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Diversity Requirements and the Virginia Bar:

John Rosenberg has a long post on the Virginia Bar's efforts to promote "diversity" and whether they would survive a legal challenge.

Nifonged:
I don't practice anymore but am a member of the VA Bar, honestly I haven't read carefully all of the articles Mr. Rosenberg discusses, but can confirm in my cursory reading of all the VA Bar magazines, newsletters, etc., over the last couple of years it seems more like a "Diversity" organization that happens to involve law rather than a legal organization that's attempting to increase diversity.
3.6.2009 3:36pm
Houston Lawyer:
It has been my experience that Jews are overrepresented in the Bar as compared to their percentage of the population at large. Since diversity as is currently preached and practiced in this country is a zero sum game, we clearly need maximum as well as minimum quotas for each group.
3.6.2009 3:39pm
Constantin:
Nifonged, it's probably like that in many states. We have an informal monthly pool on how far into our state bar mag the first "diversity" or "[insert minority group here] Bar Association" story will be run. The good numbers are all smaller than five.
3.6.2009 3:49pm
ChrisTS (mail):
Constantin: The good numbers are all smaller than five.

Is that pages, paragraphs, lines, or words?
3.6.2009 4:03pm
Constantin:
Five pages, Chris. But that is funny.

It is one of the failings of the majority of Americans opposed to quotas that there's been no widespread resistance via everyone just checking "African-American" on every form that asks.

Make them start testing blood and this stuff ends.
3.6.2009 4:10pm
Federal Dog:
What kind of nitwit cannot clearly state what he means by "diversity," yet proclaims in conclusory fashion that whatever it is, law cannot exist without it?

And this guy passed the VA bar?
3.6.2009 4:12pm
Soronel Haetir (mail):

What kind of nitwit cannot clearly state what he means by "diversity," yet proclaims in conclusory fashion that whatever it is, law cannot exist without
it?


He could define it, but then everyone would be onto the scam. If he keeps being vague, he'll get his task force or whatever other group he's after with no-show jobs to hand out to friends and cronies. It's just typical race hustling dressed up pretty.
3.6.2009 5:45pm
Crunchy Frog:

What kind of nitwit cannot clearly state what he means by "diversity," yet proclaims in conclusory fashion that whatever it is, law cannot exist without it?

Sandra Day O'Connor.
3.6.2009 6:34pm
Desiderius:
Constantin:

I always check "other". My Cherokee one-sixteenth gives me plausible deniability.

If given a write-in, then I'm "American".
3.6.2009 9:05pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
I hope no one thinks that Virginia is the only state doing this. Here in New Mexico, the sitting I passed had the lowest pass rate ever. When the Supreme Court saw how many non-whiteys failed, they went nuts. The next sitting was one of the highest pass rates ever. Coincidence? I think not.
3.7.2009 12:29am
theobromophile (www):
Given that the legal profession can touch upon every aspect of people's lives (the canard about needing minority lawyers to represent blacks who are overrepresented in the criminal justice system aside), it behooves us to have a diverse legal profession.

"Diversity," however, is about more than skin colour, religion, and sex. As Rosenberg's post mentions, "diversity" can, and should, include poor white kids from the Appalachian mountain region. The poverty in the western part of Virginia stems from a radically different source, and affects a different demographic of people, than does the poverty in Washington DC or Richmond. Even "economic" diversity doesn't distinguish between a poor black kid who grew up in southeast DC and a poor white kid who grew up in West Virginia and whose daddy died in the coal mines when he was ten.

Nevertheless, these "diversity" initiatives are always aimed at achieving results that are both politically correct and easily demonstrable. Hell would freeze over before the VBA aimed its recruiting efforts at devout Catholics, coal miner's kids, engineers, farmers, or small business owners - despite the fact that they could all offer valuable intellectual contributions to the legal profession, represent groups that are not typically the focus of outreach efforts (not poor enough to qualify for government assistance, and not wealthy enough to afford it), and add something to the law school classroom.

On a final note, the idea of needing more blacks to represent African-Americans who are on trial for drug use is nauseating. How about getting the brightest African-Americans into law school classrooms so they can represent corporations, become law professors, go into politics, or get appointed to a judgeship? Realistically, the beneficiaries of diversity movements are upper-middle class blacks, who grew up in the suburbs, have educated parents, went to good high schools, and would be on the path to success no matter what. Let's be real: the VBA isn't pulling African-American kids out of inner-city DC and the poor parts of Richmond and getting them psyched about being lawyers so they can change their neighbourhoods.
3.7.2009 1:07am
Federal Dog:
"Sandra Day O'Connor."

DO NOT even get me started.
3.7.2009 6:31am
John Rosenberg (mail) (www):
"'Diversity,'" theobromophile writes, "is about more than skin colour, religion, and sex. As Rosenberg's post mentions, 'diversity' can, and should, include poor white kids from the Appalachian mountain region," as well as "devout Catholics, coal miner's kids, engineers, farmers, or small business owners...."

No, and yes. To start with the yes, real diversity obviously can and should be concerned with much more than race, ethnicity, and sex. But no, as actually practiced almost everywhere, "diversity" is in fact definitely not about more than race, ethnicity, and sex.

"Realistically," theobromophile also writes, "the beneficiaries of diversity movements are upper-middle class blacks, who grew up in the suburbs, have educated parents, went to good high schools, and would be on the path to success no matter what."

Again, yes and no. Yes, most of those who are admitted under "diversity"-justified affirmative action policies are upper-middle class (and higher) blacks. But if you take the arguments and justifications of those who promote and defend these policies seriously (something, I admit, you should do at your own risk), then no, those blacks are not the beneficiaries. They are merely the instrument of the benefit that is claimed to accrue to others by virtue of being exposed to them. (The preferentially admitted blacks also receive whatever benefits flow from being exposed to the non-diverse, but they don't need affirmative action preferences for that. They would receive those same benefits by attending less selective institutions with no need to lower the standards for them.)
3.7.2009 7:35am
Bruce Hayden (mail):
Again, yes and no. Yes, most of those who are admitted under "diversity"-justified affirmative action policies are upper-middle class (and higher) blacks. But if you take the arguments and justifications of those who promote and defend these policies seriously (something, I admit, you should do at your own risk), then no, those blacks are not the beneficiaries. They are merely the instrument of the benefit that is claimed to accrue to others by virtue of being exposed to them.
What is interesting to me is that the traditional justification for AF is to right historical wrongs done to the Black community, and yet a large number of those who do benefit seem not to have come from such a background. A surprising number of those esp. at the more elite institutions benefiting from AF are descended from more recent immigrants. Just looking at the Obamas, you have Michelle who appears to be descended from American slaves, and her husband who wasn't.
3.7.2009 2:20pm
theobromophile (www):
Mr Rosenberg: we're in agreement. I'm just not very coherent when I respond to blogs late at night. :)

What I was driving at - badly - was the disparity between diversity in theory (which has its merits) and diversity as commonly practised in American academia and the legal profession in particular. There is a definite value to the former (although, it should be noted, that the value of the ends doesn't justify the means, or even that every means even achieve the desired ends), although the latter is dubious at best and counterproductive at worst.

I also have my gripes with diversity as practised because I see such a value in a broader, more comprehensive diversity, which becomes the sacrificial lamb to the PC gods.

But if you take the arguments and justifications of those who promote and defend these policies seriously (something, I admit, you should do at your own risk), then no, those blacks are not the beneficiaries. They are merely the instrument of the benefit that is claimed to accrue to others by virtue of being exposed to them.

Agreed... I didn't get into that because I didn't feel like writing one of those marathon comments that everyone stops reading after two paragraphs.

There is a problem in using people as a means to an end (and not for their own, intrinsic good). As you may be aware, people admitted under affirmative action programmes are often academically outgunned by their peers, and pay the price for that in their academics, finances, and career. The particularly grotesque part of this is that we are setting blacks up for failure so that whites - the traditional oppressors - can have a more interesting educational experience.
3.7.2009 7:52pm
yorubella (mail):
African American lawyers, doctors, dentists, etc are MUCH more likely than Whites to return to practice in underserved communities. This goes for Asians and Latinos as well.

In my opinion, I think this is because its a lot easier to set up shop in a low-income urban neighborhood and then live on the nice side of town than it is to pick up everything and move back to your small town, where poor whites are more likely to come from. Also, minority professionals, even the ones who grew up middle class often still feel a connection to their poorer counterparts that I doubt many middle and upper class whites have with their counterparts living in the boonies. There is a huge benefit to increasing minority representation in all professional fields.
3.7.2009 11:05pm
George Smith:
In a law firm, each attorney's income depends on the ability of all other attorneys to generate income. There should be one primary hiring criteria: Can this candidate do work of a quality for which clients will willingly pay, and for which clients will willingly return? Outmoded thought, I know.
3.9.2009 10:34am

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