Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

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Bill James
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Bill James » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:30 pm

Trifles wrote:
flcath wrote:I wish the ABA would prune back some of these TTTs (I mean the *real* TTTs), or at the very least quit accrediting new ones. Can anyone provide a link to the ABA's defense of why they let these schools exist (I'm sure there is one), unlike the AMA/AAMC, who apparently took supply-and-demand 101?


Why should they artificially limit the amount of new lawyers? So new graduates can earn more then they are really worth in an open market at the expense of the general public?


Ummm so the profession isn't turned into a sewer like it is right now. At least in medicine you have the best of the best and not a bunch of naive liberal arts majors who have nothing better to do.

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bluejayk
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby bluejayk » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:33 pm

The ABA doesn't have the power to deny accreditation to a school that meets the objective criteria. It's not their call.

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UnderwearModel
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby UnderwearModel » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:33 pm

YES

I WILL NOT BE ATTENDING LAW SCHOOL EVER!

THANK GOD

Bill James
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Bill James » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:36 pm

bluejayk wrote:The ABA doesn't have the power to deny accreditation to a school that meets the objective criteria. It's not their call.



Well then the ABA should change its standards. What happens if current trend continues? Are you alright with there being 300 ABA approved law schools? 400? 500?

flcath
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby flcath » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:37 pm

biggamejames wrote:
Trifles wrote:
flcath wrote:I wish the ABA would prune back some of these TTTs (I mean the *real* TTTs), or at the very least quit accrediting new ones. Can anyone provide a link to the ABA's defense of why they let these schools exist (I'm sure there is one), unlike the AMA/AAMC, who apparently took supply-and-demand 101?


Why should they artificially limit the amount of new lawyers? So new graduates can earn more then they are really worth in an open market at the expense of the general public?

Yeah, seriously. The ABA isn't supposed to be a full-on cartel.

Yes, legal representation is essential to general public, so we couldn't possibly limit it.

And of course this argument doesn't apply to the AMA and its services at all...

Dude, bar associations--just like the AMA--are quasi-governmental entities charged with ensuring the proper dissemination of their respective services, but they are also advocacy groups for their practitioners. The ABA should be even more of an interest group than the AMA, since (unlike state bar associations) it has almost no official government function.

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bluejayk
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby bluejayk » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:39 pm

Bill James wrote:
bluejayk wrote:The ABA doesn't have the power to deny accreditation to a school that meets the objective criteria. It's not their call.



Well then the ABA should change its standards. What happens if current trend continues? Are you alright with there being 300 ABA approved law schools? 400? 500?


Yes. Bar exam and MPRE take care of those who don't belong, better than allowing a union to artificially limit the number of entrants into the profession. Lawyering isn't rocket science, 90% of lawyers do grunt work 99% of the time.

flcath
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby flcath » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:45 pm

bluejayk wrote:The ABA doesn't have the power to deny accreditation to a school that meets the objective criteria. It's not their call.
Of course. I'm saying they should raise the standards.

"Your school must meet [current bar passage requirements] while attriting fewer than 10% of their class."

bluejayk wrote:
Bill James wrote:
bluejayk wrote:The ABA doesn't have the power to deny accreditation to a school that meets the objective criteria. It's not their call.


Well then the ABA should change its standards. What happens if current trend continues? Are you alright with there being 300 ABA approved law schools? 400? 500?


Yes. Bar exam and MPRE take care of those who don't belong, better than allowing a union to artificially limit the number of entrants into the profession. Lawyering isn't rocket science, 90% of lawyers do grunt work 99% of the time.

So why not do away with all accreditation standards?

Bill James
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Bill James » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:45 pm

bluejayk wrote:
Bill James wrote:
bluejayk wrote:The ABA doesn't have the power to deny accreditation to a school that meets the objective criteria. It's not their call.



Well then the ABA should change its standards. What happens if current trend continues? Are you alright with there being 300 ABA approved law schools? 400? 500?


Yes. Bar exam and MPRE take care of those who don't belong, better than allowing a union to artificially limit the number of entrants into the profession. Lawyering isn't rocket science, 90% of lawyers do grunt work 99% of the time.



I've never even looked at the bar exam, so take this for what it's worth, but it seems like just about anyone can pass the bar if they study their ass off.

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Trifles
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Trifles » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:47 pm

Bill James wrote:
bluejayk wrote:
Bill James wrote:
bluejayk wrote:The ABA doesn't have the power to deny accreditation to a school that meets the objective criteria. It's not their call.



Well then the ABA should change its standards. What happens if current trend continues? Are you alright with there being 300 ABA approved law schools? 400? 500?


Yes. Bar exam and MPRE take care of those who don't belong, better than allowing a union to artificially limit the number of entrants into the profession. Lawyering isn't rocket science, 90% of lawyers do grunt work 99% of the time.



I've never even looked at the bar exam, so take this for what it's worth, but it seems like just about anyone can pass the bar if they study their ass off.


Maybe thats because law isn't really all that hard! What a shocker, law students arn't the special snowflakes they think they are.

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bluejayk
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby bluejayk » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:49 pm

Oh, and instead of encouraging the ABA to artificially limit supply, the better reform would be to end government guaranteed loans for law school. Then lending organizations would be forced to decide if lending someone with a 2.8/153 $180,000 to go to Golden Gate University makes economic sense. It would force law schools to base tuition on market forces, or shut down. Either one of which would help with the glut of lawyers.

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biggamejames
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby biggamejames » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:50 pm

Trifles wrote:Maybe thats because law isn't really all that hard!

Seriously. I've been maintaining for a year that most people could handle most of their own legal problems if they just had Westlaw access.

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bluejayk
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby bluejayk » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:52 pm

flcath wrote:So why not do away with all accreditation standards?


Fine by me. California's system is more rational, in my opinion.

Bill James
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Bill James » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:01 pm

The funny thing about all of this is that while law schools are popping up everywhere, tuition keeps on rapidly increasing. You would expect the opposite to occur, at least at the t2/t3 level.

edit

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ruleser
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby ruleser » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:12 pm

Bill James wrote:The funny thing about all of this is that while law schools are popping up everywhere, tuition keeps on rapidly increasing. You would expect the opposite to occur, at least at the t2/t3 level.

edit

You have to factor in the female factor. We may take as standard that LS classes are 50/50 male/female, but it was not that long ago that women rarely went to college, never mind for advanced degrees. Now in the days of "Legally Blonde," we've essentially doubled the number of people who want to enter the profession, maybe even more since women are more liberal arts/argument-inclined. So with twice (or more) the competition for the same handful of elite schools, they can jack it up... Plus, until about a year ago, the current generation didn't have qualms about borrowing any amount really...

EDIT: Correct weird typos
Last edited by ruleser on Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

flcath
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby flcath » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:15 pm

Trifles wrote:Maybe thats because law isn't really all that hard! What a shocker, law students arn't the special snowflakes they think they are.


biggamejames wrote:
Trifles wrote:Maybe thats because law isn't really all that hard!

Seriously. I've been maintaining for a year that most people could handle most of their own legal problems if they just had Westlaw access.

And you can be your own doctor with webMD access. You can be your own carpenter with a "woodworking for dummies" book. You can be your own exterminator by going to Walmart. Index funds have historically outperformed mutual funds, so you can be your own stock broker by visiting wikipedia.

The difficulty of a profession is entirely irrelevant to whether or not the number of entrants should be restricted. And while there should always be enough to cover public demand for the essential services (e.g., law and medicine), encouraging scarcity is not unethical, and it sure as hell is smart. How difficult do you think being a doctor is (not "going to medical school" but "being a doctor")? Not very. There are far more qualified applicants (people who would make fine doctors) to the medical field than there are seats in MS--every CoM dean acknowledges this. The shortage is achieved both through strict accreditation standards by the AAMC, and--more importantly, I concede--the fact that medical schools are not the cash cows that law schools are.

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bluejayk
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby bluejayk » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:17 pm

Bill James wrote:The funny thing about all of this is that while law schools are popping up everywhere, tuition keeps on rapidly increasing. You would expect the opposite to occur, at least at the t2/t3 level.

edit


Yes, it is more than funny, it's fucking insane. Golden Gate University is one of the five most expensive law schools in America, despite being so bad it nearly lost accreditation about five years ago. However, banks still line up to loan these students money for tuition, since they're nearly guaranteed to get their money back eventually, even if students go into bankruptcy.

Good point about women in law school, though.

Bill James
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Bill James » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:19 pm

flcath wrote:
Trifles wrote:Maybe thats because law isn't really all that hard! What a shocker, law students arn't the special snowflakes they think they are.


biggamejames wrote:
Trifles wrote:Maybe thats because law isn't really all that hard!

Seriously. I've been maintaining for a year that most people could handle most of their own legal problems if they just had Westlaw access.

And you can be your own doctor with webMD access. You can be your own carpenter with a "woodworking for dummies" book. You can be your own exterminator by going to Walmart. Index funds have historically outperformed mutual funds, so you can be your own stock broker by visiting wikipedia.

The difficulty of a profession is entirely irrelevant to whether or not the number of entrants should be restricted. And while there should always be enough to cover public demand for the essential services (e.g., law and medicine), encouraging scarcity is not unethical, and it sure as hell is smart. How difficult do you think being a doctor is (not "going to medical school" but "being a doctor")? Not very. There are far more qualified applicants (people who would make fine doctors) to the medical field than there are seats in MS--every CoM dean acknowledges this. The shortage is achieved both through strict accreditation standards by the AAMC, and--more importantly, I concede--the fact that medical schools are not the cash cows that law schools are.


Is this a joke? It's a tad bit harder to perform a tracheotomy than fix a speeding ticket.

b.j.
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby b.j. » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:20 pm

Bill James wrote:I'm very concerned about the way things are going right now in the legal profession. Law is in the gutter and it has been this way for a decade now. I don't know what to think. Like most of you on here, I have a piece of shit degree, so if I don't go to law school, I have no where else to go. I've always wanted to go to law school, but with job prospects the way they are, combined with tuition costs, I'm starting to think that maybe this isn't the best investment. Is anyone else getting cold feet?


My biggest concern is with getting into the best school possible. Once that happens, and I remain on my guard, I figure I'll land on my feet. I usually do.

Don't get me wrong: the current troubles in the legal community that I consistently read about aren't doing anything to assuage my fears. But I'm not about to make a decision based on the way things appear to be now.

If nothing else, I'm comforted by my realistic expectations. If I ever climb up the ladder successfully and meet some "Big Law"-style opportunities, it'll surely be tempting, but if that doesn't happen, I'm not going to be disappointed, primarily because I realize that it's not meant for everyone and is far from the only way to take advantage of a law degree and, among other things, earn a lot of money. If I can earn, say, $200,000 a year working in a far less prestigious firm versus $400,000 working in a much more prestigious firm, I'm sure I won't be crying about it. (Those are random numbers, by the way, so don't jump all over me if you find something to object to.)

I and others could create lots of scenarios where you end up ahead, but the important thing to focus on is that your potential to earn more money is almost certainly greater than it would otherwise be. You know, my boss just met up with one of the CEOs our company. Both CEOs of our company used to be lawyers, and while they don't practice law directly any longer, the guy whom my boss met for lunch is still involved in some sort of activity where the legal market is a topic of discussion. He was telling me how this CEO described how they, doing what they do in a relatively unglamorous business, are now making more than most recent law school grads. But as my boss said, their ability to earn more money over their lifetimes is enhanced by their law degree, while he's pretty much hit the ceiling for what he is going to make in his current position.

Bill James
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Bill James » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:21 pm

bluejayk wrote:
Bill James wrote:The funny thing about all of this is that while law schools are popping up everywhere, tuition keeps on rapidly increasing. You would expect the opposite to occur, at least at the t2/t3 level.

edit


Yes, it is more than funny, it's fucking insane. Golden Gate University is one of the five most expensive law schools in America, despite being so bad it nearly lost accreditation about five years ago. However, banks still line up to loan these students money for tuition, since they're nearly guaranteed to get their money back eventually, even if students go into bankruptcy.

Good point about women in law school, though.


Yes, very good point about women. I can't believed I never really gave something so simple any considerable thought.

b.j.
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby b.j. » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:26 pm

biggamejames wrote:
Trifles wrote:Maybe thats because law isn't really all that hard!

Seriously. I've been maintaining for a year that most people could handle most of their own legal problems if they just had Westlaw access.


Do you mean the population at large or everyone?

Sure, it might be easy with some sort of standardized service to set up a will, but as the law gets more complicated, advanced knowledge is probably required. It's always possible for people to do things themselves, but it might be easier to rely on the expertise of others. That's why specialization is so important.

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biggamejames
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby biggamejames » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:29 pm

b.j. wrote:
biggamejames wrote:
Trifles wrote:Maybe thats because law isn't really all that hard!

Seriously. I've been maintaining for a year that most people could handle most of their own legal problems if they just had Westlaw access.


Do you mean the population at large or everyone?

Sure, it might be easy with some sort of standardized service to set up a will, but as the law gets more complicated, advanced knowledge is probably required. It's always possible for people to do things themselves, but it might be easier to rely on the expertise of others. That's why specialization is so important.

I look at it like car repair. Most people can do some basic things themselves: change a tire, chnge the oil, air filter, shit like that. A good number of car owners - those with some mechanical aptitude - can also handle more complicated car problems and only need to go to a mechanic for really complex shit that rarely comes up.

I think law could work the same way, with people with an aptitude for it being able to handle most of their own legal problems and lawyers there to either help those without aptitude or to help with problems that are so complicated as to require a professional.

flcath
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby flcath » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:30 pm

Bill James wrote:
flcath wrote:
Trifles wrote:Maybe thats because law isn't really all that hard! What a shocker, law students arn't the special snowflakes they think they are.


biggamejames wrote:
Trifles wrote:Maybe thats because law isn't really all that hard!

Seriously. I've been maintaining for a year that most people could handle most of their own legal problems if they just had Westlaw access.

And you can be your own doctor with webMD access. You can be your own carpenter with a "woodworking for dummies" book. You can be your own exterminator by going to Walmart. Index funds have historically outperformed mutual funds, so you can be your own stock broker by visiting wikipedia.

The difficulty of a profession is entirely irrelevant to whether or not the number of entrants should be restricted. And while there should always be enough to cover public demand for the essential services (e.g., law and medicine), encouraging scarcity is not unethical, and it sure as hell is smart. How difficult do you think being a doctor is (not "going to medical school" but "being a doctor")? Not very. There are far more qualified applicants (people who would make fine doctors) to the medical field than there are seats in MS--every CoM dean acknowledges this. The shortage is achieved both through strict accreditation standards by the AAMC, and--more importantly, I concede--the fact that medical schools are not the cash cows that law schools are.


Is this a joke? It's a tad bit harder to perform a tracheotomy than fix a speeding ticket.

Yeah, but that's not a fair analogy.

A tracheotomy would be more analogous to, say, a felony assault defense. Even then, either one could be theoretically studied for extensively and performed by a non-professional.

On the other hand (and to give the analogy better-suited to what you're talking about), you can just as easily diagnose and treat yourself for a concussion/fever/rash as you can defend yourself pro se on a traffic case.

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biggamejames
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby biggamejames » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:31 pm

flcath wrote:On the other hand (and to give the analogy better-suited to what you're talking about), you can just as easily diagnose and treat yourself for a concussion/fever/rash as you can defend yourself pro se on a traffic case.

And I do do that. The doctor is only for shit I can't figure out myself, or because I need some prescription medicine.

b.j.
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby b.j. » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:40 pm

biggamejames wrote:
b.j. wrote:
biggamejames wrote:
Trifles wrote:Maybe thats because law isn't really all that hard!

Seriously. I've been maintaining for a year that most people could handle most of their own legal problems if they just had Westlaw access.


Do you mean the population at large or everyone?

Sure, it might be easy with some sort of standardized service to set up a will, but as the law gets more complicated, advanced knowledge is probably required. It's always possible for people to do things themselves, but it might be easier to rely on the expertise of others. That's why specialization is so important.

I look at it like car repair. Most people can do some basic things themselves: change a tire, chnge the oil, air filter, shit like that. A good number of car owners - those with some mechanical aptitude - can also handle more complicated car problems and only need to go to a mechanic for really complex shit that rarely comes up.

I think law could work the same way, with people with an aptitude for it being able to handle most of their own legal problems and lawyers there to either help those without aptitude or to help with problems that are so complicated as to require a professional.


Or, rather, most people usually don't have much use for legal services.

flcath
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby flcath » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:43 pm

biggamejames wrote:
flcath wrote:On the other hand (and to give the analogy better-suited to what you're talking about), you can just as easily diagnose and treat yourself for a concussion/fever/rash as you can defend yourself pro se on a traffic case.

And I do do that. The doctor is only for shit I can't figure out myself, or because I need some prescription medicine.

(Yeah me too.) My point is that--despite the fact that a similar proportion (majority) of the medical and legal professions provide services that can be performed by oneself--the medical sector has uniformly outstanding job-security and solid, consistent salaries fueled by constant rising demand. The legal sector, does not.

Edit: And God forbid if we ever simplify the tax code. Or tort reform kicks in...




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