Category: Law School

Understanding the law

A lot of the law is extremely formulaic. True, human intelligence is required to spot issues, devise strategies, and (most importantly) persuade decisionmakers. But in its actual application, the law is often little more than a series of IF-THEN decisions. A computer could be programmed to do it. This is...

Why Are You Here?

The other day, the Charleston School of Law was kind enough to invite me to speak to its student body as part of its Professionalism lecture series. My theme was, of course, professionalism in the law. But in the context of why we practice law. If you’re interested, have a...

A PhD in Law?

Yale Law School has announced that it will now offer a PhD in Law — apparently the first time a doctoral program in law has been offered in the United States. One can only ask “what for?” Ostensibly, the purpose of a PhD is to advance human knowledge. You get that...

Dear Whiners: Shut Up.

  Hey. Gen-X lawyer here. Could those of you whining about your law schools and sucky job market please shut up? Thanks. There’s something about the gripes of new and rising JDs that’s not unlike the same bleats we’re hearing from many “Occupy Wall Street” types: It’s the complaint that...

You’re Smart Enough to Graduate Law School, Are You Stupid Enough to Sue It?

Courthouse News reports that “a $200 million class action claims the New York Law School misrepresents post-graduate opportunities for lawyers and subjects ‘the overwhelming majority’ of its graduates to ‘years of indentured servitude’ after ‘saddling them with tens of thousands of dollars in crushing, non-dischargeable debt that will take literally decades...

On the Usefulness of Law Reviews

Okay, see that XKCD cartoon up there? That’s not how law-school academia works. Law school academia is more like this: It’s not exactly news that law review articles don’t carry the same weight in their relevant field as, say, scientific papers published in a peer-reviewed journal.  Ask any practicing lawyer...

Where will all the extra lawyers go?

  The New York Times had an interesting data crunch yesterday called “The Lawyer Surplus, State by State.”  Economic consultants EMSI estimated how many new jobs for lawyers there are going to be each year, in the near future, in each state.  Then they used the actual number of bar...

Why Become a Lawyer?

In today’s environment, where law schools are churning out way more lawyers than the market really wants, plenty of law students and recent grads are wondering if it’s really worth it. We’re asked this question, in various forms, all the time.  And we see it asked every day on various...

The Law Students’ Lament

For a while there, it seemed like not a day went by without us reading of some firm or other laying off a mess of lawyers.  Things have changed.  Now, it seems as if not a day goes by without us reading of some law student getting upset at the...

The Rules of the Game

  Note to incoming first-year law students:  The law itself is not terribly difficult. We lecture to schoolkids from time to time, and they seem to get the concept pretty easily when we explain that the law is nothing more than the rulebook for how to play the game of...