Important guide for BDS/Palestine activists. Most of it is focused on issues around Palestinian activism, but there is some good stuff in here for any activists on a college campus.
It makes what in my view is an extremely unconvincing case for your enterprise. Your belief that there’s anything unusual or unique about what you’re proposing to do is mistaken. What you are proposing to do is to grant law degrees at a high price to people who in most cases will not be able to obtain employment, legal or otherwise, that justifies the cost of their investment in those degrees, while paying yourself a high salary out of the money these people pay for the privilege of attending a seriously overpriced institution, that will leave them worse off than they were prior to their enrollment.
Naturally you find this evaluation of your conduct outrageous and reprehensible, but “it is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” (Upton Sinclair)."
We learned something new today. Er.
If you look hard enough at most states, I’m pretty sure they all have laws on the books that are illegal but were never removed for various reasons.
Effective immediately, Larry Sager will resign as dean of the University of Texas Law School. He confirmed to the Texas Tribune this afternoon that he signed a letter of resignation.
"The fact of the matter is, and there’s no two ways about this fact, that I resigned now because I was asked to by the president of the university," he said.
Sager sent out a letter to faculty earlier this afternoon describing his efforts to keep top-notch professors at the school.
He announced over the summer that after the 2012 school year he would step down as dean of the state’s largest law school.
What the hell? Anybody know any of the background on this?
Well, I have to ask the obvious: Do you want to be a lawyer?? Law school is three years of your life and costs well over $100,000. A good chunk of that is unsubsidized loans (e.g., that’s very bad). If you’re going to law school to satisfy your inner enviro-idealist, how will you pay that back?
Besides those logistics, are you prepared to compete for a job with other lawyers? Lawyers are a vicious and tenacious lot. And the job market is saturated with out of work, hungry lawyers. Will your resume hold up in the market?
I know a lot of law graduates who’ve been in the market for over two years. TWO YEARS looking to become a lawyer. Many have barred in multiple states - an additional financial and time burden outside of tuition and the three years dedicated.
They’re getting by in the non-profits, but, man, they are really struggling to make ends meet. So, the market is flush with both laid off, careerist-lawyers and fresh-out graduates. Not to mention a fresh crop of grads will be released next spring. There are too few jobs out there and the trends don’t look too good.
Granted, environmental law is a niche. There aren’t a lot of environmental lawyers out there as it’s a specialty field. The more narrow the field, the less unemployment.
Still, the state of the industry doesn’t look good.
By the same token, law schools are scrambling to justify the high costs of attendance in light a terrible job market. And there’s been a plethora of bad press questioning the value of a law degree.
In fact, students are suing law schools to get their tuition money back. One student went to the media shortly after he asked for and was denied that his tuition money be returned. He wrote a letter to the dean of Boston College and the media picked up his story. Hell broke loose.
With that, I point to a solid piece by Paul Campos that argues against getting a law degree using statistics. Campos is a contributor to “Lawyers, Gun$, and Money.” Here’s his abridged argument:
POINT ONE: …Contrary to the standard narrative within legal academia, which assumes an increasing or at least steady demand for legal services relative to overall economic growth, the demand for legal services within the American economy has been declining, relative to the rest of the economy, for the past two decades….
POINT TWO: The rate at which American law schools are producing aspiring lawyers far outstrips the demand for new lawyers, and this has been the case for many years now. …
POINT THREE: The cost of law school is, in economic terms, arbitrary….In other words, over the past quarter century, the relative change in the cost of acquiring a law degree has borne no rational relationship to the relative change in the value of a law degree.
POINT FOUR: There is, to this point, almost no sign that this arbitrary relationship between the change in the cost of acquiring law degrees and the change in their value is going to move toward a more orthodox economic relationship, in which the decreases in value trigger decreases in price. Law schools continue to raise tuition at far faster than the rate of inflation…
POINT FIVE: These otherwise unsustainable trends are being maintained by a combination of unlimited federal educational loan money and, to a lesser extent, poor information regarding the actual relationship between the costs and benefits of acquiring a law degree….
Campos unredacted piece is well worth your time and I highly recommend you give it a go; even if you’re not considering a JD…
At some point in the next two years, I’ll have to decide between going for a JD or a PhD. Both seem equally interesting and with equally poor career choices.
That’s what it looks like, given a newly enacted state statute. Until recently, Texas Penal Code § 31.03 provided that theft is “a state jail felony if,” among other things, “the value of the property stolen is less than $20,000 and the property stolen is insulated or noninsulated tubing, rods, water gate stems, wire, or cable that consists of at least 50 percent: (i) aluminum; (ii) bronze; or (iii) copper.” But the new statute deletes the text from “insulated” to “50 percent,” so that the new version now makes theft a felony when “the value of the property stolen is less than $20,000 and the property stolen is … (i) aluminum; (ii) bronze; (iii) copper; or (iv) brass.”
According to Wikipedia, most pre-1982 pennies would qualify, being copper, bronze, or brass, but probably more recent pennies would as well, if “brass” is just read as being a “metal alloy consisting mainly of copper and zinc.” In any case, an aluminum can would pretty clearly qualify — and, again, we’re talking about the theft being treated as a felony. And, of course, that means you’ll lose your right to keep and bear arms as well as facing a longer sentence. Or am I missing something? Thanks to Charles Blevins for the pointer.
Oh Texas, thank you for giving me something laugh about today. This law was obviously intended to stop people from stealing copper, but was worded so poorly that it’s going to send some poor sap to jail for collecting coke cans.
18 Signs That Life In U.S. Public Schools Is Now Essentially Equivalent To Life In U.S. Prisons
#1 Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has announced that school officials can search the cell phones and laptops of public school students if there are “reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the school.”
#2 It came out in court that one school district in Pennsylvania secretly recorded more than 66,000 images of students using webcams that were embedded in school-issued laptops that the students were using at home.
#3 If you can believe it, a “certified TSA official” was recently brought in to oversee student searches at the Santa Fe High School prom.
#4 A few years ago a class of 3rd grade students at one Kentucky elementary school were searched by a group of teachers after 5 dollars went missing. During the search the students were actually required to remove their shoes and their socks.
#5 At one public school in the Chicago area, children have been banned from bringing their lunches from home. Yes, you read that correctly. Students at that particular school are absolutely prohibited from bringing lunches from home. Instead, it is mandatory that they eat the food that the school cafeteria serves.
#6 The U.S. Department of Agriculture is spending huge amounts of money to install surveillance cameras in the cafeterias of public schools so that government control freaks can closely monitor what our children are eating.
#7 A teenager in suburban Dallas was recently forced to take on a part-time job after being ticketed for using bad language in one high school classroom. The original ticket was for $340, but additional fees have raised the total bill to $637.
#8 It is not just high school kids that are being ticketed by police. In Texas the crackdown extends all the way down to elementary school students. In fact, it has been reported that Texas police gave “1,000 tickets” to elementary school kids over a recent six year period.
#9 A few months ago, a 17 year-old honor student in North Carolina named Ashley Smithwick accidentally took her father’s lunch with her to school. It contained a small paring knife which he would use to slice up apples. So what happened to this standout student when the school discovered this? The school suspended her for the rest of the year and the police charged her with a misdemeanor.
#10 A little over a year ago, a 6 year old girl in Florida was handcuffed and sent to a mental facility after throwing temper tantrums at her elementary school.
#11 In early 2010, a 12 year old girl in New York was arrested by police and marched out of her school in handcuffs just because she doodled on her desk. “I love my friends Abby and Faith” was what she reportedly wrote on her desk.
#12 There are actually some public schools in the United States that are so paranoid that they have actually installed cameras in student bathrooms.
#13 Down in Florida, students have actually been arrested by police for bringing a plastic butter knife to school, for throwing an eraser, and for drawing a picture of a gun.
#14 The Florida State Department of Juvenile Justice has announced that it will begin using analysis software to predict crime by young delinquents and will place “potential offenders” in specific prevention and education programs.
#15 A group of high school students made national headlines a while back when they revealed that they were ordered by a security guard to stop singing the national anthem during a visit to the Lincoln Memorial.
#16 In some U.S. schools, armed cops accompanied by police dogs actually conduct surprise raids with their guns drawn. In this video, you can actually see police officers aiming their guns at school children as the students are lined up facing the wall.
#17 Back in 2009, one 8 year old boy in Massachusetts was sent home from school and was forced to undergo a psychological evaluation because he drew a picture of Jesus on the cross.
#18 This year, 13 parents in Duncan, South Carolina were actually ticketed for cheering during a high school graduation.
(number 14 makes me want to destroy computers.)
Enjoy your school year, kids.
Can I add a number 19? My high school’s surveillance and intercom system was designed by the same company who did the jail and prison camp that was down the street. We had Sheriff deputies patrolling the halls and they brought in drug sniffing dogs in to do sweeps every month. They also conducted surprise searches. During the searches you could only enter the school through the front doors. All of the other entrances were guarded either by teachers or officers. You had to go through metal detectors and if they went off they used the wand and searched your bags. High school. The best years of your life.
And another story added to make it an even 20….The Chicago Tribune reports that LaShanda Smith filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of her son, who she claims was one of several 6 and-7-year olds excessively punished by a security guard at Carver Primary School on the South Side.
The school allegedly authorized on-campus security to discipline disruptive first graders, Fox Chicago reports. The children who were considered disruptive were then allegedly handcuffed for an hour and sent to an office, where they were told “they were going to prison and would never see their parents again,” attorney Michael Carin told the Tribune.
Read more about the incident here.