Thinking positive

(Originally posted May 04, 2008)

So far we have taken two exams at my law school. We have two more to go.

Now, these are some pretty interesting tests. Law school exams generally involve some ridiculous scenario where some jerk wrongs various victims in about twelve different ways, and then the test-takers get to sort through the information and find all the potential lawsuits.

These exams train us to expect liability. They train us to look for problems and find them. I guess that is a sensible way of testing. But I really wish I could take an exam where, after analyzing all the possible lawsuits, you could not find a single thing to sue over. The professor could design the test to make a point, that lawyers are not the answer to every problem.

It would be nice to imagine a world of freedom, where people solve their own problems instead of rushing to court at the drop of a hat. After all, lawsuits really do promote wimpiness. Instead of dealing with his adversaries personally, a plaintiff asks the government to do it for him. Lawsuits are sometimes necessary, admittedly. In today’s world, for example, the lawyers have so monopolized interpersonal interactions that lawsuits are often necessary.

The lawyers design the law to make lawsuits necessary because it gives them more power. For example, instead of punching back someone who hits you, the law requires you to sue them for battery. If you hit them back, they can sue you, or you might even get arrested. Instead of evicting a tenant who will not pay rent, many jurisdictions require you to file a summary (“quick”) lawsuit to evict the dead-beat. Instead of letting people find new jobs that appreciate and respect them, the law encourages employees to file discrimination lawsuits. In the criminal system, the law forbids private individuals to obtain vengeance against rapists, murderers, and pedophiles. But then the law lets those same perpetrators out of jail within twenty years.

Sometimes I think it would be cool to have anarchy, and just to let people do whatever the heck they felt like. Less government seems better. Nonetheless, my dreams are not entirely realistic. The lawyers are the third branch of government, and they have risen to prominence compared to the other branches.

Of course, it would also be nice to live in a world where law students got graded the same as every other type of student – with multiple, periodic tests. Instead, we get to study for exams worth 100% of our grade. I have a dream of a world without unrealistic fact-scenarios, without vague instructions to “discuss all liabilities.” In my dream, we would not sort through a jumble of information to spot dozens of potential lawsuits in a limited period of time. Tests would not involve an Easter egg hunt for legal issues, and no student would ever become so numb from the unrealistic jumble that he would miss even the obvious eggs lying in the grass.

I can only imagine.

Wish me luck!



Chris posted,
“The content doesn’t exactly match the post title lol

But in any case, I’ll wish you *favor* 😀 Did you take the other exams yet?”
(05-08-2008, 7:43 am)


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