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Do smart women want to date lawyers?

Megan from Sacramento, who has a law degree, opines:

I liked the people I went to law school with, and they are more socially adept than many of my friends, but going to law school did not improve my view of lawyers. I thought law was insular and self-reinforcing, and the lack of an external reference means that lawyers aren't grounded by something that could prove them wrong. I never trusted that there was a solid core to law, so I don't know what the fundamental limits are to someone for whom law is a practice and discipline.

Some generalizations that make me doubt I'll date a lawyer: Lawyers are often innumerate and proud of it, which makes me embarassed for them.

They went to law school because they weren't sure who they were, stayed because it is all-engrossing, and became lawyers because it is ****ing hard not to after law school. But I don't think many of them like it, and I don't think most ever made an affirmative choice to find what they love and do it.

Many of them were whiny in law school, especially about how hard they were working. My impression was that whatever lightweight degree they did before law school had never shown them what it meant to work hard. Law school was the easiest of my graduate degrees (but then, I am very verbal and didn't care about my grades).

Lawyers themselves are often contempuous of their career and peers. It is hard to respect them more than they respect themselves.

I would date a lawyer who convinced me it was what he wanted to be doing, had an awareness that it is both a ridiculous process and has important potential for doing good, and was grounded in the physical world. I don't think those lawyers are common, though.

Here is another post by Megan.

Beerslurpy (mail) (www):
My lawyer friends had lead me to suspect this for a while. My worry is ending up in a law firm where people resent their career choice. I would want to practice with other people that enjoy lawyering and dont regret their choice of career.
6.23.2006 9:57am
Gonerill (mail):
I never trusted that there was a solid core to law, so I don't know what the fundamental limits are to someone for whom law is a practice and discipline. ... I would date a lawyer who convinced me it was what he wanted to be doing, had an awareness that it is both a ridiculous process and has important potential for doing good, and was grounded in the physical world.

I would place a modest bet that this person is some kind of engineer.
6.23.2006 10:06am
MDJD2B (mail):
I thought law was insular and self-reinforcing, and the lack of an external reference means that lawyers aren't grounded by something that could prove them wrong.

ALL professional schools are insular and self-reinforcing. It is true of medicine, architecture, the service academies.

Lawyers are often innumerate and proud of it, which makes me embarassed for them.

And their innocence regarding the scientific method,which is garnered from the hypotheesis-experiment paradigm they learned in high school, serves them ill in addressing problems with a technical component, such as professional malpractice.

Lawyers themselves are often contempuous of their career and peers. It is hard to respect them more than they respect themselves.

And, as with residency (at least as it was in the good old days) doing scut work for 164 hours a week under the supervision of abusive sub-humans results in a sense of entitlement, a dislike of ones profession, and tends to mold the recipients of this treatment to be like their mentors
6.23.2006 10:10am
Freder Frederson (mail):
Many of them were whiny in law school, especially about how hard they were working.

One of the many things I hated about law school was how many people in law school thought they were brilliant and how they thought the law was some great intellectual pursuit and was something more than a glorified trade.

Going into law school with a degree in chemistry, I expected the study of law to be intellectually challenging. I was sorely disappointed. It was a lot of work, but it wasn't hard work. It was more about learning tricks of the trade than actually learning.

When I was an undergraduate I always felt that the people who did better than me were smarter than me, were working a lot harder to get their grades, and conversely, those who didn't do as well were not as smart and/or lazier than me. In law school, I never felt that way. Some people who were very bright and worked very hard struggled constantly while others who were dumb as a box of rocks, and often completely unethical, were at the top of the class.
6.23.2006 10:11am
Medis:
It is a bit unfair to identify lawyers in general with law students, or with lawyers fresh out of law school. I think Megan might find a lot more people fitting her description among lawyers several years, and perhaps several job changes, down the road.
6.23.2006 10:21am
SomeJarhead (mail):
Have to respond to this one... My wife married a lawyer, and she's the smartest (and most patient and forgiving) woman I know. We met before I started law school, but she always knew that this is where I was going.

Of course, I didn't obsess that much about my grades either and I had a job secured before the start of my second year (the Corps - no nasty civilian law for me).

She is right on about whiny law school students. Many of my classmates were coddled, debt-ridden, crybabies who still haven't figured out the law. I know it sounds harsh, but you try sitting through conversations about which company will loan an extra 5 grand for "bar preparation expenses..."

"I'm a quarter million in already. Why not make it a solid $300,000? I hear Jordans is offering no payments for a year on living rooms." Pathetic.
6.23.2006 10:26am
Well:
She sounds like a whiner. I wouldn't date her.
6.23.2006 10:38am
recent law school grad:
as far as i can tell, NO women date lawyers
6.23.2006 10:39am
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
My car mechanic and my realtor are lawyers, go figure.
6.23.2006 10:39am
NCCU4LE:
Well, both my wife and I married lawyers (or soon-to-be lawyers)...
6.23.2006 11:03am
Cornellian (mail):
Do smart women want to date lawyers?

Oh God, I SO hope so.....

"Some generalizations that make me doubt I'll date a lawyer: Lawyers are often innumerate and proud of it, which makes me embarassed for them."

Got an A+ in undergrad calculus and an A in statistics, despite being an Arts major.

"They went to law school because they weren't sure who they were, stayed because it is all-engrossing, and became lawyers because it is ****ing hard not to after law school. But I don't think many of them like it, and I don't think most ever made an affirmative choice to find what they love and do it."

I like the law, it's a fun subject.

"Many of them were whiny in law school, especially about how hard they were working. My impression was that whatever lightweight degree they did before law school had never shown them what it meant to work hard."

Not me, never whined once, but then I worked between undergrad and law school so I know what the real world is like.


"Lawyers themselves are often contempuous of their career and peers. It is hard to respect them more than they respect themselves."


I haven't noticed this. Granted some lawyers are regarded with contempt by their peers but that's usually because they're idiots or obnoxious, not because they're lawyers.

I would date a lawyer who convinced me it was what he wanted to be doing, had an awareness that it is both a ridiculous process and has important potential for doing good, and was grounded in the physical world. I don't think those lawyers are common, though.

OK, here you're losing me. What does "grounded in the physical world" mean?
6.23.2006 11:05am
Cornellian (mail):
I followed the link, and she is indeed an engineer. That would explain her hostility to those who are proud of their innumeracy.
6.23.2006 11:08am
plunge (mail):
Are lawyers really innumerate? For instance, do lawyers think that .9(bar) (i.e. .99999999999.... on to an infiniate number of 9s) exactly equals the integer 1 and is equivalent to the numeral 1? Or not?
6.23.2006 11:16am
Houston Lawyer:
Sure, law school would be easy if you didn't have to worry about your grades. Most law schools are set up not to flunk out any but the truly abismal.

Would you date an engineer?

Better question yet, who do female lawyers date other than male lawyers. How many female lawyers are willing to marry men who make less money than them?

I agree with the post that law students are not representative of lawyers. People do grow up and get over themselves.
6.23.2006 11:17am
Jack S. (mail) (www):
I'm an engineer and some of the people who did those 'lightweight degrees' at my school are some of the most brilliant legal minds I know.

The better question is would a lawyer want to date her? I doubt it.
6.23.2006 11:19am
Freder Frederson (mail):
I'm an engineer and some of the people who did those 'lightweight degrees' at my school are some of the most brilliant legal minds I know.

And that is the conundrum. What makes a brilliant legal mind? It certainly doesn't require logical thinking to be a good lawyer, or adherence to objective facts or the truth. Or as noted by Megan, innumeracy seems to be worn as a badge of honor among lawyers.

When I went to law school, I thought my degree in chemistry and five years working as an environmental chemist would actually help me in the only area of law I was remotely interested in practicing in--environmental law. I quickly discovered that my technical background was actually a hinderance to my goals and that practicing environmental attorneys were, on the whole, actually hostile to the technical details of environmental practice, especially when the facts ran counter to the position they were advocating.
6.23.2006 11:42am
plunge (mail):
If being a lawyer makes you THINK you are an expert on any subject (from environmental data to evolution), as it often apparently does, isn't that good enough? Who wouldn't want to be married to a world reknowned expert on everything AND who is also a lawyer?
6.23.2006 11:45am
anonymousss (mail):
is "smart women" code for "women with postgraduate degrees"? or "women in a high social class"? that stuff's neither necessary nor sufficient for smartness.
6.23.2006 11:46am
JRW (mail) (www):
Innumerate? I've heard that other humanities grads are at least 10 times less numerate than lawyers...
6.23.2006 11:53am
John Armstrong (mail):
plunge:

Innumeracy is a lot more basic than such esoterica as convergence of decimal representations. It's about basic numerical reasoning -- the mathematical equivalent of being able to string words into a sentence once you've sounded them out.

In my experience (mathematician) lawyers are no more likely to be devastatingly innumerate than the typical American, but they're much more likely to be in a situation where they really shouldn't be so than pretty much every non-technical field other than politics (which is heavily staffed with lawyers to begin with).

During grad school I tried to get my law student friends to push for a "law and numbers" course to complement the legions of "law and [some touchy-feely thing like Critical Theory]" the school offered each semester. No dice.
6.23.2006 11:55am
The Divagator (mail) (www):

Lawyers themselves are often contempuous of their career and peers. It is hard to respect them more than they respect themselves.


Having been a law firm consultant for several years, both from the inside and outside of the some of the largest firms in the world, I can't say that this is a feature generally speaking of the partners with whom I've worked. Maybe it's true for the associate population or some of the junior-level partners. I don't know. And then there those lawyers who work outside of firms, about whom I know nothing.


I never trusted that there was a solid core to law, so I don't know what the fundamental limits are to someone for whom law is a practice and discipline.


Is this not more a product of one's philosophy of law rather than law per se? If a life in law is merely lingustic construction and deconstruction, then I can see how Megan would miss the 'solid core.' If your philosophy of law is grounded in something other than language--if language is but merely the means rather than the end--then its core is as 'substantial' as the intellect that exercises itself in its service.
6.23.2006 11:55am
Ubertrout (mail) (www):
My question is...why isn't the post entitled "Do smart people want to do lawyers?" I know plenty of male lawyers with little interest in dating a female lawyer, for much the same reason (admittedly some gender biases also come into play, but not exclusively so). I don't see how the factors are in any way gender specific.
6.23.2006 11:56am
Steve:
Any room for female lawyers in this analysis? Cause there's like a million of 'em.
6.23.2006 11:56am
Hans Bader (mail):
Megan is right that many lawyers are innumerate.

One of my classmates at Harvard Law School, who is now associate general counsel for a multibillion dollar Fortune 500 company, was asked by Harvard tax law professor Warren what 10 percent of 100 is.

He said 20. (For those of you who are innumerate, the correct answer is 10. I was taught this in elementary school).

Lawyers are generally verbal rather mathematical, which means that many of them can speak eloquently and passionately about things they know little about and do not really understand. Their great verbal skill enables them to elevate form over substance and use verbal tricks to obfuscate.

They are the opposite of engineers, who have great knowledge but often have difficulty verbalizing that knowledge.

Judicial nominees should be required to show an understanding of math, statistics, and basic principles of economics before being appointed to the bench.

That would result in increased understanding of expert witness testimony and improved handling of products liability and pattern-and-practice discrimination cases.

It would also reduce judicial activism, since there is no empirical or statistical support for many dubious judicially-imposed mandates in the area of social policy (like court orders mandating that state legislatures spend billions on increased teacher salaries, even those such increases have little correlation with improved student achievement), and judges typically don't understand statistics.
6.23.2006 12:07pm
AC:
As an engineer in law school, I wouldn't say it's innumeracy as much as it is a lack of critical thinking skills. I'm surrounded by people who are brilliant at legal analysis, but their ability to solve everyday problems is abysmal.
6.23.2006 12:07pm
Starboard Attitude (mail):
Freder makes me wonder where he attended law school??? What law school teaches "tricks of the trade?" Is it accredited? Is it above the bottom tier?

Megan's over generalizations are just that. Also, they do not appear to be derived from observations of lawyers, but law students instead. There is a huge difference.

Lawyers are far from homogeneous. Each has his or her own background and interests, and none are produced by cookie cutters. Moreover, most have their own personal reasons for practicing law.
6.23.2006 12:09pm
jallgor (mail):
i want to chime in on the whining aspect. I saw a lot of whining from law students who complained that law school and/or the bar was so hard. My theory is that, for some small percentage, law school and the bar are truly difficult. For the remainder, I think they need to feel special and if it got out that law school and the bar were not really that big a deal then they themselves wouldn't be such a big deal. I do not think it is intrinsic to lawyers though. Other people engage in this kind of thing everyday.
I have lots of friends who are both lawyers and non lawyers. I can't say I have seen any marked difference in the intellignece of their spouses based on their chosen profession.
6.23.2006 12:13pm
Still Learning:
A high powered female lawyer I once knew said what she needed was a wife, someone who could run the household while she put in 60-80 hour weeks. She ended up marrying a blue collar guy. I hear a lot of female lawyers are doing that.
6.23.2006 12:14pm
hey (mail):
John Edwards is Exhibit A in the malignant innumeracy of lawyers and politicians. That he was able to get away with claiming that an OB somehow caused Cerebral Palsy, to the tune of millions and millions of dollars in fees, shows why no lawyer should be able to attend law school without demonstrating total mastery of math and science. Preferably through an engineering, math, or science degree, though 5 full year courses in each of math and science (at least 2 of those in stats) should suffice.

As to the rest... simply lawyer bashing, which is good fun but essentially contentless.

Divagator: Partners are less likely to be disillusioned.... they won the tournament. Lawyers, as a whole, are highly likely to fulfill her generalisation, given the problems of the law firm business model and the demoralization stemming from the high leverage and low opportunity nature of law practice.
6.23.2006 12:14pm
Pete Freans (mail):
My days of dating attorneys appear to be waning. I figured that since I was an attorney, a relationship with another would blossom due to our common interests and the understanding of the pressures of our profession. Big mistake. Maybe it's bad luck but I have found my female collegues to be combative, selfish, and lacking the ability to leave their "lawyer masks" back at the office. While intellectual compatability was never a problem, "everything else" was. I think I would much rather date a supermodel, or an airline stewardess, or a supermodel-airline stewardess. Or that attorney who works in my building, who knows....
6.23.2006 12:17pm
Starboard Attitude (mail):
Why do posters seem to think people are either verbal or numerate, as if the traits are mutually exclusive? That's nonsense.

My best arguments are mathematical in nature, and I rely on verbal skills to deliver them to the audience in a compelling and intuitive way. Without a good grasp of the math or the syllogisms, even the most elloquent lawyer will appeal only to idiots. On the other hand, the most numerate lawyer will fail to make his point or move the audience unless he can translate the math into something obvious, intuitive, and even a little emotional.
6.23.2006 12:17pm
Still Learning:
When I was in law school (back when only 10-15% were women) I swore I'd never marry a female lawyer, and many friends agreed. As a lawyer I mostly met lawyers and dated some (any port in a storm) but none were keepers.
Years later I met a lawyer 19 years younger from Europe and married her. Maybe the age difference helps undo the "I'm the smartest most important bitch on the planet" syndrome that law school imbues in them?
6.23.2006 12:22pm
The Divagator (mail) (www):

Why do posters seem to think people are either verbal or numerate, as if the traits are mutually exclusive? That's nonsense.


Good point. Especially true for the patent litigators I know, but then, they often come from science backgrounds and came to law later in life.
6.23.2006 12:24pm
JosephSlater (mail):
This is obviously a lot of over-generalization to stir up responses, but what the heck. To me the charges that ring the most true (truest?) are (i) the worry about job dissatisfaction among practicing lawyers (the percentages are depressing, and who wants to be married to somebody that hates their job?); and (ii) the problem of lawyers, more than other professionals, thinking that they either are experts about everything or can easily become experts about anything.

But the original poster didn't mention what I would think would be the biggest problem in marrying a practicing lawyer: the extremely high number of hours many lawyers work.
6.23.2006 12:36pm
EricK:

Better question yet, who do female lawyers date other than male lawyers. How many female lawyers are willing to marry men who make less money than them?


My co-workers ex-wife. Although he made more money her, and that pissed her off, mainly becuase he dropped out of college.
6.23.2006 12:36pm
John B. (mail):
So lawyers are innumerate? Hmmm, and engineers are ineloquent. And the point is what?

Though I did manage to earn an accounting degree-that involves some math. Not a lot, but some.

But still, the point? So engineers cannot talk and lawyers cannot do math? At some point, math skills, like verbal skills, are hard wired.

And a final point about engineers-who often take into account engineering, and ingnore politics or personal relationships-it takes both to make the world go round.

So a doctor, a lawyer and an engineer and going to be executed during the French Revolution. The executioner asks the doctor, "face up or face down". The doctor says face up. The blade from the guillotine stops a half inch from his neck. "Fate spared you, you are free to go," the executioner tells the doctor.

Next, the lawyer. "Face up or face down." The lawyer picks face up, and again, the blade stops a half inch from the lawyer's neck. "Fate spared you, you are free to go," the executioner tells the lawyer.

Finally, the engineer. "Face up or face down." "Face up," the engineer says. "By the way, you have a knot up there in the rope that's going to keep the guillotine from working."

"Thanks," the executioner says, fixing the rope before the blade comes down, severing the engineer's head from his body."


I'm not saying anything, I'm just saying.
6.23.2006 12:38pm
Jason Fliegel (mail):
John Edwards is Exhibit A in the malignant innumeracy of lawyers and politicians. That he was able to get away with claiming that an OB somehow caused Cerebral Palsy, to the tune of millions and millions of dollars in fees, shows why no lawyer should be able to attend law school without demonstrating total mastery of math and science. Preferably through an engineering, math, or science degree, though 5 full year courses in each of math and science (at least 2 of those in stats) should suffice.


At best, you've just proved that John Edwards argued his case before an innumerate judge and jury. Actually, you've really just asserted it, but regardless -- you've said nothing about Edwards's innumeracy.
6.23.2006 12:44pm
frankcross (mail):
While Hans Bader is correct about the frequent inability of judges to address statistical evidence, he might be surprised at the ideological direction of the consequences. This has been studied and more often judges fallaciously dismiss statistical evidence from liberal litigants (the classic case being the USSC's weak dismissal of the statistical evidence challenging the death penalty).
6.23.2006 12:52pm
MDJD2B (mail):
I have lots of friends who are both lawyers and non lawyers.

How can you be both a lawyer and a non-lawyer? :)
6.23.2006 12:53pm
Houston Lawyer:
And as for the comments that lawyers believe that they are the experts in everything, I can attest that the vast majority of lawyers profess only to know the narrow area in which they practice. Try representing a physician. They make horrible clients because you can't tell them anything.
6.23.2006 12:58pm
JunkYardLawDog (mail):
Megan's post to some degree illustrates the mind of a well grounded numerate engineer versus wisdom. 20 some years ago in a litigation settlement negotiation about the dissolution of a closely held business one of the litigants, who was an engineer, showed up with a calculation of the fair market value of the business calculated to 5 decimal places. Yes he was very numerate and very knowledgeable about mathematical formulas.

Says the "Dog"
6.23.2006 1:05pm
Medis:
At the risk of drawing massive criticism, I actually think that good lawyers, particularly in certain practices (general practice, general lit., judges, etc.), tend to be pretty quick at learning and understanding the basic facts and principles of new situations. In that sense, I do think that a good lawyer is often someone who is a quick learner (although obviously not to the level of an expert).

Of course, not all lawyers are good lawyers.
6.23.2006 1:10pm
SomeJarhead (mail):
Wall Street Journal: Law School by Default

http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110008556

There's something wrong with a system that makes a whole lot of people pay a whole lot of money for jobs that are not worth it, or that have no future.

Amen.
6.23.2006 1:20pm
The Divagator (mail) (www):

I actually think that good lawyers, particularly in certain practices (general practice, general lit., judges, etc.), tend to be pretty quick at learning and understanding the basic facts and principles of new situations.


Medis, there's no outrageous about that. I tend to agree. Litigators are 'good' precisely because they are quick to acquire the knowledge needed to litigate a case, whether they're litigating a case concerning dental floss or asbestos or whatever.

But there obviously is a difference between the litigators' knowledge of dental hygiene products or industrial chemicals and the expert in the field. Still, I can't imagine that Megan is really complaining about lawyers' (or law students') lack of subtle knowledge of academic disciplines outside law. Surely her gripe is more philosophical in nature (at least, I would hope). Otherwise, what is one to make of someone's whining about other people's whining?
6.23.2006 1:29pm
Kevin! (mail):
I just finished my first year at Loyola Law School. With only a few exceptions, I found everyone to be unfailingly nice and easy to get along with. The much-feared competitive death-urge was nonexistent. Other law students I've met, from Pepperdine and Southwestern, have been the same normal, albeit stressed, people.

My friends in Tier 1 schools generally do complain about their classmates, however. That they're either entitled or irritatingly aggressive. So perhaps the divide comes between those Tier 2 students attending Law School as what it is -- a Skills-based Professional School -- and those Tier 1s with a chip on their shoulder.
6.23.2006 1:31pm
plunge (mail):
"Innumeracy is a lot more basic than such esoterica as convergence of decimal representations."

Hey, I'm just trying to get a sense of whether lawyers think 1 = .9(bar) or not. It isn't esoterica. If someone doesn't understand how numbers work and are defined, then they can't really understand the basic level in the first place: they can only manipulate it according to rules that break the second you get out of the classroom.
6.23.2006 1:45pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):
I generally have a good opinion about lawyers but they ARE insular, or at least law students are. Maybe it's just because they have so much work to do but I meet other grad students in different areas (perhaps not as much as I would like) but the law students at my school seem to keep to themselves. Heck, my school doesn't even have a med school and I occasionally run into med students at parties and stuff. It's a shame because everyone keeps telling me I would get along well with female law students.

I don't know if I can blame them for being insular. I remember when I went to caltech for undergrad and all the hard work meant most socializing happened while studying and made us pretty insular. However, I expect any difficulty lawyers have finding dates has a lot to do with having a social network that doesn't include non-lawyers.

Also people shouldn't take whining too seriously. Almost everyone (not me) at caltech whined pretty intensely about how much work they had to do but most of them wouldn't have been anywhere else and were nostalgic after they graduated. Whining if often just a way to relieve stress.
6.23.2006 1:45pm
Medis:
SomeJarhead,

I agree that a lot of people who go to law school by default are making a mistake, but "the system" isn't forcing them to make this mistake (unless by "the system" one means "a combination of insecurity, immaturity, ego, greed, and their parents"). I also think that people tend to overstate the plight of "non-elite" lawyers. For example, that article notes that the mean starting salary for lawyers at a third-tier school was $60,000. But as I recall, the mean starting salary for liberal arts grads from college is around $31,000. So, this could be a perfectly worthwhile investment for a lot of college grads, even if they don't make $135-160,000 out of the gate.

The Divagator,

As an aside, I think everyone whining, including Megan, is being a bit immature, but in a way that they are likely to outgrow.

Anyway, I was more thinking of some of the other comments, but I think my comment also applies to Megan's "grounded in the physical world" notion. In other words, again without claiming this rises to the level of expertise, I do think that good lawyers tend to have a decent basic sense of how things work in the physical world, and again are quick learners about specific physical facts, principles, processes, and so on. After all, physical causation is often an element in many claims.

And to be clear, none of this is amounts to an argument that lawyers are super-special universal experts. But the stereotype of the lawyer as a glib wordsmith with no sense of how things work "in the real world" doesn't really hold up in practice--at least not if the lawyer is any good.
6.23.2006 1:53pm
SB (www):
What I've learned from this:

Going into patent law is the best way for an engineer to get a date.
6.23.2006 1:57pm
Robert Lyman (mail):
Am I a bad person for thinking that the really important question is "Do hot, slutty women want to date lawyers?"

Because that would certainly make studying for the bar easier to take.

(Another important question is: how often does my wife read the comments on Volokh?)
6.23.2006 1:58pm
te (mail):

Judicial nominees should be required to show an understanding of math, statistics, and basic principles of economics before being appointed to the bench.

I think it would be better if they were required to show an understanding of Chaucer.
6.23.2006 2:09pm
therut:
I have a first cousin who is my age and we went to school together 1-12 grades. We dcided to go to the same University and go to medical school . I go in to the University of choice and she did not. She ended up a lawyer and me a physician. She is self loathing. She said she made a hugh mistake. She does not like lawyers at all and tells me they lie every day as she does and she hates herself for doing it.
6.23.2006 2:15pm
Drive By Comments:
Kevin! wrote:

"My friends in Tier 1 schools generally do complain about their classmates, however. That they're either entitled or irritatingly aggressive. So perhaps the divide comes between those Tier 2 students attending Law School as what it is -- a Skills-based Professional School -- and those Tier 1s with a chip on their shoulder."

Yeah, that's it, basically.

Although, I think that there's a further divide, from what I've seen/heard. Students at top law schools that I know usually will complain about their classmates' excessive drives or quirks, but usually aren't angry about the school or their post-graduation situations. People at schools ranked 10-20 tend to be far and away the most bitter and angry or most entitled people. There's often an inferiority complex issue- many of them believe that they're the hottest, smartest thing that God Himself ever shat out, and are incensed that they're at USC or whatever rather than Harvard, and generally think that they're somehow better than 95% of their classmates. These people are roughly 50% of the class at each of those schools.

Many of them were top students in their high school and undergraduate careers, and usually went straight through to law school. They are under the erroneous impression that the rank of the school and their rank within it are central to their self-identity and worth as a human being.

It's particularly bad when it is someone who hasn't performed all that well- I'm talking people with GPAs in the 3.1-3.3 range (roughly people below the top third but in the top half; hard to say exactly because we don't get ranks or cutoffs). These people are the worst, because they still maintain the "I'm smart and better than this place and deserve to be at Harvard" mentality, all while blaming the school, rather than their own lukewarm performance, for their extremely limited job options (most firms that interview at UCLA ask for a 3.3 grade cutoff; only a handful ask for 3.0 or better).

They're an incredible pain to deal with, particularly when they do manage to get that big firm job and discover that their coworkers are, by and large, the same people that they think they're better than from law school.

Usually, these people end up being bitter that they'll never be a law professor, "only" clerked for the Central District of California (second most prestigious district court behind SDNY), probably won't be an appellate judge and certainly not a Supreme Court justice, and the like.

It's the bitterness of having been at or near the top of the heap as an undergraduate and then realizing that, after the secondary filtering of law school, realizing that they are only mid-major.
6.23.2006 2:24pm
Drive By Comments:
You can see that I too am only mid-major by this sentence:

"It's the bitterness of having been at or near the top of the heap as an undergraduate and then realizing that, after the secondary filtering of law school, realizing that they are only mid-major."
6.23.2006 2:40pm
U.Va. 0L (mail):
What do we mean by "innumerate." I know the dictionary definition, but what do we mean in the real world? Not knowing that 10 percent of 100 is 10 is embarrassingly bad, but surely that is the exception.

I think the point made above that litigators learn quickly is important. I received an A in every math class I took up through college calculus and two college statistics classes not to mention various business and programming classes that required use of that knowledge. I used to know how to calculate the nth term of a binomial or how to use the Multiple-Channel Waiting Line Model with Poisson Arrivals to determine the probability that x of y channels are busy given various inputs. I say used to because I have since forgotten. In the years since I haven't needed that knowledge and thus it has faded from memory. Does that make me innumerate as an entering law student this fall? I doubt it. (Neither do a few A's make me a math wiz.)

As a software engineer I have found that many of my colleagues do not write well. However, I wouldn't accuse them of being illiterate. Perhaps they used to write excellent prose but haven't written much sine beginning their programming careers.

I think it's fair to say that many people are more oriented toward numbers and others are more oriented toward letters. Perhaps what is perceived as a lack of ability is a lack of interest or a difference in prioritization. I wonder if engineers tend to think the numbers are more important than explaining information clearly (and the reverse for non-engineers).

I'm amused to read about people bashing lawyers for lacking math skills. I've more often heard lawyers criticized for not writing well. Maybe lawyers just get bashed period. :P
6.23.2006 3:02pm
Ginger:
I am a lawyer and like my practice (good clients who pay on time, interesting work, consistent circle of opposing counsel who are wonderful for the most part). My job involves a fair amount of math (for law) though.

I do remember when my law alma mater shot up in the rankings. The universal fear expressed was that it would ruin the school by bringing in a ton of people with chips on their shoulder that they didn't get into [insert top 3 or top 5 school here] instead of people who were happy to be there.

I used to work with a lot of attorneys who almost inspired me to get a My Kid Beat Up Your Honor Student. A lot of those honor students seem to wind up in law school!
6.23.2006 3:04pm
jimbino (mail):
Lawyers who think "surely the smart lawyer can master the facts needed to prosecute his case" just don't get it at all. My law school prof early on informed us that his job was not to teach us the "black-letter law" but instead to teach us to "think like a lawyer." Well said.

Unfortunately, science is much more than learning "black-letter" science, represented by knowing that 10% of 100 is 10. There is such a thing as "learning to think like a scientist," something that few lawyers and, lamentably, few women, will ever appreciate.
6.23.2006 3:13pm
Cornellian (mail):
Better question yet, who do female lawyers date other than male lawyers. How many female lawyers are willing to marry men who make less money than them?

I'd say roughly about the same percentage as are willing to marry guys who are shorter than them, which is to say, quite small.
6.23.2006 3:13pm
Cornellian (mail):
My friends in Tier 1 schools generally do complain about their classmates, however. That they're either entitled or irritatingly aggressive. So perhaps the divide comes between those Tier 2 students attending Law School as what it is -- a Skills-based Professional School -- and those Tier 1s with a chip on their shoulder.

I haven't noticed this here in Tier 1, but maybe my classmates act differently in job interviews than in class. Overall, they seem mostly like pretty normal people, no exaggerated sense of entitlement or obnoxious aggression, even with ones with really good grades who are graduating into really good jobs.
6.23.2006 3:16pm
Drive By Comments:
"I haven't noticed this here in Tier 1, but maybe my classmates act differently in job interviews than in class. Overall, they seem mostly like pretty normal people, no exaggerated sense of entitlement or obnoxious aggression, even with ones with really good grades who are graduating into really good jobs."

See the distinction I made. I assume that the Cornell student body falls more into the "top end" camp than the "mid-major" camp, although, like at Penn and some other places, it may be more split.
6.23.2006 3:18pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
I think Megan's perspective is influenced largely by having met people who shouldn't have gone to law school, but did so because they couldn't think of anything else to do with their liberal arts bachelor degrees. I knew of several people in that mold. They didn't last more than 2 or 3 years at a big firm, and many left the legal profession.

This situation is quite common: many people with English, History or other liberal arts degrees don't go into teaching (grade school or high school) because the pay is too low, and they don't go into business because they can't get a well-paying job and won't accept a low-paying entry level job (maybe because of all of those student loans they have to pay back). So, they opt to stay in school (to defer student loans) by going to law school, and hope for the best. Then, if they do well, they wind up at a big law firm that--surprise!--wants them to work hard for their inflated salaries, and that provides them with little in the way of interesting or rewarding work (for some reason, writing legal memos no one reads, putting together cool binders for the partner's deposition that you can't attend, and drafting thousands of meaningless interrogatories or discovery responses is less than fully satisfying). Eventually, they wind up saying to themselves, "Hey, I am smart, how come I am doing this drudge work and why is it consuming so much of my life?" and leave. Also, big law firms typically do not give management training to their partners, and many partners are terrible managers of others, which exacerbate the situation. If they stay, it is only because of the money, or because they happen to find a mentor or partner who treats them okay and eventually gives them interesting work to do. Or, they stay because they like the status that saying "I work at Cravath/Skadden" affords them, and the "golden" handcuffs that slowly chain them (e.g, fancy cars, houses, vacations).

In contrast, my friends who wanted to be lawyers, and who work in Public Defender/District Attorney jobs, all seem to enjoy themselves. But then, they wanted to be lawyers in the first place, and didn't go into the profession largely because they couldn't think of something else to do with their careers.
6.23.2006 3:25pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
My father, who practiced law for some 47 years, used to complain that an attorney who knew how to read a balance sheet or income statement was a rarity. I suspect that it isn't much better today. For me, despite working as a software engineer or patent attorney for the last 30 years, that is a more important part of innumeracy than not knowing whether .9999999... equals one or not. For actually dealing with technology, the legal field has patent attorneys and the like. But a lot more of the law deals with business, and this innumeracy often ends up hurting their clients and society in general (needless to say, Edwards most likely never even considered what his OB victories would do to the availability of OB/Gyns in the area - something that most MBAs would understand instinctively).
6.23.2006 3:29pm
Medis:
jimbino,

I think everyone, including lawyers, can appreciate that scientists have unique ways of thinking that are crucial to success in their fields. This, of course, is true of virtually all professionals.

But I don't think anyone is claiming that lawyers actually ARE scientists. The far more modest claim being made (at least by me) is that good lawyers are often quick learners, including with respect to basic facts and principles involving the physical world.

And as you point out, scientists don't just attempt to learn such things. Rather, their job is to actually add to (or modify) the general body of understanding we know as "science". In that sense, they are discovering the facts and deriving the principles to be learned, not just learning facts and principles already discovered and derived.

The rest of us, however, are just attempting to learn and understand what scientists are producing, and usually only when relevant to our own purposes. Which makes sense, because we can't all be scientists. And while I agree that good lawyers may not have acquired the patterns of thinking required for actually BEING scientists, that would be asking quite a bit more than that lawyers be "grounded in the physical world", "numerate", "scientifically literate", or so on.
6.23.2006 3:37pm
UVAgirl:
Yikes. Easy to see why Megan is single. A bit prone to over-generalizations and really fun to be around?

Perhaps I went to an atypical Tier 1 school, but my law school classmates were incredibly easy-going, almost to their detriment. The biggest criticism there would be that they were very Greek. I come from a family of engineers, and I have a science degree. At the risk of overgeneralizing, I'd much rather hang out or date the average lawyer than the average engineer. But, there are tools in every profession.

I think one problem of dating anyone who is established in their career is that if they've been single for a while, they may let their career define them, and that's almost always a negative personality characteristic. If your job is all you have, then you may bore others quite easily and be prone to an inflated ego.

Female lawyers will date non-lawyers, on occasion. The difficulty is usually not that the man doesn't make as much as she does - it's that generally the men don't understand the drains of law firm life on a young female associate. There will be a lot of late nights and broken dates, and she may not fill a traditional wifely role. Many male lawyers get this - many male non-lawyers don't.

I married a lawyer, but early enough that we weren't both boring narcissists.
6.23.2006 3:45pm
Medis:
Bruce,

I think one of the best possible legal education reforms would simply be for the ABA to require law students to take an "accounting for lawyers" course (even just a micro course).
6.23.2006 3:47pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Yikes. Easy to see why Megan is single. A bit prone to over-generalizations and really fun to be around?


Agreed, perhaps it isn't that there is anything particularly wrong with dating lawyers but mabye there's just something wrong with Meagan? She was afterall in a relationship with a guy for seven years who ultimately found that he didn't want to marry her. It stands to reason that he probably knows a lot of things about her that we don't.
6.23.2006 4:24pm
U.Va. 0L (mail):
Good idea, Medis.
6.23.2006 4:25pm
Robert Lyman (mail):
Well, UVA 0L, you can take just such a course at UVA if you like. I did, well worthwhile.

And speaking of innumeracy, a number of people complained about the 8th grade math of the companion finance class.
6.23.2006 4:38pm
drive by marathon:
"I think one of the best possible legal education reforms would simply be for the ABA to require law students to take an 'accounting for lawyers' course (even just a micro course)."

I agree completely. I also took an applied quantitative analysis course while in law school that discussed (and forced us to apply) probability, regression, and statistical significance in a variety of different legal situations. It was quite useful. I think that it too should be required, at least of people seeking to be civil litigators.
6.23.2006 4:40pm
U.Va. 0L (mail):
Robert Lyman:

Yup, I just might. I thought about doing the whole MBA/JD thing but probably won't go that far. What is 8th grade math anyway? Pre-algebra?
6.23.2006 5:15pm
JDNYU:
This is about the clearest example of a flamebait post I've yet seen on Volokh...
6.23.2006 5:16pm
Robert Lyman (mail):
UVA 0L: basically, with some very light algebra thrown in. Things like compound interest (finite power series) and discount rates.

I've got an MS in physics, but I did rather poorly because I'm sloppy and they were extremely stingy with partial credit.

Accounting, BTW, has essentially no math except some addition and subtraction.
6.23.2006 5:22pm
Hattio (mail):
Does anybody else think this might have hit a nerve? I mean 75 comments when it's the first post of the day. Or maybe it's just that no one wants to work too hard on a Friday.
6.23.2006 6:10pm
John Jenkins (mail):
Medis, what would be the point? Criminal lawyers may never have to do anything other than addition and subtraction for their entire careers? If law students managed to graduate from college as innumerates, that's the fault of the undergraduate institution and the law school has no obligation to correct that error because there's almost NO math involved in law school (except in tax courses and the most basic of math when calculating damages).

One problem with lawyers dating lawyers is that it's a tight professional community in many places (large markets excepted) and it suffers from the same kinds of problems that dating in any such setting does (e.g. side-taking at the end, rumor mill). Of course, I am one of those people who went to undergrad wanting to be a lawyer, so maybe I am not in the targeted group (I once owned a shirt that said "I love big corporations!").
6.23.2006 7:01pm
lyarbrou (mail):
Can't we get a little more "meat" in this discussion about lawyers and math? In 2001 Psychologist David Lubinski and coworkers published a study of the profoundly gifted (1 in 10,000). The paper is available for downloading at the URL below. He studied three groups with estimated IQ's of 180 or more. Those studied were put into three groups
1. High verbal (31 male, 42 female)
2. High math (169 male, 16 female)
3. High Verbal and high math (53 male, 9 female)

Is the ratio of males to females in the high math group due to nature, nuture, or what?

http://www.vanderbilt.edu/Peabody/SMPY/david_lubinski.htm

Lubinski, D., Webb, R. M., Morelock, M. J., &Benbow, C. P. (2001). Top 1 in 10,000: A 10-year follow up of the profoundly gifted. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 718-729. View in PDF (available for downloading).

Gene Cloner
6.23.2006 8:54pm
Medis:
John,

I was specifically talking about accounting, not general math. And whether or not colleges should be requiring accounting classes (mine didn't), I think it would be of use to most lawyers--even criminal lawyers, in fact. I've seen various criminal cases in which accounting was relevant (eg, frauds, embezzlement, securities crime, money laundering, and so on).
6.23.2006 9:12pm
Californio (mail):
What a ridiculous argument by that woman. Make your argument interesting Madam, post your picture. If you are drop dead beautiful, well then I'll listen out of curiosity. If you are ordinary - well that is like listening to a poor man endlessly drone on about what color Porche he will buy - when, uh, he gets some money. Besides, even if beautiful, she can just wait a few years. When she is no longer in the socially magic (meaning desirable to major male demographic) 18 to 28 age group, her negotiating power will peak and rapidly decline. Whom she "would" date will magically expand to include bald men, flawed men, yes, maybe even (horrors) lawyers. Indeed, should she chose to pursue that often female failing for marriage at all costs - she should be so lucky to as "date" a lawyer who could occasionally pick up the dinner check. Oh, and lest someone assume I am motivated by sour grapes, note that I was married long before I attended Volokh's school, passed the bar (first time, like most of my classmates - so no big accomplishment there) and later went to B-school at the cross town rival school. Now what color Porche was she going to buy again?
6.24.2006 4:57am
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
1. While starting practice I dated a lady going thru med school. I think I can say that the roughest time in law school (first semester of first year) was about as rough as her easiest time in med school.

2. Of course lawyers tend to be contemptuous of their peers. As a doctor client pointed out, we are the only profession that is trained to fight with each other. You keep your morale up by believing that you are better than all the rest. A force that goes into battle convinced that its opponent is smarter, faster, and stronger is a force that is already beaten.

3. As far as not being grounded in something that could prove them wrong -- any lawyer with more than one or two trials under his belt knows that anything, anything, can happen in a courtroom. You're dealing with human beings, judges and juries and clients and witnesses. You can lose an ice-cold case or win one you know was a loser. Is the judge smart, or a political hack? IS he/she a former prosecutor who knows criminal law well but hasn't the foggiest about civil procedure? Is your opponent their good buddy? Does your client annoy the jury? Does he panic on the witness stand and sound terrible?

4. It's exceptional difficult to generalize about attorneys and job satisfaction, etc. It's not like they start into one job and must stay there for life. I started out as a associate/gofer in a three attorney firm, then became partner in a stuffling four attorney firm, spent a decade in the government as a bureaucrat in a 300 attorney operation, and am now in solo practice. Each has its upside and its downside.
6.24.2006 12:30pm
FXKLM:
UVA0L: The law and business program is a reasonably good substitute for a JD/MBA if you want some business training but don't want to commit to an extra year of school. You can also take up to 6 credits at the business school.

Californio: Did you not follow the link? There is a very prominently displayed picture on Megan's blog.

Rob Lyman: The issue, unfortunately, is not simply how often your wife reads the Volokh comments section but how often your wife's friends read the Volokh comments section. Psuedonymity has its virtues.
6.24.2006 12:43pm
Truth Seeker:
Scott Calvert commenting on Megan's other post hit the nail on the head. A lot of professional women are looking for a man to fit into the life that they've got all planned out. No intelligent successful man is looking for that. Professional men are looking for women to fit into their lives.
6.24.2006 2:52pm
Old school (mail):
Considering the title of the blog "Do smart women want to date lawyers", why aren't there more comments regarding whether the lawyer will be a good father for her children?
6.24.2006 3:48pm
elChato (mail):
late to this thread, but Megan should've just called her entry "20 reasons why I can't get a date." She does sound like an interesting person though.
6.24.2006 4:22pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"as far as i can tell, NO women date lawyers"

I must not have been among those counted ... I MARRIED one.

On another note, did anyone catch the rare typographical error in the 11th Circuit's very recent opinion in The Fox Theater, stating that Congress enacted the Americans With Disabilities Act on Jan. 25, 1993? Actually, Congress enacted the ADA on Jul. 26, 1990. I surmise the Panel might have meant to say some of the Title III architectural regulations guidelines were promulgated on Jan. 25, 1993? I was just wondering if I was the only one to catch the clerical error?
6.24.2006 6:09pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"Would you date an engineer?"

Even worse, I WORKED for a lawyer who was a metallurgical engineer. But I did not marry him.

No, I MARRIED a lawyer who is a barber and captain of a 36' sailboat. When I assist with his cases on our sailboat, I can attest I have the best haircut any lawyer's wife could dream of, but very few dates with other lawyers.
6.24.2006 6:20pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"My best arguments are mathematical in nature, and I rely on verbal skills to deliver them to the audience in a compelling and intuitive way. Without a good grasp of the math or the syllogisms, even the most elloquent lawyer will appeal only to idiots. On the other hand, the most numerate lawyer will fail to make his point or move the audience unless he can translate the math into something obvious, intuitive, and even a little emotional."

Is this the experience of someone who has actually litigated cases in a federal court? Wow. I cannot fathom how one could make such elaborate argument in the judicially efficient 2 1/2 minutes alloted to my disabled husband and I by a Tampa federal magistrate. About all we are ever allowed to do is get to the point.
6.24.2006 6:29pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"But the original poster didn't mention what I would think would be the biggest problem in marrying a practicing lawyer: the extremely high number of hours many lawyers work."

An even worse problem: the extremely high number of hours many lawyers work their bar applicant wives.
6.24.2006 6:33pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"The law and business program is a reasonably good substitute for a JD/MBA if you want some business training but don't want to commit to an extra year of school."

I am only 1 of 2 people in my graduating class who have a joint J.D./M.B.A. I would disagree that a few business classes are a "reasonably good substitute" for a J.D./M.B.A. Nor was my joint degree overly burdensome, since my M.B.A. program waived 9 M.B.A. foundation classes (almost a whole year) based on my excellent undergraduate grades in business.

Medis, Bruce, I agree math classes are not really a substitute for the statistics, finance, etc. type of classes required in a joint J.D./M.B.A. program. I am at a real loss why more people do not take the joint degree. I can run circles around other non-M.B.A. lawyers in certain types of cases, even in summarizing the documents in the cases they handle, particularly if the cases involve financial documents or damages calculations. (Yet, I know I would not be able to resolve any one of an-EV-esque type of mathematics problem).

I do find in my experience that most judges (if they allow a person more than 2 1/2 minutes) are able to grasp complex financial concepts, particularly if explained in a simplified manner or with graphs or charts. Other lawyers, however, tend not to so readily understand. I would think this is due to the variety of cases a judge hears vs. the usually narrow practice area of many lawyers.

I do not think conservative/liberal politics of some judges is the "cause" for failure to understand statistical presentations, so much as any M.B.A. knows, to the ability of some people who prepare statistical evidence to manipulate the results in a way that escapes those without an education in such. Another reason for the value of a joint J.D./M.B.A. degree.

I would also tend to think a joint J.D./M.B.A. would be of tremendous value to criminal prosecutions of white collar cases, such as the U.S. Atty or a similar prosecutorial office.
6.24.2006 7:08pm
Beerslurpy (mail) (www):
I'm a 30yo engineer entering law school this year and you guys are making me nervous.

And I dont see being literate/numerate as mutually exclusive. One of the many reasons I'm entering law school is that I am far more capable of writing and speaking than other engineers. I feel that I will be wasting my talents with language if I stay in pure engineering.
6.24.2006 11:13pm
Beerslurpy (mail) (www):
The comments about women lawyers are depressing as well. From your descriptions, they seem about the same as the rest of the population in terms of desireability.
6.24.2006 11:16pm
Starboard Attitude (mail):
Yes, Mary Katherine, nearly 50 Federal trials in 26 states (and many more in state courts).

Perhaps my remarks were bloated by wine consumption and the casual nature of blog comments. What's your excuse?
6.24.2006 11:38pm
hereisacomment:
Law school for most people is a trade school. Law is a career like any other, and I feel sorry for people who are going because they want to find themselves / do good in the world / etc. It's a perfectly good profession, just like any other, and it will make you enough money to support a family and enjoy your life (when you're not working). And in that sense, they're just as good to marry as anyone else.
6.25.2006 2:45am
A.C.:
Getting back to a remark by Drive By Comments...

I attended one of those law schools outside the top five but within the top 25. It was my first choice because of its location and several other factors. And I did well academically, so I have no "sour grapes" complaints on that account. I can testify that the people who wanted to be there, both at law school in general and at my school in particular, were very nice people. The people who wanted to be at Harvard or Yale and had to settle were the worst pains in the neck I've ever met in my life. There weren't that many of them -- nowhere near 50% -- but they formed cliques and made life miserable for a lot of people. They were like the worst and most exclusionary clique in high school, only much worse. (Most were female, I might add.) As a result of my experience, I would say that the first step in dating, or even befriending lawyers, is to avoid that kind of person.

As for the the numeracy, real world etc. arguments, I will agree with some posters here that lawyers are a lot more pleasant to deal with when they are grounded in something other than law. Law itself doesn't provide any real brake on people, or any scheme against which to evaluate situations and actions. Honor in legal practice is representing clients well using the available tools. A few tools are off-limits, but otherwise a lawyer is supposed to put his or her own preferences aside and argue as forcefully as possible.

Nobody wants to deal with a person like that in private life. Instead of that, most of us want friends and lovers who see the world in ways we consider reasonable, who follow ethical systems that match up with ours, and whose loyalties are not for sale. In real-world relationships, the tricks of legal advocacy frequently come off as manipulation or even abuse.

And so the second question for those who deal with lawyers in private life is whether a particular lawyer is grounded somewhere reasonable. This can be a religious or ethical system, a set of community standards, or even a second profession that gives its practitioners a more rigorous set of standards to live by. It all depends on the people involved. I tend to like lawyers who are trained in some empirical discipline, for example, because they seem less willing to "cook the books" by falsifying or hiding actual facts. (Falsifying data is a big no-no in the sciences... one of the few truly unforgiveable sins.) An empirical sort of person may lie, but he or she will at least know when a statement is a lie and will understand the concept of lying to start with. (He or she will also feel guilty about it.) The interaction won't be all about taking advantage, which I think it would be for some lawyers who don't have anything to ground them.

To sum up: Learn to avoid the narcissists and sociopaths! Law has more than its share of both, but they can't be allowed to define the profession.
6.25.2006 9:11am
picpoule:
I'm a female lawyer with an IQ in the superior range. When I was younger, I dated many fellow law students and practising lawyers, too. If I had to do it again, in general, I think I would avoid it for reasons too numerous to mention. But then again, it would depend on the man and his qualities. Isn't it that simple?
6.25.2006 11:51am
plunge (mail):
I guess that answers the question. Hordes of lawyers, and all they do is REPEAT the question sagely and muse about endless numbers of other things without actually answering it. :)
6.25.2006 12:19pm
David Chesler (mail) (www):
Innumeracy: A certain librarian (MLS) of my acquaintance, who was willing to date an engineer of exactly her height, who is extremely intuitive about people, and whose eyes glazed over in Cataloging due to all the numbers, has done things like describing a 60 cm exercise ball (the inflatable kind used for yoga and physical therapy) as "about 2 feet high and about 3 feet wide". (This is perfectly true, and setting aside its oblateness in use [not her point] it may be as tall as things that would be described as 2 feet tall, and as wide as things that would be described as 3 feet wide, but to describe something spheroid that way hurts the ears of the mathematically inclined the same as using the objective case after a copulative verb or modifying a verb with an adverb hurts those of them what talk right. She still does not grok that if something costs $7.95 plus tax its cost is a lot closer to $8 than to $7, and it gives her great pains to cut a check correctly or to use them sequentially. (She's one step away from "How could we be overdrawn? There are still plenty of checks left in the book!")
6.25.2006 1:32pm
The Voice of Reason (mail):
"Do hot, slutty women want to date lawyers?"

Hot, no. Slutty, yes.
6.26.2006 12:36am
The Voice of Reason (mail):
Picpoule:
Are you hot?
6.26.2006 12:38am
Random Chick Comment (mail):
Just for the record, I would never date an engineer. They are almost universally boring and poorly dressed...in my experience. Lawyers, however, good lawyers anyways, keep things interesting...and you really can't go wrong with a suit.
1.29.2007 2:42pm
MarcusSummers:
"ALL professional schools are insular and self-reinforcing. It is true of medicine, architecture, the service academies."

Uh, no. Arguments and theories explored in these professions are based in things like chemistry, biology and physics. A medical theory developed in France has the same validity there as it does in Texas. Rare is the occasion when the same could be said of anything in law.

I asked one lawyer about punitive damages and I get case law, which cites earlier case law and so on... At the very least I would expect some reference to the GAAP, economics, a consistent bit of algebra or ANYTHING remotely quantitative. Nope, just repetition of the same bit of legalese and damage amounts with no empirical validity.
2.18.2008 12:53pm

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