Tuesday, January 09, 2007

U.S. Education Officials Question Diversity Standard

U.S. Education Officials Question Diversity Standard - Washington Post

The American Bar Association and its heavy-handed approach to diversity in law school will only insure that we get fewer Black lawyers. If the ABA wants concrete progress in increasing diversity in law classrooms they can start by accepting that prospective Blacks shun law school for reasons exacerbated by affirmative action.

The dreadful bar passage rate for Blacks, half that of Whites, followed by diminished success in the profession, are what causes capable Blacks to shy from the opportunity cost and expense of gaining a law degree. The 'plus-factor' points awarded in the admissions process simply do not carry through to graduation, bar passage, and successful law practice.

So why do Blacks under perform their peers when it comes to grades, graduation, and the bar? The top tier law schools poach a significant number of candidates, who should objectively attend second tier schools. These poached students, taken from schools that best match their abilities, struggle to keep up. The shifting of students does not stop here. Each of five tiers of schools is raided from above and poaches below, with an effect of shifting a large portion of the students from their center-of-competence.

Blacks student face the unfair burden of keeping up with accelerated classes, with their average grades placing them in the 10th percentile as the result. Such performance is not a recipe for career success and attracting greater numbers. Bar passage is higly correlated to grades not tier of school. And this is why admission committees are having an increasingly difficult time filling the seats of law schools with Blacks. By the way, other professional schools, along with higher education in general, face the same challenge.

James C. Collier


Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

No comments: