Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Trojan horse of "diversity": scamsters win, racialized people lose

Not so long ago, many law schools would not admit racialized people at all. Texas Southern University was hastily founded in 1946 as the "Texas State University for Negroes" so as to create a pretense of a "separate but equal" university for Black people alongside the white University of Texas (see Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629 (1950)). The Supreme Court unanimously saw through the ruse and refused to countenance it. (Today, incidentally, Texas Southern still has not strayed far from its Jim Crow roots: most of the class is Black, only 10% is white, the median LSAT score for last year's entering class was an appalling 144, and for the past two years the law school has been subject to the ABA's censure and directives for remedial action.)

Long after formal segregation was abolished, many law schools showed little interest in racialized people. But the spate of toilet law schools over the past decade has changed that. Nowadays scamsters from toilet law schools today portray themselves as champions of "diversity". They would have us believe that the toilet schools' abysmal, if not non-existent, standards of admission afford racialized people an opportunity to enter the legal profession. That so-called opportunity, however, comes with a poor chance of passing the bar exams, dreadfully low rates of employment, and a whopping price tag.

A Black lawyer with a JD from Michigan lifts the lid on the scamsters' invocation of "diversity" as grounds for lowering the passing score on California's bar exam. As he says, any sincere effort to increase the diversity of the legal profession must start with analysis of the causes of the problem and the best ways to address it, not with scam-fostering proposals such as "Let's lower the passing score!".

It's true that the bar is insufficiently diverse in terms of race and certain other criteria. But that does not imply that the passing score is too high. The whiteness of the bar stems from systemic inequalities and racial injustice—the same factors that have led to the monstrous racialization of the prisons and many other manifestations of racial oppression. Address it by correcting those inequalities, not by persuading the authorities in California to license more toileteers of whatsoever race.

Nor is it appropriate to lower the passing score on the test just because few people taking the test are passing. The score should be set at an appropriate level, and anyone arguing to lower it bears the burden of giving sound reasons. The scamsters seem to "argue" that the various Black people upon whom they have been preying should be admitted to the bar just because they are there. But that's no argument at all. The very purpose of the bar exam is to protect the public by ensuring a minimum level of competence. There may be nothing wrong with the passing score even if every single candidate fails.

Nor should California be played against other states. That's the child's tactic of going to Daddy in hope of a "yes" after Mommy said "no". Why should it matter that West Virginia or Missouri has a lower score? Perhaps California is the only state with a proper standard. Or perhaps even California's score is too low.

White scamsters are cynically perverting "diversity" for their own profit (figurative and literal). Racialized people, don't fall for their ploy.


  1. Let's call this proposal by its proper name: A Naked Money Grab.
    As in, the scam deans want the money from prospective 0Ls, and will do just about anything to get it. So the passing score has been the same for decades-well, that's unfair, it's an unnecessary barrier to access, it discriminates agains women/minorities/old people/young people/fill in the blank.
    The deans are shameless and do not care about diversity or access or fairness; this is the group that will tell you there's a shortage of attorneys in rural America, but forget to point out that there's very little need and it's almost impossible to make a living as an attorney in such cases. But hey, that's not their problem. Their problem is how to get the $$$ to keep themselves in no work, high pay jobs.
    The scam deans do not serve God; they only serve mammon.

  2. What does racialized mean? At first I didn't know if it meant racist or something in between. But after reading it seems to mean what is aka 'person of color'. Taken literally doesn't it imply some type of a process or change? I'm not up on all these woke expressions.

    1. Yes, that's what it means. It refers to the process of racialization, which puts people into "racial" categories that get different treatment.

      I'm sorry that you weren't aware of the meaning. I don't know what you mean by "woke", so we're even.

  3. I didn't make it up. Although I'm not a advocate for it to stay in the language either.


  4. 30 or 35 years ago, a black lawyer, especially a black female lawyer, might have had a slight advantage in getting a job. 20 years ago, as I recall, there was some demand for Spanish-speaking attorneys, at least where I practice today. Today, though, there are really no good jobs at all available for the vast majority of law school grads. Law schools prey on gullible applicants. A black college grad with a 2.8 in General Studies may well have a grandfather who tells him that back in his day (say, 50 or more years ago) black lawyers weren't common, so, therefore, going to law school is a great idea for an African American in 2019! It's the kind of thing you can only believe if you want to believe it, if you can suspend your rational sense of "this sounds too good to be true" through Confirmation Bias aka Wishful thinking or magical thinking. Frankly, there are a lot of gullible dummies of all races/genders/ethnicities who either have or about about to graduate with worthless "college degrees" in majors like philosophy who are being solicited by dishonest law schools as I write this post. Some will always take the bait.

    1. This. The dynamics of scarcity has changed: the previous generation is giving advice on what was scarce, not what is scarce.

  5. I just met two retired teachers in LA. 57 years old. Each one is taking home 8,500 a month in pensions. That’s 17k a month. No worries about recession, Investment, instability, etc. Good luck replicating that as a biglaw attorney, forget about shitlaw.

    And the lifestyle for those 30 years is, I guarantee, much different than what a lawyer is going to experience, eg summers off, job security, etc.

    1. Yes, but it would also be difficult to replicate that now as someone breaking into the teaching profession. Just getting a job as a teacher, never mind one with a pension that will yield more than $100k per year in today's money, isn't easy these days.

    2. This FY2016 chart for LAUSD shows that the salaries are somewhat less than the claims here. It seems unlikely that increases in the last three years would have pushed the top step from $80k to over $100. And since pensions are usually a percentage of salary a $100k pension seems a little bit unbelievable. And 10:23s two teachers are already retired.

      Still though a good deal if you are cut out for teaching and you can get through the competition to get a position.

      I think the posters here exaggerate a wee bit.


    3. For your example, you picked a union that went on strike in January in part due to low pay for experienced teachers compared to its peers in nearby suburbs.


      Long Beach, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica are all over 100k. I would bet other suburbs are as well.

      They should really value these things with the present value of the pension included in the salary numbers. The problem isn't that teachers make 100k, it's that they make 100k with a pre-paid pension while their COL is largely determined by people who don't save at all and spend every dime of their earnings.

    4. Those pensions are for 57 year old boomers, yeah, the new guys don’t get the same thing, but as we go deeper into globalization and labor arbitrage, I promise you it will be better than their lawyer counterparts.

      But hey, if it weren’t for disingenuous comparisons law school professors wouldn’t be able to rob the system blind right now.

    5. The legal "profession" is indeed a big scam. But that doesn't mean that teaching is the candy store that some people claim. Even twenty years ago, when I seriously looked into teaching, universities' departments of "education" frankly admitted that graduates might well struggle to find employment, even if they were prepared to move to some distant location.

  6. Let's not trade one scam for another.
    Law is a prestige driven profession, and the legal market is contracting has been for several years, so attending a scam school(see OG's rankings) is a terrible idea, especially with the debt that so many take on.
    But all this "teachers are rich" stuff is nonsense; yes, the current retirees may have a great pension, but it's always LA or NYc that's mentioned, which is no help to people living in other parts of the country. Out here in flyover land teachers start at pretty low salaries, and states have cut way back on pension benefits-for the new hires, that is.
    And remember all those wonderful, inspiring teachers you had? Me neither. Most teachers I know get tired quickly of disciplining other peoples' kids, the constant micro-management, etc etc. Now, and back when I was in school, many stick it out b/c of the retirement. But they hate their jobs, and it shows in their work.
    And the demand for teachers, pretty much anywhere, is limited to Math/Science, Foreign Language(and that's limited), and Special Ed.
    And this something you need to plan in college, so that you've got your teacher's certificate. You just can't get that worthless BA in poly sc and join the local school district.
    So do you have the right credentials? And do you really want to deal with kids all day long, and parents, too? If so, go for it-but grinding out a miserable job to make it to 20 is soul-destroying. Marching through a swamp every day to get to the rainbow isn't worth it.

  7. And speaking of swamps: I spent four years in the military, and we had plenty of folks who hated being in who decided to grind it out to make 20. They had stopped being promoted years ago, and basically stopped working. We called them Roadies(retired on active duty) troops. They had some rank, but had no interest in training or mentoring or whatever new troops like me. And command new this, but in the volunteer military, it was decided it would be bad business to discharge people who were semi-close to retirement. Except...if they got into trouble; serious stuff and they were out immediately, but discharges were processed even for things like DUI. But no matter what, these guys were dead weight.
    And, more often than not, that's what you've got in civilian govt service. People stuck in dead-end jobs they hate, with no motivation to preform better, just sticking it out to retirement(which may be 20 years, but don't start drawing benefits until in their 60s).
    Yes, the first cohort of boomers had it good. They served in the military in WWII or Korea, then got a job with local govt during boom times; they stayed in the military reserves until they hit 20(this was doable then, since rarely if ever were the reserves activated and sent to war; none of these guys were shipped to VN. But this has all changed,starting with the Gulf War in 91, when just about everybody got activated for it, but didn't serve since that war was so short. But take a look at the stories about everybody getting activated for Iraq/Afghanistan, with 50 years olds playing soldier in the desert. Don't recommend joining the reserves).
    So retire from federal service, and then get a state job, work their 20, too(or less, as vesting became five years.) So three pensions, lived better in retirement than ever before.
    But do you want to server 20 in the reserves, and maybe get sent someplace exotic? And some of this isn't even possible anymore-the feds have passed laws to prevent this type of triple dipping.
    There are few sure bets these days; and it's best that students plan before college-in other words, before taking on education debt-before attending. Yes, the scam law schools are scams...but getting that worthless BA is just a big, even if a somewhat cheaper, scam.

    1. The first cohort of boomers served in the military during World War II and the Korean War??? What???

  8. In New York City, the taxes are so high that it is difficult for anyone but the rich to retire there. The maximum teachers' salary is over $120,000. New teachers have to contribute 6% of pay for the pension before tax, but the pension is the same for new teachers and baby boomers.

    Some of the NYC suburbs in Westchester County have teachers' salaries going up to $150,000.

    Connecticut is dead set on keeping a teachers' pension of about 75% of salary that starts at age 56 or 57 for many teachers. Since the top teachers' salaries in Fairfield County are over $120,000, the pension is about $90,000 a year payable for about 30 years (the average life expectancy is about age 86), not including cost of living increases that have been muted but are still available. The big fight in Connecticut is passing through 25% of the normal cost of teachers' pensions to municipalities.

    The teacher salaries in the NYC metro area for many top out in the mid $100,000s with pension benefits included and are much higher when you take into account fully paid medical benefits and subsidized retiree medical benefits for most teachers.

    So there is a total about face. Right now, you are probably going to do much better financially as a teacher in the NY metro area than as a lawyer. That is because teachers have job security and are virtually guaranteed full-time permanent jobs for their careers. The situation with lawyers is just the opposite. While the median salaried lawyer may make the same or more than an experienced teacher in the NY metro area, the median lawyer is not going to be able to hold a full-time permanent employed job as a lawyer for anything close to a career. A lawyer is lucky to work half a career, even with elite law degrees, and have much lower pay than a teacher once the lawyer steps out of big law or big in house.

    1. This, God this. Someone else gets it. That 190k biglaw job is temporary and has no retirement benefits. The teacher can invest, get a mortgage, and not have to worry about retirement.

  9. Attending law school is a mistake for just about everybody.
    But teaching is no panacea; outside LA and NYC, teachers start at about $38,500, and that's with a teaching certificate.
    The reality is a liberal artist can't just go teach, as the certificate is necessary. Basically, for most college students, higher ed is a tremendous waste of time and money, as it prepares many not at all for available jobs.

    1. The real reality is you need a college degree for just about any decent paying entry-level job, regardless of whether the college degree has prepared you for that job or no. The other alternative is of course the trades, but most people are not interested in or cut out for those types of jobs.

  10. Here in the rust belt, even the worst teaching jobs in the worst school districts get over 60 applications for every opening. While those are much better odds than law openings, they pale in comparison to the skilled trades, nursing, engineering, actuarial science, conputer science, and more.

    1. I agree with regards to nursing and anything in the medical field.

      Engineering, IT, etc are better than law, but subject to outsourcing and insourcing. These aren’t thirty year career jobs. You work for a decade or fifteen years if you are good, then at 40 it’s unemployment for life if you didn’t transition to outsourcing.

      The trades are good in the big cities because of the unions, but are otherwise not good due to illegal immigration. (Still better than law because of debt loads of course).

      Teaching isn’t good outside the big cities.

    2. Actuaries are born, not made. Your brain can handle that level of math or it can't.

      Medical is very good. Two thoughts on that would be first do something like P/T which requires relatively little capital to open a practice and you work independently of M.D.s. Second, consider the armed forces for your medical training. Training for things like X-Ray Technology is free and will take up a big part of your active duty commitment. Where I live MRI techs pull down $80K+

    3. Look, if this doom or gloom claim was the reality, life in the US would be considerably different. People definitely adjust to reality.

      The reality is most people in their 40s in these professions are secure and doing great. The employment numbers are better the older you are typically.

      Law is also good for some people. What makes law bad is moreso the number of losers, which these blogs have gone over many times with hard statistics. We know something like 50% of JDs are practicing in 10 years. There is no similar corollary statistic for engineers, IT, etc. There is nothing like Big Law where you're gone after 3-5 years.

      Sure it's not 100% on any profession, that's true enough. But it's nowhere near a problem in other professions. You'll get a shot and you'll get to keep going if you want to. Law you have no choice. Many people never get a chance and those that do are cut off after a short time.

  11. —— The reality is most people in their 40s in these professions are secure and doing great.

    What about all of the people, like me, who have been driven out of "these professions"?

    —— Sure it's not 100% on any profession, that's true enough. But it's nowhere near a problem in other professions.

    Not true. I was in one of those other professions for years. Outsourcing ruined it.

  12. To OG: Law does have to be about the worst though for the gap between the numbers of those licensed by a state jurisdiction and the quantity of feasible employment. I say quantity, because law can not really be quantified in number of jobs, but in demand for services and the ability to recompense for those services.

    There are gluts elsewhere, I'm sure there is a glut of realtors, but that occupation does not require the level of education and commitment that a legal career does, just to get to the starting gate.

    There are other obsolete professions as well, customer service, retail, but the same.

    There are unstable fields like IT and sometimes engineering and finance, but not to the degree as law. A qualified IT tech will have an easier time getting employed or reemployed than a lawyer.

    1. If Engineering and Technology aren't good, and Finance (which is pretty much Math), then what's left? Science? But science is the worst of them all if you don't become a doctor usually.

      We have the lowest unemployment rate in some 50 years and the longest economic expansion in history. This idea that things are unstable and everyone is struggling badly doesn't actually match up with the statistics and numbers we have.

      The only really bad numbers we have are lack of attorney jobs 10 years out and high student loan debt, but that's it really.

    2. The official unemployment rate may be low, but consider:

      * It excludes people like me who have been out of work for a long time. We're dismissed as not looking for work.

      * It says nothing about the quality, and not much about the quantity, of employment. Fifty years ago, lots of people had jobs at factories—with good wages, too. How many do today? Very few. And most of the new positions that are created are bottom-end service-sector ones in retail stores, fast-food restaurants, and the like.

      * It doesn't account for another important change in circumstances: degrees. Fifty years ago, even many high-end white-collar jobs didn't require more than a high-school diploma. Today it's hard to get any job at all without a high-school diploma, and even a lot of positions that pay the minimum wage or not much better "require" a bachelor's degree—because everyone and her goddamn German shepherd has one. On top of that, those degrees now cost tens, even hundreds, of thousands of dollars. That wasn't true fifty years ago.

      So much for the vaunted "economic expansion".