Most trial lawyers have been defrauded of their education.
On the average it costs more than $100,000 to get through law school. And after four years in undergrad and three more years in law school, the law school graduate doesn’t know enough to pass the Multi-state Bar and has to spend another $5000 or more to prepare for that. Even then many will fail the bar, some more than once.
The bar exam itself is a fraud. The exam does not help the law profession to determine those who will fight for people, who are honest and who have courage—the most fundamental requirements of a lawyer for the people. The bar exam only tests the applicants ability to play their mostly silly word games.
So we have law schools claiming they are educating lawyers when most lawyers, as they drag themselves out of the misery and boredom of those three empty years, are tragically unprepared to do anything useful. I have often said that for an assistant to help me in a trial I would rather have a nurse than most lawyers fresh out of law school.
The nurse has been trained to listen to the patient. Lawyers know little about listening. The nurse chose her profession because she cares about people. Lawyers are not taught to care. They are engorged with the rare niceties of legal gymnastics often taught by ponderous-headed professors who have never looked into the painful eyes of a client and who have never tried a single jury trial for a human being. If a student complains that a case he or she is studying does not render justice, the professor is quick to retort, “We do not teach justice here, Mr. Jones. We teach the law.”
I could teach an eighth-grader in twenty minutes how to brief a case. Yet for all three years in most law schools the casebook method of learning the law is still in. The matriculating young lawyer is as qualified to represent a client with the education he has suffered through as a doctor who has never seen a patient, who has never held a scalpel in his hand and who learns surgery by having read text books about it and becomes skilled in surgery, if ever, after having stacked up piles of corpses who represent his pathetic learning process.
“The trial of a case, in its simplest form, is telling a story jurors can understand. Yet most lawyers are taught little, if anything, about communicating with others.”
The trial of a case, in its simplest form, is telling a story jurors can understand. Yet most lawyers are taught little, if anything, about communicating with others. They are taught to deny their feelings and, at last, have so long shielded themselves against their feelings for that many find it nearly impossible to get in touch with them. Yet justice is a feeling and jurors (as do we all) make their decisions based on their feelings.
Most lawyers know little about classical literature and history, have never written a poem, have never painted a picture, have never stood before an audience and sung a song, have never been permitted to confess their pain or their love, and, in short, have been denied the stuff of personhood. One need not write poetry or paint pictures to be a successful human being. But some intimacy with the arts and the language and its use and with right brain functions of feeling and creativity are essential to the development of the whole person. Little wonder that lawyers, disabled by all of the stifling, mostly useless mental exercises they have suffered, have trouble relating to jurors much less to the rest of mankind.
Is it not a miracle that after having been defrauded of their education at the hands of the entrenched in our law schools that American lawyers haven taken on the fraudulent mindset of their educators who have defrauded them?
- Mending Legal Education from Best Practices for Legal Education
- Part-time Law School Blog
- Public Interest Law Institute
- “Let’s Make a Deal! Dickering Down Your Law School Tuition”