On the Basis of Personality: How Harvard’s Admissions Policy Hurts Asian Americans and the Future of Affirmative Action

If being surrounded by diverse peers allows students to learn early on to purge themselves of implicit biases and avoid stereotyping their peers based on race or ethnicity, then the need for such race-based policies in college admissions is clear. Affirmative action’s goal of ensuring the advancement of minorities inherently includes the goal of removing biases against them in the professional world. This goal is especially relevant to Asian Americans, who are less likely than both African Americans and Hispanics to be promoted into management roles in the workforce. The value of a “diverse” education is diminished if affirmative action policies fail to reduce the false notion of Asian Americans inherently lacking leadership skills. More pressingly, affirmative action policies will fail Asian American graduates if they are not allowed in the classroom in the first place. [read more]

Fight or Flight: Explaining Minority Associate Attrition

Diversity has been a prominent problem in the legal profession. Law is among the least diverse professions in the nation. According to a survey conducted in 2016, racial minorities represent about 20% of all attorneys at law firms. The industry has seen efforts to incorporate minorities into law schools and law firms, including minority mentorship programs, partner training, and objective evaluation methods; however, progress has been achingly slow. In the seven years between 2009 and 2016, the percentage of women in law firms has grown by less than one percent and the percentage of minority lawyers has only increased by about two percent. The lack of diversity is exacerbated among more senior attorneys. A survey of national law firms showed that while minorities compose 32% of the summer associate class at law firms, minorities compose 8% of partners. Thus, the primary impediment to diversity in law firms is not the hiring, but the retention of minority attorneys. Minority attorneys are 1.3-1.5 times as likely to voluntarily leave their law firms compared to white, male attorneys. Minority partners are almost three times as likely to leave their positions compared to white men. Minorities’ greater dissatisfaction with private sector jobs  may be [read more]