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Messages - WheelsUp

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I think a lot of this back and forth between LawDog and his contenders is really about what law school should be all about (LawDog's position) vs. what law school usually really is (many of the others in this discussion.)

What Law Should Should Be
Law school should be a place for those who 1)have a genuine interest in the law and 2) are seriously considering the practice of law. I say this not out of idealistic reasons for the greater good of society or whatever. But, in reality, if you're not interested in the law, law schools gonna suck. As a 1L myself, I can easily assure you of that. I'm sure that even those who haven't attended law school know this quite well. Thus, for those bankers or last-minute uh-I-don't-know-what-to-do-with-my-life folks, law school will be a miserable 3 years. I believe you should be seriously considering the practice of law, because that's what your degree will most likely bring you - a law firm job, or government attorney, or whatever. HOWEVER, I don't think you need to attend law school dead set that you WILL practice law or do something that will even relate to the law. There are many people who benefit from learning to think like an attorney or wish to learn critical thinking, but will ultimately return to their original business. I have a few colleagues at school who were former MDs, police officers, psychologists, you name it. They may return to their old careers because that's what they want after considering a career in the law, but their life is greatly enhanced by the skill sets learned at law school - albeit that's an expensive price to pay to learn those skill sets. Lol. But some people are all about life experiences rather than the bottom line.

What Law School Actually Is
I'm afraid I will have to part ways a bit with LawDog. Law school admissions, unfortunately, is all too much about numbers. Where LawDog mentions certain types of people that each law school seeks, while this is true, I believe these situations serve as tie breakers between applicants with similar numbers. But, the guy with better numbers will virtually always win out (save a few rare exceptions that are so insignificant that you should never count on them). If you don't believe me, please read Anna Ivey's book on Law School Admissions as well as Law School Confidential's interview with the Dean of Admissions at Cornell. Now, the only situation where numbers will not always win is for URMs. But, alas, this is a whole different discussion. Because law schools are so numbers driven, you will get those academics who are just smart but they have no real passion for the law. You may even get bankers. But it doesn't matter, so long as they did well on the LSAT and GPA. If you want to read some interesting stuff on whether LSAT and GPA should be an admission criteria, you should read a recent entry on Above the Law that discusses a new proposed version of the LSAT. It tests the top skills that a practicing lawyer needs. It's basically a down-and-dirty lawyer aptitude test designed to sift out unsuccessful lawyers.

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Recommendations / Re: LSAC Misconduct for Letter of Recommendation
« on: February 26, 2009, 06:40:03 PM »
This has been a great discussion,  and I appreciate most of the comments. We pretty much have all agreed to this:

1. The OP did something unethical, wrong, unprofessional, etc.
2. The OP deserves some kind of a defense against LSAC (even TTom has admitted this)

We are pretty divided on this:

1. Whether the OP's conduct reflects a serious flaw in moral character.
2. Whether the OP's conduct should preclude him from the legal profession.


I may have missed some other points. Please feel free to expound.

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Recommendations / Re: LSAC Misconduct for Letter of Recommendation
« on: February 25, 2009, 02:48:05 PM »
I would venture to say that even if you've taken legal ethics, you still don't really know about the rubber-meets-the-road ethics of real practice. I think once you've practiced for a while, you start to see just how blurry that ethical line can get.

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Recommendations / Re: LSAC Misconduct for Letter of Recommendation
« on: February 25, 2009, 11:21:15 AM »
LawDog, this is roughly similar to a first-year legal memo. You've shown the elements and how the OP may or may not meet those elements. The state of Pennsylvania (which is where LSAC is located) or the other states (where the OP may have made a potential offense) may each have a definition of forgery (either in the common law or by statute). Thus, each state may use different elements for forgery (or maybe the tort of fraud). But you've got the general idea: break down the elements, and show arguments that cut both ways. This is what memo writing and law school exams are all about.

TTom, are you still making arguments in good faith? If you're done, fair enough, just be done. But I'm not sure how all of the retorts to Lawdog's arguments of either "BS" or "Preserved" are furthering the dialogue.

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Recommendations / Re: LSAC Misconduct for Letter of Recommendation
« on: February 24, 2009, 06:14:23 PM »
Thank you, I'm glad to see people joining this discussion who are not placing moral condemnation on the OP. LawDog and I were the lone defenders here for a while.

To answer an earlier post, no, I am not Nola. Lol. I can see how you might think that since I've tried to argue with some of his protagonists. I created an account simply to ask about my own LOR question related to a 1L summer job. Then I got wrapped up into this thread. I've really enjoyed the arguments

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Recommendations / Re: LSAC Misconduct for Letter of Recommendation
« on: February 23, 2009, 09:50:54 PM »
I agree with you, TTom, up to a point. We WILL one day be those people. But we are not yet those people. We do not have the full experience, expertise, and understanding of the profession to say whether the OP will be a good lawyer or not. Nor do we know whether he'll be a rotten lawyer based on this one-time incident. As I've said many times before, and this still goes unrefuted, the OP's fate is not sealed. As far as we know, the OP has not shown a pattern of this behavior, and, given what little we know of this incident, I believe reform is still possible.

Secondly, we are not sufficiently in command of the facts to say whether the OP's conduct was justified. For this reason, among others, I believe that the OP deserves a vigorous defense that gets all the facts presented in the most favorable light possible. Heaven knows that LSAC will do what it can to present the opposite. As LawDog, Como te llamas, and I have said, the guy deserves a defense.

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Recommendations / Re: LSAC Misconduct for Letter of Recommendation
« on: February 23, 2009, 09:06:13 PM »
Gotcha. I should say that the OP had SOME (one or more) reasons to do what he did. I don't know whether his reasons rise to the level of a justification.

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Recommendations / Re: LSAC Misconduct for Letter of Recommendation
« on: February 23, 2009, 08:53:59 PM »
I'm glad you have distinguished the two. I don't think some of our other colleagues have gone so far. But I am willing to argue that the OP may have had SOME justification to do what he did, albeit not a strong one. I don't think we know enough regarding the boss's previous level of authorization to the OP's actions to say that he is completely devoid of justification.

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Recommendations / Re: LSAC Misconduct for Letter of Recommendation
« on: February 23, 2009, 08:24:32 PM »
And, yes, as LawDog mentioned, I'm concerned that we're the ONLY ones in this discussion that have even mentioned that the OP needs to seek out his legal options. This is his whole career on the line. I understand that the knee jerk reaction is to say, "we have enough lawyers, we don't need rotten ones." But that's not our position to say. There's a lot of facts we simply don't know, specifically about the level of authorization the boss has permitted the OP. What some have advocated is the equivalent of telling a criminal, "Well, you've committed a crime. You're a bad person, and I would never do what you did. You don't deserve a defense, because there is simply no justification for theft."  If you think this is an exaggerated analogy, here are a few lines from this ongoing discussion:

“… I don't want you as member of my profession. Lawyers already have a bad name and we don't need people like you making it worse…”

“you are a bad person. Bad people fake their own LORs and forge people's name. Yep.”

“Honestly, if I knew who you were I'd contact the schools that admitted you. Be thankful for that.”

“… you deserve to have your admissions rescinded…and if LSAC had never called your boss, you would feel no remorse.

 “…there is NO justification for what you did. None.”

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Recommendations / Re: LSAC Misconduct for Letter of Recommendation
« on: February 23, 2009, 06:02:40 PM »
Wow, wish I hadn't stepped away from my computer for so long. This has been an interesting discussion, but I feel like it's been sidetracked a bit. At the end of the day, we don't know what LSAC does with the fingerprints. What's important is that the OP got caught. My guess is that he had written things in the letter that made LSAC really question its authenticity - as in, it was way over the top in praise. Lol, it's funny to think that might be the reason.

Anyway, I agree with TTom on one point. LSAC does not owe the OP any form of due process within its own structure. I understand LSAC has an appeals process, but I don't know much about it. But I imagine this appeals process is more about preserving LSAC's reputation as a legitimate organization than true justice. Outside of LSAC (as in, courts of law), I really don't know what the OP can do. Can he bring suit against LSAC, maybe a civil suit? I really don't know. But LawDog is right in that the OP needs legal representation ASAP. At least counsel can give the OP his options.



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