control it by constantly checking yourself to make sure that you are being fair.



Unfortunately, in a thread discussing the negative implications of Asians being presumptively viewed as awkward, that poster was "joking," and is, in fact, Asian himself.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:However, I have seen that Asian females can integrate with white society much better. Also asian females and asian males grow up in the same types of households. I've found that Asian females generally have many more white friends and integrate into white society much better than Asian males. You have to ask yourself why is that? Perhaps white society is more accepting of Asian women vs Asian men?


I think that's tied in to the fetishization of Asian women, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms.

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Re: Ethnic minority last names affect your application and interview

Postby kingpin101 » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:00 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:However, I have seen that Asian females can integrate with white society much better. Also asian females and asian males grow up in the same types of households. I've found that Asian females generally have many more white friends and integrate into white society much better than Asian males. You have to ask yourself why is that? Perhaps white society is more accepting of Asian women vs Asian men?


I think that's tied in to the fetishization of Asian women, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms.

From my experience, white guys are much more likely to want to be friends with asian women than white woman want to be friends with asian men.



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