How to be a lawyer.
My post “10 things I didn’t learn in law school” led to a bunch of comments here, and some links from other blogs. Most of the commenters and other bloggers got it. One person, in the comments at the Marquette law school blog apparently didn’t.
Now he’s back at it and writes this [scroll to comment 11]:
However, I strongly agree with Chris King’s sense of the proper relationship between legal education and the practice of law. We don’t want law school to be lawyer-training school. When we cave in to demands of that sort from the ABA and assorted study commissions, we actually invite alienation among law students and lawyers. Legal education should appreciate the depth of the legal discourse and explore its rich complexities. It should operate on a graduate-school level and graduate people truly learned in the law.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Laugh at the arrogance and short-sightedness or cry for the students at Marquette. Apparently, we don’t want law school to be lawyer-training. We want it to be law professor training school, because this comment gives the impression that that’s all they know. I think he’s a bit defensive, but I could be wrong.
How teaching students to be lawyers will “invite alienation between law students and lawyers” is beyond me [I actually have a hard time understanding what it even means].
As Scott asks, what the fark does “legal education should appreciate the depth of legal discourse” mean. I don’t know. Sounds like a whole lot of nothing.
You know, this is exactly what I was “complaining” about in my post. To the professor who posted that comment: this isn’t an either/or scenario. There are very few people who are as privileged as you are to teach at a law school. The rest of us grunts have to actually, you know, work for our living. So why can’t we get thrown a bone or two here and there? That’s all I’m asking. Or are you telling me that when I show up in court for the first time, and am asked a question by a judge, it’ll be okay if I spend 20 minutes dissecting the question and regaling the judge with the “rich complexities” of the law?
Will the judge give me a pass if I didn’t know that I should stand while objecting because I will be able to give an oral dissertation on the real meaning behind the dormant commerce clause?
Will I get a pass when I won’t know how to pick appropriate jurors because I will enthrall them with anecdotes from the Federalist Papers?
Will it be okay? If I get fired from my menial day job, can I come work with you?
Bennett says it best:
I propose a new motto for Marquette: If you want to practice law, go somewhere else.
Maybe someone could even translate it into Latin.
And because I’m just so damn charitable, here’s a video: