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Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, February 17, 2014

Video: 33: Black Law Students Describe 'Emotional Toll' at UCLA

Legal Education | Permalink


university of north Carolina law school class of 1963 graduate here. two blacks in the entire school surrounded by segregation. these ucla students don't realize how good thery have it.

Posted by: paul korn | Feb 17, 2014 1:16:58 PM

Oh just wait until these folks get into the "real world" that is law practice (particularly in competitive elite gov/big law settings)....Doomed. From the start....just doomed.

Prof. Sander's research is so very, very expose the disservice that these institutions have exacted upon these poor individuals under the guise of social justice.

I'm willing to bet that every one of the individuals that appeared on that video had LSAT/GPA scores that would have all but guaranteed similarly credentialed anglo-saxon, heterosexual, non-legacy males a swift rejection to UCLA Law. And that's ok, because UCLA only takes the best of the best. But UCLA is gonna change the world, and right the wrongs of years of oppression, by admitting a couple token blacks! How insulting...

Behold the mismatch, and its awful aftermath. UCLA admits enough of a particular category to claim diversity, but retains its coveted medians. Obviously, this is not unique to is endemic to all of the law schools, particularly the "top."

Posted by: Anon | Feb 17, 2014 3:59:06 PM

Aaron, I am a black law student at UCLA. I will not dignify the ignorance of your position by showing you that the LSAT/GPA credentials of my colleagues and I are mostly at or above your coveted median. (A more accurate question on your part would have been if the deviation from said median was larger on a percentage basis for students of color or your white heterosexual males, but it's not my place to make your argument) Nor will I waste my time educating you on the limitations of the LSAT and the subjectivity of undergraduate grade point averages. I will also restrain myself from providing an exhaustive list of the professional successes that myself and my classmates have thus far achieved.

However, it is beyond my capacity for self-control to not reprimand your gross misapplication of Sander's research when you attempted unsuccessfully to blame racial climate issues on a student's intellectual capacity. I'm sure I do not need to tell you that one's ability to solve logic games or conform to dominant indicators of academic excellence have little effect on the loneliness and isolation that result from a statutorily enforced segregation.

Posted by: Uclalawstudent | Feb 17, 2014 10:54:35 PM

A clear demonstration of the failure of he politics of victimization. None talked about the law or becoming lawyers. All they talked about was their feelings and pressures internally generated they perceive from the black community. Law school is an opportunity to use individual effort to achieve. Attending law is neither a community nor race event. Learning contracts, torts, civil procedure etc. have nothing to do with race or any of the other categories of the grievance profession. Other than reflecting self-generated feelings, none had a single factual or logical comment. It appears that whatever problem with law school they may have, it has little to do with going to law school and learning the information it takes to graduate law school, pass the Bar exam, and become a practicing lawyer. What counts as a law student and later a lawyer is performance.

Posted by: Denis Kleinfeld | Feb 18, 2014 5:52:28 AM

I walked around UCLA a couple of years ago and I didn't see a single black person for twenty minutes or more. I thought this was sad for Jackie Robinson's alma mater. I don't know whose fault it is--and I have very mixed feelings about affirmative action policies--but still it seemed sad to me.

Posted by: michael livingston | Feb 18, 2014 8:35:38 AM

I wish to add that I think the whole debate about minority students being somehow "below the median" is out of date. I've been teaching for 25 years and I just don't see the difference in quality between students of different ethnicities any more. I think it was true as a transitional matter but I don't think it's accurate any more.

Posted by: michael livingston | Feb 18, 2014 8:37:56 AM


Half of Black students graduate in the bottom 10 percent of their law school classes, and 92 percent in the bottom half. Whether that is due to hostile student environment, unequal treatment by professors, or mismatch can be debated. But there is a policy issue here to be addressed -- I would not swiftly describe the problems as "out of date."

Posted by: andy | Feb 18, 2014 2:10:31 PM