Monday, March 12, 2007

I turned this into a federal judge

I had an assignment from a federal judge in my non-graded one credit class. The assignment that the entire 1L class had to do was to write about a situation in which your integrity was challenged. The purpose was to foster integrity and to create a noble system free from lawyer jokes. Find this assignment ironic and hypocritical, so did I. Here is what I turned in:

My moment of integrity that I will discuss is this very assignment. We have been assigned to challenge ourselves to think of situations of integrity as an integral part of becoming a lawyer. This is a very difficult concept to take seriously, since law school and the profession rewards people for doing just the opposite. Lawyers who are more self-interested, less involved in the community, less interested in truth, and learn how to play the game at the expense of their own knowledge, categorically succeed more than those who don’t. People who are better human beings do worse in law and are constantly encouraged to compromise their morals. I thought it was an ironic choice to talk about disclaiming sophistry for the more noble Socratic pursuit of truth; what we learn and what helps us succeed as lawyers is to become good sophists. You mention how the few bad apples give lawyers such a bad reputation and are the ridicule of countless jokes. The problem isn’t stopping the rotten apples, but changing the system so that the bad apples aren’t constantly rewarded and propelled through the profession. My integrity is telling you that an assignment that most students take as a joke since there is no grade attached will hardly challenge anyone to have more integrity.

I find it even worse that this assignment comes from law school, an institution that has no justification for the hazing process of bottomless work. It is good to work hard for noble enterprises, it is good to test to see how far people can go, but it is horrible to put students in a system that balancing any other value besides law school will hinder their education and result in ridicule of classroom participation. To take away from values such as family, friends, moral enterprises, relaxing, community service and fun is to bereave us of what is most essentially human. The most hypocritical part of law school is in its testing methods. A student who happened to pick up the right testing method does better than a student who is far more knowledgeable about the law. The student who takes a three hour test well, with no instructions on how to take the test, gets six figure salaries in a few years; where the student who has the integrity to pursue a more genuine knowledge of the law will scrounge to get a third of the salary at the public defenders office. Personally, it is hard for me to accept that the system has integrity when the one sentence “Finish your exams” is more valuable to your career then 300 hours worth of studying. Especially when you are not informed on how the tests will be graded. Surely a huge problem such as this is answered by the integrity of the law school program? The Law schools in America answer to this problem is willful blindness and increasing every single thing that is wrong with the system so their US News ranking will increase.

I am constantly amazed that a subject that studies fairness, justice, and integrity has so little of any of the three. I apologize for the bitter rant between studying for my classes, but at least it is honest and has integrity unlike many of the papers in the stack that you are reading right now.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Funny Conversation

Funny Conversation between two law students

Student 1: I hate her she’s so rude to me

Student 2: You should totally kill her

Student 1:But seriously I can’t stand her

Student 2:Just kill her, if you kill her that means you don’t have a soul

Student 1::::perplexed:: And that’s a good thing?

Student 2: Of course, if you don’t have a soul your grades will go up at least 10 pts per class. It may be your best shot to get into the top 10 percent.