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LawDog3

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Re: The Howard Law/HBCU Law Schools Thread
« Reply #2290 on: January 11, 2009, 01:45:49 AM »
I think Law Dawg to an extent has a valid observation regarding the conditions black people seem to be willing to accept.  I partly agree with Esco that that stereotype is partly due to outside misconception and belief that blacks are inferior period, but I also submit that much of it comes from our willingness to put up with a sub-standard environment.  I live in Harlem which, contrary to recent Manhattan northern migration, is still predominantly black.  If I want fresh fruit or vegetables that are not (i) decayed or (ii) infested with chemicals I have to hop on the 2/3 or the 4/5/6 to travel to the upper west side or the upper east side where the white folks stay.  If I want decent health care, I can't go to the Harlem hospital, I gotta do downtown to NYU or what have you.  All the way from downtown to just about where Harlem starts, the streets in Manhattan are cleaned everyday.  You come to Harlem there's trash everywhere, litter all over the sidewalks, random garbage just hanging out in the street....and it is BLACK people who put it there!!! I could go on all day describing the discrepancies.  The worst part about it is, I see the black folks in my neighborhood who grew up here and they just accept it.  As if there's nothing wrong with it at all.  You walk in a store in a white neighborhood and let there be piss in one of the aisles - white folks would be throwing a fit and that sh!t would get mopped up in 2.5 seconds.  In a black neighborhood we'll just step over it and won't say anything.

I guess my point is, we as a people are too accepting of substandard environments or service, and sometimes to our detriment.  Now, all that said, I agree with A that a brand new building will have very little effect on Howard's ranking, but that's mostly because I think the rankings are bullsh!t to begin with.  Anytime you can have a school jump 10, 15, 20 points in a ranking in one year when the school itself hasn't changed itself in any way since the previous year I think that speaks to the inaccuracy of the ranking system itself but that's a whole other topic for another thread.

To bring it back to Howard, my point in bringing up the substandard environment/services there is to say while they do exist in our community unfortunately, which includes our law schools, they have less to do with rankings than bar passage, employment ops, starting salaries, etc.  Howard tends to do well in those categories (except the bar passage) and that's what really counts.  Law school is, after all, professional school; the whole purpose is to put you into a job.




Well said. But, I disagree with you on one point: the increased attraction of more top-quality students and faculty to the school, which WOULD do much to improve ranking. Like I said, no diss on the current and past students; they are the shyt. Howard is going to get great students and great people no matter what.

If you have read my other posts, you know that I do not believe grades and LSAT scores equal "quality". But, there are Black students out there who have the entire package: high GPA, high LSAT score, soft factors, work history, etc, etc...and have led very interesting lives. By top black talent, I am referring to Black students from HBCU's and majority-white undergrads who refuse to sniff the halls at Howard Law. I personally know several HBCU grads who refused to apply at Howard, instead opting for Penn, GULC, USC, Emory, UVA, etc.

The difference is in the facilities, I'm telling you. And there are law profs who would feel more comfortable in an environment like Howard's if there was more of a commitment to research, and more money devoted to clinics and facilities. Imagine what Howard would be like if some of the top Black legal scholars from white universities would teach there. It would require better salaries and facilities, but it can be done.

Howard could, theoretically, become at least a Top-75 within the blink of an eye because the actual quality of the school would improve. Better facilities would be a catalyst for attracting better talent, which would lead to better scholarship and clinics, which would lead to better BAR passage, which would beget better job prospects. This would lead to more endowments and alumni giving...which would maintain the improved facilities and programs.

Schools like Cardozo, NYLS and Cincinnati understand this. I will bet that, with its new facilities, NYLS will be at least Top-75 within five years, if not higher. And it's because the school is going to do more to attract better talent and more donations, and have better resources. 

I do agree that the rankings are flawed, but as long as they exist, there's a way to play them, without sacrificing substance. Howard deserves more respect than it gets from the mainstream. New facilities will go a long ways towards getting it. It would just do so much for black American society to have Howard stand among the giants in the minds of the mainstream. We already know how good it is, but it would make Blacks even more proud if the school was better kept and was even more dynamic.

There's a practical side to this, as well. Faculty from higher ranked schools more easily get published, so their voices are heard throughout the legal community. I cannot stress how important it is that more Black scholars get published in popular journals and have their voices heard...that more cases involving Blacks reach the forefront of discussions in these journals. It's part of our continuing fight for full enfranchisement as Americans. That's the big picture. 

LawDog3

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Re: The Howard Law/HBCU Law Schools Thread
« Reply #2291 on: January 11, 2009, 01:53:12 AM »
Students don't attend HUSL because of it's facilities; students attend HUSL because of its rich history and reputation of producing effective attorneys.  Students attend HUSL because the top firms recruit at HUSL.  Actually, firms and organizations recruit at HUSL more than they recruit at many of the top D.C. schools and other top - 100 schools that you mentioned.  The facilities, renovations, website, and other greviances that you mentioned are irrelevant when you consider the benefits that HUSL students receive (ie: top professors, employment opportunities, network, respect, etc).  Students attend HUSL because they want to be a part of it's history and network. I also received chills when I first visited HUSL; however, not because of the old facilities, but because it was an honor to see the generations of students/professionals who have their pictures on the walls of those old, non-exciting facilities.   
Fun fact: HUSL ranks within the top 15 schools in the nation among schools that have produced the most active judges.  Pretty good for a TTT?

Did you read my disclaimer? I said that I would never hinge a decision on these issues. I also mentioned HUSL's "rich history" and said that walking through the halls gave me "chills". How did you interpret those remarks? Because I thought I was pretty clear on my warm feelings towards the institution; these things are redundant.

The question is, however, "Is it okay to maintain mediocre facilities at a school that considers itself top-notch?" True, it hasn't hurt Black students' beleif in the institution. But how long can HUSL continue to lag behind other schools in terms of facilities and woo top talent? Believe it or not, many students refuse to apply to howard because of this.

There's always a general perception that Black-owned businesses and institutions offer inferior products and services, and when a top HBCU fails to keep up its facilities, it feeds into that stereotype.

All I am asking is, "Why does a school like Howard not keep up?" It should have top-notch facilities and add a few volumed to its library. If it makes some cosmetic changes and increases its per student expenditures just a little, it will become a high-end T2 school and lure more top Black talent.

Believe me, I am not alone in noticing these things. And I have friends who have gone to so-called top schools, even though they would rather have gone to Howard. The facilities and some of the administrative infrastructure were deal-breakers for them. I went to a white university, and I would love to attend an HBCU law school.

But like other Black students, I do not feel like dealing with the added stress of not being able to do online research at-will, or dealing with faulty vending machines when I a famished after studying all-day. Students need a nice gymnasium to work out in.

Contrary to what you say, these things matter...a lot! If they didn't, schools would not mention "student life" on their websites. And if they didn't matter to Black talent, HUSL would more successfully woo Black students with higher grades and LSAT's. This is no knock on the Black talent Howard gets, because I know they are great students, regardless.

Moreover, it is very commendable that HUSL students are able to block out the inconveniences, but they shouldn't have to. Sure, Howard has gotten by with mediocre facilities, but just because something can be done a certain way, does not mean it SHOULD be done that way. 

Do not misunderstand me. I share your pride in Howard University, and I demonstrated that in my earlier remarks. Howard Law could be dominating in the recruitment of top Black talent, but right now,  it loses many top students to T-1 schools. And it doesn't have to.

It also seems that you thought I was calling HUSL overrated, I was saying just the opposite. I think it is already a Top law school, but the rankings don't show it b/c of its BAR passage rate, its needy infrastriucture and some of the cosmetic things I mentioned.

A. - I agree with you 100%

Law Doggie - I did not think that you were calling HUSL overrated nor did I think that you were bashing HUSL; however, I must admit, we seem to be looking through two separate set of lenses.  When speaking of HUSL, you see "mediocare facilities," and question whether it is okay to maintain mediocare facilities at a "top-notch" school.  Conversely, I see tradition in the HUSL facilities;
1. It's "top-notch" status has nothing to do with it's facilities.  HUSL's "top-notch" status is inherited from a long history of making notable social engineers out of what you consider to not to be "Top Black Talent."  HUSL's "top-notch status" has more to do with the contribution that HUSL graduates have made to society at large over the course of time, and less with it's facilities. Shouts out to Thurgood, the Senator of Ill, and to all of those inbetween.   

2. The general perception / stereotype that black-owned business and institutions offer inferior products and services stems from the our country's historical belief in black inferiority.  Things were like this before we were born, and will probably continue to be like that unless Obama really produces change; but even then, there will be people like you who think that just because a school lacks the "top-notch" facilities, as compared to other schools, they cannot be "top-notch" because the "top-notch" talent will go to those other schools.  POINT: HUSL's facilities has nothing to do with the products or services that the school offers.

3. "Top Black Talent" or "Black Talent".  When firms want to recruit the "top-black talent" where do they go?  Do your research, HUSL receives Black students from all of the top undergraduate schools in the nation - Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, etc, as well as many of the other schools that you may or may not consider noteworthy.  These students attend Howard because they want to take part in history, not because they could not get into T-1 or T-2 schools (or because HOward gave them more $$ of course).  Students attend Howard because they know that the top firms recruit there, regardless of its inferior facilities.  Bottom line: There are exceptionally talented blacks at every law school in the nation, and a there is school full of them at Howard.  Don't be fooled by the LSAT & grades argument because they are not absolute measures/indicators of a person's "talent" or intellectual capabilities. 

4. I do agree with you on one thing, HUSL could use a gym on campus or better vending machines.  Although these things may add to the convenience for some students, it has absolutely nothing to do with the opportunties you receive, and the knowledge you obtain from the institution.  Why are HUSL students unable to do online research at-will? 

5. Bar passage rates.  Howard's 1st time bar passage rates were low because most students take the bar (mostly NY & MD) without taking barbri or other prep courses.  To correct this problem, Howard has added $1K to the first year's tuition, which will be credited to the student, after graduation, to apply towards a bar prep course. 

As far as rankings are concerned, I think Howard has been ranked the most underrated school for sometime now (at least by Vault...I think).  I don't know about you, but employment is what matters to me doggie.

+1 You are right about one thing. The bottom line is what's at the bottom line. Job$ and $$$. I love the tradition, too, or I would not have applied. And, like a lot of Howard's other applicants, I am a candidate at so-called top-25 and even T-14 schools. Realistically, I may be choosing between USC, Duke or Fordham, and Howard, which frightens me. That's a choice I do not want to have to make. There will be + and - in any choice I make. But I'm riding witcha; I'm down. 

LawDog3

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Re: The Howard Law/HBCU Law Schools Thread
« Reply #2292 on: January 11, 2009, 02:08:21 AM »
I have to say this, also. I am so proud to be on the board with you guys. You write and speak so intelligently and eloquently and you have pride. I hope we all meet in person one day soon.   :)

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Re: The Howard Law/HBCU Law Schools Thread
« Reply #2293 on: January 11, 2009, 01:56:17 PM »
I think Law Dawg to an extent has a valid observation regarding the conditions black people seem to be willing to accept.  I partly agree with Esco that that stereotype is partly due to outside misconception and belief that blacks are inferior period, but I also submit that much of it comes from our willingness to put up with a sub-standard environment.  I live in Harlem which, contrary to recent Manhattan northern migration, is still predominantly black.  If I want fresh fruit or vegetables that are not (i) decayed or (ii) infested with chemicals I have to hop on the 2/3 or the 4/5/6 to travel to the upper west side or the upper east side where the white folks stay.  If I want decent health care, I can't go to the Harlem hospital, I gotta do downtown to NYU or what have you.  All the way from downtown to just about where Harlem starts, the streets in Manhattan are cleaned everyday.  You come to Harlem there's trash everywhere, litter all over the sidewalks, random garbage just hanging out in the street....and it is BLACK people who put it there!!! I could go on all day describing the discrepancies.  The worst part about it is, I see the black folks in my neighborhood who grew up here and they just accept it.  As if there's nothing wrong with it at all.  You walk in a store in a white neighborhood and let there be piss in one of the aisles - white folks would be throwing a fit and that sh!t would get mopped up in 2.5 seconds.  In a black neighborhood we'll just step over it and won't say anything.

I guess my point is, we as a people are too accepting of substandard environments or service, and sometimes to our detriment.  Now, all that said, I agree with A that a brand new building will have very little effect on Howard's ranking, but that's mostly because I think the rankings are bullsh!t to begin with.  Anytime you can have a school jump 10, 15, 20 points in a ranking in one year when the school itself hasn't changed itself in any way since the previous year I think that speaks to the inaccuracy of the ranking system itself but that's a whole other topic for another thread.

To bring it back to Howard, my point in bringing up the substandard environment/services there is to say while they do exist in our community unfortunately, which includes our law schools, they have less to do with rankings than bar passage, employment ops, starting salaries, etc.  Howard tends to do well in those categories (except the bar passage) and that's what really counts.  Law school is, after all, professional school; the whole purpose is to put you into a job.




Well said. But, I disagree with you on one point: the increased attraction of more top-quality students and faculty to the school, which WOULD do much to improve ranking. Like I said, no diss on the current and past students; they are the shyt. Howard is going to get great students and great people no matter what.

If you have read my other posts, you know that I do not believe grades and LSAT scores equal "quality". But, there are Black students out there who have the entire package: high GPA, high LSAT score, soft factors, work history, etc, etc...and have led very interesting lives. By top black talent, I am referring to Black students from HBCU's and majority-white undergrads who refuse to sniff the halls at Howard Law. I personally know several HBCU grads who refused to apply at Howard, instead opting for Penn, GULC, USC, Emory, UVA, etc.

The difference is in the facilities, I'm telling you. And there are law profs who would feel more comfortable in an environment like Howard's if there was more of a commitment to research, and more money devoted to clinics and facilities. Imagine what Howard would be like if some of the top Black legal scholars from white universities would teach there. It would require better salaries and facilities, but it can be done.

Howard could, theoretically, become at least a Top-75 within the blink of an eye because the actual quality of the school would improve. Better facilities would be a catalyst for attracting better talent, which would lead to better scholarship and clinics, which would lead to better BAR passage, which would beget better job prospects. This would lead to more endowments and alumni giving...which would maintain the improved facilities and programs.

Schools like Cardozo, NYLS and Cincinnati understand this. I will bet that, with its new facilities, NYLS will be at least Top-75 within five years, if not higher. And it's because the school is going to do more to attract better talent and more donations, and have better resources. 

I do agree that the rankings are flawed, but as long as they exist, there's a way to play them, without sacrificing substance. Howard deserves more respect than it gets from the mainstream. New facilities will go a long ways towards getting it. It would just do so much for black American society to have Howard stand among the giants in the minds of the mainstream. We already know how good it is, but it would make Blacks even more proud if the school was better kept and was even more dynamic.

There's a practical side to this, as well. Faculty from higher ranked schools more easily get published, so their voices are heard throughout the legal community. I cannot stress how important it is that more Black scholars get published in popular journals and have their voices heard...that more cases involving Blacks reach the forefront of discussions in these journals. It's part of our continuing fight for full enfranchisement as Americans. That's the big picture. 

New facility for New York Law School??  Unless they've moved within the last year off of Church street, NYLS has been in the same place in the financial district for the past 5+ years, maybe more.  They're rankings have not moved.

Cardozo's rankings have little to do with their building on 5th ave, which many of my Cardozo friends complain about btw, and more to do with the fact that their alumni get out, make crazy bank, and give back to the school.

Another prime example, I went to Rutgers - Newark.  All up until 1999, Rutgers was in this very very old school building.  Actually, as a random trivia fact, the old Rutgers Law building was the "City Law" building featured in the movie Rounders with Matt Damon and Ed Norton.  Anyway, my point is, when Rutgers was in that building, it ranked #41 in the US News rankings.  In 1999, the school moved down the street to a brand new building will all the latest in smart building technology and design, and guess what, the school's rank dropped 30 points to like 70-something.  Point being, the shape of the building really has no bearing on school rank.

In Rutgers' case, the school fell over 30 points in the so-called rankings because in the late 90's US News removed starting salaries from its ranking system and Rutgers' private starting salary average has always been commensurate with the New York biglaw market rate.

In Cardozo's case, the school rose several points in the so-called rankings because of heavy heavy heavy alumni financial support.

In NYLS's case, the school has historically remained in the so-called "third tier" for some time now, despite it's building's location in the financial district.

My point is, if Yale Law was in its original 19th century building, it would still be the #1 law school in the nation.  A new facility simply has little (if any) bearing on this fact.
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Re: The Howard Law/HBCU Law Schools Thread
« Reply #2294 on: January 11, 2009, 03:35:31 PM »
You keep assuming that I am saying a new facility makes a law school automatically better. Read what I have written, because I'm detecting some comprehension problems here. I am saying that Howard, like some other schools that already have the right stuff on the inside (NYLS, etc), could attract better talent by upgrading its facilities. The upgrades would translate to attracting better talent, more donations (which speaks to your point about Cardozo) and the creation of better programs, and that sustenance could be cyclical for years to come. My argument is a simple one, and really cannot be refuted.

Yale is its own beast. It's not an HBCU, it has a strong history as a top university going back three centuries (1701). And it has been a school for the rich and the white from day one. Howard has been alive only since 1867 (141 years) and really did not gain its bearings until the Harlem Renessance when Black education was at the forefront of the "talented 10th" mission.

http://www.howard.edu/explore/History.htm

Comparing Yale to Howard is like comparing Steven Spielberg to Tyler Perry. Spielberg has been in the game so much longer and has enjoyed several advantages that Perry simply hasn't. Thus, Perry is going to have to go an extra mile or two to reach the same status, as he has by beginning to create his own "Hollywood" in Atlanta.

I do not dispute your general points, which is that Howard is "working" for many people, that Howard is a great law school from the classroom standpoint, and that its alumni networks bolster its allure.

What I am saying is that Howard can and should be better than it is. And upgrading the facilities would be a great starting point.

Also, avoind the flawed logic of saying that, because something has "always been a certain way, it will continue to be that way", as you did with Cardozo. Cardozo's ranking hasn't moved because of the USNWR biased methodology. Cardozo was once widely regarded as a second-tier law school, now only the USNWR sees it that way. It is now widely regarded as a Top-30 or better (by those in the know, not law students, who mostly subscribe to the USN bull), as is the case with Brooklyn, Chicago-Kent, Miami, Tulane and some others.

As far as NYLS, you are aware that they are getting a brand new facility and persuing top faculty now, right? They are also renovating the existing buildings. This is how Cardozo became so great. Keep in mind, also, that U.S. News is about to go under, and its rankings may go with it.   

I will not engage on this specific point anymore, as it is beginning to turn circular. I respect you and all of my brethren, and I am not disputing your points.  

My bottom line statement is that, while already a great school with a rich history, Howard should upgrade its facilities.   

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Re: The Howard Law/HBCU Law Schools Thread
« Reply #2295 on: January 11, 2009, 05:34:53 PM »
My point is, if Yale Law was in its original 19th century building, it would still be the #1 law school in the nation.  A new facility simply has little (if any) bearing on this fact.

Lol, incidentally, YLS is still in its original footprint from 1936...everything--and I do mean everything--is in one building.  Probably one of the few top law schools not to have expanded.  That said, they've acquired a new building which they're going to expand to in a few years.

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Re: The Howard Law/HBCU Law Schools Thread
« Reply #2296 on: January 11, 2009, 06:41:09 PM »
My argument is a simple one, and really cannot be refuted.



Famous last words in the legal profession.



I do not dispute your general points, which is that Howard is "working" for many people, that howard is a great law school from the classroom standpoint, and that its alumni networks bolster its allure.


I think you're confusing my argument with Esco's b/c I never made any points about Howard's alumni network.

Further, I never made any comparison, direct or otherwise, between Howard and Yale.  The issue is and has always been law school facilities as they relate to law school rankings.

You keep assuming that I am saying a new facility makes a law school automatically better. Read what I have written, because I'm detecting some comprehension problems here...

Also, avoind the flawed logic of saying that...


Look, kid, I know you're new here so I'll cut you a break on this one, but you're talking fundamentals to an attorney licensed in two different states.  I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that graduating from law school, making law review, and passing two bars on the first try probably establishes that my personal reading comprehension and logic skills are juuuuuuuuuust slightly in tact.  Just a little bit.  I could be wrong though. ;)

"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

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Re: The Howard Law/HBCU Law Schools Thread
« Reply #2297 on: January 11, 2009, 07:01:18 PM »
My point is, if Yale Law was in its original 19th century building, it would still be the #1 law school in the nation.  A new facility simply has little (if any) bearing on this fact.

Lol, incidentally, YLS is still in its original footprint from 1936...everything--and I do mean everything--is in one building.  Probably one of the few top law schools not to have expanded.  That said, they've acquired a new building which they're going to expand to in a few years.

LOL  Why does that not surprise me?  I guess they subscribe to the old adage of "if it ain't broke..."
"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

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Re: The Howard Law/HBCU Law Schools Thread
« Reply #2298 on: January 11, 2009, 07:13:11 PM »
My argument is a simple one, and really cannot be refuted.



Famous last words in the legal profession.



I do not dispute your general points, which is that Howard is "working" for many people, that howard is a great law school from the classroom standpoint, and that its alumni networks bolster its allure.


I think you're confusing my argument with Esco's b/c I never made any points about Howard's alumni network.

Further, I never made any comparison, direct or otherwise, between Howard and Yale.  The issue is and has always been law school facilities as they relate to law school rankings.

You keep assuming that I am saying a new facility makes a law school automatically better. Read what I have written, because I'm detecting some comprehension problems here...

Also, avoind the flawed logic of saying that...


Look, kid, I know you're new here so I'll cut you a break on this one, but you're talking fundamentals to an attorney licensed in two different states.  I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that graduating from law school, making law review, and passing two bars on the first try probably establishes that my personal reading comprehension and logic skills are juuuuuuuuuust slightly in tact.  Just a little bit.  I could be wrong though. ;)



First, congrats on all of your accomplishments. I just feel that the scope of my argument is narrow, yet too much is being made of it. You're right that I probably attributed remarks from someone else to you.

LOL! "...can't be refuted." Yeah, I love that statement. It's bold.

I am not "new" here, though. LawDog3 is an alt from a long while back.   

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Re: The Howard Law/HBCU Law Schools Thread
« Reply #2299 on: January 11, 2009, 07:19:03 PM »
My argument is a simple one, and really cannot be refuted.



Famous last words in the legal profession.



I do not dispute your general points, which is that Howard is "working" for many people, that howard is a great law school from the classroom standpoint, and that its alumni networks bolster its allure.


I think you're confusing my argument with Esco's b/c I never made any points about Howard's alumni network.

Further, I never made any comparison, direct or otherwise, between Howard and Yale.  The issue is and has always been law school facilities as they relate to law school rankings.

You keep assuming that I am saying a new facility makes a law school automatically better. Read what I have written, because I'm detecting some comprehension problems here...

Also, avoind the flawed logic of saying that...


Look, kid, I know you're new here so I'll cut you a break on this one, but you're talking fundamentals to an attorney licensed in two different states.  I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that graduating from law school, making law review, and passing two bars on the first try probably establishes that my personal reading comprehension and logic skills are juuuuuuuuuust slightly in tact.  Just a little bit.  I could be wrong though. ;)



First, congrats on all of your accomplishments. I just feel that the scope of my argument is narrow, yet too much is being made of it. You're right that I probably attributed remarks from someone else to you.

LOL! "...can't be refuted." Yeah, I love that statement. It's bold.

I am not "new" here, though. LawDog3 is an alt from a long while back.   


It's all gravy.
"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston