Sunday, November 05, 2006

The New Successful Lawyer

If you are not a lawyer, you are likely unaware that top law schools are desperate to admit blacks and hispanics as students. Like most of academia, law schools are run by Leftists. More specifically, the schools are run by guilty-feeling, politically corrected whites and aggressive, power-hungry racist minorities. The inevitable outcome of this distasteful combination is the elevation of "diversity" to the status of religious faith, with the notable absence of anything holy or sublime about it.

Unlike the traditional notion of "diversity" for which universities used to be known -- freedom of inquiry and discussion, a "diversity" of ideas -- the new "diversity" is all about mandating one particular worldview that seeks to relegate whites to second class (and preferably criminal) status. The new "diversity" insists that all whites are racist oppressors, all minorities are victims, and all whites must make reparations for their racist past. (Of course, no whites alive today were alive when slavery was abolished, but why bring up an inconvenient fact like that? It's so ... unhelpful to the cause.) In other words, "diversity" is an inherently racist doctrine.

Making the new "diversity" the highest moral value has had several effects. One effect is to denigrate the views of whites, and especially white males. Since all white males are, by definition, evil oppressors, "diversity" insists that their opinions are, by definition, illegitimate.

Another more obvious effect is racial quotas. The law schools are stupendously sensitive to the number of minority students they have, and are terrified of being criticized for not having enough of them (if they don't have enough, then they're not "diverse", and we all know what THAT means: they must be racists. And as we all know from our suicidal policy of refusing to profile muslims at airports, it's better to be murdered than be accused of being racist). Thus, to avoid this most dire of criticisms, and to flaunt their servile devotion to "diversity", the law schools have long had specific numerical goals for minority students admitted.

Ahh, but here's the rub: blacks and hispanics, on the whole, score lower on standardized tests (like the LSAT, the Law School Admission Test) than whites and asians. (Please don't clog my blog with knee-jerk accusations of racism -- I'm not saying that blacks and hispanics are genetically inferior, I'm simply reciting a well-known fact about test scores. If you want to find out why the test scores turn out this way, I highly recommend Black Rednecks and White Liberals by the brilliant Thomas Sowell.) This is a terrible problem for the top-tier law schools (and later for top-tier law firms, but that's a story for another day). They are committed to admitting more blacks and hispanics, but they can't find nearly enough who are QUALIFIED. What does "qualified" mean? What makes the top-tier law schools top tier is very high admissions standards. Although law schools examine college grades, they rely most heavily on LSAT scores. Indeed, they have to. Otherwise, how would they prove that they really are top tier?

So how do law schools solve this problem? Easily, it turns out. They simply admit blacks and hispanics who are less qualified than the whites and asians that they admit. But how to accomplish this, in light of the United States Supreme Court's decision in Bakke in the 1970's that outlawed actual quotas? Again, easily. The Supreme Court gave a wink and a nod to "diversity" by explicitly allowing schools to consider factors other than academic qualifications.

But this did not stop the law schools from employing quotas, which are much easier to administer than going through the hassle of making up phony reasons to justify admitting less qualified applicants. Shockingly, in the mid-1990's, the federal Office of Civil Rights (OCR) found that the University of California at Berkeley law school was running an illegal quota system for admitting students. (This was shocking for two reasons: first, the OCR is not exactly a white-friendly government agency. Second, this occurred during the Clinton administration.) With the usual liberal arrogance that permits them to ignore laws they don't like because they know they are morally superior, the Berkeley law school was actually running two completely separate admissions systems: one for whites and asians, and another for blacks and hispanics. As you can probably guess by now, the primary difference between these two admission systems was the admission standards. The admission standards for whites and asians was significantly higher than for blacks and asians. In fact, the standards were so far apart that in some years, the highest ranked black or hispanic applicant would not have made the cut under the white/asian admission system. Since this was indisputably a quota system, the OCR had no choice but to find the Berkeley law school in violation of the law, and demand that it change its admission practices.

End of story, right? Not so fast, grasshopper. You are forgetting about the overweening arrogance of the Lefties who run law schools. After the OCR found the Berkeley law school in violation of the law (ironic, no?), the Dean of the law school sent the most astonishing letter to alumni. The letter first explained that the law school had been found to be operating an illegal quota system. Then, the Dean assured the alumni that -- not to worry! -- with a few minor tweaks to the admission procedures, the law school would be able to continue admitting the same number of blacks and hispanics! In other words, the Berkeley law school would continue to operate an illegal quota system, but they would just disguise it better.

The truly remarkable aspect of this letter was not that the liberals would continue to ignore the law, but that they would be so open about it, and broadcast their criminal intentions to the world. With the typical liberal assumption that everyone who matters thinks exactly the way they do, the Berkeley law school simply assumed that it was preaching to the choir. (If you've read Ann Coulter's Godless, you'll realize that this metaphor is all kinds of ironic.)

Apparently their efforts were not as successful as they wished. The "diversity" czars continue their racist endeavors unabated. In furtherance of the sacred goal of racial quotas, the two most highly-rated law schools in the San Francisco Bay Area sent the following email recently, which is followed by my analysis of it.

From: Prof. Shultz and Dean Edley []
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2006
To: **************
Subject: Important Research: Beyond the LSAT

Dear ************,

We invite you to participate in vital research to create a new type of law school admission test. We need your help for the final and most critical stage in this research. Unless large numbers of volunteers participate, this opportunity to improve admission practices will be lost.

RESEARCH GOAL: Current admission methods try to predict who will get good grades in law school. Our new tests try to predict who will be effective as a lawyer. Evaluating a wider range of job-oriented qualifications should help both to select better lawyers and to increase racial diversity using merit-based and non race-conscious factors in choosing among applicants.


CONFIDENTIAL REPORT ON YOUR INDIVIDUAL WORK STRENGTHS AND SHORTCOMINGS: Optional. If you choose, it would come only to you, immediately, by email.
MCLE CREDIT OPTION: Completion of the test and self-evaluation allows two units of general self-study credit. Linked reading and quiz allows one "elimination of bias" self-study credit.
To take the test, go to Please submit your responses within two weeks of receiving this email. We thank you in advance for your participation.

Your unique UserID is: ********
Your Password is: ***********

Retain your personal UserID and password to return to the website after interruption.

TIME REQUIRED: The test is online, and should take two hours or less. You may enter and leave the website as needed, but completing the entire test is very important to research outcomes.

CONFIDENTIALITY OF DATA: Information we obtain from or about you is for research purposes only and will be kept confidential. (Nothing will be shared with employers or schools.) The online consent form provides more details.

Chris Edley, Jr. Dean
Marjorie Shultz, Professor and Co-Investigator
Boalt Hall School of Law

Shauna Marshall
Academic Dean
Hastings College of the Law

Among those urging your participation in this research are:

Thelton Henderson, Senior Judge, U.S.D.C.
Cruz Reynoso, Justice, California Supreme Court (ret); Professor, King Hall, of Law, U.C. Davis
Joan Haratani, President, BASF; Partner, Morgan, Lewis
Kamala Harris, District Attorney, San Francisco
Andrew Giacomini, Managing Partner, Hanson, Bridgett
Maria Blanco, Executive Director, Lawyers' Committee, San Francisco

If you would like more information before deciding, visit


My Analysis

This is absurd. Apparently, we are supposed to accept that the traditional indicators of success -- high test scores and high grades -- just don't predict who will be successful as a lawyer. As if intelligence and diligence are irrelevant to understanding the law and creating coherent arguments. Perhaps they believe that the ability to slam dunk a basketball or salsa dance is a better predictor of success in the legal profession.

This is my favorite part: "Evaluating a wider range of job-oriented qualifications should help both to select better lawyers and to increase racial diversity using merit-based and non race-conscious factors in choosing among applicants."

What pathetically contradictory nonsense. (a) we're trying to "increase racial diversity", but (b) we're only going to use "NON RACE-CONSCIOUS factors". Nope, no contradiction there. Nothing to see folks, just move along. So bottom-line, this whole project is ostensibly based on the assumptions that (1) there are "merit based" factors that are more common to non-white, non-asian races (otherwise crediting those factors would not increase the percentages for those races), (2) intelligence (test scores) and hard work (grades) are more common to whites and asians, and (3) intelligence and hard work are less common among non-whites and non-asians. Of course, if I were to point out publicly that these are the assumptions that logically underlie their stated effort, I would be called a racist. Yup, I'm a racist for identifying racist thought in liberals.

And note the really nice Communist touch: they offer Continuing Legal Education credit for "elimination of bias" if you cooperate with this racist effort! It's 1984 again.

They should just drop the pretense and simply advocate the murder of all white males, which would neatly solve their problem of the illegality of racial quotas. Unfortunately, it wouldn't work, because Asian males would simply fill the spaces left by the dead white males, so they would need to be eliminated as well. Actually, since certain groups score significantly lower on average than certain other groups, they really can't stop with the white and asian males. They'll have to kill all whites and asians -- females too! -- to make room for the oppressed.

Who knows? Maybe they'll actually come up with heretofore unconsidered "merit-based" factors that contribute to success. But only after they re-define "merit" and "success". A small price to pay to achieve "diversity."

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Kallicles was Right

In Plato's Gorgias, Socrates, after vanquishing the famous sophist Gorgias and his student Polus, engages in discussion with Kallicles. Unlike almost every other Socratic interlocutor, Kallicles refuses to be drawn into Socrates' word games, and provides this refreshing opinion of over-educated nincompoops who focus exclusively on words and the ability to manipulate them:

I feel exactly the same too about students of philosophy. When I see a youth engaged in it, I admire it and it seems to me natural and I consider such a man ingenuous, and the man who does not pursue it I regard as illiberal and one who will never aspire to any fine or noble deed, but when I see an older man still studying philosophy and not deserting it, that man, Socrates, is actually asking for a whipping. For as I said just now, such a man, even if exceptionally gifted, is doomed to prove less than a man, shunning the city center and market place, in which the poet said that men win distinction, and living the rest of his life sunk in a corner muttering with three or four boys, and incapable of any utterance that is free and lofty and brilliant.
Kallicles recognized that the central charge against Socrates, that led to his death, was accurate. Socrates was accused of demoralizing the youth of Athens. And in a very literal way, that's precisely what Socrates had been doing. By constantly questioning and undermining Athenian traditions and values, and teaching the Athenian youth to do the same, he was stripping them of their morals. Not to mention their confidence and pride in their society and culture, thereby weakening Athens.

The same paradigm of moral relativism has been present in America since the 1960's. But in recent years, the Left has moved to the next stage in their jihad against traditional American values. They initially championed a free speech paradigm, so as to have the space in which to challenge and destroy traditional values. Now, having successfully inculcated a culture of anything goes relativism, and holding the vast majority of teaching positions, they are now boldly and shamelessly instilling their own left-wing orthodoxies into unsuspecting students, and ruthlessly punishing those on the Right who seek to exercise their free speech rights to disagree with the Left. (Town Hall columnist Mike Adams is the foremost chronicler of the suppression of conservatives on college campuses.)

In this as in many other things, Whittaker Chambers saw most deeply into the true nature of Leftists:

But as the struggle was really for revolutionary power, which in our age is always a struggle for control of the masses, that was the point at which they always betrayed their real character, for they reacted not like liberals, but with the fierceness of revolutionists whenever that power was at issue.

The Liberal Psychosis

If you are a conservative, you have almost certainly had the following experience: against your better judgment, you got dragged into a political discussion with a liberal. You tried to have a calm, rational discussion in which you mentioned established facts, and you refrained from making accusations. As you thought you were making some progress, with virtually no warning, your liberal friend began to have a tantrum, accused you of being (take your pick) a fascist, a right-winger, a racist/sexist/homophobe, etc., accused you of being unable to have a discussion without making personal attacks, and walked out of the conversation extremely upset. Sound familiar? It used to happen to me all the time. The only reason it doesn't continue to happen all the time is because I have largely given up having any kind of serious discussion with liberals. It's a waste of time because their psychoses get in the way of their ability to hear truth and deal with reality.

The most concise description of this phenomenon I have seen is in Witness. In the course of describing those (liberals) who most viciously tried to destroy him when he began to testify against Alger Hiss, Whittaker Chambers wrote:

They were people who believed a number of things. Foremost among them was the belief that peace could be preserved, World War III could be averted only by conciliating the Soviet Union. For this no price was too high to pay, including the price of wilful historical self-delusion. Yet they had just fiercely supported a war in which one of their ululant outcries had been against appeasement; and they were much too intelligent really to believe that Russia was a democracy or most of the other upside-down things they said in defense of it. Hence like most people who have substituted the habit of delusion for reality, they became hysterical whenever the root of their delusion was touched, and reacted with a violence that completely belied the openness of mind which they prescribed for others.

(emphasis added). Nowadays, merely voicing disagreement with the liberal dogma of the day will generate the knee-jerk accusations of fascism, etc. But it's the recitation of facts that refute the liberal dogma that will unfailingly unhinge the liberal with whom you have the misfortune to be speaking.

If you have had this experience, and derived some entertainment out of it, please feel free to comment.