Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Note From Richard Sander

Given the universally negative reaction to my post yesterday, I chose to remove the post. But, before I made the choice to do so, Richard Sander sent the following email to us:
-----
From: Sander, Richard
Date: Thursday, November 28, 2013
Subject: Please retract your post and issue an apology
To: "outsidethelawschoolscam@gmail.com" <outsidethelawschoolscam@gmail.com>


            I had never heard of your blog until yesterday, when someone alerted me to the above post.  I write to point out that the post is inaccurate in almost every particular, and ask that the author retract the post and acknowledge that its claims are not based on any established facts.
            To be specific:
            --It is not true that UCLA has “stopped placing black students in Sander’s 1L course”.  Most student assignment to the eight 1L sections is random, subject to some shifting to ensure that, for example, a section does not include only one black.  No professor is “avoided” with respect to any assignment.  I have averaged about the same number of 1L black students as my colleagues over the past several years; in this fall’s class, I had an above-average number of Hispanics (though I was unaware of the number until a reporter asked me about it).
            --It is not true that I have a bias, either “provable” or otherwise, against *any* of my students.  Both my impression, and that of my Dean of Students, is that my black students actually perform *better* in my class than they do in their other 1L classes, though I have not tried to measure this difference to see if it is statistically significant.  Partly because I work on a wide range of civil rights and inequality issues, I have mentored an unusually large number of African-American students and graduates over the years; many of whom have gone on to highly successful careers in practice or in legal academia.
            --If there was any evidence that I (or any other professor) actually discriminated against students of any race, the appropriate action for UCLA to take, and one I believe they would take, would be to do a thorough investigation and, if the evidence was convincing, to remove me from the faculty.  I think the real, as opposed to imagined, evidence would show a  fair and dedicated professor who puts in above-average hours and resources to help all of his students get the most out of law school.

Richard Sander, UCLA
-----

To be clear, I'm removing the post only because I feel it was not up to the high standards of this site. I would also like to make it clear to Mr. Sander that I am not a wet behind the ears law student who fears him as if he were Professor Kingsfield from The Paper Chase.

41 comments:

  1. You did the right thing, but your last sentence about fear was totally unnecessay. God forbid a lawyer today should ever be consideted weak.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MA did the right thing, because he defamed a law professor, and he'd prefer not to have his actual name plastered across the internet.

      Delete
    2. 6:52, what a pathetic threat. Yo think there's something shameful about the overall message on this blog? You think we're hiding behind anonymous comments (like you are) because we're frightened of the big powerful law professors?

      Which school do you work at?

      Delete
    3. I'd say MA did the right thing because he did the right thing. He did a juvenile thing (which we all do from time to time) and saw it was not worthy and sort of embarrassing on hind-sight, especially after you get to hear the story straight from the horse's mouth. It's a life lesson in deference and etiquette. Nothing more.

      Delete
  2. Professor Sander, are you kidding me? "I had never heard of your blog until yesterday, when someone alerted me to the above post." Exactly where have you been over the past few years?

    For someone who "puts in above-average hours and resources to help all of his students get the most out of law school", you seem remarkably clueless when it comes to issues facing your students.

    I suspect that your opening line was meant as an insult rather than anything else, but it seems to have made look like a douchebag. As does the remainder of your email, which relies on the sole defense of "prove it!" - exactly the attitude that I recall MA complaining about in his original post. (And I now also suspect that you were one of the anonymous commenters yesterday who was echoing much the same argument, summarized as "if we can't prove it, that means it's not true". And which must also mean that if we can prove something, it's true - so do you have any comments on the dismal state of the legal job market for many of your students in relation to how much your school is charging and how much you are being paid, proven by undisputable numbers? Yeah, I thought not.)

    You may want to add us to your daily reading list because something tells me we haven't heard the last of you on this site.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another comment that is pure speculation. Nobody reads every blog on the Net. You are reading too much into Sander's email. There is nothing in his email that suggests he is clueless. It is you that is clueless.

      Again the alleged "prove it" in the original post came from the administration, not Sander, and there was nothing in ATL to establish that anyone actually said it.

      MA did the right thing in removing the original post, but you are trying to stir up a controversy based on nothing.

      Delete
    2. Nobody is asking him to read every blog on the Net. I'm just suggesting that he reads one blog once every week that has some relevance to the fucking mess of an education system of which he is an integral part. Your suggestion that his ignorance can be excused would be like going into a doctor's office and the doctor telling you that he doesn't read the New England Journal of Medicine because he can't read every magazine on the market. If a legal educator has no idea that half his graduates are fucking angry with their outcomes (which are unemployment and huge debt), then there's a problem.

      But that problem has been cured in at least one case. Sander will be checking in regularly from now on.

      Delete
    3. Again pure speculation. You don't know he hasn't read other blogs or Tamanahas book.

      Delete
    4. And you don't know he has. So fuck off over to lawprofblog if you want a sympathetic audience or if you want to play by some innocent until proven guilty bulkshit. This isn't a criminal trial. It's law grads warning future law students, and character is fair game especially when it is those characters that are taking $200000 in tuition money to teach you their racist little theories.

      Delete
    5. It's no less a work of fiction than law school employment and salary data. Maybe instead of protecting a handful of professors from lies, you could start protecting thousands of real life students.

      Delete
  3. Meh. There's not much of a story here. The guy has made a career out of scholarship that attracts attention not for its quality but because of its mild racism. The ATL series of articles seems believable, and methinks that Sander doth protest too much.

    Me also thinks that it's time to move on. There is fruit hanging far lower on the tree than this. He's dodged the racism bullet for his entire career and we're unlikely to find the smoking gun. Pluck something easier next time. There are thousands of law professors out there who are easier targets than this dude.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You guys live in a fantasy world if you think law profs would spend their time reading blogs like this. They are not responsible for who chooses to attend law school, the cost of tuition, employment obligations or warning students away. Their sole obligation is to give it their best efforts in educating their students. Their obligation to themselves and their families is to seek the best compensation package they can get. You all have no chance of shaming profs into giving up their jobs. I assume if they read blogs like this, they do so for amusement only.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Sander was so amused that he spent his Thanksgiving trying to have a post pulled down. Imagine the laughter around his dinner table last night!

      If they don't read a site like this and if they don't have done idea of the discontent within their profession, they are neglecting their duties. No free passes. If they want the benefits if their privileged positions, they need to do more that abdicate all responsibility for the outcomes of their students. Their responsibility is to deliver the stated outcomes on their web sites at the very least.

      Delete
    2. Very few of those professors give their best efforts, or anywhere near their best efforts, in educating their students. Therefore they can't, in good conscience, seek higher compensation packages.

      I hope Sander is an exception to this, and I hope he cares about his students. But he needs to consider what happens to his students after graduation. Since he's going to be reading this site from now on, we can make sure he gets enough good data about the scam, with good arguments against the scam. Suggesting that he was racist wasn't a good argument. Haven't we been through this before, when Nancy tried to smear her critics as racist and sexist? Give it a rest.

      Delete
    3. "You guys live in a fantasy world if you think law profs would spend their time reading blogs like this."

      My blog regularly gets hits from law school-affiliated IPs, and often when it's unlikely to be a student bored in class. This blog has way more (we're talking like 10-15x the traffic) mine does.

      Delete
    4. I have emailed with at least a dozen lawprofs over the last 8 months, including a few "superstars," and many respect what we do here regardless of their politics or egos. Our regular readers have seen some of these profs post comments here under their real names.

      Our accuracy and integrity are important. That is one reason why MA took the high road and retracted his post without complaint. -Adam B.

      Delete
    5. Which superstars did you e-mail with? Larry Tribe? Alan Dershowitz? Cass Sunstein? Kathleen Sullivan?

      Delete
  5. One lesson to be learned from all this is that you certain trust articles on Above the Law, especially if the article is written by Elie Mystel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mystal spreads hate. That is the only thing he has to offer.

      Delete
  6. Maybe this professor hates black people, maybe he doesn't...I think it is only sensible to believe he does until he "proves" otherwise. We are not dealing with innocent actors here, we are dealing with people that thrive on committing student loan fraud. Fuck their reputations. Reputation assassination is the name of the game at this point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. After they stole $100,000 in tuition from me without once telling the truth, you think I care about protecting their futures? They screwed mine. I am happy to return the favor to these oblivious or willfully ignorant morons.

      Delete
    2. 11:25 A racist is someone who stereotypes a person because of their race. You assume that Prof Sander is a racist until he proves otherwise. Doesn't your statement make you a racist?

      Delete
  7. I think you did the right thing, MA. Looking forward to reading your future work.

    Happy Thanksgiving to readers, except to law professors, to whom I wish a Happy Scamsgiving.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Time to move on.

    And mods, perhaps it is now time to stop allowing troll comments through. Blatant pro-professor comments have no place here. Discussion is welcome but allowing the undercover profs or their puppets to come here like in the past week and post constant lies has to stop. They have their own forums for their own opinions, and allowing them to voice such huge numbers of "there is no scam u loosers" comments gives readers the impression that these issues are not settled.

    Law school is a scam. It needs reform. Let's talk about how much of a scam it is, not whether it is a scam of not. And let's talk about what reform it needs rather than whether or not it needs reforming. It's time to shut the law school sympathizers down. They can make their own blog if they want to air their own opinions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with 4:30 am. What we need is an echo chamber of unsubstantiated claims, and occasional defamation, without any contrary point of view to ruin things.

      Delete
    2. @747:

      The only contrary point of view to this blog is frankly too absurd to warrant serious discussion.

      Delete
    3. 7:47, the echo chamber for the past two decades has been the idea that law school is the best career choice in the world and that there's no problems with it at all. And you are offering no different opinions other than "we're wrong and you're right".

      Opposing opinions have always been welcome here. Idiots who get off on trolling like you have no place here.

      Delete
  9. Did you know that Sander had a black child? Did you know that Sander was a liberal? Did you know that Sander was a community organizer when he was younger?

    ReplyDelete
  10. "Maybe this professor hates black people, maybe he doesn't...I think it is only sensible to believe he does until he "proves" otherwise."

    Seriously? You are saying that the onus is on *Sanders* to prove he's not a racist? That is one of the most asinine comments I've read on this blog, and there have been some doozies. I appreciate the fact that the blog isn't moderated, but some of the commenters may want to look at their comments before they hit "Publish", and ask themselves "Does this comment make me look like a complete idiot?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was satire.

      Delete
    2. With the commenters on this site, it can be very hard to tell sometimes...

      Delete
  11. The problem here was relying on Above the Law as a source. ATL and Mr. Mystal do not follow established journalistic practices and ethics. They should have checked with a dean at UCLA before publishing the falsehood that black students were allowed out of Sander's classes. (Any ethical journalist checks sources.) If the allegation had been true, it would have been legitimate news. But it was false and libelous.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Mystal is a rather well-known race-baiter on ATL who has an axe to grind against anyone who opposes affirmative action.

    Sanders is well-known for in-depth scholarship arguing that affirmative action, because it places students with lower credentials in the same schools as their higher credentialed peers, harms those that it is supposed to help.

    Unsurprisingly, Sanders has attracted a lot of criticism from his fellow left-wingers inside the law school ivory towers.

    Posts that unfairly impugn someone's character have no place here, ESPECIALLY without one shred of evidence other than a Mystal article on ATL, one race no less.

    This is completely unnecessary:

    "To be clear, I'm removing the post only because I feel it was not up to the high standards of this site. I would also like to make it clear to Mr. Sander that I am not a wet behind the ears law student who fears him as if he were Professor Kingsfield from The Paper Chase."

    I don't believe going toe to toe against law professors for the sake of doing so accomplishes anything.

    I think we should be glad there are high-profile law professors like Sanders who challenge the left-wing orthodoxy in the law school establishment. After all, the scam is more acutely felt by minorities who end up with more debt, lower bar passage rates, and poorer job outcomes.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Black? Did Sanders actually use that word?

    Strange and this entire post is strange and the long string on anon comments.

    Why can't people just be above board and have real identities by now?

    Or is bucking the scam all that criminal?

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have to agree that pulling the post was correct. We have no business pulling unsourced gossip from ATL. We also have no business raising controversial issues like affirmative action, when they're tangential to the issues.

    Frankly, the issue with Sander should be that he's paid $250k+ divorced from any real market reality to opine on issues like affirmative action.

    That said, I'm happy MA is a contributor on this blog and feel almost all of MA's posts add value to the blog.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The editors of this blog are to be commended for taking down the unsupported post. On the other hand David Lat must be criticized for leaving up Mystal's libelous post on ATL.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I wonder how this is quantified: "above-average hours and resources to help all of his students get the most out of law school." I went to UCLA School of Law, have $200,000 in debt, and have a horrible job. The career services office was adversarial and worthless. The professors were pompous and confrontational. UCLA was a waste of my time, my life, and financially destroyed me, but at least they have been more honest them some law schools about the horrible job results of their graduates. If a UCLA grad can't get a career going, why does someone going to a "top 50" school think they can have a good career if they don't have inside connections. Such a joke.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I hope Sander sues Above the Law.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Yeah Jeff M; MA did the right thing. However why hasn't ATL done the right thing by taking the original post down? This is clearly a better blog than ATL!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Richard Sander, I do not understand how an educated, privileged, Jewish American, would devote his life to oppressing African Americans - in a profoundly destructive way.

    In my 55 years of experience in education, psychology, social and political science - I have found that African Americans are weaker in some areas, and stronger in others - than other ethnic groups. On the subject of productivity - African Americans often perform all other groups; the Tuskegee Airmen had a perfect record in the sky, defending our bombing missions. In manufacturing, African Americans often outperform all other groups - even though they are discriminated against. When my mother was selected as valedictorian, her elementary school teacher walked up to her and slapped her. She left UCLA when many of her teachers openly expressed racist views. It seems that racist culture has not changed. I believe you are a profoundly immoral person who is a disgrace to education; who clearly hates African Americans, like Ward Connerly, who we know know, was raised by a racist, White supremacist grandmother.

    To single them out, and promote policies that close educational opportunities for them - I believe is morally reprehensible, and extremely racist. When you consider the fact that America has been subjecting African Americans to discrimination and oppression since our nation's founding - one cannot help but asking you - do you have no soul?

    I believe that you are - without any doubt - evil. In a debate on this issue, I would destroy you in 60 minutes, and you would retire. I believe you need to retire now. One of the goals of an educator should be to extend knowledge to groups deprived in the past. Richard Sander - you are the ultimate troll, and you are proud of it.

    ReplyDelete