Law School Discussion

poor lawyers

Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #230 on: January 23, 2009, 08:22:39 AM »
opinion, Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis raises some interesting ethical issues: German bioethicist Edgar Dahl, for instance, raises and dismisses 5 objections to the future use of embryo screening to choose the sexual orientation of children. He does not mention any evidence for, or controversy about, a "gay gene," but concludes that if a "safe and reliable genetic test" for sexual orientation were to become available, "parents should clearly be allowed" to use it, as long as they are permitted to select for homosexual as well as heterosexual children. Dahl has previously argued that PGD should be allowed for sex selection for social reasons.]

Should parents be allowed to use preimplantation genetic diagnosis to choose the sexual orientation of their children? Extending the application of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to screen embryos for non-medical traits such as gender, height and intelligence, raises serious moral, legal, and social issues. The most challenging ethical issues are posed by the prospect of using PGD to screen embryos for non-medical traits such as gender, height and intelligence. The possibility of using PGD to select the sexual orientation of offspring: if a safe and reliable genetic test were ever to become available, should parents be allowed to use PGD to choose the sexual orientation of their children?

1. The first objection that can be raised might be as follows: PGD is a medical procedure designed to detect genetic disorders. Since homosexuality is not a disease, PGD should not be employed to ensure the birth of heterosexual children. This is a familiar objection in debates over PGD. However, as familiar as it may be, it is certainly not a persuasive one. We have already become accustomed to a medical system in which physicians often provide services that have no direct medical benefit but that do have great personal value for the individuals seeking it. Given the acceptance of breast enlargement, hair replacement, ultrasound assisted liposuction and other forms of cosmetic surgery, one cannot, without calling that system into question, condemn a practice merely because it uses a medical procedure for lifestyle or child-rearing choices.

2. A second objection could claim that a state permitting the use of PGD to ensure a heterosexual orientation in one's children would be open to the charge of discrimination against its homosexual citizens. But this claim is simply untenable. Granting its citizens a right to use PGD to ensure the birth of heterosexual children is not the same as placing them under a duty to use PGD to ensure the birth of heterosexual children. Only a state coercing its citizens into using PGD to prevent homosexual offspring would be open to the charge of discrimination.

3. A third objection might assert that, even though it would not be discrimination on the part of the state, it would certainly be discrimination on the part of the prospective parents if they were to use PGD to prevent the birth of homosexual children. This argument is similarly misguided, though. Preferring a heterosexual over a homosexual child does not in itself in any way betray a negative judgment about the value of gay and lesbian individuals. Admittedly, some parents would certainly seek PGD to ensure the birth of heterosexual children because they are bigots anxiously adhering to the old clichés that homosexuality is a `disease', a `perversion' or a `sin'. Still, most parents using PGD to select the sexual orientation of their offspring would probably do so simply because they wish to see their children getting married, building a family and having children of their own. And the desire to have children who share the same sexual orientation as oneself is certainly not a morally objectionable interest.

4. A fourth objection may be that using PGD to ensure the birth of heterosexual children will impede the cause of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement as it is likely to lead to a gradual decline of the homosexual population. More precisely, it could be argued that a decrease in the number of gay and lesbian persons will inevitably cause a decrease in the public support for gay and lesbian people. This is, of course, a factual claim for which empirical data must be marshalled. Given the burdens and expenses of the procedure, it is very unlikely that PGD will ever considerably reduce the number of homosexual individuals. More importantly, reducing the number of gays and lesbians does not necessarily imply a reduced concern for the cause of homosexual people, as is evidenced by the case of disabled persons. Although the number of people born with disabilities has decreased, the support for people with disabilities has increased. Hence, it is far from being obvious that using PGD to ensure the birth of heterosexual offspring would inevitably worsen the situation of homosexual people.

5. A fifth objection might point to the fact that PGD generally implies discarding embryos. Thus, it could be argued that the desire to choose the sexual orientation of one's children does not justify the deliberate creation and destruction of human embryos. Whether or not this objection is viable entirely depends on the moral status accorded to embryos. Since this is not the place to review all the arguments for and against the `sanctity of human life', I restrict myself to saying that I doubt that there are sound reasons for granting embryos individual rights. The purpose of individual rights is the moral and legal protection of fundamental interests. Since embryos are too rudimentary in development to have interests there is simply no basis to grant them rights. If at all, embryos might be seen as having some `symbolic value' preventing them from being destroyed for any purpose whatsoever. Since the desire to have children of a particular sexual orientation is a morally legitimate reason, creating and destroying embryos of the undesired sexual orientation would certainly be justified.

Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #231 on: January 27, 2009, 08:25:20 AM »
Hahaha Peter's FIL - you're so funny! ;)

Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #232 on: February 01, 2009, 10:04:58 AM »
What's so funny about it, Vasiliki?

Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #233 on: February 02, 2009, 12:23:16 PM »
A common saying is that "money is the root of evil." My people-experience has proven otherwise. Money can't cripple confidence, can't snuff creativity, and can't kill love near as efficiently or quickly as reticence can. If such a money v. reticence race were run, I would place every spare nickel on that "dark horse" and be confident of winning. What's not said destroys more people than money does, I've found.

The original saying was actually "the love of money is the root of all evil."  If it was just money that wouldn't make sense, especially given the Christian mandate to give charity.  Money is a rather neutral thing, it can be used for good or bad.  A person who chases money and will do anything is prone to do evil in pursuit of that money; a person who does something for its inherent value and gets money incidentally in the process is in a very different situation.

Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #234 on: February 12, 2009, 05:31:15 PM »

What's so funny about it, Vasiliki?

I'll have to agree with Vasiliki, here, Kocci - Peter's post is indeed kinda funny!

Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #235 on: February 12, 2009, 05:58:18 PM »

Hmm, the motive of the famous Greek sirtaki -

Not really - Sirtaki appears as the first on the left - the actual video URL posted is just some Ourania and Spiro * & ^ %!

I really hate it when people try to be smart asses! 

You guys have to be kidding me with all this Greek * & ^ %!

I mean, come on!

Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #236 on: April 14, 2009, 07:58:23 AM »

People accumulate wealth because they Work, Save, Invest, Plan


They respect those who Work, Save, Invest, Plan.

People who don't want to Work, Save, Invest, Plan must find other ways to obtain wealth.

Lazy People Steal, Lie, Accuse, Sue, Marry for Money. These Lazy People don't want to earn wealth.

These Lazy People prefer to take it from people like you. Through the US legal system. The US legal system is their leverage because it's based on conflict. This conflict costs money. Your money.

There are many people with a lottery mentality who prefer to use the legal system as a shortcut to manipulate, threaten, intimidate, accuse others.

These people are enabled by attorneys who are primarily interested in personal gain. They instigate conflict in Families, Business, Relationships to generate greater legal fees for themselves.

Sounds like an ad to me.

Re: Law School by Default
« Reply #237 on: May 15, 2009, 08:24:42 AM »
Want to keep your options open? Don't train to be a lawyer.


Friday, June 23, 2006

They're dropping like flies. Count 'em. Despite the swelling ranks of the new recruits, the steady growth in large corporate firms, and the length, breadth and expense of lawsuits, the legal profession is actually losing lawyers every day, a silent drain of talent to banking, business and premature retirement. Every year, I face a new class of eager law students, ready to take on the world, but after a couple of years of practice, many have lost their youthful glow. Perhaps it's time to rethink the whole "law school as default" mentality that infects so many otherwise sane young minds.

On the surface, the legal profession appears to be booming. Although growth has slowed since the 1960s and '70s, each year 40,000 new lawyers join a field that now totals one million, about the same size as the nation's state prison population. Salaries have climbed steadily, and lawyers at the top firms can expect to make about $160,000 upon graduation from law school. But look beneath the statistics and a few facts jump out. First, large law firms, those employing more than 500 lawyers, lose nearly 40% of their associates within four years of hiring them. After six years, the ratio climbs to 60%.

Some might suggest that the fault here lies with the firms' policies regarding advancement. A number of recent articles have bemoaned the lack of female partners (only 17% of the partners at major law firms are women, while women compose nearly half of all law-school graduates). The number of males who don't stick around long enough to make partner, however, is only a few percentage points lower. Thus, while it may not be easy to be a woman in law, the guys aren't doing much better. In fact, it could be argued that women are leaving in slightly higher numbers because they can while many men, trapped by their gender-typed "provider" roles, have fewer options.

The attrition numbers are even worse in other parts of the profession. According to a recent study by the National Association for Law Placement Foundation, 42% of lawyers in small firms (and 50% in solo practices) have changed jobs within three years of graduation, and two-thirds of them have switched two or more times. One way to interpret the numbers is to conclude that such lawyers have plentiful opportunities and are moving to better jobs. The same group, however, tends to have less stellar credentials and to have graduated lower in their class than their colleagues at big firms, leaving them fewer options, and suggesting that these attorneys are even more dissatisfied than their big-firm contemporaries.

What happens to the recently departed? While many go to other law firms, or into other legal jobs, such as in-house counsel at corporations, anecdotal evidence shows that a significant percentage drop out of the legal profession entirely. This doesn't surprise me: Among my own law school classmates, for example, only one of my friends is still practicing at the firm he joined upon graduation. The rest have moved on or dropped out of the profession.

My two closest female friends are both stay-at-home moms, forsaking lucrative practices to raise their children. Another friend has gone on to become an actor. Another writes for television. Several are novelists. While there have always been lawyers who choose not to practice, "The buzz now is lawyers getting three years of experience at a big firm, then going off and doing something entirely unrelated to the law," says Allan Whitescarver, director of communications at the commercial firm, Clifford Chance. He mentions one lawyer who opened a bookstore in France and another who works for the World Health Organization in a nonlegal role. They may be among the lucky ones. The legal profession is really two professions: the elite lawyers and everyone else. Most of the former start out at big law firms. Many of the latter never find gainful legal employment. Instead, they work at jobs that might be characterized as "quasi-legal": paralegals, clerks, administrators, doing work for which they probably never needed a J.D.

Although hard data about the nature of these jobs are difficult to come by (and rely on self-reporting, which is inherently unreliable), the mean salary for graduates of top 10 law schools is $135,000 while it is $60,000 for "tier three" schools. It's certainly possible that tier-three graduates tend to gravitate toward lower-paying public-interest and government jobs, but this lower salary may also reflect the nonlegal nature of many of these jobs and the fact that these graduates are settling for anything that will pay the bills. At $38,000 a year for law school, plus living expenses, law-school graduates certainly have a lot of debt ($60,000 on average, upon graduation). For this price, college students and their parents should be thinking harder about their choices. When I went to law school, nearly everyone tried to convince me that doing so would "keep my options open." All this really means is: "You can still be a lawyer."

If I wanted to be a screenwriter, waiting tables would have kept my options open, too. In fact, many wannabe screenwriters find themselves going to law school, misled by adults into thinking that it will help them get into the movie business. It won't. Sure, you can be a talent agent or a movie producer with a law degree, but you can be one without a degree, too. Most of the skills you learn in law school (and legal practice) won't help you make a movie, and the few that will may not be worth the cost (more than $120,000, including tuition, living expenses, as well as three years of forgone experience and salary). Rather than keeping options open, the crushing debt of law school often slams doors shut, pushing law students to find the highest-paying job they can and forever deferring dreams of anything else.

It's time those of us inside the profession did a better job of telling others outside the profession that most of us don't earn $160,000 a year, that we can't afford expensive suits, flashy cars, sexy apartments. We don't lunch with rock stars or produce movies. Every year I'm surprised by the number of my students who think a J.D. degree is a ticket to fame, fortune and the envy of one's peers -- a sure ticket to the upper middle class. Even for the select few for whom it is, not many last long enough at their law firms to really enjoy it. There's something wrong with a system that makes a whole lot of people pay a whole lot of money for jobs that are not worth it, or that have no future. If we wanted to be honest, we would inform students that law school doesn't keep their options open. Instead, we should say that if they work hard and do well, they can become lawyers.

_____________________________ _____________________________ ____________________________
Mr. Stracher is publisher of the New York Law School Law Review and the author of "Double Billing: A Young Lawyer's Tale of Greed, Sex, Lies and the Pursuit of a Swivel Chair."

Great post!

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #238 on: May 15, 2009, 01:22:53 PM »
^^^ That was a stupid article. All of the people he cited were women who took the age-old "drop out for kids/life balance" route. Also, his other argument is seemingly "being a lawyer sucks and doesn't let you be a talent agent or something cool." Yeah, I used to have dreams of being something cool when I was little, too.

I bet it's 10x harder to make a real living as a talent agent than as a lawyer, pal.
All of these people always complain about how "hard" and unfulfulling the law can be. I guess they'd be happier by default if they were broke and working in some stupid "creative industry." That doesn't apply to people with real jobs.

Being a truck driver is long, miserable work too. By the logic of this article, if truck drivers don't like it, they should just go into a field that's more "fun."


Sorry, but I'm really sick of people bitching about the legal profession. We've all heard the gripes. If you are unhappy, leave. If you have doubts about working in the law, then don't become a lawyer. Lawyers who are unhappy should realize that most jobs blow and are soul-sucking. Since when did everyone fall under the illusion that we're all entitled to have super-fun jobs and work at the Googleplex?

Re: Der Besuch der Alten Dame
« Reply #239 on: February 22, 2011, 05:58:18 PM »
"The Visit of the Old Lady" is a 1956 tragicomedy by the Swiss dramatist Friedrich Dürrenmatt. The location of the drama is Gúllen, a once flourishing small town that lost its ancient bloom when its industrial plants closed down and business took a plunge. The forgotten, poverty-stricken inhabitants of Gúllen are by now used to a modest life, spending the major part of their days reminiscing about better times, until one day the arrival of the "Old Lady" alters the Gúlleners' existence at a stroke. Claire Zachanassian, a native of Gúllen whose profitable marriages to oil magnates, artists and industrialists have made her extremely rich, and her strange court consisting of two blind servants, two former gangsters, a butler and Husband Number 7, are met with sincere enthusiasm by the citizens of Gúllen at the railway station. And they are not disappointed. Claire promises to donate a billion to the township on one condition - Ill, a merchant of Gúllen, must be killed. In years gone by, Ill had a love affair with Claire. Claire became pregnant and claimed that Ill was the father. But with the help of two friends - now her two blind servants - Ill was able to escape responsibility.

Claire had to leave Gúllen and live as a prostitute, until she met her first rich husband. The stipulated murder is a planned revenge against Ill and the Gúllen inhabitants. In the course of time, Claire has acquired the industrial plants and the entire town, in order to ruin them. The first reaction of the Gúllen citizens is water-tight solidarity with Ill, but gradually it begins to spring leaks. Their opinions change from "poor soul, guilty of a childhood misdemeanor" to "irresponsible, immoral evil-doer". At the same time, the people of Gúllen indulge in new, luxury goods — on credit — represented by new, yellow shoes, which are soon worn by all citizens, including even police officers and the mayor. Even his own family are not spared the attraction of increasing lucre. His wife buys a fur coat, his son a car, and his daughter takes lessons in tennis. Only the teacher evokes the humanist tradition, and attempts, at first timidly, to interpose himself before the death sentence that has, by now, come to be seen as immutable. In the end, even Ill accepts his fate. In a climactic town gathering, Ill receives his sentence, which is immediately carried out by the people of Gúllen.

The fundamental underlying point of the play is that money can allure people's minds, especially those weakly determined. It also notices how money creates the power to control the world around. As the arrival of Claire Zachanassian shows, the promise of money can lead people to hate and even murder. It can pervert the course of justice, and even turn the local teacher, who is one of the few who manage to warn Alfred Ill of his impending doom. The teacher is a self-declared humanist, and his moral collapse, as well as that of the priest, demonstrates the power of money to overcome both religious and secular morality. It suggests that greed can turn anyone.The usage of this theme also develops around the main idea of "money-hungry".

A very interesting post, metanoia - they do not say in vain, "money is root of all evil."