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Why Is the White-Black Gap So Huge in Law Schools?
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Random Critical Analysis points to UCLA Law professor Richard H. Sander’s 2004 article in the Stanford Law Review, “A System Analysis of Affirmative Action in Law Schools.” It features data from the Law School Admission Council’s study of 27,000 law students who started in the fall of 1991. It’s extremely relevant to this week’s Amy Wax Brouhaha over the dissident Penn law professor being denounced for, uh, either lying or telling the truth about black students’ performance at law school.

I believe the academic index is on a 0 to 1000 scale in which 1000 represents a perfect 180 LSAT score and a 4.0 undergraduate GPA. I think the weighting is 60% LSAT and 40% GPA.

The race gaps at most tiers of law school are pretty huge: typically, a couple of standard deviations (compared to the white students’ s.d.). That’s really big.

One question is why the law school gap is so huge? Why is it two standard deviations instead of the usual one standard deviation seen most elsewhere? (I guess it’s because the index adds together an IQ proxy and a work ethic proxy.)

The median black student entering a tier one Top 14 law school has an index of 705, which is a little bit worse than the median white matriculant’s at a tier four “midrange private schools” index of 725.

This leads to immense gaps in the races’ chances of being admitted. For example, at the U. of Michigan Law School, which was the subject of the 2003 Grutter decision by the Supreme Court upholding racial preferences at a state school, here is the index table:

Screenshot 2018-03-15 23.32.09

So a white applicant with an index of, say, 730 would have about a 5% chance of getting in (e.g., if your dad was Michigan’s lieutenant governor, say, you’d probably get in), while a black with a 730 would have about a 95% chance.

The index works pretty well at predicting bar exam passing rates after law school:

Screenshot 2018-03-15 23.09.22

However, the index over-predicts the black students chance of passing on the first try.

So the median white student at an elite (top 14) law school entered in 1991 with an 875 index, which suggests well under 5% chance of not passing the bar exam on the first try. The average black student at a top 14 law school entered with a 705, which is somewhere between 12% and 26%. A tier 2 “other national” law school, whites enter at 805 and blacks at 631, which suggests about a 30% chance of failing on the first try.

These giant race gaps explain a couple of otherwise puzzling questions. For example, Barack Obama was almost immediately seen at Harvard Law School as a potential First Black President upon showing up there in 1988 and demonstrating that he could hang with the smart white kids intellectually. There just aren’t many blacks who can do that.

Alan R. Lockwood calculated in a self published book that there is a good chance that Obama scored on the LSAT either at the 94th percentile (currently, a 166 score) or at the 98th percentile (171). He told biographer David Maraniss in 2011 that he had a B+ average at Occidental and an A- average at Columbia, or about a 3.5 overall. Currently, at Harvard Law School, the median student had a 173 LSAT and a 3.86 GPA (although I would guess those numbers were slightly lower in Obama’s day).

So Obama likely came in to HLS a little below average, but not much. This, apparently, caused a sensation.

Obama’s best friend at HLS was a very bright white guy named Robert M. Fisher, who had a Ph.D. from Duke in economics. Here’s Fisher’s career through 2016. Comparing Fisher’s career to Obama’s career shows you a certain amount about what White Privilege gets you these days.

Another thing we can see is why so many black law students (e.g., Michelle Obama) have such a chip on their shoulders: because the racial gap is so huge in law schools.

 
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  1. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    You keep on repeating that Michelle has a big chip on her shoulder. How do you get that idea? That one casual comment she once made about being proud to be American for the first time?

  2. although I would guess those numbers were slightly lower in Obama’s day

    I would guess they would be a lot lower back in the late 80s. Grade inflation was more or less non-existent back then, which would have made Obama’s grades and scores even more impressive to the admins.

    Also, does everyone keep forgetting that Obama is only half-black? Or better yet, half-white?

  3. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Steve, your first and last sentence are both missing words.
    Please don’t post this.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  4. @al-Gharaniq

    Grade inflation was more or less non-existent back

    Grade inflation took off in the 1960s due to draft deferment issues and the spirit of the age.

    • Replies: @Marty
    , @res
    , @Triumph104
  5. Lot says:

    “One question is why the law school gap is so huge? Why is it two standard deviations instead of the usual one standard deviation seen most elsewhere?”

    Simple matter of math. As you go further out to the right of the bell curve, the greater the white to black ratio becomes. In the US population it is about 5. In the 90IQ+ population it might be 6.5, at 100+ it is higher still.

    Elite law schools are looking at 140IQ+ populations. There are so few blacks even close to this level, the degree of AA has to be gigantic compared to, say, firemen.

    Same principle applies to Ashkenazi, at a certain very high level of IQ, you will get a US population that is about 40% Ashkenazi and less than 0.1% black/mestizo.

  6. George says:

    “So Obama likely came in to HLS a little below average, but not much. This, apparently, caused a sensation.”

    When he graduated, why did he become a ‘community organizer’ instead of a supreme court clerk or assistant to a Senator, President, whatever. Even in Chicago, I would have thought assistant to the mayor or governor.

  7. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Lot

    Same principle applies to Ashkenazi

    –Says Mr “I’m half-Ashkenazi! Really!”

  8. Moses says:
    @Lot

    Great point. It helps to understand statistics and population distributions.

    Due to different population means for IQ, at the far right of the IQ curve (140+) there are a great many more Whites (and Ashkenazis and Asians) than there are Blacks. It creates a huge problem for law school admissions who want a “diverse” student body.

    Here’s an example:

    Given IQ population distributions, for every 100 Whites let’s say 5 are at 140+ IQ. For every 100 Blacks let’s say 1 is at 140+ IQ. (I didn’t look these numbers up but if you do the effect is the same, just a question of magnitude).

    So if America had equal populations of Whites and Blacks there would be 5x the number of Whites with 140+ IQs than Blacks.

    But there is about a 8:1 ratio of Whites to Blacks in America. So there are 8*5=40 Whites with an IQ 140+ for every 1 Black with an IQ 140+.

    See the problem?

    The only way law schools could not lower admission standards for Blacks would be to accept a student body where there were 40 Whites for every 1 Black. That cannot happen, so law schools MUST lower admissions standards for Blacks. This is just math.

    • Replies: @TTSSYF
  9. Nico says:
    @George

    Indeed, Obama’s hanging with nerdy white kids is atypical of blacks even at elite schools (despite the last 20+ years of Hollywood propaganda whereby the science nerd stock character is by freak coincidence also the token black guy), but is not *unheard of* in real life. I’m not sure Obama was ever really “spotted” as having presidential potential by anyone who mattered until around the early 2000s.

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
  10. Nico says:
    @Lot

    It also has to do with variance: the black population of America has a far lower variance on many metrics than the white population. With lower variance, for example, blacks could have the same average IQ as whites (of course they don’t) but a lower relative concentration of super-geniuses all the same. (Of course, in such a case they would also count a lower relative concentration of super-retards.)

    I don’t have exact figures, but it stands to reason that if blacks have a lower average IQ *and* a lower variance on IQ, the numbers of 140+ IQ blacks must be even lower still.

    As has been pointed out elsewhere, variance differentials also explain why blacks are overrepresented relative to their numbers among murderers by a factor of 7, but among serial murderers by only a factor of 2.

    • Replies: @TTSSYF
  11. Why is it two standard deviations instead of the usual one standard deviation seen most elsewhere?

    It isn’t. There are two different definitions of SD being used.

    The black-white gap is about the same (170) throughout except in Group 3 where it is a little larger (200). That more or less invariant gap is probably the “usual one standard deviation”. The only novelty here is that they are reporting the white standard deviation within each layer, which is considerably smaller than SD for all layers together, due to range restriction.

    • Agree: res
  12. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    You forgot to say “Pretty please” but at least he made the corrections.

  13. Law school can be jarring for everyone involved, because many professors still employ a form of the Socratic method that can reveal to everyone that you are out of your league. Many more black students drop out.

    The schools court minority students and have things like mentors and study groups led by professors, under the guise that they are for disadvantaged groups. I know a guy who led a long and ultimately successful battle to be admitted to a study group. The benefit was that the professor teaching the class was leading the group, and was focusing the study group’s efforts on areas that would be on the (anonymous) exam. The guy is white and was told he was not as disadvantaged as the other students. He was an older student and was raised in an orphanage, but some of the black students complained when he was initially admitted to the group. He was asked not to return, but eventually forced his way in. The black students believed the program was for blacks only.

  14. @Lot

    That has nothing to do with Steve’s question on the standard deviations, but the rarity of high-scoring blacks explains why Amy Wax’s statements had to be substantially correct and why everyone knows that everyone else knows that (even if they officially deny).

  15. keypusher says:

    I believe the academic index is on a 0 to 1000 scale in which 1000 represents a perfect 180 LSAT score and a 4.0 undergraduate GPA. I think the weighting is 60% LSAT and 40% GPA.

    I checked Sander and Stuart Taylor’s Mismatch. You’re correct.

    As far as I can see, the bar and academy’s main response to Sander was to try to block him from getting any more data.

    • Replies: @res
    , @ScarletNumber
  16. Sunbeam says:
    @Lot

    “Elite law schools are looking at 140IQ+ populations. ”

    This isn’t any kind of disparaging comment, but that statement deserves discussion. Not for accuracy, though I wonder…

    But let’s say that statement is true. Average IQ of 140.

    So what? What does it do? What tangible benefit to society is it to have smart lawyers?

    I’d like for someone to mechanically point out the benefits of this.

    Look pretend this is an ecosystem. We are analyzing it, Inputs/Outputs, all the feedback loops.

    Or it is a nation in a game of Civilization. What purpose do the lawyers serve using their 140+ IQ’s in the legal system, as opposed to getting the science rate up? Of course games aren’t the real world; but if they were my musketmen/cannons are going to ROFLSTOMP your longbowmen/pikemen, most advanced legal system in the world or no.

    Because these kind of games have a kind of theme, “If I can, I am going to kill you and take your stuff. The United Nations and Diplomatic victories are Gay.”

    Just pondering for a couple minutes, the only utility I can see is politicians at the national level overwhelmingly seem to have legal degrees, so I guess our pols are smart?

    Smart politicians, that’s gotta be good right? Sometimes I wonder.

  17. I worked at a 2nd tier law school in the late 1970s. To admit unqualified minorities they would enroll a small cohort of black and Hispanics in the 1st-year contracts course taught especially for them in the summer term taught by a fearsome senor professor. Those who scored a c or better got admitted and started in the Fall. I don’t know how they fared for completion and passing the bar — am guessing it was not good.

  18. TTSSYF says:
    @Moses

    The only way law schools could not lower admission standards for Blacks would be to accept a student body where there were 40 Whites for every 1 Black. That cannot happen, so law schools MUST lower admissions standards for Blacks. This is just math.

    Isn’t this essentially what they’re doing; i.e., they have a certain student body ratio they target and adjust the admission standards accordingly?

  19. TTSSYF says:
    @Nico

    The IQ distribution curves show blacks with a very broad, flattened curve, centered roughly around 85 but with the tails extending very far in both directions, while the curve for whites, centered around 100, is less broad and the curve for Asians centered around 105 and sharper still. So wouldn’t this suggest much greater variance among blacks as compared to whites and Asians — at least, as far as IQ is concerned? Although correlated with IQ, other personality characteristics may display less variability among blacks than whites (e.g., risk-taking), so maybe that was what you were meaning; i.e., bundled characteristics and not purely IQ?

    • Replies: @Nico
  20. @Sunbeam

    Smart lawyers are like smart computer programmers: they cut down on the number of unintended screwups.

    Writing a contract is like writing a computer program. It requires a lot of anticipation of hard to anticipate problems and provision of solutions.

    I was involved in writing a $100 million contract over 9 very long days. Most of the work was thinking of contingencies, getting the other side to agree to a solution (which was less hard in this case than it sounds), and then most of the work was the lawyers working out the exact wording to implement various if-then-else clauses that the seller and buyer had agreed upon in principle.

  21. NickG says:

    One question is why the law school gap is so huge? Why is it two standard deviations instead of the usual one standard deviation seen most elsewhere? (I guess it’s because the index adds together an IQ proxy and a work ethic proxy.)

    Without parsing the numbers in detail. I suspect it’s mainly down to 2 things.

    Firstly…at the cognitive ability normal distribution bell curve’s right pointy talented end, the differences become huge. Given race preference policies favouring black admission, by relaxing standards for their selection, I suspect the cohort of black Vs white law students show more than the usual one standard deviation of 15 IQ points difference.

    Secondly…factor analysis has distilled the core personality traits down to 5, easily remembered using the acronym CANOE….Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Nueroticism, Openness and Extroversion.

    Conscientiousness ties in with deferred gratification and future time orientation and together with IQ is one of the two biggest predictors of life outcome. I’m willing to wager that, in aggregate, blacks are considerably less conscientious than are whites and East Asians.

    So I suspect the black white differences in law school outcomes are mainly down to the double whammy of lower IQ and conscientiousness.

  22. Tyrion 2 says:
    @jim jones

    I quickly scanned through her thesis. It is about herself, her feelings and her quest to validate them. The young Michelle seems like a nice and bright girl but one who’s a bit more socially awkard than she’d like to be.

    I don’t think it comes across as chippy at all. Just young and fairly introverted.

  23. NickG says:
    @Anonymous

    You keep on repeating that Michelle has a big chip on her shoulder. How do you get that idea?

    Just dip in and read her Princeton blackety-black thesis.

  24. Sunbeam says:

    “Smart lawyers are like smart computer programmers: they cut down on the number of unintended screwups.”

    I can see why people retain lawyers. I can see why lawyers lawyer.

    But I’m not so sure that if you took a global view of society that it is useful to the society as a whole (looking at it as a kind of “Competition Machine” – “My Fire burns hotter.”).

    “Even a broken window helps the glass man to have some wealth.
    The multiplier driving higher the economy’s health.”

    We aren’t talking about goods rotting in a warehouse because someone forgot about them. Your description is more in the vein of helping the CEO of a conglomerate make more money from toilet paper sales.

    Useful in the God’s Eye view? Eh, not so sure. My hunch is no.

  25. TTSSYF says:
    @Anonymous

    It wasn’t so casual, and it’s not the sort of statement that would ever occur to anyone who doesn’t have a big chip on their shoulder.

  26. TTSSYF says:
    @Sunbeam

    I have heard it expressed that it’s sort of a waste of brainpower that so many highly intelligent people go into law and aren’t more generously sprinkled throughout society.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  27. @Anonymous

    I’ve always wondered why more people don’t game the system like Elizabeth Warren did. Do most top colleges require an interview? What not at least claim to be Hispanic?

  28. dearieme says:

    A couple of details take my eye (if only because there’s little useful to add to iSteve’s account).

    “I think the weighting is 60% LSAT and 40% GPA.” I love the spurious precision involved in eschewing a 50:50 weighting.

    I do wonder about the American fixation with GPA. Do I understand correctly that it’s a measure of merit based on an average of performance over all the courses that make up an undergraduate degree? So it includes undemanding freshman courses, where your performance might still be heavily influenced by the strengths and weaknesses of your High School? It includes lightweight make-weight courses, chosen to fulfil some clause in the regulations? It includes courses taken (usually) at 18, when your intellectual development isn’t complete (especially if you are male)?

    But why would anyone give a hoot if they wanted to know about your formed intellectual abilities when you graduate? Wouldn’t it be wiser to look at examination results for tough exams taken on your most most advanced course at the end of your studies?

  29. Anonymous [AKA "zenon"] says:

    I was admitted to several top 20 law schools in the 1990s. I didn’t bother applying to the ranks of private top 10 schools because I could never have afforded the tuition. I attended one of the top 20 schools, a state school, to which I was admitted. My class was approximately 35% minority in a state which was approximately 97% white.

    Yes, there is a massive cognitive differential between the white students and the black students. The best way to summarize it is that while there were a few dim bulbs among the white students, there were only a few bright bulbs among the black students; the remainder were dim bulbs.

    The law school adapted its program to accommodate the differential by offering a plethora of “grievance law” courses taught by black/queer/lefty professors. The black students struggled mightily in the mandatory first year courses, but then got to cruise through the rest of their law school experience getting easy As in grievance law courses. Affirmative action hiring swept most of them into jobs in government.

    I believe this is par for the course in how law schools have adapted to affirmative action. I suspect the situation has gotten a lot worse in the 25 years since I attended law school.

  30. George says:

    “So Obama likely came in to HLS a little below average”

    “After graduating with a JD degree magna cum laude”

    “magna cum laude, meaning “with great honor”. In North America, this honor is typically awarded to graduates in the top 10% or 15% of their class; this is the highest honor awarded at some institutions.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama#Law_career
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_honors#Types

    • Replies: @Big Bill
    , @ScarletNumber
  31. Law schools are one thing. Medical schools are another entirely. The same dynamic is in effect except the consequences are life and death.

    • Replies: @SimpleSong
  32. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Sunbeam

    Another place where really smart lawyers can earn their keep is in coming up with tricky ways to structure certain business transactions. For instance, the guy who came up with Apple’s famous Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich trick for avoiding taxes. Many tax tricks are very complex. If someone cooks up one of these and gets the equivalent of 0.0001 percent of what he saved a large client, he will be very rich. I think the guys who do various private equity corporate takeovers are also very clever.

  33. peterike says:
    @Steve Sailer

    and then most of the work was the lawyers working out the exact wording to implement various if-then-else clauses that the seller and buyer had agreed upon in principle.

    I think this strikes at why blacks aren’t successful at either law or computer programming. Thinking in an “if-then” manner requires understanding the future impact of choices. Blacks are notoriously bad at this kind of thinking. “If I do A, then B C D E happens, resulting in F.” If you start that statement with, say, “If I hand out cash to all my homies, then…. I end up a dead-broke former rap star / athlete / lottery winner.” Blacks don’t see it coming.

    This, of course, is so common among blacks that it’s a cliche. But it is precisely that cognitive lack that means they can’t work their way through a multi-step legal problem. Even they are otherwise glib in the moment.

    • Agree: Triumph104
    • Replies: @stillCARealist
    , @Ed
  34. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I wrote a a lot of contracts in-house at a company in Japan, where lawyers are not used for more routine stuff. There were two big points that I learned to pay attention to. The first was to include details of how to unwind things if the relationship goes south, easy to forget in the blush of positive excitement at the beginning of a relationship. And the second was simply to define the business relationship very clearly. In initial talks everyone is very positive and things are a little vague. A contract is useful, even if it never sees the inside of a courtroom, in making the expectations of each side concrete and clear. Someone has to do a first draft, and at that point the real talking begins.

    One trick that I learned from contracts that we did with American companies were clauses along the lines of “so-and-so shall renew the license at reasonable terms,” or “such and such a request shall not be unreasonably declined.” This seemed really squishy and not very lawyer-like when I first saw it, but it is used a lot, at least in Silicon Valley. The point is that, in priciple the parties agree to the item in question, but they don’t want to spend 9 days thinking up every conceivable possibility, so they put in a word whose details can be litigated later if one party is recalcitrant, but which is vague enough that nobody really wants to litigate it and they work to come to an agreement.

  35. Lot says:
    @Sunbeam

    140 is about the minimum IQ needed for a white or asian to have a chance to be admitted to Harvard or Yale law. The average for all lawyers is lower.

  36. @Anonymous

    This whole narrative is wearing thin. West Virginia has been a butt of the national joke forever. For despair, look at Michigan which had the worst economy in the nation circa 2000-2007 (before the Minority Mortgage Meltdown that took down Michigan’s auto industry with it). From 1970 to present, Michigan went from being the center of American manufacturing (autos, office furniture, tool & die, baby food, lumber, pharmaceuticals, hospital furnishings, case goods, tanks, mining, airplanes, etc) to desolation. Except for Macomb County, the Michigan heatmap isn’t that bad. We have always had opiates and opiate “problems” going back to the Civil War. Half the women in America used to take laudanum on a regular basis. Junkies are not new.

    And in every propaganda piece on the Opioid Epidemic, try searching for “immig”. Don’t find it? Hmm. Google “fentanyl bust (city name)” and see if you can find it there? Still no “immig”? How odd when you look at the photos of the apprehended heroin and fentanyl smugglers/dealers. And the fentanyl/carfentanil/research chemical imports are unstoppable given the concentration of the drugs. Enough fentanyl to wipe out America’s eastern seaboard can fit in the trunk of a Camry while enough carfentanil to do the job can fit in the glovebox.

    If you want true despair, however, take a close look at the hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of truly fucked chronic pain sufferers now cut off from the only class of medications that have ever worked effectively against unremitting moderate/severe pain. Folks who worked their asses off for decades, often kept patched together and working only with help from opiates, now jobless with no insurance because they cannot get any treatment that would put them back in the game. And, ironically enough, often cut off by doctors for whom an “immig” search would also yield curiously negative results..

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
    • Replies: @Ed
  37. Here’s Fisher’s career through 2016. Comparing Fisher’s career to Obama’s career shows you a certain amount about what White Privilege gets you these days.

    Reminds me of an old joke:

    Someone, please help! My son the Managing Executive of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations is drowning!

    But, seriously, can’t believe someone didn’t suggest to Robert he run for Senate.

  38. anon • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    What about the “Speaker Gap”?

    Last fall, St. Catherine University invited 30 businesswomen and inspirational speakers to lead the breakout sessions at a popular annual leadership conference.

    But the conference, which was billed as a networking and career-building event, never took place. The university canceled it because of what it called a lack of diversity among the invited speakers.

    The decision, which caught many of the speakers by surprise, has cast the Catholic university in St. Paul in an uncomfortable national spotlight. Last week, the conservative website Campus Reform reported that St. Catherine had pulled the plug on the event because “most, if not all the scheduled speakers ended up being white.”

    http://www.startribune.com/st-kates-scrapped-leadership-conference-over-diversity-concerns/477009043/

    Hinderaker, of the Center of the American Experiment, is skeptical. “It’s really almost comical that they’re forced to admit that they did this strictly on the basis of merit and they characterize this as a mistake,” he said. The losers, he notes, are the very people they set out to help.

    “Instead of providing the benefit to the [participants] that they intended to provide, they’d rather do nothing apparently,” he said. “It’s really kind of a classic story of how everything gets sacrificed in the name of diversity.”

    Does the University of Wakanda have this problem? No! Q.E.D.

  39. @jim jones

    Christopher Hitchens wrote an essay making fun of the low quality of her writing. On the other hand, he was quite complimentary of Obama’s.

  40. “Another thing we can see is why so many black law students (e.g., Michelle Obama) have such a chip on their shoulders: because the racial gap is so huge in law schools.”

    Hm. I can think of another group of people with a huge chip on their shoulders, and another group that they envy. Explains a lot.

    Thanks!

  41. eric says:

    Fisher (white Obama): Managing Executive of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations.

    That’s soul-crushing because it is all so pointless. SEC compliance is all about checking report, whether firms fill out the right forms, have the right disclaimers on documents that are never read. Theoretically, it catches financial fraud, but in practice, fraudsters lie, though they do fill out forms that pass SEC compliance.

  42. eah says:

    At IQs >= approx 140 why do men outnumber women 7:1?

    • Replies: @res
    , @eah
  43. Ed says:

    It seems to me that the study of law is one of the few disciplines where GPA + test score is strongly correlated to outcomes. This plus population size differentials would explain the lack of blacks at top law schools. So instead of continuing to perpetuate a fiction that the dean of Penn seems content upon that they just coolly lay out the facts, blacks perform worse on key admission metrics and it is damaging to them to admit them into elite institutions where they’d be significantly behind their peers.

    To that end here’s a black dean of a Minnesota law school laying out these facts to black students at UVA.

  44. phil says:
    @Lot

    Great comment. I would add that the LSAT emphasizes critical reading (CR) skills. Whites do well on CR compared to other racial groups–as well or better than Asians. The LSAT does not test math, on which Asians (on average) are clearly better than whites.

  45. Marty says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Harvey Mansfield says grade inflation started in the mid-’70s, precisely as a consequence of AA admissions.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  46. Steve, article titled systemic, not system

  47. @Anonymous

    She has been known to bring up that people didn’t think she was that smart out of the blue and sometimes during speeches, more than once I believe. Clearly a sore spot for her.

    • Replies: @Thomm
  48. Art Deco says:

    I had a co-worker who was once employed at the SUNY Buffalo law school. He left their employ there nearly 50 years ago, but, he told, me, AA was already being assiduously practiced there, with results you’d expect. Step 1, a high failure rate for minority recruits. Step 2, widespread grade inflation. Step 3, high failure rates on the bar exam on the part of minority graduates. Recall Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom’s assessment of what data they could locate 20 years ago. They concluded that about 30% of the black students then enrolled in law school would not (were they not black) have been admitted to even a 4th tier school. The law faculties have been astonishingly stubborn in maintaining this failing social work enterprise. It’s sort of puzzling, really.

  49. Erik L says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I’ve often thought there would be a market for the legal analog of a software integrated development environment, libraries and testing frameworks.

  50. Marty says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I was involved in a litigation over a contract of about the same size in which no such contingency planning was done, or at least not on the essential question. Here’s the setup: Aramco runs thousands of gas station snack shops throughout the west/southwest. Anony Co. distributes the soda/chips/beef jerky etc. to fill up those stores. They have a 5-year supply contract with a long and detailed list of “discounts” for the various items. Aramco gives notice of termination 6 mos. prior, as required, intending to switch to McLane as distributor. But just before the switch, McLane is not ready, so Aramco asks AnonyCo, “could you continue for an extra 6 months?” Anony says yes, does so, then sends Aramco a big bill, with no discounts. Question, do the discounts carry over? Nobody thought about this. Contract law supplies no stock answer.

  51. Steve, Obama did not graduate from Columbia with any honors–where are you getting your data? And as I have pointed out previously, if Obama is so smart why does he come across as a pedantic lightweight? And the only reason Obama’s classmates labeled him a star is the same reason feckless Nobel Prize committee members gave the literature prize to Toni Morrison. You see the problem with your argument? people exaggerate the accomplishments of blacks.

    • Replies: @Wolverine
  52. One problem with written tests for the law is that they ignore certain aspects of the profession. I suspect that Michelle Obama would make a better litigator than a contracts-writer, but how do you put that on a written test?

    The British system separates ‘barristers’ (litigators) from ‘solicitors’ (everyone else).

    Looking back on the Simpson trial I didn’t particularly see any racial differences among the lawyers. Mostly I thought they were terrible.

  53. SteveM says:
    @George

    “So Obama likely came in to HLS a little below average, but not much. This, apparently, caused a sensation.”

    When he graduated, why did he become a ‘community organizer’ instead of a supreme court clerk or assistant to a Senator, President, whatever. Even in Chicago, I would have thought assistant to the mayor or governor.

    Agree. And there are too many examples of Obama acting the tongue-tied nitwit when he wasn’t tethered to a tele-prompter. Authentically very smart people are just not that intellectually lame, even on the fly.

    • Replies: @Kaz
  54. Thomm says:
    @Unladen Swallow

    She has been known to bring up that people didn’t think she was that smart out of the blue and sometimes during speeches, more than once I believe. Clearly a sore spot for her.

    She is not smart. She is an outright caricature of big government affirmative action. When one sees this sort of black woman, it is hard to see where the government ends and she begins.

  55. danand says:
    @Steve Sailer

    “most of the work was the lawyers working out the exact wording to implement various if-then-else clauses”

    Seem like perfect tasks to be perform by AI. Shouldn’t humans instead be out on the golf course, or this time of year, out on the slopes?

  56. Thomm says:
    @Sunbeam

    So what? What does it do? What tangible benefit to society is it to have smart lawyers?

    Well, there is the broader problem in the US, and other English-language countries, of too many lawyers, who then work to ensure too much of the economy is dominated by lawyers.

    In Japan, by contrast, there are only one-third as many lawyers per capita as the US. Countries like France and Germany also have far fewer lawyers.

    In the US, lawyer fees are 10% of the entire GDP. Needless to say, the vast majority of politicians are lawyers (certainly almost 100% of all Democrats who reach the upper echelons of politics).

    Given that the quality of life of all non-lawyers is inversely proportional to the money earned by lawyers, this is a problem.

    • Replies: @gcochran
  57. One question is why the law school gap is so huge? Why is it two standard deviations instead of the usual one standard deviation seen most elsewhere? (I guess it’s because the index adds together an IQ proxy and a work ethic proxy.)

    It’s also because (more or less) only the right half of the bell curve is represented. Only the top half of college grads (in their race) can get into ANY law school, so white law school applicants are maybe 1 SD above their mean while equivalent blacks would be 2 SD above the black mean. As you know, the proportion at 2 SD is far less than half the proportion at 1 SD, so Obama level blacks (ie belong at a very good but not excellent law school) are unicorns.

    We have one year’s data point on this: in that year (2010) the number of blacks with > 165 LSAT and > 3.5 GPA was, literally, 63 in the nation. A total of 7,789 students had both of those scores, so they’re not exactly elite. Those scores would be questionable to get a white into Notre Dame or George Washington law school, and the white would have NO SHOT at a top-5, unless their dad was the president. 63 is not that many more than the blacks Harvard Law accepts each year. (Keep in mind this number was applicants, not matriculants). So basically a tiny smidgen of blacks in the country even belong at Notre Dame, much less Harvard.

    Also noteworthy: where did this double secret hate stat come from? THE LSAC’S SUPREME COURT AMICUS BRIEF IN FISHER V. TEXAS (2012). The pdf is online, see page 10. The only reason we know this amazing stat is that the LSAC (quasi-official organ all law schools use for applications and that administers the LSAT) brought it out in hopes of supporting affirmative action.

  58. Thomm says:

    Steve,

    What are the stats of Asians (East and South) entering US Law Schools now?

    Unlike engineering, Law is where the real power resides in America. Jews are powerful primarily due to this.

    Asian 1Ls entering the Top-10 US law schools will provide a window into the future.

  59. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Old Man Bush, who said he was against affirmative action, claimed that he nominated C. Thomas to the SCOTUS based upon merit. I wish I could remember the person who responded, in so many words, “say what you will about Clarence Thomas, but DON’T ever say he isn’t an affirmative action candidate” (now that I think of it, it might have be Mathews the Motormouth).

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
  60. Yet another question:

    What is the effect on the black community of unleashing a horde of incompetent lawyers upon them?

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  61. The last is verbally based which explains why Asians don’t outscore whites. But my experience is that it’s also the most time pressured standardized test in that it was quite a challenge for me to even complete all sections on time and that’s never been the case for me on any other test. Maybe the timing causes a particular disadvantage amongst blacks.

    Is there any data regarding which section of the lsat blacks do best or worst on? There is reading comp, logical reasoning and games as I recall. Anyways, I never ended up going to law school thank god.

  62. @academic gossip

    Could we confirm if this is indeed the cause of the larger gap by checking the standard deviation on the bar exam pass rates?

  63. res says:
    @Steve Sailer

    It would be interesting to try to gauge the change in grade inflation over the years. Do you think the change was greater from 1965-1985 than 1985-present?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  64. res says:
    @academic gossip

    I basically agree, but I suspect the gap in this case may be a bit larger than the usual 1 SD for exactly the reason Steve gives:

    One question is why the law school gap is so huge? Why is it two standard deviations instead of the usual one standard deviation seen most elsewhere? (I guess it’s because the index adds together an IQ proxy and a work ethic proxy.)

    Is summary data (e.g. mean and SD) available for the entire group? Even then there will still be range restriction issues given these are admittees to law school. Data for all applicants would be even better, but still range restricted.

    • Replies: @academic gossip
  65. res says:
    @keypusher

    As far as I can see, the bar and academy’s main response to Sander was to try to block him from getting any more data.

    I wonder if these people understand how clearly that type of action destroys their assertions for anyone who is paying the least bit of attention.

  66. @Steve Sailer

    This is partially true, but it ignores that for every team of “good” lawyers trying to secure your future with well-written contracts, laws, regs and rulings, such as the one you had experience with, there is another team of “evil” lawyers applying their IQ to unpick those very same contracts, laws, regs and rulings.

    Net societal benefit of the clash of these two elemental forces: zero.

    Worse, there’s thousands of litigation IQ mini arms races across the economy where each side piles legal effort (and expense) on their side of a legal embankment trying either to shift it or to hold it, and ending only when one side runs out money. Net economic cost: $billions. And this doesn’t even count the massive extra cost imposed on the economy of everyone trying to avoid falling into any of those legal tar pits.

    Somehow, Europeans, Japanese, Australians, etc. manage to have non-corrupt advanced societies and economies without legions of expensive lawyers, and without funneling most of their top politicians through law schools.

    tl;dr: net benefit zero, net cost $billions: Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2.

  67. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I have been wondering for years about the supposition that Obama is “brilliant.” Apart from teleprompter stuff I have *never* actually heard him say anything intelligent. Nor have I *ever* heard him even *mention* something he had read, much less say something germane. And his verbal goofs, like “57 states” and Marine “corpse”men, are the sort of slips I have never heard from intelligent people.

    Is there any *proof* of Obama’s supposed intelligence. Could he be a low IQ guy, a smooth talker fluent in common platitudes and constantly pushed through and covered by handlers?

    What makes me ask this is thinking of Mohammed Ali. I saw a lot of him since he was light heavyweight Cassius Clay in the Olympics, and he always struck me as rather clever–sharp and to the point, and of quick wit. Turned out he had a below average IQ, just glib with the jive.

    Ali and Obama were habituated to difference environments–one in the cauliflower boxing world and one in the academic affirmative action world. Is it possible they were of similar IQ?

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Peter Akuleyev
  68. res says:
    @eah

    At IQs >= approx 140 why do men outnumber women 7:1?

    Data for that 7.1 number? We have been discussing a paper in James Thompson’s blog that shows a smaller difference at an even higher threshold. For example, see numbers in this comment: https://www.unz.com/jthompson/tilting-at-sex-differences/#comment-2227458
    They saw about 2.5x at a 0.01% threshold.

    • Replies: @eah
  69. El'geherg says: • Website

    Maybe someone else brought this up but what about graduation rates for blacks? There is a long road between getting admitted to law school and graduation/taking the bar. Based on their undergrad completion rate I have to assume there are a significant number of blacks that can’t hack it at the law school level.

  70. Nico says:
    @TTSSYF

    I was speaking strictly in terms of IQ, and speculating on how things might be in the event that black variance in IQ is low akin to black variance in order domaines. That might well not be the case.

  71. @Steve Sailer

    I suspect there is a somewhat inflated number of black law school applicants relative to total Black college graduates which also drives down the black range of scores relative to whites. It seems that blacks comprise about 11% of all admitted applicants, which is higher than the proportion of blacks graduating college relative to all races. Thus one would expect that the range of admitted blacks is less qualified than whites given that the median scores would be expected to be 1std below even with equal interest in applying.

    https://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/data/ethnicity-sex-admits

    Vs

    https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2016/demo/p20-578.pdf

  72. countenance says: • Website

    If there is a 2 SD law school gap compared to a 1 SD overall gap, I think it is because white law school and law school aspirational types are really curve-blowing intelligent, and the reason for that is because H-1B and mass immigration has all but cut native born whites off from CSIT-STEM, which means the really top drawer white intellects are going into the law.

    • Replies: @academic gossip
  73. @Marty

    Course of performance of the previous contract, or possibly course of dealing (UCC §1-303) would be the best indicator of the intent of the parties in the absence of an explicit agreement governing the discounts in the six month continuation. The discounts most probably apply.

    • Replies: @Marty
  74. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    A big factor to consider is that law schools have a clear hierarchy based on a strict class ranking. It’s cutthroat, and everybody’s out for everyone else. When I went to law school in the 90s, I loved having a class with 30% affirmative action cases; you always could tell from Day 1 there’s 30% of the class that isn’t competing with me for top third or top tenth.

  75. Art Deco says:
    @Joe Magarac

    Mostly, the incompetents cannot find work and fail at solo practice. About 40% of the people with law degrees in this country are not working lawyers. About 4% of the working lawyers in this country are black, so it’s a reasonable inference the demand for legal services is largely being met by non-black lawyers (w/0 regard to the competence of the black lawyers who’ve survived the winnowing). Where I suspect you have trouble is in loci where the winnowing never quite occurs. When Marilyn Mosby took office as state’s attorney in Baltimore City, the scuttlebut was that she went from one office to another firing people, just standing in the door and running her finger across her neck. How much you wanna bet that the lawyers dismissed were those who’d embarrassed her or goosed her during her 6 year sojourn as a staff prosecutor in the state’s attorney’s office?

  76. Art Deco says:
    @Marty

    George Will published some early columns ca. 1976 lampooning grade inflation. It was already a familiar phenomenon at that time. Will himself was a disaffected professor and his father was still on the University of Illinois faculty.

    Some years ago (ca. 1997) I saw an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education which was a memoir. The author contended that grade inflation at his school (Dartmouth) began ca. 1962. He said that up to that date, you graded comparing one student with your class to the median of your class. What was happening was that students they considered competent were being denied entry into graduate school, and state university professors were telling them “you think your C’s are our B’s. They’re not.” So, they responded by grading as if they were comparing their students to the collegiate population in general. Not sure how much to credit this account. Seems like a pretty stupid response.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  77. @peterike

    Perhaps they’re just too optimistic. This can be good because a happier life can result, but not a financially successful one. Nearly all blacks I’ve known were outwardly incredibly happy people. Granted, I interact with other middle class people mostly.

  78. One question is why the law school gap is so huge? Why is it two standard deviations instead of the usual one standard deviation seen most elsewhere? (I guess it’s because the index adds together an IQ proxy and a work ethic proxy.)

    Your guess there makes sense. But the gap is big like that even for IQ alone. This is because the standard deviation in the tail of the standard normal distribution is less than 1.0. In the top decile of the distribution it’s 0.41. To translate to IQ, multiply by fifteen: 6.2. Thus 6.2 is the standard deviation of IQs in the top decile — of whites, but of blacks too. Trouble is, there’s still a 15-point difference in the cut-off points for the top decile, for whites and blacks. And so the (bottom of) the top decile of blacks is some two and a half (15/6.2) standard deviations below the bottom of the top decile of whites.

    See Wikipedia on the “truncated normal distribution” for more.

    • Replies: @International Jew
  79. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    What amazes is how this guy emerged from relative obscurity. Obama (and Trump, for that matter) prove how empty the office of POTUS really is.

  80. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Art Deco

    Your points are good, but unfortunately to many people grades are grades, no matter where they are earned. Some of these people sit on graduate adcoms. All of this notwithstanding, I’m a bit skeptical that the skewing got underway as far back as 1962.

  81. @International Jew

    Another way to see it is to recall, first, that the normal distribution’s tails get thin very very fast. For a population with a mean IQ of 100, the number of people above 2 sd (130) is 1/7 of the number of people above 1 sd (115). But the number of people above 3 sd is only 1/17 the number above 2 sd. That’s why the standard deviation within the tail is small; to the right of a high cutoff, there’s very little probability mass.

    Informally, I recall that when I entered college it struck me that almost everyone in my freshman math class was about as good at math, as I was. A few were obviously better, but they were few. In high school, we had a lot of people who couldn’t do percents in twelve grade, and also quite a few who took the AP level math class.

    • Replies: @International Jew
  82. @Steve Sailer

    Gradeinflation.com has a chart showing the steep rise of the “A” grade during the Vietnam Era. The year 1983 is labeled the start of the “Student as Consumer Era”, which is the same year that the Reagan admistration published A Nation at Risk, a bogus fear-mongering study designed to maintain college enrollments despite severe budget cuts (especially Pell Grants), rising tuition, and federal student loans no longer being bankruptable.

    Scroll down to the bottom and find the grade inflation history for individual colleges. Only a handful of years are listed for the University of Chicago, but Dartmouth is very extensive.

    http://www.gradeinflation.com/

  83. Comparing Fisher’s career to Obama’s career shows you a certain amount about what White Privilege gets you these days.

    Steve is trying to be sarcastic, but actually I certainly prefer being just another smart white man and enjoying a decent fairly lucrative but quiet career rather than having a messiah role forced on me just because I am the only representative of my race with a >120 IQ

    • Replies: @Meretricious
    , @Truth
  84. @al-Gharaniq

    “Also, does everyone keep forgetting that Obama is only half-black? Or better yet, half-white?”

    Do you mean that in a “glass half-full or half-empty” kind of way?

  85. R.G. Camara says: • Website

    What no has mentioned thus far (as far as I can see) are three major reasons:

    (1) Despite being graded “blind” (i.e. with no names on them), it’s not difficult to discover if a law school exam was written by a black student. Black students tend to bring up racial grievances at every opportunity in class and in papers, and will relate every situation to race, so an exam that bizarrely cites race in a non-racial question will be a black student’s . Also, black vernacular will creep into exam writing. And, in the handwritten exams of old (which is most pre-the internet age, including Obama’s), the multitude of grammatical and spelling errors would indicate a black kid.

    (2) After the first year, law students can choose their courses much more easily. Many smaller seminar courses are geared towards black whining and doesn’t really have intellectual rigor (e.g. “Diversity and the Law”) where “class participation” actually becomes a big part of the grade, and the final grade is based on a paper, not an anonymous exam, where the student’s name is on the paper.

    (3) Grade grubbing has created great pressure to grade everyone the same. Almost no one fails out, and if you complain you won’t get below a C-.

  86. @anonymous

    Obama was on Marc Maron’s podcast a few years ago. He certainly is able to talk spontaneously in an informal setting about sports, popular culture and politics in an intelligent manner. Maybe not brilliant but certainly no stupider than Kaine, Biden, Kerry, Jeb, Palin, Perry, Huckabee, or a dozen other white men and women who are/were considered plausible Presidential candidates. Obama strikes me as being smarter than most of those people honestly. It’s not that high a bar. Put Obama in a room with top litigators or hedge fund managers and Obama’s flaws would be more apparent.

  87. @International Jew

    Earthquakes, by the way, are not like that; the ratio of earthquakes above 7, to those above 6, is close to the ratio of those above 8 to those above 7. This is unfortunate; it would be better if earthquake magnitudes tapered off the way IQ does, and if IQ tapered off as earthquakes do!

  88. @countenance

    If there is a 2 SD law school gap compared to a 1 SD overall gap

    Impossible. First of all, it’s probably the other way around: selection and range-restriction (the rigid tiering of law schools based on LSAT and GPA) both work to reduce the gap compared to population. Especially at the elite schools, blacks and whites are expected to be more similar to each other on every measure that correlates with lawyer-ness, including LSAT, GPA, IQ, conscientiousness, education, SES, family structure, etc., than blacks and whites in general.

    Second, 2 SD is huge. Having a large percentage of people 2 SD below the others would quickly destabilize, corrupt and destroy-from-within any institution based on competition and selective admission. It can be sustained for a tiny fraction of the class (such as a few billionaire’s and presidents’ children at Harvard, or exchange students who speak no English), or as a de facto segregated program (football team at a large state university).

    1 SD seems to be about the limit of what’s sustainable on a large scale, and even then requires shared values and behavioral norms, with enough enforcement to fill the, uh, gap. The diversity state is necessarily a nanny state or else corrodes and implodes over time.

    • Replies: @Triumph104
  89. Kaz says:
    @SteveM

    No one is immune to making a few mistakes when spending thousands of hours in front of a camera..

  90. Marty says:
    @Diversity Heretic

    Surprised at you. Query whether this is a Code case at all. But assume it is. How can a one-time event be subject to a “course of performance” analysis? I actually think a black lawyer would be best to defend this claim for the missing discounts. Willie Gary: Ya’honor, they sayin’ they wanna fire me off the contract but they STEEYIL want my discounts, and all widdout mention nuttin’? Come on now.”

  91. @res

    Table 5.8 has a comparison of NY bar exam takers:

    http://www.nybarexam.org/press/ncberep.pdf

    Basically the 1 SD gap is maintained in the whole pipeline by affirmative action. Without AA/mismatch there would be a slow narrowing as one goes up the food chain. As it is, the gap on law school metrics is about 1 SD.

  92. gcochran says:
    @Thomm

    “lawyer fees are 10% of the entire GDP”

    Nope.

    • Replies: @Thomm
  93. @academic gossip

    or as a de facto segregated program (football team at a large state university).

    The Ivy League requires that, as a group, recruited athletes have an Academic Index (a calculation of GPA, SAT and SAT II scores) no more than one standard deviation below the total student body.

    Football, however, has its own system which may result in a class of recruited Ivy League football players being two standard deviations below the total student body.

    Football recruits in the Ivy League have a slightly different set of rules than recruits in the other sports. An Ivy League football coach can recruit up to 30 players and those recruits must fall into one of 4 academic bands based on their academic index. Band 4 is the highest, which seems counter-intuitive, but that’s how they label it. A Band 4 athlete must have an Academic Index that falls within 1 standard deviation of the Academic Index of the general population of students at that school. So if the general AI is around 220, the Band 4 guys must be around 207. 8 of the coach’s 30 recruits must be Band 4. Next is Band 3 which goes down to 2 standard deviations off the mean index. Approximately 13 of the 30 recruits must be Band 3 or higher. That’s an index around 194 or better. (Standard deviations can’t be calculated precisely without knowing the exact distribution of all scores which is not public knowledge- so these benchmarks are educated guesses). 7 more recruits can be in band 2, which is 2.5 standard deviations. That’s around 180. Lastly, the coach is allowed to bring on 2 players that are at or above the 176 index floor. So it’s:

    Band 4: 8

    Band 3 (or higher): 13

    Band 2 (or higher): 7

    Band 1 (or higher): 2

    Total: 30

    It’s interesting to note that the Ivy council that keeps tabs on such things may shift these numbers a bit to allow struggling programs to add a few recruits in the lower bands to help bolster the recruiting efforts and keep some parity in the league.

    http://www.tier1athletics.org/2014/04/24/ivy-league-football-academic-bands/

  94. @Lot

    Nice. I didn’t see your comment before posting my own (#81). But I do address the standard deviation gap issue directly there.

  95. Big Bill says:
    @George

    When Obama attended HLS (’88-’91), the scuttlebutt was that about 40% of the students graduated with “honors” (of some kind).

  96. @res

    Stanford was pretty notorious for grade inflation when I was applying to colleges in 1975.

    What has happened is that grades have generally shifted from an A-B-C-D system to an A / A- / B+ / B system.

    I’m not sure where they can go from here.

  97. @Peter Akuleyev

    Barry Obama sports a 120+ IQ? LOL. Read this POS article written by the 28-year-old Harvard Law affirmative action superstar and report back to me.

    http://hlrecord.org/2015/11/record-retrospective-obama-on-affirmative-action-2/

  98. Ed says:
    @peterike

    I think you’re right. I’m black and I don’t think I’m a genius or anything. However one thing that has stuck out at me over the years is how few blacks can debate an issue logically. It really jumped out at me especially on Twitter where black academics couldn’t seem to string together a coherent argument on a topic. I’d bring up a point, backed up with facts and they’d just block me.

    It’s bizarre to me. I think what helped me was going to a mostly white private school in elementary and doing quite well. I learned to think systematically I don’t believe many blacks are taught this or afforded such an opportunity.

    • Replies: @Triumph104
  99. Ed says:
    @Stan d Mute

    If you have Netflix there’s a good documentary series on Flint and policing. The city is roughly half black and whites. They showed a couple of shooting victims that were white. One particular sad scene was a relatively young white mother crying over the corpse of her deceased son in the street.

    Between Detroit, Flint, Benton Harbor and the Upper Peninsula there appears to be a lot of poverty and despair in Michigan. It doesn’t come through in data due to the wealthy Detroit suburbs and the Dutch Western part of the state.

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute
  100. @Triumph104

    Interesting that the Ivy League also draws the line at 1 SD as the limit of what is workable on a large scale.

    Most of the Harvard students admitted with visibly lower ability (let’s say below 1 SD is easily noticeable to other students) have exceptional compensating traits for which the student body supports the cost/benefit tradeoff of admitting a limited number. It’s easier to accept a relative idiot as a fellow student if he is a music prodigy or star of the college football team, and doesn’t take any classes together with you. Harder at law school where the only compensating trait is being black, and a critical mass of such students is in all your 1L classes.

    • Replies: @Meretricious
  101. @academic gossip

    SD > 1: look at some of the stupid affirmative action Ivy League law school grads–eg, Cory Booker and Michelle Obama. I’d guess both have about 107 IQs.

    • Replies: @academic gossip
  102. Truth says:
    @George

    When he graduated, why did he become a ‘community organizer’ instead of a supreme court clerk or assistant to a Senator, President, whatever.

    End thread.

  103. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin Law School with honors in 1986. There were quite a few negro students in my first year class. Most were gone by the time year 2 started. I honestly don’t remember if any of them graduated.

    Law school (at least where I attended) is extremely competitive. Everything was graded on the curve. Even if you wrote a a good essay on a test, you could still receive a low grade if your fellow classmates wrote better essays. Things may have changed since I graduated, but it was pretty ruthless when I was a student.

    I don’t see how anyone could have thought admitting lower qualified students based upon their race would benefit those students. They were doomed to failure the day they stepped on campus.

    • Replies: @Meretricious
    , @Triumph104
  104. @Meretricious

    Michelle, Barack, Cory and Ta-Nehisi all seem pretty darn smart compared to general population, just based on objective accomplishments and presumable test scores and grades. Guesses: Michelle and TNC, no matter how much people here make fun of them, could easily be around 1.5 SD above average; high 120s or somewhere in 130s for Barack and Cory (Rhodes Scholar, YLS). Barack would have reached Ivy League, if not necessarily Harvard, without affirmative action if had he studied in high school as he did in college and law school. No way he got Law Review presidency and magna cum laude (top fourth or fifth) at HLS without being in the top half of his law school class by ability.

    IQ 120 is not that a high bar, around 10 percent of the population reach that. I doubt 10 percent of whites are as smart as Michelle.

    Wikipedia says Michelle went to selective or “gifted” programs since elementary school. Ranked second of about 500 in her selective high school. Graduated Princeton with OK but not exceptional grades, then admitted to Harvard Law School which means a rather high LSAT score is still needed compared to what the average person could do. If you need, let’s say, 2.5 + SD’s above average on the LSAT to get into Harvard, and she needed only 1.5+ under affirmative action, that’s more than a standard deviation above the typical college graduate who applies to law school. No way it’s below 115, she is probably in the 120’s : about a standard deviation below white IQ levels admitted to Princeton. She got some “legacy” admission favoritism because of her brother(who did not, and is smarter than she) for Princeton, but that did not help her at Harvard Law School.

    Barack and Michelle are 3+ standard deviations above the mean for academic achievement among people of their ancestry (whether you think of Barack as “black” or “East African and European”). Affirmative action in admission is about one standard deviation. It should not surprise you that they are 2+ standard deviations above average in the white distribution, with Michelle maybe lower than that (compensating through fanatical work ethic) and Barack quite possibly higher.

    • Replies: @Meretricious
  105. @George

    Well, it all worked out in the end. He became President, all that matters.

    For reference, a smart alec who ticked your boxes was booted out recently for beating up women.

  106. anon • Disclaimer says:

    I would think that a simple adjustment based on percentage of applicants would account for this rather small gap. Why are you trying to act like it’s big? If anything it suggests that blacks are over accepted based on their population compared to whites. Seriously, not well thought out.

  107. Truth says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    Well, that very attitude is why your career has been fairly lucrative (i.e: middle class) and “quiet.”

  108. It must be the height of sadism to take the best African-American students and place them in schools where they are two standard deviations of ability below the mean. And the height of chutzpah to then award oneself bragging rights for promoting diversity and inclusion.

    • Agree: Triumph104
  109. @Ed

    Black academics make their living through racial grievances. They don’t have or need any facts to back up the nonsense that they spout.

    I see you used to tweet Sandy Darity (Duke economist) — I was looking for a tweet where he yelled at someone but couldn’t find it. Darity is a fool. He is for reparations but not a lump sum payment, so into 2012 he used to say that part of reparations could come through tax deductions, completely unaware that at least half of black people don’t pay federal taxes. After Mitt Romney said that 47 percent of Americans don’t pay taxes, Darity dropped the tax deduction idea.

    Darity’s son got kicked out of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and had to finish his last two years of college in Iowa at a place called Cornell College. Darity is good friends with a professor at Grinnell so he probably pulled strings to get the son into the Iowa college. It was disgraceful because Sandy Darity’s father was the first black person to earn a PhD at UNC Chapel Hill.

    Your schooling had little to do with your way of thinking, being the child of African immigrants did. There are some black descendants of slaves that think like you but we grew up listening to all sorts of nonsense from relatives and know to keep our mouths shut. Sandy Darity lived in Beirut from 6 months until age 5, then Alexandria, Egypt until age 8. After the family moved to Chapel Hill, Darity attended an all-white elementary school because his father was a graduate student at UNC and that was the school that the children of graduate students attended. It wasn’t until junior high that Darity attended school for a couple of years with a significant number of blacks. Darity attended high school at Amherest Regional High School in Massachusetts and if not for the A Better Chance program that sent a handful smart black boys from across the country to attended AMRHS, Darity would have had next to no contact with blacks in high school.

    http://wunc.org/post/busting-myth-american-dream-meet-william-darity#stream/0

  110. @Marty

    What was the outcome? Which side won?

    • Replies: @Marty
  111. @academic gossip

    dude, Michelle and Cory are stupid. This is not under debate. Coates strikes me as a black genius (120 IQ perhaps). Not commenting on Barry, but u have to ask yourself, Why did a supposed genius fail to publish anything in the law and why did he not become a credible lawyer instead of a community organizer? Read Michelle’s Princeton thesis–it’s primitive. Booker is just plain stupid. Have u listened to him pontificate? He makes Harris look smart. Rhodes Scholar? LOL. AAction has infected the Rhodes.

    • Replies: @academic gossip
  112. @Mis(ter)Anthrope

    dude, I hear very few “elite” lawyers use the redundancy “fellow classmates”–that’s a cognitive tell–like Barry referring to speaking Austrian or not understanding basic economics

    • Replies: @Mis(ter)Anthrope
  113. @Mis(ter)Anthrope

    She was before and after your time, but Shenikwa Nowlin graduated from University of Texas at Austin Law School 1988. In 1983, before her third year of law school, she was in a car accident that left her a paraplegic. She had been a ballet dancer and UT cheerleader. One of her areas of practice is personal injury.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/19/nyregion/danc.r-in-a-wheelchair-jury-assesses-the-blame.html

    • Replies: @Mis(ter)Anthrope
  114. @Meretricious

    And I know of very few intelligent people who refer to people as “dude.”

    I never claimed to be an “elite lawyer.” I am a criminal defense attorney in rural Oklahoma. Nothing elite about that. But I have won jury trials in rural counties where juries convict over 90% of the time. Get back to me when you have accomplished that.

  115. @Meretricious

    Coates strikes me as a black genius (120 IQ perhaps).

    Have you tried writing nonfiction books and magazine articles in a reasonably compelling prose style for a market of verbally oriented college graduates? It isn’t nuclear physics, but it also isn’t something that every tenth white guy can do. 120 is a lower bound, I’d guess a bit higher.

    Not commenting on Barry, but u have to ask yourself, Why did a supposed genius fail to publish anything in the law and why did he not become a credible lawyer instead of a community organizer?

    Because he is naturally a social and political animal, and too lazy and intellectually inclined to be a worker bee except when big status incentives are at stake. Barry likes glib verbal abstractions as far as they can win him the status game, and (what Steve calls the Obama “Jedi mind trick”) is quite good with both the logico-verbal game and the status competiton. Thus we expect him to have done well on the LSAT.

    Read Michelle’s Princeton thesis–it’s primitive.

    Have you taught sociology majors? Michelle’s thesis is typical of work product from an earnest, IQ 120-125 (female) sociology major at an IQ 130+ school, for whom the theory and quantitative methods are slightly over her head, but with enough work ethic and concrete common sense to push it through to the dull, sensible, adequate (but not self-aware) job on display at every other known point in her life.

    Booker is just plain stupid. … . AAction has infected the Rhodes.

    He doesn’t have to be as smart as the average Rhodes scholar or YLS graduate to be a lot smarter than the average (white) person. There are enough blacks in the applicant pool for those goods that picking the top of those on an AA track, or awarding an SD or more of AA points, will still reject blacks anywhere close to the general population average.

  116. @Stan d Mute

    Yeah, sadly. I’m an old prof (soon to be retired) at a middling med school. We’re competitive enough that we get good white and Asian candidates but to get 12% or whatever demographically representative share of blacks we have to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

    They are sand in the gears. You can’t safely delegate anything, and because you spend so much time double checking their work less attention is paid to the other residents’ patients. They are constantly getting into interpersonal drama with other physicians and the nursing staff; usually this takes the form of inappropriate comments or straight up laziness. However no one will ever directly discuss issues of contention with them because they are essentially afraid of black people. So all the comments come to me and I’m supposed to do something about them.

    But there’s not much I can do because their problems ain’t fixable–they should never have been admitted in the first place. As a program we could learn our lesson and and cut our losses, but we don’t learn our lesson; year after year, we have exactly X black residents who were clearly admitted under a different set of standards. You would think one year it would be X + 1, another year X – 1, but nope, it’s always X, so it’s clearly a hidden quota.

    I think the evolution of our department is pretty typical of most academic departments (inside or outside medicine) over the past 30 years. Years ago it was a fairly non-hierarchical department, with minimal administrative overhead. We all shared in teaching responsibilities, all got a vote on picking the residents, and everyone had their own little area of research. No one really wanted to do administration, except for the true believer SJWs (before that term existed) and as time went on they grew to dominate administration. Once they were ensconced, administration supplanted research and clinical excellence as grounds for promotion, and the white men were purged from the residency selection committee (it is currently all female, gay and Jewish men.) The white hetero males were still kept around to grind out the clinical work, teach via Socratic method, and do research, which obstensibly is what the program is all about. But they don’t have any real power or control, because of this over the last ten years there has been an exodus to private practice, where the pay and hours are better.

    Anyway, if you think the best doctors in America are academics, sorry to disappoint, all of our brightest residents go to private practice.

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute
  117. Thomm says:
    @gcochran

    Oh, yes it is :

    https://www.ac2news.com/2013/10/lawyers-now-take-10-of-us-gdp/

    “Lawyers now take 10% of US GDP”.

    You shouldn’t just disagree with something when you know nothing about the subject.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @Pincher Martin
  118. eah says:
    @eah

    It’s something I remember reading back around the time of the Lawrence Summers brouhaha at Harvard — other than that, I have no reference at the moment – thanks for the link, I will look into it — the main point is that these differences are largely genetic in nature: that is the (main) explanation for their existence — certainly working in the hard sciences it is also my anecdotal (but not insubstantial) experience that among the very intelligent, men significantly outnumber women — of course there are no doubt other factors at work when choosing such a career.

  119. It’s just math. The distribution of law student IQs is not a normal distribution – it is the tail of a normal distribution.

  120. Art Deco says:
    @Thomm

    The share of value-added attributable to the legal services industry is 1.3%. The share of gross output accounted for by law firm revenues is a shade over 1%. (That’s from the interactive data published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis).

    https://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTable.cfm?ReqID=51&step=1#reqid=51&step=51&isuri=1&5114=a&5102=15

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  121. Marty says:
    @North Carolina Resident

    I left the firm shortly after the action was filed.

  122. Wolverine says:

    Obama is almost certainly lying when he states he had an A- average at Columbia. I graduated with him in 1983 and have the commencement program. He graduated with no distinctions, not even cum laude. He also did not graduate Phi Beta Kappa as I have the list of people in it and he was not one of them. He was probably a mediocre student which is why he has never released his transcripts

  123. Wolverine says:
    @Meretricious

    You are absolutely correct. I have the commencement program to prove it. Not sure why this gets propagated.

    • Replies: @Meretricious
  124. @Ed

    If you have Netflix there’s a good documentary series on Flint and policing.

    Born in Detroit. Raised in Flint. Doubt there’s much in that documentary I haven’t seen and experienced personally. I’ve lived in a police “no go” neighborhood.

    Between Detroit, Flint, Benton Harbor and the Upper Peninsula there appears to be a lot of poverty and despair in Michigan. It doesn’t come through in data due to the wealthy Detroit suburbs and the Dutch Western part of the state.

    There isn’t a city in the State untouched by the collapse. Grand Rapids and Holland fared better than Detroit, but only because they attracted fewer negroes during the great migration. About the best that’s left is Midland (Dow) and Mason (Dart) or perhaps Allegan (Perrigo) and Ada (Amway). Farmers are kept afloat only by massive government welfare (kinda like GM in Detroit or UofM in Ann Arbor). Even the wealthiest towns and enclaves like Harbor Springs, Charlevoix, Glen Arbor, Walloon Lake, Bloomfield Hills, the Grosse Pointes, etc, have lost a great deal of their luster (and lucre).

    • Replies: @gunner29
  125. gunner29 says:
    @Marty

    Split the difference between the discounted prices and full price. That way it’s fair as neither party likes it, but goes ahead anyway.

  126. gunner29 says:
    @Stan d Mute

    Peeps in Michigan always referred to the rest of the country going into a recession, while Michigan was going into a depression. Or the rest of the country is getting a head cold but Michigan gets pneumonia.

    It’s total boom or bust around Detroit. It’s why I split, along with the weather….

    Close relatives are still there, medical field and they clean up every time a depression hits as they can buy cars, motorcycles, snowmobiles, boats, and all the other toys at half off usual prices. When the rest don’t have overtime or even a job, the toys are the first to go.

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute
  127. @SimpleSong

    Anyway, if you think the best doctors in America are academics, sorry to disappoint, all of our brightest residents go to private practice.

    What I’ve found is you must hack the system. You must find photos of any prospective doctors, identify those who qualify for no affirmative action, then look at their med schools to find the more selective schools, then look at their residencies and fellowships again looking for more selective sites. This at least saves you from Zimbabwean cardiologists or Kenyan neurosurgeons in addition to the AA socially promoted simpletons trained here in America. But it doesn’t save you from “defensive medicine” or HMO/PPO tomfoolery. And I’m only left to wonder at the motivation for any med students of the past 30 years – I do not see the altruism and empathy I saw in the 1970’s as a child being literally raised within a doctor’s office whose “day care” was nursing staff in the doctors’ lounge in a major hospital.

    What I know for certain is that the Boomers are going to have a big and well earned surprise as they enter retirement and enjoy the benefits of their beloved diversity in healthcare.

  128. @gunner29

    It’s total boom or bust around Detroit. It’s why I split, along with the weather….

    It’s statewide, but yes. And isn’t it remarkable how you don’t really see it until you leave for a while and return? The abject despair, the obesity, the decay everywhere, and the scale of it is staggering.

    • Thanks: lavoisier
  129. @keypusher

    Or you could have just looked at the footnote to table 2.2. I don’t understand why Steve uses weasel words such as “I believe”.

  130. @TTSSYF

    And finance as well. Do we really need that many bright people trading bonds?

    • Replies: @Meretricious
  131. @George

    Summa is greater than Magna.

  132. @Wolverine

    I love Steve but I have a better BS detector than his–I knew he was an affirmative action lightweight after hearing 15 seconds of his 1st public speech. The facts have proven me correct about his mediocrity

  133. @ScarletNumber

    finance is the capital of Mt Nepotism

  134. @Thomm

    I don’t know where Conrad Black (your National Review source) is getting his information, but he’s wrong.

    Most lawyers are a waste of humanity, but that’s no excuse for peddling misinformation about them. Aren’t they bad enough as it is?

  135. gunner29 says:

    My experience with white male privilege is that only the connected white guys have it. If you’re not connected, you’re at the bottom of the totem pole for getting hired, getting promoted, or just hanging onto your job. Whenever you hear “diversity”, understand what they’re saying is they don’t want any white guys.

    ALL the females and feral minorities will be considered before you. It’s only if you have 95th+ percentile skills that they really need, will they consider unconnected white guys.

    I remember job forums 10 years ago where even white guy engineering grads were finding it impossible to get hired. Company was hiring 30 engineers and all of them were asian females from Chine, Korea, India. They couldn’t even get a lousy interview…..

  136. most lawyers will be replaced by robots–it’s already in process of happening: lots of legal work is outsourced to India–LOL

  137. @Steve Sailer

    Glad to help.

    By the way, the Gap has some further consequences/predictions relevant to mismatch.

    1. greater bunching of blacks (than whites) near the minimum admission index. There is some bunching for all groups, exacerbated by the higher rate of enrollment for lower-scoring admitted students, but the lower-scoring the group, the more the distribution of matriculants concentrates near the admissions floor.

    2. within-tier white SD > single-school white SD > single-school black SD (due to the bunching). If white SD in a tier is half the black/white gap, the black SD at one school could be a third.

    3. Due to #2, very little overlap between the black and white distributions. For example, if black SD at one school is 1/3 of the black-white gap then (math fact) at most 10% of blacks could possibly exceed the white average index, at that school.

  138. @Almost Missouri

    Could we confirm if this is indeed the cause of the larger gap by checking the standard deviation on the bar exam pass rates?

    Link to data from the New York bar, showing 1 SD differences, is in my reply to Res, above.

    If affirmative action means represention proportional to applicant population, then at (national or high-enough ranked) law schools the gap will be about the same as the gap in the national applicant pool. This is because black and white applicants rank schools, and are ranked by the schools, in the same way, so that a school full of 87th percentile whites will also tend to enroll blacks who are at the 87th percentile in the black distribution. Since the two distributions are more or less the same shifted by 1 SD, the percentile matching implies an approximately 1 SD gap within tiers and schools. It may work differently at schools like Howard University that are not equally desirable to blacks and whites, or some regional schools where the local B/W populations don’t differ as much.

    • Replies: @Meretricious
  139. @Almost Missouri

    p.s. you can see the “Howard University” effect in the table Steve posted. The gap is much smaller, 125 instead of 170-200, at Historically Black schools, because blacks rank those schools higher than whites do. So the school enrolls students from higher percentiles in the black distribution than the white one and the result is a smaller gap.

  140. @academic gossip

    where are you getting your data? how do you explain Michelle Robinson’s admittance to Harvard Law? She obviously has > 110 IQ (as do many mediocre blacks and Hispanics admitted to elite schools).So nonblacks easily have > 1 SD IQ advantage over blacks, as a 125 IQ is not that stellar in elite institutions. Can you imagine Michelle Obama drafting a paper on intellectual law? LOL

    • Replies: @Meretricious
  141. @Meretricious

    that’s intellectual property law–and greater than 1 it sb

  142. correct post:

    where are you getting your data? how do you explain Michelle Robinson’s admittance to Harvard Law? She obviously has 1 SD IQ advantage over blacks, as a 125 IQ is not that stellar in elite institutions. Can you imagine Michelle Obama drafting a paper on intellectual property law? LOL

    • Replies: @academic gossip
  143. @Meretricious

    Compare table 1 here (LSAT by race at an Ivy League school)

    https://eml.berkeley.edu/~yagan/AffirmativeAction.pdf

    and the LSAT national score distribution.

    https://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source/data-%28lsac-resources%29-docs/lsat-score-distribution.pdf

    The average black LSAT score for applicants from a Princeton-tier school is around the 77-80th percentile, with a 56% rate of admission to top 17 programs (Sander’s Group I). All metrics are one within-school SD below whites. The within-school SDs for the LSAT are much lower than the national ones, because of the heavy admissions selection, and must be smaller within-race at that school ( maybe around 5 each).

    The admission rate of LSAT 160 blacks to Harvard law , the #1 choice for black lawyers, must be well below 56 percent. Michelle got in, and 1 SD (10 points) below the Harvard law LSAT mean is in the 160s. Score of 163 would be at the 87th percentile — among the college graduates who take LSAT and online conversion charts claim this is comparable to IQ 123.

    120-125 for Michelle seems pretty reasonable.

    • Replies: @Meretricious
  144. @academic gossip

    not buying what you’re selling–I know the cognitive difference between Yale Law-educated Heather Mac Donald and Michelle Robinson–it’s HUGE

    • Replies: @academic gossip
  145. @Meretricious

    The data are posted for people interested in IQ estimation from data. Barack, Michelle and TNC’s intelligence are favorite topics here.

    As with most topics whose answer is ultimately a number, meaningful discussion boils down to data and calculations. All else is worthless chest-beating. Do you have alternative data against the idea of 120-125 for Michelle, or a criticism of the methods I used to make and support that estimate, such as the Harvard Law LSAT distributions and the 1 SD gap? Calling IQ 120 a “negro genius” is not an argument.

    Sure, Heather Mac Donald seems smarter than Michelle. But there are data supporting that judgement:

    She graduated from Berkeley College, Yale University in 1978[2] summa cum laude, studying literary deconstructionism, which she later repudiated.[3] She won a Mellon Fellowship to attend Clare College, University of Cambridge, receiving an M.A. in English literature. She returned to Yale in 1980 to work on a doctorate in comparative literature, but became dissatisfied with literary theory and withdrew after a semester. She graduated from the Stanford University Law School in 1985, later working for liberal Judge Stephen Reinhardt in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, but no longer practices law.[4]

    The Mellon Fellowship is awarded to 2 Yale graduates per year from 30-40 applications, says the Yale website. All those accomplishments are in the range of 3+ SD (IQ 145+) above the white average, based on how few people attain them, and the applicant pools. What exactly would be inconsistent with your observations if Michelle were IQ 125 and Heather had 20 or more IQ points = 14+ points difference on the LSAT? Say Michelle LSAT 163 and Heather 177?

    On the other hand, Heather’s academic background was very strong for law school applicants, so the LSAT she needed may not have been that high.

  146. MBlanc46 says:
    @Anonymous

    You never listen to Michelle Obama, do you?

  147. MBlanc46 says:
    @Nico

    Illinois 1st Congressional District voters sure didn’t think so when he tried to unseat former Black Panther ( movement, not movie) Bobby Rush in 2000.

  148. MBlanc46 says:
    @anonymous

    It was the Black Seat, St. Thurgood Marshall’s seat. If Bush hadn’t appointed a black, the Lefties would have come after him with tbe pitchforks and torches. Of course, the Lefties hate Justice Thomas because he isn’t a Lefty. But he might well have been the most qualified non-Lefty black who met the minimum qualifications (like having a law degree). In that respect, not AA.

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