September 04, 2013

Legally Blonde - Why everyone wants to go to Law School

The cultural myth endures. Andrew Sullivan provides the analysis here. Girl says her law mentor went to law school after being inspired by Legally Blonde. The same happened with a girl in Belfast here. Here's what some of Andrew Sullivan's commenters have said: 
"I agree that students need more practical experience. The ABA is definitely run by people with some old-fashioned thinking, so that organization needs a shake-up. The number of people who go to law school who really shouldn’t is also a problem... The bar exam is just institutionalized hazing and in no way reflects whether someone is qualified to practice law."
A commenter from an earlier Dish post here
"But it’s long been a byword among young lawyers that an extraordinarily high percentage of instruction has been irrelevant to the actual practice of law, unless you take very seriously such chestnuts as the critical importance of learning to “think like a lawyer.” For one thing, an awful lot of law students, in my experience, have been “thinking like a lawyer” since about the third grade, which made them very unpopular children. More importantly, the cult of legal education seems to depend on the perpetuation of what amounts to an intellectual hazing system, where the student’s tolerance for tedious content, arbitrary testing, and self-imposed pressure is presumably preparation for the agonies of being on the low end of the professional totem pole for years."

Another commenter here:
"I have learned that the most important things that an educational institution can offer a student are opportunities – opportunities to take non-traditional courses, to pursue various career and academic options, and to engage in intellectual inquiry."
A note on the fecklessness, "drinks curriculum culture" of university and college campuses here
"Yes, many students will waste those opportunities by playing Madden, as was the case with Elie Mystal. However, it is grossly inequitable to allow the fecklessness of a few – or even of a majority – to impoverish the education of those who desire more than the bare minimum – essentially vocational – education of a two-year law school program."
A commenter on the difference between US and UK legal education:
"It’s ridiculous that the US is the only country that requires a full baccalaureate degree before going to law school. And our baccalaureates are four years, while in Europe, they’re three.

I don’t think we need many 21-year-old lawyers on the streets, at least not without a formal paid apprenticeship or preceptorship, but the average law school graduate has completed seven years of higher education – eight if they did law school at night. That’s a lot of loans."

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