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January 08, 2018

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Deep State Special Legal Counsel

Teaching lawyering skills? Even after 25 years of practice, I question my ability. I sometimes feel dumber and dumber everyday. What I am finding lately, is that clients resent paying for an attorney. They expect it free. They hate us. It starts with the cop "framing me" or I was going along with traffic or everybody was speeding faster than me. Or some gal was going 110 in a 45 MPH zone because her day care provider was closing and she was late. Then after their fifth ticket in a two years, they EXPECT me to save their license because they paid me BIG money (three bills). When the prosecutor says NO to a deferred prosecution, I get a profanity laced tirade thrown at me. Answer this, when a doctor tells a patient he has cancer, does that patient tell the doctor to "GO F--- THEMSELVES?

anymouse

So, DSSLC it sounds like your career didn't work out like you expected?

Deep State Special Legal Counsel

anymouse,

Nope, not at all. Still have massive law school student loan debt after all these years. My income went from a steady 80K per year (no complaints) prior to 2006 and now, I work twice as hard and can't crack $45K. My appointed work has nose dived and clients are angrier and meaner than ever. There is a lawyer on every block and its a cage fight for clients. On top of that, there is now a hug push for pre-trial release without bond and clients are no longer coerced or afraid to go to jail.

twbb

On a serious note, two years of experience seems way too few for a position like this. I mean, most lawyers two years in are only just starting to use "lawyering skills." This actually sounds like it should be aimed for 30+ year lawyers, possibly those who just retired from full-time practice.

Anon

Because if you want an enthusiastic teacher who is engaged with the newest developments in the law, a 30-year practitioner who just retired is definitely the way to go.

Or not.

twbb

"The newest developments" in LAWYERING SKILLS? Seriously? Where does one keep up with that?

I suspect, Anon, you don't really know what "lawyering skills" are.

[M][@][c][K]

I have an idea - what about pre-law-school requisites:

• Law as a business (the economics of legal practice);
• What lawyers do - on a daily basis.

I do agree with the idea of this course. But, I would prefer that those contemplating law school have a better idea of what legal practice really is about. As a firm we take in interns (and as a matter of principle we pay all interns), many of whom want to train as lawyers. One of our most important objectives is to ensure that if they continue to legal training (as barristers and solicitors, a few as attorneys in Sweden, Norway, etc.), that they have a real idea of what legal practice is actually like, what the challenges are, the upside and downside of choosing to be a lawyer.

anon

twbb

Second your inference about Anon. Totally oblivious to reality.

Who better to teach lawyering skills, according to Anon?

A 30-year, burned-out professor, who has been teaching the same stale material over and over, and never practiced law in earnest in the first place (one or two years at the bottom of BigLaw doesn't count for much, sorry)!

Want to see "enthusiasm" in teaching? Man, there's an enthusiastic professor!

Anon

Straw man. No one suggested a 30-year burnout professor was a good choice. Nice try.

And twbb - dont be obtuse.

anon

Anon

You brought your ageist, bitter, nasty perception of practitioners into this discussion.

You clearly suggested that a "younger" academic, not a "practitioner," would be more enthusiastic and more abreast of the "newest developments in the law" and thus, a more suitable candidate for this position.

As twbb stated, you don't appear to know what you are talking about. What is so striking is that your ignorance may be shared by and affecting hiring committees somewhere.

[M][a][c][K]

It very much depends - at my bar interview - a quarter decade ago now (that’s a shock) I had a 30 year practitioner whose questions made clear she new little or noth8n* about current practice. I’ve had a senior partner, who had been a managing partner of a storied International law firm ask a junior associate - seriously - what Rule 4 FRCP.

I think you do want to see 20-30 year’s of practice, but you also need a lawyer who kept up with e-discovery, emerging aspects of practice, etc. I certainly would not hire anyone who’d been a legal academic for most of the their career, or even in their recent career.

anon

And, we are overlooking, perhaps, the most salient point of all about the above: NORTH DAKOTA, and they aren't even offering a permanent position.

In other words, tear up any roots and move to one of the most remote, frigid, and harshest climates in the country, for pay that is a pittance, without even the dignity of a long term position, and for what?

Work load? Oh, ever so easy. they state: "The successful candidate will teach two sections each semester (approximately 20 students per section; a 2/2 course load) of Lawyering Skills I & II, the required two-semester first-year legal research, writing, and analysis course. The position may have additional teaching obligations based on curricular and academic support needs." Additional????

All this for, you have to read it to believe it, 82.5!

Such a deal. They'll get somebody, sure. Who? One wonders. Whoever thought of this abusive sort of offer should have to teach the courses!

This is probably one of the most arrogant job postings I've ever seen on this site.

Anon

How dare an employer in North Dakota try to hire anyone!

anon

Anon

Instead of snark, think about it a bit.

Do you think this offer is appealing and fair?

My bet is you, in all of your self appointed glory, would never have considered it worthy of your greatness.

I suppose, whenever confronted with unfair and unreasonable working conditions, your argument is "Well, someone needs a job."

Where were you when the 19th Century needed you?

ChicagoD

Applicants must bring their own rope, stool, and anti-depressants.

[M][@][c][K]

Anon,

Out of curiosity I looked at the median earnings for a lawyer in Fargo North Dakota - you can find it here:

https://www.bls.gov/regions/midwest/news-release/occupationalemploymentandwages_fargo.htm

Assuming 2000 hours a year, that equates to $72,240. Not an amount that'd attract me there, but ND pays 29% less than the national average. On that basis $82,500 is a decent amount for North Dakota, where by all accounts living costs are not very high.

Is it acceptable. Well hmmmmm. To that I'd point out that law professors are in many respects the spoiled brats of the profession, freed from billable hours, the need to find clients, collect from those clients, cover their office overhead (rent, light, equipment, subscriptions, insurance, secretary, health insurance, pension contributions.) I'm not saying it'd attract me, because I do a lot better than $82,500 (but who knows the sky could fall) and I don't want to live in North Dakota ... but for someone who is not a whiner, is in North Dakota - to get $82,500 "all found" (and maybe pension contributions and benefits) it could be a very attractive deal.

Your rant by the way demonstrate mostly that you know so little about legal practice as to be hopelessly unqualified for the job on offer anyway, and who knows, perhaps unqualified to be teaching future lawyers.

The biggest problem with the offer - it's a 3-year contract. Will it be extended? Because even a moderately successful lawyer would be loath to give up an existing practice if there was no certainty.

anon

Brackets states:

"The biggest problem with the offer - it's a 3-year contract. Will it be extended?"

The post: "carries the possibility of re-appointment for up to three years ..."

As stated above,

"And, we are overlooking, perhaps, the most salient point of all about the above: NORTH DAKOTA, and they aren't even offering a permanent position. In other words, tear up any roots and move to one of the most remote, frigid, and harshest climates in the country ... without even the dignity of a long term position, and for what?"

And this:

"Work load? ... a 2/2 course load) ... The position may have additional teaching obligations based on curricular and academic support needs." Additional????"

Brackets, we understand your rant about the common work load in academia, and many might agree, but you clearly are ignorant about the norm and don't understand the import of the "additional" clause.

Brackets, as usual, your comic insult dog retort singles out one aspect of a comment, about the wage (citing the MEDIAN wage for ATTORNEYS in ND, which is irrelevant, on so many grounds) and ignores the rest.

Reading comprehension? Logic? Nah ... Brackets, your retort is risibly oblivious to the comment to which you spew, and your insults are so over the top as to make you appear deranged.

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