Thursday, November 30, 2006

Discrimination among lawyers?

I've finally realized what's been bugging me about this study of the failures of black lawyers to achieve partnership at major law firms. The study, reported in the New York Times, compared the success rates of white men, white women and blacks in obtaining partnership at large law firms. In short, white men are on top, white women are doing ok, while black do poorly. Hispanics do almost as poorly, and as usual, it isn't mentioned that Asians have the highest grades and do well.

The Times article, and the study, by Richard Sander, don't separate blacks into male and female. That would be a much more useful measure that could separate the effects of race and sex, since women frequently give up or pause careers to raise children. (Or not, as the numbers would show.)

The study itself is worth reading. It is well written and there are more than 20 tables summarizing his statistical analysis. There is a good discussion here.