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April 10, 2018


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Joe Finorke

As a long time attorney, I am opposed to this. The greatest experience I had in law school was establishing a one to one relationship with my peers and you professors at the front of the room. It was most like a courtroom setting with you folks acting as a "neutral" adversary fleshing out the issues. When I grasped a legal concept, I was excited and engaged, damn near inspired.... It was real and visceral... It was a law school bonding experience that lives with me almost 30 years on into my career.

Frankly, distance learning is really just a fancy word for on line or watching a video. Today, for most of my CLE/Ethics requirements, it is called a WEBINAR. Let me be frank here. It is bullshit. I can't tell you how many times I started to nod off...I was not really actively engaged nor really that inspired. It is not a law school experience. On the other hand, I can't wait to face a prosecutor who got his degree through distance learning.

Joe Finorke

Sorry to be so verbose here. Being a good lawyer is all about relationships and getting along with others in an adversarial environment while advocating for a client. It is not really about knowing the rote law or citing cases. If you don't know your Judge, culture of the courtroom---you will be ineffective. You need to know how to be a lawyer, not a technician. Distance Learning might be fine for teaching diesel repair or languages. It is not appropriate for developing people skills in a complex, adversarial environment.


“It really doesn't matter where one went to law school. Law practice is really not about the "Law." It's about relationships, schmooze and trying to get along with others in a courthouse community."

Deep State

Deep State Special Legal Counsel


You quoted me accurately. At least one person listens to me, because judges and prosecutors don't. They don't believe me when I say my clients are all INNOCENT and that breathylizer was not working at .26. Anyway, that position is valid...I would refer you to the finest book I have read to date on the nature and role of a lawyer in a courthouse community. "The Craft of Justice, Politics and Work in Criminal Court Communities" by Flemming, Nardull and Eisenstein. It hits the nail on the head. It is all about getting along with others while representing a client who may have done terrible things.


One of the problems I see with online learning is schools seem very eager to turn it into an entirely moneymaking device, with some administrators no doubt dancing around with dollar signs in their eyes as they dream about economies of scale where they can add as many students they want with little cost additions per student.


I thought I was quoting Joe Finorke:

" all about relationships and getting along with others in an adversarial environment while advocating for a client."

References to Illinois spice it up, as well.

Very entertaining. Not.

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