Bricks on the Brain

UM Law

Thursday, December 15, 2005

UM Law's EASY Addicts

Is the above image burned into your retinas yet? I know of several students who wait to hear through the grapevine that a grade came out before they go into EASY and check. I know of only 1 student who waits until all the grades are in before checking (and I think he might be full of it).

Then there's the rest of us. I'm actually not as bad as some...I'll light up once in the morning and then again in the afternoon, just to take the edge off. Others have it really bad...they need a hit five or six times a day until that last grade gets posted. And then there's the 1Ls......

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Liberal Law Professors

A good read on today about liberal bias in law school academia that plagues our system:

And Miami? Infested. Big time. But tolerant of politically incorrect views like mine.

Frankly the more serious problem is the garbage articles spewed out by the overabundance of Law Reviews. I'm not even talking about biases here, I'm talking about so many articles so poorly written and edited that the reader can't even discern what the author is saying. Authors just make up words like Jesse Jackson does, thinking readers are fooled into thinking they know what they're talking about by adding the suffixes -ation, -ing, -ance and -ism to every other word and sprinkling in latin phrases: "Marbury v. Madison was the extrication of the exhuberance irreplausibly presenting the Court endeavoring to triangulate, per se, the ramification of the politicization of racism, novation, and baptism."

In other words, the liberal bias in law school is of little consequence because most of the time nobody knows what the hell they're talking about.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

ADD, Law Exams,The Bar, The Public

Regular readers of this blog can no doubt surmise my view on allowing law students more time to finish an exam simply because they claim to have ADD. Some evidence that UM Law follows this practice is in the previous post, and several other lawschools post their policies as such online. The MPRE and Florida Bar web sites do not say so explicitly, but they seem to imply that ADD is grounds for more time on those exams as well.

I know students that claim to have it, both medicated and unmedicated. I don't know any that ask for special accomodations during exams. If they truly do have a challenging disorder and have to work a little harder then everyone else--more power to them. A description of the "disorder" can be found here.

The Bar justifiies requiring (in nearly every state) that applicants receive a JD from an accredited law school by the need to "protect the public" from unqualified hacks. Indeed, we all remember the the Barry fiasco, where despite having undergone rigorous legal training, initially those students weren't even allowed to sit for the bar--supposedly under the auspices of "protecting the public" (Barry U is now provisionally accredited). Apparently passing the bar post facto wouldn't have settled the question. An applicant has to do it the "right way" by attending an accredited Law School and earning that school's stamp of approval. The Bar relies heavily on the law schools for approving applicants to the bar, by "certifying" that the applicant is up to snuff.

So why does it seem that nobody in the legal community is concerned about "protecting the public" from lawyers who by their own admission can't pay attention or focus on the task at hand? Lawyers in Florida are required to take action if a collegue's substance abuse appears to interfere with his ability to service his clients. So what if a collegue with ADD is billing at a market rate, yet taking twice the time to finish a task because of his "disability?" What if he seems to zone out in court?

I don't really have any objections to accomodations being made to those coming to law school merely to study the law. If any person has the time and money to do so, then so be it. But becoming a lawyer is another matter. How can the legal community be doing right by clients by sweeping ADD under the rug?

Clearly ADD should in and of itself not be grounds for deeming a lawyer unfit to practice law. But where that person has asked for and received special accomodations throughout the process of becoming a lawyer, what assurances does the public have?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

De-effeminization of UM Law?

Many seasoned lawyers comment that law school has become too "soft" on students. They point out that professors once not only called on students randomly, but they ridiculed them for incorrect answers. If a student had a panic attack, or better yet started to cry, so much the better.

Today things have changed, and keeping with leftist notions of entitlement and accomodation, law schools bend over backwards to make everyone "comfortable". Professors are encouraged to allow students to "pass" when called on, and to be given advance notice of when they will be called on and what will be asked. The result? Its not uncommon for four or five consecutively called-on students to "pass", or for students given notice they will be "on call" to simply not show up for the session. It makes a mockery of a time honored tradition that also serves as very practical training for communicating in court with impatient and demanding judges.

The Socratic method is constantly written about and discussed in literature directed towards law students, such as the ABA's Student Jouranal and the National Jurist. Although I don't have the cite handy, within the past few years the UM Law Review published a student authored "comment" filled with the usual liberal blather about how law school should treat every student's shortcomings as a "disability" and make special accomodations, i.e. if being called on causes the student undue stress then that student has a learning challenge to be accomodated by the school no less than if that student were blind.

On a slightly different but related issue, I was pleasantly surprised by the email we all received from Assistant Dean Fajer, wherein he politely gives the finger to all the nancy law students whining about the possiblity that laptop and bluebook users will (gasp!) share the same exam rooms. I can just imagine the torture it put him through to read all the lengthy emails from students sobbing about their "learning disabilities" verified by psychologists and insisting that the clickity-clack of a laptop, as opposed to the scratching and shuffling of papers, would doom their law school careers. Now, of course, Dean Fajer couched his sentiment in feigned concern. But coming from him, that response is good enough for me.

I've made my criticisms of law school exams known on this blog, but one thing I do like is their tendancy to test a student's ability to think under time pressure. Do these complaining students think that when they are pressed for time a law office is going to hush-up for them? Will co-workers turn off their laptops and whisper with their clients while the whiner works on that assignment for the senior partner due in two hours?

I suppose the lingering question is whether or not Fajer's stated reasons for denying the request for separate exam rooms (lack of rooms) is legitimate, or if his real reasons are because he feels students ought to tough it out. Interestingly, Professor Fajer is an old-school practioner of the Socratic method, and while he'll stop short of pushing a student to tears, he's not afraid to embarass someone who obviously isn't prepared. I find it hard to believe that it is literally impossible to accomodate the whiners, so I think Fajer just doesn't want to. Good for him.