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Messages - arcanismajor

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Current Law Students / Re: curves? i dont get it.
« on: March 27, 2006, 07:24:40 PM »
People should understand that it is not education in law but selectivity that is rewarded once you get in the work environment. It has been noted by some authors that the fact that graduates from the most competitive, elite schools achieved the greatest earnings is scarcely surprising as these people were selected by their schools on the basis of their much higher than average credentials. This interpretation, that what matters are the personal attributes of the attendees and not what they learn while in attendance, is consistent with the fact that the course of study and the textbooks used are similar across schools of different degrees of selectivity, so it's hard to argue that there are important differences in the knowledge being provided in the different schools.

That said, it is now clear that having a JD from an elite school means most of the time nothing as far as the individual's mastery of the law and lawyering skills. As the thread above suggests, law students at top schools engage in useless theoretical discussions and know jack about the black letter law while developing no adequate lawyering skills. What happens in top law schools is that most students simply get drunk. But they do bond and network.

Any sugestions for reform, fedhex?! (not sarcastic)

Current Law Students / Re: Law Schools To Avoid At All Costs!
« on: March 27, 2006, 07:21:03 PM »

As far as Nova and St. Thomas are concerned - they've both ridiculously low bar passage rates!

FL bar exam became more difficult to @#!* with lately ..

This ground-breaking book is one of the first to analyze the dark side of law school and law practice. The author, a graduate student at Harvard, draws on his personal experience as a law student to show that a disproportionate number of law students and lawyers become severely disillusioned with their work.

The book encourages prospective law students to ask themselves hard questions before making a decision to attend law school. It provides revealing insights into the realities of law school and law practice. It debunks dangerous myths about law school and law practice. Yet its most important contribution is the practical system it lays out for helping prospective law students discover if their personalities, values, skills, and interests are genuinely well suited to the law. This book is mandatory reading for anyone considering law school.

I don't get why you're posting this on Students' borad - they've already made the decision! I'd understand why this post would appear on the Pre-law board, but here?!

Current Law Students / Re: Live alone or have a roommate?
« on: March 27, 2006, 07:14:58 PM »
I just found a cute little ass for a roommate!  8)

Current Law Students / Re: What supplament to use..? Study Habits...
« on: March 27, 2006, 07:11:06 PM »
Cialis worked for me!

HAHAHA! You're so funny, muthafucka! ;)

Job Search / Re: Career--CIA attorneys
« on: March 27, 2006, 06:58:10 PM »
If you can't figure out how to beat the polygraph, how can you ever be a CIA agent?!


Current Law Students / Corporate culture
« on: March 27, 2006, 06:42:51 PM »

In Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four there is a particularly chilling scene in which, after the director of the Ministry of Love has subjected Winston Smith to intense physical tortures, he employs another strategy in the process of Smith's gradual re-education.

"This time it will not hurt," [O'Brien] said. "Keep your eyes fixed on mine."
   At this moment there was a devastating explosion, or what seemed like an explosion.... A terrific, painless blow had flattened [Smith] out. Also something had happened inside his head ... somewhere or other there was a large patch of emptiness, as though a piece had been taken out of his brain.
   "It will not last," said O'Brien. "Look at me in the eyes.... Just now I held up the fingers of my hand to you. You saw five fingers. Do you remember that?"
   O'Brien held up the fingers of his left hand, with the thumb concealed.
   "There are five fingers there. Do you see five fingers?"
   And he did see them, for a fleeting instant ... there had been a moment -- he did not know how long, thirty seconds, perhaps -- of luminous certainty, when each new suggestion of O'Brien's had filled up a patch of emptiness and become absolute truth, and when two and two could have been three as easily as five, if that were what was needed ...
   "You see now," said O'Brien, "that it is at any rate possible."

Compare this passage to Karl Llewellyn's famous description of the student's first year of law school: "The hardest job of the first year is to lop off your commonsense, to knock your ethics into temporary anesthesia. Your view of social policy, your sense of justice -- to knock these out of you along with woozy thinking, along with ideas all fuzzed along their edges."

Bot of course when we undertake the resolution of hard issues it will always be the case that the relevant legal concepts, the demands of social policy, and the ideal of justice will by necessity appear to sensitive interpreters to be "fuzzed along their edges." That very same formal, empirical, and ethical fuzziness is, after all, what makes hard issues hard. A successful legal education therefore both sharpens and desensitizes the adept's sense of analytical complexity, sharpening it so that the advocate can identify various plausible arguments, and then deadening it for the purpose of making and (especially) deciding between such arguments. This  characteristic doubleness of the legal mind produces the doubleness of the literal sophomore -- of the brilliant simpleton who understands and exploits and at appropriate times forgets -- the evidentiary problems, conceptual incommensurabilities, and ethical dilemmas that always characterize legal issues. To be trained to think like a lawyer is to be taught how to evoke all the chaotic complexity of law, and then how to repress the intolerable doubt that same evocation can produce by going on to achieve the "luminous certainty" required of the advocate or judge.   

Well, in the cold calculus of the utilitarian the American law school is a classic barrier to entry, designed to maintain a professional cartel. From a democratic viewpoint it is a seminary for the production of a mystifying priestcraft, whose obscurantist incantations help legitimate the power of the social and cultural elite. In academic terms it is a mostly fraudulent operation that teaches neither theory nor practice, but instead functions as the equivalent of a foreign service academy that would show its charges Goldfinger several hundred times before sending them forth to conduct trade talks with Austria.

Shouldn't then law school be abolished altogether? After all, no other legal system in the world requires 3 years of postgraduate schooling before one can undertake the most routine matter of client representation or courtroom advocacy. Indeed, the maverick presidential candidate Morry Taylor made a pledge to close down American law schools for 10 years, a major proposal of his quixotic campaign. Why not make the study of law an undergraduate program, or a college major followed by some sort of postgraduate apprenticeship -- this would surely be a quintessentially rationalist response to an institution that survives, and even thrives, because it fills a deep cultural need for the maintenance of some atavistic set of rituals that will obscure the inescapably troublesome and often tragic relationship between moral belief, political science and social power.

Given the rhetorical requirements of legal argument, and the practical exigencies of legal decision making, it isn't an exaggeration to say that the tasks of preparing persons to undertake zealous legal representation and render legal judgment are to some extent incompatible with maintaining strict standards of intellectual honesty. Such is the fate of, e.g., those who must prepare others to wield social power arbitrarily, and yet who must at the same time legitimate that use of power by claiming legal arguments and the decisions that flow from them are impelled by "the law," or "legal principles," or "reason" itself.

But there is no reason why that fate needs to be replicated in all other areas of social life.

Corporate culture in modern times has demonstrated a general preference for 'pragmatism', and this is an occasional source of hostility toward learning. The idea here is that education is a costly and useless distraction from the more important business of making money. Reading and writing are solitary ventures, and according to this viewpoint these activities do little to make a person more affable or conventional and do not foster an aptitude for marketing or acumen for investment in profitable ventures. It is feared that intellectuals may acquire ethical and political ideas that may impede business or make its practices distasteful. Scientific and technological learning may be given a grudging respect; but the arts, literature, philosophy, and similar cultural pursuits are all considered a waste of time at best and subversive at worst. Those who pursue them are supposed to inhabit an 'ivory tower' of academia, full of grand plans whose practice is seen as impossibly flawed.

According to this view, education should be a sort of apprenticeship, rather than being done on the model of classical education based on Greek and Latin grammar and literature. The educational philosophy of John Dewey, founded on these assumptions, has had some influence on education in the USA, although it must be said that Dewey was also a philosopher and an atheist - two qualities guaranteed to raise suspicions among anti-intellectuals.

Current Law Students / Re: Mutiple Choice - shoot me now.
« on: March 27, 2006, 06:38:34 PM »
One of my profs stated that most multiple choice answers have at least two answers that are correct.  The key is to pick the one that is more right.  Look for answers that result in a conclusion and rule them out.  Rule out questions that do not make any sense.  Look for answers that have "but".  These answers are likely to be the correct answer.

Just a suggestion.

A professor himself making this comment?! I find it quite stange!

Current Law Students / Re: Wanna succeed in law school? Get M.A.D.!
« on: March 27, 2006, 06:36:18 PM »
According to LSAT "majority" may well mean 50% + 1.


That's the definition for "preponderance of evidence," I believe!

It's actually 51%.

Current Law Students / Re: Law School Prep Courses
« on: March 27, 2006, 06:34:51 PM »
Hi mp, where have you been baby? Making up some other username and posting undercover?!

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