Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Law School Must Be Debunked

Anecdotes about law school swim through my head. It’s hard to know where to begin, now that I declare this blog up and running again.

For some reason (and maybe I’ll even try to ascertain that reason by writing this), I’d rather cut to the chase. Let’s put forth the burning question here: why did I call this blog what I did, and what exactly needs to be debunked?

That’s a much more specific question than asking if America has crossed over some line in the sand called “Fascism,” even though I would not be honest if I did not share the first word that popped into my head when posing the question above. After all, I’m old enough to remember America during my youth impliedly promising me it would never cross that line.

Sour grapes? I’ll go as far as to say that’s a valid question. Just remember what the parable is. I ate my grapes by going to and finally finishing law school.

Has the bold experiment in Democracy finally come to a halt, exemplified by the way honest, decent young adults sign up for law school by the droves; make a financial aid pact that essentially turns them into indentured servants; and get genuinely swindled by nothing more than an elaborate bunco operation not designed to teach, but only to skim the top 10% of the class as “winners” of the law school “games”? Are such “games” really determinative of who will function best in the elite society as lawyers? Or are they even designed (like in the Hunger Games) for the amusement of those overseeing it?

And that’s all only the procedural side of things. Then there’s a substantive side that touches upon morality and theories of justice—both topics at best mere jokes in the law school atmosphere I encountered.

When beginning my journey into law back in 2007 (when I started preparing for the LSAT exam), I truly wanted to enter law school with a blank slate, even though that was most likely impossible to do at my age. I very deliberately turned off the lever in my brain that used to unleash my hypersensitivity to injustice and lies.

Sure enough, as the challenge overtook me and my attending lectures demanded that I speak freely and with an opinion, I rediscovered my hypersensitive moral compass and found it remarkably out of whack with the majority of other students (although a few, and only a few, were even more sensitive than I am). That’s not to say that I was not impressed with my not-so-sensitive colleagues, because I was and still am. On the other hand I must express some concern, since not all of those crowned as "winners" of the “games” had what I would consider a stable emotional state of mind ready to run the quirky business of interpreting and enforcing the laws of this country.

I’m still not sure what to make of my own relationship to the law. My mediocrity from the onset as reflected by my performance in the “games” surely would have discouraged someone younger than me who doesn’t know that things can turn around so keep trying. Somehow it also reminded me of those times on my high school golf team when I truly could not hit the ball or putt, despite hours upon hours of practicing.

Moreover, I always sensed with every assignment I undertook that I did fit into the legal world, and I even did pretty well in some classes. My hypersensitivity to a sense of justice should therefore not disqualify me from being a lawyer, as some professors suggested to me along the way, but should fit in like all the other human elements that law has traditionally encompassed.

Why then do I still get the funny feeling that law schools are driven by a pseudo-moral landscape based on strong people ruling over the weak through competition, even if that competition allows a few improper bolo punches. In my prep course to the Bar Exam, one of the professors put it nicely albeit with irony: “if you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying hard enough.” Isn’t this mentality a conqueror’s mentality and against the idea of rights and Democracy as stated in the U.S. Constitution?

When I was young, I took an IQ test administered by a psychologist. I didn’t prepare for it; I didn’t try hard to do my best; and based on the way the test was administered, I certainly didn’t have any opportunity to cheat. IQs, after all, are supposed to measure simply how smart people are—not how much they might want the success that comes from officially having a high IQ. This test by a psychologist is designed by psychologists in such a way that you really can’t improve the results through trying harder than the next person.

Unlike IQs, LSAT scores and law school GPAs are supposed to test how people apply what intelligence they have and how hard their resolve might be. They are designed that way. On the other hand, isn’t the liability of a party and the culpability of a potential criminal also something that is simply supposed to be (like an IQ)? Or do people really have to earn a dismissal of their case? What is our justice system at all if a judgment can be earned instead of determined?

I must indeed express my concern for the “winners.” The overseers have now seeded them into the elite realm of American society.

Even worse, the “losers.” A few of them had what I would consider genuine character and decency, but were, like me, spastics when it comes to playing the “games.”

What needs to be debunked? Why do I care?

I care, because I don’t like to get hurt or see people being hurt by brats empowered by self-appointed gatekeepers.

Behind the ideals of law schools in America are thousands of years of scholarship, but also a bunch of high school dropouts who nonetheless got rich in America and are now setting naïve standards as to the type of super-people they want to join into their corporations.

Law is a serious business and not a reality TV show. We become lawyers to fulfill our own individual sense of justice. We are therefore by definition all welcome into the legal profession, because it must welcome anyone who wants to serve their particular American demographic.

Anyone assuming they can turn you away or tell you there isn’t room for you is corrupted. That’s what must be debunked.

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