Sunday, November 8, 2009

Drake Law School's Mission Statement




Mission Statement

Drake Law School prepares outstanding lawyers who will promote justice, serve as leaders in their communities and the legal profession, and respond to the call of public service. We are a welcoming and inclusive community distinguished by an accessible faculty and staff and a collegial student body. We provide an exceptional learning environment that integrates legal theory and the development of professional skills; promotes critical thinking and effective problem solving; examines international perspectives; and instills the ideals of ethics and professionalism.

The rank: Tier 3 – according to the 2009 edition of USN&WR’s grad school rankings

Tuition: $30,750 in tuition for 2009-2010

Total Estimated Cost: $48,760 for the 2009-2010 academic year


Now, re-read the school’s mission statement. We will now juxtapose this with an honest description. Here is how a truthful and honest mission statement from Drake should read:

Drake Law School prepares graduates to work in various and exciting capacities, such as tending bar; waiting tables; adjusting insurance claims; reviewing documents for mortgage companies and liability carriers; and teaching middle school. The vast majority of those Drake Law graduates fortunate to find work as attorneys will toil away in small boutique law firms, solo practice (fighting for small PI and fender-bender cases, against competent, experienced attorneys), county attorneys’ offices throughout the State of Iowa, and insurance defense. We provide an adequate learning environment whereby former burned-out lawyers instill legal theory into the minds of (hopefully) the next generation of practitioners. (After all, we are a third-tier school, located in the freezing, humid Midwest; we are in the top three tiers of American law schools – a notable achievement.) Our legal clinics are very good and impart practical skills, but we don’t want to upset the courts or the vigorous and petty prosecutors so don’t be troubled that we STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to take whatever deal the prosecutor initially offers; we simply don’t want to hurt our relationship with the courts. Drake also realizes that no employer hires people for their critical thinking skills, but we tout this virtue anyway. (It’s what law schools do.) At Drake, we also attempt to indoctrinate our students with the twin myths of “ethics” and “professionalism.”

However, if Drake or any of the other ABA-approved law schools were to be anywhere near this honest - even in their little-perused mission statements - then the number of applicants and aspirants might be reduced. And law school is all about maintaining job security for overpaid law “professors” (burned-out lawyers), admissions officers (used car salesmen), Career Services and other staff (parasitic appendages), and – of course - deans and university presidents (figureheads/fundraisers).

10 comments:

  1. It's funny that you mention burnt out attorneys as professors. In my experience, my professors practiced law for no more than 3 years. I don't think they were burnt out... I think they weren't good at their jobs. Those who can't do, teach. Wouldn't law school be so much more valuable if the people that taught us were attorneys for 20 years and taught us how to practice. Family law practice would be so much better than Family Law. Criminal law practice, Wills and Estates Practice, Criminal Defense and Prosecution, etc. I think the theory of the law has no place in a lawyer's life.... at all. Who cares about mens rea if you don't know how to use it to defend your client.
    I'm sure tons of people went to Drake to learn how to tend bar. Too funny.

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  2. Just a bunch of platitudes. I don't know of any outstanding Drake attorneys. Are you worried that your blog will hurt the school's ranking?

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  3. TTT, TTTT, TTTTT - what's the diff?

    Angel's right about professors. They should be actual burned out attorneys rather than academics from day one (or a year after getting the SC bonus).

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  4. Oh awesome, you guys got our reject dean. We might be second tier but I guess we're on equal footing. Except we cost less. Still overpriced of course.

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  5. In all fairness, I have never met Allan Vestal; he became dean after I graduated. He replaced an interim dean. Looking at his credentials, this man is clearly perfect for the job, i.e. Ivy League academic with a short career in the law but an extensive time teaching law school.

    http://www.law.drake.edu/facStaff/profiles.aspx?profileID=vestalAllan

    Look at his use of empty rhetoric. This is designed to attract even more idealistic young applicants. Law schools are good at this tactic.

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  6. Fernando: You graduated in the bottom half of your class from a mediocre law school. I wouldn't hire you either.

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  7. Yes, but doesn't Drake claim 96.8 percent placement within 9 months, apologist? Let's go to Employment Statistics - listed under the Prospective Students tab.

    http://www.law.drake.edu/admissions/?pageID=employStats

    (By the way, the school did list this at 99 percent a few short years ago.)

    Also, for your information, I did get a job within 2 months of graduation - but none of that was due to Drake. I am even making more than many of my classmates who placed higher in the class. A lot of those guys are taking court-appointed dreck. Plus, since the school claims/asserts 96.8 percent employment, pretty much anyone who graduates from this commode and wants a job should be able to get one, right?

    If you want to debate the legal job market and the over-abundance of law schools, let me know. If you are a Drake law student, "professor" or administrator, let's set up such a panel - right in Room 213 of Cartwright Hall!! (I'll bet you money that you don't have the balls to accept the invitation.)

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  8. It seems really nice.you are really doing a good job.

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  9. Supply and demand, my friend, supply and demand. As long as there are people willing to shell out $90,000 for a law degree, there will be people willing to take that money. The question isn't "do you have a job?" The question is, "did you learn the law?" That's what you paid for. If you didn't learn that, then you may have a basis for complaint. What you do with that knowledge is up to you. If you thought that your law degree was a ticket to easy money, well, then you were an idiot.

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  10. @ 2:58 pm,

    I did not view a law degree as a ticket to easy money, moron. I attended Third Tier Drake because I received a full-tuition scholarship. I certainly did not expect that a law degree would be such a hindrance to finding employment. I found a job within two months of graduating from this commode, and I was fortunate to land the job.

    I know many former classmates who took out $120K in additional student loans to earn their JD. Many of them are still unemployed, and many others returned to their former jobs/industries. A "legal education" is marketed as an asset, and a serious investment in one's future. In reality, a law degree is seen as a negative by non-legal employers.

    Non-law employers do not want to hire someone for their "critical thinking skills." They want someone who will efficiently follow orders. (This mindset is ironic, since lawyers are typically such obedient bureaucrats/automatons.) Supervisors and managers at non-law enterprises are also not too keen on working with someone who has more formal education than they have. In fact, some of these supervisors enjoy making JDs and non-practicing attorneys perform mundane tasks, and ordering you around like a dog.

    But one can do anything with a law degree, right?!?! Apparently, one can work at Radio Shack - even after passing both the New York and Connecticut state bar exams.

    http://beta.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2010/apr/08/trouble-with-the-law-laid-off-attorneys-pursue-new-paths/

    One can also sell cupcakes and pastries out of a truck.

    http://abovethelaw.com/2010/08/ex-lawyer-of-the-day-cupcake-queen-is-not-above-the-law/

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