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Monday, December 04, 2006

Well-Educated Chimps

Hi kids. My name is Alex Long. I'll be a guest here this month. I'm just happy to be here and hope I can help out the team. Hopefully, we'll win some ball games as we enter the playoff stretch here in the month of December.

In light of some of the recent discussion concerning non-traditional approaches to the law school curriculum, I thought now might be an appropriate time to bring up this article about a graduate from a non-traditional law school. It's a recent story from the National Law Journal about a graduate of an unaccredited law school in California who is suing for the right to sit for the Connecticut bar exam. I don't know anything about this individual, the law school from which he graduated, or Connecticut's rules regarding admission to the bar. I have my share of criticisms regarding the ABA's accreditation rules, but I don't know much of anything about all of the unaccredited law schools in California or enough about the practice of law in California to know whether such schools might actually have some legitimate role to play. (I'd be interested in hearing from those with greater knowledge, however.) Therefore, I don't really have any opinion about this particular suit or others like it.

I do, however, have a thought about a quote that appears at the end of the article. In advancing his basic argument as to why he should be allowed to sit for the Connecticut bar exam, this recent graduate is quoted in the article as saying, "A fairly well-educated chimp could practice law." I think it's fair to question whether some activities that only lawyers are currently permitted to engage in should really be considered "the practice of law" and whether graduation from an ABA-accredited law school should really be a prerequisite to entering the legal profession in a state. So, maybe this individual has the beginnings of a point.  However, this individual is also in the process of arguing before a member of a profession (the judge in this case) that he is entitled to be a member of that profession. Therefore, I wonder whether making the "well-educated chimp" comparison was really such a wise choice at this particular time.

Posted by Alex Long on December 4, 2006 at 12:01 AM in Odd World | Permalink


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