The Real Reason Law Schools Are Raking In Cash

But aside from the easily-memorized-and-parroted set of rules that comprise the actual law, and aside from some basic, practical skills about constructing a legal argument, what most students take from the first year of law school is that their intuitions about justice, fairness and equality are hopelessly naive; that the relevant consideration is the smooth functioning of the market; and that the point of a life in the law is to oil the machine. Law school tells them that their beliefs about social justice are silly; their simplistic moral views untrustworthy; and their ways of talking insufficiently precise. And all of this is conveyed as though it represented some universally accepted, decidedly modern, and indeed scientific consensus about how we should think about legal systems. Students cannot help but perceive that, with the exceptions of a handful of reactionary holdouts and Marxist cranks,everyone seems to agree. At no point will they be let in on the secret that law and econ is merely a modeling technique; that there are other ways to conceive of laws influence and social possibilities; and that economic explanations like Posners rely on a heavily debated set of theoretical assumptions. While it is true that todays law schools are, by and large, nowhere near as bad anything in The Paper Chase, the rigidly hierarchical structure of law classes, where the professor is permitted endless liberties and students are expected to endure equally endless abuse, only serves to reinforce the core message: Things have to be more or less the way they are. Despite its arbitrariness, the market (like law school) picks winners and losers neutrally, and where it fails to, the goal is to reduce the amount of noise by tweaking the rules that govern it. Our socioeconomic system (like law school) is basically meritocratic or as nearly meritocratic as possible given the constraints of the real world. And the division of economic rewards that system generates are fundamentally just or as nearly just as possible given the unfortunate realities of life in the marketplace. <br>visit

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