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(Salon)   This just in: Law schools are greedy, useless, and toxic, especially since the legal profession is in disarray   (salon.com) divider line 148
    More: Obvious, Chicago School, value proposition, neoliberals, efficient markets, law schools, rational choice theory, rule of law, torts  
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6087 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Nov 2013 at 5:15 PM (35 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-24 02:21:35 PM
Thanks for that bulletin, Ric.
blogs.citypages.com
 
2013-11-24 02:26:38 PM
It's so cute how the author completely avoids the main point of universities (of any sort) these days. It's a make-work program that is administration/staff heavy, making tons of $$. The problem in law school is the same as it is in any university.
 
2013-11-24 02:31:48 PM
No. shiat.

/3L
 
2013-11-24 03:09:17 PM
That...was an overly verbose piece. Allow me to simplify:

1. Law school tuition is high, and continuing to rise in excess of inflation
2. This is in spite of the fact that the job market for attorneys stinks and isn't likely to improve soon
3. This is because law school is the only way out for entitled upper middle class kids who think they're rare and special and who were stupid enough to get dead-end liberal arts degrees. Besides, they just think that makes it more of a challenge
4. The law schools don't seem to feel bad about this.
5. A bunch of whining about teaching models and WHARRGARRBLLL that even people who went to law school don't care about
6. Therefore, money is bad and law schools should feel bad. But won't.
 
2013-11-24 04:00:50 PM

Rincewind53: No. shiat.

/3L


/22 years as criminal defense apologist
 
2013-11-24 04:02:24 PM

whistleridge: 3. This is because law school is the only way out for entitled upper middle class kids who think they're rare and special and who were stupid enough to get dead-end liberal arts degrees. Besides, they just think that makes it more of a challenge


They should try business school.
 
2013-11-24 04:22:19 PM
I am totally shocked.
 
2013-11-24 04:37:01 PM
And this is why batman has to fight Two face
 
2013-11-24 05:17:08 PM
Now we need the followup: Why MBA's are useless and their graduates are ruining America.
 
2013-11-24 05:18:24 PM

alexjoss: Rincewind53: No. shiat.

/3L

/22 years as criminal defense apologist


/Law school grad and bar applicant.
 
2013-11-24 05:19:40 PM

FishyFred: whistleridge: 3. This is because law school is the only way out for entitled upper middle class kids who think they're rare and special and who were stupid enough to get dead-end liberal arts degrees. Besides, they just think that makes it more of a challenge

They should try business school.


I'm not sure if you're advocating going evil, or going evil here.
 
2013-11-24 05:20:15 PM
............well, duh........
 
2013-11-24 05:20:47 PM
Huh. Just like lawyers.
 
2013-11-24 05:25:40 PM

Gyrfalcon: alexjoss: Rincewind53: No. shiat.

/3L

/22 years as criminal defense apologist

/Law school grad and bar applicant.


/LSAT student and recent atheist
 
2013-11-24 05:26:08 PM

desertfool: Now we need the followup: Why MBA's are useless and their graduates are ruining America.


I think the 2008 recession covered that one.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-11-24 05:28:47 PM

ladyfortuna: desertfool: Now we need the followup: Why MBA's are useless and their graduates are ruining America.

I think the 2008 recession covered that one.


Wish the farkheads in corporate america would realize that.
 
2013-11-24 05:33:46 PM

hervatski: And this is why batman has to fight Two face


And why a rich 1%er devotes large sums of the wealth he inherited into building gadgets to beat the shiat out of the mentally ill and poor lower-class citizens who turn to desperation and commit crimes due to the economic disparity and increasing non-existance of a strong middle-class. All based on psychological trauma that doesn't allow him to get over his parents' deaths while at the same time adopting young, athletic men as his 'wards'.

And why Harvey Dent agrees with his crusade... half of the time.
 
2013-11-24 05:35:34 PM

valar_morghulis: Gyrfalcon: alexjoss: Rincewind53: No. shiat.

/3L

/22 years as criminal defense apologist

/Law school grad and bar applicant.

/LSAT student and recent atheist


/2L
 
2013-11-24 05:38:59 PM

d23: ladyfortuna: desertfool: Now we need the followup: Why MBA's are useless and their graduates are ruining America.

I think the 2008 recession covered that one.

Wish the farkheads in corporate america would realize that.


All that really taught them is they can fark up so badly that it almost sends the entire world's economy into a tail spin and they won't get in trouble for it.
 
2013-11-24 05:39:20 PM

ladyfortuna: desertfool: Now we need the followup: Why MBA's are useless and their graduates are ruining America.

I think the 2008 recession covered that one.


But no one learned their lesson. They are back at it, they just took a break.
 
2013-11-24 05:43:46 PM
To be honest,  it's not untrue, what he's saying...except that he's putting the em-PHA-sis on the wrong sy-LAB-le, as my grandmother used to say. Law schools aren't any more greedy and useless than any other college or post-grad school, or the vocational colleges that have sprouted like ragweed all over the nation. You get what you put into it. If you go to any of the above and party or just go to class and do the bare minimum, then no, you won't get much out of it. If, however, you study and intern and use school to make connections--then strangely, you'll come out with a good career.

The problem is that law, unlike, say, medicine or auto repair, is a bifurcated profession. There is a whole lot of completely theoretical, historical knowledge you must have (case law, constitutional theory, etc.) that is completely separate from practical knowledge that you cannot get except in legal practice and which is different from state to state, and even county to county. But without the law school grounding, you can't comprehend the practical work. If you think that's not true, just look at all the GED lawyers right here on Fark who think they know why laws are bad, who then get their asses handed to them by actual lawyers; or the poor sad Occupy movement who were so ANGRY that Wall Street fatcats were getting huge bonuses and couldn't comprehend that it wasn't somehow, someway, illegal.

So you can't just eliminate law school (although people used to be able to get a license just by working for a judge for 10 years)(and still can in some jurisdictions if they pass the bar); and as to why they are so greedy, well, this is America after all. it's not illegal to want $$$. Or to pay it.
 
2013-11-24 05:46:29 PM

dj_bigbird: It's so cute how the author completely avoids the main point of universities (of any sort) these days. It's a make-work program that is administration/staff heavy, making tons of $$. The problem in law school is the same as it is in any university.


You. On to my greenlist. I first came to the conclusion that university is a cult-like machine used to control access to jobs about 13 years ago when I was working for a then-existing big electronics company. When I spoke to the engineers there about this theory I was black-listed almost immediately.

Engineers don't question systems, and for all their educations about systems theory, are remarkably incurious about systems outside of their little boxes.

That said, I quite enjoyed auditing university-level courses and taking exams and stuff, but demanding bachelor's degrees for any even remotely desirable job is criminal.
 
2013-11-24 05:47:23 PM
Going to law school was the best thing I ever did for my self, honestly. I went in to corporate law in Canada, and got scooped up quite quickly. Oil companies are always looking for lawyers. Just write the proper exams, get your qualifications.
 
2013-11-24 05:49:00 PM

CaitoStreet: Going to law school was the best thing I ever did for my self, honestly. I went in to corporate law in Canada, and got scooped up quite quickly. Oil companies are always looking for lawyers. Just write the proper exams, get your qualifications.


No kidding, what with all the oil sands activity going on in Alberta. It's Alberta, right?
 
2013-11-24 05:49:08 PM

whistleridge: That...was an overly verbose piece.



Agreed.  It could have been largely boiled down to this portion of TFA


aside from the easily-memorized-and-parroted set of rules that comprise the actual law, and aside from some basic, practical skills about constructing a legal argument, what most students take from the first year of law school is that their intuitions about justice, fairness and equality are hopelessly naïve...

that the relevant consideration is the smooth functioning of the market; and that the point of a life in the law is to oil the machine.

Law school tells them that their beliefs about social justice are silly; their simplistic moral views untrustworthy; and their ways of talking insufficiently precise.



If a new student understands that and can hack the studies and awful hours of a young lawyer, more power to him.
 
2013-11-24 05:49:21 PM

Gyrfalcon: To be honest,  it's not untrue, what he's saying...except that he's putting the em-PHA-sis on the wrong sy-LAB-le, as my grandmother used to say. Law schools aren't any more greedy and useless than any other college or post-grad school, or the vocational colleges that have sprouted like ragweed all over the nation. You get what you put into it. If you go to any of the above and party or just go to class and do the bare minimum, then no, you won't get much out of it. If, however, you study and intern and use school to make connections--then strangely, you'll come out with a good career.

The problem is that law, unlike, say, medicine or auto repair, is a bifurcated profession. There is a whole lot of completely theoretical, historical knowledge you must have (case law, constitutional theory, etc.) that is completely separate from practical knowledge that you cannot get except in legal practice and which is different from state to state, and even county to county. But without the law school grounding, you can't comprehend the practical work. If you think that's not true, just look at all the GED lawyers right here on Fark who think they know why laws are bad, who then get their asses handed to them by actual lawyers; or the poor sad Occupy movement who were so ANGRY that Wall Street fatcats were getting huge bonuses and couldn't comprehend that it wasn't somehow, someway, illegal.

So you can't just eliminate law school (although people used to be able to get a license just by working for a judge for 10 years)(and still can in some jurisdictions if they pass the bar); and as to why they are so greedy, well, this is America after all. it's not illegal to want $$$. Or to pay it.




Law Schools are cash cows for universities. All you really need is a law library and some spare class rooms.
 
2013-11-24 05:52:23 PM

valar_morghulis: CaitoStreet: Going to law school was the best thing I ever did for my self, honestly. I went in to corporate law in Canada, and got scooped up quite quickly. Oil companies are always looking for lawyers. Just write the proper exams, get your qualifications.

No kidding, what with all the oil sands activity going on in Alberta. It's Alberta, right?


Yep, Alberta. I'm not going to make some fake jab about how wonderful and clean the oil sands are, because, they're not any more clean then any other form of oil production. But, hey, I get paid, and I'm able to put food on the table, and the oil sands aren't disappearing any time soon no matter how badly some people may wish it.

Maybe if we used liquid thorium energy, they'd go away.
 
2013-11-24 05:52:43 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: Engineers don't question systems, and for all their educations about systems theory, are remarkably incurious about systems outside of their little boxes.


Um, an engineer without at least an undergraduate education, and without the will and resourcefulness to stick with a project for a few years and finish, is pretty inevitably going to be terrible at the job.

So possibly you just needed to pick your audience better?  I'm sure there are professions where the education isn't actually required to know how to do the job where people won't immediately dismiss you as stupid for thinking otherwise.  Like property management or insurance sales or something.
 
2013-11-24 05:54:45 PM

whistleridge: That...was an overly verbose piece. Allow me to simplify:

1. Law school tuition is high, and continuing to rise in excess of inflation
2. This is in spite of the fact that the job market for attorneys stinks and isn't likely to improve soon
3. This is because law school is the only way out for entitled upper middle class kids who think they're rare and special and who were stupid enough to get dead-end liberal arts degrees. Besides, they just think that makes it more of a challenge
4. The law schools don't seem to feel bad about this.
5. A bunch of whining about teaching models and WHARRGARRBLLL that even people who went to law school don't care about
6. Therefore, money is bad and law schools should feel bad. But won't.


well done, +
7.) Rich people's problems
 
2013-11-24 05:54:47 PM

CaitoStreet: valar_morghulis: CaitoStreet: Going to law school was the best thing I ever did for my self, honestly. I went in to corporate law in Canada, and got scooped up quite quickly. Oil companies are always looking for lawyers. Just write the proper exams, get your qualifications.

No kidding, what with all the oil sands activity going on in Alberta. It's Alberta, right?

Yep, Alberta. I'm not going to make some fake jab about how wonderful and clean the oil sands are, because, they're not any more clean then any other form of oil production. But, hey, I get paid, and I'm able to put food on the table, and the oil sands aren't disappearing any time soon no matter how badly some people may wish it.

Maybe if we used liquid thorium energy, they'd go away.


Hah. Yeah. I'm on the fence about the subject -- interested to see how it develops over the next few decades.
 
2013-11-24 05:56:45 PM
He's not wrong, but he sounds like an asshole. Law schools recruit because they want to exsist. Who want to volunteer to close down because the industry as a whole produces too many graduates? Would we expect McDonalds to close up shop because people are fat?

And I am getting pretty sick of the generalization that universities are expensive because of administration. They are expensive because students and parents demand more and more every year. If we don't give the client what they want, they will get it elsewhere, even if it costs more.

Ultimately, we should only teach networking and enguneering at any schools because that is the only thing worth pursuing as a career.
 
2013-11-24 05:57:21 PM

d23: ladyfortuna: desertfool: Now we need the followup: Why MBA's are useless and their graduates are ruining America.

I think the 2008 recession covered that one.

Wish the farkheads in corporate america would realize that.


They're not the ones who need to learn it. The rest of us are, because we keep GIVING them our money.

/slowly cashing out stocks
 
2013-11-24 05:58:48 PM

BetterMetalSnake: Ultimately, we should only teach networking and enguneering at any schools because that is the only thing worth pursuing as a career.


I'm guessing you never get sick, eh?
 
2013-11-24 06:00:34 PM

valar_morghulis: CaitoStreet: valar_morghulis: CaitoStreet: Going to law school was the best thing I ever did for my self, honestly. I went in to corporate law in Canada, and got scooped up quite quickly. Oil companies are always looking for lawyers. Just write the proper exams, get your qualifications.

No kidding, what with all the oil sands activity going on in Alberta. It's Alberta, right?

Yep, Alberta. I'm not going to make some fake jab about how wonderful and clean the oil sands are, because, they're not any more clean then any other form of oil production. But, hey, I get paid, and I'm able to put food on the table, and the oil sands aren't disappearing any time soon no matter how badly some people may wish it.

Maybe if we used liquid thorium energy, they'd go away.

Hah. Yeah. I'm on the fence about the subject -- interested to see how it develops over the next few decades.


The real problem is that it is both in the corporate interests, and in the interests of the Canadians as a whole to ensure that the oil sands continues to develop and grow. We're alarmingly like Australia in that we are relying far far too heavily on our natural resources to keep this country a-float.

The real trick for this industry is to ensure our petrodollar rating doesn't shoot up too quickly, because that will inflate our dollar, costing us manufacturing jobs. Most of those manufacturing jobs are side industries that support the oil industry here too.

One of the other largest issues we're likely going to see in the coming years in the Energy East Pipeline Project, so we can start refining our own oil, instead of relying heavily on the US to ship a final product to foreign markets like the United Kingdom, China, and surprisingly enough, Argentina.
 
2013-11-24 06:06:13 PM

Last Man on Earth: valar_morghulis: Gyrfalcon: alexjoss: Rincewind53: No. shiat.

/3L

/22 years as criminal defense apologist

/Law school grad and bar applicant.

/LSAT student and recent atheist

/2L


/paralegal (under pressure from both attorneys AND clients to go to law school)
 
2013-11-24 06:09:19 PM

Jim_Callahan: Quantum Apostrophe: Engineers don't question systems, and for all their educations about systems theory, are remarkably incurious about systems outside of their little boxes.

Um, an engineer without at least an undergraduate education, and without the will and resourcefulness to stick with a project for a few years and finish, is pretty inevitably going to be terrible at the job.

So possibly you just needed to pick your audience better?  I'm sure there are professions where the education isn't actually required to know how to do the job where people won't immediately dismiss you as stupid for thinking otherwise.  Like property management or insurance sales or something.


Yes, but does *everyone* need to be an engineer? That's what I'm getting at.
 
2013-11-24 06:10:40 PM

Zeb Hesselgresser: whistleridge: That...was an overly verbose piece. Allow me to simplify:

1. Law school tuition is high, and continuing to rise in excess of inflation
2. This is in spite of the fact that the job market for attorneys stinks and isn't likely to improve soon
3. This is because law school is the only way out for entitled upper middle class kids who think they're rare and special and who were stupid enough to get dead-end liberal arts degrees. Besides, they just think that makes it more of a challenge
4. The law schools don't seem to feel bad about this.
5. A bunch of whining about teaching models and WHARRGARRBLLL that even people who went to law school don't care about
6. Therefore, money is bad and law schools should feel bad. But won't.

well done, +
7.) Rich people's problems


Salon really is circling the drain these days.
 
2013-11-24 06:13:45 PM
Apparently this 28-yr old kid who doesn't seem to work at any law firm with a website (or even have a LinkedIn page) is completely unaware of the current law school enrollment crisis.  Ain't nobody out of the top tier "raking in cash."

/DNRTFA
 
2013-11-24 06:20:10 PM
Lashing out at law school means admitting certain truths about their own lives that are too hard to face: That many of the people they trusted to provide them with meaningful, honest instruction about the law failed them. That the purpose of the harsh methods of instruction was not teach them the rigors of being a lawyer, but to rank and sort them ever more finely. That the ranking process then fulfilled the prophecies of the free-market ideology they absorbed, as the best-performing among them were rewarded, even in tough economic times, with clerkships, prestigious summer internships and - eventually - high-paying positions at big firms. That their own reasons for going to law school were less than completely altruistic - that they did, in fact, want to make something of themselves. That they still, despite their hand-wringing about the unfairness of it all, live in circumstances of enormous wealth and privilege. To strike back, that is, is to admit all the contradictions and injustices of the very system that produced you. It means, in other words, turning against yourself.


Soooo, Law School graduates are a lot like fans of Ayn Rand?
 
2013-11-24 06:21:40 PM
I'm graduating law school in July 2014, with a huge debt burden.  After over 10 years in banking, I hit a solid career wall due to only having a high school diploma.  By 12 years I had earned an undergraduate degree in finance, but it was overly expensive and I had to borrow because I was already maxed out beforehand (hence the purpose of banging my head on the career wall), and the mortgage still needed to be paid, kids still needed to be fed and clothed, etc.  I graduated in May 2008, and by October 2008 I had a new position in the in-house law department at a nice bump that would take care of the loan payments plus a little extra, exactly as I had planned.  Then, I woke up one morning to learn that my employer was the ugly bride at a shotgun marriage officiated by the Treasury.

I spent the next two years in survival mode.  At first the layoffs only trimmed the dead weight, but then a series of mandatory 10%, 15%, and even 20% cuts rippled across the entire organization.  TARP needed to be paid back as fast as possible, and cutting staff was the fastest way to do it.  I watched entire departments, from their managers down to their entry-level staff, being marched into conference rooms and then out into the parking lot.  Unless you were a Senior VP or above, severance packages shrunk to almost nothing, and even then with a web of strings attached.  Even an MBA, a CPA, or a JD wasn't sufficient cover-in fact, being paid for what you know, rather than what you do-with generous benefits and bonuses-made one a bigger target than an underpaid drone with a worthless 401(k) of depreciated company stock.

The only group that I saw climb out alive-even thrive-were the attorneys.  Where everyone else had a degree or a credential, they had a golden ticket: a law license.  The only ones who even came close were the CPAs, but their credential didn't have nearly the same scope.  All the attorneys who were cut, whether young associates or senior deputies, were able to find a place at a local firm, another in-house department, or even start their own firm.  Of course there was an initial hit in salary, and they had to work harder than they had since law school, but by 2010-2011 they were all doing okay.  Being an attorney may pay as much as a bus driver or a Wall Street trader, but it ALWAYS pays if you're willing to think outside the box and work.  My favorite example is an attorney who bought a used school bus, outfitted it as an office, and drives a circuit through rural and under-served counties.  He's on the road 4 days a week, does his paperwork on the 5th, and makes twice as much as he did in flat and scaled fees as he ever did as an associate at a firm, where the partners kept 60-70% of his hourly earnings for themselves.
 
2013-11-24 06:33:18 PM

valar_morghulis: Salon really is circling the drain these days.


I can't tell, it is just a blank page with the scripts blocked.
 
2013-11-24 06:35:37 PM
good luck to all of you 2L's and 3L's. as to the 1L's, ask yourself if the remaining 5 semesters of tuition are really worth paying in order to earn that job at the local bankruptcy mill.
 
2013-11-24 06:39:49 PM

BetterMetalSnake: He's not wrong, but he sounds like an asshole. Law schools recruit because they want to exsist. Who want to volunteer to close down because the industry as a whole produces too many graduates? Would we expect McDonalds to close up shop because people are fat?

And I am getting pretty sick of the generalization that universities are expensive because of administration. They are expensive because students and parents demand more and more every year. If we don't give the client what they want, they will get it elsewhere, even if it costs more.



It's actually a bit of a feedback loop. University X builds sexy new dorms as a way to recruit, then parents look at University Y and see no new dorms, so next year Y builds sexy dorms to compete with X. And, don't forget, the new stuff costs money, and since the feds are happy to give out student loans (that can't be discharged via BK), the money is always there.
 
2013-11-24 06:41:00 PM
ladyfortuna:  . . . not the ones who need to learn it. The rest of us are, because we keep GIVING them our money.

/slowly cashing out stocks


And moving into what? Seriously,  WHERE is there to go?
 
2013-11-24 06:43:22 PM

Zeb Hesselgresser: ladyfortuna:  . . . not the ones who need to learn it. The rest of us are, because we keep GIVING them our money.

/slowly cashing out stocks

And moving into what? Seriously,  WHERE is there to go?


Forever Stamps and corn futures!
 
2013-11-24 06:45:44 PM

Zeb Hesselgresser: ladyfortuna:  . . . not the ones who need to learn it. The rest of us are, because we keep GIVING them our money.

/slowly cashing out stocks

And moving into what? Seriously,  WHERE is there to go?


Under the mattress, duh ^_~
 
2013-11-24 06:58:27 PM

CaitoStreet: valar_morghulis: CaitoStreet: valar_morghulis: CaitoStreet: Going to law school was the best thing I ever did for my self, honestly. I went in to corporate law in Canada, and got scooped up quite quickly. Oil companies are always looking for lawyers. Just write the proper exams, get your qualifications.

No kidding, what with all the oil sands activity going on in Alberta. It's Alberta, right?

Yep, Alberta. I'm not going to make some fake jab about how wonderful and clean the oil sands are, because, they're not any more clean then any other form of oil production. But, hey, I get paid, and I'm able to put food on the table, and the oil sands aren't disappearing any time soon no matter how badly some people may wish it.

Maybe if we used liquid thorium energy, they'd go away.

Hah. Yeah. I'm on the fence about the subject -- interested to see how it develops over the next few decades.

The real problem is that it is both in the corporate interests, and in the interests of the Canadians as a whole to ensure that the oil sands continues to develop and grow. We're alarmingly like Australia in that we are relying far far too heavily on our natural resources to keep this country a-float.

The real trick for this industry is to ensure our petrodollar rating doesn't shoot up too quickly, because that will inflate our dollar, costing us manufacturing jobs. Most of those manufacturing jobs are side industries that support the oil industry here too.

One of the other largest issues we're likely going to see in the coming years in the Energy East Pipeline Project, so we can start refining our own oil, instead of relying heavily on the US to ship a final product to foreign markets like the United Kingdom, China, and surprisingly enough, Argentina.


More war!
 
2013-11-24 06:59:05 PM

Zeb Hesselgresser: ladyfortuna:  . . . not the ones who need to learn it. The rest of us are, because we keep GIVING them our money.

/slowly cashing out stocks

And moving into what? Seriously,  WHERE is there to go?


Tulip bulbs.

My financial advisor, who is self taught with no credentials, told me so.

/quack quack
 
2013-11-24 07:06:51 PM

HotWingAgenda: Last Man on Earth: valar_morghulis: Gyrfalcon: alexjoss: Rincewind53: No. shiat.

/3L

/22 years as criminal defense apologist

/Law school grad and bar applicant.

/LSAT student and recent atheist

/2L

/paralegal (under pressure from both attorneys AND clients to go to law school)


/Attorney 2 years out of law school, doing criminal defense, family law, and civil litigation.
 
v15
2013-11-24 07:07:27 PM
*still not detoured from wanting to pursue law*
 
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