f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

May 14, 2004

Law School Deprivation Syndrome in NC

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:58 pm

My eyes filled with tears, as I learned the plight of the Tar Heel state — too few lawyers, due to having too few law schools, resulting in a severe case of Law School Deprivation Syndrome [“LSD“]  for North Carolinians.  (See News-ObserverState ripe for new law school, 05-13-04; Southwest Virginia Law Blog, “Terrible lawyer shortage in North Carolina leads to new law school efforts”)

 

squeeze  How bad is LSD in North Carolina?   Despite our Editor’s college minor in economics, we never knew that the market for law schools was so sensitive to the economy. Leary Davis, founding dean of Campbell University’s law school, explained in a recent interview that “Demand for law schools goes in cycles, surging during economic slumps. During the past few years, the job market has been poor, but placement of law school graduates has ‘just been phenomenal’.”

Consider further:



  • North Carolina has only five law schools: Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill; Wake Univ.; UNC Central; and Campbell University.


  • North Carolina “ranks next-to-last in the United States in the number of lawyers per capita — one for every 502 residents, said Leary Davis. The national ratio is one lawyer for every 268 people.”


  • About half of the people who take the state’s bar exam went to law school outside North Carolina.


  • Charlotte, NC, is one of only two of the nation’s top 50 cities without a law school.  The founding dean of Florida Coastal law school, Donald Lively, bemoans the fact that Charlotte is “substantially underserved. . .  Actually, you could make the case that it’s unserved.”

Indeed, things are so bad that the public-spirited Elon University is rushing to fill the emergency shortage, despite funding difficulties (AP/rduNews14, “Elon pushing for law school despite funding problems,” 05-12-04).  Elon’s president is quoted in one report:



“We like where we are,” he said. “We like being primarily an undergraduate institution.” But the university doesn’t want to miss this opportunity.

“It’s very clear to us that another law school is going to be started in North Carolina within the next five years,” Lambert said, adding that he doesn’t want to look back 10 years from now and say, “woulda, coulda, shoulda.”


plan . .

Similarly, civic leaders among “Greensboro movers and shakers” are so excited about the need to rid the State of LSD, they’re willing to donate an abandoned downtown library building to Elon to help serve the needs of their community.  

 

We confess:  The pyj editorial board was blindsided by these revelations.  Indeed, Prof. Yabut feels particularly bad, as his Big Sister and her husband moved to North Carolina just last month.  They will surely be shocked to learn that they built a retirement home in a State suffering from severe LSD.  It is hard to know how other Tar Heels will react to the LSD diagnosis and prognosis, but we at pyj wish them well.


N.B.  The North Carolina Bar deserves kudos, as it has done its best to weather the virulent bout of LSD in a manner that would avoid public panic over a scarcity of lawyers. 


  1. As ethicalEsq has pointed out, they have courageously fought to broaden and strengthen the definition of Unlawful Practice of Law, to protect NC consumers from nonlawyers who might be tempted to offer legal services or assistance. 
  2. They issued the N.C. Bar Alternative Billing Commission Report (1999), noting that Tar Heel “Lawyers Are Working Less and Making More Money,” and explaining that hourly billing flowered “during an era of undersupply of lawyers,” but was being undermined in the new era of competition and savvy consumers; and

  3. They have steadfastly refused to champion Small Claims reform in their State, allowing North Carolina to achieve its position as the 8th worse small claims court system in the nation, according to HALT’s 2004 Small Claims Court Report Cards.  With a jurisdictional limit of only $4000, very few North Carolinians will be able to solve legal problems without lawyers.

Law School Deprivation Syndrome in NC

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:58 pm

My eyes filled with tears, as I learned the plight of the Tar Heel state — too few lawyers, due to having too few law schools, resulting in a severe case of Law School Deprivation Syndrome [“LSD“]  for North Carolinians.  (See News-ObserverState ripe for new law school, 05-13-04; Southwest Virginia Law Blog, “Terrible lawyer shortage in North Carolina leads to new law school efforts”)

 

squeeze  How bad is LSD in North Carolina?   Despite our Editor’s college minor in economics, we never knew that the market for law schools was so sensitive to the economy. Leary Davis, founding dean of Campbell University’s law school, explained in a recent interview that “Demand for law schools goes in cycles, surging during economic slumps. During the past few years, the job market has been poor, but placement of law school graduates has ‘just been phenomenal’.”

Consider further:



  • North Carolina has only five law schools: Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill; Wake Univ.; UNC Central; and Campbell University.


  • North Carolina “ranks next-to-last in the United States in the number of lawyers per capita — one for every 502 residents, said Leary Davis. The national ratio is one lawyer for every 268 people.”


  • About half of the people who take the state’s bar exam went to law school outside North Carolina.


  • Charlotte, NC, is one of only two of the nation’s top 50 cities without a law school.  The founding dean of Florida Coastal law school, Donald Lively, bemoans the fact that Charlotte is “substantially underserved. . .  Actually, you could make the case that it’s unserved.”

Indeed, things are so bad that the public-spirited Elon University is rushing to fill the emergency shortage, despite funding difficulties (AP/rduNews14, “Elon pushing for law school despite funding problems,” 05-12-04).  Elon’s president is quoted in one report:



“We like where we are,” he said. “We like being primarily an undergraduate institution.” But the university doesn’t want to miss this opportunity.

“It’s very clear to us that another law school is going to be started in North Carolina within the next five years,” Lambert said, adding that he doesn’t want to look back 10 years from now and say, “woulda, coulda, shoulda.”


plan . .

Similarly, civic leaders among “Greensboro movers and shakers” are so excited about the need to rid the State of LSD, they’re willing to donate an abandoned downtown library building to Elon to help serve the needs of their community.  

 

We confess:  The pyj editorial board was blindsided by these revelations.  Indeed, Prof. Yabut feels particularly bad, as his Big Sister and her husband moved to North Carolina just last month.  They will surely be shocked to learn that they built a retirement home in a State suffering from severe LSD.  It is hard to know how other Tar Heels will react to the LSD diagnosis and prognosis, but we at pyj wish them well.


N.B.  The North Carolina Bar deserves kudos, as it has done its best to weather the virulent bout of LSD in a manner that would avoid public panic over a scarcity of lawyers. 


  1. As ethicalEsq has pointed out, they have courageously fought to broaden and strengthen the definition of Unlawful Practice of Law, to protect NC consumers from nonlawyers who might be tempted to offer legal services or assistance. 
  2. They issued the N.C. Bar Alternative Billing Commission Report (1999), noting that Tar Heel “Lawyers Are Working Less and Making More Money,” and explaining that hourly billing flowered “during an era of undersupply of lawyers,” but was being undermined in the new era of competition and savvy consumers; and

  3. They have steadfastly refused to champion Small Claims reform in their State, allowing North Carolina to achieve its position as the 8th worse small claims court system in the nation, according to HALT’s 2004 Small Claims Court Report Cards.  With a jurisdictional limit of only $4000, very few North Carolinians will be able to solve legal problems without lawyers.

A Good Judge of Greed and Overreaching

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:04 am


Bill Gates’ little company has a world of expertise when it comes both to excessive prices and to taking advantage of the success of others.  So, we hope San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Paul Alvarado will accept Microsoft’s advice and reject the claims of Townsend & Townsend & Crew for $258 million in legal fees in the California class action suit against Microsoft.  (AP/New York Lawyer, Partner Defends $3,000 Hourly Billing Rate, 05-13-2004).


check red  Lead attorney Eugene Crew of T&T&C, argued that he deserves about $3,000 for each of his 6,189.6 billable hours, “considering the enormity of this undertaking against the most powerful corporation in America.”  

According to the AP report, the judge did not decide the fee issue on Wednesday, but instead, without hearing arguments, said he was “not prepared” to say “what I’m going to do.”  Microsoft said the lawyers deserve no more than about $75 million combined.   ethicalEsq argued against the fee request earlier this year at this site [Putting the Piggy in Piggy-Back].

A SFGate.com/AP article notes that the American Bar Association now has a task force investigating contingency fees, and that ABA rules require that a lawyer charge a reasonable fee.  Steven Lesser, who chairs the task force, added this insight to the discussion of the California Microsoft case: “That’s a big question, what is reasonable.”  The opinionated ethicalEsq also had some Suggestions for the ABA Contingency Fee Task Force.




  • pig black flip  The same article contained a far more astute quote from the California Supreme Court, which “two years ago upheld a lower court decision reducing fees from $88.5 million to $18.2 million for lawyers who won a class action accusing California of illegally charging out-of-state residents $300 extra for auto registration. The court called that request, for $8,000 an hour, ‘a testament to the unreal world of greed in which some attorneys practice law.'”
  • Overlawyered.com has frequently covered this topic well, including yesterday.

A Good Judge of Greed and Overreaching

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:04 am


Bill Gates’ little company has a world of expertise when it comes both to excessive prices and to taking advantage of the success of others.  So, we hope San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Paul Alvarado will accept Microsoft’s advice and reject the claims of Townsend & Townsend & Crew for $258 million in legal fees in the California class action suit against Microsoft.  (AP/New York Lawyer, Partner Defends $3,000 Hourly Billing Rate, 05-13-2004).


check red  Lead attorney Eugene Crew of T&T&C, argued that he deserves about $3,000 for each of his 6,189.6 billable hours, “considering the enormity of this undertaking against the most powerful corporation in America.”  

According to the AP report, the judge did not decide the fee issue on Wednesday, but instead, without hearing arguments, said he was “not prepared” to say “what I’m going to do.”  Microsoft said the lawyers deserve no more than about $75 million combined.   ethicalEsq argued against the fee request earlier this year at this site [Putting the Piggy in Piggy-Back].

A SFGate.com/AP article notes that the American Bar Association now has a task force investigating contingency fees, and that ABA rules require that a lawyer charge a reasonable fee.  Steven Lesser, who chairs the task force, added this insight to the discussion of the California Microsoft case: “That’s a big question, what is reasonable.”  The opinionated ethicalEsq also had some Suggestions for the ABA Contingency Fee Task Force.




  • pig black flip  The same article contained a far more astute quote from the California Supreme Court, which “two years ago upheld a lower court decision reducing fees from $88.5 million to $18.2 million for lawyers who won a class action accusing California of illegally charging out-of-state residents $300 extra for auto registration. The court called that request, for $8,000 an hour, ‘a testament to the unreal world of greed in which some attorneys practice law.'”
  • Overlawyered.com has frequently covered this topic well, including yesterday.

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