Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America

Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America

by Walter Olson
     
 

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From Barack Obama (Harvard and Chicago) to Bill and Hillary Clinton (Yale), many of our current national leaders emerged from the rarefied air of the nation's top law schools. The ideas taught there in one generation often shape national policy in the next.

The trouble is, Walter Olson reveals in Schools for Misrule, our elite law schools keep churning out… See more details below

Overview

From Barack Obama (Harvard and Chicago) to Bill and Hillary Clinton (Yale), many of our current national leaders emerged from the rarefied air of the nation's top law schools. The ideas taught there in one generation often shape national policy in the next.

The trouble is, Walter Olson reveals in Schools for Misrule, our elite law schools keep churning out ideas that are catastrophically bad for America. From class action lawsuits that promote the right to sue anyone over anything, to court orders mandating the mass release of prison inmates; from the movement for slavery reparations, to court takeovers of school funding—all of these appalling ideas were hatched in legal academia. And the worst is yet to come. A fast-rising movement in law schools demands that sovereignty over U.S. legal disputes be handed over to international law and transnational courts.

It is not by coincidence, Olson argues, that these bad ideas all tend to confer more power on the law schools' own graduates. In the overlawyered society that results, they are the ones who become the real rulers.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The latest book from Olson (The Excuse Factory) is part historical overview and part cutting-edge commentary examining corporate case studies and public and tort law with a sharp analysis of the academic system and the internal and external forces shaping its agenda. Law schools mould the future leaders of America, shaping the nation and influencing consensus. Recent legal scholars have infiltrated politics, journalism, and broadcasting, claiming greater authority and creating potentially serious social repercussions. The author explores perceived political bias at Harvard and Yale, their dependence on "left-tilting philanthropy," and the tendency of professors to permeate the curriculum with their own values. Additionally, Olson argues, the commercialization of American universities creates markets of intellectual property and a culture of one-upmanship. Often with tongue firmly in-cheek, Olson addresses the "American disease" of dubious injury claims and product liability lawsuits, the ever-spurious "recovered memory" litigation, and other legal precedents. This hard-hitting, witty account reveals the effect of law on the individual and the collective and astutely forecasts the future of law reform, in the academy, in politics, and across the globe.
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Library Journal
Olson, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and creator of the blog Overlawyered.com, has written a critique of American legal education, which he blames for the growth of ideas that are bankrupting the legal system, e.g., lawsuits for slave reparations, court orders against schools to force racial integration, and the growth of international law. In 13 chapters, he explores the history of modern legal education, legal education theory and methods, and the history and development of various ideas such as slave reparations. The book has a distinctly conservative slant, as Olson frequently criticizes the "liberal" practice area of public interest law for its role in the growth of what he calls frivolous lawsuits. In Chapter One, while discussing the high frequency of U.ST Readers interested in conservative legal theory will enjoy this book, others not so much.—Becky Kennedy, Atlanta-Fulton P.L.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594035340
Publisher:
Encounter Books
Publication date:
03/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
296
Sales rank:
1,086,865
File size:
0 MB

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