Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thinking of law school?

Many of my students dream of going to law school, and many have actually gone. I wish I'd kept track of how many, but I haven't.

At any rate, for those of you thinking of going to law school today, here's an interesting article that makes the case for law school in these days of declining enrollments and poor employment rates after three years and much expenses in legal training.

It's a short article that makes the wise-investment-in-your-future argument. Read on. But then be sure to read the first comment as well.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Corporations and the release of energy

This post is motivated by a discussion in my Lawyers and American Society class recently, but I hope all my other students will read on as well because this is important.

The class discussion centered on lawyers and their work as "handmaidens to change,"** a phrase that I have borrowed and use annoyingly often in class to refer to the legal profession ushering in needed changes (acting on behalf of clients to make law through the courts before the legislature has had a change to pass laws on the subject).

Anyway, we were discussing incorporation and its role in the early and mid-nineteenth century. Allowing companies to incorporate helped their leaders to avoid personal liability if the company was sued--a necessary protection in a nation that hopes to encourage innovation and invention. Several judges, particularly Lemuel Shaw of Massachusetts, aided the incorporation movement, helping the new nation to grow economically.

I mentioned states like Delaware that have adopted very loose incorporation rules to attract companies to headquarter there. Today's New York Times  carries a story about how those very rules are being used by terrorists and crooks to evade tax laws and to launder money. It's a very interesting read: click here to read it.

** "handmaidens to change" is a phrase I use so often that I've forgotten its original source. It's not my phase and I do wish to acknowledge the author, but it will take me a while to remember where I first came across it. I'm working on it now and will update this post as soon as I can and give credit where it belongs.UPDATE January 22, 2015: Now that I am teaching this course again, I have again searched for the source of the phrase "handmaidens to change," and I still can't find it. I do wish to acknowledge the originator of this phrase, but will need more time, apparently.