Saturday, September 25, 2004

Some AALS Data Documenting Preferential Treatment

In earlier posts I’ve described how the American Association of Law Schools facilitates sexual and racial discrimination against candidates for law school teaching, suggested that in so doing it disadvantages law schools that have mostly minority faculty, also argued against affording preferential treatment on the basis of mere genes, and offered outreach and education reform as an alternative policy. But I’m not done! I still plan to write about whom properly bears the most blame for discriminating against pale-skinned males who want to become law professors (hint: neither women nor minorities) and who such discrimination hurts the most (hint: not those self-same males). Here, though, I’d like to follow up on my earlier claim to have detailed data indicating, contrary to what some people believe, that law schools in fact do tend to disfavor pale-skinned males in hiring.

The AALS itself very helpfully provides that data. It has for many years tracked how often the various sorts of candidates listed in its Faculty Appointments Register actually land law school teaching jobs. Its Statistical Report on Law School Faculty And Candidates for Law Faculty Positions (2002-03), compares the success rates of men and women from the 1990-91 hiring season to the 2001-02 one (go here and scroll down to Table 7B). In brief, that data shows that in all but one (1995-96) of those twelve hiring seasons, women candidates fared better than men ones did. Averaging over the twelve years, women candidates got hired 13.9 % of the time, whereas men candidates got hired only 11.3 % of the time.

The effect of preferential treatment really jumps out in the data comparing the relative success of minority and non-minority candidates from 1990-91 to 2001-02 (go here and scroll down to Table 7C). In all but one (1997-98) of those twelve hiring seasons, minority candidates fared better than non-minority ones. Averaging over the twelve years, minority candidates got hired 17.2 % of the time, whereas men candidates got hired only 11.8 % of the time.

Uh, oh. The kids need breakfast! I’ll try to follow up later with more data and analysis. There’s interesting data specifically about the success (or, more properly, failure) of non-minority males candidates, and I really need to talk about the prospects of a regression analysis. That ought to be enough to get your started on your own number-crunching, and consequent ruminations, however.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The marginals are prima fasciae compelling but, as you suggest, you'd really need a regression analysis for compelling proof since merely looking at the marginals implicitly assumes equal qualifications. If, hypothetically, white males were less likely than average to serve on law reviews or had lower class rank, etc, then these figures would not indicate discrimination against white males. On the other hand, if they tend have higher qualifications than average, then these rates in fact understate discrimination.

For instance, in college admissions, different demographic groups typically have comparable admissions rates to selective schools -- it's only when one controls for GPA and SAT that redistributive discrimination jumps out. For Various Center for Equal Opportunity reports have published logits.

Gabriel Rossman