Monday, November 16, 2009

In the Public's Benefit - Installment 2009-4 update

Former Rep. William Jefferson has been sentenced to 13 years in federal prison. According to Jefferson's lawyer, his sentence is the longest ever handed down to a congressman for public corruption. Jefferson was found guilty of taking more than $478,000 in kickbacks in return for helping to arrange business deals in Africa. Under federal sentencing guidelines prosecutors had had sought a 27 - 33 year sentence for Jefferson.

Jefferson was convicted last August on 11 of 16 federal charges of bribery, fraud, money laundering, and racketeering. He became the first sitting member of Congress to be charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

In December, 2008, we had 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. After all, law schools are not military academies and most lawyers were never Eagle Scouts nor recipients of Girl Scout equivalent Gold Awards.

Jefferson earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1972, and a LLM in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center in 1996. This time a highly-placed, corrupt lawyer has shamed two law schools.

Stay tuned. Shamed law schools will continue to be identified to awaken the public: