Critics of the current legal-education model, including my colleague Elie Mystal, have accused the American Bar Association of failing to uphold sufficiently stringent accreditation standards. ABA-accredited law schools proliferate, even though thousands of law school graduates find themselves unemployed or underemployed.
Can you imagine if this kid called himself a 'doctor' just because he went to law school?
I know “J.D.” stands for “Juris Doctor.” I get that at commencement somebody probably proclaimed that law school graduates were “doctors of laws.” All that said, the lawyer who refers to himself as “Dr.” So-and-So has got to be the biggest d-bag on the planet. Bigger even than the tool who runs around calling himself So-and-So, Esquire.
On Adjunct Law Prof Blog, Mitchell H. Rubinstein asks if lawyers are considered doctors. It’s an easy question to me. I don’t even think Ph.D. holders should call themselves “doctors” unless they can prescribe medicinal marijuana or something.
But hey, I’m just the guy who thinks lawyers should generally avoid saying things that make the general public think, “What a self-important a**hole.”
As per usual, the American Bar Association has no such compunctions. And we already know that the organization is strangely committed to making sure as many people go to law school under false pretenses as possible.
So you can guess which way the ABA comes out on this issue….
It’s time to check in on the scandal involving the University of Illinois College of Law and its false reporting on the qualifications of its admitted students. Every time we do look at Illinois, the school tells us that “this time” they’ve figured out the full extent of the problem — and it’s a bigger mess than the last time they piped up.
On that scale, today is no different. When the story first broke in September, Illinois claimed that admissions data had only been falsified for one year. Then, a few weeks later, Illinois said that data for four class years had been falsified. Today, Illinois says it has completed a two-month investigation that cost the school $1 million. Now they’re saying that the admissions data for six class years have been compromised, based on a report prepared for the school by Jones Day and Duff & Phelps.
I wonder how many years of lying Illinois would have discovered if they spent $2 million?
But people will be distracted from the ever growing number of times Illinois is self-reporting it lied to people. That’s because today, Illinois has offered up a sacrificial lamb. There’s a head on a platter, there’s a body on the pyre, and Illinois College of Law would have you believe that it has identified the one, the only, the sole person responsible for this entire scandal….
* Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best topless trademark lawsuits of all time. One of the best topless trademark lawsuits of all time! [Daily Mail]
* Urine trouble, lady. Here’s some proof that next time things aren’t going your way in court, you should try peeing all over yourself. [New York Post]
Even a caveman needed to go to law school after he thawed out.
It’s the danger of working in a profession that few people respect. The general public understands that not everybody can practice medicine: performing surgeries, prescribing drugs, and even giving advice about surgeries and drugs are things best left to “professionals.” Or look at accountants. People want to have one who is “certified” because, well, math is hard.
But lawyers? Annoying, money grubbing, bastard lawyers? Hell, anybody can do that. That’s what the general public thinks: anybody who is anal and can read can be a lawyer.
And because of that, occasionally lawyers have to deal with op-eds like the one just featured in the New York Times. Clifford Winston of the Brookings Institution argues that everybody should be allowed to practice law.
Seriously, everybody. No law school, no bar exam, if you want to do legal work, go right ahead. If you want to charge people for your uneducated legal advice, feel free!
Somehow Winston believes that allowing untrained dumbasses to take advantage of poor people who don’t know any better will magically help poor people….
As we mentioned in Morning Docket, Thomas M. Cooley Law School has now filed a motion to dismiss the class action suit filed against it over its employment statistics. New York Law School was also sued and filed its motion to dismiss a couple of days ago. NYLS argued that the students shouldn’t blame NYLS for its reporting of employment data because NYLS meets the standards set forth by the American Bar Association.
Cooley’s motion to dismiss is largely duplicative. The motion has some colorful lines about how the plaintiffs’ complaint “reads more like a free-form rant on an Internet blog,” but at the end of the day, Cooley isn’t really defending its statistics so much as it’s claiming the school can’t be sued because it’s in compliance with the ABA’s reporting standards.
So let me ask the question: how does the ABA feel now that member institutions are blaming the ABA’s weak regulation for the schools’ questionable statistics?
* The American Bar Association is hiring Carol Stevens, former managing editor of USA Today, as its new director of media relations. Yeah, ’cause it’s the media that makes the ABA look bad, not the ABA’s refusal to regulate law schools during a time of dishonesty and profiteering by member institutions. [Poynter]
* Let’s play “count the stupid lawyer stereotypes” in this paragraph, many of which could lead a person into making a grave financial mistake. [Boise Weekly]
* Look, if an animal escapes from a zoo, it wins. It shouldn’t be hunted down and taken back to captivity. That’s just natural law. [Legal Blog Watch]
* Breaking news: if you sign your name on a petition, people might find out you signed your name to a freaking petition. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Pretty awesome collection of t-shirts people are wearing in their mugshots. [New York Daily News]
* If you’ll be in New York on October 26 and would like to attend a free screening of the new, buzz-generating HBO documentary, Hot Coffee, followed by a conversation between Lat and director Susan Saladoff, click here to RSVP. [New America NYC]
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