No Jobs For Lawyers, Unless You`re "Diverse"
January 20, 2011, 05:41 AM
Print Friendly and PDF
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.