May 19, 2013

My Favourite Tweet of All Time


I'm quite the critic of what I've come to call 'Law School Think', Law as the Default Career Choice as well as the broader school of thought that is committed to rigid 'anti-employability' third level education (the traditional model) in the face of a fluid and changing world (the new model).

See tweet below to get an idea on my thinking:

What I found out after 5 years of QUB Law School (2006-2011) is that the idea of having a law degree (or any type of degree for that matter) is some sort of zenith is an absolute and utter falsity.

I had been duped. Uni was a myth. Queen's University Belfast had been built up to be an emperor who I found was wearing no clothes.

It was an unqualified sham. And as I've since come to learn, there's a blog especially entitled 'Inside the Law School Scam' and there's a whole flock of blog posts, articles and essays on the sham/scam nature of Law School. You can read a critique on Law School by 'The Lawyer Bubble' author, Stephen J. Harper here.

I came to learn, as Aaron Ferriss put it so succintly in Four Hour Work Week, that university was:
'A fragile collection of socially reinforced illusions.'
That's why I've come to be a massive fan of the Uncollege movement spearheaded by Dale J. Stephens(@DaleJStephens).

A massive fan of the thinking of people like Tony Wagner. A man profile in the New York Times in an op-ed entitled, 'Need a Job? Invent It'.
'WHEN Tony Wagner, the Harvard education specialist, describes his job today, he says he’s “a translator between two hostile tribes” — the education world and the business world, the people who teach our kids and the people who give them jobs. Wagner’s argument in his book “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World” is that our K-12 and college tracks are not consistently “adding the value and teaching the skills that matter most in the marketplace.”'
I'm also a massive fan of the thinking of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke who said to graduates in a recent recent commencement speech at Bard College:
"During your working lives, you will have to reinvent yourselves many times. Success and satisfaction will not come from mastering a fixed body of knowledge but from constant adaptation and creativity in a rapidly changing world. Engaging with and applying new technologies will be a crucial part of that adaptation."
The bottom line on why I'm pissed at Law School is for two reasons:

One, it doesn't teaches students the context or methodology of law practice. What I call skills asymmetry. You can read an essay by US law professor on this exact point here.

Two, it pumps out law students even though the legal economy is cutting jobs. Talk about flunking on economics 1-0-1 of supply and demand.

And there's another reason I'm pissed: because career advisors actually had you think that Magic Circle and big law firms is where the jobs where. Well as I found out in Part 2 of the Legal Services Industry Report from the Law Society of England and Wales, those market competitors make up 2% of the legal market.

'The top 200 UK law firms make up 2.1% of the UK legal market but drive 62% of the turnover in the legal economy.'
No talk of the other career opportunities or options. Just hard headed, dogmatic commitment to what they've always done, even though the world around them is crumbling inwards at a fearsome rate.

For these reasons and many more is why I congratulate Newton Emerson for his wonderfully frank tweet about the nonsensical research of QUB staffers. A school of law committed more to the fanciful notions of Russell Group research excellency than the employability of its students.
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