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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594035340
Publisher: Encounter Books
Publication date: 03/01/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 296
File size: 491 KB

About the Author

Walter Olson is an author and critic whose acclaimed books—The Litigation Explosion, The Excuse Factory, and The Rule of Lawyers—have changed the way we think about the American legal system. A senior fellow at the Cato Institute, he is a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal and other leading newspapers and has written columns for Great Britain's Times Online and Reason. His online work includes, widely cited as the oldest blog about law.

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Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America (Large Print 16pt) 1.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
schraubd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
MASSIVELY hackish. This is the sort of book I label "anti-persuasive", as in, books whose arguments are so bad that they make me more hostile to the author's position than I was when I started. As someone who does think intellectual diversity in academia is important, and has supported proactive efforts to increase conservative representation within the professoriate as a result, this book was absolutely terrible. It has less an argument than it does a stream of invective, mocking out-of-context passages and articles with funny titles (I don't even think most academic conservatives think "The Curvature of Constitutional Space" is an embarrassing article to the profession, but to an uninformed reader "The Harvard Law Review published an account of the supposed impact on judges' constitutional interpretation of Einstein's theory of relativity, space-time curvature, and quantum physics." (4) sure sounds silly, doesn't it?). Ditto his listing of secondary journals devoted to left-friendly topics (generally, identity politics) -- he doesn't tell you that any law professor knows placing exclusively in those journals is a quick way to a tenure-denial.Olson is almost explicitly anti-intellectual, mocking the very process of having novel ideas or attempting to look at problems in different ways. Obviously, when one canvasses the entire history of legal scholarship one can find plenty of duds, but this is hardly an honest way of evaluating the state of the field (and I really don't think Olson wants to get into a debate about whether legal liberals or legal conservatives defended more substantively appalling positions over the entire course of the 20th century). It's exceptionally unclear what he thinks legal scholars should be doing, aside from writing more things Olson agrees with and fewer he disagrees with, which, believe it or not, is not a workable principle.
Dr_Wilson_Trivino More than 1 year ago
Maybe Shakespeare was right, "first kill all the lawyers" but unfortunately that is not an option. In Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and An Overlawyered America by Walter Olson, the author makes the case how our society has systematically gotten more litigious for the wrong reasons. Stemming from the future lawyers, law students, learn in the institutionalized law schools. This has led to a systematic system of mistrust. Multi track, this book examines a broad view of the law on our society. Starting off that many of our leaders, like President Obama are lawyers. Olson goes into examples of legends of frivolous law suits that have placed a strain on our system. He also ventures into universal jurisdiction that blurs national boundaries and cause havoc to sovereignty. This book also examines the united consequences of policies that attempt to fix one program but end up creating others. Over all Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and An Overlawyered America by Walter Olson is an insightful analysis into our modern legal system for anyone wondering out loud "How the heck did we get here?"