lavarman84 wrote:The professors had the same option at my law school. I can't think of one ever using it.
Some profs at my school used that option for anywhere from 10% to like 30% of the grade. In those classes you "suck up" by raising your hand to answer questions instead of making the professor look awkward when there's a 20 second silence after they ask a question and before they finally call on someone when they realize no one's going to volunteer. Anybody can be that volunteer, and I almost guarantee you it's appreciated and will get you those "suck up" participation points even if you get the answer wrong. (Sucking up by repeating the style of argument/positions the prof takes in a blind grading exam is similarly something everybody has the ability to do.)
criteria for obtaining these clerkships is correlated with stuff that favors white clerks -- like recommendations from professors (who just like law firm partners implicitly gravitate toward folks that look like them), grades (which again favors, even in "blind grading" institutions, students who are the professors favorites), and law review (which again . . .). Then when minorities have those checkboxes, judges get around it by basing hires on fit and yada yada.
Finally, the biggest impediment are current clerks who are often the gate keepers. They won't recommend anyone but "the best of the best" to their judges based on the above criteria based on the false notion that if someone with "less prestige" gets hired, it will devalue the overall signaling that their clerkship has. As a result, clerks themselves often unwittingly discard diverse candidates.
I don't think its anyone who is particularly trying to keep POC out of clerkships, it is just how the system works.
I don't know one way or another whether this is factually accurate, but I really, really, really hate this line of thinking. It presupposes everything is naturally stacked against minorities from the start no matter how objective a system try to be, and everybody is just supporting an inherently racist system. If we can't look at things like performance in law school (as demonstrated by grades, participation on law review, etc.) or recommendations (or taking it a step further, can we even look at what school an applicant went to, if THEIR admission criteria is somehow racist by nature?) without supporting an inherently racist system, then what exactly can or should a judge, or any other employer, look at when determining who to interview or hire? Just start picking random applications out of the pile?