Skip to comments.Paying Students To Quit Law School
Posted on 11/21/2011 6:17:51 PM PST by Altariel
A crisis is threatening legal education. In constant dollars, tuition at private law schools nearly tripled over the last quarter century. Many a graduate faces a six-figure debt and cant find a job paying enough to service that debt. Especially troubling are allegations that some schools admit students they know are unlikely to repay their loansleaving taxpayers (who guarantee some of these loans) holding the bag.
Some of these problems are not unique to law schoolsthey apply to much of American higher education. But law schools are engaged in a specific program of instruction, with a specific goalpassing the baras its purpose. Measuring and even predicting this dimension of success is more straightforward. Besides, as law professors, we know law schools best. So we have a few ideas for dramatic reform.
First, give applicants better information about how past graduates have fared. All students who received federal loans should be required to report whether they passed the bar as well as their annual salary for the first 10 years after graduation. Law schools should be required to disclose this information in a standardized format, enabling applicants to better assess what their degree will be worth, long-term. This reform directly addresses the current problem of woefully incomplete disclosure. Law schools usually only report how well their most successful students do, and only for the first year after graduation.
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...
What? You don't want to spend YOUR money on the idea?
Oh. Never mind. I guess your bright idea wasn't too keen after all.
I was going to get my JD but a family attorney talked me out of it. He said be prepared to make 1/4 of what you are making now and work twice the hours. For me that would mean 100 to 120 hours a week.
The biggest surprise to me about the whole law-school thing is the idea that graduates can’t get jobs unless:
a) They attended one of ten colleges with the reputation necessary (there’s an actual list of 10 colleges) to become a lawyer. If you do not attend one of these ten schools....
b)You have to be invited to join the law review at the end of year one if you did not attend one of the 10 specific schools. The invitation to law review is based on performance. If you aren’t invited - drop out of that major and do something else because you will never be a practicing lawyer.
But they never tell students this and many don’t realize it yet it is a defined, functioning system. All the universities offering law degrees that will be useless unless you get on the ‘law review’ which I take to be a small number of actual students. I first heard something about this when a woman I knew dated a man who had graduated from a university which was not one of the 10 ‘approved’. No one would have anything to do with him after he graduated. He had top grades, his law degree, passed the bar, no one would acknowledge him as a lawyer. You’d think students would have a way to find this out before spending a few years and all that money! This surfaced again on the Ace of Spades website when students at Widener College (SP?) protested a conservative speaker - they were rude and acted like children. The blogger pointed out - ‘let’s face it - you are at Widener, you are never going to be lawyers...’
Universities oversell degrees in a wide variety of programs, law is only one of them. They promise the world, use tax payer guaranteed loans, and then soak the students for every dime possible.
The people running the schools should be jailed for fraud.
If you aren't trying to get into "Biglaw" there's more options, but it's not easy. I know from experience.
The problem is the guidance counselors. They all have useless liberal arts degrees in psychology or sociology. So they promote every crazy sort of easy program. This validates their own existence as a so-called educated person.
We need ones that will bear down and tell students what the workplace needs is engineers, scientists, mathematicians, and other more difficult studies.
They should say things like, “You don’t want to end up like me, using my degree here in high school and college. Go on, study something difficult, and go out there and make a difference in the economy and the world.”
It’s not just the bar and lawyer problem. When I graduated from Florida State back in 1991, before you graduated you had to pass the CLAST exam. I took it first time in 1990, passed 3 out of 4 areas....took the 4th part again and passed. When graduation came around, A LOT of students still were not able to pass the entire CLAST exam meaning no degree. It was kinda crazy but it does allow for those who can’t pass the test in two years to think maybe college is not for me.
I blame Hollywood for this. I know we blame Hollywood for everything. I don’t. But in this situation, I 100 percent blame Hollywood. They show Law and Order, LA Law, Harry’s Law etc where it is exciting and people change lives. I firmly believe that is why many students want to go into law. They have no idea that it is actually a very boring profession full of research, research, research. I have no problem with folks wanting to be Lawyers at all, but lets be realistic, it is not all big cases and marble entry ways.
From your answer it seems you have a law degree and could possibly answer a question I have.
Is it true that lawyers and attorneys are officers of the court and therefore are members of the Judicial branch of government? If they are,doesn’t that make them ineligible to hold office in the other two branches?
That is a question I’ve seen every now and then in Constititutional discussions. If you can clarify,I’d appreciate it.
""It has been stated many times that lawyers are "officers' of the court.' One of the most frequently repeated statements to this effect appears in Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall. 333, 378, 18 L.Ed. 366. The Court pointed out there, however, that an attorney was not an 'officer' within the ordinary meaning of that term. Certainly nothing that was said in Ex parte Garland or in any other case decided by this Court places attorneys in the same category as marshals, bailiffs, court clerks or judges. Unlike these officials a lawyer is engaged in a private profession, important though it be to our system of justice. In general he makes his own decisions, follows his own best judgment, collects his own fees and runs his own business. The word 'officer' as it has always been applied to lawyers conveys quite a different meaning from the word 'officer' as applied to people serving as officers within the conventional meaning of that term. 3 Cf. National Labor Relations Board v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co., 350 U.S. 264, 76 S.Ct. 383. We see no reason why the category of 'officers' subject to summary jurisdiction of a court under § 401(2) should be expanded beyond the group of persons who serve as conventional court officers and are regularly treated as such in the laws. See 28 U.S.C. 601963, 28 U.S.C.A. §§ 601963.
There are strong reasons why attorneys should not be considered 'officers' under § 401(2). As we pointed out in the Nye case, the 1831 Act was promptly passed by the Congress after the impeachment proceedings against Judge Peck failed by a senatorial vote of 22 to 21. Judge Peck had sent a lawyer to jail and had taken away his right to practice as punishment for an alleged contempt. The contempt consisted of published criticism of Judge Peck's opinion in a case in which the convicted lawyer had appeared as counsel; he was also counsel in other pending cases involving similar issues. Those directing the impeachment proceedings, who later brought about the passage of the 1831 Act, expressed deep concern lest lawyers continue to be subjected to summary trials by judges without the safeguards of juries and regular court procedure."""
I knew I couldn’t do Biglaw because I graduated law school with a two year old and then had another one a year later. So I’ve been in private practice and 30 plus years out, I’m doing well. The goal was always to have one or both of us available to our kids and now grandkid. Still is the goal.
Thank you very much Darren. I don’t know how to find the cases you have cited,although you have highlighted interesting points.
Still,there are more questions. If no attorneys and lawyers are officers of the court because they have their own businesses,what of public defenders,state Attorney Generals and US Attorneys? They don’t seem to fit that description.
What is the difference between a lawyer and an attorney,that’s another thing I’ve seen debated?
Also,it’s confusing without a precise definition of the term “officer of the court”. How can one be an officer of the court,yet not be an officer of the court? That part is confusing.
This information you have provided is very interesting.
It does seem that lawyers get special consideration in regards to being held in contempt. Part of what you posted:
“Judge Peck had sent a lawyer to jail and had taken away his right to practice as punishment for an alleged contempt. The contempt consisted of published criticism of Judge Peck’s opinion in a case in which the convicted lawyer had appeared as counsel; he was also counsel in other pending cases involving similar issues. Those directing the impeachment proceedings, who later brought about the passage of the 1831 Act, expressed deep concern lest lawyers continue to be subjected to summary trials by judges without the safeguards of juries and regular court procedure.””” “
I do think that the general public should have such deep concern given to our rights regarding any charges of contempt from the bench.
Thank you for providing this information. I do appreciate it,Darren. I want to be better educated in such matters.
Lawyers and Attorneys are essentially the same thing. You have to pass the bar examination to be one although some states have "unlicensed lawyers" which are JD's who haven't passed the bar and work for other attorneys at a firm.
"Officer of the court" for us - generally means, we're under the jurisdiction of the state bar and face discipline for violating ethics rules the same way doctors are. Usually others are mentioned as "court officers" such as your baliff and judges. Generally this issue just never comes up.
As far as contempt, there's civil and criminal. Most often when lawyers get contempt, it's considered civil and is something on the lines of $250 or $500 and/or confiscation for a cell phone going off in court. Only one time have I seen a lawyer go to jail for contempt (outside of Susan McDougal in Clinton case) and that was for getting a fit over an objection and asking the same question five times like you see from trolls on websites. This was after a few warnings.
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