Posts Tagged ‘no one cares’

Too Little Too Late Part II: ABA Journal Article

A recent blurb was published in the online ABA Journal positing the question of how to improve law schools. One of the highlighted suggestions included reducing the cost of a law school education. This will have a two fold negative effect: 1) As law schools are already discharging and furloughing support staff and adjunct faculty to further reduce costs will increase the loss of non tenured faculty and support staff (I know reader, I heard you chuckle) 2) Will lower the standards of a law school education which will make the law degree worth even less than it is now, as many law graduates learned the hard way. Ironically, it is published by the very law school accrediting agency that is responsible for the glut of attorneys that’s been happening for decades. Those who are in a position to implement change can start by not accrediting any more law schools and it is now time to shut down many of them. The measurement of success is not just in a constricted market but does the law degree hold value when the economy enjoys economic progress. For most, the answer is “no” as the problem existed for decades cloaked under false employment statistics and contract work. For many law schools the following suggestions is akin to performing CPR after the person has died.
I hope you enjoy the comic relief:
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How to improve law school? Required clinical training, capped loans are among expert suggestions
http://www.abajournal.com/mobile/article/how_to_improve_law_school_required_clinical_training_capped_loans_are_among/
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Jul 24, 2013, 05:45 am CDT
Law schools that once promised grads a place among the elite need to change along with the legal profession, according to several experts who offered their suggestions.

The New Republic queried the experts as a follow-up to an article that, in its words, “chronicles the looming economic collapse of the legal profession.” ABAJournal.com reported on the highlights or the prior article here. The experts’ suggestions are here.

Among the suggestions gathered by the New Republic:

• From Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz: Law schools should offer two years of academic instruction and a third year focused on the student’s career choice that could include internships and clinical training. The third year change might result in the need for fewer teachers and reduced costs. “There are no free lunches when it comes to legal education,” he write, “but cost-cutting is essential as law-school tuition has ballooned dramatically over the past half century.”

• From University of Colorado law professor Paul Campos, who formerly blogged at Inside the Law School Scam: Cap student loans. “The cost of law school needs to be reduced to what it was a generation ago,” he writes. “This would happen practically overnight if the federal government put reasonable caps on educational loans.”

• Slate legal correspondent Dahlia Lithwick: Add a hands-on clinical component to legal education, and put it during the first year. “The hope is that a year of practicing taking depositions, doing document review, and interviewing cranky clients might have helped clarify for many of us, early and often, that we won’t all get to be Clarence Darrow,” she says.

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Black Unemployment: “I Have Mine and You Have Yours to Get”

“I Have Mine and You Have Yours to Get.” This is the mentality of many Americans, but I find it significant among black Americans. Excluding the black upperclass, I notice a difference in the recruiting, networking and effort of minorities to help one another. This is likely due to several factors: 1) as in previous posts, “Blacks” have been disproportionately excluded from advancement in this country: municipal slavery, Black Codes, Jim Crow, institutionalized racism, ebbs and flow in the overall economy, difficulty in assimilating despite education advancement; 2) Blacks are reluctant to help one another, many are of the persuasion that they worked so hard to advance that if they recommend the wrong black person their job/job prospects will be damaged 3) Wealth: Those blacks who are wealthy see no purpose in helping middle class blacks, as it is ‘not their problem,’ so long as they can attend their 100 Black Men Meetings, Links Club meetings, send their children to ‘Jack and Jill’ and boat the existence of their fellow human beings suffering is of no consequence. As many of these wealthy blacks embody this mentality, on the rare, such as the former owner Bob Johnson who sold BET several years ago as he was satiated with the stereotype and redundancy of the music business. He started BJI Industries with the portfolio of seeking highly skilled black businessmen and women.

As various persons (Congressional Black Caucus, lawmakers) mail the U.S. President for resolution to the hardest hit population of the current economic crisis-Black Americans, it is a mystery whether an answer will be in the affirmative. The following are more stories concerning black unemployment:

Obama lobbied on black unemployment, immigration, March 11, 2010, http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62A5OO20100311

DR. BOYCE: Obama Needs To Fix The Black Jobs Situation,  April 5, 2010, News One http://newsone.com/nation/boycewatkins/dr-boyce-obama-needs-to-fix-the-black-jobs-situation/

Obama ignores black joblessness at his own peril, April 06, 2010, http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/4004812
White Unemployment Goes Down as Black Unemployment Goes Up: Experts Explain Why, April 7, 2010, The Seattle Medium: http://www.seattlemedium.com/news/Article/Article.asp?NewsID=102405&sID=3&ItemSource=L
Was the recession more difficult for state’s people of color?, April 7, 2010, http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20100407/COL0412/4070313/1171/OPINION
This may be an opportunity for professional blacks to do what working class blacks did in the early 1900s when shut out of the greater society, create one’s one opportunities and reciprocate for the fellow man who suffers from the same trial.

The More Things Change…: ‘Northwestern to Help Foreign Students Take NY Bar Exam so NY Can Have More Unemployed Lawyers’

 

…the more they stay the same. While perusing the net, I encountered this short stint:

Northwestern to Help Foreign Students Take NY Bar Exam so NY Can Have More Unemployed Lawyers

By On the Net, on March 16th, 2010; http://www.keytlaw.com/blog/2010/03/ny-lawyers/

 The United States economy is down.  Law schools are producing more law school graduates than available new legal jobs.  Lawyers like most other segments of the American business world are being laid off and experiencing declining revenue.  One backward thinking school has a novel solution to the “we have too many lawyers” problem – produce more lawyers!  Northwestern University School of Law is teaming with the College of Law in England to create a program for the College of Law students to get a masters degree from Northwestern University, which would then make the graduates eligible to take the New York bar exam.  After 22 weeks of study, the College of Law grads will get a J.D. from Northwestern, something that takes traditional Northwestern students three academic years to obtain.  This is more proof that higher education is always about the money at the expense of the students.

Judith W. Wegner, the Burton Craige Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School wrote an article called “More Complicated than We Think: A Response to Rethinking Legal Education in Hard Times: The Recession, Practical Legal Education and the New Job Market.”  The article contains these statements:

“For example, the National Law Journal’s most recent survey of the “NLJ 250” large firms concluded that 13.3 percent of large firm attorneys working in New York City lost their jobs this year [2009]“

“The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that, when seasonally adjusted, the number of jobs in legal services fell from 1,157,700 in November 2008 to a projected 1,115,900 for November 2009 (a decline of 9.6 percent over the prior year”

“The American Bar Association reports that for students graduating in 2008, the average debt load for those attending private schools was $91,506, while those attending public law schools on average accumulated $59,324 in debt.”

See “The Year in Law Firm Layoffs – 2009,” which said “2009 will go down as the worst year ever for law-firm layoffs. More people were laid off by more firms than had been reported for all previous years combined.”  See also Above the Law’sThe College of Law — London, Makes Move in U.S. Market.”

 O.k. you commenters on the law scam busting websites. You can have a field day with this one. You qualify to take the bar in 6 months after a “program” at Northwestern Law. This is the degradation of the legal field. Once again, Americans are held to the highest standards while foreigners enter this country with no debt, usually a hatred for Americans but given the blessing to enter the playing field of the legal industry with less repurcussions.

Why You Should Be Bitter

You tried to do it right. You received good grades in high school and college. You decided to improve your job prospects because you knew you wanted a family, knew of inflation and just wanted to continue working forward. The mistake you made. You went to law school.

As we all have witnessed we are bitter. Some law graduates went to top schools, others didn’t, and still others weren’t adequately advised or mentored as to whether they should have been to or stayed in law school. For the most part were tricked by enablers.

You realized it when you expected a return on your educational investment, even now you will still hear influential financial advisors such as Suze Orman exort student loans as “good debt.” You stay in an apartment in an ok area, but realized that blue collar workers make just as much as you, that everyone receives discounts on their rent: the military, teachers, veterans, disabled. The latter two you understand but then comes the other category-Section 8 housing.  You realized that at some point in your life you were considered open-minded, liberal, until the basics of housing and food became an issue. Everyone makes mistakes, but some people have made it a career to live their lives in error. I refer to the ones who manipulate and take advantage of the system. You are surrounded by those who went out and had a bunch of children they couldn’t afford, some may work part-time others don’t at all, yet they are rewarded. You on the other hand are middle or upper middle class, your tax dollars support programs that DO NOT benefit you at all, yet after trying to do things the right way, you end up living in the same area, neighborhood and even apartment buildings as these people. The government doesn’t care about your student loans, you are taxed to the highest degree possible, punished because you are single and dare to want to earn a decent living so you wouldn’t have to live amongst certain elements. Then you realize, I sacrifice for what? to be around who? and what are my job prospects with a legal education and (if it applies)  I am a minority? Wow. You should not be bitter, but you should definitely be angry.

The Undertraining of Lawyers and Its Effects On The Advancement of Women and Minorities in the Legal Profession

locked door

I think this would be a good add-on to the prior post of ‘Rethinking Legal Education’; but with a narrower focus on minorities. Though I must admit, that there seems to be an increase in academic discourse regarding the lack of preparation of law graduates for the practice of law.Interestingly, I would like to dissect the use of “women and minorities” phrase that I’ve seen used before. Years ago many Black Americans (and still) argued that the primary beneficiaries of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Act were white women and not blacks in general. Thus, although a white woman in general modern times be deemed a minority she may still be consider a ‘suspect class.’ Yet a black woman is detracted from her worthiness and feminity but being mass categorized in the minority class when referring to blacks in general. This seems to make the black woman invisible in statistical and academic discourse. Which is ironic since for decades black women have outnumbered black men in university matriculation and graduation, as a result I’ll conclude this would also be the case in graduate education as well.  I’ve read in other spaces how in the black community the patriarchal scheme of life and business, black men are accepted more than black women. I first assessed that this was due to the sub-category of the ‘old boys network,’ that if you’re not a white male, a black male will eventually accepted as long as it’s a male first. I don’t have statistical evidence, so someone may show me evidence to the contrary but the hierarchy appears to be: white man, white woman, black man, asian man, asian woman, black woman at the bottom.

This is an interesting quote from the article: “Sharon Jones* , a black woman associate who is working for her third Am Law 200 firm since graduating from Columbia Law School in 2000, is a prime example of the abysmal retention statistics for women of color. “I think the number one reason why women of color leave firms in such overwhelmingly large numbers is that law firms are not meritocracies; the playing field is far from level.”

I’m sure it’s for multiple reasons such as this: Judge called 3 black women lawyers ‘Supremes’; January 31, 2008 [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22924814/]

Although I’ll leave the term “black” out as some people are deemed so who actually are not, this is a travesty. For the past 20 years most college graduates among “blacks” are women, thus those who graduate from graduate and professional schools are from this category. With high attrition of women of color (who have a higher interest in laws addressing racial discrimination and social reform) from the legal field, the representation of these populations will dwindle to nearly non-existent. This will allow certain legislators and politicians to enact, implement or reinterpet laws that will continue to subject the unpopular classes to servitude status once again. I like to think of it as historical reversion.

 From what I have witnessed among black female attorneys they are the biggest back biters and flesh eaters of their own. Most don’t care for personal and career development likely due to a social familiarity, resulting in lack of progress. Society will deem them not worthy and deserving of whatever they get *door slam.*

The author likely expressed the sentiment of most law school graduates by stating: “My alma mater, like most of other law schools in America, did not prepare its students, particularly those from historically underrepresented backgrounds, for navigating their careers in law firms. For today’s law schools to continue stressing the importance of Pennoyer v. Neff, rather than teaching its students about the business of law firms is absolutely criminal.”

There you have it people. Don’t go to law school, especially if you’re a minority. Nothing has changed, smoke and mirrors, why subject yourself to daily abuse all for the privilege of being in a field that financially ruined you (p.s. you can get in ethics trouble if you lost your job, unemployed, suffering from the recession and are unable to pay your personal bills). Don’t you just love it?

A Law School Carol

O.k., I know it’s been posted on other blogs, but I couldn’t resist, plus a little comedic warning to those in this area couldn’t hurt!