Doing things differently? Hmmm. That's one way to "see it."
Interesting week in the law world. I know these several things have been covered, but because I think they are all related, I'm going to cover the stories again.
Law Schools have no regard for whether you'll be able to practice the law when you graduate. NONE. My alma mater admitted people with petty crimes on their records and mental illness. These were issues that were left for the "Character and Fitness" portion of the bar to deal with.
Michael Behzadi. This freak graduated from the esteemed Florida Coastal School of Law. Haven't heard of it? Well, that's because it sucks. And with every psychopath they shove onto the street, their reputation will grow. Michael pled guilty to making threats. He had a To-Do list, much like any organized student of the law. Except his list had some disturbing to-dos:
The first item on the list is to "buy eggs," but the list also includes running guns to Nigeria and killing Behzadi's professor at Florida Coastal School of Law.
According to court documents, Behzadi's girlfriend reported in March that he was planning to kill his ex-girlfriend, her new boyfriend and her parents.
According to the documents, Behzadi sent his girlfriend an online message that read, "I don't want to kill her with the S&W revolver. Kill her. Shoot her dead. Drive up to Wisconsin first. Kill her family then tell her before I kill her. Dead. It feels good to hurt people."Oopsie. Well, how was FC to know that he was unstable? Well, according to this article, he had a long history of mental problems. Maybe they thought that law school would stabilize him? Ha. Anyone whose been to law school knows that law school, especially 1L year will unhinge you. So, epic fail.
How about this one? A blind chick from California was admitted to UCLA school of law. How nice! A token disabled person. Nevermind the fact that she had to SUE to take the bar exam:
Enyart sued the NCBE, ACT and the State Bar of California in California federal court for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and state civil rights laws.
She asked the court to order the NCBE to allow her to use a computer equipped with ZoomText and JAWS, presenting a sworn statement from her ophthalmologist to back up her software preferences.
Finding that the accommodations provided by the NCBE were not sufficient to make the test accessible to Enyart, and that she would be kept from pursuing her chosen profession if her requests were not met, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer granted a preliminary injunction and ordered NCBE to provide the software. He required Enyart to put up a $5,000 bond to cover the costs in case the NCBE eventually proved that the injunction was illegal.
Hmm. That's a hidden cost of becoming a lawyer if I ever heard one. During one the injunctions, the poor girl actually took the bar exam and FAILED:
The NCBE appealed, and while the case was pending Enyart took and failed the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) and the bar exam. She requested a second preliminary injunction to take the tests again, which the court granted. Enyart has since received a high enough score on the August 2010 MPRE to qualify for admission to the California Bar but she failed to pass the July 2010 California Bar Exam, according to the ruling.I'm sure she'll keep chugging along until she passes, but she has yet to conquer the greatest hurdle of all: getting a job. I'm not even talking about the job market sucking ass. Anyone who has worked in law firms knows that they are the least likely to have the accommodations needed to employ a blind person. Even if she managed to get a job at a firm that was willing to deal with her blindness by getting word processing software for the Blind--how is she to do on-line research? Looking up something like "factors in determining child custody" on Westlaw will result in 200 cases and you can't skim the cases for relevance if you're blind. Or, if you can, it will take you 800% longer because the software will read every last word aloud. And what if you're a blind litigator? How will you present evidence to the Court if you can't see it? I bumble and fumble through my folder when I'm in front of a judge and I'm sure that's not unique to seeing people. So, good luck getting a job. UCLA should be ashamed of selling you a dream that will never be realized or only realized with great difficulty. I'm not saying it's right--it's just the facts.
Lastly, once you have gotten through law school and invested over $100K in getting the degree--sometimes the smartest thing to do with it is sell it on ebay for $200K.
So, what's the moral of this story? If law schools want to maintain a place of dignity and respect in this Country, they should invest some time and energy into admitting students who can do legal work and give back to their alma maters happily. Somewhere along the way, alumni contributions have been phased out as a source of income and tuition has increased to fund law school operations. This model is bound to implode as fewer and fewer alumni look back upon their law school experience as worthy and lemmings grow brains and use a cost/benefit analysis in deciding whether law school is a worthy investment.
Today, I spoke to an older attorney who must be living under a rock. She expressed dissatisfaction at her alma mater for costing her a whopping $20K. We're all in the same market. If she thinks her degree wasn't worth $20K, why do you think yours is worth $200K? It defies logic.