Friday, November 29, 2013

Law School and the Open Road

The open road narrative is central to the American dream narrative; indeed, it traverses right through it. [1]  Man-going-on-voyage [2] stories have deep roots in world literary history.  From Moses [3] and Odysseus [4] to Dorothy [5] and Frodo [6], the journey narrative is ingrained in human consciousness, where a single step can start an individual on a life- or world-changing voyage.

In the United States, a special offshoot of this broader journey narrative group took shape in the 20th century [7]:  the "open road" narrative, where America's miles of highway [8], roadside distractions [9], and classic car marques [10] became metaphors for freedom, optimism, fortune, and the American Dream. [11]

Consider Raphael John, our multiethnic superstar from Queens. [12] He's always been good at reading and writing, and loves being vocal, particularly about injustice.  For example, he once wrote the following poem for junior English:
I sling rock to the suits on the StreetI sling rock in the Central Park heatI sling rock to the sluts and the hoswith the nine inch nails on they feet and they toesBut the po-lice be hasslin' me.I sling rock in Brooklyn and SohoI sling rock to straight and homoI sling rock to the blacks and the whitesChinese, Cubans, and many mo', allrights?But the po-lice be hasslin' me. [13]
Raphael had an entrepreneurial spirit and outgoing personality.  Similarly, his extensive business activities created a substantial network from which to develop opportunities.  [14]  Unfortunately, Rapheal's road narrative to the American Dream narrative had become bombarded with roadblocks and barricades.  His narrative was being derailed by angry police, cynics, and other opponents of progress and opportunity. [15]  When he graduated from CUNY with a 3.3 in Urban Studies, he considered taking the LSAT and applying to fine law schools such as Albany and Widener.  But all around him, he saw pessimism about the legal profession, such as this insolent screed:
I'll do doc review until I'm blue in the face; I will sit there doing doc review until my prostate explodes. Why? BECAUSE I NEED A GODDAMN JOB. Don't get me wrong: I've given up hope of ever being successful. Law school destroyed me and destroyed my life. I'm fucked forever, I know that. But my girlfriend will leave me if I don't get a job fast and she's the only thing I've got going in the world. Seriously, I'll be out on the fucking street and I won't even care. I might go live in a box or get a canoe and go out into the ocean to die of exposure. [16]
Clearly, the narratives of other people were disrupting his American dream narrative with a counter-narrative that was narratively vitriolic, even more so than his biracialness.  [17]  As-if Bonnie and Clyde decided to just live in the sexless suburbs for a year, Raphael put off his American dream legal education and left his Porsche of a mind in the garage of inertness. [18]

So he slung rock for another year.  [19]  The whole time, the anguish of wanting to do something more with his life hung over his head.  He didn't want comfort.  He wanted freedom and danger. [20].

Thankfully, he sound found salvation for his stunted narrative. [21] One day, while a-slinging his rock, he found a trio of street preachers called Public Interest.  There was Valvolive Valv, who wore a giant money-sign necklace; Leduck D, a slightly heavier man with a seriousness about him; and Professor Grift, who was wearing a Villanova shirt.

And, oh, how Public Interest rapped:
As the law designed to bounce
What counts is that the law
Designed to fill your mind
Now that you've realized the time's arrived
We got to pump the stuff to make you legally tough
From the heart
It's a start, a work of art
To revolutionize make Socratic Method nothin's strange
People, people we are the same
No we're not the same
Go to law school, you'll win the game
What you need is law awareness, you can't get careless
You say what is this?
My beloved, lets get down to business
Mental self defensive fitness
(Yo) bum rush the show
You gotta go to law school, you know
Get your legal degree, in order to fight the powers that be
(faint voice in background) Lemme hear you say...
Fight the Power!
Fight the Power!...  [22]

RAPHAEL:  Wow.  You guys sure think a law degree is necessary to fight the power!  [23]

VALV:  Totally, yo.  With a law degree, you can do anything. [24]

RAPHAEL:  Anything anything?

LEDUCK:  Shit, bro', I know lawyers and they workin', not just in gob'mint and law firms, but they running art galleries and non-profits, restaurants and stores, workin' as consultants for cell phone companies, you name it, dogity dog. [25]

GRIFT:  You can change the world, motherfucka. [26]

VALV:  Most importantly, you can get a job working with public interest groups helping with all sorts of causes, like representing poor people or beached whales.  [27]

RAPHAEL:  But I've heard that law school is a bad investment.  Isn't the cost really high?

VALV:  Dude, there is a fuckin' money sign around my god-damned neck.  You think this is just decoration? [28]

LEDUCK:  The average lawyer makes, like, a $G a year.  That's not just me yappin, that's the motherfuckin' Bureau of Labor Motherfuckin' Statistics.  I think. [29]

RAPHAEL:  But will I get a job?  I've heard the legal market is big cities is extremely tough and technological advances have been narrowing the job market.

GRIFT:  Sore losers. [30]

VALV:  While we can't guarantee you'll have a job as an attorney, we're going to tell you that 98% of our students wind up with good jobs, and that I don't think you're in the bottom 2%, and that I'm virtually guaranteeing you a job. [31]

LEDUCK:  C'mon man, just take the motherfuckin' LSAT, man.

Raphael took the motherfuckin' LSAT.

LSAT administrations are down sharply over the last four years. [32]  Would-be moderate- to higher-scoring applicants are being deterred from the profitable narrative of law school riches to instead pursue other narratives.  As a result, law schools are placed in a precarious position in their pedagogical narrative, and many have elected to accept slightly-lower LSAT scorers, while other schools have opted to drastically slash enrollment to maintain LSAT standards and hopefully preserve their treasured rank in U.S. News & World Report.  [33]

But Raphael had the keys to his American dream in his hand in the form of a pencil that he used to fill in the LSAT bubbles.  He scored a 150.  Within days, he had 72 scholarship offers. [34]  His car was being built, and it was shaping up to be a sweet-ass ride.  [35]

"Yo Raphael, what's up, bro'?"
"Who is this?"
"This is Ice Rude.  I'm with a group called Lawdeans With Attitude.  We from the west coast school, bro'."
"Lawdeans With Attitude?"
"Yeah, me, Easy C, Dr. K, MC Debtr'en from the Summit, and DJ Whittiah'.  Listen to us tell you all about the west coast style."
Dr. K:  You are about to witness the strength of legal knowledge. 
Ice Rudy:
Straight outta Harvard, crazy motherfucker named Ice Rude
From the gang called Lawdeans Wit Attitude
When I'm called off, I take my tie off
With a few mouseclicks, to the Riviera, I'm off
You too boy if you follow me
Fraud?  Shit, that bitch Juris Prudence love me
Off yo ass, and network, balls out
It's the punk motherfuckers that's showing out
You look and feel inspired, they gonna make the hire
Don't sit on the couch like a lazy-ass dumbo... [36]
"Stop it," Raphael said.  "Stop this nonsense.  All I want is to do is make a prudent investment in a career choice and not wind up fucked for my ambition and work and give up my decent career.  Can't you assholes just cut the bullshit and understand that people are making serious decisions about their futures with dire consequences if you're just making shit up to pad your lifestyle choices?" [37]

Is our hero sure?  We still have a whole roster of deans-artists to explore, like Lil Jon Marshall from the Atlanta school, LL Cool M, and Socratic Method Man.

"Raphael," one of the admissions officers told him, "I'm going to be as honest with you as I possibly can.  With tools like IBR and PAYE, law school is a really good proposition."

Sun shining.  Engine started.  Garage door open.

Consider the film Easy Rider.  [38]  In this film, released just as 60s Hippie idealism turned fatefully towards the dreary 70s, our antiheroes go by the names Billy, referring to Billy the Kid, and Wyatt, referring to Wyatt Earp, the latter also decked out in flag garb and being referred to as Captain America.  [39]  They venture on their motorcycles across a dust-coated American landscape that almost has an aura of post-apocalypticism to it.  [40]  With the profits of their hard work, they travel to the bacchanalia of Mardi Gras, along the way staying on an agrarian hippie compound, parading down Main Street USA, and dropping acid with prostitutes.  [41]

But these are not confident, classical heroes like in the epic narratives of our mythology.  Far from having the steadfast leadership qualities of Earp or the patriotic vigor of Captain America, Peter Fonda's Wyatt is more brooding and bitter, while Hopper's Billy is decked out in Indian-inspired clothes and harbors more outspoken hostility. [42]  The answer comes from the drunken ACLU lawyer they meet, George Hanson, who notes "You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can't understand what's gone wrong with it." [43]  George and Billy then engage in a dialectic about fear and freedom, with George opining that conservative America fears people like Billy and Wyatt because they represent true freedom; the distinction is noteworthy as, George is self-aware that he, too, is limited by fear (e.g., that marijuana will lead to harder drugs, that he's set off for Mardi Gras, but never made it).  [44]

George, in his embodiment of the law, serves as a mediator in the narrative between the oppressive, anti-progressive forces of the society and the anarchic, free forces of 60s counter-culture.  [45]  He is, indeed, the perfect metaphor for law itself; while frustrated with the injustices and hostilities of the post-capitalist world, he guides the naive, idealistic proletariat in their interactions with the system, resulting in positive interactions and outcomes. [46] And indeed, in Easy Rider, while the open road narrative is fully at work with the open road symbolizing freedom and opportunity, ultimately George serves as the impetus to Wyatt and Billy finding salvation, as George sacrifices to get the bikers to Sonoma Valley so they can open their winery that succeeds within a capitalist paradigm without sacrificing hippie ideals. [47]

Likewise, our hero Raphael has chosen a similar path.  Assured that he can definitely prosper if he enrolls in law school, he has a veritable feast of options, a garage full of vehicles to lead him to the promised land.  After extensive research [48], he took a half ride to Southwestern Law School.  He felt like he needed a change of pace, and he figured, if necessary, he would have no problem coming back to New York to find work.  He knew his future was bright no matter what coast he did his narrative thing on.

Shortly after he started on the new turn in his narrative, he saw a young African-American pulled over, with the flashing lights of three police cruisers lighting the macabre drama of the racial profiling that stopped so many open road narratives.  "Some day," Raphael said, "I'll be able to help you.  Or at least well off enough to donate to someone who can."

And so he zips through the flat Midwest as he does on the highway of life, the supple lips of mother nature smiling wryly as she breast-feeds him; the rescuing ship has saved him from ocean isolation; he drove on, tires against the pavement, thrusting ceaselessly towards his future.  He smiled broadly.  He knew he had made the right choice.

On the road of life, there are passengers and there are drivers.  In law school, you, like Raphael, can become a driver.  While all vehicles have their cost, it is the destination that makes the voyage worthwhile, and with law school in your sights, your open road narrative is sure - like Easy Rider - to have a satisfactory, life-affirming ending. [50]

(Happy Thanksgiving Weekend, y'all)
[1] a positive easment
[2] sexist
[3] tortfeasor
[4] tortfeasor
[5] tortfeasor
[6] tortfeasor
[7] obviously, this is just for white people
[8]  see, e.g., an atlas
[9] "look, kids, it's the world's biggest law school debtor!"
[10]  good luck living out the narrative when you can't afford the payment on your 1949 Studebaker.
[11] ...and a whole bunch of other things that directly contradict such ideals, but we're going to ignore those stories or just pretend they have alternative meanings.
[12] home of St. John's law school!
[13] this poem is likely good enough to be published in certain law reviews.
[14] the trust in the drug dealer-customer relationship leads to excellent opportunities for the exploitative networker.
[15] scambloggers resist opportunities to expand diversity, want to restrict federal spending, and are critical of the excesses of academia, obviously supporting arch-conservative ideals.
[16]:  shit's real: or
[17] narrative
[18] the rental fees in the garage of inertia are inSANE.
[19] "rock" is an urban vernacular term for a basketball, and "sling" is the thing David used to kill Goliath, so a fair interpretation of this would be that Raphael was playing pick-up basketball against much better opponents.
[20] i'm alluding to Aldous Huxley; God damn, I'm smart.
[21] yes, he found salvation for a narrative as part of the narrative.  try not to overthink it, kids.
[22] by alluding to this song, I am now qualified to sit at the andre douglas pond cummings table at various conventions, you know, with the real brothas.
[23] duh.
[24] duh.
[25] duh.
[26] duh.
[27] duh.
[28] have a law dean on your holiday shopping list?
[29] duh.
[30] duh.
[31] duh.
[32] read a newspaper.
[33] law deans are, it appears, the last people in the universe to take US News seriously.
[34] this might be an under-exaggeration
[35] you know, law school-as-a-car is a good metaphor.  you're really excited when you first get it, you almost always paid too much, and the odds of it lasting 30 years are fairly low.
[36] will someone please just give me a professorship in this shit?
[37] this is an example of a rhetorical question.
[38] 1969 (dir. Dennis Hopper).
[39] Id.
[40] Id.
[41] speaking of good metaphors for the modern law school experience.
[42] i guess we just cite id again?
[43] how do people write like this?
[44] i'm writing yet another footnote because i thought it seemed like a good place to put a footnote.
[45] smoking dope with crack-dealing bikers is a great form of ADR.
[46] and oh how the system works!
[47] admittedly, I haven't seen the film in a while, and it's possible the winery was in the Columbia Valley instead.
[48] a weekend on google, plus a broad skimming of various brochures
[49] just making another footnote so I can end with 50.
[50] in writing this genre-bending law review article, I was assisted by 104 student assistants and 84 law professors, all of whom i am deeply indebted to.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Which is More Credible, Forbes or Salon?

Let's do a compare and contrast of two articles published on the same day.  Here's Salon:
That question, the one that is so obvious that even thinking about it is deeply painful, is this: Why aren’t law schools ashamed of themselves? Where is their sense of pity, of remorse, of human decency? After all, aren’t the very ideals that law schools purport to teach about – justice, fairness, equality – fundamentally and exactly opposed to this sort of naked capitalist exploitation? 
What a pessimistic Peter!

And now here's Forbes, through the expertise of U. of Washington Law Prof Ryan Calo:
My parents are part of a generation so large they are known as the Baby Boomers. My father retired last year and my mother plans to retire soon. Even if people work longer than in the past, will be leaving the work force in the next five to ten years.  Some of these people will be lawyers. The demographics are such that knowledgeable folks like the head of the Washington Bar Association are predicting a market gap. They worry that future demand for legal services cannot be met by a dwindling supply.
Ah, "lawyer shortage."  I needed that one.  Calo, of course, has the typical "it's not for everyone" concessions in his article, but it's refreshing to see someone lay out why the time is always right for law students who really want to be law students no matter how high the price.

Forbes is a respected economics magazine that's taken seriously by big-shot corporate finance wizards. is an internet publishing mill for liberal artists and stay-at-home moms.

To which one would you trust your future?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Suffolk Law Grads to be Unstoppable Legal Cyborgs

Law practice is swiftly evolving, and soon, I suppose, will be little more than electrons zipping back and forth between an idle practitioner's cell phone and an electro-receptor worn by the judge - or hell, maybe even a neutral computer program called LawNet.  Trials will be conducted via video conferencing.  Depositions will take place via Twitter.  Clients will be downloaded.  Setting aside the fact that law is mostly about having money, being old, and knowing the right people, it's clear that new graduates need to be fully integrated into the Legal Borg to have any chance at success.

Thank God a school like Suffolk is ahead of the curve that others, like Harvard and Boston U., continue to slavishly adhere to, like Luddites who would do math by hand.

Introducing The Evolution of Legal Education with this brand new concentration Suffolk is adding:
To ensure the university was producing the most knowledgeable, adaptable graduates in the field, Suffolk launched the Institute on Law Practice Technology & Innovation in April... 
The new concentration features specialized courses on different legal technologies and innovations, including automated document assembly, legal project management, knowledge management and virtual lawyering... 
Perlman touted technology's ability to make a lawyer more efficient, and lauded LegalZoom... 
The Law School is now tasking students with developing tools of their own. One course, "Lawyering in the Age of Smart Machines," taught by Marc Lauritsen, forces students to create software that would help them practice law.
And you all rip the diversity of the law degree!  Not only will these students know how to practice in practical areas of law, they'll be able to design VisualBasic programs that already exist that can help them do it.

Do you hear that?  It's the rush of clients leaving experienced, gray-haired practitioners for cool kids who have integrated Google Glass into their practices.

Real scenarios coming to a future near you:
Interviewer:  Have you ever worked on a document review before?
SuffolkAlum:  No, but I did have a concentration in legal practice technology, where we learned about technological advances in large discovery management.  I have an advanced understanding of your company and how I can fit in.
Interviewer:  Well, we just need a lawyer to click the mouse for three days so we can bill you at $6,000 while paying you $600.  But what the hell, you're hired!
Potential Client:  I'm really happy LegalZoom exists.  Now I have all the knowledge and know-how I need to incorporate subsidiary companies for my various business functions.
SuffolkAlum:  Why, yes, I learned all about the amazing LegalZoom in my studies.  I can help you fill out those simple forms, as LegalZoom has made my practice far more efficient.
Potential Client:  Well, I'm pretty sure I can handle this, but what the hell, you're hired!
Interviewer:  What we're looking for is someone to make routine court appearances in municipal and criminal court for our clients, who are mostly being charged with traffic tickets and low-level misdemeanors.  Does this sound like something that interests you.
SuffolkAlum:  Totally, bro'.  I did coursework in knowledge management.  I've got a smart phone, and I know how to use it.
Interviewer:  Shit, bro', why didn't you say so?
Interviewer:  You understand this job is in Montana, no?
SuffolkAlum:  You did see on my resume where my concentration included virtual lawyering, didn't you?
Interviewer:  Oh, my mistake.  Hired.

Beware the Legal Cyborg, friends.  Versatility and employability are about to go where no law graduate has gone before.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

BigLaw Democraticizing, Lower-Ranked Schools Looking Better Every Day

It's 1973 and you want to go to law school with the aim of sliding into the driver's seat of your BigLaw Mercedes.  Do you dare go to a school like the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern?  Oh, no, it wasn't open yet.

It's 1993 and you want to go to law school with the aim of sliding into the driver's seat of your BigLaw Mercedes.  Do you dare go to a school like the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern?  Oh, no, the doors to BigLaw were closed.  Shut.  No steak and wine for you.

It's 2013 and you want to go to law school with the aim of sliding into the driver's seat of your BigLaw Mercedes.  Do you dare go to a school like the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern?  Oh, yes.  Door is open.  

Greenberg Traurig, the state's top law firm in 2012 revenues and No. 2 with its more than 300 lawyers, once only recruited graduates from the top-tier law schools. But in October, the firm launched a residency program to hire new graduates for non-partnership track employment. They bill at a lower rate and earn a lower paycheck.
The firm reportedly bumped its pay this year for first-year associates from $125,000 to $145,000. 
Resident attorneys earn a salary below that — Kaufman won't say how much. The program typically lasts a year, with an option for a second-year extension. 
"Our hope is that after a successful year they will convert to associates with the ultimate goal of becoming a shareholder," Kaufman said.
[Nova's head of career development] said while participants may be paid a bit less than traditional hires, "they're still getting the same pedigree."
Viva la revolution!

With a full 3.7% of its alumni finding their way into large (>100 attorneys) firms, and with an undetermined number of those gaining the second-year option and possibly converting into a normal associate (just like their "peers" at better schools!), with an undetermined number of those associates becoming shareholders, with an undetermined number of those shareholders becoming shareholders that matter, there's simply no way you could possibly lose by going to Nova Southeastern.  It's math.

And even if they don't, they're obviously getting the same pedigree.  The same pedigree.

When people criticize the fact that the Shepard Broad Law Center and Nova Southeastern now costs $34,740.00 a year in tuition plus whatever living expenses a student needs (what, maybe $5k a year?), they obviously aren't factoring in the wealth of new opportunity that has cracked open now that BigLaw is accepting the unwashed masses with its warm, welcoming embrace.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Law School Way: Your Ticket to a Meaningful Existence

All too often, we see muckrucking bloggers ignore what I call The Law School Way, those life-affirming, intellectually enriching qualities of legal education and practice that transcend easy obective dismissal and sound like ooey-gooey mushy goodness.  Instead, the simpletons choose to be narrow-minded number zealots who focus on things like being employed and repaying loans, which are not as high up on the pyramid of needs as having a meaning and purpose in life, so they are not as essential.

They simply don't get the unbridled mirth of The Way.

The Wall Street Journal calls this basic approach "provocative" in its discussion of Sherman Clark's latest epistle.  Ah, yes, the Wall Street Journal would think the pursuit of meaningful truth is a provocative proposition.

Anyway, here's Clark, sort of:
“[I]f we are to be thoughtful about the impact of law school on the quality of lives, we must be willing to think at least tentatively about what makes for quality in life,” writes Mr. Clark. “Law school must teach law and lawyering and nothing I say here is meant to deny that law schools above all must provide professional training. Indeed, my claim is that it is the very study of law and lawyering that can develop the capacities and habits of mind that, in turn, can help one wrestle with deeper issues.”
How very Socratic, which is fitting, as legal education is, in many ways, is preparation for dying, if not a direct injection of pure hemlock.

You see, people who don't live The Law School Way have no way of employing critical analysis to the world around them on deep issues of social justice and ethics and the delicate balance between liberty and authority, not to mention the body as a dignified last stop against the abuses of central power and the contours of the intersections of race and gender in post-integration municipal elections.  People who live outside of The Law School Way never find meaning in their lives, for they lack the tools to even comprehend the immense meaning of the things they would do, if only they had a legal education.

This is, of course, why attorneys have incredibly high qualities of life and remarkably low suicide, depression, and substance abuse rates.

Because The Law School Way is a mode of thinking you can only (or primarily) find in America's ABA-accredited hallowed halls, where the mind becomes able to grasp at those deeper issues.  Indeed, Clark himself is so in tuned with greater humanity that he anticipated skepticism towards his self-evident truth/belief that law school is a special and unique provider of the essential tools for finding value in continued life:
“I recognize that framing the question in this way may create some skepticism.”
“But wherever lies a rich and meaningful way of living, and whether it be manifold or one,” Mr. Clark concludes, “we all should agree that it is worth seeking. And we should all agree that what increases our ability and willingness to look for it is of great value indeed.”
Can we not at least agree to this fundamental premise of The Law School Way?  Surely, the debt slaves would be fools to claim they didn't want a meaningful life.  Theirs, of course, involves little more than a callous mountain of cash, but that's still meaning.

And is it not obvious that law school increases one's ability and willingness to seek a meaningful life?  Learning about the precise bounds of personal jurisdiction under federal law is a key slice of pavement on the road towards enlightenment.  Who cares if the rent is late again?  Law school will teach you about the statute of frauds and the commerce clause, which will help the true believer think deeply about events both far and near, from solving the eternal problems in the middle east to figuring out the perfect way to ask whether she's on the pill or not.

You cannot do these things without going to law school.  Take my word for it.  I went, and now I'm a super-brain who lives on an ethereal cloud of hovering silk-covered textbooks where it never rains and everyone appreciates the utter baloney that comes out of my mouth and impeccable grasp of citizenship and ethics.

If you, too, want to live a meaningful life and gain that peace that passes understanding, I encourage you to join our faith in The Law School Way.  We have over 200 locations nationwide, and unlike other churches that constantly pass the plate around, we only ask for a modest tuition fee in exchange for life-altering grace and wisdom.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Survey Says Charleston Students Are Quitters, May Bail En Masse in Infilaw Buys School

From Charleston City Paper:
In a recent survey, 96 percent of Charleston School of Law students said they do not support the impending sale of their school to Florida-based education company InfiLaw System. In the same survey, 82 percent of first-year law students and 52 percent of second-year law students said they would consider transferring to a different law school if the proposed sale were to go through.
This begs the question, of course, of what would happen if InfiLaw put its silver-coated hands in every law school in the country.  Would these wimps go to Canada?  Find another profession for their worthless liberal arts degrees?

Talk about a lack of diligence and perseverance that signals a very poor prognosis for a legal career.   If you can't handle InfiLaw, how are you going to handle it when that large firm buys out your sweet MidLaw/Boutique firm and your liquor bar is replaced by a different liquor bar?  How are you going to react when the Chinese take shit over and your $100,000 invoices are paid in yen?  Law, in many ways, is all about picking yourself up when the world shoves you down.

And of course, their fears are irrational.  Don't take it from me, take it from the Charleston City Paper:
InfiLaw has come under fire from local law students and lawyers, despite the fact that its three existing law schools in Phoenix, Ariz., Jacksonville, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., report average tuition costs and bar passage rates similar to CSOL's (the enrollment numbers and student-to-faculty ratios, however, are higher at InfiLaw schools than at CSOL).
See?  You stupid law students.  You'll go from excellent to excellent under the care of InfiLaw.  What are you going to do?  Transfer to Villanova or McGeorge?  Good luck with that.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Scandalous and Repugnant Assault on Dean Mitchell Continues

Episode 3:  The Good Guys Strike Back.  Literally.

In last week's titillating episode of the Larry Mitchell Show, Professor Ku amended his complaint with more salacious allegations, while Mitchell's former research assistant played lawyer and kicked the good dean while he was down.  In the meantime, Dean Mitchell has announced that he will take a leave of absence.

But is it done time for our hero?  No, kids.  The moment that the villains get the upper hand on Batman is the precise moment the caped crusader finds his greatest strength.  Batman does pushups and plots an action plan.

The dean - now represented by Steven Kaufman and Jennifer Lesny Fleming of Kaufman & Company - shot back a twelve page emergency motion to strike before even being served anything.  If I'm reading the motion correctly, the defense's position is that the issues in the case are legally-narrow on the issue of retaliation and that all that stuff about Dean Mitchell's sexcapades had nothing to do with anything Ku has alleged and are therefore just scandalous and repugnant and should be stricken from the record.

If you'll recall, the complaint alleged that Ku tattled on Dean Mitchell because he is a Boy Scout in a Brooks Brothers suit.  Now we learn the sordid, seedy truth:  Professor Ku was butthurt because he wanted the deanship that went to Mitchell.

I know.  I had a hard time believing it as well.

Not being duly licensed in the Wonderful Land of Ohio (now with nine law schools!), I'm in no position to evaluate the legal merits of such a motion, except for telling you that it's fucking awesome and makes blood flow to special parts of my body.  For one thing, the defense lawyers just found a mass of billing time before their client has even been served with a lawsuit.  Second, they get to assist in defining the issues of the case and argue factual assertions without even filing an actual, binding pleading or being involved in discovery.

It seems to me that the point of 12(f) (which seems similar to the federal rule) is to reserve to the court the power of taking an eraser to the pleadings to scrub out truly irrelevant crap and that it's not a vehicle for defendants to tell the plaintiff how to establish their case.  Moreover, in the motion itself, Mitchell's attorneys have created a factual dispute over Ku's motivations in filing the report (among other things) that lead to Mitchell's alleged retaliation, which I would think would put Ku's good faith at issue and, thus, the motion would actually help establish the relevance of Ku's motivations, which means the truth or falsity of Ku's beliefs - and thus the factual basis for those beliefs - is at issue.  I mean, generally, if you want the case to be narrow, it's advisable to limit your factual disputes.

But fuck that noise.  Mitchell's attorneys just laid a solid LITIGATOR SLAP on the bitter turncoat LawProf's face.  Good luck waking up from that 12(f) motion, buddy.  You're going to need some Advil and a cold steak for your eye.

Don't poke a LawDean kids.  You may have truth, morality, dignity, and the law on your side, but they've got that je ne sais quoi, probably picked up from multiple yearly trips to France and its various overseas territories and colonial legacies.

They hire attorneys who hit back with double-digit-page motions before a pleading is filed.

And what attorneys are these?  Why - yes - they've both apparently served as adjuncts at Case Western.

And Mr. Kaufman, far from going to Harvard or Yale, appears to be a Case graduate himself.

Obviously, Case produces worthy attorneys, given that the law dean himself is hiring them.  Res Ipsa, and go fuck yourselves, scambloggers.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Introducing Arizona Summit Law School

Phoenix School of Law has changed its name to Arizona Summit Law School.  ASLS.  That's an L-shaped accident in the middle of the ASS.  What a startling coincidence.

Why change the name?  Is it because they realized after eight years that certain idiot 0Ls confused PSOL with U. of Phoenix given the remarkably similar names?  Is it because they want to erase negative associations with the school?  Is it because they want to create market confusion with ASU and Arizona?  Get the patented US News name-change boost in a down year?

Oh, no.  They wanted to highlight the pursuits of excellence the school's students embark on.  Duh:
The new name highlights the ambition and drive of the students, faculty and staff at Arizona Summit Law School, collaborating to accomplish more, and ascend toward their personal "Summit." This concept exemplifies the school's mission of delivering student outcomes, preparing graduates for successful careers and improving diversity within the legal community.
Did you know that law faculty members were motherfuckin' sherpas?  I didn't either.  That's the type of versatility that comes with a proper JD.  Student outcomes delivered.

Arizona Summit:  because finding a job after attending here is an uphill battle.

Arizona Summit:  because the debt you leave with will be mountainous.


Tommy read Palsgraf, like a kid out in the rain
Then he lost his mind in Phoenix, and his dreams went down the drain,
They were all in love with dyin', they were drinking from debt fountain
That was pouring like an avalanche, coming down the mountain

This blissfully splendid exercise in irony was thought up by Off Madison Avenue and Landor Associates.  Yes, it took two firms to come up with such a perfect name for a law school that's like a stalwart rock that its graduates wear as they swim into the ocean of the legal profession.

What if you climb up a mountain and realize too late it's a volcano?

Costs almost as much as climbing Mount Everest.

I could do this all day.  The main idea, though, is that if you go here, you will someday be at the top of a mountain of some kind, which will give you great personal enjoyment and satisfaction as you peer down on the minions below and laugh in contempt at low-hanging clouds.  So sign up, now.  The summit isn't going to climb itself.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Stop Picking on Larry Mitchell

Remember a few posts ago where I reported about the multi-incident sexual harrasment/retaliation suit against Case Western SuperDean Larry Mitchell?  Am I too late to call him Leisure Suit Larry Mitchell?

Now Mitchell's former assistant, Attorney Daniel Dube, has identified himself as a person in the complaint and confirmed the accuracy of the relevant claims where he was involved publicly:
Attorney Daniel Dubé told The Plain Dealer Thursday he was the administrative staff person who wrote the letter to university officials [detailing Mitchell's sexual relationship with a student and retaliation] and confirmed the instances involving him contained in the complaint were accurate. Dubé said he came to Cleveland with Mitchell from George Washington University where he was his research assistant. He said Mitchell was a mentor to him. [does anyone else picture Darth Vader zapping the Emporer here?  -ed.]
He said he was speaking publicly for the same reason he went to university officials in 2011, even though it was against his own self-interest.
Yeah, because he's a wiener.

How can you be the special assistant (yes, that's a job title) to a third-tier law school dean and call foul like this?  Your job is special assistant to a third-tier law school dean, a man whose goal is apparently to lubelessly butt-ram half the school and cashity cash cash in.  What did he think Mitchell was doing, exactly?  Serving a noble profession by educating a future generation of attorneys for a fraction of what he could make in private practice?

Great googly moogly.  Who the hell cares where Larry Mitchell puts his LawProf?  The guy is a Law Dean whose slickness has brought blessings upon GWU and CWU.  God willing, he'll someday bring glory to BWU, NWU, PWU, and the others.  If he wants to treat the campus like the Playboy Mansion, he's earned it.

Ethics?  Responsibility?  What quaint ideas.  Maybe I'll take Mary Sue to the sock hop and share a banana split with her afterwards, then walk her closed legs home by 8:30.  Maybe I'll "score" and kiss her on the cheek.

Speaking of dates that end well:
Dubé also complained that Mitchell would talk about his sex life and inquire about Dubé's sex life. At one point, according to the complaint, after one of the numerous student and staff parties at the dean's home, Mitchell tried to engage Dubé and his date in a "threesome" and pointed out a guestroom with new Chinese silk sheets.
Mr. Dube apparently never really understood life in a law school administrative capacity, which is a big shocker given that he's a recent law graduate.

This system is a perfect capitalist pyramid.  You either play ball or you don't.  If you play ball, you might make it to the big leagues.  If you don't, you write a whiny butthurt blog about how the system isn't "fair" as your ethical compass and conscience try to pay bills and buy groceries.  Or you just disappear and work at something else like the other skeletons in the closet.  Dube had a chance to join the circle, but, apparently, would rather be a whiner than participate in the endless orgy that is legal education.

His loss.  He tags Mitchell in on a threesome (Chinese silk sheets!) and he's got an assistant deanship at Wayne State within a year.  Bank on it.

The only thing I can fault Mitchell for in all of this is hiring a guy who puts an accent mark over a vowel in his name.  This is America, bro.  Our letters don't have decorations.

But stop picking on Mitchell.  Law deans be law deans.  No matter what "social responsibility" mandates.  They have their own rules.  Don't hate 'cause you can't relate.

(God bless Cleveland media)