Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sander & Steinbuch: Mismatch And Bar Passage: A School-Specific Analysis

Richard H. Sander (UCLA) & Robert Steinbuch (Arkansas-Little Rock), Mismatch and Bar Passage: A School-Specific Analysis:

Past research on law school mismatch has been hampered by the absence of school-specific data, thus requiring scholars to estimate individual levels of mismatch through various indirect techniques. In this paper, the authors use data on nearly four thousand students at three law schools to directly measure mismatch levels based on LSAT scores or an academic index. The analysis shows large and statistically significant effects of mismatch; when one controls for mismatch, racial effects lose statistical significance. The results highlight the importance of mismatch in explaining both racial bar passage gaps and individual outcomes on the bar. The results also illustrate the great importance of individual school-level data across a range of schools in studying mismatch.

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The cognitive dissonance within the academy is troubling on this issue. In the hallways my fellow faculty members will complain about mismatch to no end. I hear collegues lament the fact that the bottom 30% of their class is almost entirely made up of minorities (with an occasional University donor's kid mixed in there). Obviously there are many minorities in the top of the class as well (the top student at my private northeastern law school was a female minority), but, on average, Affirmative Action results in severe mismatch that falls along minority lines (plus university donors). I wish more people would talk about how bad this is for the minority students we are exploiting so we can pat ourselves on the back for inclusion and diversity.

Posted by: Annon | Oct 20, 2017 9:51:03 AM

If there were a dark conspiracy to harm the education of certain minority groups the conspirators could hardly have devised a more clever plan than creating mismatches and blocking any investigation of the effects.

Modern affirmative action is all about affirmation of one's own righteousness, results be damned.

Posted by: AMTbuff | Oct 18, 2017 1:21:07 PM

Gee the mismatch could also be the bar and its mismatch with the skills needed for lawyers - including less advantaged people who go on to serve less advantaged communities.

Posted by: Clark freshman | Oct 17, 2017 5:46:44 PM