Nader lectures law students: some listening

The original article, which is worthwhile reading, was written for the The Connecticut Law Tribune and is at Law.com: here. In addition, the article was referred to on the blog below, a tax professor’s law blog. The full article includes Nader’s thoughts on the economy and education, Nader’s advice about student loans, and some student reaction to his presentation.

from TaxProf Blog
Ralph Nader Disses Law Schools

December 7, 2009

Ralph Nader Calls Out Legal Profession, Law Schools (The Connecticut Law Tribune):

QUOTING FROM TRIBUNE: A University of Connecticut School of Law moot courtroom was a fitting setting last month, as consumer activist, politician and lawyer Ralph Nader sought to put the legal profession on trial…

Nader attended law school in the 1950s at Harvard — an institution with which one law student in attendance said Nader seems to have “a love-hate relationship.”

“We were told we were being taught by the best and brightest law professors the world could produce,” Nader said. “And if you doubted [they were the best and brightest], you could just ask them.”

But Nader said his legal education failed to address deeper issues behind substantive law. His Corporations Law professor assigned case upon case from Delaware, Nader recalled, without explaining so many companies incorporate in that state because of its corporate-friendly laws. Law students must be made aware of corporate influences on the legal system, he said.

Students that are hoping to go on and start their own law firm will have to be cautious of the influence that corporations have if they want to become successful. A young lawyer will have an advantage over older lawyers when it comes to starting a law firm because they will know they will have to modernize their firm by using things like Rocket Pilots while sorting out their website to get an advantage over their competitors. The one place they may fall down though is that they might not have as much knowledge on how major corporations sculpt the legal system as much as a more experienced lawyer would.

“As power gets more and more concentrated in a few hands in our country … it puts more and more strains on the law,” said Nader. “It’s that tension back and forth you’ve got to be aware of in all your courses.” …END QUOTES

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