Kids, Law Schools

Watch A Bunch Of Hyper 3rd Graders Tackle Jury Duty

Because that job market should look pretty sweet in 16 years.

We already mentioned that California law schools are reaching out to community colleges to stave off the decline in law school applicants. But when it comes to spreading the gospel of a legal education, inviting a bunch of third graders to campus to watch a sanitized mock trial is kind of intense. Gotta hook ’em young.

So what did the school do to impress the crop of, I guess we’ll call them “Negative Ls” for lack of a better term?

They offered Three Little Pigs v. The Wolf. Or maybe it was supposed to be Straw House Pig, et al. v. The Wolf. Whatever. Stop trying to give 8-year-olds legalese crack. And having a pageant star and former Miss California USA contestant turned law student involved in administering the whole thing probably sold every boy in the class.

But it is fun to watch the jury deliberations because — apparently — third graders really love yelling “OBJECTION!!!” over and over again for no real reason.

They’re already prepared to defend a deposition….

Pepperdine Law School hosted students from Our Lady of Malibu for a delightful tour of Socratic Method Fingerpainting or some such followed by the mock trial of the century. It’s not particularly clear what the issues are in the case. You’d think it would be a criminal trial so Pepperdine could hide behind the whole “we aren’t selling a legal career, it’s applied civics” excuse. There are a lot of charges you could hang on The Wolf. But even though the word “guilty” is tossed around a lot the deliberations sound like a tort case.

The highlights for me:

1. “OBJECTION!!!” — It really is the most fun thing to say in all of law, isn’t it? Well, that and, “my fee is $1000 an hour.” These kids figured out the glory of objecting fast and will not let it go. They aren’t even the lawyers in this scenario. A related highlight is when one kid agreed with another’s point and yelled “No Objection!” Glorious.

2. Structural Racism — When the one kid notes that “he [The Wolf] didn’t have to go to that house he could have just gone to another neighbors house that likes him.” Yeah, what was a wolf doing in that neighborhood anyway? I blame the jury instructions — or at least the scenario of the trial — for setting up an innocent kid to have the “blame the victim for not belonging” reaction. The related highlight here is the reaction of the girl in pigtails when the same kid suggests the pigs are guilty. She acts like it’s literally the most shocking thing she’s ever heard.

3. Gunners Are Born, Not Made — Speaking of the girl in pigtails.

4. When some kid accidentally stumbles on the doctrine of comparative negligence and quickly gets shut down — Sometimes it takes an 8-year-old to show you how logical most of the law is and how fiercely lawyers try to gum up the works.

5. Whichever kid was NOT pleased with the verdict — As they’re leaving the room and one kid loudly declares “This is absolutely SCANDALOUS!” Agreed. A guilty verdict by a 9-7 vote? The Supreme Court real should have taken up Jackson v. Louisiana.

But back to the real issue here, which is sugarcoating law school as a means of incepting kids to become lawyers. Now we need to show all of them that poem so they regain a healthy contempt for lawyers. One of the commenters on the Malibu Times story hit the nail on the head:

I hope the law school students also had a frank discussion with the impressionable 3rd graders about the reality of enormous law school debt and the paucity of jobs that await law school graduates. Do these 3rd graders want to grow up and live with their parents during their late 20s and early 30s while attempting to pay down their law school debt while earning less than $50,000? Law school is a great way to accomplish this.

I’m frankly disturbed that law school students would try to indoctrinate 3rd graders like this. You can be sure this little exercise wasn’t performed out of the goodness of the law school’s hearts. They need customers for the future.

The word is out that law school students end up with HUGE debt and only a small sliver of graduates land jobs that allow them to pay off the debt in a reasonable amount of time.

I’m sure they tried to talk about debt and the kids just said, “OBJECTION!!!!”

OLM Third-graders Participate in Mock Trial [Malibu Times]
All You Thought You Knew About Juries Is Wrong [ATL Redline]

Earlier: Applications So Shockingly Low That Law Schools Are Now Admitting Newborn Babies
Lawyer Asks Teacher What He Makes And Had To Listen To Some Dumb Poem

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