Skip to content

Opt-ed

New Lawyers are Graduating in Their Skivvies

New Lawyers are Graduating in Their Skivvies

The new legal hopefuls might be fully dressed at graduation, but it seems they’re graduating with just barely the required legal basics.

According to an article I recently read, law schools are seriously skimping on teaching actual law to new law students and having it required that the students master the law.

I hope this type of thing doesn’t start happening to medical students…

Charles Round Jr. says he wrote a piece back in 2010 about how law professors, and law schools in general, seemed to be moving towards teaching new law students “about law” vs. requiring them to master the law as it currently sits.

Nine years later, he published another article confirming his suspicions.

In his article, he notes that law schools are marginalizing common law, substituting textbooks that seem to be less effective than generations previously, and not even requiring teaching basics like family law, trusts, evidence, and business law.

That’s a teeny-bit mortifying.

But then you scroll down to the comments and it gets worse.

One man in the comments noted and I quote:

“…junior associates require extensive on the job training since they have no command over the actual law. This results in padded legal bills for which funds come out of shaeholders’ [sic] equity.”

(Yep, there’s a typo. I copied it as it appeared in the comment.)

Padded legal bills – eh?

That explains a lot.

I’m personally not concerned with the shareholders’ interests.

I’m more concerned that as someone who retains lawyers from time-to-time, that’s it’s coming out of mine and your pocketbook.

Violating public trust?

For law schools to be “cranking out” less effective, less educated, and less skilled lawyers today vs. generations ago could be seen as a violation of public trust.

After all, when we hire a lawyer, we’re under the assumption they shouldn’t be able to practice law until the skill has been mastered. That’s why they went to law school to begin with, right? Passing the BAR means they’ve obtained that mastery – yes?

Just being a lawyer implies to the public in general that you’ve mastered the area of law you’ve chosen to specialize in.

According to this article and one man’s comments, this isn’t true.

This means now when screening lawyers we not only have to try to figure out if a lawyer will defend us properly, is trustworthy, and might be affordable all in a 60 minute (or less) consultation — but now we must worry about whether or not the attorneys actually know how to practice law?

And if they don’t — it could be one more reason it costs more at billing time.

The standard of being a lawyer now is not the same as it was in generations of the past. How can newer attorneys graduating in this manner be trusted? It means for the general lay individual, retaining a lawyer just got trickier.

Reference article: https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2019/07/law-school-teaching-going-off-on-ideological-tangents/#disqus_thread

She Told Me to Put My Skirt Down

She Told Me to Put My Skirt Down

The TSA agent was forceful in her command.

Not yet 5am, and wearing a skirt, t-shirt, and flip flops (my go-to outfit for getting through TSA without issue), I had been selected for an isolated partial pat down.

They don’t serve enough coffee for this and I hadn’t had nearly enough yet.

“I have to pat down your ankles,” she said. “Do you still have anything on your ankles?”

Even though it was just a question, I caught her assumption and assertion quickly.

I replied slowly, forming each word deliberately for the benefit of however many cameras were on us, “I never had anything on my ankles and there is nothing now on my ankles.”

Notice how I addressed her question.

In the past, I would have just said, “No.” But there’s a problem with that. Saying “no” and only “no” to the exact question she asked would have been agreeing with her false assumption (and near accusation the way it was worded), that I did at some point have something on my ankles.

It was subtle.

Rather than let her take her sweet time, I simply pulled up my skirt from just below the ankles to the middle of my calves and said, “See!” displaying my very bare naked ankles and feet.

That’s when her voice deepened and the sharp command came, “Ma’am, put your skirt down please!”

It had both the tone of a police officer telling a suspect to put their weapon down and a fed-up stressed out mother scolding her child for the umpteenth time.

The shock of being disrespected when I was clearly trying to help, and it was more than obvious to the cameras that I’m sure captured this at every angle, that my ankles were indeed bare as a baby’s rear end, combined with my lack of caffeine and very poor sleep the night before — accumulated into my lips forming a very silent but clearly formed expletive.

I wanted the cameras to also capture that, but not be found “guilty” of having actually said anything.

Because I didn’t.

I merely formed it with my mouth.

The word was never verbalized.

I dropped my skirt and looked straight ahead, daggers slicing and dicing the empty escalator in front of me. I inherited that look from one of my grandmothers.

The older TSA agent standing about 10 feet away, caught my reaction, seemed to understand a bit better than the much, much younger TSA agent taking her time with my ankles. She laughed a little bit and lightly explained it commonly happens with long flowing skirts like mine.

Knowing this was my “cue” to let it go, I feigned a smiled, forced a short laugh, nodded, and went on about my way.

I didn’t want to end up in a closed back office somewhere facing an agent with latex gloves, all because I felt like arguing about “my rights.”

I grumbled on the way back to the gate.

It’s not about rights. It’s about respect.

For some reason, the TSA agent “servicing” my ankles felt she had absolute authority to speak to me in such a tone. And I knew somewhere in the legalese, these permissions were somehow granted.

Logic took over though as I looked towards the café: Since when had my bare naked ankles become a perceived threat to TSA?

I shaved. I mean, let’s face it, it could have been worse. Right?

I wanted to know more, but first I was forced to purchase an extremely overpriced coffee.

I knew because of the legal course, if I really wanted to, I knew were to start looking for my answers.

As the coffee kicked in though, I realized instead, this situation would be a possibly hilarious and enlightening story for you.

  • One in which I could instead continue to highlight the importance of understanding how to navigate the court systems.
  • One where I could illustrate from personal experience how some in authority (real or perceived) will try to trick you from time-to-time, preying upon your ignorance.

I never had anything on my ankles. To agree even, in kind, would be the wrong thing to do. Responding the correct way was paramount.

If I hadn’t, and for some reason, there was an actual issue beyond what had happened, I can guarantee you the events as told by the TSA agent would have included her belief or “indications” that there was something previously on my ankles, just because of how she asked the question.

That’s just my opinion though.

Nipping would-be false accusers in the bud is easier when you know what you’re looking for.

Get the keys to justice: http://www.keystojustice.com

Evil Encryption Blocks Evidence

Evil Encryption Blocks Evidence

If you know me or have been following along, you’ll know I think that’s complete horse crap.

I’m all for privacy preserving protocols, including verifiable credentials technology, complete with ninja like stuff like zero-knowledge proofs.

I also don’t believe in allowing back doors into fully encrypted products. Doing so sets a precedence that absolutely nothing left remaining in our lives is private.

If I want to be fully spied on, monitored down how much I drool and (allegedly) snore at night, be judged for what “I might do”, and or not be able to fully defend myself against all the alleged stuff “they” said they’ve found or compiled against me, I’ll take up residency in China.

Thanks.

That’s why I had to say something when I saw a lawyer in a YouTube clip going on and on about the woes of not having back doors into certain encrypted software.

His complaint?

That it was preventing him from getting easier access to evidence.

When legal professionals are crying about the lack of back-door encryption, it’s a symptom of political and or illegal financial pressures towards or by the attorney themselves.

Here’s the thing:

There’s already proper protocols to go through to get evidence admitted into the court.

When you’re in litigation, the other side is going to try and block you from getting your hands on this evidence.

There’s also a way to force the court to make the other side actually comply when that happens.

(I was shocked to learned too.)

Do you think the rest of us trying to win a case or prove something get to lobby and pressure others for back-door encryption capability because our discovery requests were ignored or blocked?

Nope. The cries fall on deaf ears.

No, if the lawyer has a valid and properly executed search warrant for specific information or a subpoena based on the ultimate facts listed in the causes of action on the filed pleadings, he or she can have it served through the proper channels.

They know better.

They can still get the information and they know exactly how.

Once you start learning how to do these things yourself, you’ll know exactly how too.

It also lets you see this kind of thing for what it is: fear mongering and posturing.