That's a transcription of something she said, and I think the punctuation makes it confusing. I'm guessing she said "I listed myself in the directory in the hopes that it might mean that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group — something that might happen with people who are like I am."
So the assertion is that she used it as a way to make associations with other people, to network, with lawprofs, but this was somehow disconnected from career advancement. That's a strange line to draw and it makes her sound naive. We are talking about the years from 1986 to 1995. That's a long time, and it's a period when there was a tremendous amount of attention to the enterprise of increasing racial diversity among faculty.
(Here at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, we had Donna Shalala as our chancellor during that time period, and her central agenda — celebrated in the NYT — was "the Madison Plan," which included "doubl[ing] the number of minority faculty members by adding 70 within three years." Taking advantage of the Plan's incentives, my law school hired 4 new faculty members — all drawn from other law schools.)
Here's video of Warren attempting to field the question:
Note that she says:
"The only one as I understand it who’s raising any question about whether or not I was qualified for my job is Scott Brown and I think I am qualified and frankly I’m a little shocked to hear anybody raise a question about whether or not I’m qualified to hold a job teaching,” she said, pushing to put Brown on defense. “What does he think it takes for a woman to be qualified?”This is nonresponsive to the issue, an attempt to distract. The question is not whether she was qualified. The question is whether she tried to obtain or did obtain a special advantage, with race taken as a plus factor. In affirmative action, the concern is not whether those who are hired are qualified. It's whether the most meritorious candidate received the offer and whether race should boost one person over the next person.
Now, I assume that Professor Warren supports affirmative action within the law schools where she has worked. Ask her about it! Does she vote in favor of admissions policies that count race as a plus factor? Has she supported faculty appointments, choosing one person over another, with race as a factor? I'd be extremely surprised if she hasn't. Assuming she has, why is she acting outraged that anyone would say that it seems that it benefited her and that she sought that benefit?
By the way, does anyone think it's acceptable to check the "Native American" box on an job/admissions application based on one distant ancestor? Affirmative action isn't about genetics!