This blog is about living the American Dream at the dawn of the new millennium! I am a nameless, mid-20s, bottom 150 Law School Graduate who finds himself marginally attached and awash in a sea of overeducated but underpaid, indentured peers who feel, and were, duped by the promise of a better life through debt and modern chemistry. Let's get to the point. The Law School Industrial Complex is a scam that has destroyed a generation out of greed. Vendettas were once legal and the pursuit of one was seen not only as moral, but necessary. This newly minted lawyer is going to continue the practice. DON'T GO TO LAW SCHOOL YOU MORONS! Ce qui suit est ce qui reste!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Last Century's Lawyers

"America did not exist.  Four centuries of work, bloodshed, loneliness and fear created this land. We built America and the process made us Americans...Not great, but fitted by our very faults for greatness." ~ Britney Spears

So, it was technically America's 234th birthday weekend.  Being as I am, I spent a very contemplative weekend thinking about those revolutionary days versus where the nation finds itself today.  We're facing the longest war in our history, we've got the worst oil spill off of our coasts in our history, we've got one of the worst economic situations in our country's history...the list goes on and on.  Great...let's have a party...what?  Can't afford fireworks?  Not surprising....

Throughout my three years of fleecing law school, it was often drilled into us by every pompous windbag who stood in the well of the lecture hall how important the role of lawyers is to our society.  You have answered a noble calling, they would say.  You are the pursuers of justice, the defenders of liberty, the blah blah blah.  I often found myself wanting to ask back, "If it's so great and so important why the hell aren't you out there?!"
It's odd that somehow we have more lawyers than ever in this country, and yet all of these awful, essentially systemic, regulatory/legislative based problems keep popping up. 

What was the role of the lawyer in all of this?  What should the role of the lawyer be?

Many of my fellow scambloggers focus specifically on the bullshit crime that is the Law School Educational Complex, and let's face it just because the sovereign has not written words on paper declaring that something is a crime does not prevent it from being one in fact, but some of us also attack the legal profession as whole.  Lawyers have been around about as long as two of the other oldest professions, whores and spies, and attacking lawyers as the vile, parasitic, monsters and/or assclowns has been around just as long (the irony of me setting out to join the ranks of these useless assclowns is not lost on me dear readers).

Over the weekend, I found this series of books in a used shop around the corner from my cardboard box in a shaded alley cuz it's summer and in the winter I put it over a warn vent house that struck me for its relevance to 2010.  It's called...

"Vocations: Setting forth the various phases of the mechanic arts, home-making, farming and woodcraft, business, the professions of law, ministry and medicine, public service, literature and journalism, teaching, music, public entertainment and the fine arts--with practical introductions by a corps of associate editors."

Jesus tittyfucking christ, I thought I was a rambler (btw, guess which of the above 'professions/trades' focuses on women folk).  The series was published exactly a century ago and I couldn't wait to crack open the section on the legal profession to see what kind of shit these post-Victorian assholes had to shill.  The articles included had titles such as The Young Lawyer, Lincoln the Lawyer, The Opportunity in the Law, The Lawyer and his Client, Three Classes of Lawyers, True Success in the Law, and The Ideal Lawyer.

So for your educational benefit, and my own personal amusement, I'm pretty much going to be posting shit from this 100 year old book verbatim and see whether you think it's telling of how far we've come.

Let's begin!!!

The legal profession affords in America unusual opportunities for usefulness.  That this has been so in the past, no one acquainted with the history of our institutions can for a moment doubt.  The great achievement of the English-speaking people is the attainment of liberty through law.  It is natural, therefore, that those who have been trained in the law should have borne an important part in that struggle for liberty and in the government which resulted.

Wow, look at the ego on this fucking asshole.  Useful?  An electrician is useful.  My ability to highlight awkwardly put together words on a fucking page serves no practical use whatsoever (although University of Michigan Law Grads have the rare opportunity to put this skill to use in India for less money than a short order cook!--btw fuck the Wolverines--Go Spartans!).  History of our institutions?  You mean institutions like slavery?  There was a winner.  This is ridiculous, I wonder what else this pompous asshole has to say about this "important part in that struggle for liberty."

The whole training of the lawyer leads to the development of judgment.  His early training--I mean his work with books, in the study of legal rules--teaches him patient research and develops both the memory and the reasoning faculties.  He becomes practiced in logic; and yet the use of reasoning faculties in the study of law is very different from their use, say, in metaphysics.  The lawyer's processes of reasoning, his logical conclusions, are being constantly tested by experience.  The facts are running up against him at every point.  Indeed, it is a maxim of the law: "Out of the facts grow the law"; that is, propositions are not considered abstractly, but always with references to facts.

You know where some judgment could have come in fucking handy?  WHEN I WAS CONSIDERING GOING TO LAW SCHOOL IN THE FIRST FUCKING PLACE!!!  METAPHYSICS!?!  Holy fucknuts this is an old book.  Practiced in logic?  Have you read case law?  A judge's decision pretty much comes down to a load of horseshit to jusitfy one of the following: 1) Eh, I don't like the plaintiff/defendant, 2) Eh, I don't like this because of my political ideology, 3) Eh, I don't want to really rock the boat what did some dead asshole before me do? yeah that'll work.  I pretty much don't even have to go any further with deconstructing...let's see what else this assclown has to say.

It is true that at the present time the lawyer does not hold that position with the people that he held seventy-five or indeed fifty years ago; but the reason is not lack of opportunity.  It is this: Instead of holding a position of independence, between the wealthy and the people, prepared to curb the excesses of either, able lawyers have, to a large extent, allowed themselves to become the adjuncts of great corporations and have neglected their obligation to use their powers for the protection of people.

This guy is such a fucking...wait, what?  Uh...nevermind...go on.

We hear much of the "corporation lawyer" and far too little of the "people's lawyer."  The great opportunity of the American bar is and will be to stand again as it did in the past, ready to protect also the interest of the people.  The leading lawyers of the United States have been engaged mainly in supporting the claims of the corporations; often endeavoring to evade or nullify the extremely crude laws by which legislators sought to regulate the power or curb the excesses of corporations.

Ok, this guy clearly must have been some wild-eyed, pinko commie on the fringe.  I bet he didn't go to a Top Law School or have any kind of real success because only a fucking loser who blogs in today's world would have any kind of notion...but I wonder what else this bitter weirdo has to say...

If these problems are to be settled right, this condition can not continue.  Our country is, after all, not a country of dollars, but of ballots.  The immense corporate wealth will necessarily develop a hostility, from which much trouble will come to us unless the excesses of capital are curbed, through the respect for law, as the excesses of democracy were curbed seventy-five years ago.  There will come a revolt of the people against the capitalists unless the aspirations of the people are given some adequate legal expression; and to this end cooperation of the leaders of the bar is essential.

Uh...this is from a hundred years ago?  Pretty much sounds like today's problem...keep going, although I'm assuming your title is "Comrade."

For nearly a generation the leaders of the bar, with few exceptions, have not only failed to take part in any constructive legislation designed to solve, in the interest of the people, our great social, economic and industrial problems, they have failed likewise to oppose legislation prompted by selfish interests.  They have often gone further in disregard of public interest.  They have, at times, advocated as lawyers legislative measures which as citizens they could not approve, and have endeavored to justify themselves by a false analogy.  They have erroneously assumed that the rule of ethics to be applied to a lawyer's advocacy is the same where he acts for private interests against the public as it is in litigation between private individuals.

This confusion of ethical ideas has prevented the bar from taking at the present time the position which it held formerly as a brake upon democracy, and which I believe it must take again before the serious questions now before us can be solved.  Here, consequently, is the great opportunity of the bar.

The next generation must witness a continuing and ever-increasing contest between those who have and those who have not.  The industrial world is in a state of ferment.  The ferment is in the main peaceful, and, to a considerable extent, silent; but there is felt to-day very widely the inconsistency in this condition of political democracy and industrial absolutism.  The people are beginning to doubt whether in the long run democracy and absolutism can coexist in the same community; beginning to doubt whether there is a justification for the great inequalities in the distribution of wealth, for the rapid creation of fortunes, more mysterious than the deeds of Aladdin's lamp.

Well, there's really no point in publishing the other snippets in the usual italic red I reserve for my opponents because I can't really take issue with anything this marvelous mind is saying.  I'm just surprised that it's from a hundred years ago and I'm probably going to hate who the author turns out to be.

The people have begun to think; and they show evidences on all sides of a tendency to act.  Those of you who have not had an opportunity of talking much with laboring men can hardly form a conception of the amount of thinking that they are doing.  With many it is the all-absorbing occupation, the only thing that occupies their mind.  Many of these men, otherwise uneducated, talk about the relation of employer and employee far more intelligently than most of the best educated men in the community.  No shit Sherlock! Oh...I apologize for interrupting, please continue.

The labor question involves for them the whole of life and they must in the course of a comparatively short time realize the power which lies in them.  Many of their leaders are men of signal ability, men who can hold their own in discussion or action with the ablest and best educated men in the community.  The labor movement must necessarily progress; the people's thoughts will take shape in action, and it lies with us, with you to whom in part the future belongs, to say on what lines the action is to be expressed; whether it is to be expressed wisely and temperately or wildly and intemperately; whether it is to be expressed on the lines of evolution or on the lines of revolution.  Nothing can better fit you for taking part in the solution of these problems than the study and preeminently the practice of law.  Those of you who feel drawn to that profession may rest assured that you will find in it an opportunity for usefulness probably unequaled.  There is a call upon the legal profession to do a great work for this country.  

So who in the hell wrote this press release for the Politburo?

Louis D. Brandeis...uh...

Justice Louis D. Brandeis of the Supreme Court and Harvard Law School?!  Holy shit! Let the bashing of Brandeis' politics & legacy begin!


  1. Lawyers serve the power structure. They did the same thing in biblical times, i.e. not much has changed since that time. "The law" was created by the wealthy, land-owning class as a way to further "legitimize" their stranglehold on power. It served as an additional justification - with religion as an existing weapon of the status quo.

    Licensed attorneys will pretty much always put the interests of the state before their client. In the final analysis, a law license comes down to the following: "I have the government's permission to practice law."

    Lawyers have been behind the darkest actions of man for millenia, i.e. mass murders, unjust wars, war crimes such as My Lai, power grabs, assassations of domestic/foreign political leaders, etc. You need someone who is trained in the arts of corporatese and rationalization to dot the I's and cross the T's, after all.

    In the past, law was seen/sold to the masses as "science." However, we all know that this is bullcrap. Law is politics. The judiciary is composed of politicians in black robes who seek to support the status quo. Judicial decisions are MOSTLY political calculations. The rest is "legal gymnastics" based on one's preferences/biases/prejudices.

    Thanks for posting this, Demos.

  2. Post of the year. Great stuff.

  3. Going off what Nando said, I think you'll like this book: