Saturday, February 5, 2011

University of Minnesota Starts Bullshit Program

Wow.  Law Schools just don't get it.  A few schools have started programs in Islamic Law.  What a nice idea, right?  Wrong.  What in God's name, or Allah's name for that matter, will students do with a degree in a legal system that isn't used in this country?  Are the students enrolled in these programs going to become barristers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?  Will they be more or less qualified than scholars from Al-Azhar University?  Even if they were qualified, who the hell is going to hire a non-muslim over a muslim when dealing with a legal system based on religion?  Will this prepare lawyers to be better practitioners in the United States?  HELL no!  Don't get me wrong, I am sure that these programs will be interesting, perhaps even enlightening.  But it will do nothing at all to make University of Minnesota law grads more employable.  Absolutely nothing.  Let's just stop with the whole "juris doctorate" thing and call a law degree what it is: "B.A. Part II"--or perhaps B.S. as in BULL SHIT.  Interesting classes are enticing.  But, my secret to passing the New York bar on the first try wasn't Barbri--it was taking bar classes to the exclusion of anything interesting.  It wasn't a huge loss since nothing in law school is that interesting.  Anyhow, that's how you pass the bar, which may or may not make you nominally employable.  That does nothing for your lack of practical skills.  Lawyers and law firms have been on law schools for a while, for their utter failure to produce lawyers (rather than law school grads).  I think it's hard for a bunch of nitwits that were too socially inept to practice law, to teach others.  After all, those who can't do, teach--as the old adage goes.  

This type of program does nothing to fix the obvious problem with law school.

I can hardly think of anything more useless than a J.D. with a concentration in Islamic Law for all 20 positions in the government that may or may not find it useful to understand the legal systems in the Middle East.  Why don't we have programs in French Civil Code or Samurai Sword Fighting?  Somewhere in the world, there may be a need.  Will that need be in Minnesota?  If I have to answer that question for you, you're a retard and please don't read my blog anymore.
U of M administrators took this sign literally!


  1. At least they give you the option of taking bullshit classes. If people want to waste their time, that's fine by me.

    Some places actually require classes like international law. I wouldn't be surprised if, in the goal of turning law school into undergrad 2.0, they don't start requiring "diversity sensitivity" type courses that would include things like Islamic Law studies.

    Could you imagine medical schools where future doctors learned things like "philosophy of Islamic medicine?" Would you want the doctor who took that class instead of something actually useful trying to diagnose you?

  2. Angel,

    A former classmate, fluent in German, thought that she would be an "international lawyer." She was from Minnesota, and told me that she would have had a better chance to do "international law," if she had gone to U. of Minnesota.

    Who knows? Maybe she was onto something. After all, shariah law will be all the rage in the upper midwest region, right?!?!

  3. I'm going to disagree with you on this, for a couple of reasons:

    (1) while I think law schools are committing, at best, false advertising, and at worst, fraud, with respect to their employment statistics, I think it's better when colleges in general and law schools in particular provide MORE options, not less. As a previous commentator noticed, this is an option, and is not mandatory.

    (2) I went to a similarly ranked school in the Midwest and there were a significant number of muslims in my class. I would guess at least 10% of my class were muslims. Most of them grew up here and were United States citizens, but spent a significant amount of time in muslim countries. It might be natural for some of these students to concentrate on Islamic law, especially if they have no desire to go the biglaw route. There are a lot of Islamic-focused public interest organizations, and a lot of my Islamic friends went to work for such organizations.

    (3) As you said, this topic actually is interesting. My school offered a single-credit class in Islamic law, and I really enjoyed it even though my practice has nothing to do with that subject.

    (4) Most important, there as to be a level of responsibility on the part of the student. She or he has to realize that, if you want to follow the traditional career path, most of your classes need to be practical. I don't think schools should force people to take a lot of classes outside of the dozen or so major classes (civ pro, property, torts, etc). The ONLY class I think that should be required but typically isn't is state civil procedure.

    In short, students who get a concentration in Islamic must be held responsible for their choice and the career options it provides. Law students are, after all, adults. Law schools should not lie about employment statistics. By the same token, it's not their responsibility to hold their students' hands through law school to ensure that the students are as marketable as possible. At some point, (and I would argue, immediately upon starting law school), the burden of becoming marketable rests with the student.

  4. This is the previous poster -

    One more quick thought - there actually is a pretty significant Islamic population in the Midwest. For example, Dearborn, MIchigan has a very high Iraqi (among others) population. Chicago, naturally, has a high muslim population, particularly Pakistani. While not directly familiar with the Twin Cities, I have heard that it also has a large population of muslims residing in that area, according to my friends who are from that area (one of which happens to be muslim).

  5. Maybe some rich Arab in the oil business from the Arabian peninsula donated a large sum of money.

  6. Shariah law is a (glorified) code of conduct.

    @ BIDER
    why do so many of your "anonymous" posters not get what you are trying to say? It's like they don't read or do not know where they are......

  7. Many U.S. law schools also have programs in Chinese law and Chinese language, and in their advertising link such programs with employability:

  8. Wouldn't such a course be helpful to the not-insignificant number of shariah compliant transactions?

    As for the issue of bar courses vs. enrichment courses, if Barbri suffices for passing the bar, why take bar courses? After all, most of the information on the NY bar isn't necessarily going to be used in practice. This might just suggest that law school adds little value (which is probably true), but if someone's interested in the courses offered, they should take advantage of them. After all, a $3K bar course will teach you what you need to know to pass the bar. Taking doctrinal courses in law school in order to prepare for the bar comes with a significant opportunity cost even if you save the $3K for the bar course. And that assumes that your doctrinal courses teach the law for the bar exam which you'll be taking, which is a hefty assumption.

    If you want to knock law school, don't pick out on a specialization on shariah law that could very well be quite useful. There's plenty of other reasons to object to law school.

  9. There can be as many Muslim people in the Midwest as can be, it still doesn't make sharia the law of the land. This is just another hopelessly flailing bullshit attempt by an overpriced law school to offer "diverse courses" and draw in a wider variety of suckers. UMN employment at graduation has been below 50% for a couple years now, yet tuition increases by 10-15% a year. They're going to have to keep making up ever more ridiculous course offerings if they want to attract new blood with that kind of a record.

  10. Thoughts of a Random College Student -

    Would you care to specify what commenter(s) failed to get the point that Angel was making? After reading the comments, all of the responses seem relevant and on point to the post, even if some disagree with what she said.

    If you represent today's typical college student, I weep for the future.

  11. Hey, don't dis my alma mater, when I was there there were clasess in Urban Law and Indian law, so what? I'm a solo doing it for more than 20 years and yes, I agree with you, law schools teach zilch about the actual practice of law. That's nothing new either, I knew that back then. I cannot think of another profession where one can start up with a computer, a printer and business cards. Did you know that the number of people out there in need of legal representation far outnumbers the number of unemployed lawyers. To those fellow lawyers I say go to a court room and see how things are done. Take on a case, represent somebody, be an advocate for a cause, a person and ideal. Complaining about false promises and all that will get you nowhere. [By the way, I wanted to post by leaving my email address but it was rejected, the same is]

  12. Hey there...
    Read through some posts. Good stuff.

    Good comments, too. Though why always anonymous?

    I'm going to law school to score chicks. That's cool, right?




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