Posts Tagged ‘law students’

Congress investigates law schools

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According to the Tennesseean’s article Corporations add transparency; so can universities (02/15/2012). This makes sense. Law schools and other universities conduct themselves as for profit they should have all the regulations and accountability that goes with it. Employment statistics, true rankings, endowments, donations, investments and distribution of funding. The first paragraph of this article makes you mentally say an exclamatory *yes*:

The U.S. Senate is investigating law schools’ student data for accuracy, as evidence grows that public information released misrepresents the truth.

Hopefully, Congress will not address the legal industry like the housing market–lawsuits and settlements and restructure only for those affected since 2008 til present. These institutions of higher education have been gaming the system for decades.

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Attorneys and Law Students Commit Suicide All Over the World

These are stories of law students and attorneys whose delusion with practicing law, obtaining a job and being able to provide for basic needs such as food is compromised, or dealt with depression and saw no other way out but suicide. From North Africa to India to to Europe Michigan, USA. This post does not endorse suicide but to provide a glimpse into other side of the legal industry and a warning to 0Ls who are convinced it will not be them. Statistics have shown that attorneys are two to six times more likely to commit suicide than the general population.  The rhetoric is fading and reality is settling in and most people are unable to deal with their false-fed dreams….

Here’s a sampling of lawyer/law student suicides from around the world. These are just the ones who made the news (protest, prestigious law firm, or top school involved).

Autopsy and 911 call reveal Fargo lawyer shot himself at I-29 rest stop (02/10/2012) HILLSBORO, N.D. – An autopsy has confirmed that Fargo attorney Steven M. Light, whose body was found Wednesday evening inside a rest stop near Hillsboro, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Traill County Sheriff’s Department said.

 “But with that, there’s so much stress and so much pressure, and that can eat you alive and make you depressed,” Richie said.

Law Students Commit Suicide (02/07/2012) Rohtak (Haryana), Feb 7 (PTI) A law student allegedly committed suicide by jumping before a moving train here, police said.Babli (22), who was pursuing LLB from Maharshi Dayanand University, ended her life by jumping before Delhi-Jind Passenger train yesterday, they said.
The reason behind the girl taking the extreme step is yet to be ascertained, police said.

Moroccan law graduate who set himself on fire dies  (01/24/2012)  A 27-year-old Moroccan who set himself on fire to protest his unemployment died from his burns Tuesday in a Casablanca hospital, his wife said.

Abdelwahab Zaydoun was part of a group of unemployed graduates who occupied an Education Ministry building inRabat, the Moroccan capital, to protest their unemployment and threatened to set themselves fire when police didn’t let supporters deliver them food.

Prosecutor commits suicide during traffic stop (11/11/2011): Christine Trevino, 51, of Escondido committed suicide at 6:36 p.m. outside a shopping center at Vista Way and Jefferson Street, north of state Route 78. Police had been looking for her to conduct a welfare check, said Lt. Leonard Mata in a news release.

Escondido police had received information earlier in the day that Trevino had threatened to kill herself, got into her car and drove away from her home. Using unmarked cars, police tracked her cell phone and located her in Carlsbad, where they requested assistance from the Carlsbad Police Department.

Council lawyer who hanged himself ‘wrote suicide letter to controversial boss Andrea Hill’ (08/31/2011)

Student’s Death Likely a Suicide (04/29/2010) CHAPEL HILL — A student found dead in an Odum Village apartment on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus Wednesday was a third-year law student who appeared to have killed himself, law school dean Jack Boger said Thursday.

Pune Law Student Commits Suicide (01/26/2010)PUNE/AHMEDNAGAR: A second-year student of DES Law College in Pune allegedly committed suicide by jumping into a well at Umbare Khandba village near Rahuri in Ahmednagar district, about 150 km from Pune, on Monday.

Suicide Victim a Baker & Hostetler Partner (01/22/2010) Police have determined that the death of John Mason Mings earlier this week on a beach in Galveston, Texas, was an apparent suicide. Mings was 45.

Body of Missing University of Michigan Law Student Found (12/03/2009) A University of Michigan Law School student reported missing last month hanged himself, Washtenaw County sheriff’s deputies said.

She was a mother of three and top lawyer who jumped off a bridge into the Thames. What does her death tell us about Britain today? (08/01/2009)

What do you do when your child is asking for you, while your boss is insisting that you get yourself into the next meeting, all the time desperately trying not to show one iota of the stress you are under beneath that polished veneer of professionalism.

It is an impossible situation. Why do it? For power and prestige? For inner fulfillment? Clearly, the latter was insufficient to prevent this lovely young woman cracking under the strain of it all and seeking her own final solution

Mark Levy–Laid off Lawyer Commits Suicide (04/30/2009). Mark Levy, a Washington DC lawyer, shot himself in the head in his office one day after being laid off from his law firm Kilpatrick Stockton.

 …David Baum, the law school’s assistant dean and senior manager of student affairs, said in a statement posted on Above the Law that the school had been aware of McGinnis’ challenges and adjusted his academic load.

Law School Losing Allure For Part-time Students; Continued Exposure About Rankings/Standards

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A few highlights from the news article Part-time Law School Loses Allure (02/06/2012) “The question has become, ‘Am I going to fill my part-time class this year?’ ” Rutt said.  “In the Northeast, people have many options, and I think some part-time programs are going to go away. Frankly, I don’t think the demand is there. It is jargon meaning:  there are too many law schools.

Ooh, more investigations: Meanwhile, law schools continued to create part-time programs. There were 40 part-time day programs at ABA-accredited schools in 2006 and 53 by 2010. Similarly, there were 55 evening part-time programs in 2006 and 65 by 2010. Garon and others have speculated that the U.S. News loophole prompted some of this growth — law schools could admit weaker students without compromising their rankings.

Exposing the law school scam: The council data showed that, on average, students in part-time programs had lower LSAT scores and undergraduate grade-point averages than all new law students combined. U.S. News explained its decision to close the loophole by saying that the new methodology “produces the most complete comparisons.”

“One reason we might see some part-time programs close is because of the U.S. News rule change,” said Eric Janus, dean of the William Mitchell College of Law. “A number of law schools founded or expanded their part-time programs as a way to hide their students with lower credentials. Now, every student counts.”

A larger number of schools will “tinker” with their part-time model, Garon continued, perhaps offering more online courses or adding low-residency programs allowing out-of-town students to convene on campus for three-day stretches. In other words,  as regulators find irregularities and further scrutinize law school practices, law schools will seek another method to circumvent it.

Another option is to offer a “vanilla” J.D. degree — centered on basic law courses such as torts and civil procedure — at a lower price, then charge extra for clinics and other resource-intensive classes, Garon said. Schools also could do a better job of integrating specialties such as entertainment law, health law and intellectual property into their part-time programs, to open up new streams of potential students.

Hey maybe they can provide a 2 for 1 on elective courses; would you like fries with that J.D.?

The Legal Industry: Media attention to the “Law Degree No Guarantee for Job”

Did someone just awaken from a stupor after eating the apple from the nice old lady? First it was Georgetown law students with NPR with their confessionals of dismal employment outlooks upon graduation, now Michigan State University law dean admits it. The interesting question is why are they admitting it only when it’s time for the harvest of the next crop of graduates to hit the job market? It was getting bad during their 1Ls wasn’t it? Anyway here’s the article stint entitled:

Law degree no guarantee for jobs, fresh off the online presses-May 31, 2010 [http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20100531/NEWS03/5310316/Law-degree-no-guarantee-for-jobs] It’s not an intellectually stimulating piece, just a short reminder of what most of these blogs have been telling people, the job market for lawyers is awful and there is no real hope of it improving and you will most likely be working outside of the legal field unless you’re volunteering or doing document review: “According to research conducted by the Association for Legal Career Professionals, all measures of employment growth for new lawyers in 2009 decreased.” I’m not sure whether this statement means measures of whether a recent law graduate entered into the legal field with a secured job upon graduation, specifically whether it was at a law firm, public interest or government, or measuring the actually salary of law graduates or a combination of these factors plus others. Just to assume that the just mentioned variables were calculated, the legal industry is abismal, yet law schools are graduating more and more lawyers into this field? !

It next reads: “In 2008, only 89.9 percent of lawyers coming into the field found employment, which was a decrease from a high of 91.9 percent in 2007, said Judith Collins, research director for the association.” This is the power of words, because ONLY 89.9% found employment? I let you navigate to Exposing the Law School Scam and Third Tier Reality for the mathematical calculations regarding statistics published by NALP, AALS and whoever else. This simply cannot be. Between what the federal government and even more of the mainstream media reports this cannot be accurate. Asides that out of this alleged percentage the article does not state whether these newly minted lawyers even found work in the legal industry. In other words, they may very well be working at a department store, fast food restaurant, manual labor, seasonal mall work, etc. I remember reading in one of the other blogs that some recent graduates are hired by the law school immediately just to heighten the appearance of their law graduate statistics! Simply amazing. Yet, yet…people want to go to law school, it’s like you’re saying with this now available information: “When I grow up I want to be unemployed, stressed, overburdened with debt and have postponed having a family or a real chance at have a good quality of life.” Anyway…it further states

“For instance, the Department of Homeland Security has been hiring law graduates to work in their offices reviewing documents, even though a law degree isn’t required.” You see now instead of the embarrassment and stigma of being a document reviewer in the private law firms, you have the opportunity to be a document reviewer for a government job, though no job title is provided in this piece. Isn’t it just wonderful? Oops wait a minute: “”These are students that are willing to start at the bottom of a rung in a non-attorney job…” Wow, even in the private sector you’re still dubbed an attorney even a contractual one, here you don’t even have that level of ‘prestige’, interesting. The rest is just putting the burden on the recent graduate with a good luck, we cannot help you, it’s all on you.

AM Law Daily: Welcome to the Future: Are Law Schools “Beached”?

Welcome to the Future: Are Law Schools “Beached”? http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdaily/2010/04/welcome.html                                                                                         April 10, 2010

The best part of this article is this statement: “Simply put, whereas medical and other professional schools generally train students in the context of the world they’re about to enter, law schools have almost created an “anticontext,” a world divorced from client reality.”

The field of law existed for how many hundreds of years and it took from 2010 for people to realize it?  Then again the practice of law was originally on par with what many are exhorting as ‘reform’ that is bringing bag the type of apprenticeship practice. At some point in history the legal field changed to nearly anecdotal academic exercise with smatterings of realistic legal teaching.  Of course members of the legal community knew this for decades, but only until money isn’t falling into the pockets of the expected “well-deserved” elite does it make headline news. Similar to the banking and housing collapse, evidence continued to mount, signs were becoming more and more manifest but ignored. Either those in authoritative and managing aspect of the industry assumed that if enough marketing and advertising materials continued to state otherwise it would buy them time to fix it or many were actually delusional to think the current state of the legal field was in a temporary regression but would rise again, with no plan, no actual use of collaborative intelligence or honesty. The legal field is floundering like a beached whale but I doubt if it wasn’t being monitored before the collapse of the industry…the next step; it appears people have some ideas but either are stifled, ruined by student loans, or already view the legal field for the most part as permanently dismantled.

University of Chicago’s ‘All You Need Is Law: Because Love Is Inefficient’

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Image from Disney's Aladdin

Ok, I’m not sure if this is direct retaliatory art scheme to Esq. Never’s A Law School Carol, but this is just frightening. Apparently the University of Chicago Law School does this annually. On its website it shows a law school musical entitled: “All You Need Is Law: Because Love Is Inefficient” [http://www.law.uchicago.edu/node/2744] Have people lost their minds? Is this a parody? As much as I hear about Americans disliking Disney, I think it’s just  odd and insulting to abuse a song from The Lion King?  The law students used the Circle of Life, in a way this makes sense. Predators attacking, eliminating and consuming their prey to carry on the tradition (the hunt) as they have been taught, ok I digress.

Why in the world would future professionals parade themselves while professors and deans clap and probably think “yes, dance for us, schuck and jive, entertain us while we profit off the federal student loans that is paying our salaries, sabatticals and pensions.” It’s not like you’re spending time with friends or family such as dinner, bowling, or the theatre, this is apparently an official law school activity. Is this the privilege of being in a T-14 law school, I can probably guess the extent if a lower ranked law school would dare subject its students to such activities.

Anyway, looking at the title of the musical this shows how if you not an elitist you better be a cut throat, arrogant, heartless, shrill to succeed in law. You will learn how to push the envelope, learn the difference between legal ethics and human ethics and the psychotic ones will manipulate or blur the lines between both, while true justice fades away in the distance. Forget about family life, cultivating nurturing relationships that will outlast the average legal career. All you need is law?, all you’ll need is an anti-depressant if you attend law school.