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News Briefs--Guns, Roses, and Law School

Vivia Chen

January 27, 2011

Always on the lookout for interesting news and tidbits from the world of lawyer-wannabes, The Careerist offers some recent choice picks from the Web:

003 • First, Kill the Law Schools:

Finally, a show of sanity in the legal education market: "Ambitious plans for three new law schools in New York have stalled in the face of an ailing economy, state government budget woes, and doubts about whether there are enough legal jobs to support the new schools in addition to the 15 existing ones," reports the New York Law Journal.

Two of the three schools--State University of New York at Stony Brook and St. John Fisher College in Rochester--have put their plans for opening law schools on hold "indefinitely." The third one, SUNY at Binghamton, still plans to go forward, though the "interim provost said that the proposal faces 'serious challenges,' and the 2017-18 academic year is the earliest a new school could open its doors."

The NYLJ article points out that the numbers don't support more law graduates: "The existing law schools [in New York] turn out about 3,750 graduates each year, according to the state Board of Law Examiners." But the state labor department "has estimated there will be openings for just over 2,000 lawyers a year through 2016 in New York."

  • Law Student Wants Guns on Campus:

From Moscow-Pullman News (in Idaho, not Russia): Aaron Tribble, a second-year law student at University of Idaho, is suing the university, claiming that "the UI's policy banning firearms from campus--and by extension, his current place of residence--is a violation of his Second Amendment right to bear arms and his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process." (Hat tip: ABA Journal blog.)

Tribble and his family live in an apartment complex for married students and students with children. Though guns are banned at the student residence, the university does give students access to their guns. "Students are allowed to store and check out their firearms at the Moscow Police Department's on-campus substation." Still, Tribble argued that "the university is violating his rights by not allowing him to store his guns at his residence."

Hmm, let me see: Litigious, gun-loving law student + uncertain job market = volatile situation.

Some advice: For the law professors at Idaho, may I suggest grading Tribble with extreme leniency? And for his fellow law students, how about transferring?

• Look Who Wants to Be Supreme Court Justice:

Scoot over Ruth, Elena, and Sonia: The newly crowned Miss America, 17-year old Teresa Scanlan (pictured above), says she plans to go to law school, then sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, reports Above the Law. A student at Patrick Henry College, an institution that stresses Christian values, Scanlan says her ultimate plan is to be president of the United States.

Well, why not? Are Scanlan's dreams for glory in law and politics any more delusional than those of  other lawyer-wannabes out there? Besides, how many Miss America applications does Harvard or Yale get anyway?

 

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Do you have topics you'd like to discuss or tips to share? E-mail The Careerist's chief blogger, Vivia Chen, at VChen@alm.com.

 Photo: Courtesy of Miss America Organization

Comments

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I once sat in a deposition and noticed that the young woman next to me taking notes had the U.S. Supreme Court building as the desktop background photograph on her notebook computer. I commented on her picture and started chatting with her. She mentioned that she planned to be on the Supreme Court one day, to which I complimented her on managing to maintain her enthusiasm and idealism in the practice of law. She replied, "Oh, I'm not a lawyer yet but I'm planning to go to law school one day." "Ah," I thought in my cynical mind, "that explains it."


Best wishes to Miss America on her dream. We need more people like her.


Remember the great scene in "Legally Blonde" where someone on the Harvard Law School admissions committee nervously mentions diversity, and HLS accepts its first-ever fashion-merchandising major?

um, law schools + guns sounds really really scary.

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About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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