Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Will You be Disbarred if You are a Criminal?

Yes.  But no fear, you can still teach in a prestigious Law School.  No joke.  I was rather shocked to read about all of the criminals that are filtered into academia.  I thought it was wrong to use academics, rather than practitioners, to teach lawyers--but it's so much worse to use felons and legal misfits.  Professional Responsibility anyone?  MPRE?  I don't get it.

Lerach joins the Ranks of Ex-Cons and Disgraced Lawyers Teaching Law
by Kai Falkenberg

Bill Lerach the former class action lawyer released from prison last month may soon be teaching at UC-Irvine law school.  Lerach, who served a two year sentence for paying kickbacks to lead plaintiffs, is apparently developing a course called "Regulation of Free Market Capitalism -- Why Have We Failed?"  He won't be the only ex-con or disgraced lawyer among the nation's law school faculty. It seems, they're a sought after bunch.
  • Bernadine Dohrn.  The former member of the Weather Underground, has been on the law faculty at Northwestern for decades.  She was once on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List and served seven months in prison for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating a robbery.
  • Lynne Stewart. The radical lawyer, convicted in 2005 of assisting terrorism, was invited by Hofstra Law School to lecture on legal ethics during an October 2007 legal conference.  She is now incarcerated at the MCC in Manhattan, awaiting re-sentencing this summer.
  • Eliot Spitzer. The disgraced former NY governor taught a class called "Law and Public Policy" at City College during the fall 2009 term.
  • Jim McGreevey. The ex-NJ governor who resigned after admitting to an affair with a male staffer taught a course on ethics, law and leadership at Kean University back in 2007.  He's now in training to become an Episcopal priest at a church in Hoboken, NJ.
  • Rod Blagojevich. The indicted former Illinois governor was invited toNorthwestern last month to give a lecture on "ethics in government".  His trial on corruption charges is slated to begin in June. You can watch a video of the lecture here.


  1. Well, half the NON criminals teaching in law school either never were admitted anywhere or have been inactive for years and years.... Thank God they have stopped the barbarian practitioners (who might actually have something useful to teach law students) from passing through academia's pearly gates.

  2. Well, I guess along he lines of "the best criminals make the best cops" who else better to teach the ins & outs of law (or ethics) than someone who has broken it?

    At least they've had an up close and personal relationship with the law. It's not just all theory. At the very least, they are walking talking examples of what not to do, and quite possibly boilerplates of future clients.

  3. He probably has more criminal law experience than your criminal law professor.

  4. You can't make this stuff up, can you? At least, these "professors" have practical experience breaking the law. Who best to lecture on the inadequacies of the law?



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