Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Lawprofs say the darnest thing

Hello JDU, What is the stupidest thing a tenured law pro confused1l9301/26/17
You know, a 4 year law school isn't so stupid. There is som patenttrollnj01/26/17
"You know, a 4 year law school isn't so stupid." Yes it i jonthomas01/27/17
It's only valid if a bachelor of laws is required to practic sjlawyer01/27/17
Stupidest thing a law professor ever said? Easy! "Anyone patenttrollnj01/26/17
What my prawf meant to say, is that law school, as it curren confused1l9301/26/17
There are 64 things that you can do with the JD like sit sta unlearnedhand01/26/17
"I love paying taxes. Without taxes, we wouldn't have things hankstamper01/27/17
"Half of all lawyers graduated in the bottom 50% of their cl jonthomas01/27/17
I heard that one too. Still, it's valid. They also said... qdllc01/27/17
"Still, it's valid." I think it was valid back when my pr jonthomas01/27/17
Before they stopped giving grades, there was an adage at Yal dingbat01/27/17
"Nobody cares about your GPA or class rank after you're in y loblawyer01/27/17
I also couldn't find a firm to work for after law school in sjlawyer01/27/17
Our legal writing professor felt compelled to give a closing 6figuremistake01/27/17
I would say "be nice to the admin" is sound advice whether s hairypalms01/27/17
Fair enough, but I think the presumption was that most of th 6figuremistake01/27/17
Maybe I'm walking down from mount pious, but I don't believe sjlawyer01/27/17
Eh, there's always the possibility I misinterpreted - and th 6figuremistake01/27/17
confused1l93 (Jan 26, 2017 - 7:48 pm)

Hello JDU,

What is the stupidest thing a tenured law prof has ever announced in their class. Here are some of my personal favorites.

"Doing mandatory pro-bono hours are a great way to get practical experience before you enter the real wold"

"Law school should be four years"

GO.

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patenttrollnj (Jan 26, 2017 - 8:06 pm)

You know, a 4 year law school isn't so stupid. There is some merit to that idea, provided the curriculum of law school and the overall way they teach law changes substantially.

However, I do agree that a 4th year of more "Socratic method" garbage would be a total waste of time and money.

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jonthomas (Jan 27, 2017 - 2:37 am)

"You know, a 4 year law school isn't so stupid."

Yes it is. It is! It is! It is! The only way it would make sense to spend 4 years in law school is if everyone got a JD/MBA and then followed Romney's lead and did not practice law.

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sjlawyer (Jan 27, 2017 - 8:24 am)

It's only valid if a bachelor of laws is required to practice instead of, basically, a bachelors and JD.

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patenttrollnj (Jan 26, 2017 - 8:14 pm)

Stupidest thing a law professor ever said? Easy!

"Anyone who can sit for the patent bar should take it. I don't know of any patent lawyer without a job."

I know plenty!

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confused1l93 (Jan 26, 2017 - 8:20 pm)

What my prawf meant to say, is that law school, as it currently stands, should extend four years. That means an extra year of taking "Law and navel-gazing" courses.

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unlearnedhand (Jan 26, 2017 - 10:26 pm)

There are 64 things that you can do with the JD like sit stand or pee.

And if you can't find a job as a lawyer, transfer, graduate from Harvard and be like me.

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hankstamper (Jan 27, 2017 - 1:37 am)

"I love paying taxes. Without taxes, we wouldn't have things like roads and bridges."

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jonthomas (Jan 27, 2017 - 2:35 am)

"Half of all lawyers graduated in the bottom 50% of their class."

He said it after midterms of first-year, and just meant it as a way to talk students who hadn't done well back from the ledge - but even back when I went to law school it was laughably misinformed.

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qdllc (Jan 27, 2017 - 6:45 am)

I heard that one too. Still, it's valid. They also said...

"Nobody cares about your GPA or class rank after you're in your first job."

These both have a ring of truth. Statistically, 90% can't be in the top 10% of the class. Likewise, once you are out practicing, your performance in the field defines your worth, not your class rank or GPA. However, those things might determine how easily you get that first job.

They also said...

"Most good litigators were C-average law students."

This also has merit. Being able to debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin is only useful in cases where you are trying to change the law via innovative arguments (e.g., appellate and supreme court arguments). In ordinary matters, the judges tend to follow established law and case law. Fancy-pants arguments don't carry all that much weight. Hence, the C-average students can become darn good litigators because they are sticking to the basics and only making novel arguments when the fact pattern merits trying to argue for an exception to established law. Being able to quote the Magna Carta isn't going to get your client out of a speeding ticket. ;)

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jonthomas (Jan 27, 2017 - 7:07 am)

"Still, it's valid."

I think it was valid back when my prof went to school. But it has been a long time since everyone in the bottom half of the class could get a law job. I didn't go to a T-14, so definitely some of those students he was trying to console did not actually end up practicing law.

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dingbat (Jan 27, 2017 - 8:35 am)

Before they stopped giving grades, there was an adage at Yale:

A students become professors, B students becomes judges, and C students become partner

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loblawyer (Jan 27, 2017 - 12:11 pm)

"Nobody cares about your GPA or class rank after you're in your first job."

One of the worst parts about this profession, most of the biglaw and many midlaw firms never stop caring.

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sjlawyer (Jan 27, 2017 - 8:26 am)

I also couldn't find a firm to work for after law school in the 1960s (70s...80s), so I took a job at the AG's office!

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6figuremistake (Jan 27, 2017 - 8:28 am)

Our legal writing professor felt compelled to give a closing speech to the class. Her key piece of advice: "Be nice to your legal secretary." This was pretty representative of the way most professors addressed us. They acted like law school was merely a formality before entering into Big Law. Maybe this is true at Harvard but not for us lowly second tier students. Thanks for the sage advice that only applies to maybe 1 out of 10 students. LOL - not only will few students have legal secretaries, many of them (particularly back in 2009) would have been lucky to become legal secretaries.

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hairypalms (Jan 27, 2017 - 8:34 am)

I would say "be nice to the admin" is sound advice whether starting off in a firm or otherwise. Word gets around. No one likes a prima donna.

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6figuremistake (Jan 27, 2017 - 8:45 am)

Fair enough, but I think the presumption was that most of the students would be in a role where they would have their own legal secretaries - or at least share one with another associate or two. I think it shows the bubble these guys/gals live in that they think waltzing into Big Law is just the natural course for law graduates.

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sjlawyer (Jan 27, 2017 - 9:12 am)

Maybe I'm walking down from mount pious, but I don't believe I've worked at a single place that didn't have an administrative assistant. And it is pretty sound advice.

I'm sure a number of folks came out soloing or working for solos (or both), but I'm not sure 1/10 is the right figure.

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6figuremistake (Jan 27, 2017 - 10:28 am)

Eh, there's always the possibility I misinterpreted - and this was about a decade ago, but my larger point was the assumption by the faculty that everyone who graduates (like in the T-14's in the 90's) gets a cookie cutter big law job with an office and a (semi) personal secretary. I think the context in which she made her remarks heavily implied that the person wasn't just a general administrative assistant for the office. (Yes, I agree to treat everyone in the office with respect.) When it comes to a low tier 2 school, I think it's fair to say that only 10% end up in the typical Big Law environment.

Moreover, the comment had sort of a faux-benevolence to it - it came across as "be nice to the 'help'". At least in 2009, a lot of graduates became the "help" when they graduated (legal secretaries, legal assistants, etc.) if they could get a legal or even professional job - not much of a need for administrative staff when you're stacking boxes at the Piggly Wiggly.

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