Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The politics of law school

There are mornings when I confess this project -- meaning not just this blog, but the whole effort to do anything at all about the current state of legal education -- feels like a complete waste of time. This is one of them.  Basically I hate politics: prior to 2008 the sum total of my participation in electoral politics had consisted of voting intermittently in national elections.  I hate petitions and marches and rallies, and I especially hate meetings and committees and trying to organize anything. I don't like to join groups and I'm bad with details. At bottom I'm a socially irresponsible person who would like to be left alone. (In other words the only jobs I'm suited for are being an academic and a writer.)

In short I'm pretty much exactly the wrong person to be doing this kind of thing, which in its own way is a nice little comment on how screwed up legal academia is -- if somebody like me is carrying the flag for law school reform, then the law school reform movement needs way more help than its currently getting from legal academics, which obviously it does.

But hey, it's like rain on your wedding day: it turns out that all my academic work has ended up being about how you can't get away from politics, whether in law or medicine or really anything else in this crazy mixed world of ours where the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans.  And even though I hate politics and don't believe in politicians and would rather think esoteric thoughts about obscure subjects I somehow ended up writing a syndicated column every week for ten years, which naturally had to be mostly about politics.  It all sounds rather neurotic when I write it down, but such is life.

Of course the really screwed up guy is your uber-wanker law professor, who has so little self-awareness that he would die of shock if he ever had an inkling that his whole career can be explained by the fact he had the crap beat out of him in high school, and so he's spent the last 30 years trying to get back at the cool kids, by becoming one himself, in the one place in the universe where someone like him could be mistaken for somebody who matters.  (Just kidding! Sort of).

So now I'm all tangled up with the politics of law school, which are particularly annoying and distasteful, precisely because people in the legal academy go to great lengths to deny those politics, which is to say they deny the political nature of what they do every day.  Ironically --again! -- a huge amount of what goes on in law school is a futile attempt to patrol the non-existent border between law and politics, for the purposes of legitimation (in law, politics is something that's always supposed to be happening somewhere else, but somehow always ends up happening right here and now).

And obviously this just doesn't apply to the material we teach: it applies to our jobs, which have now become political in what should be an extremely obvious and disturbing way.  We are cogs in a machine that is now doing way more damage to our students and graduates than it was doing not that long ago (not that everything was all ponies and rainbows in 1990), because of decisions that we've made, or more often stood by passively while they were being made by others.

Which brings me to the issue of the Law School Transparency Petition.  A couple of people have asked for updates on how it's going, and the answer is, at least as far as legal academics go, not very well.  Now it's true that only about a third of the 200 ABA law schools have been contacted directly about it so far -- the rest should get it by the end of the week -- and I'm sure that, despite various mentions in the media, and even on a law professor's blog, the vast majority of legal academics haven't heard about it yet (Of course one reason they haven't heard about it is that they don't want to hear about things like this, so they -- we -- go out of our way not to).

Still. Signing this thing is, to be fair, about the least burdensome, least controversial thing somebody in this business could do, to signal that they're not OK with the status quo.  Look I hate petitions too (see supra). They accomplish almost nothing. But you know what's worse than doing almost nothing? Doing nothing.

So if you're reading this and think that maybe it would be a good thing for more people in the law school business to make a tiny gesture that they recognize everything really isn't so great in our little world, send a link to the petition to somebody in legal academia, and ask them to sign it and pass it on.  And if they won't, you might even ask them why.

On a cheerier note, it appears this project may keep one or two kids in Hong Kong from making a bad mistake (the linked article is behind a pay wall, but it explains why American law schools are bad investments for a large proportion of people who go to them right now, with citations to me as an authority figure on the subject, LOL).  So that's something.


  1. Sorry to hear things aren't going so great. Like I said, 100 is an ambitious target, and you're just going to have to push it and push it to get that many signatures. This means touting it at conferences. This means calling people up to ask whether they will sign it. You can't expect students to do this because professorial displeasure is - rightly or wrongly - a much greater concern for them.

    What kind of feed-back are you getting? are people really refusing to sign because they think it's 'political'?

  2. PS - My suggestion is that you should realise that, like a 2L student, you've bought into this thing so far that you might as well see it through, watch some 80's-era action-movie montages to get you into the right mood, and start pestering some fellow profs about the petition.

  3. What law schools teach that there is a strict boundary between law and politics? Maybe they did that 70 years ago. The Realists took care of that. Isn't that the critique of the modern law school, that it teaches that all law is politics?

    If legal academics "haven't heard about it" it's because they "don't want to hear" about it? I think people who read and write blogs overestimate how much other people read blogs. I read them. But most of my friends do not, and there is nothing wrong with that. There is no duty to read blogs. People say that reading blogs is a waste of time. The people I know who read blogs, dip in only occasionally. They read other things and get their news from other sources. This blog has not had enough coverage in the media to think that lots of people have heard of it.

    Some of the commenters here sound as if they think the whole world is watching. If they are watching anything closely now it's how the world economy is crashing around us with no end in sight.

  4. Why can't we get a story on ATL about this petition? This would be much more interesting than most of the crap that has been newsworthy there recently.

  5. They have written about it. But again, there is no reason to think that legions of people in academia are reading ATL on a daily basis.

  6. There are a lot of law students on this blog. Go start something with your fellow students. Put some pressure on your teachers.

  7. @ 7:34: re: this - "Some of the commenters here sound as if they think the whole world is watching. If they are watching anything closely now it's how the world economy is crashing around us with no end in sight."

    Yes. This is what makes it difficult to know how seriously to take the claims made here that, effectively, attending any law school outside the T14 is a "scam" for most people (and, if some of the commenters are to be believed, even attending T14 schools may be a "scam" for some people.) The truth is, for those of us who graduated in the 2004-06 range, there were no complaints about scams. I was a T14 attendee, but everyone I knew at lower-ranked schools who graduated in my year has a decent job (70-80K+, unless they voluntarily went the non-profit route). I also know several people who were at local T2 schools -- from the main office of the V25 biglaw firm where I used to work. This is not to say that everyone graduating in 2004-06 was equally thrilled with their law school experience or is currently enthralled with their job -- though the people who seem least enthralled are the biglaw associates, whatever law school they attended. But it just seemed that in the good economy of the middle of the last decade, the worst of the charges now leveled by the scamblogs did not arise -- i.e., the allegation that many ABA-accredited law schools, even T100, exist only because they have successfully deceived their students that they will receive non-existent jobs.

    That makes me wonder how much of the scamblog movement is simply based on the fact that the economy is bad. I.e., an astounding array of people in most sectors are underemployed or unemployed and the barriers to entry in virtually all fields are higher across-the-board than ever before. I wonder how much of this is being blamed on law schools because they are convenient scapegoats -- and because, when some of the classes worst-affected by the economy were deciding whether to attend law school, they would have seen data from good years. (E.g., 2009 might have seen 2006-07 data.)

    All this by way of saying, I'm reading with interest, but for me to be convinced that the "scam" is of the magnitude described, the employment problems chronicled will have to persist in their current form even after the general economy has recovered.

    (The problems described here concerning the pedagogical shortcomings of legal education are separate -- and while they need addressing, they are not the chief focus of the "scamblog" crowd. As several have pointed out here, even if legal education had been tailored to prepare them spectacularly well for practical careers - what most seem to have wanted - that would still get them nowhere if they did not have job offers at the end of their JDs.)

  8. I'm an 05 grad from a top 50 school. Things were certainly better in those days , but the bimodal salary distribution was very much present and law schools were obscuring it with reports of "average" salaries that few people got. Most of my friends also got jobs, but typical pay was 35 to 45. They told us the average was about 65.

  9. @9:36: Excellent points. Plus, see below (from today's Above the Law). Word *is* getting out to prospective law students, applications have declined nearly ten per cent, and students are making choices about where, or whether, to attend law school based, in part, on the huge costs involved and the currently crummy job market.


    @LawProf: Please don't give up. Even to the extent that the above article and others in the news reveal some degree of awareness among prospective law students, I think it is REALLY important that law professors themselves are aware of what their students are facing -- and of what role their law school might be playing in compounding the problems.

  10. As I predicted the petition will fail. You are dealing with criminals who willfully commit fraud to steal federal money from kids. You need a physical confrontation such as protests to effect a change.

  11. @LawProf: Please don't give up.

    Yes. Increasing awareness among prospective law students is a valuable goal in itself. Any college junior who is at least inqusitive enough to type "is law school worth it" into a search engine should be hit on the first page of results with scamblogs -- preferably including this one, since your status as a law school professor makes your scamblog particularly persuasive.

    Topics such as bad data, misleading disclosures, inflated promises, self-serving arguments, non-dischargeable debt, non-existent jobs, who should not go to law school, etc., should be pounded again and again and again. Repetition in small doses is a virtue on the Internet.

  12. Graduate applications are down in business schools, too. Applications have risen slightly in other graduate programs, but actual enrollments in those programs have fallen. People applied, but decided not to go. The declines are not just in law school. A "word" is getting out, but it's about the economy overall, not just the legal sector.

  13. "But you know what's worse than doing almost nothing? Doing nothing."

    No, what's worse is doing nothing while fooling yourself that you're doing something. This petition, at best, will just serve at assuaging the guit of tenured profs who profit off the backs of indebted serfs.

  14. "@LawProf: Please don't give up."

    In other words, "LawProf, you put yourself out there, write a blog, start a petition, mail it out and do a bunch of other stuff while I sacrifice absolutely nothing."

  15. @1:21 - its the least he can do. If you can't understand why then you have more problems than your faulty logic.

  16. Fine, it's the least he can do, but what's stopping you from doing a single thing?

  17. @9:36 a.m.:

    That there are no jobs in spite of the investment made by students is not the fault of law schools.

    Law schools' faults begin with their commingling "decent jobs" in the law with jobs that no one would attend law school to get, and using a median starting salary figure to make what is really an unusually high salary seem representative for graduates.

    If the problem weren't structural, then I have a hard time believing that law schools would so vehemently fight any effort to separate their employment reporting into jobs where a J.D. is necessary, merely preferred or irrelevant. (Or to provide any measure of graduates' salaries less misleading than a median, in a world where most people make slightly more than a B.A. and a few make in excess of $100,000; see also the work of Bill Henderson on the bimodal salary distribution curve.)

    If law schools made full disclosure, then the "scam" would end, at least to the extent of law schools making an effort to convince people that post-law school employment is better than it really is. The difference between now and 2005 is that there are enough of us unemployed or underemployed that we find it more difficult to accept full blame for this, especially when the employed-at-graduation and employed-within-9-months rates barely fluctuated in these schools' reporting during what most view as a major collapse in legal employment.

  18. Nando was right. Lawprof is totally useless and, at this point, is probably hurting the pursuit of the scam blog movement more than he is helping.

    Deans and law professors need to be vilified and thrown in jail as any other corrupt, white-collar criminal. Law prof wants to save them all despite the damage they have already caused by their inaction.

    What happens to the officers and directors of public companies that issue misleading statements (knowingly or unknowingly) and fail to take action to correct them? We prosecute the shit out of them and throw them in jail. Most people understand that that kind of corporate corruption is extremely harmful to society. Furthermore, the truth is not a defense. A misleading statement can still be true.

    We don't tell the old folk that they should have done their due diligence and researched the shit out of a company before buying its stock. We don't tell them, "No reasonable person would take numbers that the prospectus seriously." Why is there so much apathy for students who have been encouraged by their elders to invest in their education only to find out that they have been scammed harder than your average retiree?

    The law school scam is really no different than Enron--there's just a lot more participants salivating and scheming over that easy government money.

    Law schools have become cancerous institutions in our society and the problem will never be adequately fixed. Generally, you don't cure cancer, you die from it.

  19. 4:12, I agree with you that the job placement manipulation is criminal fraud, and of a very serious kind since it defrauds the federal government. However, I think LawProf is - at worst - harmless. I don't think he will accomplish much since he is one lone voice in the wilderness and he is getting absolutely zero support from any of the law school scam crowd (who are such cowards that they dare not look a law school Dean in the eye, never mind confront them in person with a demand to sign the petition). Since he is getting no support, I imagine he will give up in a few months. Just my prediction.

  20. Lawprof, I don't really see how a blog like this can exist in perpetuity anyway. You've done a great service already, and it isn't your duty or responsibility to take this any further than you already have. Someday soon, you will have made the case in its entirety. When that happens, I think you should retire this blog, but leave it for future people to find and read.

  21. @ 4:12

    While his law school petition won't amount to anything, I disagree that he is "hurting" the scamblog movement. Its not like his calling for schools to sign the petition calling for greater transparency PRECLUDES other actions that can be taken you know.

    I would say his contribution lies is validating what the scambloggers have been saying. As a sitting LawProf who basically agrees with almost everything they've said, its a lot harder to just dismiss the scambloggers claims as coming from "entitled, whiny losers".

  22. I think the law schools best argument against the scambloggers is that they are shiftless, lazy, do-nothing, frightened agoraphobes and that this is why they don't have jobs.

    Let me put it this way, if you had a problem and you needed a lawyer, would you hire a lawyer whose solution would be to complain by posting an anonymous blog and comments on the internet? No.

  23. 4:12 here.
    Sorry for the typos. I meant to write: "No reasonable person would take the numbers that prospectus presents seriously."

    Anyway, I don't think Lawprof should be thrown in jail. He's definitely not the bad guy here; he's a good guy. But the more I think about this petition thing, the more I think how lame it really is.

    I believe the reason why most law students aren't publicly speaking out against their Deans and Profs is because they still have hope. Law students know how dire their situation is, but they still cling to this belief that they will be saved from a life of abject poverty by a dues ex machina law professors like to call "networking." This petition just gives us law losers another smidgen of false hope. We need to let go of that belief and have some fun.

    We're already fucked. The only thing we have to fear is default itself.

    I don't want to stroke that roid-raging guy's ego, but has anybody given some serious thought to a protest?

    Maybe go to a school's orientation and present the grim facts to those 0Ls? Or crash a school's "How to Network for 1Ls" lunch event. Or start spamming the Deans' mailbox for "donations." Or maybe make some Nando style brochures of all the different law schools, put some real numbers in them, include some "opportunities" in toilet law and doc review, and then hand them out to undergrads on college campuses.

    Any thoughts?

  24. "Of course the really screwed up guy is your uber-wanker law professor, who has so little self-awareness that he would die of shock if he ever had an inkling that his whole career can be explained by the fact he had the crap beat out of him in high school, and so he's spent the last 30 years trying to get back at the cool kids, by becoming one himself, in the one place in the universe where someone like him could be mistaken for somebody who matters."

    LOL. Even if they provide no other value, the posts on this blog are hilarious and entertaining.

  25. "Maybe go to a school's orientation and present the grim facts to those 0Ls?"

    Could you imagine that? Prior years' classes crashing and protesting this year's orientation? Videotaping it and posting it on youtube and all that? It would never happen, but it's inspiring to imagine it.

  26. Just for funzies, an argument why the petition might actually hurt the movement, similar to the point made by @12:08.

    Let's talk about retirement savings! Say you're a company and you want to encourage your employees to save for retirement, and your target amount is 5%.

    You can start a program that automatically deducts money from employees' paychecks and puts it into a retirement program, and employees can opt out or pick a different amount. You just set the default.

    With the options of a 5% default, a 2% default, and no auto-contribution, the 5% default results in the greatest amount of savings.

    Now here's the counter-intuitive thing, a default of no contribution results in greater savings than the 2%. At 2%, some people choose to save more, but a lot just stay at the default. At 0%, more people save nothing, but also more people save the optimal 5%.

    Now, back to law professors and the petition. Imagine a professor who feels somewhat bad about transparency and jobs and all that, and wants to do something. So, he sees the petition, thinks "hey! that's something!" signs it, and then when the issue of law school scams comes up again, he can think "oh, I'm one of the good guys, I signed that petition."

    Some people might be inspired to do more because of the petition, and the petition itself could possibly have the intended effect. But, looking at academia's history of stopping at token gestures, the petition could possibly be worse than doing nothing at all.

  27. @5:55: The problem with protests is that they tend to not create the desired the result, and inevitably the most extreme, idiotic member of the bunch ends up the face of the movement, causing it to lose credibility.

  28. Fair point, BL1Y. But would a protest make our situation worse?

    We already look like idiots for having JDs on our resume. Almost every person who has a hard science, math, engineering, or computer science background laughs at a law degree as being an education in English for people who don't read good and like to talk a lot. Now, I even think that the majority of JD holders are idiots who couldn't handle the rigor of a real subject. (I'm really starting to hate myself.)

    I am being serious though. How can we lose credibility when we don't have it in the first place?

    How can you take a person seriously who borrows 150k of taxpayer money to get a phrenology degree and lives in his grandparents' basement afterwards because he can't payback his loans, and then complains online about his situation anonymously? At least when the old folks get scammed, they lose their own money and die soon afterwards.

    The best we can come up with the to fix this problem is suffer silently, killself, or sign a petition? Fuck man, it's like we're trying to use BB guns to break apart boulders.

    And when I say "We're" I mean you BL1Y, Lawprof,the Scam Bloggers, and the others. I'm the guy complaining about my situation from my grandmother's basement.

  29. I think you may have lost sight of who the audience is. The scamblogs aren't attempting to win the favor of science and math majors.

    The issue of image is mostly relevant in regards to how the movement looks to the professoriate, the ABA, and 0Ls.

    I think the LST people are a good model for what the movement should try to be, intelligent and presenting a well reasoned position.

    The scambloggers always like to point to Nando and credit the toilet pictures for getting attention for the movement, but I think his tactics are overhyped. LST got attention on its own merits. Phila Lawyer has written about the failures of law school and the profession. Bitter Lawyer did a lot on that front. I was getting decent traffic on my site with the 50 Reasons Not to Go to Law School.

    There's a lot more to do other than be silent, killself, or post anonymously. You can find people who aren't at risk of losing a job and ask them to write non-anonymously. And, when writing anonymously, you can present facts, arguments, and ideas in a way that will have broader appeal and won't just be dismissed as sophomoric ramblings.

  30. This blog set a world record for becoming tedious and boring. Signing off.

  31. Will this generation's Mario Savio please stand up?

    You can incessantly and anonymously complain about your plight. Or you can do something about it.

    Don't tell the world that this generation of newly minted lawyers is screwed. Show the world. Don't post comments about the opacity of law school employment and salary numbers. Use social networks to aggregate employment information yourself. You don't need salaries to know someone's job doesn't require a JD. Generate your own employment report for one of the law schools with a cheerleader dean or professor. Write a letter, demand a hearing, gather the information and publicly dare them to prove you wrong. Shame them, if they have any shame. Use your fertile imagination.

    Aggregate the salaries of an entire law school faculty and administration. Then divide that amount by the number of the school's 2011 graduates with LinkedIn-confirmed JD-level employment. Wouldn't that be an interesting number? What does that tell you about that school's usefulness to society?

    Show the world the financial ruination brought upon thousands of human beings toiling under a financially crippling amount of student loan debt. Student loan debt isn't slavery. But student loans are different than virtually all other types of debt because they aren't dischargeable in bankruptcy. So while a crippling amount of student loan debt isn't slavery - in a certain functional sense it's not much different because you don't own the fruit of your own labor for so long as YOU ARE OWNED. If you are not motivated to work within the system to right this kind of awesome wrong perpetrated on yourself, then why did you go to law school?

    I would do this myself, but my employment experience is the exception that proves the rule and entices the naive. Judging by many of the comments on here, clearly this blog is followed by young, intelligent, articulate and aggrieved individuals. If you find yourself trapped within the rule with some free time on your hands, do something about it.

    Prof. Campos won't be able to, nor eventually will he want to, run this blog forever. A great deal of time and energy goes into a post that you read in a few minutes. He can lead a horse to water . . .

    This issue is a thunderstorm that needs a lightning rod. Who will put their body upon the gears?

  32. BL1Y, I wasn't trying to make a point about winning favor with the math and science majors.

    The point I was trying to make is how could our situation be made worse if some idiot became the face of the movement? If the protest ends up failing, we will still remain unemployed and, for the most part, unemployable.

    Unlike other degrees, when a JD appears on a resume, it signals very loudly to the reviewer: Warning applicant is an idiot!

    A protest, successful or not, is not going to change that perception. So what have we got to lose?

  33. BL1Y, That is the dumbest analogy I have ever heard, but now that I know you worked in ERISA that explains a lot.

  34. "You can find people who aren't at risk of losing a job and ask them to write non-anonymously."

    Exactly, "you" can. Unfortunately, you in the law school scam crowd refers to internet nerds who are afraid to talk to people in real life. Have any of you asked a single professor to sign the petition? No.

  35. "A protest, successful or not, is not going to change that perception. So what have we got to lose?"

    Let me see: Panic attacks, crying in fear, hyperventilation, running away so fast they risk getting run over by a car . . . the standard responses nerds have to situations requiring a backbone.

    Did you ever see the Wizard of Oz? Think of the Lion, but without the formidable exterior.

  36. @8:51: I got an incomplete in my ERISA class, never practiced it.

    @8:45: Well, there's one of the problems with the movement. There's multiple problems and multiple aims. Just because something won't help people who have already graduated doesn't mean it shouldn't be done to help future students.

    Helping people who've already graduated with crap prospects and huge debt ...that really is the toughest issue I think, and I'm not sure what can be done other than trying to help people find their way on a case-by-case basis.

  37. Actually I take that back. Actually, you need to imagine an agoraphobic cowardly lion who, rather than at least confront people before running in fear, was limited to posting anonymous blogs and comments about them! Anonymous blogs and comments that nobody read because they did not matter.

    Take these scenes and replace the actual IRL confrontations with images of the cowardly lion posting at his computer:



    This community is so pathetic. You know what's probably true? The law schools that scammed you probably helped you in the long run, because had you not been under their protection you would have been scammed ten times worse.

  38. You think there's a conman out there that could have convinced me to borrow $1,500,000 in taxpayer money for a shit product?

    I'm going to call bullshit. I think law Dean is the ultimate conman.

  39. The law school scam is so brilliant. One ingenious aspect is how they weed out all the unruly by administering the LSAT. You think some street thugian would have the patience to do those problems? Hell no. They would get a 130, which is good because had a street thugian been scammed by law school the Dean's house would resemble this horror story:


    I'm not condoning such actions in any way in case it's not clear, but look at what a mob of street thugs did to this poor guy over nothing. You don't want to look at people like this the wrong way, never mind scam them.

    The genius of the law school scam is that they design a careful admissions process precisely so they won't have to worry about dealing with people like this. The LSAT weeds them out and replaces them with nice, studious, docile types. Perfect victims for the scam. Genius. Pure genius.

  40. @ 7:23 - I'm not part of the scam movement, but I'm a J.D. holder...who also has a hard science B.S. I'm proud of both my degrees, but to be honest, I worked harder for the J.D. degree. I was raised by parents who emphasized math and science, made sure I had lots of science/engineering enrichment classes, etc. I found multivariable calculus, physical chemistry, and advanced organic synthesis to be relatively easy and fun to navigate (well, maybe P Chem gave me a run for my money at times...), and graduating summa cum laude wasn't too difficult to pull off. In contrast, studying the intricacies of Federal Courts and Administrative Law were much more of a challenge for me. Don't get me wrong, law school was definitely doable...but it kept me in the library at 2 AM a lot more than my undergraduate degree did. I'm not sure where you went to law school or how rigorous you found my degree, but law school was the most intellectually intense and ultimately rewarding (even if at the time, it sometimes felt so demanding as to be frustrating) three year period I've ever had. It may also be that it was harder for me than for some of you because my ENTIRE background was science-focused, and I didn't enter law school with much humanities or social science training. (So I don't think that it's as simple as, "Science types are so smart, they could handle whatever courses easily, including law...but we JDs are sorta mentally challenged and obviously could never handle science." I think we're dealing with two different skillsets, and people who switch between them in either direction may have some initial difficulties.)

    As for science majors laughing at JDs for "being an education in English for people who don't read good and like to talk a lot" ... well, that one can go both ways. The undergraduate writing requirement for my science major was - get this - a whopping TWO 2,000 word papers. That's it. And many of my fellow chemistry majors, who were not especially articulate writers or argument-crafters, shunned humanities classes that would have bolstered their writing skills ... because they didn't think they would do very well in them. At my university, the humanities students actually teased us due to their perception - which was accurate in many cases - that we were weak writers.

    So yeah...in my experience, it's not quite so straightforward a duality as "Scientists smart, attorneys stoopid."

  41. 9:26, basically you worked way harder than you needed to. Yes, the law can be extremely complex and solving a legal question can be something akin to an unbelievably complex mathematical network problem. However, you don't need to give the objectively right answer to law school questions, you merely need to give the answer the professor thinks is right, which can be easily done by getting their outlines. If you have the right outline, you can cram for a few days and do better than someone who studied day and night for the course.

  42. Let me give you an example 9:26. A lawyer once told me that with a particular judge, he decides when to object based on a particular facial expression the judge makes. This strategy is extremely succesful, far more successful than a strategy based on a mastery of evidence law (yes, you could fight the judge, do an interlocutory appeal and all that but practically you can't). The same kind of dynamic is found in law school, and indeed in the real world practice of law. It's not an objective science. It's mostly human discretion.

  43. "Deans and law professors need to be vilified and thrown in jail as any other corrupt, white-collar criminal. Law prof wants to save them all despite the damage they have already caused by their inaction."

    Right. Good luck with that.

    "Generally, you don't cure cancer, you die from it."

    Please tell everyone which hospital you work at so they can avoid going there.

  44. You're right FOARP. I was being too melodramatic. Maybe after you guys fix this law school problem we can keep that momentum going and get a petition underway for more corporate transparency and accountability.

  45. @9:26: I'm always surprised by people who say how challenging law school was and how it really changed the way they think.

    Maybe it's because I have a background in analytical philosophy, but I found only a few of the concepts to be at all challenging, and I don't recall ever being in the library studying at 2am ...or at home studying at 2am either.

    Honestly, my undergraduate program was far more intellectually rigorous.

  46. Maybe it's because I have a background in analytical philosophy, but I found only a few of the concepts to be at all challenging, and I don't recall ever being in the library studying at 2am ...or at home studying at 2am either.

    Yeah count me in there as well. As an undergrad double-major in Biology and Philosophy, law school is proving to be a joke (even doing so with an A average)

  47. People who go to law school from objective sciences find it to be a struggle, because they are looking to turn law into a science - which is an incredibly challenging problem.

    People who go from bullshit majors (humanities, philosophy etc.) into law school see it for what it is, more bullshit, and they play the same bullshit game they played in undergrad.


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