Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Running Debate With Attorney Gerry Spence About His Posting "Defrauding Our Nation's Lawyers

I seem to be running a debate with famed attorney Gerry Spence about his article "Defrauding our Nation's Lawyers." If you follow the link, you can see, Gerry's orginal posting, my response as well as responses from others. My latest posting is as follows:

You still miss my point. Law schools do not exist to only train trial lawyers. There is a necessary academic part of law. Law students have to learn how to read cases and to distinguish between majority and dissents. The law is not only about telling a story or arguing facts. Much of advocacy is arguing the law; what it is and what it should be.
With respect to the “story,” law is about telling your client’s story in an organized manner.
While I agree with you about the quality of many lawyers’ briefs, just imagine the alternative. Have you read many pro se briefs lately?? It is very difficult to make head or tails out of their claim.
That is one reason why we need individuals to be trained in law school. Law is also a reflection of society and politics. As you know, the law is not a plain piece of paper. It changes. We need to train lawyers to be able to adopt to these changes and to think on their own. That is what it means to think like a lawyer.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

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So, if some lawyers were defrauded by their legal education, and now some lawyers have taken on the fraudlent "mindset" of their legal educations---in their practice, does this explain, the subprime mess, the toxic paper, the evaporation of trillions, the vast fraud coming to light, all hurting America ?
Can we find out(since Spence never spilled the beans):
1) the subject law schools, the professors
2) the students who turned into criminals
3) all the criminal enterprises that they were engaged in.

Spence is the one who touched on the "mindset" in matters, when Professor Rubinsten further raised issuses.
Most curiously, that was before the meltdown, the toxic paper trillion evaporations.(Summer of 2008).
One of the main criminals, charged in a pre Madoff caper, but a Ponzi CAD, was a Harvard Lawyer, who did his pre-grad at Yale, who Fortune Magazine called a psychopath.
What are his ex professors saying about the Ponzi puddler ?
Stuff like: he did a good brief, made a fine argument, thought like a lawyer, a real swell club member, or what, Fellow of the Bar. ?
Obviously, the purpose of law school is not to train criminals, but this new era of meltdowns may give law schools pause to rethink their purposes in society.
Yes, Madoff was not a lawyer, but he seemed to use them like
it was so easy to do so, for his broader objectives.
Granted, law school teaches more than trial practice, but
lets hope there are some great trial lawyers, coming out of some places, to put all the crooks in jail who so hurt people, society, the economic well being of America.
A lawyer has a duty not to abbet others in pulling off frauds, to hurt others. How many lawyers are standup in that area, i sure would like to hear about(see posts here on, or Spences blog) some examples on that from Spence and the Professor, but the debate between the two predated the meltdown of America, the $ 12 billion evaporations. Now, Spence has on his blog, chasing wild hogs, and trips down T---River, as fawning law students speak about thier veggie garderns.
Can any point to any big case where Spence put a swindler in jail ? Sure, he sprung Marcos for her swindles, but the Professor speaks about changes in times, and how the law adapts to society' needs.
Well, now the Nation is crying out for accountability, oh is it ever.

Posted by: Brian | Jan 6, 2009 7:31:45 AM

Spence is a crook in my eyes and I hope in the eyes of his family and everyother on looker. He needs to pay for what he's done. Plain and simple.

Posted by: Rueben J. | Feb 23, 2009 9:43:58 AM

Attorney Rubinstein:

Your criticism of Gerry Spence is senseless. All law schools teach is briefing and how to argue in the appeals court. Gerry Spence is teaching lawyers how to obtain justice for people, which is the business lawyers should be in more often than the academia of law.

Posted by: Tim Mcilwain | Jun 27, 2009 4:32:12 PM

Your attacks Tim on Professor R are senseless, and miss the point.
Most people who graduate from law school do not engage it trial
work . Only about 1 % of complaints filed in court go to a jury trial.
It is easy to throw around slogans, like liberty, and justice.
To assume that Spence is more concerned about genuine justice
in out society than professor R is absurd.
Some are in a cult like trance on Spence.
Spence has an aggressive marketing thing ,
Perhaps, people like Tim might examine
Pacer, and Lexis records on Spence LL'C
before he swallows whole hog all the
Gerry marketing slogans to act like
a Gerry- Automate -robot.

Posted by: Mitchell | Nov 29, 2012 4:28:18 PM

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