‘Ball Don’t Lie’ – What Percentage Of Biglaw Partners Are White?

“You might think you’ve peeped the scene/ You haven’t, the real one’s far too mean/ The watered down one, the one you know/ Was made up centuries ago.”   – N. Minaj, K. West

white male white man businessman partner old

In 2009 Bill Simmons, ESPN columnistand Grantland.com founder, began the popular “30 for 30” documentary series. Simmons wanted feature-filmmakers to recount intimate sports stories, people, and events that were compelling to them, but had not been fully explored by society. Each 30 for 30 show is promoted by asking the question, “What if I told you…” Consider this my “30 for 30″ literary column. [Dramatic pause] “What if I told you 92% of all Biglaw partners are white?” [Intro music, “All of the Lights” by Kanye West]

In 1986, Goldman Sachs needed or at least accepted a $500 million capital injection from Sumitomo Bank. The Japanese Bank was anxious to learn about the world of investment banking and willing to fork over $500 million for a minority stake in Goldman and the right to send two dozen interns to America to learn from America’s finest investment bankers – Goldman Sachs.

Through pure strategery, Goldman was able to persuade the Federal Reserve Board of Governors to set a quota on Japanese interns (that’s why Goldman gets paid the big bucks!) The government limited Sumitomo to two – not two dozen – interns, and Sumitomo’s two interns could stay in New York for only twelve months before rotating home. Agriculture protectionist policies don’t seem so bad now, do they? It may be hard to believe, but in the eighties many feared the Japanese were buying up America. We all arrived here differently. Our present situations are all different as well. Perhaps this is what leads to misunderstandings. But with the proper communication, it can also lead to resolutions. Some Africans were forced here, some Japanese bankers tried to enter through the back door.

Read more on AbovetheLaw.com

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