Monthly Archives: November 1968

1968.11.25: Prof. Letwin Calls for Goal of 25% Minority Student Enrollment (UCLA Docket)

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1969.11.25 -- Prof. Letwin Calls for Goal of 25% Minority Student Enrollment -- UCLA Docket_Page_1 1969.11.25 -- Prof. Letwin Calls for Goal of 25% Minority Student Enrollment -- UCLA Docket_Page_2

UCLA Docket
November 25, 1968
Page 1

Prof. Letwin Calls for Goal of 25% Minority Student Enrollment
by Jim Birmingham

Increasing the percentage of minority group members in the student body of this law school is clearly a goal which has attracted much attention recently. Unfortunately, few of the persons discussing the problem have given it much serious thought. Those who have studied the issue tend to be reticent in discussing the imp licatioi1s of such a program.

One of the less reticent scholars in this field may be Professor Leon Letwin, who recently addressed the Conference of California Law Schools on some aspects of this topic.

(This Conference, composed of 13 of the State’s 14 accredited law schools, authorized Dean Richard Maxwell to petition the national Council on Legal Educational Opportunities for two summer programs in the state next year, with an enrollment of 120 students. Last summer’s UCLA program for 40 students was one of four in the nation.)

Letwin called for a goal of minority student enrollment approximating the population ratio in the external community. Using California as a base this would mean a rate of between 20 to 25% of the incoming student body. He feels this could be achieved in a few years.

Unofficial Opinions

Letwin, however, is careful when stating such goals to label them as personal. He emphasizes that his views are not official statements of Law School policy or of the Admissions and Standards Committee, of which he is chairman. Even the student members of this committee seem to share the feeling that it is too early to discuss possible committee recommendations.

This hesitancy is understandable only when the observer understands some of the related questions raised by this goal. Thus, for instance, while Letwin seems to feel that it would not be too many years before Black and Chicano students could be found in sufficient number to meet the traditional law school admission requirements, he suggests that these may not be the requirements appropriate for “community lawyers.”

Pointing out that the Law School Admission Test is not designed to measure the ability to work with and understand community problems, Letwin suggests that community leadership, tenacity and identification may be more valid criteria. In the same vein he suggests that after these students are admitted we should be thinking about the curriculum and testing methods against which they will be measured.

Changes Needed

This latter point opens up the question of the effect minority students will have on both the faculty and their fellow students, as Letwin suggested in his Conference remarks. Certainly the limited-time written examination system. bears not much more relevance to the actual working situation of an attorney in the white-anglo community than it would to the Black or Chicano practitioner. And an enriched curriculum and more diversified faculty might offer equal advantages to all groups.

While certain “problems” might be unique for the minority student there are a broad range of problems which clearly cut across the field of goals and aspirations of the entire student body and faculty.

For instance, if admission standards may be revised for minority students, shouldn’t they be revised for all new students? If these admission standards are changed, what effect will this have on the argument now advocated by some students that grades should be abolished on the theory that the admission procedure is selective enough to warrant the presumption that you must be good enough to succeed if you were good enough to be admitted?

1968.11.17: Keep Eldridge Free – Free Huey P. Newton Freedom Rally

View in searchable PDF format: 1968-1969 Dick Wasserstrom at BPP Freedom Rally

Screenshot 2016-06-20 21.05.15

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Keep Eldridge Free :I5 i e Huey P. Newton 55

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1968.11.12: Law School Conferences — ‘Step in the right direction’ (UCLA Daily Bruin)

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UCLA Daily Bruin, November 12, 1968

Law School Conferences — ‘Step in the right direction’

By Dan Ritkes
DB Cub Assoc. News Editor

The Conference of California Law Schools was held last weekend without incident, as the expected pickets were called off at the last minute by Ralph Ochoa, president of the Mexican-American-Indian Law Students Assoc.

Richard Maxwell, dean of the law school here, called the meeting of deans, students and faculty members from the 13 accredited California law schools. They discussed ways of increasing statewide law school minority enrollment, in relation to the Council of Legal Education Opportunities (CLEO) program. 

Discussion centered on 1) the urgent need to expand the number of black and brown attorneys in California, 2) ways of revising law school admission techniques so that qualified black and brown students could get into law school, and 3) on the means of providing necessary financial aid for such students. 

Plans made by the minority law students association to picket the meeting were abandoned because their representatives agreed to the conference was a step in the right direction. However they are skeptical of further action by the schools in solving minority recruitment problems.

Gerald Brown, vice president of the student group, said, “I’m keeping my fingers crossed; I like what I’ve heard, but I’m skeptical of what will be done beyond this conference.”

Ricardo Munoz and Tom Sanchez, the other representatives, agreed that the conference might be used by the administrators as an excuse to “finesse their way out of further action.”

Leon Letwin, a law professor here, stated that during the conference the law students “expressed their views effectively,” and according to Maxwell, “They participated in the conference as much as the faculty members.”

Though the recruitment of minority students appears to be of great concern to the various law schools, Ralph Ochoa explained that the administrators generally use the term “minority students” to mean “black minority students,” and rarely include Mexican American students. 

“Interest at the UCLA law school, and other schools generally means interest in the black community; their efforts tend to exclude the chicanos,” he said.

Statistic show a rise in admission of minority law students. “In 1966 there were only two or three minority students in the law school, and in 1967, ten blacks and four Chicanos were admitted. In the current first year class, 15 Chicanos 20 blacks and three American Indians amounted to 12 per cent of the entering class.

While Ochoa said he is the only third year Chicano student out of a class of 197, Letwin explained that there are no blacks in the third year.

In a report to the conference, Letwin pointed out the tremendous need for a greater number of minority law students to serve their communities.

“There were only 180 Mexican American law students enrolled in the United States, compared to a population of about five million,” he said.

In regard to the black students the report stated, “There were only some 1200 black students enrolled in the law schools throughout the nation during 1968, and about 500 of them were enrolled in Howard and other traditionally black law schools.”