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Messages - Chris Laurel

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21
Socratic Method / Re: The Fact Is, Profs Don't Use The Socratic Method
« on: January 23, 2006, 01:15:05 AM »
The Third-Year Dilemma:
Why Firms Lose Associates
January 4, 2006
WALL STREET JOURNAL


This is the first installment of The FLaw, a new column about law-firm management, with a particular emphasis on the miscues, peculiarities and strange customs of law firms.

At their best, the country's largest law firms are magic-workers. They slip mergers past antitrust watchdogs, unlock revenue from dusty patent portfolios, yell "Duck!" as the Eliot Spitzers of the world are nearing mid-punch.

But when it comes to solving their own problems, big law firms aren't exactly Penn & Teller.

Take, for example, a problem currently roiling Big Law, one we might call the Dilemma of the Third Years.

According to a study unveiled last year by the NALP Foundation, a group that examines law firm hiring trends and practices, law firms have little trouble hanging onto their youngest lawyers -- only one percent and 14 percent of entry-level associates leave their law firms by the end of their first and second years of practice, respectively.

But a whopping 37 percent of associates at big law firms, defined by the study as those employing more than 500 lawyers, quit their firms by the end of their third years of practice.

Taken alone, the percentage might not seem so troubling. Like other professional services firms, law firms are, in the parlance of organizational management, "highly leveraged." That is, they need vastly more associate worker bees -- the 20 and 30-somethings who handle the mountains work generated by a big lawsuit or merger -- than they do queen-bee partners, who on any given matter, mostly map strategy and draw up long to-do lists for others to carry out. In other words, associate attrition isn't a problem, it's a necessity.

But another statistic casts the 37 percent figure in a different light. According to a study released in 2003 by Altman Weil, Inc., a Newtown Square, Pa.-based large consultant to law firms, the average big law firm doesn't start recouping its cash flow investment in an associate until about midway through an associate's fourth year, around the time most start acquiring the skill and confidence to run their own cases and deals.

The costs associated with premature attrition don't end there. When too many associates bolt a given firm during that third year, firms have to replace them with lateral hires, which, according to the NALP Foundation study, runs about $300,000 per associate. Says Dr. Larry Richard of Hildebrandt International, Inc., a Somerset, N.J.-based consultant to large firms: "There's no slush fund for those expenses. You're really just sucking money out of the partners' pockets."

For managing partners everywhere, then, the goal is well-defined: Figure out how to keep more lawyers around until at least about midway through their fifth years, ensuring at least one profit-making year of work from each associate. Firms that can do this will also escape the hefty costs of hiring replacement laterals.

Can law firms change the status quo? Maybe. But first they'll have to unravel an increasingly entrenched idea among associates that they've got to figure out the rest of their careers by the end of their third years of practice.

Manfred Gabriel, a fifth-year associate at Latham & Watkins LLP in New York, says firms start to demand more of associates in their third years. "At that point, the perception seems to be that it's time to ask yourself whether you want to commit yourself to the firm -- maybe make a run at partnership," he says. "If not, it's a good time to leave. You've learned how to do some things, but you're not viewed as someone past [his or her] prime." He left his first firm, LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP, as a third-year associate.

Professional recruiters play a big role in the third-year exodus, mostly by fostering a sense that associates have a limited window of marketability." The headhunters started calling early in my third year," recalls Jennifer Boatwright, who left a Milwaukee-based firm for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Dallas in September at the end of her third year of practice. Ms. Boatwright says she and her husband had long considered moving to a warmer climate, but the headhunters dictated the timing of the switch. "They told me that if I hadn't moved by the end of my fourth year, it would be nearly impossible to move" at all, she recalls. "I have no idea if that's true, but it certainly got me moving."

But it's the law firms themselves, not aggressive headhunters nor commitmentphobic associates, that deserve the lion's share of the blame for creating the Dilemma of the Third Years. According to David Maister, an author of several books on management at professional services firms, law firm partnership used to be something young lawyers aspired to. Not anymore. "Partners hate their lives," says Mr. Maister. "They're overworked and stressed out and slaves to the billable hour. Lots of associates see this first hand and can't run away from it fast enough."

Take the experience of Julia Hesse. Last year, Ms. Hesse left Boston's Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP for Ropes & Gray LLP at the end of her third year of practice even though the move cut her chances for partnership. At Ropes & Gray, a firm of 700 lawyers, seven associates made partner last year. "I don't want to be a partner," says Ms. Hesse, "and I don't know a single associate [at Ropes] who wants to make partner." Ms. Hesse says that Ropes's deep health-care practice, which promised good experience and introductions to a healthy roster of outside contacts, enticed her to Ropes. Bradford Malt, Ropes's chairman, agrees that partnership is tough to make at the firm, but boasts that "the experience and training a young attorney gets at Ropes is among the best in the country."

Given the problems associated with partnership, might law firms attack the Third Year Dilemma by reforming at the top?

A trickle are starting to. Pittsburgh-based Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP, for example, launched a "balanced hours" program in November to try to, in the words of Peter Kalis, the firm's chairman, "stop the bleeding" away of young lawyers.

Mr. Kalis stresses that the program -- which allows any lawyer to meet anonymously with an organizational sociologist and devise flexible working schedules (subject to the firm's approval, of course) -- is meant for both associates and partners. "Very few partners of AmLaw 100 firms are financially deprived," he says, "but a lot of them are still unhappy."

Happy partners, in Mr. Kalis's view, will solve the Third Year Dilemma and ultimately make for a more profitable firm. "When the people above you are happy, it has a tendency to rub off," he says. "And when associates are happy, not only are they more productive, but in my experience, they stay at your firm."

http://accuracyblog.blogspot.com

22
General Board / Re: Why do law students act like they deserve disrespect?
« on: January 23, 2006, 01:11:09 AM »
Yeah right.  Waste of time.  It's only our careers and future job satisfaction we are talking about.  Open your eyes, folks.  You think the anxiety, needless pressure and dissatisfaction end at law school?  I case-managed billion dollar transactions at the largest law firms for the last six years.  Change begins at law school, and I encourage everyone to start to give it thought.  Nothing changes unless you raise your voice.  Sadly, few are willing to do so because of asinine attacks the likes of which you see on this board:

The Third-Year Dilemma:
Why Firms Lose Associates
January 4, 2006
WALL STREET JOURNAL


This is the first installment of The FLaw, a new column about law-firm management, with a particular emphasis on the miscues, peculiarities and strange customs of law firms.

At their best, the country's largest law firms are magic-workers. They slip mergers past antitrust watchdogs, unlock revenue from dusty patent portfolios, yell "Duck!" as the Eliot Spitzers of the world are nearing mid-punch.

But when it comes to solving their own problems, big law firms aren't exactly Penn & Teller.

Take, for example, a problem currently roiling Big Law, one we might call the Dilemma of the Third Years.

According to a study unveiled last year by the NALP Foundation, a group that examines law firm hiring trends and practices, law firms have little trouble hanging onto their youngest lawyers -- only one percent and 14 percent of entry-level associates leave their law firms by the end of their first and second years of practice, respectively.

But a whopping 37 percent of associates at big law firms, defined by the study as those employing more than 500 lawyers, quit their firms by the end of their third years of practice.

Taken alone, the percentage might not seem so troubling. Like other professional services firms, law firms are, in the parlance of organizational management, "highly leveraged." That is, they need vastly more associate worker bees -- the 20 and 30-somethings who handle the mountains work generated by a big lawsuit or merger -- than they do queen-bee partners, who on any given matter, mostly map strategy and draw up long to-do lists for others to carry out. In other words, associate attrition isn't a problem, it's a necessity.

But another statistic casts the 37 percent figure in a different light. According to a study released in 2003 by Altman Weil, Inc., a Newtown Square, Pa.-based large consultant to law firms, the average big law firm doesn't start recouping its cash flow investment in an associate until about midway through an associate's fourth year, around the time most start acquiring the skill and confidence to run their own cases and deals.

The costs associated with premature attrition don't end there. When too many associates bolt a given firm during that third year, firms have to replace them with lateral hires, which, according to the NALP Foundation study, runs about $300,000 per associate. Says Dr. Larry Richard of Hildebrandt International, Inc., a Somerset, N.J.-based consultant to large firms: "There's no slush fund for those expenses. You're really just sucking money out of the partners' pockets."

For managing partners everywhere, then, the goal is well-defined: Figure out how to keep more lawyers around until at least about midway through their fifth years, ensuring at least one profit-making year of work from each associate. Firms that can do this will also escape the hefty costs of hiring replacement laterals.

Can law firms change the status quo? Maybe. But first they'll have to unravel an increasingly entrenched idea among associates that they've got to figure out the rest of their careers by the end of their third years of practice.

Manfred Gabriel, a fifth-year associate at Latham & Watkins LLP in New York, says firms start to demand more of associates in their third years. "At that point, the perception seems to be that it's time to ask yourself whether you want to commit yourself to the firm -- maybe make a run at partnership," he says. "If not, it's a good time to leave. You've learned how to do some things, but you're not viewed as someone past [his or her] prime." He left his first firm, LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP, as a third-year associate.

Professional recruiters play a big role in the third-year exodus, mostly by fostering a sense that associates have a limited window of marketability." The headhunters started calling early in my third year," recalls Jennifer Boatwright, who left a Milwaukee-based firm for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Dallas in September at the end of her third year of practice. Ms. Boatwright says she and her husband had long considered moving to a warmer climate, but the headhunters dictated the timing of the switch. "They told me that if I hadn't moved by the end of my fourth year, it would be nearly impossible to move" at all, she recalls. "I have no idea if that's true, but it certainly got me moving."

But it's the law firms themselves, not aggressive headhunters nor commitmentphobic associates, that deserve the lion's share of the blame for creating the Dilemma of the Third Years. According to David Maister, an author of several books on management at professional services firms, law firm partnership used to be something young lawyers aspired to. Not anymore. "Partners hate their lives," says Mr. Maister. "They're overworked and stressed out and slaves to the billable hour. Lots of associates see this first hand and can't run away from it fast enough."

Take the experience of Julia Hesse. Last year, Ms. Hesse left Boston's Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP for Ropes & Gray LLP at the end of her third year of practice even though the move cut her chances for partnership. At Ropes & Gray, a firm of 700 lawyers, seven associates made partner last year. "I don't want to be a partner," says Ms. Hesse, "and I don't know a single associate [at Ropes] who wants to make partner." Ms. Hesse says that Ropes's deep health-care practice, which promised good experience and introductions to a healthy roster of outside contacts, enticed her to Ropes. Bradford Malt, Ropes's chairman, agrees that partnership is tough to make at the firm, but boasts that "the experience and training a young attorney gets at Ropes is among the best in the country."

Given the problems associated with partnership, might law firms attack the Third Year Dilemma by reforming at the top?

A trickle are starting to. Pittsburgh-based Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP, for example, launched a "balanced hours" program in November to try to, in the words of Peter Kalis, the firm's chairman, "stop the bleeding" away of young lawyers.

Mr. Kalis stresses that the program -- which allows any lawyer to meet anonymously with an organizational sociologist and devise flexible working schedules (subject to the firm's approval, of course) -- is meant for both associates and partners. "Very few partners of AmLaw 100 firms are financially deprived," he says, "but a lot of them are still unhappy."

Happy partners, in Mr. Kalis's view, will solve the Third Year Dilemma and ultimately make for a more profitable firm. "When the people above you are happy, it has a tendency to rub off," he says. "And when associates are happy, not only are they more productive, but in my experience, they stay at your firm."


http://accuracyblog.blogspot.com

23
Book Sales and Trades / Re: Chris Laurel's tips on books and supplements
« on: January 23, 2006, 01:01:35 AM »
And ALWAYS sell your books back.  If you think you'll reference them EVER again, you are wrong.  NOBODY does, even though we all think we will.  Besides, the law changes too much that it quickly renders your books obsolete.

If you want decorative books, buy ones you might actually pick up again.  Besides, all those cases and legal information is on-line these days. 

ALWAYS SELL YOUR BOOKS.

24
General Board / Re: Why do law students act like they deserve disrespect?
« on: January 23, 2006, 12:13:27 AM »
Yeah, I totally agree Lipper.  Like those who continue to read, write and respond to threads they don't agree with or that bother them.  *Way* too much time on their hands.  Like, dude, I don't read threads that don't interest me, and if I leave a criticism it's directed at the post, not the postor.

Lipper - maybe you should use your time more effectively like I do - start your own thread and check back on it.  Get e-mail alerts when people post.  Educate yourself and that way it doesn't take long to formulate responses.  I type 85wpm - these posts take all of 10 minutes to write and edit. 

As it is now, you troll the boards and write nothing memorable, interesting, substantive, or that evidences an ability to critically reason.  Alternatively, spend some time reading my blog or reading:

The Washington Times
The Washington Post
The Economist
The National Review
The Times of London
The New York Times
The Independent
The Wall Street Journal

NPR's All Things Considered also helps

And educate yourself.  Maybe THEN you can actually add something to these discussions, instead of wasting YOUR time reading them and trying to get a rise out of people, eh? 

25
General Board / Re: Why do law students act like they deserve disrespect?
« on: January 22, 2006, 10:40:18 PM »
"We are all some of the smartest in the country.  We have knowledge people envy, and we know how to argue. "

Now that, kids, is what we call a classic case of developing gunner syndrome.
 

I was  not saying *I* am one of the brightest, I am saying people who attend law school are SOME of the brightest in the country.  Duh.  Look at who runs every government office.  Civil rights movement?  Wouldn't have gone anywhere without lawyers.  That was my only point.  It's really screwed up (or ignorant) you didn't understand what is essentially a fact.  Thus, what law school and law firms do to some of our country's best and brightest is ethically bankrupt.  That's my point.  If that's gunner's syndrome, so be it.  So is what we do to doctors during their residency - what those people suffer amounts to torture and threatens lives.  But I'm not in med school.

...wouldn't get wrapped up in the "oh my god I'm actually in law school, look I can have an opinion!" complex (i.e. "we are some of the smartest in the country") (and I wonder which law school that person actually attends?)...."We" is a broad group of people - and there are certainly plently of dumb ones.
  [I address this quote at the bottom]

First, thanks for not going for the "whiney female dog" tact less intelligent people than you use.

But what's the problem here?  On every thread I post I write:

1.  problems I see with the legal community and our educational program
2.  why they are problematic; and
3.  I propose a solution:  My solution is HERE

Not one of you anti-Chris Laurel postors has come up with one cogent argument against anything I say.  You attack me, attack what I use as representative samples of a larger problem, provide no evidence to back yourselves up, and only name-call and back slap each other over insults suited for MySpace, not a law school discussion board.

I suppose you guys think it bothers me, but it doesn't.  Everytime you post a personal attack on me, it is an opportunity to demonstrate how people like you run the country (Dems AND Repubs).  People like Giffy, Lincoln, lipper, deebre, etc.  What you do on this board people like you do in politics.  You personally attack the person, you never once address flaws in the ideas (unless just to say they are "stupid" - you all should try that on Moot Court as a line of reasoning and see where it gets you) and you grasp, comically, at straws to attack me, my background, my school, that I'm arrogant, a prick, etc.

But I have not attacked any of you.  I'm only pointing out what I see as a problem.  I am trying to get people thinking about it and consider ways to solve it.  I am not saying I'm right - but until someone can come up with a better solution or help to modify the one I propose, then I'll continue advocating it.

And this to all of you is "whining" or complaining or arrogance.  I don't get people like all of you, but you certainly don't anger me or even annoy me.  You all just seem like teenagers to me.  Attack the person, not the ideas.

When are we all going to stop that?  Who I am or am not is of NO importance to this discussion thread.  You all get some thrill out of it, and you think your clever but you really just look dumb...unable to think for yourselves or add to the topic. 

You don't make me angry, you illustrate the problems our country faces.  I only hope the people who read these posts see how it happens.  We *all* have to stand up to people like this and tell them to shut up if they have nothing to add.

Why don't you guys get that?  Why do you get more satisfaction out of attacking me instead of discussing (or attacking) my ideas? 

You guys all think you have me figured out; that you know my personality, my gender, where I am from, the grades I made, the school I go to...and then you slap yourselves on the back like the rednecks in "Deliverance" everytime you rip into me based on these idiotic assumptions.   

But you know nothing except what you've made up in your head.  And I can tell you, you're far far off.  Jeez, I have a profile on my blog - attack some stuff on there at least!  Stop looking like ignorant lazy dopes.  Is this how you plan to practice law?  "I bet opposing counsel is this kind of person; let's plan our strategy on that assumption." You won't be successful, I can assure you that.

BUT ONCE AGAIN I ASK:  IF YOU DISAGREE WITH ME, WHY DO YOU FEEL YOU *MUST* RESPOND TO MY THREADS, WHICH YOU FIND SO ANNOYING AND PRIGGISH? 

http://accuracyblog.blogspot.com

26
General Board / Re: Why do law students act like they deserve disrespect?
« on: January 22, 2006, 10:18:56 PM »
Your idea of how respect is gained is interesting. If respect is earned, then I have no duty to pay respect to any stranger I meet. After all, since I don't know them and have never met them before they've done nothing to earn my respect. I can disrespect them any way I want, right? The idea that respect must be earned doesn't sound quite right to me. Respect is something that is automatically given, and then it can be lost.

Kentucky Hammer - thanks for posting substantive thoughts.  That is exactly what I was saying. It's amazing to find people on here who actually discuss ideas.  And feel free to disagree with whatever I say.  I never ask everyone to agree.  Civil discussions on disagreements over solutions and ideas not only educate both me and you, but are far more interesting than the sophmoric AOL Chat Room attacks that seem to prevail here.  But at least your are contributing positively.  Now, on to the others....

27
General Board / Re: Why do law students act like they deserve disrespect?
« on: January 17, 2006, 09:45:40 PM »
Yeah, giffy, that's exactly what I think is wrong with the country--and laws schools--today.  To you it's "don't sweat the small stuff" to me it's an inaccurate system that keeps us indentured servants to our debt for the rest of our lives.  Yeah - that's a glass of water falling.   I don't want the juris doctor program easier, I want it more accurate.  But you'll take your licks and go about your way, which is normal today....

We don't fix problems.  We don't fix levees.  Our chemical plants--including a chrlorine gas (the first biological weapon) storage yard south of New York--are completely unguarded.  Our borders are open wide.  Our ports are barely checked.  Only two localities in the United States (Norfolk and some small town in Florida) are prepared for Tsunamis.  New Orleans is unfixed and choking.  The next hurricane season is around the bend.  Meanwhile, the murder rate in Houston soared 70% since the evacuees--jobless, nothing left to lose--have made it their home.

Student loans were cut by 15 billion.  Were in the middle of two wars yet we cut taxes on the wealthy but cut student loans and medicare.  We advocate torture, secret jails, and we have kept prisoners on Guantanamo for four years holding them without charges and without access to family, friends or courts and tribunals.

Avian flu is mutating, having outbreaks in humans in increasing numbers, and it's now mutated beyond the use of two drugs previously thought effective.  Let's hope an earthquake doesn't strike, aye Cali?

Yeah, giffy, go on your way and belittle the real problems we face.  Who is to fix all this?  Is it to be lawyers, educated on these very topics?  Doubtful, at least not to the degree needed.  We go through an emotionally brutal three year program that does not accurately measure ability or worth, where we are looked down upon (not always) by the self-importance that is the hallmark of all academia (mixed with an attorney's healthy ego).  Then we get shovelled into firms that expect us to bill 2200/2300 hours a year (I include time you can't bill to the client, but is considered "firm time" - you won't always be billing).

Our families suffer, our anxiety increases, we find we can't enjoy the money we make.  And we can't engage in our communities working so many hours, so many weekends.

Then who is left out there to start figuing out how we are going to climb out of the urgent problems our economy faces (see article from The Economist below - hope there's jobs).  How are we going to deal with the extraordinary consumer debt everyone owes? Both parents must work. The United States last year now spends more than it saves - we spend more than we make, in other words.  And Asia owns our debt.  Great, if you don't mind ceding such power to others.

Yeah, Giffy, we shouldn't try and fix the problems the legal community faces.  Who cares, right? 

http://accuracyblog.blogspot.com/2006/01/law-school-story.html
-------------------------------------------------------------

America's economy
Danger time for America

Jan 12th 2006
From The Economist print edition
The economy that Alan Greenspan is about to hand over is in a much less healthy state than is popularly assumed


DESPITE his rather appealing personal humility, the tributes lavished upon Alan Greenspan, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, become more exuberant by the day. Ahead of his retirement on January 31st, he has been widely and extravagantly acclaimed by economic commentators, politicians and investors. After all, during much of his 18˝ years in office America enjoyed rapid growth with low inflation, and he successfully steered the economy around a series of financial hazards. In his final days of glory, it may therefore seem churlish to question his record. However, Mr Greenspan's departure could well mark a high point for America's economy, with a period of sluggish growth ahead. This is not so much because he is leaving, but because of what he is leaving behind: the biggest economic imbalances in American history.

[...]

So far as the American economy is concerned, however, the Fed's policies of the past decade look like having painful long-term costs. It is true that the economy has shown amazing resilience in the face of the bursting in 2000-01 of the biggest stockmarket bubble in history, of terrorist attacks and of a tripling of oil prices. Mr Greenspan's admirers attribute this to the Fed's enhanced credibility under his charge. Others point to flexible wages and prices, rapid immigration, a sounder banking system and globalisation as factors that have made the economy more resilient to shocks.

The economy's greater flexibility may indeed provide a shock-absorber. A spurt in productivity has also boosted growth. But the main reason why America's growth has remained strong in recent years has been a massive monetary stimulus. The Fed held real interest rates negative for several years, and even today real rates remain low. Thanks to globalisation, new technology and that vaunted flexibility, which have all helped to reduce the prices of many goods, cheap money has not spilled into traditional inflation, but into rising asset prices instead—first equities and now housing. The Economist has long criticised Mr Greenspan for not trying to restrain the stockmarket bubble in the late 1990s, and then, after it burst, for inflating a housing bubble by holding interest rates low for so long (see article). The problem is not the rising asset prices themselves but rather their effect on the economy. By borrowing against capital gains on their homes, households have been able to consume more than they earn. Robust consumer spending has boosted GDP growth, but at the cost of a negative personal saving rate, a growing burden of household debt and a huge current-account deficit.
Burning the furniture

Ben Bernanke, Mr Greenspan's successor, likes to explain America's current-account deficit as the inevitable consequence of a saving glut in the rest of the world. Yet a large part of the blame lies with the Fed's own policies, which have allowed growth in domestic demand to outstrip supply for no less than ten years on the trot. Part of America's current prosperity is based not on genuine gains in income, nor on high productivity growth, but on borrowing from the future. The words of Ludwig von Mises, an Austrian economist of the early 20th century, nicely sum up the illusion: “It may sometimes be expedient for a man to heat the stove with his furniture. But he should not delude himself by believing that he has discovered a wonderful new method of heating his premises.”

As a result of weaker job creation than usual and sluggish real wage growth, American incomes have increased much more slowly than in previous recoveries. According to Morgan Stanley, over the past four years total private-sector labour compensation has risen by only 12% in real terms, compared with an average gain of 20% over the comparable period of the previous five expansions. Without strong gains in incomes, the growth in consumer spending has to a large extent been based on increases in house prices and credit. In recent months Mr Greenspan himself has given warnings that house prices may fall, and that this in turn could cause consumer spending to slow. In addition, he suggests that foreigners will eventually become less eager to finance the current-account deficit. Central banks in Asia and oil-producing countries have so far been happy to buy dollar assets in order to hold down their own currencies. However, there is a limit to their willingness to keep accumulating dollar reserves. Chinese officials last week offered hints that they are looking eventually to diversify China's foreign-exchange reserves. Over the next couple of years the dollar is likely to fall and bond yields rise as investors demand higher compensation for risk.

When house-price rises flatten off, and therefore the room for further equity withdrawal dries up, consumer spending will stumble. Given that consumer spending and residential construction have accounted for 90% of GDP growth in recent years, it is hard to see how this can occur without a sharp slowdown in the economy.

Handovers to a new Fed chairman are always tricky moments. They have often been followed by some sort of financial turmoil, such as the 1987 stockmarket crash, only two months after Mr Greenspan took over. This handover takes place with the economy in an unusually vulnerable state, thanks to its imbalances. The interest rates that Mr Bernanke will inherit will be close to neutral, neither restraining nor stimulating the economy. But America's domestic demand needs to grow more slowly in order to bring the saving rate and the current-account deficit back to sustainable levels. If demand fails to slow, he will need to push rates higher. This will be risky, given households' heavy debts. After 13 increases in interest rates, the tide of easy money is now flowing out, and many American households are going to be shockingly exposed. In the words of Warren Buffett, “It's only when the tide goes out that you can see who's swimming naked.”




28
General Board / Re: Why do law students act like they deserve disrespect?
« on: January 17, 2006, 03:04:48 PM »
I give one example and that's all you guys point to?  It's just an example.  I can provide others.  A friend of mine who is a Greek Orthodox priest went up to our Property professor to say hello outside of class.  When he asked him, "how long have you taught this subject?" the guy said "three years" and then abruptly walked away without ending the conversation. 

What's YOUR problem Lincoln?  If I am getting so tiresome, then why do you feel so compelled to read my threads?  It's almost a compulsion for you.  You can very easily ignore them.  Why don't you?  You seem to get some thrill --like a troll does-- out of goading people. And you do so w/little intelligence.  You should stick to AOL chat rooms or MySpace to get your thrills, where people are less intelligent and will fall for it more easily.   

Attack me, don't admit it, whatever.  Fact is, one exam over a year long course is an inherently inaccurate measure of one's ability to practice law.  Why don't you debate that idea, instead of debate me?  What's wrong with you all?

In the end, if what I am talking about doesn't resonate with you, then move on and go about your day and don't check back.  It's really just that simple.

29
General Board / Re: Why do law students act like they deserve disrespect?
« on: January 17, 2006, 09:01:37 AM »
Believe it or not, I heard they used to be worse at mine!

But it's a good indication that instead of being treated like accomplished adults in pursuit of enlightment and education, we are treated like children and not accorded basic respect by much of the authority we come across. 

And we pay astronomical costs to do so.  And then when we get into the working world, we will be expected to shelve any semblance of a human life.  And we take it without question.

No wonder the whole system continues.   And we are all expected to graduate and advocate for our clients, when we can not even advocate for ourselves?

This is one solution for a fix (it is not the only or even necessarily the best):

http://accuracyblog.blogspot.com/2006/01/law-school-story.html

30
General Board / Re: Why do law students act like they deserve disrespect?
« on: January 17, 2006, 02:08:13 AM »
I'll give you one example before I go to bed (I have class tomorrow).

Last year I finished an exam and I brought it up to the test proctor, waited in line with the 75 other students from the class (ridiculous! we are supposed to get the kind of instruction we need--and I'm at a top school--when we are taught like cattle?!), and handed the test proctor my exam.

"Why don't you have your social security number on this bluebook?" they barked at me. "I am not going to take this bluebook [out of FOUR I missed ONE book, the last I filled in a rush] until you put your number on it."

"No problem, may I use your pen?" I asked.  I left my pen at my seat.

"I shouldn't have to supply a pen to you!  How old are you?" replied the proctor.

Do you think I took that?  I'm 31 years old. I've skydove over Italy.  I've managed the simultaneous closings of two ten-billion dollar transactions.  I've camped in the Amazon.  I moved to New York City on my own dime and made a success of it.  Who the hell are you to talk to me like that, when I show you nothing but courtesy?  I pay to take this course and this exam, I do not pay for your disrespect.

You think I didn't say that?  I certainly did.  Disrespect me, and I will disrespect you.  What were they going to do, not take my test because I did not take their disrespect?

Look - all you guys have the intelligence, or you wouldn't be in law school.  Get some confidence and stick up for yourselves. 

If you want to know more, go to the Socratic Method board and read the discussion there.

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