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Letters to the Editor

Above the law?

(re Bar asks appellate court to reconsider ruling on bar exam data ― July)

The California bar is resisting releasing generalized data that would in no way compromise any bar candidate’s privacy because they disagree with the content of Professor Richard Sander’s research.  His theory of mismatch in affirmative action placement is not “politically correct” and threatens the bar’s unthinking approach to diversity.

There was a time when academic research could be conducted in search of the truth.  Unfortunately today the truth cannot be sought because it may make someone uncomfortable or offend their sensibilities.

The California bar will likely appeal the unanimous reversal by the First District Court of Appeal because releasing the data will likely call into question the policy of affirmative action as applied in law schools today. The bar will seek any delay that will present a burden to those seeking to reveal a truth that is just a bit too inconvenient.

John Fowler
Azle, Texas

Another reason to gripe

This is yet another in a long list of reasons why the majority of the “members” of this organization do not support its purported “mission[s].” I would never authorize you to waste my dues money on this battle, and I hazard a guess that the majority of the members would agree with me.

There is no confidentiality issue ― names of applicants are not sought (according to this article). Why is the California bar opposing this? Normally, the California bar supports collection of data, surveys, studies, more studies, more surveys, more data. What makes this different?

Please allow the members to vote on whether they wish to continue to fund the bar as it has evolved, ignoring the interests of the majority of the members or whether they wish to implement a “split” bar, in which members who do not wish to support a political agenda may choose to support only a professional organization devoid of special interest “projects.”

Sheryl Land
San Francisco

Ban the bar

Regarding the article: “Bar seeks rehearing of decision on applicant data.” I am embarrassed to be a member of an organization that conducts itself as yours does. Where is Pete Wilson when we need him to again de-fund the State Bar?

R.A. Kuns

Could lawyers do more?

The Tyrone Wilson story (July) is an interesting challenge for society. One of the reasons we celebrate his accomplishments is because we realize these success stories in the foster care system are rare. The question is: Where will we find skilled and financially stable parents for foster children? 

Lawyers rarely, extremely rarely, consider providing care for foster children. Who better to fight for educational placements and services than those skilled in the law? Who better to work with governmental agencies than those who understand public policy and the requirements for agencies to meet certain legal requirements? These children and youth have their own appointed lawyers, and numerous policy lawyers who are happy to speak for them, but why not a lawyer who lives and cares for them 24/7? 

I am a lawyer who came into the bar at an older age. Before I was a lawyer I was a foster parent for many years. Becoming a lawyer did not change my foster parent status, but it did allow me an entirely different view of the process. It is not easy to advocate for your own children (which is what they are to me), but at least it levels the playing field. My children, all seven of them at present, are very happy to have a mom who is a lawyer. They constantly ask what their rights are and have an expectation that they have an “in” to getting things done, in a fair and legal manner, at school and in life. 

How awesome it would be to see other lawyers step up to the plate, take a swing at parenting these children, and help them hit their successes out of the park!

Lois A. Raap
Los Gatos

A thoughtful president

A quick note to thank State Bar President Bill Hebert for the high quality of his monthly editorial opinions. I’ve been practicing for over 20 years, and read the Bar Journal faithfully. I have never gotten so much out of the State Bar President’s monthly message. Mr. Hebert is obviously a superior and concise writer and his subjects are salient and have broad appeal. 

For the first time in my legal career, I look forward to the President’s message and it is the first thing I read (although this month, I read the Tyrone Wilson’s inspiring story first). Thanks, Bill, and keep up the good and informative work.

M. Francesca Hannan


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