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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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A lawsuit seems like a longshot at best. I'd be against it on free speech grounds, regardless of how I feel about the rankings.

The answer to bad information is good information. A new rankings scheme which accounts for things like long term employment prospects and local reputation would be better.

One of the main problems I see with USNWR is that it holds all schools to a national standard by having lawyers and judges from around the country evaluate them.

I know a lawyer in Montana who graduated from the University of Montana. UM has a great in-state reputation, and the state's bench and bar are well stocked with UM grads. It also has a good rep in surrounding states like Idaho and Wyoming. No one in Montana considers UM a second rate school. In fact, Montanans are really proud of their public university. It's also one of the cheapest law schools in the country.

So, USNWR asks a bunch a of lawyers and judges who know nothing about UM to rate UM. Then they look at it's fairly modest admissions selectivity.

The result?

UM ranks #121. 

But in Montana it's #1, and would be the best choice for a kid who wants to live in that area. Those types of things are simply not accounted for in the current scheme.

Black Law Students / Re: Where is everyone?
« on: June 16, 2014, 08:40:59 PM »
Just remember this: the National Enquirer is one of the biggest selling periodicals in the nation. People love salaciousness, gossip and immaturity, all of which are available in spades at TLS and most other law school related sites.

I didn't know about this site when I was applying to law school, and I wish I had. There is some great advice here, beyond "don't go" and "re-take the LSAT."

Black Law Students / Re: Where is everyone?
« on: June 16, 2014, 09:45:53 AM »
What did happen here? It seems like even as recently as a year ago there were way more people posting.

I agree, the rankings are popular and will continue to make money for USNWR. In fact, they're beyond popular. People get absolutely obsessed with them, making predictions about which school will be #20 this year and which will be in a three way tie for #10.

I don't even necessarily mind such rankings, I just think people have lost all sense of context.

No lawyer needs USNWR to tell them that Harvard, Yale and Stanford are elite institutions. They were conferring elite pedigrees long before USNWR came up with it's rankings scheme.

The true absurdity of these rankings is the attempt to rank the 190 or so law schools which are not elite. What on earth does it mean to say that New Mexico is in a three way tie for #72 while San Diego is #79? The implication is that New Mexico is somehow a quantifiably "better" school.

The problem is that many young law students make their decision based solely on the rankings. So a young kid from San Diego who wants to live by the beach after law school will decide to go to New Mexico, or Iowa, or Dallas for law school because they've been told that rankings are everything.

As Burning Sands said, the impact is actually ridiculous. It has distorted many young people's ideas about how the legal market works. If you talk to older lawyers they will often tell you that before all of this there was far less distinction between schools. Harvard and Yale et al were always elite, but nobody was freaking out about whether Wisconsin was ranked higher than Illinois.   

Current Law Students / Alito calls USNWR rankings an "abomination"
« on: June 14, 2014, 02:17:39 PM »

Interesting article. Apparently Alito, a Yale grad, thinks USNWR's law school rankings are a bunch of bunk. He seems to practice what he preaches and has only hired two Ivy League grads as clerks recently (of course, those clerks may have been from places like Michigan or Chicago).

Current Law Students / Re: Citizens United Case Debate?
« on: June 13, 2014, 08:06:48 PM »
Well, an illegal French Canadian could be of Haitian or Senegalese origin too! Your point is well taken, it's nation-specific. 

Current Law Students / Re: Citizens United Case Debate?
« on: June 13, 2014, 07:37:30 PM »
It's because people have made it into a "race" issue.
If the person had been an illegal French Canadian, he never would have been allowed to be licensed.
It's as simple as that.

I'd have to agree with that.

One of the interesting points that a friend brought up was what this means for the Character and Fitness application. Generally, you're required to be in compliance with the law. I know people who went through hell because of really minor issues.

The legislature has basically said "If we feel sorry for you, you need not obey the law in order to become a lawyer." Honestly, if that's the case, why not be fair and give everyone a freebie? Why confer this huge benefit to only one group?

Here's the other issue: if this gentleman does violate the law by working in the U.S., is there any chance that the bar would discipline him? No way. On the other hand, if you lose your job and fall behind in your child support payments you can get ready to have your licensed suspended.

I hate I when things become this overtly politicized.   

Current Law Students / Re: Citizens United Case Debate?
« on: June 13, 2014, 06:03:16 PM »
While we're on the topic of controversial legal issues, I'm curious what you guys think of this.

I was recently having a conversation with some attorneys regarding California's decision to allow undocumented immigrants admission to the bar. The California Supreme Court was ready to strike down the state bar's admission of such individuals, when the legislature stepped in at the last minute and passed a new law allowing undocumented immigrants to gain admission to the bar.

Interestingly, the Supreme Court stated that although they can become licensed they still can't work (!) because only the federal government can confer employment eligibility.

What I found interesting about the conversation was that although the political view of the group was decidedly liberal, opposition to this law was overwhelming. Out of the twenty or so people, maybe one or two thought it was a good idea.

I'm not trying to start an argument about the very complex issue of illegal immigration, but I'm curious what other lawyers and law students think of this.       

Current Law Students / Re: Citizens United Case Debate?
« on: June 13, 2014, 11:06:11 AM »
That's pretty much my understanding of the case, too. Admittedly, I haven't actually read the full opinion so I could be wrong.

It's one of those cases where I really can see both sides of the argument, and they both have merit. One the one hand, there is always going to be disparity in economic influence. I mean, Bill Gates and the Koch brothers are going to be able to promote their causes more effectively than most people because they're rich.

Is that fair? Probably not, but that doesn't mean it's unconstitutional.

On the other hand, there is a real danger of becoming a corrupt oligarchy where the government is simply a bought and paid for instrument of the rich. Like the old Roman Senate, a bunch of elites pretending to care about the common people.

Interestingly, this particular phenomenon crosses party lines. I read an article recently about how this is the wealthiest Congress in history. I believe both of my Senators (Feinstein and Boxer) are worth hundreds of millions. Darrell Issa is worth something like  $600 million.

I think it's already at the point where you can't really win without huge personal wealth or the support of SuperPACS. It may not be unconstitutional, but I think the long term effects are probably negative.

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