Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw Forum

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09042014

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Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by 09042014 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:29 pm

Asians make up a fairly large portion of the T14 but are nowhere to be found in biglaw. Where do they go? Is there discrimination going on?

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:33 pm

I'm Asian, and I personally feel as if we are fairly well-represented in biglaw...

do you have stats to back up your claim that Asians are "nowhere to be found"?

09042014

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by 09042014 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm Asian, and I personally feel as if we are fairly well-represented in biglaw...

do you have stats to back up your claim that Asians are "nowhere to be found"?
My firm has no asian males in my office. Maybe it's just DC or just my firm.

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by mephistopheles » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:34 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm Asian, and I personally feel as if we are fairly well-represented in biglaw...

do you have stats to back up your claim that Asians are "nowhere to be found"?
My firm has no asian males in my office. Maybe it's just DC or just my firm.
what about asian females?

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by 09042014 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:36 pm

mephistopheles wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm Asian, and I personally feel as if we are fairly well-represented in biglaw...

do you have stats to back up your claim that Asians are "nowhere to be found"?
My firm has no asian males in my office. Maybe it's just DC or just my firm.
what about asian females?
A couple, but they are typically actually from asia. We do a ton of Asian work, so it makes no sense not to have asians.

Also only being 8% of the population, it could be random sample problems.

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by jd20132013 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:40 pm

I would guess they suffer from the same things blacks do; the stereotypes about Asians don't lend themselves to being perceived as for for advancement.

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mephistopheles

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by mephistopheles » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:42 pm

jd20132013 wrote:I would guess they suffer from the same things blacks do; the stereotypes about Asians don't lend themselves to being perceived as for for advancement.

DAMN SHOTS FIRED

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:20 pm

Do firms get diversity points for Asians? Also, what %age of big law lawyers do you see walking with a limp, in a wheelchair, having a speech impediment, or being blind/death? The physically disabled people comprise over 10% of the workforce, but under 1% of big law. I'm sure firms don't give a crap about being diverse except for being able to advertise they're diverse. I doubt any law firms really give two shits about the black man's struggle, and most partners are baby boomer republicans. We're speaking about places that refused to hire blacks and Jews until they legally had to even when other fields were easing up on discrimination. I've had only great experiences in my time in big law, but come on. Everyone knows this is one of the most racist and discriminatory fields in America. Also, ask yourself if law schools who tend to be more liberal than law firms were so passionate about keeping minorities out because they really hated diversity, or if they might have been motivated by their need for alumni donations.

Even with affirmative action benefits, it's not like these are benefiting all black law students. If you actually take the time to meet the black attorneys in big law, you'll realize that Dave Chappelle would call these "diverse" people the whitest people in the entire firm. There has been extensive literature on the fact that black in big law means "black but not too black" - close to no ties to the black community, upper middle class upbringing, physically fit but not too muscular, etc. SEE - Floyd Weatherspoon, The Status of African American Males in the Legal Profession: A Pipeline of Institutional Roadblocks and Barriers, 80 Miss. L.J. 259, 294 (Fall 2010). I don't know if Asians face similar roadblocks.

Regarding the Asian community, one thing that might explain whatever underrepresentation they are facing is language. Asians as a group perform at the top of many fields, but law is so language based that fourth and fifth generation Americans have a distinct advantage in law school, and in the profession. Assuming there's no racism, one would expect Asians to be overrepresented in big law within another generation, because a random Chinese-American would likely perform better than a random Caucasian-American. Even the best student will face some disadvantage if they grew up in a home where English wasn't commonly spoken.

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by mw115 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:and most partners are baby boomer republicans.
Not true.
http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=K01

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:13 pm

mw115 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:and most partners are baby boomer republicans.
Not true.
http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=K01
That's a good point, but 1.) political contributions aren't the equivalent of political convictions, and 2.) republicans are more likely to donate to political non-profits that don't need to make their donation lists public - http://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespend ... ype=viewpt.

This is anecdotal, but it has always seemed to me that Democrats are much more likely to want to publicize their views and choice candidates than Republicans are. This might be related to the media being very liberal, liberal views being more accepted in most cities, and the fact that the Republicans' only mainstream media support (Fox News) is a joke.

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by mw115 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:21 pm

On the other hand, one should consider that most partners live in NYC, DC, LA, SF & Chicago - all very Democratic cities. Most anecdotal experience I have of partners outside of Texas, while not wide, is that the legal profession is very liberal. And most data appear to back that up. Further, my understanding is that dark money contributors tend more often to be the mega-rich, not exactly partners in law firms.

Also, the firm I worked at was a Texas firm known for being very, very conservative. And they cared very, very much about diversity. The cookie doesn't always crumble as expected.
Last edited by mw115 on Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by moonman157 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:24 pm

Maybe your firm isn't completely representative of an entire industry?

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by mephistopheles » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do firms get diversity points for Asians? Also, what %age of big law lawyers do you see walking with a limp, in a wheelchair, having a speech impediment, or being blind/death? The physically disabled people comprise over 10% of the workforce, but under 1% of big law. I'm sure firms don't give a crap about being diverse except for being able to advertise they're diverse. I doubt any law firms really give two shits about the black man's struggle, and most partners are baby boomer republicans. We're speaking about places that refused to hire blacks and Jews until they legally had to even when other fields were easing up on discrimination. I've had only great experiences in my time in big law, but come on. Everyone knows this is one of the most racist and discriminatory fields in America. Also, ask yourself if law schools who tend to be more liberal than law firms were so passionate about keeping minorities out because they really hated diversity, or if they might have been motivated by their need for alumni donations.

Even with affirmative action benefits, it's not like these are benefiting all black law students. If you actually take the time to meet the black attorneys in big law, you'll realize that Dave Chappelle would call these "diverse" people the whitest people in the entire firm. There has been extensive literature on the fact that black in big law means "black but not too black" - close to no ties to the black community, upper middle class upbringing, physically fit but not too muscular, etc. SEE - Floyd Weatherspoon, The Status of African American Males in the Legal Profession: A Pipeline of Institutional Roadblocks and Barriers, 80 Miss. L.J. 259, 294 (Fall 2010). I don't know if Asians face similar roadblock.
good thing you're anon because this is racistaf

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by pancakes3 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote: Regarding the Asian community, one thing that might explain whatever underrepresentation they are facing is language. Asians as a group perform at the top of many fields, but law is so language based that fourth and fifth generation Americans have a distinct advantage in law school, and in the profession. Assuming there's no racism, one would expect Asians to be overrepresented in big law within another generation, because a random Chinese-American would likely perform better than a random Caucasian-American. Even the best student will face some disadvantage if they grew up in a home where English wasn't commonly spoken.
The idea that a 4th and 5th generation "American" from a T14 is better versed in language skills than his/her Asian counterpart (who also completed 4 years of UG, took the SATs, LSATs, and is graduating from a T14) is also pretty racist. Ignorant, at best.

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by A. Nony Mouse » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:44 pm

mephistopheles wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do firms get diversity points for Asians? Also, what %age of big law lawyers do you see walking with a limp, in a wheelchair, having a speech impediment, or being blind/death? The physically disabled people comprise over 10% of the workforce, but under 1% of big law. I'm sure firms don't give a crap about being diverse except for being able to advertise they're diverse. I doubt any law firms really give two shits about the black man's struggle, and most partners are baby boomer republicans. We're speaking about places that refused to hire blacks and Jews until they legally had to even when other fields were easing up on discrimination. I've had only great experiences in my time in big law, but come on. Everyone knows this is one of the most racist and discriminatory fields in America. Also, ask yourself if law schools who tend to be more liberal than law firms were so passionate about keeping minorities out because they really hated diversity, or if they might have been motivated by their need for alumni donations.

Even with affirmative action benefits, it's not like these are benefiting all black law students. If you actually take the time to meet the black attorneys in big law, you'll realize that Dave Chappelle would call these "diverse" people the whitest people in the entire firm. There has been extensive literature on the fact that black in big law means "black but not too black" - close to no ties to the black community, upper middle class upbringing, physically fit but not too muscular, etc. SEE - Floyd Weatherspoon, The Status of African American Males in the Legal Profession: A Pipeline of Institutional Roadblocks and Barriers, 80 Miss. L.J. 259, 294 (Fall 2010). I don't know if Asians face similar roadblock.
good thing you're anon because this is racistaf
I mean, there's a difference between describing what an industry does (hiring "black but not too black") and endorsing that practice.

(I agree that the language thing is off base, though.)

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by rayiner » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:46 pm

Partners at my firm, NYC, were pretty liberal (as much as you can expect guys pulling down $1m+ to be).

But anti-asian bias isn't a liberal versus conservative thing. It's not unacceptable even in PC liberal circles to be biased against asians.

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by TheThriller » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:54 pm

We get it DF, you work at a big law firm, apparently one without asians

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by 09042014 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:57 pm

TheThriller wrote:We get it DF, you work at a big law firm, apparently one without asians
Why are you tso sensitive to biglaw bro? No preselects at LOLCI?

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:00 pm

I think it has to do with the interviews rather than law school performance.

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by TheThriller » Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:01 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
TheThriller wrote:We get it DF, you work at a big law firm, apparently one without asians
Why are you tso sensitive to biglaw bro? No preselects at LOLCI?
Eh

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by Rahviveh » Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:10 pm

asians suck at interviewing

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:15 pm

Same anon, but the language thing was poorly stated and I apologize. I certainly didn't mean 4th or 5th generation. It was more in reference to comparing a 110 IQ who is 4th generation vs. a 130 IQ who is first or second generation. Maybe it's not the best way to do it, but I normally judge someone's intelligence based off of their chain of thinking (eg: I conclude this because of this, this and that). I've met people who by this standard are clearly brilliant who struggle with writing, which is critical to success in any practice. People just expect lawyers to be good writers.

Other than that, I have no idea. I certainly haven't found Asians to be underrepresented. I'm not sure what city DF is in. One thing is that they were underrepresented in past generations. I think they're still drastically underrepresented as judges? Many lawyers have a parent who is a lawyer so if Asians were underrepresented in a previous generation then it's probable that they would not suddenly be equally represented.

On the fact that affirmative action disproportionately benefits specific demographics of the black community, I was merely citing a law review article that cites to statistical data, and anecdotal evidence. In hindsight I shouldn't have written anything. I am admittedly more outspoken than would be prudent on the issue, but many people on this board assume that being black is a silver ticket, and neglect to consider the very real issues that many aspiring black lawyers face. I'm not black, but call it like I see it. Again, sorry if I came off as racist. The whole post was in poor taste.

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by PepperJack » Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:24 pm

Rahviveh wrote:asians suck at interviewing
Could be that if the hype about height is correct you would necessarily see disparate impacts on certain demographics.

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by dixiecupdrinking » Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:37 pm

Cannot believe this troll thread has generated this amount of legitimate response.

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Re: Is there discrimination against Asians in biglaw

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:50 pm

During my stint at biglaw, I'd say about 10% of attorneys at the 200+ attorneys at the office were of Asian descent. Before you get too excited, this was at a large... IP boutique.

Asians notoriously dominate STEM fields, so the numbers make sense. But it's more than that. The firm actively attracts people of Asian descent, and has invested in catering to them, offering amenities like Chinese language programs and such. They have an office or two in east Asia.

Obviously this is atypical.

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