Monday, March 20, 2017

New York Times: How to Con Black Law Students: A Case Study

How to Con Black Law Students: A Case Study by Elie Mystal.

"But encouraging African-American students to attend Arizona Summit will not help them achieve their goals. It will hobble them. Going to a law school that doesn’t prepare most of its students to pass the bar is not an “opportunity,” unless “opportunity” means being saddled with debt that you’ll spend the rest of your life trying to pay back."

"For-profit schools like Arizona Summit prey on students with high aspirations but little knowledge about how the postgraduate system really works. Many black students aren’t just the first people in their families to go to graduate school — they are the only people they know in the game. Information passed down from family, friends or mentors is hard to get when you don’t have people in your life who have been there. Too many aspiring black students are trying to piece together education plans based on career fairs and Google searches."

"The best thing any historically black college could do to “disrupt” exclusionary legacies in legal education would be to arm its students with the very information from which they have been excluded, information that would help them get into good schools — or at least keep them out of predatory ones. Anything less is a hustle."

The above is why the ABA needs to set minimum percentages for bar passage.  Actually, the Council did last year, but the proposal was rejected by the House of Delegates at the urging of more than 90 law school deans.  I ask the question again: how does having minority students fail the bar help diversity in the legal field?  As I've said before, my answer is that, if law schools are going to admit students with questionable indicators, they need to concentrate on educating those students once they are admitted.  See How to Help Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds Succeed in Law School.

(Scott Fruehwald)

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