Technically, I’m Only Red-Green Colorblind
Law School Reform / 26 de agosto de 2017

I go to a really progressive school.  As in, my classmates keep the granola industry in business.  As in, I’ve been able to go through law school with a course schedule loaded up with social-justice and civil rights classes (I never took Secured Transactions!).  I think the majority of my classmates are well-meaning people who care about others. But there’s a saying about good intentions.  Something about hell and roads. As much as we want to do good, when we students are unable or unwilling to engage our own privileges, we wind up perpetuating evil.  Many of us go to schools where we are surrounded by relatively wealthy, well-educated, white, able-bodied people.  For most of our lives, we have existed in a society that privileges us. That doesn’t mean that we don’t work hard or deserve our successes, but we have to realize a couple things: We’re advantaged in ways that disadvantage others, whether we intend for this to happen or not. It’s really, really, convenient to ignore #1. During our legal educations, rarely, and sometimes never, are we asked to investigate racial inequality or systemic racism.  Our social circles continue to be a fairly privileged bunch.  We can talk…

Tuition Continues to Rise and Rise and Rise and Rise . . .
Law School Reform / 26 de agosto de 2017

Law school tuition continues to rise into the stratosphere. Though not new or surprising, considering lowered employment rates and the controversy surrounding law school employment data, the continued rise in tuition begs just a few, friendly questions. When students no longer can count on high paying jobs after graduation, how can law schools justify raising tuition at the same rate or even at all? As future applicants consider law school as an option and weigh the risk of being unemployed with the certainty of diving head first into debt, which applicants will be deterred and how will this change the socio-economic population of the legal landscape? Where is the pressure coming from for law schools to fudge data and who should hold them accountable? Do the US News & World Report Rankings create an incentive to hike up tuition? Correct me if I’m wrong, but the US News and Rankings clearly factors in the “expenditures per student” yet somehow does not list the “affordability of tuition” of the law school as a factor to incorporate into their weighted, highly empirical average for their rankings. Law schools seem to have been hit hard by this whole economic downturn thing, yet they seem…

What happened to Justice?
Law School Reform / 26 de agosto de 2017

In the past while, I have experienced confusion when bringing up the concept of justice to my fellow law students.  While it seemed like a bit of a stretch, I thought that perhaps justice lived at the very heart of law.  The confusion came when I started to note two ideas:  (1) justice is not a necessary element of law and (2) justice already has been defined by the law.  I suppose this ought to be where I define justice.  For me personally, I define justice as a way to express values and power.  Some have defined it as a concept of morality and ethics.  Perhaps it is all of these things.  Truthfully, I have no idea how to define it and don’t know if it can be defined, but I think the process of defining it deserves a bit of attention, if not the main focus of attention, of our legal educations. Perhaps, you may find this a bit funny.  I am a law student, and I think law and justice go together.  What an idiot, right?  Everyone knows that law and justice go together and that law schools teach law students about justice.  I don’t disagree.  The problem…

Values and Skills
Law School Reform / 26 de agosto de 2017

Recently, I came across Professor Daniel Pollitt’s paper from 1973, entitled “Preliminary Proposal for a Public-Service Oriented Law School.”  I appreciate his vision at that time for a quality law school, and in particular, one of his paragraphs stood out for asking for something that schools do not seem to emphasize anymore: “At most law schools, emphasis is put upon the acquisition of skills.  At the proposed law school, emphasis would be put upon the acquisition of skills and values. The proposed law school would seek to convey, borrowing again from Father Hesberg, ‘a deep sense of the dignity of the human person, his nature and high destiny, his opportunities for seeking justice in a very unjust world, his inherent nobility so needing to be achieved for himself or herself, for one’s self and for others, whatever the obstacles.’” When classes have more than 100 students and are cold-called through a chart.  When students generally do not work in groups and are taught to compete, not collaborate.  When skills training is limited through lotteries for clinics and externships.  When values no longer are discussed but are ignored.  When human dignity becomes an anomaly in practice and discussion. . . ….

Spread the Word
Law School Reform / 26 de agosto de 2017

In order for this movement to grow, we need your help.  Post a link to Law Schooled or the blurb below on your Facebook status, email it to your friends, and urge your student organizations to send this information to their members:  LAW SCHOOLED As both investors and an investment, law students ought to have a voice when it comes to law school reform; we invest over 3 years of our lives and often over $150,000.  Until now, a national, egalitarian forum for students has not existed, and student voices have been marginalized. Law Schooled is a network that allows students to learn from other students and connect to faculty, so that students can work together to shape the future of legal education and help each other survive three grueling years with a bit of advice and a bit of humor. Law Schooled aims towards goals that benefit students, such as lowered tuition and debt, higher employment, transparency in financial and employment data, improved skills training, the development of ethical and capable lawyers, and an emphasis better student-to-faculty and faculty-to-student communication and feedback. Law Schooled can only achieve these goals when students start speaking out and taking action.  Consider being a one-time, weekly or bi-weekly contributor to the blog – submitting essays, stories,…