More on HB 115

It is the opinion of most of our readers that HB 115 is not needed and is actually a special favor to benefit just one or two people who work for Republicans in the General Assembly.

Perhaps, but perhaps not. I will say this though — if they want to do it, I think that is fine. But law school by correspondence or internet should be prohibited, even if they can pass the bar. Law school actually has nothing to do with passing the bar. Hell, you hardly learn the law in law school.

You do, however, learn to think, form arguments, do legal research, and find answers. Though I’ve never experienced it, I’m unconvinced that anyone could do that ably having attended law school via mail order. Oh, and we have too many lawyers in Georgia already. I’ve already purged myself voluntarily from the ranks of active practicing attorneys.

Carry on here. (and, sadly Rugby_fan, I really don’t care whether this bill dies or not. Just not a big deal to me)

10 comments

  1. rugby_fan says:

    Bloody hell Erick.

    Adding to your point about learning law in law school;

    It is worth noting that there seems to be (at least in the minds of legal academics) a correlation between the quality of a law school and the time spent teaching law.

    As the quality increases, time decreases. The trade off is however, that graduates from high caliber institutions make rather mediocre lawyers but excellent scholars. Which is not necessarily a good thing.

  2. Mike Hassinger says:

    Erick, it sounds like you think learning to think and to form arguments; doing legal research and finding answers are the qualifications a good lawyer needs. Fine -I’m all for that. Let’s just determine if people can do those things, and then let them practice law. Law school -and which one you went to- would then become moot. (Is that a law-geek pun?)

    This country has turned out a few good lawyers who didn’t graduate from a law school: Daniel Webster; Abraham Lincoln; Stephen Douglas; John Jay, Patrick Henry, John Marshall, Clarence Darrow and a few others.

    Point is, no law school guarantees lawyers with those skills. And at the end of the day -who cares where they got ’em? Let ’em take the bar, I say. Make it a week long, or two weeks -or a month if you have to. And then let the clients decide which they want: A natural who flew through the bar the first time out, or somebody who needed spoon-fed training in a law school.

    ‘Course, it might mean that legal fees would start to drop…

  3. commonsense says:

    Wasn’t this bill created for the kid who created the anti-Barnes maps?

    Plus, who wants to be represented by someone who went to the “University of Phenox Online” or Liberty University?

    I’ll take that “secular Terrorist lover ” who graduated first at Harvard, thanks.

  4. StevePerkins says:

    I am finding the discussion on both this and the previous related thread to be extremely interesting, especially rugby_fan’s comments at the top of this thread. I suppose my school is therefore absolutely horrible… they put great emphasis on our understanding and applying black letter law, and spend little to no time babbling about left-wing politics. Sigh… I guess I’ll have to work for a living upon graduation rather than be a professional scholar!

    Erick, do you seriously have a legal background? If so, what are you doing these days and what prompted the switch?

  5. rugby_fan says:

    No Steve, not at all.

    You have to remember that “quality” is derived from rankings, which, even Prof. Leiter says are worthless to a certain extent. (I disagree. I think rankings are totally useless and worthless).

    In fact, were you to ask me, I would say the mark of a poor law school is poor practitioners of law.

  6. Erick says:

    Rugby, I agree with you on that. I found in my practice that some of the best lawyers went to lesser known law schools, or went to top notch law schools and avoided all the theory classes in favor of the practical classes.

    Steve, I practiced law for just under six years — corporate transactions, nonprofits, estates, and elections. I always preferred a transactional practice to a litigation practice. I graduated from Mercer Law School.

  7. JRM2016 says:

    This argument could be made about any professional field. That is why for years apprenticeship was how doctors, lawyers and other professionals were trained. So if we want to eliminate academia, let me know. Otherwise, law schools, medical schools and other professional schools should probably keep their doors open. I concede that our northern brethren have largely foresaken practical law courses (Torts) for useless theory (Theory of Fault). Moreover I would contend that the majority of courses outside the traditional First Year Curriculum are not very useful. The Legal Clinic idea that allows students to gain course credit while actually practicing with a 3rd year practice card makes a lot of sense. But regardless of all that HB 115 should be defeated.

  8. memberg says:

    Mike Hassinger:

    First off, it’s very hard to fairly test the more practical aspects of the practice of law. The current Georgia bar exam basically doesn’t even try. If you think that having a monthlong bar exam could ever work, you’re crazy.

    Secondly, the great legal minds you listed would probably make excellent modern-day Supreme Court Justices, but they would probably fail at being a modern-day lawyer.

  9. Bill Simon says:

    Damn, Mike, next thing you’ll be arguing in favor of is that anyone who wants to become a political consultant should just be allowed to practice without graduating from any accredited institution that teaches political consulting………oh……wait….we have that now!

    Nevermind! 😉

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