Thought on today's Times article?

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ryemanhattan
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Thought on today's Times article?

Postby ryemanhattan » Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:37 pm

Wondering what you all thought of this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/busin ... rs.html?hp

ran12
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby ran12 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:40 pm

ryemanhattan wrote:Wondering what you all thought of this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/busin ... rs.html?hp


I don't think anyone is actually surprised by this article. It's been pretty clear for a long time that law school equates to a piece of paper that certifies you to take the bar and get a job. The vast majority of things you do at your job will be learned on the spot or as you go.

bdubs
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby bdubs » Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:52 pm

While I thought the general gist of the article was accurate, I found this to be quite funny:
http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leit ... ion-1.html

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ben4847
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby ben4847 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:53 pm

Another article that begins with a grain of truth, and then takes it way out of proportion- the way only someone who is clueless about the subject matter can.

I quote: "Consider, for instance, Contracts, a first-year staple. It is one of many that originated in the Langdell era and endures today. In it, students will typically encounter such classics as Hadley v. Baxendale, an 1854 dispute about financial damages caused by the late delivery of a crankshaft to a British miller. "

Well, the Contracts course is about the law of contracts. And is entirely necessary if you ever want to write a contract, or litigate a contract dispute. I litigated contract disputes over the summer, and let me tell you my Contracts class came in handy.
I also was involved in transactional contract issues, and same thing. You need to understand consideration to know what to look for.

So yes, they don't teach you how to practice, but it isn't as if what they teach is not also largely necessary, if unspecialized.

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danielhay11
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby danielhay11 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:27 pm

I don't think it's a particularly novel argument, nor is it one that is unique to LS. You could make the same argument for undergrad colleges at research universities - that professors spend most of their time writing journal articles of no use to their students, that the compensation/promotion structure does little to incentivize good teaching, that the current tenure track penalizes would-be professors with relevant private-sector experience, etc.

I am curious: what courses/extracurriculars/externships would best mitigate this deficiency in practical lawyering skills. Clinics? Moot court? Summer associateships?

ryemanhattan
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby ryemanhattan » Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:29 pm

ran12 wrote:
ryemanhattan wrote:Wondering what you all thought of this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/busin ... rs.html?hp


I don't think anyone is actually surprised by this article. It's been pretty clear for a long time that law school equates to a piece of paper that certifies you to take the bar and get a job. The vast majority of things you do at your job will be learned on the spot or as you go.




No... this isn't some bombshell revelation. But if as you say, "law school equates to a piece of paper that certifies you to take the bar and get a job" then it seems like there are some significant reforms that seem imperative. You seem to be implying that what is taught in law school isn't that important and that it's really just a hurdle we have to jump through. If so... we should be talking about this more than we are.

ryemanhattan
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby ryemanhattan » Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:33 pm

bdubs wrote:While I thought the general gist of the article was accurate, I found this to be quite funny:
http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leit ... ion-1.html



Ha! yeah that's good. Fit in so nicely with the article's point too.

Hey I will say, if this article is largely valid, Northwestern deserves kudos for it's clinical bent, and for polling law firms regarding what skills they think law school grads are missing at graduation. It seems like NU is way ahead of the curve in that respect.

bdubs
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby bdubs » Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:40 pm

ryemanhattan wrote:
bdubs wrote:While I thought the general gist of the article was accurate, I found this to be quite funny:
http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leit ... ion-1.html



Ha! yeah that's good. Fit in so nicely with the article's point too.

Hey I will say, if this article is largely valid, Northwestern deserves kudos for it's clinical bent, and for polling law firms regarding what skills they think law school grads are missing at graduation. It seems like NU is way ahead of the curve in that respect.


Yeah, I was surprised it wasn't mentioned in the article at all.

Segal has written several of these pseudo-opinion pieces for the NYT, but I can't for the life of me figure out why. He is a failed politician, not a lawyer. He doesn't seem to have any real basis from which to have an opinion about legal education and these are clearly not investigative journalism pieces.

They are fairly well written though and the points aren't entirely wrong, just not entirely on topic.

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sunynp
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby sunynp » Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:54 pm

Holy shit! I've never seen the number of 10,000 jobs lost from the top 250 firms in the past 3 years. I know that isn't just junior associates, but still that is a much larger number than I thought.

And I did get the point that students don't learn the basics of filing a certificate of merger. I wonder if large firms are ever going to get back to billing outrageous amounts for junior associates. Somehow I think those days are over.

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MTal
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby MTal » Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:09 pm

Law school will leave most students financially ruined with no job prospects. Don't go.

lsatcrazy
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby lsatcrazy » Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:12 pm

MTal wrote:Law school will leave most students financially ruined with no job prospects. Don't go.


I was eagerly waiting for this.

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kapital98
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby kapital98 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:24 pm

Almost every article in the NY Times about law school is from the same author: David Segal. Roughly every three months he comes out with a new article saying the same thing.

If you want a long discussion on the same topic use the search function.

P.S. What the hell is MTal still doing here? Why he keeps on trolling after doing terrible at law school and then quitting after the first year is beyond me...

MrAnon
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby MrAnon » Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:30 pm

My take on it is that it just goes to show that law students are pawns in the administrators and professors race to get more money and more credentials.

By the way someone was trying to tell me in another thread that most Penn students go to DC and NYC. Well it just so happens that both of the pictured students are Penn grads and guess what city they work in? Philly. Score another one for Mr. Anon.

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Gecko of Doom
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby Gecko of Doom » Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:37 pm

MTal wrote:Law school will leave most students financially ruined with no job prospects. Don't go.

Wow. You know, I didn't get your point the first three dozen times you said this, but now I see the light. I'm dropping out. Do you have a link for that Hot Topic application?

c3pO4
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby c3pO4 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:45 pm

this thread is going places

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stratocophic
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby stratocophic » Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:21 pm

MrAnon wrote:My take on it is that it just goes to show that law students are pawns in the administrators and professors race to get more money and more credentials.

By the way someone was trying to tell me in another thread that most Penn students go to DC and NYC. Well it just so happens that both of the pictured students are Penn grads and guess what city they work in? Philly. Score another one for Mr. Anon.
143 LSAT schtick?

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wiseowl
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby wiseowl » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:18 pm

There's a reason people used to just apprentice with a lawyer (some states still let you). Law schools are an excuse to print money for universities.

I look forward to Leiter's bitchfest tomorrow.

And I know Ribstein is a little tongue in cheek here (http://truthonthemarket.com/2011/11/20/ ... -teaching/) but LOL that law profs don't need to teach relevant skills because technology does it for us. Guess what Lar - technology will also be teaching me what I need to pass the bar - because law school *gasp* does not.
Last edited by wiseowl on Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Flips88
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby Flips88 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:22 pm

IAMTAL

Also, another atrocious piece on law school by the Times

ahnhub
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby ahnhub » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:45 pm

The Cravath model-- hiring law students with the best grades from the best schools who still don't know anything and can't really add value as workers, then paying them outrageously high starting salaries as a premium for their "talent"--has been the standard for a while now. By that model law school is less important for training than it is for whittling the pool of would-be lawyers down to the most "talented." It's dumb, but for whatever reason that became the accepted standard.

People like Segal think a sea change is coming, but I'm kinda skeptical. You still need 1L year in a class room so people can differentiate themselves with grades. Everyone already works two summers.

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thexfactor
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby thexfactor » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:22 am

Im just curious why biglaw uses a different model than big4 accounting. Work seems to be relatively related and each profession has billable hours. In accounting, the big firms hire more people but pay them 1/3 of biglaw. Biglaw hires a lot less people but pays them 3x more.

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stratocophic
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby stratocophic » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:52 am

thexfactor wrote:Im just curious why biglaw uses a different model than big4 accounting. Work seems to be relatively related and each profession has billable hours. In accounting, the big firms hire more people but pay them 1/3 of biglaw. Biglaw hires a lot less people but pays them 3x more.
Wild speculation on my part, but off the top of my head... less overhead expenses in the form of rent/healthcare/support staff, likely that there's a feeling that they'd take a talent hit by hiring that many more people, stronger golden handcuffs for hanging on to top performers, same amount of experience spread over more people means your minions are less valuable to you from a quality standpoint and may even have to be billed out for less than the rate they are now (meaning <1/3 the current rate, so a net loss overall), I dunno what else.

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WhiteGuy5
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby WhiteGuy5 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:01 pm

There was totally a LSAT RC passage about this.

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Bronte
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby Bronte » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:07 pm

Segal is just a sophisticated scamblogger. He gives lip service to the counterarguments but ultimately reaches a series of hyperbolic conclusions that basically amount to a conspiracy theory.

bdubs
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby bdubs » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:12 pm

thexfactor wrote:Im just curious why biglaw uses a different model than big4 accounting. Work seems to be relatively related and each profession has billable hours. In accounting, the big firms hire more people but pay them 1/3 of biglaw. Biglaw hires a lot less people but pays them 3x more.


Accounting firms don't thrive on prestige in the way that law firms do. It actually benefits a firm to have everyone know that they pay market salary because it legitimizes them as a reputable provider or peer of the really big guys.

Lawyers also seem to like collusion.

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20130312
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Re: Thought on today's Times article?

Postby 20130312 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:15 pm

bdubs wrote:
thexfactor wrote:Im just curious why biglaw uses a different model than big4 accounting. Work seems to be relatively related and each profession has billable hours. In accounting, the big firms hire more people but pay them 1/3 of biglaw. Biglaw hires a lot less people but pays them 3x more.


Accounting firms don't thrive on prestige in the way that law firms do. It actually benefits a firm to have everyone know that they pay market salary because it legitimizes them as a reputable provider or peer of the really big guys.

Lawyers also seem to like collusion.


Not sure about the bolded. From my experience, accounting students say "Big4 or bust" in their job search.




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