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The secret agenda of law school critics



Upper class white guy with a six-figure psuedo-job from which he can never be fired says: If you think law schools shouldn’t be allowed to charge whatever cost of attendance they want, while requiring the federal government to loan that entire amount in the form of non-dischargeable high interest loans subject to no actuarial controls to anyone law schools choose to admit, then you are (“objectively” as the Marxists used to say) in favor of the following things:

The revival of Jim Crow.

The destruction of both academic freedom and the Rule of Law.

Racism, sexism, and classism.

Cruel but fair comment over at my other place:

To paraphrase Allen Iverson…We’re not even talking about a real law school here. We’re talking Santa Clara. Not Yale. Not Georgetown. Not a good state school. Santa Clara. Santa Clara law school man. Fucking Santa Clara law professor talking like he’s taking on the power structure, like he’s training the next Bayard Rustin over there at his useless diploma mill.

Update: Diamond appears to have locked his blog, so it can no longer be accessed without a password.

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  • Hogan

    We’ve gotta protect our phony baloney jobs, gentlemen! We must do something about this immediately! Immediately! Immediately!

    (Also, “don’t tell honking great lies” now counts as micro-managing.)

  • I’m trying to figure out what’s cruel about the comment, save that it is the only time “Bayard Rustin” and “Stephen Diamond” will ever be seen as phrase in the same sentence.

  • c u n d gulag

    “…like he’s taking on the power structure, like he’s training the next Bayard Rustin…”


    That one line ought to be worthy of the Blogger Hall of Fame, if there ever is one.
    Where should the B-HOF be built?
    Or, should there be two? One Liberal, the other Conservative?

    The Liberal one can be in some Manhattan apartment, near the UN. Or, SF.
    Admittance charge? Tea, or designer, single-barrel bourbon.

    The Conservative one can be in some particularly dingy basement, in a blogger’s Mommies home, in some rural burg.
    Admittance charge? Bullets, Cheeto’s, and cans of Mountain Dew.

    • UberMitch

      But how will the HOF voters deal with inflated stats from the Cheeto-dust era?

  • Western Dave

    “I know it’s important, I honestly do but we’re talking about [legal] practice. We’re talking about[legal] practice man. (laughter from the media crowd) We’re talking about [legal] practice. We’re talking about [legal] practice. We’re not talking about the game. We’re talking about [legal] practice.”

    Iverson was way ahead of the curve on this law school crisis thing.

  • UserGoogol

    I’m entirely willing to support the idea that “useless law schools” are a social good. If everyone could afford to have a lawyer on retainer for pocket change, then that would be a world where the legal system could work more fairly for people. But it’s not particularly sustainable to have a system where the costs of an education are borne by the student but the benefits are borne by society as a whole.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      Just a matter of time before someone starts an outfit to provide legal services using “Jiffy-Lube” as their business model.

      Why not? The guy’s providing “Foreclosures’R’Us” need to branch out.

      • Malaclypse

        Unfortunately, I’d guess that the lawyer surplus will make its way to scam debt collection outfits.

        • Marek

          Already there. Go to a small claims session some time.

    • Anon21

      Yeah, but there’s no social mechanism in place by which all these surplus lawyers could be paid to practice for poor people. I mean, forget student loan debt; you just cannot get a salary to do work like this unless you snag one of a ridiculously small number of entry-level jobs at a legal aid or public defender’s office.

      I do agree that it would not be difficult to put all these lawyers to work if people with power gave a shit about providing legal representation for people with real, acute legal problems.* But they don’t.

      * Whether plausibly available resources would be better spent on lawyers for poor people or simple cash transfers is a different issue.

  • Halloween Jack

    He’s got a pic of the Berlin Wall coming down in his masthead; I figure that’s clue #1 that he sees himself in the heroic mode, regardless of what he’s actually doing.

    • Malaclypse

      I see Tank Man in Tiananmen Square, which is even more self-important.

  • djw

    I’m becoming increasingly convinced that “Stephen Diamond” is a character from a satirical novel about academia. The alternative is simply too horrifying to contemplate.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      When you find it on Amazon, please post a link. It sounds like it’ll be outrageously funny.

    • John

      satirical novel about academia

      Is there any other kind of novel about academia?

      • Hogan

        “Gertrude felt that the rhythms of academic conversation had been neglected by novelists; that whatever you say against novelists, you have to give them credit for that.”

        –Randall Jarrell

  • rm

    I’m just going to take this as an open thread, and bring you the news that Slate, today, in a series on “people who accomplish great things,” is profiling Rob Liefeld.

    I knew you all would want to know.

    • It should be said, however, that the people writing and drawing the comics are *not* Rob Liefeld. And what they’re creating looks absolutely nothing like anything Liefeld ever did.

      I haven’t read the new “Prophet,” but I know people who love it. I *have* read the new “Glory,” and holy fuuuuuuck, is it nothing like Liefeld’s other work…

      • Hogan

        I would say giving up writing and drawing comics is, for Liefeld, a great thing to accomplish.

  • rm

    I think we may have to face up to the growing evidence that we are all characters in a satirical novel.

    • Cody

      Stranger Than Fiction was a fun movie.

      • rm

        Is that you, Narrative Voice?

  • JoyfulA

    I really miss AI!

    • Joseph Slater

      As a Pistons fan, given that the Iverson for Billups trade basically destroyed a once-proud franchise, let me just say that I really, really don’t.

    • rea

      AI will lead to the singularity . . .

  • DanMulligan

    While the good professor is proving himself a fool, must say that SC is no worse than most. Has a darn good legal clinic that has helped a lot of the less fortunate (yes, E. Palo alto is still there), which may be the best justification for its existence.

    The “better” schools are not necessarily so, at least in terms of actual teaching, although admittedly they give a better shot at getting jobs.

    • L2P

      Yes, it’s a perfectly fine regional school that in a normal world would cause no controversy to anyone and educate lawyers that would lead comfortable, upper-middle class lives at small to mid-sized firms throughout the bay area.

      But because of the thousands of lawyers oversupplied in the market because of the hundreds of schools putting out VIRTUALLY IDENTICAL LAWYERS throughout the country, it now educates lawyers that can sell insurance, get realtor’s licenses, work for BARBRI, or be the manager of a gap at a suburban mall.

      • howard

        i have to admit, i still find it surprising that we have such a lawyer surplus in this country given that in my work, we rely more on lawyers than we did 30 years ago.

        but there’s no disputing the information that paul and others have been compiling, but i’m still curious: has anyone looked at anything like the ratio of practicing attorneys to the population?

        in other words, is the issue that demand for legal services hasn’t grown as fast as supply, or is the issue that demand has grown less slowly and supply hasn’t adjusted?

        • Paul Campos

          The rationalization of legal services via technology, outsourcing, and DIY lawyering reduced the percentage of GDP represented by legal services by 32% between 1978 and 2008 (and that number has almost certainly increased since).

          Meanwhile there are twice as many people with law degrees as there were 30 years ago.

          • thank you, paul: fascinating.

    • The Northern California Innocence Project is also based at SCU., but hey, who cares?

  • Jerry Vinokurov

    I love how “make law schools report accurate numbers,” is identified with “deregulate all law school accreditation and abolish tenure.” This make sense because REASONS.

    • Jerry Vinokurov


      In fact, teaching would soon become training. At some point such institutions would cease to be graduate schools in any meaningful sense.

      Yes! That’s the point! Not all institutions need to be pinnacles of legal academia! In fact, it would seem highly ahistorical and misguided to assume that legal training must be a purely academic, rather than a professional undertaking.

      • DocAmazing

        Medical schools realized this a long time ago. You have to teach the theoretical underpinnings, so that practitioners can figure out solutions to problems, and you have to teach some of the history of the profession, to prevent the repetition of classic mistakes, but after that the education is practical–almost an apprenticeship. Those interested in research and in expanding the boundaries of medical knowledge will find their way to academic institutions and (hopefully) away from patient care.

        By the same token, I suspect that a law professor would not be the best first choice to defend one in a lawsuit.

        • The Dark Avenger

          Ever see “Reversal of Fortune”?

          But hey, Daniel Petrocelli never tried a case in court until he was hired for the OJ Simpson civil trial.

      • Hogan

        Butbutbut rule of law! Because, as you say, REASONS.

  • Advokat

    From recent Diamond posts:

    “The proof of this lies in the presence today of law school classes that are half women and half men and with much greater racial and ethnic diversity than in days of Kingsfield.”

    “and to being what our modern era founders felt was an important commitment to being the anti-Stanford, meaning a conscious move away from the white male Kingsfield model of that era.”

    I propose a new drinking game: every time Steven Diamond mentions Kingsfield (i.e. a reference to the bad old days when white males predominated and law school tuition was reasonable), you have to drink a shot of fine single-malt Scotch, and thank Zeus that progressive white male law professors are saving us from the evil days of Kingsfield.

    • rea

      My contracts professor was the technical consultant for the Kingsfield character in the movie. :)

      • Mrs Tilton

        I was told that my US contracts prof was the model for Kingsfield; but then I suppose they say that about most contracts profs. (My guy did not remotely resemble Houseman visually or vocally, but did strike fear into the hearts etc.)

        • Pestilence

          geez, my contracts prof went on to be Prime Minister, and was as genial and amiable as you could get. Clearly this is why I didnt go on to be a lawyer.

        • PSP

          It must have something to do with contracts. My contracts professor would have been almost a contemporary of Kingsfield. His old fashioned, straight up Socratic method resulted in students reduced to tears on occasion. But, he was an extremely nice little old man, well past retirement age, who was horrified every time it happened.

  • Manju

    So, Santa Clara is sorta like the NAACP. Diamond is Rustin. But who’s Campos? WFBuckley or George Wallace?

    • btraven

      Ask his friends at the Cato Institute.

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