Law School Discussion

The Fact Is, Profs Don't Use The Socratic Method


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Re: The Fact Is, Profs Don't Use The Socratic Method
« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2006, 08:40:40 AM »
I completely agree that the amount of debt LS often requires people to go to work at big firms. However it is still a minority that winds up at BIGlaw. Here are the statistics for UW (the highest ranked school in the NW.

Of the half of students who go into private practice only a 1/3 go to work at firms larger then 100 and only 8.9% go to work at truly mega firms (500+). While these firms often require intense hours for the first 3-7 years, many are willing to do so because they want to make partner and make tons of money. This is especially true for younger students who graduate at 23-25 and figure they'll work their asses off now so that when they have a family at 30 they can have plenty of money. Granted that a good deal burn out or underestimate the work required, but that is true of any high level job. That being said we should do something about the cost of law school. One idea would be to allow students who go to work for less than a certain amount to pay off their debts over a longer period of time, but keep the total interest accrued the same. Assuming the movement helps to subsidize the whole thing could be close to revenue neutral. We could also expand the number of law programs offered by state schools. For example in Seattle we have two law schools UW a public schools chares around 13k whereas Seattle U a private school charges around 25k. We could also create an entirely public education lending program with a fixed rate of less than 1%. This could cut peoples debt payments by 1/3-1/2 depending on what rates they would otherwise have and the whole thing would be almost free (in the long run). Do both loan programs and you could take debt payments for the average student form around 1000 a month to a couple hundred.

As for the broader problem of social awareness, I agree to a point. However I think the tide is turning in that regard. The youth vote was up around 10% in the last election and more and more young people are getting involved in interest groups, or at least following the news on the internet. America has always been a rather apathetic country, but that doesn't mean we can't improve.

Other then that I pretty much agree with you. WE need to do more preventative care and we need to start addressing the problems we face. However, none of this is going to happen until we get leaders who see government as part of the solution and not simply a means to award the rich and big corporations with windfall tax cuts and subsidies.

Re: The Fact Is, Profs Don't Use The Socratic Method
« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2006, 10:14:11 PM »
My Civ. Pro. professor uses the socratic method......

Re: The Fact Is, Profs Don't Use The Socratic Method
« Reply #42 on: February 22, 2006, 11:11:24 PM »
Yalee, that is an awesome no-frills post following this virtual melee.

By the way, how is Yale Law (assuming that you're in law school there)?

A few comments:
aloha737pilot: I'm Catholic. Most Catholic churches, at least the vast majority (or all) of the churches I've visited, have respectable, attentive, calm, and intellectually invigorating yet also reasoned priests.

giffy: I understand your concern regarding taxes. If you have discounted the Laffer Curve, I suggest you revisit it. It helps clear up the basic counter-intuititiveness of reducing taxes for the richest tax payers; but, of course, it doesn't admit of indisputability.

Overall, I praise your efforts, Chris, to fight for what you believe in. Jesus said not to be luke-warm, if I recall correctly..

I believe debt is a big issue. Baby-boomers are not (and were not) necessarily out to get us. I do agree, however, that poor foresight and lack of appropriate priorities here will hurt us and our generation.

In terms of the cost of law school, it is both exorbitant and, in some ways, reasonable. Adam Smith's writings on the determinants of wages can inform this discussion. Moreover, on its face, the situation of most neophyte lawyers juxtaposed with that of most other workers - firemen, janitors, teachers, roofers, etc. - admits of the former not only having far more debt but also having far more long-term income potential, job flexibility, power, prestige, and so on. See the virtual equilibrium here? I believe that it takes hard work to become a lawyer. Yet it also produces quite ripe fruit.
(The previous comments does not suggest that one should not fight for qualitative improvements in the legal education system. Rather, it provides a context for outspoken concerns regarding the system and an appreciation of opportunities, which I assume exists.)
    In some ways, as has occurred throughout recorded history, those who attain power will attempt, unintentionally or in a premeditated manner, to maintain and increase their power. In the case of law, professors will earn tons of money without needing to teach most efficaciously, choosing instead to publish texts etc., and will have these choices honored by their sponsoring institutions. Insofar as market competition is unreactive, the allocation of resources in exchange for pay may be a non-zero-sum game. You may not get what you pay for. Likewise, any attempt at achieving a legal meritocracy may be proportionately thwarted. As you say, similar (law)people will be rewarded by similar predecessors and the cycle to some extent will continue. Yet is this fully inappropriate? Good question.

On balance, I enjoyed reading the vociferous argumentation here presented - even with its ad hominem bent. For those who have what clearly is a "correct" stance, I would encourage you to ask yourself questions about your stance while purposefully presupposing that the opposite stance (if such exists) is correct. This sort of process, dialectical/self-socratic in a sense (if there is such a thing), can help one to readily disentangle complex issues in a usefully disinterested way.

Re: The Fact Is, Profs Don't Use The Socratic Method
« Reply #43 on: March 10, 2006, 12:29:29 AM »

Despite our initial back n' forths, I think we're on the same team.  I agree my written voice sounds too angry and sanctimonious.  To a degree, it's a reaction to what seems like apathy and indifference in my school.  To another extent, it's general frustration with the country.  And also, there is something therapeutic about ranting anonymously.

Still, I stand by what I said in my posts.  I dislike the structure, but love the education, of the JD program.  I dislike how schools have become indifferent to the costs they impose on students, even though they have endowments.  Schools care too much about glamour and growth, and not enough on how their cost structure forces people into careers they do not want or limits their lifestyle and choices.

I am not miserable and I definitely do not walk around ranting like I do on this board (could you imagine?).  I'm actually known as a laid back and very funny guy.  Still, I see so many problems in our society that threaten our prosperity and liberty (sorry for the amorphous concept - but how else to describe it?)

I'm known as the funny laid back guy in real time, but that doesn't mean I am not frightened about where we are going.  If I can't post it anonymously and beg for people to not personally attack who I am, but instead attack and debate my ideas, then what good is the Internet? 

I dunno - whether you all liked it or not, these thread made ME feel better.  No, of course I did not expect to change the world with these words.  I just wanted to get this *&^% off my chest.  If you guys didn't want to be victimized by my diatribes, all you had to do was not read them.

That people did and attacked me personally is interesting when you really consider it, because hasn't this thread in particular displayed the problem the country has with discourse?  We are so quick to criticize and tear down, instead of considering and debating the merits of the idea.  This thread in particular is a prime example of this problem.  Giffy, you and I are allies in spirit, yet we were opponents on this board.  Why are Americans so ready to smack their fellow citizens and deride them when they express passion, instead of critiquing their ideas, thus helping to make them stronger?

Doesn't anyone see how this is a problem for creativity and ingenuity?  We should encourage, even if we also advise others to temper their tone. 

AA draws ire of environmentalists after 5-passenger 777 flight
« Reply #44 on: March 07, 2008, 07:28:04 AM »

Two quick points because I am tired and have had some wine tonight.

First, Just because some of us don't see the problem with LS does not mean we are not engaged with the world. I follow the news quite closely,, have friends in elected office, and am involved with many groups (from abortion rights to environmentalism). I am actually looking to possibly run for office in either 08 or 10.

Enough with environmentalism and the like! Did you ear the lastest protest from environmentalists? Furious, as they always appear to be, they claimed American Airlines committed an "environmental crime" after flying a nearly empty Boeing 777 between Chicago O'Hare and London Heathrow, the Daily Mail of London reports. AA flew the 777 with just 5 passengers, something that came about after a long delay meant most of that flight's other customers had gone and secured options on other flights. But environmental activists charged that a 5-person flight means the carrier ended up burning 4,400 gallons of fuel per flier. They suggest AA should have canceled the trip instead of flying a flight they view as wasteful. Richard Dyer, a member of the group Friends of the Earth, tells the Daily Mail: "Through no fault of their own, each passenger's carbon footprint for this flight is about 45 times what it would have been if the plane had been full." But the environmentalists' complaints appear to put AA in a "darned if you do, darned if you don't" situation. AA says it decided to fly the flight because it had a full plane-load of passengers waiting at Heathrow to board the return flight the 777 was scheduled to operate. Without operating the "empty" flight, that 777 would have been out of position and a second flight would have been canceled. The average load factor across the Atlantic is 88%, that is every plane flying between the U.S. and the U.K. is 88% full. To transfer 250 passengers onto other planes would take days to clear the flight, because there will be five passengers on one plane here and 10 on another there. The bulk of the passengers will spend two or three days stuck in a hotel being paid for by the airline.