Remember, OCS is here to help.

Or so declares the headline of a recent email from the Office of Career Services that reads suspiciously like “we’re from the government and we’re here to help.” Since UCLA is a state school, perhaps that’s not far off the mark.

OCS holds itself out as the nexus between students and the job market. In practice, its reach is quite a bit more limited.

There is on-campus interviewing (OCI) in the fall and spring, where big law firms come onto campus and try to stanch the hemorrhage of 3rd and 4th year associates by refilling the seats with clueless 2Ls. Some students are hired, but it only soaks up a minority of those interviewing.

The public interest job fair is much-hyped but jobs are, by common consent, even rarer, since there are fewer slots to fill and even those are hotly contested. Arguably, it’s harder to get a job at the ACLU than at Gibson Dunn.

The rest of the legal market–which is to say, the 92% not represented at these two job events & a smattering of others–exists outside the OCS range of vision. So if you want a job in a entertainment litigation boutique with 10 or fewer partners in Santa Monica or West LA–best of luck to you.

Why is this a problem? Look, I know OCS tries hard, and for a few people, they’re probably very useful. But overall, OCS contributes to the myopia that many law grads have about their careers starting in their 2L year.

The bottom line is that most of the jobs you can get on-campus suck eggs. These giant law firms and public interest groups are here because they have enough turnover that they need fresh meat. They come on campus, and students think “hm, so this is what the legal job market looks like”.

But many who get one of these jobs follow a similar trajectory: they work like dogs, they hate it, sooner or later they quit, and then they become one of those bitter 29-year-old ex-lawyers who blame the legal profession at large for their misery.

But there are plenty of good legal jobs where you can work with nice people, get good training and avoid a 2200 billable hour requirement. However, it takes effort to find them, because the firms are smaller and more specialized, and they aren’t spending wildly to recruit.

Of course, OCS can’t be held responsible for students who are too uninspired to look for work outside the traditional channels. But OCS has the advantage of experience and perspective. They would do students a favor to present a more balanced picture of the legal job market, and being less of a co-conspirator in the project of tossing fresh recruits into the maw of ginormous law firms.

01 Oct 06

Comments

Amen.

Posted by: at October 4, 2006 01:47 PM


Good times at UT.

Sensitivity training at the University of Texas law school is really paying off:

A group of first-year law students at the University of Texas at Austin has been chided by the dean for participating in a “Ghetto Fabulous”-themed costume party and posting pictures from it online ...

Partygoers carried 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor and wore Afro wigs, necklaces with large medallions and name tags bearing traditionally black and Hispanic names ...

A first-year student who attended the party in September and posted pictures on his Web site said “We had no intention by any measure to choose a group or class of people and make fun of them”.

Um, okay.

15 Oct 06

Comments

Why it okay for BET to do that but not law students?

Posted by: at November 21, 2006 04:12 PM


UCLA students, help me.

Does anyone have a copy of the offensive remarks referenced by Dean Schill in his email last night of “Peace, Love, and Grooviness”? Perhaps we’re running closer to UT than I previously thought.

In the past week, we have
experienced one such incident when the Moot Court Board created an
exercise that included racial stereotypes and then compounded the
problem by using a jocular tone. Understandably, many students were
deeply offended that a formal law school academic activity would include
undeniably offensive stereotypes.

17 Oct 06


UCLA students, help me.

UPDATE: I’ve been promised a copy tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Does anyone have a copy of the offensive remarks referenced by Dean Schill in his email last night of “Peace, Love, and Grooviness”? If so, please post them in the comments. Perhaps we’re running closer to UT than I previously thought.

And lord knows I didn’t sign up for moot court this semester–sadly, my resume is already stuffed to the gills with meaningless padding and there just wasn’t any room for it.

In the past week, we have
experienced one such incident when the Moot Court Board created an
exercise that included racial stereotypes and then compounded the
problem by using a jocular tone. Understandably, many students were
deeply offended that a formal law school academic activity would include
undeniably offensive stereotypes.

17 Oct 06

Comments

Be careful—I can see the Schillmail now:

“Last night, one of the members of our robust UCLAW blogging community allowed a comment to be posted that included racial stereotypes, and then compounded the problem by zinging my administration in a jocular manner.”

I suggest that you have the comment read by a faculty advisor before posting.

Posted by: Anonymous Bosch at October 17, 2006 04:54 PM

This is really getting ridiculous. I vote Schill PC wimp of the year.

Posted by: at October 17, 2006 05:37 PM

Really, there is nothing to be done but be thankful he even said anything.

For a New Yorker, Schill is strangely disappointing (wimpy.) I guess he must of come from mid-town manhattan.

Posted by: Mademoiselle at October 18, 2006 03:34 PM

Mademoiselle,

I think the attitude among some of the student body is that it would have been better had Schill not said/done anything at all—not that it would have been better had he said/done something bolder. That is, some students are the opposite of “thankful he even said anything.” But, I might be misunderstanding your point.

Posted by: Anonymous at October 18, 2006 03:46 PM

Anonymous is right.

When I said he was a PC Wimp it was because he is should tell people to just get over it and go cry to their mommies if they need somebody to cry to. See, e.g., Schill-Mails regarding: The Scrivener, military recruiting on campus, illegal immigration protest.

Posted by: at October 18, 2006 04:26 PM


The Moot Court dust-up, pt. 1.

Various panties are currently in a twist about language in the moot court problem that was released a few weeks ago. Dean Schill’s email on Monday night suggested that I “take a moment to reflect on this incident and learn something”. So in that spirit:

Here is a copy of the controversial problem. One observes:

a) the defendant is a Mexican citizen named El Guapo,

b) all the judges and officials in the brief are named after liquors (eg. Beam, Walker, Perignon, Martini, Courvoisier), and

c) El Guapo enjoys anal sodomy with children.

I imagine if I had been a moot court competitor getting this on October 1, I would’ve taken no note of (a) or (c) and considered (b) a feeble attempt at humor.

The facts of the problem combine two current cases scheduled to be argued in the Supreme Court this term. Cunningham v. California concerns a non-Mexican child molester, and United States v. Resendiz-Ponce concerns a Mexican citizen who attempts to re-enter the US after being deported.

Moot court problems usually simulate real Supreme Court cases as closely as possible for two reasons. One is to give the participants a sense of verisimilitude. The other, I assume, is that because the cases have been briefed by excellent lawyers, there is a standard to measure student briefs by.

To that end, we can’t fault moot court for using facts from the actual cases. Part of what makes criminal cases challenging on appeal is the facts are often not very savory. A skillful brief writer needs to overcome the shock of the facts and get a judge to focus on the law. If the Cunningham facts had been sanitized–instead of anal rape, maybe he was convicted of vandalizing a puppy store–it wouldn’t be the same problem. Cunningham is guilty of a foul crime, but he still deserves his constitutional rights.

Similarly, illegal immigration from Mexico is a hot political and social issue. How would you do it without making the defendant Mexican? It would be like trying to simulate Hamdan with an Irish defendant. Should we make the defendant Canadian? Or maybe invent a fictitious country, Freedonia, that shares a border with the U.S.?

It wouldn’t be the same. Removing the racial element might improve the cosmetics but it would dilute the substance. Race is a real issue in this case. To take away race is to deny that the arguments unfold within a larger social and political context. The attorneys and the justices have to reconcile the law with that context.

So I don’t think we should bust the moot court board for using the facts as they found them. OK, maybe they could’ve foreseen that the natural result of combining these cases would be a defendant who’s a Mexican sodomist. Maybe there were two other cases that might’ve joined more harmoniously. But it’s not like they went out of their way to apply certain characteristics to a person of a certain ethnicity. Given the cases they chose to simulate, to change either the Mexican-ness or the sodomizer-ness of the defendant would’ve compromised the problem.

However. While it’s true that there is some history of humorous names in fact patterns (anyone who’s used Bergman’s Evidence casebook knows what I mean) there are two conditions on their use: 1) the more serious the issue is, the less appropriate the humor is, and 2) the names actually have to be funny.

Moot court came up short on both counts. A fact pattern about child rape doesn’t really benefit from the light-hearted touch. And liquor names are just not especially clever. Does it make the authors evil? No. It just makes them moot court dorks. Someone probably came up with it at 1am during the rush to finish and it stuck. (Judging from the number of spelling errors in the problem, there seems to have been a broader failure of the editing / proofreading process.) Not really something worth getting bent out of shape about.

Next: The Response.

18 Oct 06

Comments

The Moot Court dust-up, pt. 2.

After the moot court problem was released, La Raza wrote a letter of complaint co-signed by the chairs of BLSA and APILSA:

La Raza, for those of you playing at home, is a campus group that advocates on behalf of Latino students and topics.

The issue is not whether La Raza was objectively reasonable to infer that the moot court problem was “disrespectful”, or that it “further[ed] the stereotype of Latinos ... as lazy drunks who commit criminal acts”.

What matters is that subjectively, they found it offensive. So they were entitled to say something about it, and moot court was right to take it seriously. A heterogeneous campus imposes a duty of mutual civility and respect on its members. It is not a symptom of political correctness gone wild. It is just another way we avoid the tyranny of the majority. As a defense, the idea that “I didn’t find it offensive, so neither should you” is both pointless and hopelessly dated.

However, the duty of civility runs in both directions. Moot court made an error, so they should be held accountable for that error. But the La Raza letter goes farther than that. It compounds the problem with two errors of its own:

Failure to recognize mitigating factors. It took me all of 10 minutes to figure out the real Supreme Court cases this problem is based on and find the briefs describing the facts. Before accusing the moot court board, La Raza would’ve done well to compare the problem facts with the real facts and consider why the problem was written as it was.

Why is this important? Calling someone “blatantly racist” is a serious charge. It’s appropriate if–and only if–it’s justified by the facts. That duty of civility required La Raza (and their co-signors) to do some research and make sure they weren’t shooting from the hip. Perhaps this research was done, but the letter gives no indication this was so.

You may say: why should that matter? If the language of the problem was offensive, isn’t that enough? Well, no, actually. As we remember from con law: when it comes to discrimination, intent is what counts the most. To call moot court “racist” is to describe an intent. So where’s the evidence? La Raza could’ve fairly accused the moot court board of carelessness or insensitivity. But La Raza overreached to accuse moot court of racism.

Lack of proportionality. In the letter, La Raza explains how individual elements of the moot court problem, which might otherwise seem benign, have negative connotations when taken as a whole. Fair enough.

But then, they attempt to connect this infraction to much broader issues, namely a) poor incorporation of racial issues into the curriculum, b) low enrollment of minority students, and c) the generally “hostile, exclusionary, educational environment” of UCLA law. According to La Raza, the moot court problem

further criminalizes and demonizes Latino/a immigrants, and perpetuates the isolating and negatively charged environment in which students are attempting to academically survive within.

I agree with La Raza on their general complaints. The state of minority enrollment and support on campus is dreadful. And I’ve studied minority bar results, so I know the long-term picture is equally problematic.

But I find it difficult to swallow that moot court is an agent of this broader conspiracy. Yes, moot court should be held accountable for their own actions. But bringing in these other issues muddies the picture. Is it really necessary to make a mountain out of a molehill? Is it civil and respectful?

Here’s what I find most confusing. Among others, the letter was sent to Deans Schill, Cheadle and Carbado, presumably to enlist their support against moot court. But who’s accountable for the incorporation of racial issues into the curriculum? Moot court? No, Schill, Cheadle and Carbado. Who’s accountable for minority enrollment? Schill, Cheadle and Carbado. Who’s accountable for the campus educational environment? Schill, Cheadle and Carbado.

I’d call that barking up the wrong tree.

Next: Dean Schill addresses the school.

20 Oct 06

Comments

MB: You note that it isn’t relevant whether the Moot Court problem was objectively unreasonable, and that what matters is that, subjectively, La Raza found the moot court problem offensive. But then you write that “Moot court made an error,” which seems like an objective statement.

Is your point that it is an error to do something in the context of a law school activity that might cause any one group out there to be offended? I can see your point, but I’m not sure I agree that one has to respond seriously any time anyone takes offense, no matter how unreasonable.

Posted by: at October 20, 2006 01:13 PM

We’re talking about errors that cause offense to others. I consider the subjective definition of “error” to be the one that matters. So it’s accurate to say “Moot court made an error”. La Raza said they did, so they did.

That doesn’t mean others would subjectively agree. The moot court problem didn’t offend a lot of people (including me - see post #1), but that doesn’t invalidate La Raza’s complaint.

You’re asking a different question: is it an error to do something that MIGHT cause ANY ONE group to be offended? I wouldn’t go that far. How could you know ahead of time what would be offensive?

But once someone brings it to your attention that what you said was IN FACT offensive TO THEM, then yes, that’s an error you need to be accountable for.

However, not all errors are created equal. The complaint and the response should be proportionate to the error. And that part stands up to a reasonableness analysis.

For instance: it’s one thing to say “I was offended”. That’s an assertion only of subjective truth. It’s a very different thing to say “I was offended and you are a racist”. That combines subjective truth with a factual conclusion.

Per the above, I think we can accept La Raza’s subjective truth (they were offended) while questioning whether their complaint was really proportionate (moot court is racist)

Posted by: MB at October 20, 2006 04:42 PM


The Moot Court dust-up, pt. 3.

Last Monday, Dean Michael Schill stepped into the fray with the following email entitled “Diversity, Tolerance and Understanding”, which first I’ll reproduce in full:

One of the great strengths of our school is our diversity. Within our extraordinary student body and faculty are men and women from a variety of races, ethnicities, nationalities, income groups, religions, sexual orientations and ideological perspectives. One of the principal benefits of diversity is the opportunity for us to learn from each other. Part of this education is learning to see the world through another’s eyes. This understanding of different viewpoints and perspectives is important for one to become an excellent lawyer; it is also important to become a good person.

Given our diversity, it is an unfortunate reality that from time to time members of our community will say or do things that will unintentionally offend or hurt one another. In the past week, we have experienced one such incident when the Moot Court Board created an exercise that included racial stereotypes and then compounded the problem by using a jocular tone. Understandably, many students were deeply offended that a formal law school academic activity would include undeniably offensive stereotypes.

Based upon our conversations with members of the Moot Court Board, I am convinced that there was no intent on the part of the Board to offend or belittle our students of Mexican heritage. I also believe that members of the Moot Court Board now understand and feel deeply sorry about the hurt that they have caused to their classmates. Indeed, to avoid this sort of situation from recurring, the Moot Court Board has suggested and I have agreed that future exercises will be read by a faculty advisor.

Before we move on from here, I would like each of us to take a moment to reflect on this incident and learn something. Each of us is part of a community here at UCLA. As an intellectual community, it is incumbent upon us to defend the right of each member to express his or her views honestly and forthrightly. At the same time, because we are a community we should also encourage each other to consider the impact of what we say and do—intentionally and unintentionally—on our fellow students and faculty members and to hold each other accountable when we fail in that regard.

The dean rarely addresses the whole school on substantive issues, so when he chooses to send something like this to all 1000+ students, it lends gravity to the message. When I get a message like this, I assume, as I imagine others do, that what he’s saying is important. I also assume, as I imagine others do, that the facts are fairly and accurately depicted.

So now let’s look at each paragraph in turn.

One of the great strengths of our school is our diversity. Within our extraordinary student body and faculty are men and women from a variety of races, ethnicities, nationalities, income groups, religions ...

I think we get the idea. Next—

Given our diversity, it is an unfortunate reality that from time to time members of our community will say or do things that will unintentionally offend or hurt one another. In the past week, we have experienced one such incident when the Moot Court Board created an exercise that included racial stereotypes and then compounded the problem by using a jocular tone. Understandably, many students were deeply offended that a formal law school academic activity would include undeniably offensive stereotypes.

Schill at least recognizes that moot court acted unintentionally. That in itself should defuse any claim of racism. Whether it’s an unfortunate reality is debatable. I would call it an inevitable side effect of enjoying free speech on campus, like carbon dioxide emissions (or perhaps, more aptly, car accidents) are an unfortunate reality of driving a car. It’s a cost we accept, because we enjoy the benefits.

Now things take a turn, as Schill seems to adopt La Raza’s viewpoint exclusively. Yes, moot court used a jocular tone, poorly. But whether the problem really included racial stereotypes is an open question. I can appreciate that to La Raza readers, those racial stereotypes were obvious. To others, me included, they were not nearly so obvious. So to call them undeniably offensive &ndash as if it’s an objective reality–rather overstates the case.

Based upon our conversations with members of the Moot Court Board, I am convinced that there was no intent on the part of the Board to offend or belittle our students of Mexican heritage. I also believe that members of the Moot Court Board now understand and feel deeply sorry about the hurt that they have caused to their classmates. Indeed, to avoid this sort of situation from recurring, the Moot Court Board has suggested and I have agreed that future exercises will be read by a faculty advisor.

Who is the “our” is in "our conversations“? I can only assume Schill means “La Raza and I” had the conversations with moot court. This confuses me. Is Schill acting as an advocate for La Raza against the moot court board? If so, isn’t that a little weird?

He affirms that moot court had no intent to offend anyone, but leaves out the exaggerated claims La Raza made in its letter. Does it not merit a mention that La Raza called moot court “blatantly racist” without adequate proof? Should we conclude that such accusations are consistent with Schill’s notion of “tolerance and understanding”?

Bad enough that Schill should insert himself into a dispute between two sets of adults. It suggests that he thought moot court and La Raza were incapable of resolving the issue on their own. (I know there are rumors that 3rd parties encouraged Schill to get involved. I don’t have the facts so I’ll leave such speculations to the reader.)

But it’s even worse that moot court should have to submit future problems to a faculty advisor. Moot court fixed their error, and hopefully learned from it. That’s all that can fairly be asked. To make them submit to a pre-emptive editing scheme for the foreseeable future–to presume, without proof, that they will make the same mistake again–seems both unfair and unnecessary. It has the unpleasant odor of a prior restraint on speech. It certainly does not fit my idea of “tolerance and understanding”.

Before we move on from here, I would like each of us to take a moment to reflect on this incident and learn something. Each of us is part of a community here at UCLA. As an intellectual community, it is incumbent upon us to defend the right of each member to express his or her views honestly and forthrightly. At the same time, because we are a community we should also encourage each other to consider the impact of what we say and do—intentionally and unintentionally—on our fellow students and faculty members and to hold each other accountable when we fail in that regard.

With due respect to the Dean, I’m not ready to move on based on this somewhat glib explanation. Accepting his invitation to hold each other accountable, I encourage him to consider the impact of how he’s handled this situation, and how he’s packaged it for the UCLA community.

But first, let’s go back to January, when Schill sent out an email called “Free Expression and Civility”:

A law school, perhaps more than any other type of academic institution, should celebrate and protect free expression. It is only through robust discussion and debate, inside and outside the classroom, that we will gain an understanding about how the law affects society and how we can change it to further common goals and objectives. As dean of the Law School, I defend the “right” ... of the anonymous author of “Teh Scrivener” to satirize me as well as others.

But having a right to do something does not necessarily imply that what the person has done is right ... With respect to Teh Scrivener, my overriding reaction was that the articles were not terribly funny and, even worse, that some references could personally offend some members of our community ...

My reason for writing is to emphasize both the importance of free expression, but also the importance of tolerance and respect. One of the things I love most about this school is that these virtues are in abundance ... Overwhelmingly, we believe in and practice spirited debate; but we do not demonize each other or treat each other in an uncivil or disrespectful manner even when we feel very deeply about the point at issue. This is what it means to be part of an intellectual community ...

Civility, tolerance and respect–I agree with Schill that these are core virtues of an intellectual community. But they do not run in only one direction. In January, Schill was bothered that an anonymous satirical leaflet contained language that could personally offend someone.

How is this a conceptually coherent position? You can’t support free expression without supporting the risk that people might get pissed off someday. There is a big difference between holding people accountable for the real effects of things they’ve actually said, vs. filtering statements for their potential effects.

The only way to prevent offensive speech before it happens is to prevent speech. And that is antithetical to civility, tolerance and respect.

Move forward to April, when Dean Cheadle sent out this message about the “May 1 National Day of Action” on behalf of Schill:

Over the weekend several students requested that they be allowed to reschedule their Monday final examinations to enable them to participate in the May 1 National Day of Action on immigration rights. After consulting with the faculty who are giving exams that day, Dean Schill has decided to permit any student who wants to participate in the National Day of Action events to reschedule his or her examination to Tuesday ...

I already weighed in on that one. Suffice it to say that Schill’s accommodation of the Mexican immigration rally was extremely unusual. The law school is typically strict about exam schedules, because it preserves the fairness and integrity of the exam process. What justified the exception?

Then in August, we got the “Letter Regarding Military Recruiting and Non-Discrimination Policy”:

We feel a responsibility to protect and foster the worth of each individual in the law school community. The non-discrimination principle holds true, we think, for society at large, but it has a special force in the setting of a university law school, which is particularly concerned about issues of justice and equality ... The non-discrimination policy evolved during the 1970s to include race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, and veteran status.

I mentioned this previously, when UCLA’s official publication, The Docket (RIP) was simultaneously promoting scholarships which discriminated on the basis of nationality (in favor of foreign citizens and recently naturalized U.S. citizens).

Add up these data points any way you want. In my view, a tyranny of the minority is no less odious than a tyranny of the majority. The goal is equality: a tyranny of no one.

Schill said in January “we do not demonize each other” but moot court has been demonized three times in this transaction: once by La Raza et al. (in their letter) and twice by the Dean himself (in his email, and by endorsing a faculty advisor).

Also, Schill’s email address to the students last week seemed to rely on the fact that most students wouldn’t ever see the source documents. The documents reveal the partiality of his position. This could’ve become a useful teaching moment—e.g. show the documents, explain the nuances, suggest how both moot court and La Raza might’ve best handled the situation, show support for what both groups are trying to accomplish. Instead the moment was used to beat on one student group for the benefit of “students of Mexican heritage” under the cover of “tolerance and understanding”.

It certainly doesn’t fit my idea of tolerance, understanding, civility or respect. Somebody owes the moot court board an apology.

20 Oct 06

Comments

Well put. Only the Scrivenator could say it better.

Posted by: at October 23, 2006 12:44 PM

given your viewpoint that the moot court problem did not contain any offensive stereotypes that were readily apparant to you, i’m curious to know what on earth would you think constitutes an offensive stereotype ? also, you are dead wrong in continually acting as if La Raza were the only students offended by the moot court problem, since many other students, white students and students of color were equally offended and supported La Raza. i’m sorry, but the fact that dean schill commented that the moot court board acted unintentionally does not in any way diffuse any charges that the moot court problem was racist, considering that many students do believe they acted intentionally, and even if the moot court board members maintain that they didn’t act intentionally, unconscious racism and ignorance ould have influenced their actions and contributed to their produciton of the racist moot court problem. for someone who claims to understand what tolerance, understanding, civility or respect entail, your comments come off as pretty resentful, defensive, and ignorant of both sides of the situation, and indicative of your priviledged and obviously sheltered world view.

Posted by: at October 23, 2006 05:43 PM

Everyone enrolled at UCLA law school is de facto privileged and sheltered. You, me, everyone. If you don’t agree, go spend 6 months working for minimum wage and then tell me what you think.

My goal in obtaining & publishing these documents was to counteract ignorance through disclosure. People are welcome to draw different conclusions than I do, but at least they’re using evidence, not speculation.

I wish I had your ability to look at the situation and conclude that there’s a right side and a wrong side. It certainly would’ve made for shorter, less time-consuming blog posts.

Posted by: MB at October 23, 2006 08:22 PM

Sorry for the long comment, but I wanted to respond to the above anonymous poster, who wrote:

“I’m curious to know what on earth would you think constitutes an offensive stereotype”

I think each time someone accuses the moot court board of having included (intentionally or not) offensive stereotypes in the moot court problem, they should be required to state exactly what stereotypes they are referring to, and why they are offensive. I’m not saying people weren’t offended, or that they shouldn’t have been. I just think it would keep the dialogue more grounded.

As far as I can tell, there are two candidates for “offensive stereotype”:

1. The Mexican citizen is characterized as a child molestor, reinforcing the stereotype that Mexicans are child molestors.

2. The Mexican citizen is placed in a problem where other characters (but not the Mexican character himself) are named after brands/types of alcohol (Mexican, British, and American), reinforcing the stereotype that Mexicans are drunks.

I’ve never heard of the first stereotype before, suggesting it’s not actually a stereotype. If the point is that this reinforces a broader stereotype of criminality, then I would like to know if those offended by this are suggesting that a criminal defendant in a Moot court problem can never be Mexican.

The connection required to see the second stereotype seems to be a fairly tenuous one. I’m not saying it’s impossible to infer, but given that the Mexican citizen himself is not described as a drunk, such an inference would seem to be at least somewhat extreme, and certainly requires some further explanation.

So, it seems a little strange to ask “what on Earth” constitutes a stereotype if the above facts don’t, when I think the above facts are objectively not that extreme (relative to all stereotypical portrayals of Mexican citizens or those of Mexican heritage that).

On an ironic note, I noticed that the La Raza letter accused the moot court board of furthering the stereotype of Mexicans as “lazy” drunks. I didn’t note anything in the fact pattern that even remotely suggested the Mexican citizen was lazy. This would require a double inference—first to the drunk stereotype, then to a further stereotype that drunks are lazy. It suggests a less than cautious response to the whole situation by La Raza.

Posted by: Anonymous UCLA law student at October 24, 2006 03:52 PM

Lazy? Not true, Mexican’s are hard workers; I think it’s in their blood or something.

Hard drinkers? Sorry, also in the blood. But since when was this a bad thing? The Irish are proud of it.

And child molestors? Only creepy white dudes molest children; everyone knows that.

Posted by: at October 24, 2006 08:15 PM

MB, thanks for your effort and thoughtful analysis. I think the administration and La Raza have blown this way out of proportion, given moot court’s use of supreme court cases to concoct their hypo and the long & tenuous inference chain (illustrated by Anonymous UCLA law student’s comment) from the hypothetical fact pattern to ethnic stereotypes. It is indeed alarming that neither the administration nor la raza mentioned either of these mitigating factors.

Posted by: Another UCLAW student at October 24, 2006 08:37 PM

MB, I completely agree with you La Raza is making a big deal out of nothing.

Posted by: uclalaw F 3L at October 27, 2006 03:21 PM

Yeah, what’s up with ‘The Scrivenator?’ I got a long -winded, poorly written xeroxed screed in my mailbox from him. Hard to take anyone seriously that won’t even put his name on it.

Posted by: Kevin! at October 30, 2006 09:58 PM

He evidently has you taking him seriously enough.

Posted by: at October 31, 2006 05:32 PM

well if the scrivenator had some balls, he would put his name on it. I say he because someone saw him, 3L transfer, putting the flyers in the mailboxes.

Posted by: yo at November 1, 2006 10:53 PM

I think your analysis digs too deep to the point where you’re searching for things that aren’t really there. Here’s an example: “Who is the ‘our’ is in ‘our conversations’? I can only assume Schill means ‘La Raza and I’ had the conversations with moot court. This confuses me. Is Schill acting as an advocate for La Raza against the moot court board? If so, isn’t that a little weird?” There is no way that Dean Schill would have any intention of advocating any student organization against another. That’s would entail too much risk and controversy for any dean, much less this one to take. I get the feeling from your prior posts including the ones on Professor Sander’s anti-affirmative action studies that you have some deep-seated opinions on the subject of race. Why don’t you come right out and put out your ideas and intentions rather than pick at the surface? No, I am not in La Raza, nor am I Hispanic, nor do I strongly believe in affirmative action (paradoxic in its own right), but I do hate the postering that takes place which usually leads to quasi-academic discussions ultimately culminating in nothing. I would like to mention that I have enjoyed your blog for the most part, at least up until your more recent entries.

Posted by: UCLAW Student at November 2, 2006 09:11 PM

I have no idea if Schill really meant to imply he had acted as an advocate for La Raza. That’s why I phrased it in the form of a question. But given that he adopted La Raza’s version of the incident, it certainly lends weight to that interpretation. If you have evidence suggesting otherwise, please post it. I would be happy to be better informed.

I would hardly say I’m concealing my opinions about race. See posts on “Diversity” in Nov 05. See posts on “Risk disclosure” in June 06. Go to www.matthewb.com/ardaa if you care to read another 20,000+ words on the topic. My views are well-documented.

Posted by: MB at November 2, 2006 11:26 PM

In response to the previous posting - I think that anytime Dean Schill emails the entire campus he runs the risk of appearing to be an advocate of a particular side. I don’t really believe that the Dean loses any sleep over military recruiting or the other issues he has discussed with us (I realize this is an assumption and I could be wrong). Given that he interacts with the entire campus so rarely, I think that the choices of the topics become important in themselves. I also agree that the Dean would probably not advocate in favor of a particular student group over another, but the email regarding moot court did seem to reflect that he had adopted a particular interpretation of the incident. I can see some motivation on his part for wanting to do this in just wanting everyone to move on, but still he does appear to be advocating in favor of La Raza’s standpoint.

Posted by: at November 2, 2006 11:38 PM

If you think La Raza’s previous actions were questionable, you should’ve been at the “Community Building Workshop” (Group Therapy Session) that was organized allegedly for Moot Court and La Raza to reach an amicable resolution regarding the controversy. It turned out to be a collective call to arms against the privilege white people have supposedly enjoyed in society by all the minority groups at the law school.

Instead of the mediation session being a mature discussion where both sides rationally presented its views, La Raza’s members started the session by bawling during the first minute of mediation in front of an audience that consisted of members of all the minority groups on campus. Amidst tears they explained: (a) how incredibly difficult it is to grow up Hispanic (debatable considering Hispanics are almost a majority in CA) (b) how privileged white people have it and don’t realize and (c) “demanding” and I repeat “demanding” an apology from each and every member of Moot Court individually. This was only the first five minutes. Subsequently, their words and actions got progressively more and more appalling. It made me seriously fear liberals.

In the face of tears and blatant sentimentalism (read: manipulative tactics), it was not surprising to see the Moot Court Board capitulate like a house of worn-out cards!

How, I ask, can anyone have sympathy for La Raza’s cause given the absurd behavior of their officers?

Posted by: at November 5, 2006 07:34 PM

I’ve been pretty careful not to chime in on the whole situation until now because when people hear that TR is on the moot court board they usually assume the worst. This time I swear I’m not guilty! I actually missed the workshop but I had intended to go and from what I heard most of the board members were there. I also heard that “it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be” from those who went, but I didn’t get much more info than that. It seems like from the previous post that it was very emotional from the beginning - but this might actually be a good thing. It seems it was the concern of some people when this issue emerged that La Raza’s primary goal was political. If we (the moot board) are getting raked over the coals because a number of people were offended then I can speak for the whole board when I say we would understand that we are getting what we deserve. When we got the letter from La Raza, most of us were devastated that we had offended anyone. Everyone I know on the board is there for one reason - to try to get as many people as possible involved in the program. Besides potentially offending people, we have failed at the only thing that we have volunteered countless hours to do. However, when you think that you are getting raked over the coals in order for someone to make a political point, that can cause animosity. The problem at our law school, and I’m sure at others as well, is that lines of communication between ethnic groups are almost nonexistent. Were people offended or was La Raza grandstanding? Nobody came to us to tell us that they were offended, but this is probably because they felt involving La Raza was the only way to communicate effectively in our law school’s environment. When the letter from the Dean went out even though La Raza’s demands had been met, I think that many people in the school saw some political motive and retreated into an “us” versus “them” mentality and automatically dismissed any offense that might have been taken. This just exacerbated the problem because the only thing worse than being offended by an academic exercise is people thinking you are acting offended or acting offended in order to further a point. No amount of mediation or dialogue will ever allow me to know what it is like to be/grow up Latin@ or for a black person to know what a white person might find offensive. The only way we can know is for someone of the other race/ethnicity to tell us and this can be extremely uncomfortable. This makes the possibility of misunderstanding and inadvertent offense even more likely. Even if the mediation last week got emotional I still think that any communication, especially genuine communication, is a positive step. The only sad part is that it took over two weeks for anyone on the moot court board to speak to anyone who was offended.

If the meeting got a bit out of hand then this is really the fault of the moderator(s) who I was told would be present. In response to the fact that “we folded like a deck of cards” - it was never really our intention to engage La Raza or anyone else. We folded the day we got the letter from La Raza which I still think was the right thing to do. There are a number of people in the law school that want us to be their proxy in the battle against La Raza but that is not, and was never, our intent. In the end, maybe this will turn out to be a positive thing and that lines of communication will have been opened. As for now, I’m sure that tomorrow the Latinos will be sitting together in the northwest corner of the quad, the black students in the southwest corner and the lounge, and the white students in the northwest corner. It doesn’t look like we’ve progressed much since high school but I’m optomistic for the future.

Posted by: TR at November 6, 2006 12:18 AM

Hey guys, there’s another English person about, :)

I’m a new on www.matthewb.com

looking forward to speaking to you guys soon

Posted by: vipsticks at February 12, 2007 03:10 AM

rfcp oiajpb czvibsyk rhxoiky kcbmzej bvgsxljp olzxkyac

Posted by: okbx qtzgodklw at March 10, 2007 01:21 AM

matthewb @ ucla
Recent Drivel
Home page
Epilogue 8: Buy my book
Epilogue 7: Recessionaires cont'd
Epilogue 6: Schill quits UCLA
Epilogue 5: recessionaires
Okay, I lied. Epilogue 4
Epilogue 3: The End (really)
Epilogue 2: Nov 2007
Epilogue
The eagle has landed
Seduced by the dark side
You've been in law school too long when...
Diplomas
I have only five more class days
The lone gunman
The last spring break is over
Someone saved your life tonight
Best advice
Alumni donations
Dean Schill & the Pussymobile
Help me yet again
How time flies
January 2011
July 2010
September 2009
July 2009
September 2008
June 2008
November 2007
July 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004