rpupkin wrote:I hesitate to wade into this topic based on anecdotal observation, but I've noticed—based on reviewing clerkship applications—that Asians are not well represented among the top students at the top law schools. I'm sure you're right that Asians enter law school with equivalent undergrad GPA/LSAT stats but, for whatever reason, white students appear to disproportionally get the top grades in law school classes.
That's a sweeping generalization about Asian Americans based on anecdotal evidence (which you admit) and, depending on your judge and his/her geographic location, a potentially unrepresentative sample. Simply take a look at the Yale Law Journal's current masthead: http://www.yalelawjournal.org/masthead/volume-127
. Based solely on Asian-sounding names (underinclusive, at best), Asian Americans represent around 20% of YLJ's membership. A smaller, but still sizable, proportion of Asian Americans seem to be on HLR (https://harvardlawreview.org/about/
) and SLR (https://www.stanfordlawreview.org/mastheads/
). Given that Asians constitute ~10-15% of any given HYS graduating class, their comparable LR membership ratios don't indicate any grade/qualification disadvantage compared to white students. So to argue that "white students appear to disproportionally get the top grades in law school classes" is a suspect claim and, even if true, replete with structural biases inherent to the legal profession (e.g., white male law professors/partners like mentoring white male kids).
ETA: LR membership also tends to attract students who are more interested in litigation than transactional work so, if anything, these LR stats would suggest that Asian American law students, especially the current generation, don't disproportionately prefer transactional work as others have insinuated to explain the discrepancy.