Affirmative Action Bump at Baylor Law-a Mountain or a Molehill?
Elie Mystal over at Above the Law crunches the accidentally released admissions data for Baylor Law School and finds the affirmative action “bump” for African-American and Hispanic students to be insignificant.
With ATL’s characteristic snarky tone, Mystal tells weepy white kids to suck it up and the rest of those who didn’t make it into a 51st rated law school to take the LSAT again if it’s so darn important to them.
After 300 years of slavery in America, 100 years of legalized segregation and oppression, and not one generation removed from not being allowed to go to school with white children, the conservative establishment wants to deny opportunity to the black and brown children of this country based on three or four points on a standardized test?
Sympathy Lacking for the Kids with 160 LSAT Scores
Mystal wastes no sympathy for any incoming law student, a pretty standard response to those entering the bar so, kids, sorry, but get used to it. Here’s Mystal on sympathy for LSAT test takers.
[I]f you are a white person with all the social and economic advantages thereof, and you can’t bust 160 on the LSAT to get into freaking Baylor, I really have limited sympathy for you. You didn’t get “shafted” by some Latino kid who got an “unfair advantage” over you, you got out-competed by all the white people who can break 160 without breaking a sweat.
ATL is not meant to provide nuanced analyses and LSAT scores do not, of course, predict success in law school, nor law school the success of a lawyer.
It’s a standardized test, for heaven’s sake.
Law school success depends upon your ability to write a decent essay – not a skill tested by the LSAT, as generations of legal writing teachers know all too well. And writing essays does not help you become a good to great lawyer, though, of course, the critical thinking demonstrated by those essays does.
Mystal sees a three to four point bump for African-American and Hispanic students and concludes that “all the hand-wringing from some white people and conservatives and Chief Justice Roberts who act as if affirmative action is somehow the racial Waterloo for white people in America plays out at about three or four points at a middle-of-the-pack private law school in Texas.
That’s what we’re fighting over, folks. Sorry.
That, of course, is not all we’re fighting over, though I enjoy the tone of the ATL piece because I like easy snarky answers as much as the next worn out civil rights warrior.
What we’re fighting about is naming the elephant in America’s political room without making both “sides” of the never-ending “equality” and “merit” debate crazy enough to elect people to office who pander to our fears of an encroaching “other” in our midst.