Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Goodbye, Charlotte, and Remember: Law School Lives Matter

Charlotte Law appears to have died with the silent nobility of an old, used-up lawyer, a gentle, unadorned suicide when ends can no longer meet, the supply of inner justice has been exhausted, and the Million Dollar Express has reached its terminus.  CLS made it a valiant eleven years, in the end losing a noble battle against the pernicious disease of educational pessimism.  It was a preventable death, a testament to how far society still must go in the unyielding march of justice.

Preceded in death by a cousin.  Survived by its loving parents, two siblings, and many many friends.  Hobbies included understanding the nuances of justice in a postmodern multicultural democracy and rigorous, safe butt play.

Donations can be made to the American Bar Association.  Or, you can find a lemming to help console the survivors with a fat tuition check.  Have you considered that with one less law school, the demand for lawyers in the future just went from outstanding to outstanding plus?  The forecast hasn't been this good in years.

As an aside, over the last week, the nation has become gripped by racial tension in the aftermath of events in Charlottesville because particularly inane white supremacists decided to support a cause that died one hundred and fifty two years ago.  As the President has indicated, there are some fine, upstanding citizens in that group taking such a position that, on the surface, appears far more reprehensible than anything any law school has ever done.  Indeed, you critics should consider yourselves lucky that law schools are bitterly fighting for the continuation of a status quo merely decades overdue for abandonment.

In any event, as the President noted, there's blame to go all around in Charlottesville, a position that could only be reached from the safe, philosophically nurturing environment of his gilded Manhattan tower upon appropriate reflection.  There's lots that can be learned and applied to the law school context. 

For one thing, consider the absurd chain of events that has led you to reading this particular blog with an intentionally tasteless invocation of a ridiculous national tragedy in an obituary for a shit-tacular law school.  Given this sheer senselessness of human life, why not blow three years and run up six figure debt for a pointless degree?

The most important lesson, however, it's that law school lives matter.  We forgot that lesson in letting Charlotte Law School die and leave our nation's 22nd largest metropolitan area without a functioning law school.  As the President indicated, there's lots of blame on all sides in these situations.  Fie on the students for refusing to pay tuition.  Fie on the oppressive governments.  Fie on the rival law schools for not taking a stand.  Fie on the ABA.  Fie on the fake new media.

In the wake of Charlotte's premature death, it's important that  we heal and learn this vital lesson.  Because God forbid we let it happen to any of the others.  Paraphrasing Stalin, a single law school death is a tragic; a whole wave of them is really really tragic.

RIP, Charlotte.  Here's to hoping your branch in the afterlife has a line of ghost marks out the door so you can, as we say, scam on.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

So Much Heartwarming My Blood's Gonna Boil and My Lungs Will Burst into Spontaneous Flame

We pause on the threshold of yet another throbbing erection of a law school year.  Like clockwork, the virgin crop of lemmings is thrust into the harvester, the alchemy-forged machinery of Socrates, Darrow, and Westlaw grinding and churning them into that sweet, low-calorie gel that lubricates the wheels of justice.

Another year. Another convicted felon suiting up for the legal education feelgood all-stars.
When UCF graduate Angel Sanchez starts law school in Miami this week, it will be a strange sort of homecoming. After all, the last time Sanchez lived there, he was a 16-year-old gang member being sentenced to 30 years for attempted murder.

...All-American bootstraps-pulling...

[W]hen he transferred to the University of Central Florida in 2014, he helped to collect more than 300 books for the Orange County Jail’s inmate library while becoming one of the top moot-court competitors in the nation and graduating with top honors this year.
Undergrad moot court?  Shit yeah.  So good Homeboy got the judge at his probation hearing to terminate his probation entirely instead of merely reducing it and she offered him a spot as a clerk.  Dude's paying his dues with interest.

God damn, every year these stories get better and better and better.  Next year's felon will be a blind single mother who escaped sex slavery and taught herself law by working as a courthouse janitor.  Year after, a stray dog who bit the head off a child will decide to be a human lawyer. 

These stories thrust more deeply at that innate sense of Dickensian justice buried in the beating hearts of every member of the character and fitness committees, even the most hardened and treacherous monopolists who want to keep these bad-ass upstart millennial social justice fighters from the hoary, conservative bar merely because of a few unfortunate felonies.

The problem for most of you is that you tried to stay on the straight and narrow path, forgetting that the first rule of getting anywhere in law, if not life, is to network.  And networking requires being memorable.  Who's more memorable to a state court judge, Mr. Kenneth Cole Suit and his K-JD 3.5 GPA or a reformed gunslinger who can sustain a grown-up conversation without saying "'n' shit" every now and then?  Who do you think His Honor is more likely to hire?

A resume is a nice sheet of paper.  A pricey JD, even better.  But a rap sheet?  Now you're sitting pretty to be the talk of the judicial hobnobbing.

Rob a bank.  Become a lawyer.  Dirty, wash, rinse, repeat.  The machinery can baptize you, grant you beautiful narrative redemption, if only you let it - and law schools will.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Lawyers Needed: South Dakota Edition

Since apparently no one has an appreciation for bastardized accreditation standards or bastardized Shakespeare, let's go to South Dakota.

Up in this super-exciting state where the four people most worth visiting are carved into rocks, a dispute has arisen over where the law school should be located.

Currently located in Vermillion (not a typo), South Dakota, along with the bulk of the state's flagship university, the USD School of Law is considering moving to Sioux Falls.  Vermillion, located in the far southeastern portion where people can easily escape to near Iowa and Nebraska, has about 11,000 people.  Sioux Falls has around 250,000 in its metro area an hour's drive to the north.

While the obvious LSTC solution is to keep the state flagship in Vermillion, build an independent law school in Sioux Falls, and slap a satellite campus in Rapid City, this sort of crucial decision as to which metropolitan area should most benefit from The Law is likely best left to the mechanics of local democracy.

For our purposes, one unearths the salient point near the end of the article, where it comes shooting forth like the glistening teeth of a sudden bear trap for the optimistic legal education entrepreneur.
South Dakota is in great need of attorneys, Collier-Wise said.

“The purpose of the law school and why it is supported by South Dakota taxpayers is to make sure that everyone in our state has access to vital legal services,” she said. “Sioux Falls and Rapid City are not experiencing a shortage of attorneys that we are seeing in the rest of the state … I can’t imagine a potential student who wouldn’t even spend three years in Vermillion, which is too urban to qualify for Project Rural Practice, would somehow end up in Lemmon or Bison or one of the other communities that really needs legal services.”
Lemmon, South Dakota, reported 1,227 people in the 2010 census.   Bison, South Dakota, had 333.  That may seem too low to justify dispatch of a fresh wave of law graduates to Perkins County, but Bison's the county seat with its own airport and post office!

Wherever South Dakotans decide to host one of America's fifty best state flagship law schools in the future, all should agree that addressing the lack of lawyers in small, isolated prairie counties should remain a top priority. 

It's not the size of the market that matters; it's that there's a judge, a prosecutor, and a gaggle of attorneys hawking personal injury services. 

Justice can have it no other way.  #Justice4SouthDakota.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

A Sonnet for Betsy DeVos

Call up Tyler Perry's Madea, because there's a Hallelujah moment brewing on the hot stove:
The for-profit Charlotte School of Law may be receiving another chance as the Department of Education offers a bail out to the previously failing institution.

On July 31, Charlotte School of Law announced that it was notified by the Department of Education that students could be eligible once again to access federal student loans for this upcoming semester.
...
Bloomberg News also reports that the adviser who worked with Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, during her confirmation was also hired to lobby on behalf of the Charlotte School of Law. The adviser, Lauren Maddox, works with the Podesta Group, a lobbying firm in Washington D.C. primarily around education and healthcare issues.
Networking for the win, you dysfunctional moose clitorises. 

Speaking of Tyler Perry, here's another great poet for you:

A Sonnet for Betsy DeVos
 
When, in envy of fortune and deans' loots,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf judges with my nonsense suits,
And look upon my own indebted fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in cash,
Employed like them, lawyers with funds possessed,
Desiring this man's art and that man's stash,
Million dollar premiums oh so blessed!
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the dean at break of day arising
From silken threads) scammity scam elate;
       For thy sweet love remembered scam wealth brings
       That then I shut up, pay my loans 'n' things.