Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

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Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Thu May 19, 2011 11:51 pm

Beyond that, one of the students who got an A said that their answer was to counsel the woman to violate the court order and flee the country, and that they gave that answer because they knew it was what the professor wanted to hear.

That would be really interesting, if you weren't just pulling it out of your ass. Here's the actual quote from the article:

One of the students who got an A said, "I told them she needed to engage in civil disobedience and seriously consider leaving the country," adding, "I knew what I needed to write."

Also, as I pointed out before, the exam has a very oddly worded premise, which is that Lisa asked you to advise her "as a friend who is a Christian lawyer." As the article points out, they probably could have done a better job at dicing out the professional ethical and normative moral aspects of the issue. But it still doesn't seem that they're actually teaching students, as lawyers, to counsel a client to commit a crime. According to the article, Liberty Counsel insists they never counseled Lisa to disobey the law (whether you believe them or not, that's what they've said anyway, and the guy teaching the class is one of the partners in the firm).

Do you even read these things before you respond, or do you just say what you think is going on?
Last edited by Gideon Strumpet on Fri May 20, 2011 12:38 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Verity
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby Verity » Thu May 19, 2011 11:54 pm

I need Liberty Law come tax season.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri May 20, 2011 12:20 am

Gideon Strumpet wrote:
Beyond that, one of the students who got an A said that their answer was to counsel the woman to violate the court order and flee the country, and that they gave that answer because they knew it was what the professor wanted to hear.

That would be really interesting, if you weren't just pulling it out of your ass. Here's the actual quote from the article:

One of the students who got an A said, "I told them she needed to engage in civil disobedience and seriously consider leaving the country," adding, "I knew what I needed to write."

Also, as I pointed out before, the exam has a very oddly worded premise, which is that Lisa asked you to advise her "as a friend who is a Christian lawyer." As the article points out, they probably could have done a better job at dicing out the professional ethical and normative moral aspects of the issue. But it still doesn't seem that they're actually teaching students, as lawyers, to counsel a client to commit a crime.

Okay, so, you can't read. The part that you bolded yourself shows the student, as their answer, counseled their client to commit a crime. The next sentence, which you included in your quote, shows that the student gave that answer because they knew it was what the professor expected.

It's also obvious from the fact that those who gave an answer counseling the client to commit a crime got As and those who counseled their client to obey the law got lower grades. There doesn't appear to be any "dicing out" going on at all. Clearly they are teaching people to counsel clients to commit crimes if they're giving better grades to people who put that as their answer on tests.

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Fri May 20, 2011 12:25 am

vanwinkle wrote:Okay, so, you can't read. The part that you bolded yourself shows the student, as their answer, counseled their client to commit a crime.

Epic reading comprehension fail.

flcath
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby flcath » Fri May 20, 2011 12:25 am

Gideon Strumpet wrote:
Beyond that, one of the students who got an A said that their answer was to counsel the woman to violate the court order and flee the country, and that they gave that answer because they knew it was what the professor wanted to hear.

That would be really interesting, if you weren't just pulling it out of your ass. Here's the actual quote from the article:

One of the students who got an A said, "I told them she needed to engage in civil disobedience and seriously consider leaving the country," adding, "I knew what I needed to write."

Also, as I pointed out before, the exam has a very oddly worded premise, which is that Lisa asked you to advise her "as a friend who is a Christian lawyer." As the article points out, they probably could have done a better job at dicing out the professional ethical and normative moral aspects of the issue. But it still doesn't seem that they're actually teaching students, as lawyers, to counsel a client to commit a crime. According to the article, Liberty Counsel insists they never counseled Lisa to disobey the law (whether you believe them or not, that's what they've said anyway, and the guy teaching the class is one of the partners in the firm).

Do you even read these things before you respond, or do you just say what you think is going on?

You literally just bolded the part that refutes your own argument.

amonynous_ivdinidual
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby amonynous_ivdinidual » Fri May 20, 2011 12:26 am

gideon- stop. you are making yourself out to be a tremendous idiot.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri May 20, 2011 12:36 am

Gideon Strumpet wrote:Epic reading comprehension fail.

Yes. Yes it is.

flcath
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby flcath » Fri May 20, 2011 12:39 am

Ok, I have a second question. Again, this is 100% honest; and I bet some of you will think I'm being offensively stupid b/c the answer is obviously yes, and others of you will think that I'm being offensively stupid b/c the answer is obviously no.

Does Liberty offer admission to open gay applicants? I ask because, well, this guy is the dean of the law school (not just some rogue prof), and they frankly seem pretty serious about this. If they're willing to counsel clients to break the law (bear in mind, this is a real case, not just a fact pattern) to stop the decline of society, are you really telling me they would admit a 170/3.6 applicant who's LGBT?

If the answer is 'no,' then this has got to be an problem, correct? Recall Dean Kagan enforcing the ABA policy of not allowing employers who discriminate against openly gay students onto campus for OCIs... it was overturned where it concerned the military, but the policy still stands for regular employers. Certainly if a school can't even invite anti-gay employers to OCIs, it can't discriminate directly against homosexuals in its admissions?

I'm not super-familiar with this area of law, and I could be missing something totally, but I can't see how this is allowed.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri May 20, 2011 12:41 am

amonynous_ivdinidual wrote:gideon- stop. you are making yourself out to be a tremendous idiot.

While I agree with you in substance... banned for unauthorized alting. Pick one account and stick with it.

--ImageRemoved--

bigben
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby bigben » Fri May 20, 2011 12:45 am

I didn't read the fact pattern but it sounds like it's about civil disobedience. I don't see the problem. Are there many law profs that would say the Jim Crow laws should have been respected? If you want to condemn Liberty, fine, but you'll have to do better than simply pointing out that they suggest it's ok to engage in civil disobedience.

Of course, the lawyer in such a situation should explain the potential consequences, and be ready to face any consequences of their own (if any) for giving the advice. It sounds like a situation where someone is asking for guidance from a lawyer in two different roles - a legal adviser and something else.

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Fri May 20, 2011 12:47 am

flcath wrote:If they're willing to counsel clients to break the law (bear in mind, this is a real case, not just a fact pattern)

Staver told the New York Times last month that they had not had contact with Miller since 2009 and had always advised her to obey the law.

Maybe you think they're just lying. But there's nothing in the article you linked that has them telling her to break the law.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri May 20, 2011 12:52 am

Gideon Strumpet wrote:
flcath wrote:If they're willing to counsel clients to break the law (bear in mind, this is a real case, not just a fact pattern)

Staver told the New York Times last month that they had not had contact with Miller since 2009 and had always advised her to obey the law.

Maybe you think they're just lying. But there's nothing in the article you linked that has them telling her to break the law.

Nobody's saying that we know they told Miller to break the law. We don't know whether that happened or not.

What we're saying is that the school taught students to counsel clients to break the law, and gave better grades to those students who did than to those who didn't, indicating a teaching method that is both simplistic and inappropriate. And the information in the article clearly supports that. And that does support an inference that they did eventually give her the advice they're teaching their students to give.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby JamMasterJ » Fri May 20, 2011 12:54 am

vanwinkle wrote:
Gideon Strumpet wrote:Epic reading comprehension fail.

Yes. Yes it is.

lulz

flcath - I would be up for contributing to the app fee if you apply there! And write a great DS about being LGBT

flcath
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby flcath » Fri May 20, 2011 12:55 am

Gideon Strumpet wrote:
flcath wrote:If they're willing to counsel clients to break the law (bear in mind, this is a real case, not just a fact pattern)

Staver told the New York Times last month that they had not had contact with Miller since 2009 and had always advised her to obey the law.

Maybe you think they're just lying. But there's nothing in the article you linked that has them telling her to break the law.

Frankly, I do think he's lying (he teaches students that they, in the exact same situation, should advise the client to break the law, but supposedly he didn't personally do that... and oh btw, the client just happened to abscond on her own), but that's irrelevant. It's what he's teaching that matters for our purposes. I only brought up that it was a real case to illustrate the possibility that this guy might be willing to break "liberal" admissions guidelines that require him to accept gays, because, well...

Do you know whether they accept self-identified gays?

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Fri May 20, 2011 12:57 am

flcath wrote:Do you know whether they accept self-identified gays?

I have no idea. But I have to imagine, this being Liberty University after all, that they would try to avoid it.

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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby flcath » Fri May 20, 2011 12:58 am

JamMasterJ wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
Gideon Strumpet wrote:Epic reading comprehension fail.

Yes. Yes it is.

lulz

flcath - I would be up for contributing to the app fee if you apply there! And write a great DS about being LGBT

I don't know why this is shocking me so much. I mean, the bio department of this place teaches creationism.

I guess I'm not surprised by Liberty at all; I really am shocked at the ABA.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby Lawquacious » Fri May 20, 2011 12:59 am

BruceWayne wrote:GASP! I mean it's not like people disagree on this! They're a private Christian school and it's within their rights. I'm not sure why people flip out every time Christians express their rights but don't mind when other groups do so. Freedom of speech/religion applies to everyone---not just the groups most popular with fans of Real Time with Bill Mahr.


+1...

On a separate note, regarding the school purportedly telling students it's ok for a lawyer support or encourage civil disobedience in certain contexts (assuming the client wanted to do the civil disobedience, and the role of the lawyer was primarily to advise about legal risks and not push the client in that direction), I don't think that is necessarily an ethical violation per se. Attorneys help shape, guide, and challenge laws--not just pedantically follow them in all situations. There are constitutional cases (e.g. some civil rights cases) that probably wouldn't have been brought if the lawyers involved were too afraid to support the client in breaking unfair laws in order to challenge them in court IMO. This is just my opinion, and although I am a rising 2L, I haven't taken professional responsibility yet, so my position may change.

But really this is an extremely contentious issue (faith and politics generally lol), almost guaranteed to stir up a hornet's nest. But I do respect OP's willingness to bring it up, because he obviously strongly disagrees with it and is exercising his freedom of speech.

I also question exactly what has been encouraged (and whether this is just one professor or is a clear school policy statement). I suspect that perhaps there is a bit of a strawman phenomenon that could be occurring, but really don't know.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri May 20, 2011 1:07 am

Lawquacious wrote:On a separate note, regarding the school purportedly telling students it's ok for a lawyer support or encourage civil disobedience in certain contexts (assuming the client wanted to do the civil disobedience, and the role of the lawyer was primarily to advise about legal risks and not push the client in that direction), I don't think that is necessarily an ethical violation per se. Attorneys help shape, guide, and challenge laws--not just pedantically follow them in all situations.

But there is an ethical duty to pursue reforms to the law from within the legal system. What people are reacting to here is the apparent notion that the school is teaching people not to respect the rule of law.

Lawquacious wrote:There are constitutional cases (e.g. some civil rights cases) that probably wouldn't have been brought if the lawyers involved were too afraid to support the client in breaking unfair laws in order to challenge them in court IMO.

Key difference: In those cases, the client did not flee the country or otherwise attempt to evade the court's final judgment. They risked everything, knowingly, but they also respected the rule of law if the decision went against them. They were engaging in political protest, and their lawyers likely counseled them on that and the potential negative consequences, and also that they would have to accept those consequences if their protest failed. Many were jailed, and they served their sentences, and that was part of the protest.

Fleeing the country with a kid you don't have custody of isn't a form of political protest. It's kidnapping. You don't run to Nicaragua as a form of political protest, you do it to escape legal consequences entirely. Evading the law isn't trying to reform it, it's just undermining it.

Lawquacious wrote:I also question exactly what has been encouraged (and whether this is just one professor or is a clear school policy statement).

I really hope it's just one professor.

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TTH
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby TTH » Fri May 20, 2011 1:09 am

vanwinkle wrote:
Lawquacious wrote:I also question exactly what has been encouraged (and whether this is just one professor or is a clear school policy statement).

I really hope it's just one professor.


I'm pretty sure it the professor in question was the Dean, been a while since I read the article though.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri May 20, 2011 1:10 am

TTH wrote:I'm pretty sure it the professor in question was the Dean, been a while since I read the article though.

I just looked again. The class is taught by two professors, one of whom is the dean.

Okay, so, not just one professor then.

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TTH
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby TTH » Fri May 20, 2011 1:11 am

vanwinkle wrote:
TTH wrote:I'm pretty sure it the professor in question was the Dean, been a while since I read the article though.

I just looked again. The class is taught by two professors, one of whom is the dean.

Okay, so, not just one professor then.


I also love how the Dean had a painting of himself arguing before the USSC hung in a corridor among paintings of all these conservative icons.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby Lawquacious » Fri May 20, 2011 1:17 am

vanwinkle wrote:
Lawquacious wrote:On a separate note, regarding the school purportedly telling students it's ok for a lawyer support or encourage civil disobedience in certain contexts (assuming the client wanted to do the civil disobedience, and the role of the lawyer was primarily to advise about legal risks and not push the client in that direction), I don't think that is necessarily an ethical violation per se. Attorneys help shape, guide, and challenge laws--not just pedantically follow them in all situations.

But there is an ethical duty to pursue reforms to the law from within the legal system. What people are reacting to here is the apparent notion that the school is teaching people not to respect the rule of law.

Lawquacious wrote:There are constitutional cases (e.g. some civil rights cases) that probably wouldn't have been brought if the lawyers involved were too afraid to support the client in breaking unfair laws in order to challenge them in court IMO.

Key difference: In those cases, the client did not flee the country or otherwise attempt to evade the court's final judgment. They risked everything, knowingly, but they also respected the rule of law if the decision went against them. They were engaging in political protest, and their lawyers likely counseled them on that and the potential negative consequences, and also that they would have to accept those consequences if their protest failed. Many were jailed, and they served their sentences, and that was part of the protest.

Fleeing the country with a kid you don't have custody of isn't a form of political protest. It's kidnapping. You don't run to Nicaragua as a form of political protest, you do it to escape legal consequences entirely. Evading the law isn't trying to reform it, it's just undermining it.

Lawquacious wrote:I also question exactly what has been encouraged (and whether this is just one professor or is a clear school policy statement).

I really hope it's just one professor.


I appreciate your feedback and I am generally in agreement with your points. I do think there is some latitude for how the action in question is characterized though. I think there were bona fide political and religious beliefs (and deep convictions of what is right and fair) involved in the case you reference, that could reasonably be considered by some to have compelling weight, rather than it simply being a run-of-the-mill criminal case.

flcath
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby flcath » Fri May 20, 2011 1:19 am

Lawquacious wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:GASP! I mean it's not like people disagree on this! They're a private Christian school and it's within their rights. I'm not sure why people flip out every time Christians express their rights but don't mind when other groups do so. Freedom of speech/religion applies to everyone---not just the groups most popular with fans of Real Time with Bill Mahr.


+1...

On a separate note, regarding the school purportedly telling students it's ok for a lawyer support or encourage civil disobedience in certain contexts (assuming the client wanted to do the civil disobedience, and the role of the lawyer was primarily to advise about legal risks and not push the client in that direction), I don't think that is necessarily an ethical violation per se. Attorneys help shape, guide, and challenge laws--not just pedantically follow them in all situations. There are constitutional cases (e.g. some civil rights cases) that probably wouldn't have been brought if the lawyers involved were too afraid to support the client in breaking unfair laws in order to challenge them in court IMO. This is just my opinion, and although I am a rising 2L, I haven't taken professional responsibility yet, so my position may change.

But really this is an extremely contentious issue (faith and politics generally lol), almost guaranteed to stir up a hornet's nest. But I do respect OP's willingness to bring it up, because he obviously strongly disagrees with it and is exercising his freedom of speech.

I also question exactly what has been encouraged (and whether this is just one professor or is a clear school policy statement). I suspect that perhaps there is a bit of a strawman phenomenon that could be occurring, but really don't know.

I disagree.

I strongly believe in euthanasia in situations where modern law would call it murder or manslaughter. It would still be wrong for me to encourage a fragile old woman or scared daughter who looks to me for counsel to pull the plug on their husband/father, even if I did make the legal consequences clear beforehand.

Lawyers have formal avenues through which they can change the law, including the representation of someone who has committed an act of civil disobedience. Using your law school as a breeding ground for legal practitioners who will--if you've done your job effectively--force a specific law out of existence by abusing their privileged status within the legal system is not one of them.

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bergg007
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby bergg007 » Fri May 20, 2011 1:34 am

I want to preface this statement by saying that even having this question on an exam, with how easily mis-interpreted it is, is deplorable. i also think that the "correct" answer to this question is eqaully deplorable and that Liberty really never whould have been given a ABA accreditation. That said...


The question clearly states that any advice given will be given in context of a friendship and that the lawyer in question has not been retained as legal counsel. The Student is therefore not acting as Lisa Miller's Lawyer. It is also clear from the question that "Lisa needs you counsel on how to think through her legal situation and how to respond as a christian to this difficult problem."
It is clear from this wording that lisa is to be advised of her legal situation I.E. the legal ramifications of her choices and actions. The respondent is then asked to respond as a christian, not as a lawyer, (following whatever dogma the teacher so obviously espouses).
I think it is very clear that liberty has not taught their students to tell people to disobey laws as lawyers but to advise people of the legal ramifications and then tell this person as a friend not as retained legal counsel to "obey God's laws over man's" I think if you read the question closely it is very clear that the student is actin as a friend and as a "christian" and is not expected to give true legal counsel. it is especially telling that the question says the student is to help Lisa "think through... and respond as a Christian"

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Oh... holy sh*t... Liberty Law School actually does this?

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Fri May 20, 2011 1:53 am

bergg007 wrote:I want to preface this statement by saying that even having this question on an exam, with how easily mis-interpreted it is, is deplorable.

Yep. As the article points out, it seems like they did a lousy job painting the line between the professional ethical and normative moral issues. It's clear the question, and the class, were (clumsily) designed to try and pose moral rather than ethical questions. And from the quotes, it sounds like at least some of their students got that distinction.

Still, there are all sorts of sticky issues you run into with this, some of which are actually a little interesting. For one, if you're advising Lisa only as her "friend," then that means the attorney-client privilege does not apply; so you can be called out to disclose anything she said to you. That's seems like a point worth discussing, if only to remind people of the important protections Lisa forfeits by not having you advise her as a lawyer.

They're also skating a scary thin line by casually asking you to "help her think through legal issues" and "advise her as a friend" in the same context. If you give her any legal advice at all, even if you try to somehow partition this from your advice to her "as a friend" and "as a Christian" . . . well, lets just say your lawyer is going to have a lot of fun dancing down that line in front of the ethics committee.




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