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Messages - Duncanjp

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Yeah, that's probably true, π. I'm astonished at how many non-attorneys think that chasing ambulances is how attorneys actually make their living. (What comes of getting your information from television.) People who aren't lawyers don't know very much about being a real lawyer. When they go to law school, however, they learn the difference between fantasy and the real world. Exposure to reality doesn't have to be incompatible with the journey of discovery, though. Not if you start with a substantive goal in mind and a burning desire to achieve it.

Hi Maintain.

Would you say that, generally speaking, a statistically significant percentage of 0Ls matriculate admitting to an improper or unreasonable purpose in mind?

Trying to think of some examples.

The true, underlying reason for going to law school isn't that important in the greater scheme of things, so long as the prospective student can articulate a reason that means something to him or her. But going to law school with no vision or fundamental purpose for doing so — that's a huge mistake. Law school isn't junior college, where students, especially those right out of high school, often flop from semester to semester with no idea why they're even there.  Law school demands focus and commitment. This requires having a goal in mind. Your goal doesn't have to be immutable, but it should be clear in your mind before you take the leap. Otherwise, you're wasting your time and money.

I don't know about other programs, but online schools endorse Fleming, I suspect, because his materials are tailor-made for independent study. I enjoyed listening to his CDs while commuting during law school and while preparing for the bar. He's a snappy lecturer - a lot easier to endure than the Sleepytime Bar Review audio that some others produce. Never attended any of his writing workshops. His outlines are comprehensive, if wordy, but they always have a good checklist of issues to memorize for exams and two or three essays with model answers at the end that illustrate how to write about the major areas of the subject.

Law students who want to defend the less fortunate, or help their friends, are actually quite rare. Most law students I've met were, frankly, jerks. If they had been interested in helping people, they would have gone into a helping profession like nursing, healthcare, counseling, teaching, social work, therapy, etc.

Most of the people I was in law school with had serious character flaws that attracted them to the legal field. Some went there from a place of low self esteem to try and prove something about themselves. Others were overly argumentative and would argue with a brick wall. Some only wanted the prestige and money that they believed they could achieve with a law degree (but few of them actually did). Or, they had an over-active fantasy life and believed that  law was an exciting career. Now some of these people are in therapy, some are trying desperately to get into another career field, and most of the rest are unemployed. The few who did achieve success had family members that were lawyers.

Do law professors seem like a caring, empathetic group of people to you? I remember confiding in one of my professors that due to financial struggles, I was having difficulty purchasing the book I needed for his course. He simply gave a snort of disgust, and walked away.

Let's stop pretending that lawyers truly just want to help people.

Fair enough, Sean, if a bit cynical. I had a positive experience with law school, although there were, predictably, a small number of students who fit the negative profiles you paint. You're right to be suspicious of those who claim that their main purpose in going to law school is to help indigents. Very few people are that altruistic. You work to earn a living. At the same time, I think many law students do envision having a career helping people. Such a vision necessarily evolves after time in the real world, but helping people is what being a lawyer is all about. The naïveté of 0Ls-3Ls should be forgiven. They’re no different than the kids in construction who can’t see the day that they’ll ever grow tired of pounding nails.

On a personal level, I really liked the overwhelming majority of my classmates, regardless of their reasons for being there. They were not jerks. Most of my classmates were courteous, inspirational people who conducted themselves professionally in a professional environment. I should mention, however, that I went to night school, which may attract a different student personality type. But I enjoyed being around my classmates immensely. Some have become my best friends. Moreover, my profs were all very cool. That said, I never tested how a prof might respond if I had mentioned my personal financial obstacles and his or her casebook in the same breath. Mercy? Empathy? Not likely. Being a lawyer means figuring it out.

I support some of what you say........but not sure if "strawman argument" is the best descriptor. (In my experience people overuse/misuse that term WAY too often)

As for the bar privilege, if you note being ABA was only ONE of the requirements I proposed in my Hypo.

I agree with protectionism being bad though. I say weed out the dead wood first if anything. Too many states don't require continuing education at all (or a joke version of it at most) Heck, start requiring a "refresher bar exam" once ever 5 years to make  that "Senile Old Man Wilson" who thinks that he still knows what he's talking about PROVE it! (laws change, and memories fade) We ALL know far too many people first hand who fall into that category. I'd go as far as to say a majority of the ones over 50 IMHO. Brutal honesty. Just like drivers on the highway, they think they know more (and have the experience to support that theory) but that doesn't make it true.

I don't care if it angers AARP either. If your KIDS are Boomers, its time for them AND you to BOTH retire.........
treat it like you would anything else in nature. Control burn the old wood first to make room for the new green, otherwise it ALL dies.

Fear drives this sort of rant. What are you afraid of? You've carelessly picked 50 years old as marking the sunset clause on the majority's functionality, but I would  guess that you don't know even three people really well who've reached 50 yet. A good lawyer has empathy, among other traits, recognizing that each generation contributes something different and meaningful to the collective machination and understanding of the human condition. There's a lot to be said for the wisdom of years, just as there is a lot to be said for the spirit of youth. Painting with such a broad brush ignores this.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Baby Names Illegal?
« on: October 18, 2014, 02:04:02 PM »
It's a bit of an overreach by the court, IMO. [And wasn't that Messiah decision overturned on appeal?] But I can see an argument against giving parents unbridled freedom to stigmatize their children with some patently offensive imprimatur or something that would clearly subject the kid to endless ridicule - for the purpose of subjecting the kid to ridicule. Like if some jokester named his kid Turd just because he thought it would be funny.  "Oh no no no! His name is Turducken. Turd is just his nickname." Probably happen.

General Board / Re: LSD Needs to Modernize Site
« on: September 08, 2013, 07:57:01 PM »
TLS is a joke insofar as it relates to law school. Its focus is only slightly broader than cheap entertainment for juveniles. On the other hand, LSD features many thoughtful, considerate posters who focus on issues and ideas relevant to the study of law, and who seem better prepared to disagree with a measure of civility becoming of present and future attorneys. If you're looking for a mature discussion about law and law schools, LSD is the place to be. If you want to trade anonymous insults with clowns and look at pictures and stuff, or get advice from pessimists who have never experienced life in the workforce, TLS has it all.

I'd love to see this website reinvigorated. However, for the majority of law students, mature internet discussion apparently isn't as fun as anonymously hurling insults at strangers.

Law School Applications / Re: Very Nervous, Please help!
« on: August 24, 2013, 03:24:12 AM »
If they kept out every freshman who ever got caught with a little alcohol in the dorms, there wouldn't be many people in law school. You may need to play the game and confess to having been very, very naughty in your early youth and explain what a big lesson you learned that day and how you paid a modest penance. But violating dorm rules about alcohol once is not exactly a crime of moral turpitude - unless you stole the booze. Be honest about it, but don't dwell on it too heavily. If your LSAT score is high enough and you had a solid GPA in college, I doubt getting in trouble with the dorm lady is really going to have that much impact on your chances.

There are other factors that the ABA requires to grant accreditation that tend to work against distance learning in addition to the quality of the student body admitted to such schools. For instance, the ABA requires that the faculty be full-time law professors. Concord, etc., would need to have enough students enrolled to justify employing full-time professors. Then they would need to charge enough in tuition to fund all the full-time salaries. I have no numbers, but I suspect they're a good distance from reaching that level. Even CBE schools like mine have to employ sitting judges, deputy DAs, and working attorneys to provide all of the instruction. While I've had some absolutely outstanding professors, as good as anybody I had at East Carolina U. and UC Davis in undergrad, all of my profs  are part-timers, holding down full-time careers with the DOJ, etc., and, candidly, visiting the ivory tower of academia at night and on weekends. Does this mean that ABA professors are better instructors than those who work for non-ABA institutions? Maybe not on a case-by-case basis. But on average, I would think that the best instructors would gravitate to the best schools, and to the teaching profession as a career. I see the ABA's point: they want professional teachers who are attorneys teaching the law, not attorneys by profession who happen to be able to teach.

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