Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Great Big Legal Bacchanalia

I have no idea whether the allegations of sexual assault, etc., made against Supreme Court nominee Hon. Brett Kavanaugh are true or not.  I leave to the unassailable discretion of police and prosecutors whether they should be investigated or charged, and to the wise and august United States Senate whether he should be confirmed.

I must say, however, that the LSTC disappointed in Kavanaugh's public responses.  Producing a milquetoast calendar from one's high school days and claiming one's prolonged virginity in response to allegations of being a drunk ravenous animal are not the way of the Million Dollar Express.

As this blog has attempted to make clear to our audience, the legal game is a lifelong bacchanalia for white collar elites who lack the personality and cunning to make it in business and/or the stomach and math skills to be a surgeon.  If you got the chops and hit a stroke of luck or two - particularly if you avoid the fly-trap of actually trying to make it as a real lawyer - you can milk this racket dry and feel damned good about your gluttony while other well-dressed people lick your boots.

Judge Kavanaugh has so far played the game beautifully.  White, male, DC to Yale and back, obviously affiliated but not overtly political, perpetually passing off polemics as brilliance to people still angry at the Bork confirmation hearing.  He even got it once, when he was on the Ken Starr team pressing to ask the President about his sex life. Why stop now because of this brief fad of society actually doing something about male excess?

Why do we resist this last barrier?  Why do we maintain the charade of prestige and integrity like a syphilitic hooker powdering herself?  It's never been clearer that legal elites in America - and this is by no means limited to one political "side" - have only a superficial interest in justice, the law, or even legal philosophy.  The whole point is to metaphorically wag one's genitalia in the faces of lessers, whether that be third-tier law students gunning for The Hague or the general public focusing on one or two pet issues.

Legal analysis isn't rocket science.  On pure intellect or legal understanding, there are thousands of lawyers just as qualified as Judge Kavanaugh.  What most of them lack is the whole package, the gravitas, the haircut.  Kavanaugh has the pedigree, but I sense a failed understanding of the bigger picture.  That isn't to condone any past wrongful conduct, but it speaks volumes that Kavanaugh elected to go with "that's not me!" instead of "who gives a shit?"

These people didn't care about the giant stack of unknown documents and opinions hiding in a White House vault.  They don't and never were going to care about drunken teenage skylarkings/indiscretions/felonies.  The Senate embraces the elite white collar white man bacchanalia.  Why not you, too, Brett?

The biggest fear, of course, is that a Supreme Court Justice or nominee being held accountable for his behavior will lead to a rippling domino effect where law deans might also be held accountable for their decades of collective nonsense.  And folks, I hate to burst your liberal bubbles, but we simply can't have that without a breakdown in our justice quotient.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Law School Applicants Appropriately Numbed to Sticker Shock

As it turns out, law school applicants don't care how much money they're flushing down the toilet, as long as it's one of them golden plungers.
Author Amy Li, a professor in the University of Northern Colorado’s department of leadership, policy and development, found that not only is there no correlation between lower costs and the number of applicants and matriculants at individual schools, but that increased costs correlate to higher enrollment at many private law schools. 
You have to take this research with several caveats, of course.  For one, there's no real control group against which to actually test the hypothesis, which is typically damning to scientific-ish conclusions.  Second, the articles' time range coincides with global economayhem that caused a slight but correctable dip in the rocketing fortunes of budding lawyers.  Third, it's not written a law professor, and this Northern Colorado doesn't even have a law school itself from which the author could draw knowledge, inspiration, and analyses of Pleasant Grove City v. Summum (2009).  Fourth, it's a behavioral economics study where no one's using "real" money.

But I kinda like the conclusion, so I can look past these problems.

What I particularly like is that Professor Li assumes that this pool of maimed indentured servants is rational.
Law students may understand that their employment prospects are the best at elite law schools that charge the most, Li theorized, and thus are willing to pay top dollar. Or law students may feel more comfortable paying for the school they want because they are older and more established than undergraduates, she speculated. Law students may also be savvier than undergraduates about federal loan repayment options such as income-based repayment—which limits monthly payments to a percentage of their income—and public service loan forgiveness, Li wrote.
You could also consider the LSTC official hypothesis which - and this theory that I have, that is mine, that belongs to me, etc. - is that law students simply don't care about marginal increases in digital Monopoly funny-money.  They don't have to worry about repayment until they've been baptized into the legal faith 3-4 years down the road.  Law schools, meanwhile, get the immediate benefit of real, spendable money and everyone wins.

In terms of shameless law school apologia, we can now have a vibrant debate.  On one hand, many people - including the LSTC at times - believe that law applicants are stupidly naive and being exploited by masters of white collar public service debauchery.  On the other hand, there's a very nice strain of alluring, sexy economic scholarship developing that justifies this superficially insane behavior.

The question moving forward is no longer "How many law schools will close?" my dear friends. 

The question is now "Are law students dumb with ignorance or dumb with knowledge?" 

I propose we name our sects.  Sticking with the cleverness of lawyers in general, I would suggest "Ignorists" and "Knowists."  Do law students just not know they're running headlong into helicopter blades or have they calculated the rotation and earnestly believe they'll be sipping gin without a drop of blood on the coat?

We can debate these things at law school symposia instead of shit that actually matters to law practice.  I will gladly volunteer to argue on behalf of the Ignorists.  Just get me a lunch that's nicer than that sandwich-and-an-apple bullshit.  I know the dining car on the Million Dollar Express has fresh prawns, and by gum, the audience knows it, too. 

I can see them salivating the more I louder I hit the pleasure bill. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Extrapolation of Hyperbolic Study Suggests We Need More Law Schools

It's a truth universally acknowledged that law schools are liberal and that makes lawyers liberal and it's, like, super-unfair to conservatives and Republicans.  And you might think conservativism is the last movement needing a boost given their current pedal-to-the-floor ram-rodding of another whitebread originalist onto the Supreme Court, but read this troubling piece:
The findings seem to indicate that conservative-leaning law professors are facing discrimination at top-tier law schools in ways distinct from their liberal counterparts.
According to Phillips, the inability of law school graduates to “candidly and accurately assess the weaknesses in their own views and the strengths in opposing views” is essentially “professional suicide.”

“Law school graduates who are ill-equipped to make persuasive arguments in front of half of the judiciary are ill-equipped to be lawyers”, says the study.
Those you who are actually "experienced" in practicing "law" may say that 99.9% of the time politics as understood by Joe Public has fuck-all to do with the price of orange juice, but this dude is a non-resident fellow at Stanford and you are almost certainly not.

You see discrimination.  I see opportunity.  What's the harm in grossly increasing law school enrollments to ensure that conservatives and libertarians can have safe spaces on law school campuses?  What would be the harm in building whole new elite law schools in places - San Antonio?  Colorado Springs?  Huntington?  Pensacola?  Fort Wayne? - where future conservative jurists could feel comfortable discussing whether Justice Scalia was brilliant, a genius, or both without seeing the scowl of their intellectual lessers? 

Failing that, how about affirmative action?  Intellectual diversity should be just as valued as phenotypical.  Being black doesn't affect how you'll argue in front of a federal judge.  But staying in a liberal bubble?  That'll give you blind spots, not that you'll ever want for caviar and cognac.

The point of all of this:  if you're sitting and home and debating whether law school is for you, while at the same time thinking maybe climate change is a hoax and that socialism is a dirty word and that you think the police have permanent probable cause to shoot anyone whose shirt is untucked, we want your money, too!

Just because your typical law professor loves Mao, Marx, and Muslims more than the book of Matthew or Mike Pence doesn't mean you shouldn't go to law school. In fact, it's the opposite.  Law schools need you to show up, bond with like minds, and annoy the redoubtable liberals.  All of you will become better lawyers in the process, we'll get rich, and people who don't understand the fucking law will eventually stop writing stupid fucking articles about the thoroughly irrelevant political leanings of law professors.

And since most of you little runts pride yourself on economics, have you seen the ROI on law school tuition?  A mere up-front payment of, like, $250k will yield you a $1 million net benefit over the next forty years.  With those numbers at 7% interest, the only way you lose is if you don't pay a dime for like 20 years. 

Which you will, because you will make bank as a lawyer.  And when you do as a conservative or libertarian, you'll have to beat back Fox News with a stick.  The world will be your oyster, and how much tax you pay on the pearl is dependent strictly on how many of these Young Republicans pledge their lives and a six-figure check to restoring the partisan balance in a place where it doesn't fucking matter.  So sign up, bring a friend, and march onward, young Reaganites.  Robert Bork isn't going to preserve his own legacy.