False consciousness / alienation / Transparency 2.0

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hill1334
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby hill1334 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:13 pm

utahraptor wrote:get back to me in three years, because I have to believe that you'll laugh at this:

hill1334 wrote:While many of those with JDs who end up going into other fields that don't require the JD likely could have gotten the job even if the forwent law school, it is very likely that the skills they learn in law school assist them in climbing the corporate ladder over the long term.


A JD is a ticket to OCI, some networking connections on the PI side, and one of the requirements to be a lawyer. No more, no less.


I have found that almost any position that involves so little nuance is generally misguided. Perhaps this is an exception, and I am just in denial because I want to believe there is worth in pursuing a JD beyond that it is simply a requirement to being a lawyer, but I really don't think so. If I went back and just got another undergraduate degree, which would undeniably be a stupid decision, I would still come out of the experience with more general knowledge, as an improved writer, etc. Again, it would be a stupid decision all things considered, but their would still be some value.

hill1334
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby hill1334 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:15 pm

TheUnicornHunter wrote:
hill1334 wrote:
I'll admit right upfront that I am an 0L, so I may just be delusional, but I am not sure I buy into your argument in its entirety. For one, I think that there is lots of evidence that law school does help people improve their writing and their ability to make well thought out and articulated arguments. Also, just furthering your education has a benefit in itself, as by engaging with other intellectually motived and intelligent individuals one is likely going to have some of their ideas challenge and, in turn, they are going to have consider their beliefs and learn how to articulate those beliefs to other people. These are skills that will assist individuals in a variety of fields. That is not to say that if someone is going to be going into business that they would not be better off getting an MBA or that at no times individuals would be better served not pursing a graduate degree whatsoever, but to suggest that there is no value added at all is sort of absurd.

I feel like people on this forum have a tendency to equate getting an initial job with long term career success. While many of those with JDs who end up going into other fields that don't require the JD likely could have gotten the job even if the forwent law school, it is very likely that the skills they learn in law school assist them in climbing the corporate ladder over the long term.

Again, I agree that 99% of the time it is likely stupid for individuals who don't want to be lawyers to get a law degree, but not because there is no value added by a JD, but because the valued added is heavily outweighed by a whole host of negatives (e.g., debt incurred, opportunity cost, etc.).


Dude, you have no idea what you're talking about. If law school helps "people improve their writing and their ability to make well thought out and articulated arguments" it does so in the least efficient way possible. Of your 1L courses, the only class that *might* do that is Legal Writing, and even that is more about learning the specific formalities of legal writing. To the extent 2 and 3L are any better, it's only because professors and students have more flexibility to deviate from the traditional law school model.


Good to know. Glad I posted so that you can persuade me of my misconceptions. Can you elaborate on why you think law school is so inefficient in this regard?

Arguably, the two best ways to improve your ability to write effectively are to read and to actually write. You do both of these in abundance at law school. Obviously you can read and write on your own time, but most people seriously struggle to motivate themselves to do so.
Last edited by hill1334 on Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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utahraptor
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby utahraptor » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:20 pm

OK JDs/(not 0L/1L) law students of TLS: tell me what law school has done for you.

Maybe this deserves its own thread. I'm all ears.

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kjartan
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby kjartan » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:21 pm

los blancos wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Businesslady wrote:Here is an article I like by a Stanford Law grad, by the way.
http://thoughtcatalog.com/mahbod-moghad ... ole-foods/

To be honest, when I read that I think the guy is an asshole.

Law students, especially good law students, tend to be blind rule-followers.

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los blancos
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby los blancos » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:23 pm

hill1334 wrote:
Good to know. Glad I posted so that you can persuade me of my misconceptions.


I don't want to sidetrack this thread too much because I think there's a more valuable conversation going on ITT, but just to clarify the following:

If law school helps "people improve their writing and their ability to make well thought out and articulated arguments" it does so in the least efficient way possible


This is unequivocally true. The sad thing is that it could really be so much more, but the one-exam-for-an-entire-semester model of teaching is just patently absurd and I struggle to think of how it has any merit.

I like practicing law, but one thing I've always envied of my med school friends is that their field seems far more accepting of change. Like schools frequently change and experiment with their entire curricula from year to year to figure out the best way to teach their students. Our profession is stupidly archaic (to the extent that "stupidly" is even a necessary adjective).

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Businesslady
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:24 pm

I also acknowledge critique should be an undergrad skill. But, like, it's not, and there's this massive anti-lib arts flame in society that is killing culture and moving things in a gross direction slowly but surely. But that's a totally separate conversation I don't really know if we should be bothered having here, so I'll just leave this here and just repeat despite the anti-unicorn sentiments here that even magna at Williams doesn't give you what a T14 does (e: or per Smaug, maybe just Y) where engaging with the mechanisms of the last functioning sectors of government are concerned.

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los blancos
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby los blancos » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:29 pm

kjartan wrote:
los blancos wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Businesslady wrote:Here is an article I like by a Stanford Law grad, by the way.
http://thoughtcatalog.com/mahbod-moghad ... ole-foods/

To be honest, when I read that I think the guy is an asshole.

Law students, especially good law students, tend to be blind rule-followers.


Businesslady wrote:And I just think, man, rules are stupid sometimes, and people who apply them need more exposure to critique before becoming prosecutors and judges. We're all assholes, just not on purpose, and I don't know that "stealing" food really violates the categorical imperative under a totality of the circumstances test.



The 40% thing makes my blood boil - I'm the type of person that almost never throws away any food - but I'm not sure "I open my store so I can exchange x of my goods for y of your ducats; don't steal my shit plz" is such a stupid rule.

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Businesslady
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:32 pm

Well I'd hope you went to school to think about why, not why the rule should be what it is.

e: I know "it's more complicated than that." OTOH: is it?
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ymmv
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby ymmv » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:32 pm

los blancos wrote:
hill1334 wrote:
Good to know. Glad I posted so that you can persuade me of my misconceptions.


I don't want to sidetrack this thread too much because I think there's a more valuable conversation going on ITT, but just to clarify the following:

If law school helps "people improve their writing and their ability to make well thought out and articulated arguments" it does so in the least efficient way possible


This is unequivocally true. The sad thing is that it could really be so much more, but the one-exam-for-an-entire-semester model of teaching is just patently absurd and I struggle to think of how it has any merit.


I don't know the one exam thing is really to blame. I studied in Europe for my second major and kind of enjoyed being able to soak in the classes and material for months at a time without annoying little assignments and constant performance pressure on a regular basis. I didn't do any worse grade-wise than I did in the states, anyhow, and I enjoyed the experience more (beyond the whole being-in-Europe part, obviously). And as a non-1L I'm definitely appreciating that aspect of law school too. Maybe it's a personality thing?

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UnicornHunter
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby UnicornHunter » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:38 pm

ymmv wrote:
los blancos wrote:
hill1334 wrote:
Good to know. Glad I posted so that you can persuade me of my misconceptions.


I don't want to sidetrack this thread too much because I think there's a more valuable conversation going on ITT, but just to clarify the following:

If law school helps "people improve their writing and their ability to make well thought out and articulated arguments" it does so in the least efficient way possible


This is unequivocally true. The sad thing is that it could really be so much more, but the one-exam-for-an-entire-semester model of teaching is just patently absurd and I struggle to think of how it has any merit.


I don't know the one exam thing is really to blame. I studied in Europe for my second major and kind of enjoyed being able to soak in the classes and material for months at a time without annoying little assignments and constant performance pressure on a regular basis. I didn't do any worse grade-wise than I did in the states, anyhow, and I enjoyed the experience more (beyond the whole being-in-Europe part, obviously). And as a non-1L I'm definitely appreciating that aspect of law school too. Maybe it's a personality thing?


Whether it's enjoyable and whether it's effective as a teaching mechanism are two entirely different discussions. You get almost no feedback in law school outside of the occasional cold call and an exam grade. Not much that really fosters development there.

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los blancos
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby los blancos » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:40 pm

Businesslady wrote:Well I'd hope you went to school to think about why, not why the rule should be what it is.


Unfortunately, I most definitely didn't at the outset. I think part of it is c. 2010 I was just a lot more conservative/shitertarian and comfortable with what is.

I don't know why/how it happened over the last 4 years, but the only reason I'm 90% (rather than 100%) sure that criminal prosecution is what I'd really like to do is because I'm concerned that I'll be put in a place where I can't ask the former and act accordingly ("oh you're a non-violent drug offender? here, do some community service and GTFO" --> is fired 3 hours later). Maybe I was just fortunate to have good mentors or chose the right classes. I don't know.
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ymmv
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby ymmv » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:44 pm

TheUnicornHunter wrote:
ymmv wrote:
los blancos wrote:
hill1334 wrote:
Good to know. Glad I posted so that you can persuade me of my misconceptions.


I don't want to sidetrack this thread too much because I think there's a more valuable conversation going on ITT, but just to clarify the following:

If law school helps "people improve their writing and their ability to make well thought out and articulated arguments" it does so in the least efficient way possible


This is unequivocally true. The sad thing is that it could really be so much more, but the one-exam-for-an-entire-semester model of teaching is just patently absurd and I struggle to think of how it has any merit.


I don't know the one exam thing is really to blame. I studied in Europe for my second major and kind of enjoyed being able to soak in the classes and material for months at a time without annoying little assignments and constant performance pressure on a regular basis. I didn't do any worse grade-wise than I did in the states, anyhow, and I enjoyed the experience more (beyond the whole being-in-Europe part, obviously). And as a non-1L I'm definitely appreciating that aspect of law school too. Maybe it's a personality thing?


Whether it's enjoyable and whether it's effective as a teaching mechanism are two entirely different discussions. You get almost no feedback in law school outside of the occasional cold call and an exam grade. Not much that really fosters development there.


With the exception of one or two exceptional professors, I can't say the "feedback" on regular assignments in undergrad was really all that helpful to my education in any meaningful way. Certainly not compared to discussions and reflection, anyway. But again, this may have a lot to do with personal learning style and less with any objective truths about methods and their efficacy. It's a difficult thing to study or quantify a host of reasons.

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Businesslady
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:54 pm

I want to repeat my cites to Konczal
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2012/04/agai ... for-order/
and to Thoma on utility, and the subsequent post on Samuelson on Coase
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=239859&start=175#p8191857

and ask what law school really teaches, and how to talk about what it should, and ideas of how to get it there?

Thinking in terms of possibilities instead of risks seems fluffy and idealistic and childish but usually people just argue about the Scandinavian model to discuss that point - I kind of want to just keep asking why we don't work backward from utopia, over and over, when thinking in terms of risks and moral hazard clearly makes us poorer.

----

Speaking generally, @utahraptor, before I have to run

Is it really so objectionable to want law students to consider thinking this way while within the liminal context of the machine, at the very least? In terms of power? In terms of ideology? To want 0Ls to consider the experience as potentially more than an expensive OCI delivery service? To focus on the demand side of the equation here on this site so institutions have to pay attention? "Don't go" is a great tool. Where I seem to diverge from people who have been through the wringer is that I think "How is this experience differentiated, and what am I here to actually learn?" is an absolutely necessary addition to "What are the job numbers" for reasons it would be redundant to retread. If the Socratic thing is pointless on the inside, maybe the application process and decision whether to go can teach some reasoning and bargaining skills.

All in all, I want better conversations here about the whole picture, not least because it's clear institutions pay attention to coherent collective demands of applicants when it hits them in the wallet. Obviously it's still not clear at all to me that people "should" "want" "jobs," but they seem to. This whole website is not as thoughtful or as coherent as you in cutting down tall poppies (or rather projecting, accurately enough or not, a sense of their absence here), Smaug, and even if the scamblog dogma is "right" for most people, I have enjoyed having the part of this conversation that unpacks the logic of the received wisdom.

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J3987
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby J3987 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:13 pm

utahraptor wrote:
J3987 wrote:I am not a lawyer, law student, and I have no desire to go to law school. I just recognize the real-world value of a legal education


I just should quote this as a QED on its own.


(Discredits me for making a rational decision ITE)

... (QED) ...

I don't want to keep going back and forth on this issue Smaug, bc I don't see it progressing the larger conversation. But look at all the C-Suite Executives, bankers, PMs, etc. who have a legal background. They are all over the place in Financial Services. Has something fundamentally changed since these people progressed in their careers? What makes you think the door b/w legal work and other fields (banking, PE, HF, etc etc) has been sealed shut?

If anything, legal matters have a greater impact on FS firms and investment performance generally than they ever have in the past. A JD is not significantly less of a value-add for current students than it was for students 20 years ago (or maybe I'm wrong, tell me what has changed). A "Biglaw for 4 years then roll the dice and hope for in-house" feels like a kindof myopic way to pigeon-hole yourself right out of the gate, but w/e I don't have a dog in this fight.

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Businesslady
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:09 pm

Wow, way scooped by Hayek. I knew he was cool. I still think the stuff in the UBI thread. Shout out to Sunstein for the tip
e: Oh, and also scooped by cotiger

Image

http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/file ... vative.pdf

I'm having a crisis of conscience for kind of liking Hayek and going around calling things neoliberal but I think I'll live.
*grabs paper bag and frantically navigates to marxists.org* *hyperventilates into bag*
I know it doesn't mean anything that specific (link) but it's just so fun to say!

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Businesslady
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:00 pm

OK, here's the crisis language to apply to the law school narrative. Gotta say, the best thing about casual Marxism is how casual it is

Image

e: Damn. If you do an etymological breakdown of "sophistication" as, like, a process, then we're back to SRW on opacity
e2: I mean as a neoliberal (lol) metaphor for Smaugian efficiency as a counterpoint to my deadening-defeatism doctrine
e3: I think assuming a crisis in LS, the scamblog meme / "government money!" is stage 2. The part here about entrepreneurial focus is 3.
e4: Dipshit alert in advance. Is some strong form of utopian Marcuse as I discuss lazily ITT maybe the "Left's" most "sophisticated" counterpoint? Is the century Deleuzian or am I just taking too many stims and wasting society's resources? I'm being self-alienated and I blame law school websites
e5: A Deleuzian theory of the becoming-lawyer
e6-7: "I'm such a Miranda" as slang for being a transaction cost in the form of a speed bump to neoliberalism
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J3987
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby J3987 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:06 pm

Just to clarify the terms Hayek is using, bc few things are as tiresome as a dispute abt semantics

Just before the above Hayek clipping:

Conservatism proper is a legitimate, probably necessary, and certainly widespread
attitude of opposition to drastic change. It has, since the French Revolution, for a century
and a half played an important role in European politics. Until the rise of socialism its
opposite was liberalism. There is nothing corresponding to this conflict in the history of
the United States, because what in Europe was called "liberalism" was here the common
tradition on which the American polity had been built: thus the defender of the American
tradition was a liberal in the European sense
.[2] This already existing confusion was
made worse by the recent attempt to transplant to America the European type of
conservatism, which, being alien to the American tradition, has acquired a somewhat odd
character. And some time before this, American radicals and socialists began calling
themselves "liberals." I will nevertheless continue for the moment to describe as liberal
the position which I hold and which I believe differs as much from true conservatism as
from socialism. Let me say at once, however, that I do so with increasing misgivings, and
I shall later have to consider what would be the appropriate name for the party of liberty.
The reason for this is not only that the term "liberal" in the United States is the cause of
constant misunderstandings today, but also that in Europe the predominant type of
rationalistic liberalism has long been one of the pacemakers of socialism.

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Businesslady
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:16 pm

This post space reserved for Mr. Baguettes-and-Guillotines to take over if so desired

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utahraptor
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby utahraptor » Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:21 pm

J3987 wrote:
utahraptor wrote:
J3987 wrote:I am not a lawyer, law student, and I have no desire to go to law school. I just recognize the real-world value of a legal education


I just should quote this as a QED on its own.


(Discredits me for making a rational decision ITE)

... (QED) ...

I don't want to keep going back and forth on this issue Smaug, bc I don't see it progressing the larger conversation. But look at all the C-Suite Executives, bankers, PMs, etc. who have a legal background. They are all over the place in Financial Services. Has something fundamentally changed since these people progressed in their careers? What makes you think the door b/w legal work and other fields (banking, PE, HF, etc etc) has been sealed shut?

If anything, legal matters have a greater impact on FS firms and investment performance generally than they ever have in the past. A JD is not significantly less of a value-add for current students than it was for students 20 years ago (or maybe I'm wrong, tell me what has changed). A "Biglaw for 4 years then roll the dice and hope for in-house" feels like a kindof myopic way to pigeon-hole yourself right out of the gate, but w/e I don't have a dog in this fight.


I can't tell you things you don't want to hear. I'm not discrediting you because you "made a rational decision;" rather, I'm pointing out that the people arguing against me haven't taken a class in law school.

I'm not saying that you can't go from transactional work to banking, PE, HF, &c., &c., those are viable long term career paths (kinda). I'm saying that you can't go directly into those things. If you're claiming you can, post the background of someone who has. The JD doesn't get you into that industry, the work those people did as transactional attorneys did.

I've lead you to the water here. It's up to you if you want to drink or not.

I'm checking out of this thread because I don't think the discussion is really productive/most of this banter is totally meaningless to me.

I'm for UBI. I understand wanting heads on pikes. I don't think reforming law school is the solution to any of these things, and think the lazy economic analysis used by 0Ls is OK as it understands what law school is actually about. Where it falls short is in understanding what the practice of law is about. The real response to most people who are not dead inside and legitimately OK with entering something soul-crushing that could really truly ruin their lives is "don't go; there are no jobs (and the jobs you can get you don't want); you will die alone."

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J3987
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby J3987 » Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:37 am

utahraptor wrote:I'm checking out of this thread because I don't think the discussion is really productive/most of this banter is totally meaningless to me.


At least you're consistent in your defeatism.

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Businesslady
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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Mon Nov 24, 2014 3:09 am

TBF it was good having Smaug and I was being uncivil ITT because I'm MAF at things I don't really understand

e: Not that I'm sure there's anything wrong with that

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby cotiger » Mon Nov 24, 2014 3:15 am

Businesslady wrote:Wow, way scooped by Hayek. I knew he was cool. I still think the stuff in the UBI thread. Shout out to Sunstein for the tip
e: Oh, and also scooped by cotiger


I gotchu boo.

Also, this discussion has kinda made me want to apply to Yale, spend all my days rolling around in all their this-isn't-really-law-school classes, and just COAP it up with whatever like IDAF. (They have no stips on their loan repayment other than working in any kind of job, even non-legal, 20hrs/week).

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Paul Campos » Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:00 am

(1) Though I hesitate to reduce OP's OP to black letter form, I gather a central part of the point is that the law school crisis/scam is just a characteristic example of the crisis of what certain leftists refer to hopefully as late capitalism. I think that's right, which is why the transparency movement can only do so much even in law schools, let alone beyond them.

In a sense, one could say that we have reached the end of the law school scam — in the sense that young people who enroll in law school today have every opportunity to avoid being misled about the prospects that await them. Of course this is no excuse for continuing to engage in aggressive sales tactics that sound more like a condo time-share pitch than a disinterested scholarly evaluation of the evidence.

In other words, we’re moving toward a situation — we’re not there yet, mainly because of the cultural lag in recognizing what has been happening to the legal profession, i.e., the Legally Blonde Syndrome — in which law students will be no more prone to overestimate their career prospects than Ph.D. candidates are now prone to overestimate their odds of getting a tenure track job (I”m assuming here that the latter don’t tend to indulge in too much optimism and confirmation bias, although I have to admit that this assumption isn’t actually based on anything other than my own optimistic wish that this is the case. My co-bloggers and many commentators are in a position to confirm or correct this impression, and I hope they do so).

That is all to the good, but, in terms of genuine reform, it’s very much half or perhaps a third of a loaf. Genuine reform goes far beyond even optimal transparency (which is still far away in the law school world), because the crisis of the American law school is just a particularly sharp example of a far broader crisis: that created by an economy that simply doesn’t produce anything like enough appropriate (halfway decent-paying, skills based) jobs for our increasingly educated, and increasingly disaffected, younger generations.

The real scam, in other words, is the contemporary structure of our society. Making that transparent is a goal towards which the law school reform movement is playing its own small part.


(2) Law schools are legitimation factories by nature and semi-design, and expecting them to ever be sites for any genuine social critique except by almost-mistake is unrealistic in the extreme. See here the sad story of critical legal studies, the remnants of which have had essentially nothing to say about, let alone made any contribution to, the law school reform movement. Brian Tamanaha published an article about this last year.

(3)

HAMM:
Is it not time for my pain-killer?
CLOV:
Yes.
HAMM:
Ah! At last! Give it to me! Quick!
(Pause.)
CLOV:
There's no more pain-killer.
(Pause.)
HAMM (appalled):
Good...!
(Pause.)
No more pain-killer!
CLOV:
No more pain-killer. You'll never get any more pain-killer.
(Pause.)
HAMM:
But the little round box. It was full!
CLOV:
Yes. But now it's empty.
(Pause. Clov starts to move about the room. He is looking for a place to put down the alarm-clock.)
HAMM (soft):
What'll I do?
(Pause. In a scream.)
What'll I do?
(Clov sees the picture, takes it down, stands it on the floor with its face to the wall, hangs up the alarm-clock in its place.)
What are you doing?
CLOV:
Winding up.
HAMM:
Look at the earth.
CLOV:
Again!
HAMM:
Since it's calling to you.

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby Businesslady » Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:36 am

Paul Campos wrote:Law schools are legitimation factories by nature and semi-design, and expecting them to ever be sites for any genuine social critique except by almost-mistake is unrealistic in the extreme. See here the sad story of critical legal studies, the remnants of which have had essentially nothing to say about, let alone made any contribution to, the law school reform movement. Brian Tamanaha published an article about this last year.

Disclaiming this and everything else I've said with a plain admission of my (perhaps empowering) naiveté, and that I haven't even read Tamanaha's article yet, the concept of CLS itself never should have existed. I look forward to checking it out, but my intuition is that CLS was never a monolith and sounds to have been painted into a corner from the start by its definition, and that the trend toward empirical research is a form of Enlightenment thinking that will hopefully spur a Romantic counterpart with the right attitude by 1) people who want to enter the agon, and 2) the people already there who put society's interests first. I want to believe the demand for those kind of appointments plays at least some role; applying oversimplified doctrine to a complex fact pattern, I hope the silver lining of obsession with markets in law will mean that the curriculum itself has to at least partially be a function of what students want.

"Unrealistic in the extreme" is maybe a good prescription in late capitalism.

Whether it's a critical mass of privilege, scholarship-worthy talent choosing based on radical course content, or PAYE apocalyptic ballsiness that does it on the demand side, or straight up institutional self-awareness as faculties realize it's going to take more than doing actual math to shake off their horrible vulgar Coasean hangover, I hope "CLS" will make a comeback in a less homogenized and more powerful form. Really, it seems like there are enough ideas under the umbrella of "CLS" to staff a whole anti-Chicago, if not several.

Tl;dr more interdisciplinary work with people like this, more casual Marxists on law reviews, more distance from consensus reality

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Re: False consciousness / alienation

Postby banjo » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:05 am

Paul Campos wrote:Law schools are legitimation factories by nature and semi-design, and expecting them to ever be sites for any genuine social critique except by almost-mistake is unrealistic in the extreme. See here the sad story of critical legal studies, the remnants of which have had essentially nothing to say about, let alone made any contribution to, the law school reform movement. Brian Tamanaha published an article about this last year.


I can't speak for all law schools, but ideas like radical labor law reform, radical immigration reform, a universal minimum income, ending employment-at-will, etc. get debated all the time in upper-year seminars and even show up as policy questions on exams. At Columbia, we have a mandatory, three-week, pass-fail introductory course that's really all about how law can (but sometimes doesn't) disrupt the status quo for the better. It's true that case/journal readings crowd out theoretical materials, but I think most law students, at least at my law school, recognize that there are alternative models for organizing life and society.




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