Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Public's Benefit - Installment 2

In December, 2008, we posted Law Schools Do Not Seem to Compete for the Public's Benefit contending that Law school reputations currently connote to the public only vague expectations of how brazen and arrogant its graduates behave.

Law school admission standards must be tightened for the entire public to better rely on reputations of respective law schools for producing graduates of innate integrity.

Improving law school admissions standards, although certainly in the public interest, is highly unlikely. Afterall, law schools are not military academies and most lawyers were never Eagle Scouts nor recipients of Girl Scout equivalent Gold Awards.

We expected, to be posting with increasing frequency about the brazen corruption and ethical lapses of lawyers in public office. The shamed law schools will be identified just in case the more serious allegations stick to awaken the public. A disproportionate percentage of law graduates (hardly 2% of the entire workforce) are currently elected to over 20% of public offices. This presents conflicts of interest and unintended concentrations of authority. Combined with self-serving laws tailored to give incumbents subtle advantages over challengers, the country is in growing peril of a permanent political class.

The latest remarkable example of lawyer malfeasance involves one not in public office. With his Harvard pedigree and the kind of dough he could afford to throw around, however, he could certainly influence those in public office:

A well-heeled New York lawyer termed a Houdini of impersonation and false documents pled guilty to a scheme that cost investors and hedge funds at least $400 million. The lawyer, Marc S. Dreier, is a Harvard Law graduate who sold $700 million worth of bogus promissory notes to investors, according to his federal indictment. The New York Times reported yesterday that federal prosecutors have recommended a 145-year sentence for lawyer Dreier. Of course, determination of Mr. Dreier's sentence will be left up to another lawyer --- a judge.

Hopefully, the sentencing judge will also be an emBARrassed Harvard law grad.