No Jobs For Lawyers, Unless You`re "Diverse"
January 20, 2011, 05:41 AM
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By now, the absolute disaster that is the legal job market is known beyond the halls of American law schools and the blogs that cover them.[Is Law School a Losing Game, NYT, January 8, 2011]

The jobs just aren't there, and they haven't been for a few years now.[Downturn Dims Prospects Even at Top Law Schools, NYT, August 25, 2009 ]

But everyone still wants to be a lawyer, since, you know, they're on TV as big dramatic heroes, and they do have a tendency to become president. And law schools don't seem to be doing much to alleviate the problem, because they help to prop up the liberal law professor industry.

Dim as the prospects are, there are some bright spots — particularly if you aren't white. Cristina Rodriguez, [Email her]a partner at Texas-based Baker Botts, proudly announces that her firm is bringing on "1L" students (i.e., students who've just completed their first year of law school) to work beside the traditional "2L" students as summer associates.

Baker Botts Hunts for 1-Ls, By Vivia Chen,The Careerist, January 18, 2011

And please note: white law students are not preferred.

Says Rodriguez, in response to the interviewer's question:

Most firms seem not to bother with first-year summer associates anymore. Why is Baker Botts recruiting them? We get some great diverse candidates [through the program]. It's a way to get out front on the diversity issue. Diversity is not an exclusive goal of the 1-L program, but it's a big focus.

So what percentage of the first-years are diverse? A significant portion.

A "big focus"? A "significant portion"? Rodriguez is a smart lawyer and knows that if she says "no whites need apply" outright, she'll be in slightly more trouble than if she hedges it a little.

Now, my sense is that the EEOC under Obama doesn't give two hoots about anti-white discrimination—something that it has in previous administrations—so I'm sure Partner Rodriguez is safe. But I encourage white law students rejected by Baker Botts to file a complaint with the EEOC, sue, and then hold a protest outside their headquarters. What do you have to lose? It's not like you're going to be working as lawyers in this economy anyway.