The Electric Commentary

Monday, November 15, 2004

Discrimination in law school

I just wasted an hour of my life looking through my course catalog to determine what classes I would try to register for for the spring semester. I chose about 15 classes and listed all of them in descending order from classes I most wanted to classes I'd take just to fulfill a requirement or stay full time. When I was finished, I checked the availability of all of them. I got down to choice #10 before I had a class listed with more than 7 or 8 seats left after the 3Ls registered today. This wouldn't be a problem if I had an early registration time.

Problem is, I don't. Registration times are determined by number of credit hours. This, I believe is a fair system for undergraduates as there are many students who take some seriously unimpressive course loads and others that bust their butts. Here, however, everyone takes just about the same number of credits. The major exception is that some students do clinicals in the summer instead of getting jobs or internships. I certainly believe that these clinicals do some very worthwhile work. However, some of us have to pay the bills and can't afford to make $0.00 per hour.

If your parents are willing and able to pay your rent, and you're willing to let them, you get to register early. If you want to be self-reliant, you register late.

I firmly believe that your registration time should be determined by something less arbitrary than credits, like a foot race or heighest number of pushups. But that's extremely unlikely.

Okay, I'm really just venting. Mostly. But if you really are interested in actual discrimination in law school you should read this series of posts by Rick Sander over at Volokh (this link takes you to Volokh's criticism of an LA Times article commenting on Mr. Sander's work. Follow the track backs at the bottom of the post to read the whole thing.) Mr. Sander argues that affirmative action programs are not only facially discriminatory against whites but also harmful to minorities due to the poor bar passage and graduation rates of students artificially elevated into schools with more rigorous programs.


  • Well Danny, I wish I had some reassuring remark to make here but frankly, the fun continues all the way through your final 3L semester. That's right, even as a graduating 3L I didn't get into one of the limited enrollment classes I wanted. For once, I agree with you...although that bullshit about rent-paying was just backwards, everyone knows that most of the people who get credits over the summer would have killed to have a "real" job. A.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:10 PM  

  • I don't think that the people that do clinicals generally do so because they couldn't get paid jobs. Some perhaps but it's not exactly easy to get the clinical jobs either. Most of the people I know that worked for the Remington Center had great grades and impressive enough resumes. It is good experiance. They are essentially acting like complete lawyers rather than researching obscure issues and writing memos all day.

    Good to know that I'll be dealing with it for another year though. THanks for the comment.

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 11:19 PM  

  • By Blogger RyanSimatic, at 6:06 PM  

  • It turned out alright anyway. I didn't get all, or even most of the classes that I really wanted but I did get a couple and I didn't get stuck with East African Tribal Treaties II or anything. I was mostly just joking with this post. I was certainly joking about having registration time determined by a pushups. But who could argue that the fairest way to do it wouldn't be to let us all register at once? I'm sure that they let more than 285 undergrads register at the same time. Oh well.

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 7:05 PM  

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