The largest bulk of what lawyers do is write contracts, which are like computer programs written in modern English with much key vocabulary taken from medieval Anglo-French words. Hence, lawyers, like computer coders, need to be hardworking and smart.
Thus, law schools don’t much worry about holistic admissions. They care about undergraduate GPA and LSAT scores. This makes for an extreme hierarchy of law schools, with Yale at the top followed by Harvard and Stanford.
The system tends to work extremely well in the sense that no other law school has figured out a way to outsmart the system. Year after year, Yale, Harvard and Stanford get the top students, objectively speaking, and year after year, Yale, Harvard and Stanford grads are most likely to get the glittering prizes in the legal profession. Law schools are not run by stupid or unambitious people, but no law school has yet figured out a way to take its lower ranking admittees and transform them through the quality of the education it gives them into higher achieving lawyers.
Because blacks and, to a lesser extent, Hispanics are, on average, less hardworking (as measured by college GPA) and less intelligent (as measured by LSAT) than Asians and whites, elite law schools also consider race, letting in black students they wouldn’t imagine taking if they were Asian or white.
But of course this has inevitable consequences, such as black students performing less well on average in law school and in professional life, tending to feel anxious and resentful over their being outcompeted by Asians and whites, and falsely blaming white people for their shortcomings.
This is especially a problem for elite law schools just below the level of Y-H-S, like Penn. There are plenty of really smart whites to go to Penn, but the really smart blacks go to Y-H-S, so the racial gap is particularly evident at places like Penn.
Law schools have no solution for the problems caused by affirmative action other than hoping that everybody will just shut up about the fact that affirmative action exists. Of course, encouraging public ignorance has its downsides for the public.
At the U. of Pennsylvania Law School, Professor Amy Wax has been tenured since 2001. But the dean of the law school wants to take her tenure away because she keeps mentioning the existence and implications of affirmative action.
Dean Theodore Ruger [email him] is particularly enraged that Professor Wax refuses to lie [Penn Law dean asks for ‘major sanction’ against professor Amy Wax, creating tenure threat for all Penn faculty, by Graham Piro, thefire.org, July 13, 2022]:
- Telling Black student Ayana Lewis L’12, who asked whether Wax agreed with panelist John Derbyshire’s statements that Black people are inherently inferior to white people, that “you can have two plants that grow under the same conditions, and one will just grow higher than the other.” In an interview with Quinn Emanuel, Lewis reported that she felt devastated at being made to feel “not good enough” and like she “had to prove herself.” She explained that in that moment she felt “powerless” to respond to Wax because as a first-year student up against a tenured professor, “I had everything to lose and she had nothing to lose.” As a result, she felt forced to “box in” her feelings and let the moment go “unchecked,” which was incredibly difficult in the face of blatant racism.
- Telling Black student Lauren O’Garro Moore L’12 that she had only become a double Ivy “because of affirmative action.” O’Garro Moore reported to Quinn Emanuel that she was “stunned” and wanted to, but did not let herself, cry because “I have experienced people doubting whether I deserved to be in places where I was, and I’ve learned not to let them recognize that they’ve hurt me.” O’Garro Moore explained that especially as a first-year student, she spent a lot of time questioning whether she knew enough to be at Penn and was in the habit of second-guessing herself, so when Wax told her that, “everything about that really hurt.” O’Garro Moore reported feeling unable to respond to Wax in the moment for fear that if she was not “well- rehearsed” with research to defend herself, Wax would simply poke holes in her statements.
- Telling Jaime Gallen L’12 that Black students don’t perform as well as white students because they are less well prepared, and that they are less well prepared because of affirmative action.
- Emailing Gregory Berry L’10, a Black student, that “[i]f blacks really and sincerely wanted to be equal, they would make a lot of changes in their own conduct and communities.”
- Stating in class that people of color needed to stop acting entitled to remedies, to stop getting pregnant, to get better jobs, and to be more focused on reciprocity.[
- Stating in class that Mexican men are more likely to assault women and remarking such a stereotype was accurate in the same way as “Germans are punctual.”
Ruger says that BIPOC students worry that they will be victimized by Wax’s animus without providing evidence of Wax victimizing them due to animus.