Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I read an article that made me mad, so I commented, and then commented twice more in response to others comments. Here is a link to the article, but I don't reccomend it highly:
Here are my thoughts, probably offensive to some, possibly conflicting, hypocritical or unclear, but I'm open to discussion and correction, for sure. Please don't be offended if you went to Harvard:
This article was disgusting, and I'm sad I wasted my time reading it. At first it seemed to have a basic level of intelligence, with decently accurate reports about what people are thinking, etc, ...but then, like the sour flatulence of an ignorant old man, the unfounded and ridiculous sweeping conclusions that came out at the end made me never want to come back to this idiotic blog or whatever it is. 
Not all law schools are created equally. And honestly, only having gone to one, I can't vouch for any others. But I know that my law school was all about the practical, and that's part of the reason I went there, despite its low "ranking" ...I ended up being a finalist in a national competition even though I came from a small unknown school, beating out a bunch of top name schools. Also, I passed the bar the first try, while folks from Harvard and other "top" schools didn't in my state.  
If the legal profession would open up its eyes, and pull its head out from wherever it's been shoved, things could be fixed. Stop hiring graduates simply because they go to a 250 year old school, and hire them based on merit. I like the idea of splitting tuition with employers who are willing to give extended internships, give real training. Seriously, the rankings have destroyed America's system of legal education. What we've ended up with is a machine that puts some of the smartest and brightest in our country in places where people care more about the obtuse writings of an ancient greek philosopher than about the rules of evidence, while the people who didn't do as great on the LSAT end up with the better training. 
I also agree that, in general, law school is far too expensive. But it is worse when the expense is paid simply for the age of the school, which in reality has become a place where abstract stupidity has replaced practical experience and learning. 
As for the last inflammatory lines of this article, Lawyers are the most powerful people on this earth. Those with the power of law behind them, which inherently includes the extremely strong arm of government, have the power to crush all others absent full revolution. That's why a doctor's greatest fear is a malpractice attorney. So, if the only people attracted to the legal profession are the lowest of low, the scum of the earth as this article would suggest, then GOD HELP US.
REPLY TO “the ‘top’ schools are not the worst offenders... close the bottom 60-70% of schools”:
Look at the curriculum/course listing of Harvard or Columbia or Stanford, compared to ANY tier four school, and you'll  find that in subject matter alone, the top ranked schools are by far the worst offenders, and may be the only offenders. Top ranked school grads are the ones they are talking about in this article, the ones who used to be paid tons of money for not having any clue regarding what they were doing. Guys like me, who went to lower ranked schools that actually required a huge number of practical classes, have always had to struggle out of law school, barely getting paid at all. We've never been rewarded with lucrative salaries, but instead have to prove ourselves before we get anything.  
It is unfortunate that the "top" schools absorb the best students, because they are just factories of waste and idiocy. Also, look at the credentials of professors at the top schools; Many have never had a case in their life, they just got 5 PhD's about what some people think about what other people think. But look at a low ranked school, and you're likely to find long time attorneys who have been in the courtroom thousands of times, or have drafted actual contracts for giant mergers, etc. 
Lastly, nobody charges the right amount, besides maybe Georgia and BYU. But this is thanks to the ABA, and the lack of a free market when it comes to legal education. Complex inefficiencies govern the field, all of which make law school far too expensive for anyone's good, most especially the clients.  
If you don't believe me on any of these points, then you should definitely pump your money into a "top" school lawyer next time you face the dirty end of a summons, which surely must come. I wish you the best of luck.
IN REPLY TO “[academia has] created a cartel system where they evaluate each other on their academic credentials, without any concern for whether those academic credentials actually mean they are producing better students or better lawyers... Students coming out of the top schools get hired because (i) all the schools are doing the same thing; (ii) the name on their diploma have traditionally been the "best" schools; and (iii) they are generally considered to be the smartest based on their LSAT score that got them in to a top school...":
I agree with your sentiments about the academia cartel, about the need for more practical training, etc. But I think the only way to change things will be for guys like me, who went to a lower ranked school that gave me a great amount of practical training, to just own up and open my own office, be my own partner, charge clients a heck of a lot less, and take home more for my family than you actually do at the big firm. If a lot of people actually did that, then the whole legal dynamic could shift in a good way. That's the only way I see to get significantly more resources allocated away from the big name schools. 
The only possible problem is malpractice. When you don't have senior partners who learned not to do XYZ from their senior partners who were actually sued for malpractice, you have to pay a lot more attention to what you are doing so you don't get shut down in your first year.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Kasha-KatuweTent Rocks National Monument

So last weekend we went to Kasha-KatuweTent Rocks National Monument, and hiked up a short canyon that leads to the top of the ridge. It was really pretty, and everyone had a pretty good time. We had driven out there before only to find that the whole thing was closed for fires... But I don't give up easily, I guess.

The canyon had some really pretty narrows, and the kids loved the echos.

Eva set her own pace, and picked up every other stick or rock on the way up.


We only relaxed on the top for a few minutes because we had just meandered up. Eva was very insistent on going the whole way up without a ride in the backpack. Indeed, she had to be forced kicking and screaming into the backpack on the way down, so as to hurry back. Eli and Wesley literally ran the entire way down, and I was at a decent jog to keep up with everyone. Isn't my wife supposed to be prego?