Reason Not to Go to Law School #21

Your classmates are experts on things they know nothing about.

Last weekend a Temple law student (Gerald Ung) was involved in a late-night, probably-drunken altercation.  The incident ended with the student pulling out a gun, then being rushed and shooting his attacker 5 times as he was tackled.  It’s still unclear how the mess got started and who exactly is at fault, but the story has provided plenty of evidence about how stupid law students are.  Commenters on AbovetheLaw.com have made several suggestions about what the Temple law student should have done rather than shooting:

“If Ung was so scared for his life, why didn’t he or the people he was with call 911 when the confrontation started?”

This person has obviously never had someone pick a fight with them or called the police for anything.  Not only would getting out your cell phone and calling the cops make you less able to defend yourself (kinda hard to fight and dial on your phone), but even if you did call the cops, there’d be plenty of time to whoop your ass before they showed up.  Maybe Ung’s choice of response was wrong, but calling 911 was almost surely not a useful alternative.

“I’d fire a warning shot first. Maybe one in the leg if he keeps coming, and run the hell away.”

If you’ve watched the video of the altercation, by the time Ung knows he’s being rushed there isn’t an opportunity to fire a warning shot.  But, what makes this comment particularly dumb is that your average law student isn’t going to have the marksmanship skills needed to put a bullet into the leg of someone who is running at him.  If you’re shooting in self defense, you aim for torso so you have a decent chance of hitting them.

“He shot the guy SIX times, people. SIX! Where is that ever justified self-defense? Maybe in an alternate universe where people are mastodons.”

If you get shot by a small caliber bullet, you don’t immediately drop to the ground like in a video game.  And, if you’re the one doing the shooting, you don’t have time for a sit-rep before deciding whether to shoot again.  You keep shooting until you know that you are safe.

“They’d rather shoot someone than get their a** kicked. The worst that would’ve happened to that weenie was he would have gotten a black eye.”

And from a different commenter:

“If there’s a choice betwen the two following scenarios:

Person A gets unjustifiably beaten to a pulp by Persons B, C, and D, but suffers no lasting physical damage and maybe just a broken bone or two; or

Same scenario, but Person A has a gun and shoots Persons B,C, and D before they can beat his ass, risking the lives of Persons B, C, and D,

I woudn’t want to be in the same hemisphere as anybody who’d think the latter scenario is preferable to the former scenario.”

Yeah…if you attack me, I’d much rather you get really hurt than me get kinda hurt.  That’s actually pretty reasonable.  If you’re not in the wrong, you shouldn’t have to get hurt to prevent the wrongful party from getting more hurt than the injury you’d be facing.

Also, if you think that getting attacked by a group of guys could at worst result in a black eye, you’re wrong.  The worst result is you get beaten to death.  Just last month a man was punched in the head in Philly and died from the injury.  Law student against the kind of juiced-up meat head who’d be doing chin-ups on the street at 2:00 in the morning?  I think a black eye would be the best case scenario, not the worst.

The people making these dumb comments are most likely law students or lawyers.  You’d think from having studied criminal law and torts (typically required first year courses), they’d have a little more insight into people defending themselves, or at least know that situations like this require a bit more thought to analyze properly.  But no, wimpy little law kids think they’re experts on everything, especially weapons and fighting and being tough.  That wouldn’t be so bad, except that they also like to raise their hand in class and make you listen to their dumb ideas, wasting time and making everyone around them dumber for having heard it.

Also, fun fact, did you know that Temple has a night school law program?  What a fucking joke.

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9 Responses to “Reason Not to Go to Law School #21”

  1. j'lynn Says:

    What’s wrong with a night school law program??? I attend one and don’t think it is a fucking joke. So I’m curious about your thoughts on this…

  2. bl1y Says:

    Night school and part time programs generally aren’t factored into rankings, and it’s easy enough for a school to report its LSAT/GPA range without factoring in part time students. This means that they don’t really care who they let in and will simply just sell a degree to anyone willing to buy it.

    Law firms and other lawyers are aware of this, so they know your degree isn’t worth the Kinkos paper it’s photocopied on.

    And by the way, Lionel Hutz, the shyster lawyer on the Simpsons went to the Knight School of Law, so yes, night school is quite literally a joke.

  3. j'lynn Says:

    But it is still a degree and I’ll treasure it as I have busted my ass getting it. I find it funny though as the only people in my school that were offered summer gigs at big law firms last year were out of our night program…they have all been offered jobs for next year too. As to whether it is a joke or not, that’s an opinion and we all have one…

  4. bl1y Says:

    I think that speaks to the general crappiness of your school’s regular law program. Mind sharing what school it is?

  5. j'lynn Says:

    For your personal knowledge, I have no problem with giving such info via an email but do not feel comfortable with putting it out on your blog, just for personal reasons.

    Maybe it does or maybe my class just rocks even though we are the “evening” joke. ;)

  6. bl1y Says:

    I don’t really care what school in particular, I’m just interested in where it’s ranked. Would you be comfortable giving a ranking range, like T14, 25-40, TTT?

  7. j'lynn Says:

    I know we are a tier II and have the best bar passage rate in our state… Outside of that, I didn’t look at ranking. Being a working single mom I looked at location, flexibility for my needs, and making sure that it was respectable in my metro area…

  8. bl1y Says:

    The reason why your night school students may be getting better job offers is that they have more work experience than the full time students.

    T2 Degree < T2 Degree Lite + Experience? Maybe so.

    Also, bar passage rates are a pretty flimsy metric and not a good way to pick a school. I think I'll go into more detail in a longer post.

  9. j'lynn Says:

    Yes, because god-forbid an evening student who has other responsibilities in life could be smarter and more prepared than a day student…that could never happen.

    I didn’t pick my school by bar passage rates, I just offered it as information. Of course I’m sure if you ask the poor guy who hasn’t passed the bar yet, he may disagree with you.

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