Bad Schools|or Bad Students?

     Here’s an interesting chicken/egg issue for you to ponder: Do good schools produce successful graduates or do good students create successful schools?
     How well would, say, Harvard grads do if the school admitted only kids with C averages and 400 SAT scores?
     That was the sort of thing I was wondering after spotting a completely nonsurprising “investigative” story in the Los Angeles Times that revealed that graduates of unaccredited law schools in California have very low bar passage rates.
     (By the way, is nonsurprising a word? My computer doesn’t think so. This is not surprising.)
     I know the article was investigative because the story was labeled “Times Investigation.” Apparently, they’ve run out of things to investigate that we don’t already know.
     But the issue is interesting. Are strip-mall law schools ripping off students or are dumb students giving one-room law schools a bad name?
     Maybe that’s the wrong question. Maybe we should be asking: When is the appropriate time to crush someone’s dreams?
     After all, the law school people know most of these dumb students are going nowhere, but shouldn’t they be allowed to give dreamers a chance? If nine out of 10, according to the investigation, are dropping out, that means 1 out of 10 is making it through.
     According to the Times, a former mayor of Los Angeles was in that 10 percent. Of course, he didn’t pass the bar exam, but you can’t expect too much from politicians. Still, some of these guys become lawyers.
     Do you close down casinos because the odds are against you?
     Of course not. You let them rake in as much money as they can, build giant hotels and give away free drinks.
     Imagine how popular law schools would be if they offered fine dining and nearly naked dancers.
     Almost everyone would lose, but they wouldn’t care. What happens in law school stays in law school.
     And there would be no question about law schools deceiving their students with false hopes.
     Problem solved.
     Except for the small minority with law study addiction issues. Those people need our help and understanding.
     Practice Makes … What?
     Maybe law school and bar exams are overrated and unnecessary.
     The Providence Journal reported Sunday on a guy who failed the Rhode Island bar exam eight times, but still managed to practice law there for 18 years.
     Unfortunately, there’s no explanation for the repeat bar-taking. He seemed to be doing just fine without bothering to pass the test.
     For some reason, though, the unlicensed lawyer wasn’t being allowed to take the exam a ninth time – which I think is a darn shame. If someone is trying to break a world record and make history, we shouldn’t stand in his way.
     The last paragraph of the Journal article is my favorite: “The Lovett brothers are sons of the flamboyant late King of Workers’ Comp, Raul Lovett. The self-described ‘Mickey Mouse lawyer,’ Raul was known for the trademark neon cartoon favorite on display at his longtime offices on Thomas Street.”
     Imagine how confident you’d feel with the Mickey Mouse lawyer representing you – whether he passed the bar or not.
     Those of you considering imitating this business development trick might want to try some alternative cartoon figure displays.
     She-Hulk and Daredevil are good choices. They’re lawyers in the comic books and they represent strong women and the very-capable disabled.
     But I’d go with Judge Dredd – an avatar who kicks butt in court (or doesn’t need a court at all).
     You’ll inspire confidence.

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