Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Losing My Religion

This will be my last term at Thomas Cooley. As soon as they plow the roads here in lovely, gorgeous, stunningly beautiful Lansing, I will be filing the forms, submitting the paperwork, canceling the remaining student loans for next term, etc, in preparation for moving to greener legal pastures. I can’t wait to leave. I’d leave now, today, if I could, but with only six weeks (roughly) remaining until final exams it would be a foolish waste.

A legal education is NOT having the professor read from the textbook, nor is it a place for an egomaniac to show how powerful they are over respective students. I wish the school I attend didn’t have such harsh attendance policies as I’d like to take more time away from school to reflect, learn some law and bypass the Socratic sessions with professors, but alas they need a reason for being and I need a reason for … believing, and it is the latter that is rapidly being lost.

My disillusionment has roots that I find difficult at this moment to clearly articulate, but they stem in part from the lack of depth I find in the curriculum and rote-method of learning. Oh yes, there is “rigor” , but absent a partial lobotomy I am a triangle trying to fit into an oval, and what takes place in class is more akin to a hazing than a useful education.

I lament the loss of apprenticeship and self-education in this profession and I have the ABA to thank for that loss. The notion of “innovation” in today’s ABA law school are more classes, more “workshops” and above all – more money. The end product is akin to the MSCE “Network Engineers” one gets when attempting to hire out of DeVry Technical Institute – a bare minimum product that typically meets an outdated standard wherein the graduate will have to learn useful skills after jumping over the hurdle of the school itself.

Needless to say... it's turning out to be a jaded week for Majqa'.

Posted by Hello


At Tuesday, March 01, 2005 2:19:00 PM, Blogger Evan said...

Remember there's always another way. Texas is currently considering letting Concord Grads sit for the Bar. If Texas and California both allow it the can Arizona and New Mexico be far behind?

At Tuesday, March 01, 2005 2:47:00 PM, Blogger MajQa' said...

I had a chance to go to Concord when it first started in 1998. I deeply, deeply regret taking the "traditional" and likewise expensive road. I need to sit for the California bar regardless, and Cooley's bar pass rate in California is about HALF that of Concord and Taft.

The Internet is bulldozing traditional, expensive, ABA education into the ash heap of history (a good thing). Likewise, services are being "commoditized" by the Wal-Mart's and Costco's of the world. Lawyers are going to go the same way as realtors, mortgage brokers, etc.

Short answer: I am going to take the "alternative" path rather than continue this outdated bullshit hazing ritual called Socratic ABA classroom learning. I wanted to learn law and plumb its depths, but what I get is the textbook re-read to me combined with egomaniacs strutting their stuff.

At Tuesday, March 01, 2005 4:41:00 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Ah, you are not alone.
The profs are just as bad here - reading from the book or doing their best to belittle students via the socratic method.

And dont' get me started on the cost...it's frickin' ridiculous and I am actually ashamed that I bought into (pardon the pun) the notion that it would "pay off in the longrun" to borrow outrageous amounts of cash to fund this venture.

So, yeah, I'm right there with ya.

At Wednesday, March 02, 2005 7:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At some point durning your second year it gets better. IF you have to recite during class, you can mostly choose what case you want to do. For the past 3 terms, the only reciting in any of my classes was a 'choose your case' class. Even then...you could actually not read the case and do fine. I dont know if its all the newer profs at Cooley, but even my first year the profs were not so bad when calling on students.


At Wednesday, March 02, 2005 9:27:00 AM, Blogger MajQa' said...

Thanks for the perspective law brat. I think the lack of sunshine in this place is starting to make me crack.

At Wednesday, March 02, 2005 3:27:00 PM, Blogger E. McPan said...

Sorry to hear things are so "ugh" at Cooley.
I heard that my dean and at least one state supreme court justice are protesting allowing online law school grads from taking our bar.

Since the state supreme court sets the rules or whatever for the bar candidates, I'm curious to see what will happen vis a vis the inevitable separation of powers catfight. Rowr!

At Wednesday, March 02, 2005 7:48:00 PM, Blogger MajQa' said...

It's an interesting battle. You have one group who paid horrific amounts of money to go to an ABA school and/or derive some type of benefit from such a costly system, wish to preserve their investment and defend the monopoly power of the guild, and another group who are fighting to democratize the legal profession and likewise drive costs down.

I can't imagine the ABA losing its monopoly grip, but then again Linux came along and upset Microsoft's plans so perhaps Concord and Taft and others will do the same to the ABA.


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