Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 324889
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:18 pm

has anyone experienced racism or discrimination in hiring? like you felt like you did not get a job because the hiring person did not want your "type" in the firm? i applied to a firm and then a couple of minutes later got an an instant rejection. it felt like the firm did not even glance past the ethnic name on the resume. then having this sixth sense, i looked at the firm profile and noticed there was no one of color working in a firm. there with over 50 attorneys and all the attorneys were white.

discrimination and racism does exist but what can colored people do to minimize the impact of discrimination by hiring managers? are there some areas of law to avoid because of the discrimination?

Anonymous User
Posts: 324889
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:has anyone experienced racism or discrimination in hiring? like you felt like you did not get a job because the hiring person did not want your "type" in the firm? i applied to a firm and then a couple of minutes later got an an instant rejection. it felt like the firm did not even glance past the ethnic name on the resume. then having this sixth sense, i looked at the firm profile and noticed there was no one of color working in a firm. there with over 50 attorneys and all the attorneys were white.

discrimination and racism does exist but what can colored people do to minimize the impact of discrimination by hiring managers? are there some areas of law to avoid because of the discrimination?


Many firms have grade/school cut-offs. They could have simply looked at your GPA/school and rejected you immediately based on that.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324889
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:24 pm

Were super qualified for the job?

User avatar
Anastasia Dee Dualla

Silver
Posts: 943
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:03 am

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby Anastasia Dee Dualla » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:28 pm

Where did you go to school? Where did that fall in the firm's hiring guidelines/profile? What are your grades like? Were there typos in your application materials?

Obviously institutional discrimination exists, but are you sure this is what is at play? I'm also a diverse attorney, but I would encourage you to make sure you are qualified (and have a typo free resume and understand how often firms autoreject applications outside of OCI ...) before forming conclusions.

jd20132013

Silver
Posts: 1380
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:41 pm

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby jd20132013 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:38 pm

discrimination and racism does exist but what can colored people do


hey, this seems off !

lolwat

Silver
Posts: 1216
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:30 pm

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby lolwat » Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:57 pm

Racism obviously still exists. But really, how would someone ever know if that's the reason they got rejected by a firm (unless someone at the firm was dumb enough to say something suggesting it)? There are a million reasons why a firm would reject an applicant.

It sounds like this was just at the paper stage, but jfc, if your first thought after being rejected is to jump to the conclusion that it was because of your race, and you look for "evidence" to supposedly back up your hunch, then I foresee there being something about your attitude that will turn a lot of potential employers off.

RaceJudicata

Gold
Posts: 1702
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:51 pm

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:02 pm

Lets take two or three steps back. Was the firm even hiring?

As others have said, of course racism exists, but a quick rejection /= discrimination

Anonymous User
Posts: 324889
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:17 pm

All these posts pointing to whether the op is qualified or not are rather ridiculous (and telling - this is what you're getting into op).

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse

Diamond
Posts: 29316
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:All these posts pointing to whether the op is qualified or not are rather ridiculous (and telling - this is what you're getting into op).

The point is just that there are lots of reasons why someone gets rejected right away that don't have anything to do with race/ethnicity, though of course that could be a reason too. No one is judging the OP's qualifications or ability.

lolwat

Silver
Posts: 1216
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:30 pm

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby lolwat » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:31 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:All these posts pointing to whether the op is qualified or not are rather ridiculous (and telling - this is what you're getting into op).

The point is just that there are lots of reasons why someone gets rejected right away that don't have anything to do with race/ethnicity, though of course that could be a reason too. No one is judging the OP's qualifications or ability.


No one is judging but everyone is asking because OP gave no info other than they're "colored" and got rejected by a firm of 50 white attorneys. It clearly makes a difference if OP is at the bottom of their class at a TTT or if OP is #1 at HYS -- because at the very least, in the latter situation it is much less likely the firm rejected based on school/grades.

RaceJudicata

Gold
Posts: 1702
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:51 pm

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:All these posts pointing to whether the op is qualified or not are rather ridiculous (and telling - this is what you're getting into op).


So is posting this anon.

User avatar
sublime

Diamond
Posts: 17386
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:21 pm

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby sublime » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:00 pm

Yea, I mean I don't know that much about smaller firms but at big firms it is probably an advantage if anything. Of course not to say that there isn't bias in the hiring process or in the industry generally, but without more information, this doesn't appear to be indicative of it. Ppl get rejected quickly all the time. ESP at a smaller firm that may not even be hiring or have an SA program, assuming that is what you were looking for.

User avatar
LaLiLuLeLo

Silver
Posts: 644
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:54 am

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:01 pm

It absolutely exists. Not sure if it applies to your situation due to very few details provided, but no doubt it's an ugly little thing in the legal industry. There have been studies about having an "ethnic" name on your resume and how that negatively impacts you.

I will say that biglaw, in general, doesn't have an obvious racism problem in the associate ranks (partnership is a whole 'nother can of worms). Especially considering the cross-border nature of the work and the fact that a lot of bankers are minorities, it just doesn't make sense to be racist in hiring. That being said, smaller offices or outposts of biglaw firms can be suspiciously white, and particularly white male. That does make me wary, especially when it's in a diverse city (really, you couldn't conjure up any Latino, black, or Asian associates in Los Angeles?).

I think there may be a tinge of racism based on practice groups, but not sure if there's also a self-selection aspect to it (e.g. Asians in lit vs finance).

I've experienced some wonky shit myself, so I know it exists.

mvp99

Silver
Posts: 1425
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby mvp99 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:All these posts pointing to whether the op is qualified or not are rather ridiculous (and telling - this is what you're getting into op).


Nah I'm a minority myself.. just want to be sure OP considers other reasons before concluding these people are racist. It seems a bit to check everyone lawyers profile before getting some hint that these people are racist beyond getting rejected. In any case, there is almost* always some racism even when the person doesn't actively think in a racist manner and that might be a factor.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324889
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:10 pm

I've heard this from friends -- apparently the minority status helps and compensates some for grades, but only if you're not East Asian/ South Asian. East/ South Asians are considered with the Jews/Persians/all other Caucasian folks.

Did you apply via an online form? If so, those have auto GPA cutoffs programmed in

sanzgo

New
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 11:14 am

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby sanzgo » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:00 pm

given that the US is a multicultural, multi-ethnic country, sure there probably is to a certain extent but it's useless to let it get to you since there's not much you can do.

as a minority, you will always face resistance when you're trying to break into a conservative majority and the law profession is as conservative as they come. mostly white male baby boomers. since moving up the ranks in this profession is less about skill than it is connections, brand, and business, that glass ceiling against minorities is more evident in this profession than say, the stem or medical profession where it's much more of a meritocracy. but i think this applies more to mid/late-career attorneys, not t-14 biglaw interviewees.

i wouldn't really worry about racist hiring practices for biglaw summer hiring. sure, there's a decent chance you'll interview with a partner who dings you during a CB purely for racist reasons but not only is it pointless to think about these possibilities, it also emphasizes why no matter how good your grades, you should always play conservatively, cast a wide net, and hope for the best but prepare for the worst. w/out power, you can't control your environment. the best you can do is to optimize your preparation and response to events in your current environment.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324889
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:44 pm

in OP's defense, I think there was some research done saying that employers were less likely to favor a minority-sounding name. Forget exactly what the research was/when it was published, etc.

But in this case, auto dings seem like something all applicants go through, independent of race

User avatar
elendinel

Silver
Posts: 975
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:29 pm

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby elendinel » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:44 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:All these posts pointing to whether the op is qualified or not are rather ridiculous (and telling - this is what you're getting into op).

The point is just that there are lots of reasons why someone gets rejected right away that don't have anything to do with race/ethnicity, though of course that could be a reason too. No one is judging the OP's qualifications or ability.


I'm not the original anon but I agree it's telling how frequently people want to bring up literally every possibility other than race/go straight to attacking a poster's "lack of proof" when a person says they faced racism. It's like someone saying "I got raped last night, what do I do now?" and almost all the responses being "Whoa whoa wait, back up, are you sure you were raped? We need all the details and need to consider the possibility that you actually did consent."

OP's question is about how to deal with racism in the workforce; most of the comments here aren't actually about how to deal with racism and instead are about whether or not OP "considered all the possibilities" before deciding on racism (thus implying it's more likely that OP doesn't understand really basic things of which a lot of people are already well aware, than it is that OP did indeed consider a bunch of possibilities already and still landed on racism). OP is expected to provide incontrovertible proof of racism before most people in the thread will even address the actual question, which is how people deal with employment discrimination (which is undeniably real, regardless of whether or not OP is right or wrong to think racism played a role in his/her rejection). It says a lot about what people here are most concerned about.

As for a more useful response: OP one thing you noted was the severe lack of diversity at the firm. While this isn't always a sign of racism, things like this are things you should be thinking about/sussing out before you even try to step through the door. You won't be a successful minority candidate if you indiscriminately apply everywhere and hope for the best; you do have to get educated about firms and why some are more diverse than others. A lot of combating racism will also require thinking outside the box to find ways to avoid common issues in minority hiring (not having a name from a preferred demographic, having stereotypes applied to you based on your name/experience, etc.). Some people rely on in person networking to get their resumes pushed through, some change their names on their resumes, etc. In short, I can't know whether or not you actually faced racism here, but if you did, part of avoiding it in the future is just learning to make calculated choices about where and how you apply.

Part of the process is also just accepting that sometimes the process is going to feel suspect and sometimes you're just going to have to accept that even if race was a factor, you have to let that interaction go. There's no magical cure to racism, so even if the person reviewing resumes for this firm was being racist, there's nothing to do about it. Just stay smart about where you apply and how you present yourself in the next firm. Not all firms are categorically racist (most larger firm's aren't), so you will get opportunities when you play smart.

User avatar
Wild Card

Bronze
Posts: 423
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:48 pm

Re: Racism/Discrimination in Hiring

Postby Wild Card » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:31 pm

This doesn't apply to biglaw.

I know three AfAm females with 3.1X at V10s, two AfAm males with 3.0X at a V20, a MexAm female with 3.0X at a V20.

Granted, they all come from solidly upper middle class families, so perhaps they know how to conduct themselves favorably in front of potentially hostile Whites. So maybe your problem is class consciousness rather than race consciousness. I myself feel deeply uncomfortable interacting with upper middle class people, whom I suspect of all being racist, but it's more the spoken and body language.



Return to “Legal Employment�

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.