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Author Topic: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??  (Read 5021 times)

Opie58

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2011, 04:23:47 PM »
People that get admitted to the best law schools do so based on an already established pattern of academic success.  So you have a classroom filed with academic overachievers.  It doesn't take much to come to the realization that the level of discourse will be much higher at the better schools, as you have a room full of generally intelligent people, that are accustomed to performing at a high academic level.  Again, this is not a guarentee of a "good" or even "better" lawyer.  But if you had to place bets as to which is more likely to be the "good" lawyer, why wouldn't you pick a grad from an elite school?

After 30+ years of law enforcement, I have come to realize that most "academics" have little to no common sense or truly understand the real world - just because they may be able to apply academic logic does not necessarily mean they can apply practical logic.  Just look at our national state of affairs with the volumes of "laws" generated by Congress, but have screwed things up more than they have helps - at least currently.  Life experience can go a long way in proper application.  Checks & balances are needed, but sometimes I feel the academics' sense of promoting deflection instead of personal responsibility has caused more harm than good.  I think up and coming lawyers should do a ride along with a cop, firefighter, and EMT for a couple months to see how regular people live or reconnect again if they are fortunate to climb up the social ladder. 

The B&M attorney has more opportunities and many advantages not available to the DL attorney, ...

So???  Does that really make the law any less practical if its applied by a B&M attorney or DL attorney??

Zepp

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2011, 11:19:09 AM »
Seeing as how this is a distance learning forum, one thing for sure, if you have a DL JD, you will never work for a big law firm.

Well, we do agree on that. 

Secondly, Orly is a fellow Taft graduate and my former client so I know something about it. Since her practice of law is on a single issue, one cannot draw any conclusions from it that would apply to anyone else. I might add her "success" is in generating interest in a topic (I won't digress here) that has attracted attention from a variety of public figures like Donald Trump. Success does not always mean winning a case, the lawyers that began the tobacco litigation never saw a penny for their efforts and lost repeatedly yet they laid the groundwork for one of the biggest cases ever. Were they unsuccessful, not from a public policy standpoint.

Most people also stop to look at car accidents, thus "generating interest."  "Generating interest" isn't always a good thing.  Donald Trump's only "interest" was in creating a publicty stunt for his TV show.  Worked pretty well.  I'm personally not a fan of abusing our legal system and electoral process as a publicity stunt to get ratings on a TV show.  I follow the birther proceedings because I've always been fascinated by junk law and pseudo-legal theories (wrote my note on the subject, but sadly never published).  Before the birthers it was the tax protesters, sovereign citizens, and the whole "patriots for profit" lot, and I could bore you with the long history of various sundry garbage folks have dumped into the legal system.  Now back to Orly.  She is a clear example of an incompetent attorney.  The documents she submits to courts are embarassing.  Most of her legal arguments lack any supporting citations, those that she does bother to provide citations for completely misrepresnt the law.  Her factual statements lack "facts,"  her documents are poorly written, full of typographical and formatting errors that go beyond her language barriers and fall into the realm of sloppiness, and she lacks even the most basic grasp of civil procedure.  The things she files in court, I would be embarrased to give to a partner as a rough draft.  So I think it is very fair to reach conclusions about the type of lawyer she is.  There was a discussion about what makes a "good" versus "bad" lawyer.  There can be little doubt that she clearly falls into the "bad" catagory.  This isn't even comprable to tobacco litigation.  It is one thing to be on the cutting edge of the law, trying to make a change.  Without that, we would have never had Brown v. Board of Ed.  It's quite another thing to make things up and pretend that that is what the law has always been.  This is before we even get to Orly's lack of attention to detail, and general lack of knowledge about how the legal system works. 


 Law firms are about profits by their very nature, the practice of law however has other measures than money, LSAT scores, and grades.

Yes, and we need to be realistic about "measures."  There are very good reasons why the ABA has certain standards (some of their standards might need tweaking, but they're not off the rez).  There are also very good reasons why some law school are ranked top 14, some T2, T3, and T4.  You are not getting the same legal education at Taft as you are at Cooley, and you're not getting the same education at Cooley as you are Columbia.  You can't pretend that the quality of discourse in a classroom has no impact on the quality of the legal eduaction.  After you graduate, you have to learn how to practice.  If you go out on your own, who is going to tell you that your brief or contract are poorly written?  You'll find out when it's too late, and your client is shafted.  If you join a firm, clerk for a judge, work for a non-prof, work for the government, etc., you will have those above you who correct you, and teach how to be a better attorney.  The quality of those who mentor you will have an impact on how you develop.  You're right.  There is more to the law than LSATs and grades.  But those LSATs and grades do have a linger impact on many of those other things.



I would think anyone who goes down the DL road, is not in it primarily for the money because they will be  disappointed.
And I think this is a very important statement.  People need to be fully aware of what they're getting into, whether it DL or a B&M ABA-accredited lower tiered school.  There are things you just don't get from DL that you get from a conventional legal education, and there are reasons why a top 14 school is a top 14 school, and a T4 school is T4.  And from there, future career prospects will come.
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Zepp

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2011, 12:17:24 PM »
It is a myth that big law is any better than anyone else.

No, it is not.  You can pretend that we're all the same and we live in a Utopia where we're all equal, but it's B.S.  It's simply a matter of the market.  Do you honestly think that a wealthy entertainer would spend a fortune to hire a big law firm to negotiate a recording contract when someone working out of a home office with a DL JD could do the same for a fraction of the cost?  That being said, bigger does not always equate better.  There hundreds of small boutique firms with a very focused practice that are better than big firms.  But even among those firms, if you look at the bios of the attorneys, you'll find many who started at biglaw, or at least have very similar backgrounds to those in biglaw.  These are just the sad realites of life and the legal practice.  I'm not a Harvard or Yale graduate, so I will never get to clerk for a Supreme Court justice.  It sucks, but in the end, I just wasn't good enough.  I'm not going to discredit the work those Yale and Harvard grads put in to get there to make myself feel better about myself. 


I have gone up against big law firms , Hinshaw Culberton ranked no. 85 in size, took them over ten years in federal court to get my clients' case dismissed on jurisidictional grounds, not on the merits. The case has since been refiled elsewhere. You would think they could have done better than that against a DL attorney? Of course they eventually won and made a pile of cash from their client, so maybe I'm the stupid one?

And Orly keeps filing and re-filing mertiless complaints, harassing the President.  To this day, pro-se plaintiffs harass large corporations with incomprehensible filings requiring responses that you first have to figure out what the heck they're talking about before you can even start to respond with a legal argument.  Courts are very generous to esure that everyone "gets their day in court."  I've also seen companies settle meritless claims simply because the cost of litigation would be more than to make the person go away.  Not knowing the particulars of your case, I really can't comment as to the facts that lead up to your eventual loss.  But that being said, even biglaw partners make mistakes.  Sometimes clients demand their attorneys persue fruitless direction in litigation.  So there are many different factors to consider.


Point is that comparing big law attorneys to DL grad lawyers is apples and pineapples, there is just no correlation at all.

And and I agree, big law attorneys and DL grad lawyers generally are don't do anything remotely similar in the type of work they do.  But at a certain level, we are all attorneys, and we should all maintain certain minimum standards.  As long as whatever legal work you are doing, you are providing your client good quality, that is what I think matters the most.  If you write a contract that another attorney rips apart in litigation, you've failed your client, irrespective of what the size of your firm is, of from where you graduated.  The only DL "attorney" I have any knowledge of is Ms. Taitz, and I have to say, she hasn't done much to help your cause.  Her filing are available on her website.  Take a look at them.  If you think the garbage she submits to a court should be tolerated of anyone with a license to practice law, then we have a fundamental disagreement what it means to be a competent attorney.
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FalconJimmy

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2011, 12:43:44 PM »
I'm not a Harvard or Yale graduate, so I will never get to clerk for a Supreme Court justice.  It sucks, but in the end, I just wasn't good enough.  I'm not going to discredit the work those Yale and Harvard grads put in to get there to make myself feel better about myself. 

In a way, that's where I'm coming from on this.  Honestly, if I were to say that the top grads of my school are equal to the top grads at Harvard, that's just silly.  Yes, the profs all came from the same schools.  Yes, we use the same materials.  But frankly, the classes at Harvard are a lot smarter than the classes where I go.  I'm not trying to disparage my school in any way.

It is what it is, and it produces competent attorneys.  I would wager that once in a while, when the hiring market is good, maybe the top grad out of my school or any other 4T gets a shot at biggish law.  Meaning, the biglaw firms, but outside the biglaw cities.  That's about it, though.

So, hey, I give the T14 guys their due.  They did what I couldn't or didn't do.  Life isn't about what you coulda done or shoulda done.  It's about what you did.  Most people have the potential to run a marathon.  However, only a small number put in the miles and hours and months required to ever do it.

I'm not going to say that a person who COULD have run a marathon, but who ran a 5K, is the same thing.

Nor am I going to say that your typical 4 hour finisher is in any way the same thing as an elite who finishes in a little over 2 hours. 

Run/walking a 5K, running a marathon and WINNING a marathon?  In a sense, they're all made of the same stuff.  However, there's a chasm of difference.

So, just as I think it'd be ridiculous to think that my school produces the same caliber of graduates as Harvard, seriously, the possibility of a school that doesn't even meet the ABA's minimal standards producing an attorney the caliber of a typical ABA school graduate? 

How many indications do we need before we can put this thing to rest?  I mean, the bar passage rate alone should end the discussion once and for all. 

So, could a DL or unaccredited school produce a great attorney?  Sure!  Why not?  What makes a great attorney is largely individual.

However, being resentful that for the most part, unaccredited law school students are regarded as a cut below or that their education is regarded as being lesser, or bemoaning that there are fewer employment opportunities?  Seriously, come on. 

I'm far from the world's most successful person.  However, I've never been resentful of those who achieved more than I did.  I always chalked it up to them doing things that I couldn't or that I wouldn't.

The stuff I couldn't do?  Doesn't bother me a bit.

The stuff I could have done?  But just chose not to?  Bothers me a lot.

Maybe that's where this all comes down.  Most of these DL students probably COULD have gone to an accredited law school, but just didn't make the sacrifices necessary.  Seriously, there's a law school somewhere that will accept nearly anybody.  I swear to god, some of the guys in undergrad who went on to law school (and graduated AND passed the bar), I would have thought were borderline mentally retarded back in the day.

Hey, that's fine if you chose not to do what it takes.  There's a path for them to become attorneys.

But it's not the same.  And insisting that it is really doesn't make sense.

Zepp

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2011, 03:44:52 PM »

After 30+ years of law enforcement, I have come to realize that most "academics" have little to no common sense or truly understand the real world - just because they may be able to apply academic logic does not necessarily mean they can apply practical logic. 

The practice of law is an academic process.  We're not building a house here.  We've negotiating contracts, making legal arguments, litigating, etc.  My personal experience with law enforcment has been that they are mindless, brutish thugs on a power trip.  That doesn't make my experience the rule, accurately cover even a large portion of those in law enforcement, or even anything more than my own personal bias tarnishing my perception.


Just look at our national state of affairs with the volumes of "laws" generated by Congress, but have screwed things up more than they have helps - at least currently.  Life experience can go a long way in proper application.  Checks & balances are needed, but sometimes I feel the academics' sense of promoting deflection instead of personal responsibility has caused more harm than good. 

This is one of the most rediculous things I've heard.  What makes you think Congress is full of academics?  A good chunk of them were in some sort of business before being elected.  I'm pretty sure quite a few of them had "life experience" before getting elected.  The reality is legislation is often produced in a knee jerk reaction to the public frenzy de jour.  Big stories in the news about child molesters, sure enough, congress passes some law on the subject.  Enron goes down, new white collar laws.  It has nothing to do with your disdain for acadmia, and everything to do with the way we elect our representatives.  The statement about "promoting deflection instead of personal responsiblity" is not only a meaningless talking point that has no basis in reality. 


I think up and coming lawyers should do a ride along with a cop, firefighter, and EMT for a couple months to see how regular people live or reconnect again if they are fortunate to climb up the social ladder. 

I find this statment genuinely offensive.  First, it implies that there are only certain "life experiences" you consider valuable, or a way to show "how regular people live."  Why do you assume that up and coming lawyers don't know how regular people live, or need to reconnect again?  I'd be willing to bet that a good majority of those who work their way up to law school come from families made up of "regular people,"  grew up in average homes, who had to make sacrifices so they could get to the top of the class.  This all comes off as just bitterness against those who were able accomplish more than you, and "deflection instead of personal responsiblity."  Take responsibility for your lot in life rather than whining about those who were able to make something out of theirs.

Personally, for my purposes, I think doing any of the things you list would be an utter waste of my and the officers, firefighters, or EMT's time.  I'd get nothing out of it, and I would just get in their way.  I know the real world is.  I don't need to Play tagalong with an officer, firefighter, or EMT to figure that out.


So???  Does that really make the law any less practical if its applied by a B&M attorney or DL attorney??

That depends on what you mean by "practical."  Is it practical to invest the time and money to get a JD if your chances of every using what you learn are very limited?  I'm the kind of person that believes any knowledge is a good thing in and of itself.  However, if someone told me I was going to spend a small fortune to get a degree that will result in me making less than before I went to law school, I would considering finding a more "practical" degree.
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Opie58

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2011, 07:51:41 PM »
My personal experience with law enforcment has been that they are mindless, brutish thugs on a power trip.  That doesn't make my experience the rule, accurately cover even a large portion of those in law enforcement, or even anything more than my own personal bias tarnishing my perception.



This is one of the most rediculous things I've heard.  What makes you think Congress is full of academics?  A good chunk of them were in some sort of business before being elected.  I'm pretty sure quite a few of them had "life experience" before getting elected.  The reality is legislation is often produced in a knee jerk reaction to the public frenzy de jour.  Big stories in the news about child molesters, sure enough, congress passes some law on the subject.  Enron goes down, new white collar laws.  It has nothing to do with your disdain for acadmia, and everything to do with the way we elect our representatives.  The statement about "promoting deflection instead of personal responsiblity" is not only a meaningless talking point that has no basis in reality. 


Really?  So if you are your family is burglarized, victimized, or involved in a collision, who do you call?  Why?

Here are some brutal cops at work:  https://www.facebook.com/#!/notes/king-county-sheriffs-office/400-kids-received-and-early-christmas-gift-from-santa/213877235361681.

Are we not a society who promotes law and order?  At what point does law and order need not be enforced? 

Here are two recent laws our state legislators felt needed to be passed – cell phone use and seat  belt laws.  Our fine leaders felt that “brutal” cops need to look for people using a cell phone or no seat belt while driving, pull them over, and give them a ticket after attempting to explain why they no longer have the freedom to choice for themselves.  Personally, I think both of these laws are BS, serve no purpose.  If a person using a cell phone is driving so reckless to endanger other, isn’t that Reckless Driving?  What about those that eat or drink while driving?  And, what does the seatbelt law do?  Reduce injury if involved in a collision?  And if someone wasn’t wearing a seatbelt when involved in a collision, should we brutal cops cite the offender?

If people obeyed the laws, exercised self-restraint, and not feel the need to victimize others, we wouldn’t need so many brutal cops – no crime, no police actions, right?  No one wants a cop around until you need one, than one is never around.

Seattle PD was recently slammed for excessive force by the DOJ after a 10-month investigation, but on the same news night – the next story – the residents of one of the most crime infested Seattle communities were demanding the Seattle PD do more to curb crime and arrest offenders – offenders who don’t care about anyone’s rights and will fight/kill a cop anytime.  Damned if we do; damned if we don’t.  Maybe we should do away with all cops & go back to vigilante justice – bodies in the streets, hangings in the trees, summary executions.  Tell me what the balance should be?  What do you envision?

I find this statment genuinely offensive.  First, it implies that there are only certain "life experiences" you consider valuable, or a way to show "how regular people live."  Why do you assume that up and coming lawyers don't know how regular people live, or need to reconnect again?  I'd be willing to bet that a good majority of those who work their way up to law school come from families made up of "regular people,"  grew up in average homes, who had to make sacrifices so they could get to the top of the class.  This all comes off as just bitterness against those who were able accomplish more than you, and "deflection instead of personal responsiblity."  Take responsibility for your lot in life rather than whining about those who were able to make something out of theirs.

Personally, for my purposes, I think doing any of the things you list would be an utter waste of my and the officers, firefighters, or EMT's time.  I'd get nothing out of it, and I would just get in their way.  I know the real world is.  I don't need to Play tagalong with an officer, firefighter, or EMT to figure that out.


Sorry you are offended; no offense intended.  People, like Zepp above, have this perception that cops – not so much firefighters or EMTs – are “mindless, brutish thugs on a power trip.”  Not sure what his “experiences” have been to promote that feeling.  Therefore, as a suggestion, I recommend people go for a ride along.  Sure there are some who will not want a ride along, but most would like to have someone who “pays” their salary to come on out; you may be surprise.  Life experiences come in many forms – social programs, food kitchens, etc.  I was just giving you my perspective. 

jonlevy

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2011, 09:13:00 PM »
Well good for Orly, sure her pleadings ain't pretty but she knows how to make news:

http://news.yahoo.com/appeals-court-tosses-obama-birthplace-challenge-191256867.html

I agree with Opie though, law schools turn out for the most part lawyers cut from the same elitist mindset. Congress is a perfect example of the power elite theory of C. Wright Mills. For law to be a relevant field, we need attorneys who are willing buck the trend and DL offers a way to break that paradigm and bring in people who would not ordinarily consider law.  But don't worry Zepp, so few us are out there that nothing will change soon.

jonlevy

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2011, 09:25:18 PM »
"To this day, pro-se plaintiffs harass large corporations with incomprehensible filings requiring responses that you first have to figure out what the heck they're talking about before you can even start to respond with a legal argument."

If a meritless lawsuit is filed the Court is supposed to deal with it. In my experience pro se plaintiffs may have a good case but get bogged down with civil procedure. So what would you propose, barring pro se filers? As far as corporations paying off pro se plaintiffs with meritless claims that is a myth put out by shills like the Chamber of Commerce. Next you are going tell tell me that old saw about MacDonalds coffee lawsuit. Meritless cases do not make it trial and run away jury awards get knocked out or down in the appellate courts yet the corporations keep up the same old whine about how they are getting raped in the courts. Sort of like Newt claiming the federal courts are packed with judicial activists when we have the most conservative judiciary possible and a conservative majority in Supreme Court that is out of touch with reality. And don't even ask me about insurance companies, what a bunch of crooks.

Zepp

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2011, 12:17:08 PM »
Really?  So if you are your family is burglarized, victimized, or involved in a collision, who do you call?  Why?

Here are some brutal cops at work:  https://www.facebook.com/#!/notes/king-county-sheriffs-office/400-kids-received-and-early-christmas-gift-from-santa/213877235361681.

Are we not a society who promotes law and order?  At what point does law and order need not be enforced? 


Actually, that quote was more intended to illustrate that "personal experience" is just another way of saying personal bias, and can very little basis in reality as a whole.  I generally don't have too many issues with the police, besides issues that deal with my local police force specifically.  However, that said, there are neighborhoods (which tend to be poor minority neighborhoods) where people generally do not call the police when there is a crime, because the police are feared more than the criminals.  And when you turn on the TV and see police walking up to peaceful protesters sitting on the gournd, and spraying them with pepperspray, and then just walking away, those images can go a long way to reinforce that image.  Personal experience is far too "personal" to really give it much weight in a broader policy discussion.


Here are two recent laws our state legislators felt needed to be passed – cell phone use and seat  belt laws.  Our fine leaders felt that “brutal” cops need to look for people using a cell phone or no seat belt while driving, pull them over, and give them a ticket after attempting to explain why they no longer have the freedom to choice for themselves.  Personally, I think both of these laws are BS, serve no purpose.  If a person using a cell phone is driving so reckless to endanger other, isn’t that Reckless Driving?  What about those that eat or drink while driving?  And, what does the seatbelt law do?  Reduce injury if involved in a collision?  And if someone wasn’t wearing a seatbelt when involved in a collision, should we brutal cops cite the offender?

Seatbelt laws?  Well, you can get into a debate about balancing the need to protect the population from their own stupidity, and how much a cost not doing so imposes on the general public (idiot father doesn't put on his seat belt, gets himself killed, and now the wife and kids are on public asstance...cost of cleaning the guys smeared carcass off the side of the highway, publics increased cost in insurace w/o the laws).  Again, that is a policy debate that happens in congress.  I really don't see how this has anything to do with academics as you originally mentioned.  Especially when you get to the state level, those people making the laws, very often comprise of the supposed "real world experience" you were saying is so lacking among attorneys.  As for cell phone laws, I completely agree with them.  No, prior wreckless driving laws don't necessarily cover them, until often the damage is already done.  Unless some court in your praticular juridiction has already decided that operating a cell phone will driving constitues wreckless driving the state will have to present actual evidence that the driver was operating his car in a wreckless manner...ie swerving between lanes, nearly hitting pedestrians, etc.  Often the evidence of wreckless driving would be that they got into an accident because they weren't paying attention to the road, and the damage is already done.  So while it might help in a civil case, if the accident was fatal, that is hardly a reasonable exchange for the family.  So by passing the law, you simplify the job of the state.  The operation of the phone itself is an offense.  You don't have to show that the phone usage resulted in wreckless operation of the car, and you are able to discourage cell phone usage while driving before the real damage is done.  I would think the proliferation of cell phone usage is probably has created the recent legislative push for local governments to pass these laws, and there were far more instances of accidents caused by distracted drivers using cell phones rather than eating, or changing their radio station.  Seems like a reasonable policy decision for a legislature in my book.


Sorry you are offended; no offense intended.  People, like Zepp above, have this perception that cops – not so much firefighters or EMTs – are “mindless, brutish thugs on a power trip.”  Not sure what his “experiences” have been to promote that feeling.  Therefore, as a suggestion, I recommend people go for a ride along.  Sure there are some who will not want a ride along, but most would like to have someone who “pays” their salary to come on out; you may be surprise.  Life experiences come in many forms – social programs, food kitchens, etc.  I was just giving you my perspective.

Again, I really have no issue with the police in the least.  I had more issue with your painting young attorneys (a catagory I don't even fit into) with such a broad brush,  that just smacked of anti-intellectualism.   Law school was the start of a third career for me...prior being military (this will get a laugh out of you...I was an MP), a paralegal, and then law school.  But on the same token, I know of very few attorneys (there's that "personal experience" thing again) who just came from a privileged background to roll through law school to a nice cushy position at a huge law firm.  The most successful once actually come from rather modest backgrounds.  There are very few people these days that get a golden ticket, and haven't had some kind of reality bite them in the back side.  Most have to work during college.  In 2008, 67% graduated undergrad with student loans.  For law students, that number was 89%.  That's telling you majority of college students are coming from middle income families or less.  If those aren't "real people" what is? 

And going back to the original point, you expect those who achieve academic success to respect the work of what you consider "real people" but you give no respect to the work they put into getting where they are.  It's just fundamentally anti-intellectualism and hypocracy.
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Zepp

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2011, 12:44:10 PM »
Well good for Orly, sure her pleadings ain't pretty but she knows how to make news:

http://news.yahoo.com/appeals-court-tosses-obama-birthplace-challenge-191256867.html

I agree with Opie though, law schools turn out for the most part lawyers cut from the same elitist mindset. Congress is a perfect example of the power elite theory of C. Wright Mills. For law to be a relevant field, we need attorneys who are willing buck the trend and DL offers a way to break that paradigm and bring in people who would not ordinarily consider law.  But don't worry Zepp, so few us are out there that nothing will change soon.

The court system isn't there to be used as a publicity gimic.  Orly's abuse of the court system comes at a cost to the tax payers, and those who have legitimate claims before the court.  The point of filing a complaint with a court isn't to make news.  It's to resolve a dispute. 

I generally disagree with the position that law schools churn out "lawyers cut from the same elitist mindset."  There are a great many law schools out there, and they bring in students from diverse backgrounds.  Sure you have people with elitist mindsets that come out, but you have that in virtually everywhere...businessmen, and even those that think that their "real world" experience is the most important thing, and those who think that people like them are the only "real Americans."  You both railed about congress, but only about a third of congress had JDs (that's not even saying if any of them every actually practiced).  So even if we assume Congress is a bunch of elitist prats, 2/3rd of them managed to do so without ever going to law school.  So how does this become law school's fault that Congressmen are able to become elitist all on their own (or perhaps elitist are just attracted to Congress, and the everyday real American people like to vote them into office?

And going back to the original argument, I don't see how lowering standards is ever a good thing.  People complain about the dumbing down of America, and Opie even railed against, "promoting deflection instead of personal responsibility," but that is exactly what the original article was about.  It was a whine that "we can't meet the standards, so they must be too high and should be lowered."  For the law to be a relevant field, it needs to maintain high standards of professionalism.  Lawyers are in positions of trust, and every day, many lawyers fail in their duties to their clients and the public as a whole.  They cheat their clients, do shoddy work, are incompetent, misuse abuse their positions of trust, and everything else under the sun.  I don't see how lowering the bar to make schools or prospective law students feel better about themselves makes the law any more relevant.
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