From: Sander, Richard
Date: Thursday, November 28, 2013
Subject: Please retract your post and issue an apology
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.
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.