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!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Brave New World: Law School As Proof of Huxley's Dystopian Nightmare

He laughed at his earlier idealism, his schoolboy vision of a brave new world in which justice would reign and men would be brothers. - taken from Germinal, treize de Les Rougon-Macquart

There are many things they don't tell prospective law students about law school (even before the impact of Great Recession and the disappearance of the job market).  One of my favorite discoveries about the nature of law school, and subsequent legal industry, is that it's a real world example of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.  If  you've read the book, probably as a required reading in pre-law life, then you should have already noticed the parallels.  A couple warrant revisiting here, and now....

Brave New World v. Law School Industrial Complex!

#1 - INESCAPABLE RANKING SYSTEM



**see bottom for photo comment, also a lot of 0L's think Law School will transform them into this
 


In the Brave New World, the future society is stratified based on biological factors (haha Harvard 3L ).  This future society is broken into five different tiers...errr I mean colors...pretty pretty colors (race plays a part in the book as well just like in the real world, HLS 3L LOL).  Alpha, Beta, Gammas, Deltas, and Episilon (all from the Greek).  There is almost no commingling/likeness between say an Alpha with a Gamma.  They are on the far side of the world from each other.  It turns out that the law is a lot like that too. Which would be fine if people didn't profit from lying about it (looking at you law schools).

In an early chapter of Brave New World, Huxley writes a scene where the teacher of a class of Alpha children, who are the best but "even Alphas have been well conditioned."  The Alphas recite the following to get things clear, but each tier  color is told similar things in the US News Rankings society about who they are and how they relate to everyone else.
 
"Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm really awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and the Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able..."  You get the point.

In Law, we obviously have the tier system.  It is inescapable.  You are the tier you get into for life and nothing will ever ever change it in today's world.  Is it possible for a lower tier lawyer to make a living, absolutely not, sure there is!  But will your success ever make up for the taint of your tier?  Nope.

For those lucky few, we also have the low achiever genetic lottery affecting your color status.  This is where you find young, plucky attorneys working at the BigLaw firms.  WTF?!  You ask?  Well if they could get a job at BigLaw going to a toilet like this, then surely I can!!!

Here's the topic that isn't discussed, but is just understood, amongst the ruling class (I know I grew up with them & went to prep school with them).  The BigLaw anomalies are largely explained as the children of a successful lawyer or wealthy family, who couldn't get into one of the higher tiers, but had the "networking" &  "connections" to land a BigLaw job or a great boutique job at the family firm.  In the good old days of white, landed, male aristocrats in Europe, this was called the nobility.  But then eventually a bunch of second, third, and fourth born sons got sick of primogeniture (*see America, established 1776.)



Look, here's the thing I get that the American dream is supposed to be about the elimination of class life and success for everyone but it's just not true.  I prefer real dreams to cultural myths.  Law school is powerful because it combines a couple of different cultural myths into one.  Some people see through it though and seek instead what the Greeks called the good life, see Matthew Crawford's Shop Class as Soul Craft.

#2 - DESPERATE NEED FOR MOOD ALTERING DRUGS

In the Brave New World, everyone is on the drug soma (a mind altering happy-on-demand drug).

In Law School & the Practice of Law you are going to be miserable, and it will destroy what you call your mind.  It turns out that the lay translation for the oft quoted "Thinking like a lawyer" actually means living in the permanent midnight of lifelong depression always dancing on the edge of suicide.  Even though the usage rate of anti-anxiety and anti-depressants is skyrocketing amongst the general population, it's even worse for lawyers.

Even if you go to school and get a job here's a small & incomplete snippet of what you get to look forward to:

a)  Johns Hopkins 1991 study ranked lawyers #1 out of 105 different "professions" for clinical depression
b) 1992 OSHA report found that male lawyers in the US are TWICE as likely to kill themselves versus the general population
c) Other research shows lawyers have "clinical anxiety, hostility and depression" at rates ranging from 8 to 15 times that in the general population.
d) 11% of North Carolina lawyers think about killing themselves at least once a month

You're surprised that the school you want to go to didn't tell you about the website www.lawyerswithdepression.com as research?


Jesus fucknuts LiLo get a grip!!!

Martin Seligman's research has shown 3 main causes of lawyer's miserable lives:

1)  Law encourages a Pessimistic outlook & rewards it (miserable people are inherently better lawyers).

2)  Low decision latitude in high-stress situations (translation = you are put into high pressure work but have very little say or freedom to make choices essentially turning you into a servant to your overlords, debt has accentuated this effect for those who have jobs).

3)  THE MOST IMPORTANT SOURCE OF LAWYER MENTAL ILLNESS? The adversarial, zero-sum orientation of the law, where one side loses and another wins, is inherently destructive, even to the winners (as every study in every field has shown).

Seligman offers some potential solutions based on the psychological data for let's call them "policymakers" which have been totally ignored:

"The zero-sum nature of law has no easy antidote. For better or for worse, the adversarial process, confrontation, maximizing billable hours, and the "ethic" of getting as much as you possibly can for your clients are much too deeply entrenched. More pro bono activity, more mediation, more out-of-court settlements, and "therapeutic jurispudence" are all in the spirit of countering the zero-sum mentality, but I expect these recommendations are not cures, but Band-Aids."

The problem is that BigLaw or even average law firms struggle to make money, let alone the big bucks, with that kind of business model.  Why do you think the dropout rate and turnover of law jobs used to be so high?  The big firms may pay Seligman and his disciples some money to come do a bullshit lecture or seminar, but let's not shit a shitter.  The law model ain't gonna change for a long time (although I'm hoping the recession is a kind of restart button on the insanities of modern life but that's for another post).

Do you really want to sign up for destroying your mind for this so called career?  Did you not read Matthew 16:26, For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

#3 - IF YOU'RE NOT ALREADY IN THE LAW TRIBE, YOU ARE HUXLEY'S SAVAGE & ENTERING THE INSANE "UTOPIA" NOT A GOOD IDEA...SPOILER ALERT, HE HANGED HIMSELF AT THE END

Besides the Alphas thru Epsilons of the soma infused "utopian" society, the only other people really mentioned are the "savages" found on special reservations outside of the cities.  This is how most attorneys view lay people (don't even bother flame commenting or emailing you know it's true).  Exceptions? Sure, to every rule.  But this is the legal field's cultural norm.

And why shouldn't it be?  I have yet to meet a professor or practitioner who isn't at some point, or on a regular basis, infatuated with the smell of their own bullshit.  While we're at it, the inner monologue goes something like this "I went to school for 3 god damn years! I read thick books of horseshit!  I should have a doctorate just like those assholes in the white coats!  I'm unique and special and better than everyone else" (the pissing contest between the pompousness of J.D.'s and M.D.'s and Ph.D.'s can get overwhelming for those of you who just have a bachelor's or master's degree. Tsk tsk they say. Thought about more "education"?).  They encourage a culture of "experts" that infantilizes the rest of society as a way to justify their own existence and legal fees (about 90% of lawsuits are horseshit and other professions/artists make far better planners and regulators than attorneys do so we have to cultivate a mysterious and exclusive air about the law).

In Brave New World's foreword, Huxley writes that at the end of the story, "The Savage is offered only two alternatives, an insane life in Utopia, or the life of a primitive in an Indian village, a life more human in some respects, but in others hardly less queer and abnormal."

Well that's pretty much the human condition (Huxley thought this two choice solution was a false choice and one of the main reasons he later wrote Island).

A lot of my fellow scambloggers out there have gotten vicious comments and criticisms from defenders of the system.  They've been derided, castigated, smeared, threatened, ridiculed, etc.  Know the real reason why?  They're traitors to the profession. The legal version of this guy:


Anyone remember the shitstorm the guy above caused?

Scamblogging about the state of the legal profession is an unheard of pulling back the curtain.  It's the equivalent of saying the Emperor has no clothes (although as Neil Gaiman wrote in Sandman, "the emperor is still an emperor" hence the anonymity).

It annoys the ever living hell out of many Esquires to point out that there's a man behind the curtain, but you readers get to benefit by our experience and insider knowledge rather than find out yourself the hard way:



In closing you should know something important most people don't because Brave New World gets all the props.  Huxley also wrote another book called Island.  The methods and techniques that created the society in Brave New World are the same ones that are applied to the society in Island.  The difference is that in Island, those methods led to harmony and mutual dignity where as in Brave New World they led to dystopian, creepy horror world.

Why did he write Island?  Because Huxley refused to believe that Brave New World was inevitable.  Ultimately, we are the decision makers.  It's our choice.  The world is what we make of it.



The above is the only worthwhile part of that movie. Happy three day weekend!

**Incidentally, Ralph Lauren's real name is Ralph Rueben Lifshitz born to Ashkenazi Jews in the Bronx.  He's a self loathing jew, more common than it really should be, but had a vision of a beautiful WASP world that he never felt he would be part of and recreated it in fashion.  In fact, he perfected it for them and helps perpetuate it.  He makes his real money by selling the fantasy to people like him, those who feel that they will never belong but like to play dress up. Vanity Fair had a great feature on it a couple years ago but I think it only ever appeared online (they knew better than to publish it in the actual magazine).

Mainstreaming Movement

I, and many others, say this same thing without the inflection at the end of the sentence and we're all bitter loons.

But a news anchor does it, with said inflection, and it gets repeated all day.

My favorite version of this story shows a female Pepperdine Law School professor defending law school on the grounds that it worked for her. The reason? She came to the U.S. as an immigrant and without a J.D. she would otherwise, using a derogatory tone, "probably be teaching French" to earn a living (instead of a cushy prof gig).  IMAGINE THE HORROR!!! (nice bitchslap to my fav high school French teacher Mme Pepperdine).

Oh Mme Pepperdine: va t'empaler encule!  Salope!  Get my gist?.

Here's one of the versions Fox showed today:

Students Facing Uncertain Futures

Law School Ads Busted

So what exactly is it that the law schools promise you?  My fellow scambloggers have put out a lot of data but let's do a little film critiquing shall we?  The video is below and what follows is my profanity laced commentary and line by line evaluation of what Fordham Law School Admissions proffers.



I have no bloody idea where Fordham Law School is located or its rank (I hooked up with a Fordham undergrad after a concert once & I think they said they went there for undergrad & it was either in Jersey or Pennsylvania but I was too drunk to give a shit so I won't check now).

Now this video, entitled "Careers After Law School," was made in 2007 and features 4 "interviews" with "different" Fordham law students.  I know the kind of people school who would volunteer to be in an admissions vid for their law school...enough said.  Also, I have no idea what these people are doing now or even care (but if you want to waste your time doing some "Where Are They Now?!" research, then feel free to add it in the comments section).  

They opened themselves up for satire and parody via the following comments by agreeing to appear in the video.  I'm sure they're fine upstanding human beings, but as soon as they consented to being a prop for an endeavor to recruit unsuspecting people into debt with this kind of sugar coated fluff then I have a concern (more so with the law school than anyone in here as they made it & they still have this video up on YouTube).

FINALLY AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, realize that this is the same advertisement that every single law school puts out regardless of their name.  The people featured in it are also always the same and they always make it appear as if their career will be as certain as the position of the Earth and Sun.
----------------------------------------------------
BEGIN TAPE!

Interview 1 - Lezlie Madden, Class of 2006, United States District Court

"The path after clerkshipsssssssssss....." 

[snakelike emphasis on the S not mine watch the vid. Cut to scene of awkward walking to convey a sense of purpose to viewer]

"Can depend kind of on the nature on the clerkship as well certainly."

[Wow, kind of very astute counselor]

"Mine is just a one year clerkship, annnnd [Notice how she grimaces and slightly shakes her head? FBI nonverbal communication experts will tell you that such body language betrays her true thoughts, i.e. letting us know that she has no idea what she's talking about/being disingenuous.] it's kind of open from here."

First, I don't want to get all ad hominid but this girl is all shoulders/shoulder pads.  I instinctively don't trust people whose throat I can't watch as they lie to me.  Her body language screams, "I'm so tightly wound that if I were to break wind every dog in the city will perk up its ears."  While I'm on ad hominid, you're next to the courthouse...go in and change your name. Leslie with a Z? Go fuck yourself.

Interview 2 - Duane L. Loft, Class of 2005, listed as working for Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

"At the beginning of your 2nd year, which I did, you interview with all these law firms and you have callbacks with all the law firms and then you're offered a job as the summer..and at the end of the summer you get your offer for permanent employment. So that was essentially my track...with the exception that I took the year off after graduating to uh clerk for a judge which uh was an amazing experience, an amazing addition to my law school experience."

HOLY FUCKING JESUS!!! PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT?! YOU MEAN LIKE FOREVS?!?! The god damn Chinese emperors never even got that! Law School must be a smart choice! I'll bet a lot of those recently/permanently laid off associates and low ladder partners thought they had jobs for as long as they wanted too.  Pretty sure only Supreme Court Justices get that kind of deal.

As far as Duane goes--Cookie cutter lawyer. White male. Dark, slicked back hair. Suit. Always makes sure to get his own orgasm during sex but leaves you hanging.  Uses a middle initial in his name for no reason.

Once again body language is important. Notice how his eyes are constantly shifting from side to side as he talks.  That indicates "I'm making this shit up as I go along." [*see the movie, The Negotiator - actually the idea about the position of the eyes as a way to determine whether a person was recalling memory is from a largely debunked pseudoscience called Neurolinguistic Programming, NLP for short.  Its teachings though are still used by Frank Luntz and others in politics, but shifty eyes is still considered a tell tale sign of inauthentic speech].

I've got 5 bucks that says the real story is "Made a call to a friend" or "Dad lined me up" both the clerkship and the summer job.  The OCI was merely a formality. Eat shit Duane.

[Cut back to Lezlie]

"I think that my thought process for now is that I will probably go to work for a law firm for a few years and then hopefully go to work for the government maybe either in Washington or as a U.S. Attorney here in New York."

You and the rest of the world.  Nice way to vaguely indicate that it's possible in the same way that an 8 year old wearing a superman cape would to the question, "What would you like to be when you grow up?"  The only difference is that you're in a pantsuit not a cape.

[Cue bad stock, transition music with what I think is New York?]
 
Interview Number 3 - Abraham Salcedo, Class of 2007, Graduates in May

Hey there easy rider! Look at you in your jeans, button down shirt and sweater. I bet you're into public interest law...let's find out!

"I'm initially going to start at a...uh one of the firms in the city uh and uh and probably work there for a few years and trying to incorporate uhm some of the public interest work that I've been doing here with the firm's pro bono program and then you know kinda springboard from there."

Springboard from where?  The top of a tall building to the cold, hard pavement below?  Know how many people are getting "paid" in today's world to do pro bono type work?  Two guys in Atlanta.  Also no state bar, as far as I know, even requires pro bono.  Instead they have pro bono "aspirational" goals (pro bono from the Latin for evil socialism commie type shit).  If the ABA really cared about Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice then pro bono work would be fucking mandatory.  I can't lie to them. I don't have to break confidentiality if I know my client is going to steal a whole lot of fucking money or rape and kill someone.  But forcing me to take on someone's case who can't afford it?  Fuck that shit, we don't care, just don't lie to us saying that you did do some to make yourself look better.  The ABA: Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice.

"You know I definitely still appreciate and enjoy business but I definitely got involved with more public interest type work and I look forward to being involved with that in some aspect."

Too easy to even warrant analyzing. Besides the real point of this interview is to market the law school product to as many potential customers as they can.  God forbid, some bright eyed and bushy tailed save the world type, like I was, thinks they can do so by going into crippling debt to attend law school.  Once again notice the shifty eyes, dead voice and vagueness about general plans after graduating.  Sorry Fordham, I call Shenanigan's on this advertisement named "Careers After Law School."  Everyone I know in a real career can give me specifics.

Interview 4 - Cara E. Greene, Class of 2005, Outten & Golden LLP

"When I came to Law School I wanted to do something good with my degree and I didn't really know what that was." [Pauses and swallows out of shame]

Stop right fucking there!  That's the god damn problem and I'm just as guilty as this chick.  We had no business whatsoever going to law school as a general idea (that's what college is for).  That's one of the reasons why the law school market got supersaturated.

Fordham left this in? They chose not to edit that out? That means that they know the people who would look at this video and consider law school are a bunch of clueless lemmings that they can trap? Fuck me.

"But just by being exposed to people and the different opportunities that were available in law other than corporate law which was not my interest uhm I discovered the field of Employment Law."

Really?  And where the hell are you filming this, the set of The Breakfast Club?

[Cut to classroom, show interviewee talking with  slave drivers Law Professors nodding & seeming to talk about important things, continue this montage with voiceover so as to convey to viewer a sense that the interviewee is learning from a professor about important things, oh look a book! Btw you don't learn from your professors they just test you and brag about that fact. Cool check out the free product placement for Poland Spring!]

"There were great professors here in Employment Law and they were able to point me to different areas and different firms and through that experience I found my firm of Outten Golden which is an employment side, plaintiff's side law firm."

God damn it.

[Cut back to Duane. Why?]

"I really got a sense that Fordham would prepare me well and by kind of uh teaching core legal principles and doctrine and and uhm setting me up well to practice them."

Alright asshole, you and I both know that's a fucking lie. The first day in the real world of legal practice I had an "Oh Shit" moment where I realized that I didn't know anything about real practice.  What's that Jaime from two posts ago?  You say that Law School's just like med school and the first day they hand you the scalpel? Shenanigans.

Don't take my word for it that Duane's lying through his teeth. 

Here's the Dean of Harvard Law School parsing words as only attorneys can while admitting that they don't teach shit.  Amongst other things she says, "the school’s revamped curriculum in 2007, which includes new required courses for first-year students in international law, legislation and regulation, and starting this year after two years of pilot versions, the first year Problem Solving Workshop..." 

It took you 2 years to test drive a Problem Solving Workshop? For reelz? You're the trendsetter for this field?  We're all fucked.

Dean Minnow, wow perfect name, also said that the recent financial crisis has accentuated the need for  "lawyers who have long-term and systemic thinking capacity about risk, regulation, and institutional design."  I don't know what that means but it sounds a lot like someone sitting in a corner office spouting bullshit that's supposed to sound enlightened & go unquestioned just because you went to Harvard.  If lawyers had the potential for long term & systemic thinking capacity they wouldn't have gone into law (especially when it comes to risk & institutional design).

BACK TO TAPE!

[Oh fuck, it's Leslie with a Z to take us out.]

"The things that stand out kind of foremost in my mind are certainly the faculty and alumni at Fordham.  The faculty are very generous with their time, they're very supportive, they're very willing to help you, but not just to help you so that you achieve something which is desirable for the school necessarily but to help you so that you make the right choices for you."

Oh good well no one gets a job through alumni so that's useless. The faculty are supportive you say? Generous with their time? Oh fantastic! Not like that should be a mandatory part of their god damn job description.  I personally was amazed that the professors would be so kind as to not spit in my face during class...who knew?

Speaking of supportive and generous, did the faculty at Fordham and other schools take pay cuts as the writing on the wall became apparent about the job market?  Noticing their students' suffering, they all obviously held meetings and pushed their school's career placement/services/bullshit office to do something with their days rather than make videos like this one?  Did they advocate on behalf of students for the schools to reconsider their models or business plan?  NO?! For reelz?!  Because that would have been really helpful and supportive of them.

Leslie with a Z actually redeems herself in the end by saying:

MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!

Here endeth the lesson.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

*Sideshow, Harvard Law 3L Ruh-Roh

We interrupt our regularly scheduled scambusting blogging to bring you this latest piece of enlightened thinking from a member of quite possibly the most austere, prestigious institution on planet Earth---Harvard Law School, the same people that brought us the casebook teaching method that is currently strangling legal education across the country. And I quote:




This gal, yeah at first I thought it was a guy but no...it's a lady sigh, is a 3L. Meaning two things. First, she had 3 years of "learning" at HLS to help her formulate and arrive at this argument. Second, she's about to graduate which means that she can start to really make an impact on the world! Click the link to read the whole think from Above the Law, which has also been picked up by Huffington Post and other members of the left leaning blogosphere.  Let the internet rage/hilarity ensue!

My favorite part is that the HLS 3L who wrote this apparently has a clerkship lined up (that I and many others could probably never ever have gotten). Congrats!

*P.S. Stay tuned for more scambusting and HLS admin's inevitable scrambling and gutless press release along the lines of "While we discourage the law student's expressed sentiments and the choice of words, we foster an environment that protect the cherished rights of freedom of speech and encourage lively debates on sensitive topics at our University."

-------------------------------
!!!Update!!!

HLS Dean Minnow, as in a type of schooling fish that follows the crowd like a what? oh that's right the lemmings, released her statement and I pretty much called it spot on when I first posted this (but that wasn't hard):

"This sad and unfortunate incident prompts both reflection and reassertion of important community principles and ideals. We seek to encourage freedom of expression, but freedom of speech should be accompanied by responsibility. This is a community dedicated to intellectual pursuit and social justice. The circulation of one student's comment does not reflect the views of the school or the overwhelming majority of the members of this community."

My favoritest thing ever is that the vagina endowed 3L that wrote the original email is on the HLS Law Review.  According to the value system of law culture, that means that she is pretty much in the ruling elite. It's the law school equivalent of landing on the moon, except that the people who have been on the moon actually did something useful. Also I propose a sociological experiment for her (see below):

Prospective Law Students: YOU ARE NOT RUDY!!!!

Hello 0L or Zero Lemming as I like to call you,

As you know by your obsessive calendaring, it's the last week of April and that means you should be getting your Law School ransom notes acceptance letters soon if you haven't already.

The opening salvo of my blog has been fairly accurate harsh and cynical, and hopefully humorous, but for good reason. Everyone who engages in an argument can/does/should exaggerate in certain ways.  But, I am in no way a negative Nelly by nature (alliteration quadruple word score).

I am was a dreamer. And let's get one thing clear, even for those of us in tremendous debt and still unemployed, things could be a hell of a lot worse (see below):



The purpose of this and other law school scam busting blogs is not to kill your dreams.  Do not make the fatal mistake of conflating your life dreams with attending law school.  The two are diametrically opposed for 99.99% of the 0L population.


In other words, YOU ARE NOT RUDY:




Go check out the list of REASONS NOT TO GO TO LAW SCHOOL at Barely Legal (a blog I unfortunately didn't discover until I was a 3L at which point I said in a small and broken prayer of a voice, "Well...Fuck").

I was a combination of several of them [ Numbers 7  / 10  / 6  / 1  are particularly accurate & I still feel the scar of No. 7 ]  like many 0L's now contemplating signing up to attend law school.  The difference between when they first made that list & now is that you can add FINANCIAL SUICIDE to the list.

What I have learned, from bitter experience, is that Law School is actually a gigantic obstacle to accomplishing your true dreams.  It's not a vehicle to get you there.  In fact, like me and many others, you'll probably find that you won't even be able to get back onto the path/career/job that you were on before attending law school. 



IT'S NOT TOO LATE FOR YOU! SAVE YOURSELF!
RUN AWAY!

I have friends who have graduated from every Tier, including the hallowed T-14s.  Every single one that I have talked to feels the same way that I do (even those who have legal jobs).  At best, they feel stuck.

At worst, they feel that their assholes are sore from repeated unconsented to raping more lost than ever before.  Many of us have to resort to a daily regimen of anti-depressants/anti-anxiety/marijuana/copious amounts of cheap booze/all of the above just to get by on a daily basis (but that's for another post).

As I said earlier you're not Rudy when it comes to Law School,

YOUR NAME IS TOBY!




The above clip is also what you should emotionally prepare yourself for should you make the disastrous decision to attend Law School & how I feel about the experience.  Also, if you have a problem with me using Roots as a metaphor for attending spiritual prison Law School -



*Sidenote, If you want to get a great insight on being a new, black J.D. in today's world check out:

I won't go so far as to call myself a   rape victim by having "earned" the J.D. degree, see below.



It helped make me who I am today (whoever the hell that is).  I do think going to law school was a colossal mistake that I could have avoided and will suffer the consequences for a long time coming.  It probably could have been avoided if I had a single solitary person or source make me reconsider.  BUT LITERALLY NOBODY I talked to about it or whose opinion I valued said anything but "Great choice!"

My life, such as it is now, is an ongoing attempt to survive snatch victory from the jaws of defeat/learn from failure/hold on hope/find strength in pain. Don't make my mistake. If you've read any of the scambusting blogs on my sidebar or any of the others I've missed, you don't get an excuse. You have probably chosen to fuck your life.

But right now, YOU still have the chance to take the time and money you would waste spend & live an incredible, extraordinary, remarkable, memorable, consequential life for at least 3 years or more.  You won't limit your options by attending law school.

There is one sentence from a puff piece article featured in the infamous US News & World Report Ranking Issue, several years back when I decided to go to law school, that will haunt me forever:

"The law degree is the Swiss army knife of graduate degrees. You can do anything with it." 

No it's not.  I found out that when you get a law degree it traps you in the law.  It doesn't work like a Swiss army knife and let you do whatever you want.  Lay people don't get it and the other lawyers are just as miserable as you trying to scratch out a living with all they have (all they have being that crappy Esq. at the end of your name).  If you get a job in today's world, probably at McDonald's or Burger King if you're lucky, no one will look to you for anything other than your legal two cents.

There are a lot of people who would be fine with that kind of pigeonholing if their earning potential made up for it.  But what about when you're making less money than everyone else?  Not that money is the only thing that matters, but it makes a hell of a difference when the loan sharks come knocking.  It makes a hell of a difference when you decide to try and start your own business, start a family, or do something really crazy like try to sustain a romantic relationship with your new found shackles. 

If you really feel like you must to go to law school right now...take a breath and think about it one last long hard time...Unfortunately, Law Schools abound and aren't going anywhere.  If you do finally decide to go, they'll be there ready and willing to take everything you have/rob you blind accept you with open arms.





But my advice is to go live your real dreams, don't take them out back and pull an Old Yeller on them...and wear sunscreenIf reading anything on this or the other pages helps prevent someone from making the mistake I did, it was more than worth it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Law School State of Mind

Quick Update! YouTube is turning into a gold mine for me in terms of law school post material. If the scam bloggers were to put all of their arguments into pop music form, Would that get through to more prospective law school students?



*Sidenote, above posting is proof that white guys really can't rap & the cute girl saves his sorry ass musically. 

Stay Tuned Fellow Lemmings!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Commenters on Pre-Law Websites

Over the weekend, I discovered the treasure trove of 'tarded trolls, mmn alliteration, that frequent websites like the prestiggggeeeeeous, emphasis added for dramatic effect, Law School Discussion (btw prestige originates from the Latin meaning conjuror's trick or illusion/blind, i.e. you're an idiot).

I just pray to whatever gods there may be, doubtful at this juncture, that whoever came up with that site didn't/isn't making money off of it (If they are, I hope you rot in the worst parts of Dante's hell, I tried to find a picture of someone getting raped by a wild boar that had the knife dildo from the movie Seven attached to it, but surprisingly that picture wasn't out there). Because as I skimmed through the topics, threads, and postings on it I realized that it's Exhibit A in the cultural debate about whether the internet is making people stupid.

I remember when I started law school back in the days of hope and promise, that we had a similar message board where people could post tips, ask questions about serious topics, seek advice from their peers, or even, Oh joy!, have early debates about some legal issues.  You know what happened to the really active, argumentative, inquisitive people on that message board?  They either failed out of school in the first year, important distinction rather than the wise choice of purposefully escaping/quitting!, or limped along as the worst "scholars" in our class barely being able to pass let alone the bar exam (how do you think that changed their job prospects once they did manage to graduate & went to an interview with their more charismatic/amiable/better at interviewing/law review peers?)

This is what it feels like to have a discussion with you people. Oh yeah I mean to use "you people," if you have a problem with that phraseology, STFU.



The above is how bat shit crazy you come across to most of the bloggers in this arena. I mean there's nothing intrinsically wrong with going through life like that. In fact, it may be commendable on a number of different levels. The problem for you Plucky 0L, is that the end result is really this:



Maybe you don't really get exactly how much $100,000 dollars plus the interest really is right now because it's beyond your ability to comprehend. Or maybe you're saying to yourself, "Hey the baby boomers are going to have to retire eventually, so jobs will eventually pop up." Valid point future esquire!

The problem with that? Besides, Legal Zoom & Former British Commonwealth Countries of the 2nd and 3rd world? Thanks to our intrepid ABA and State bar leadership, who continue to pound practitioners in this country with enlightened decisions like this one while opening the opportunity floodgates overseas, when the Baby Boomer Lawyers retire---their jobs are gone like the Dodo Bird & Passenger Pigeon (alliteration again! Suck it trebek!).


I think it's a reasonable request on my part that if you insist on the kind of stubbornness that would make a donkey blush in embarrassment, in light of the overwhelming quantitative and qualitative evidence out there, that you swear this oath before you take a "lawyer's pledge:"




I never really got why we used 1L, 2L, 3L as an abbreviation when it should have been 1Y, 2Y, 3Y (as in year) but you have all helped me understand.

L = Lemming.

But by all means, continue to ignore the cries of agony from the bottom of the cliff from those who already took the plunge. Oh! Mon pauvre con!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Youtube - The Decimation Will Be Televised

I wasn't really planning on posting anything else because my heart can't take it & I have movies to watch for the 100th time, but I found video evidence of what's wrong with the people who go to law school and how we all may have gotten to this point.



Even though I have the time to do it, I don't feel like transcribing this but someone should because it's priceless. If anyone who has been through law school wants to have a good laugh, just listen to the opening gambit.

"When you dive into the law school material, you're getting right in there as if you're a lawyer. It's kind of like as if you were a med student and the first thing you did is you walk into the surgery room and the surgeon looked at you and said 'Hand me a scalpel' Just like that! you're gonna be diving right into the material and the meat of what it is to be a lawyer and there's no holds barred."

No asshole, not at all, what you "dive right into" is called reading. It has no proximate relationship to lawyering whatsoever. As I learned when I actually started doing it while in law school (at which point I stopped reading the casebooks, knowing if I ever got called on, gasp!, I'd just wing it and no one would give a shit). Also, I have a lot of friends and family that were med students, most of whom are just as miserable and debt ridden as the law grads, and do you have any idea how long it takes before they get near a scalpel? They play with corpses for a while, for no other real reason than to weed out the people who can't physically tolerate cutting people open and playing with the insides.




The best part of Jaime the Jackass is to compare how he looks above in his first bright eyed and bushy tailed video waxing fantastic about Law School to how he looks today:




NOW, just glancing at the preview pictures of both these videos reveal that he's clearly unhinged. I'm going to guess that he was in his first or second semester of his 1L year in the first video. So now he's probably in his 2L slump (A time in my life where I was going through a handle/1.75 liter bottle of alcohol every 3 days just to cope). Notice the deadening of the eyes/window to the soul, the lack of excitement in his voice. For just the low, low cost of 3 years of your youth & over a $100K you too can have your soul torn asunder and hastily patched together with cheap Chinese scotch tape!

You also can see that he's given up the attempt to appear groomed and has gone for the Lost cast member look.

The other thing?

His YouTube About Me:

Hello! My name is Jaime. I am a freedom-loving Christian who is fighting the New World Order that is coming to pass as predicted in the Bible.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Jesus bless you,

-J


If that kind of coded language doesn't terrify you, I don't know what will. And to think 0L's, you could sign up to spend the next 3 years of your life in the same room as this guy 5 days a week!

What I predict his YouTube videos will look like by his 3L year:

Going to Law School & Magical Thinking, Canto I

My blog's title is actually taken from a book that you haven't read, I'll even forgive the fact that the author teaches at Harvard which is a whole nother topic, largely about perception a la John Bergen's Ways of Seeing. The way we perceive things becomes important because it affects our understanding and expectation. It is the current perception paradigm about the legal profession that keeps the truth locked in a trunk in the corner of a basement with a gagball in its mouth.

Magical thinking, according to Wikipedia, is "used to describe causal reasoning that accords unwarranted weight to correlation or coincidence."  It's usually applied to situations where science should provide the answer rather than quackery, i.e. Iranian clerics saying that earthquakes are caused by women exposing their skin with revealing clothing, but I am using the term in this case to show how perception bias can overwhelm rational thought.

Enter plucky LSAT taker. As has been widely reported, there was a record number of LSAT takers the last time it was offered. Now having grown up amongst the wealthy and connected, and I mean Fortune 500 wealthy, I think that the cohort in the number of LSAT takers who have guaranteed decent jobs once they finish law school because of their family/friends must be dwindling (because most of the new Aristocracy has already sent their kids off to law school). So that leaves the poor saps that still think the American Dream is alive and well, when all evidence points to the contrary.  The American dream goes something like this, education = job = higher social class than I have now (otherwise Kaplan University wouldn't take the chance to publish those awful tv commercials that make me want to go into a clock tower with a sniper rifle out of a sense of mercy).  To me, that is magical thinking. The problem is that Magical thinking is powerful...very powerful. But don't just apply it to our cultural myth, because it also works on a micro level, especially with the aspiring 0L.

0L's, if you do decide to employ magical thinking and go to law school despite the overwhelming evidence that some of the bloggers out there have sussed out, really live it up. Take that loan money and eat, drink, be merry. Tell hot girls at bars that you're in law school as a pickup line (fyi, your standards about what is "hot" or "attractive" both physically and personality wise will nosedive after spending 3 years in law school). Revel in waking up late in the day and having your "work day" be 1 to 2 hours of a living fossil babble on about something that makes absolutely no difference in your life, their life, or the world. Watch the Paper Chase and wish that you could still smoke during class as the Ktracts Prof talks about consideration. In fact, just forget about going to class, working hard, doing extracurriculars, or worrying about your class rank. None of it will make a difference, because if you want a vision of the future imagine a designer boot stomping on a human face...forever (and then twittering about it).


COMING UP! - Profiles in Idiocy: Real Conversations I've had with 0Ls/Laymen about Law School.

*Don't forget to vote in the poll.
**Fellow Feminists, Sexual Assault Can Be Funny

Quetzacotl Has Purdy Feathers

As the Oompa Loompas* would ask, "What would you do..."

What would you do if you have a lot of spare time, you have a genuinely unique point of view that comes from a lack of medication, and your generation can only communicate with text via transported light?

START A BLOG!!!!

This may be a new project that I will visit regularly to comment, enlighten, and belittle idiots regarding my favorite subjects and really important issues of our time, which you're not going to find on television. On the other hand, I may not do anything past this single post. Let's find out together shall we?



*BTW, in the very early editions of Ronald Dahl's classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Oompa Loompas were originally depicted as Pygmies from Central Africa cuz white westerners think pygmies are adorable while some others, i.e. Rebel groups in the Congo, think that if you hunt them down, kill them, and eat their flesh that it will make you bulletproof. So just remember, things could be worse...you could be a pygmie.