Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Law School Worth Investment, Says PhD Liberal Arts Dean

Daniel R. Porterfield is the President of Franklin and Marshall college.  He's also married to an attorney so you know he knows what he's talking about.  And he's on Forbes - leading in with the not-tired-at-all Shakespeare character speaking of killing lawyers - telling the world law school is a good investment.

Let's celebrate some of his best points:
Our society doesn’t work without well-educated legal leaders dedicated to preserving America’s commitments to the Constitution and fair legal frameworks for dispute resolution.
As we all know, our society is now working better than ever.  I don't know about you, but I do nothing but ride unicorns, eat cupcakes, and hold hands with minority business owners.  That's largely thanks to an unprecedented amount of laws, regulations, and lawyers in this land.  Thank goodness all lawyers are dedicated to preserving Constitutional values and securing fair access to courts and other legal frameworks.

But it's not just our nation that's imperiled in the absence of lawyers; it's our money:
...capitalism requires legal checks to ensure fair competition in the economic sphere and protect the rights of employees, consumers, shareholders, and owners alike.
A simpleton might quip that capitalism has been practiced (and is practiced) without any of the above, but they just don't understand a principle I like to call lawfeelgood.  Plus, they don't a PhD, so fuck 'em.

 As he notes later on, law has numerous personal benefits as well (listen up, Sally Selfishes!), from "honing one’s mind" to "earning a living" to "expertly navigating the litigious society that we all inhabit."  I stop and reflect upon that last one. Prior to law school, I used to conduct blasting operations at a chromium factory in a large urban area as part of a horizontal price-fixing scheme while disregarding my child support obligations.  I can't tell you how much law school has helped me navigate the litigious aspects of this country.

His advice?
Sometimes, when a promising undergraduate says she is considering law school, well-meaning people say, “What a shame…”

But we should encourage such aspirations, because we need some of the best minds of this and every generation to become society’s leaders in law.
This follows with what is essentially an advertisement for Franklin & Marshall, which is great, because it apparently has leaders who are more gung-ho for law school than the heretical saboteurs at other institutions that may give their students advice based on statistics, rationality, and probability rather than pop political philosophy and unicorn zoology.

But most importantly, it's absolutely necessary that we send "some of the best minds of this and every generation" to law school.  Because law is super important and even though there's already triple the people to do this work now in a system that is bloated and shrinking, we need more more more gobble gobble more.

I'm off to ride my unicorn (named "Hornylaw") and eat cupcakes of justice as I protect capitalism and democracy. 


  1. It makes sense that a true believer of academia would be shilling for law schools on some vague grounds of societal good; it's the same tactic they use to shill for their own programs. He probably genuinely believes his spiel as well.

  2. After Porterfield's splendiferous tribute to the nobility of our profession and the mind-honing educational training that is its foundation, I am hardly satisfied with the word "lawyer." Refer to me as a "Society's Leader in Law" or as "Admiral Justice."

  3. Mr. Porterfield's analysis appears to be data free, inappropriate, and a poor reflection on F&M.

    1. Didn't you read? We can't rely on law school "data," so we have to rely on innate feelings. Doesn't your gut tell you to go to law school?

  4. "As we all know, our society is now working better than ever...[t]hat's largely thanks to an unprecedented amount of laws, regulations, and lawyers in this land."

    180. Check-f**king-mate.