THAT'S BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL PART OF A CRONY AND NEO-LIBERAL POLITICAL MACHINE
Trans Pacific Trade Pact TPP gives a global corporate tribunal the rights to write law and the enforcement of law will be international and corporate as well if neo-liberals are left to their ways. This hits poor and people of color hardest but it will bring all Americans down to third world standards very quickly. Remember, doctors, lawyers, and Indian Chiefs in third world countries are just as poor as everyone else.
As I stated my last blog, it is reinstating Rule of Law and rebuilding oversight and accountability that will address all state and local structural budget deficits created by losing much wealth to fraud and corruption. Having a governor keen to do this starts with the appointments to committees and with using the bully-pulpit to get public agencies to do their jobs. The next step is bringing in the employees to do this job. This means a legal team that looks to public justice and not corporate justice and protecting profit and wealth.
I have searched under all rocks in Maryland to find a lawyer to support political and social justice. If there are any they are buried deep in the mud no doubt because of the hostile environment for people looking for a little public justice. So it appears the answer to rebuilding Maryland's public justice and oversight and accountability comes with the one outsourcing my administration will do -----albeit reluctantly. Bringing law students and legal teams from other states willing to work for public justice to do the job. One thing we know, law school grads are high among college grads today in unemployment because the intent to dismantle all of public justice leads to no lawyers available to public interest. Only international law and corporate law need apply say neo-liberals and neo-cons.
ALL OF MARYLAND POLS ARE NEO-LIBERALS HENCE THIS COMPLETE CAPTURE OF GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC JUSTICE.
Corporate NPR loves to let us know where we are in the move to third world autocracy and indeed gave us the stat that there are less than I think it was 35,000 lawyers graduating across the country today. It made the point that Ivy League schools will provide the legal grads since Ivy League schools only focus on International and corporate law. This should have people out in the street as they are saying------citizens of the US will have no legal recourse-----exactly what Trans Pacific Trade Pact TPP says. The Ivy League schools said over a decade ago in anticipation to writing TPP that there is no American politics or law, only international and corporate law. So, when you have Obama from Harvard Law, Anthony Brown from Harvard Law, and Doug Gansler from Yale Law all not able to see massive corporate fraud against the American people and government coffers, this is why. So, why would citizens vote for these guys? Do you hear your pundit/medi outlet or politicians shouting this?
SEE WHY PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE DYNAMICS OF WHO THEY ARE VOTING?
Doug Gansler and Anthony Brown are so Wall Street and global empire as to be blinded to any motivation other than maximizing profit and US corporate power. That is all they see. Running for governor these two get most of the campaign funding because of this, they get all the media coverage, and they have endorsement from all of the labor and justice organizations in Maryland.
WAIT! LABOR UNIONS AND BLACK MINISTERS AND UNIVERSITIES BACKING BROWN OR GANSLER?
Why would labor and justice back two pols dedicated to pushing labor and justice into ever deeper poverty? That's the question we need to answer here in Maryland. Much of it has to do with the fact Maryland has no public justice and these organizations are being forced to support candidates in the hope of getting a few progressive bones rather than having control of these decisions.
WORKING FOR PROGRESSIVE BONES WHEN RUNNING LABOR AND JUSTICE WINS THE HONOR OF MAKING THE DECISIONS.
Gansler and Brown are perfect images of this neo-liberal vision of justice in America after TPP-----SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL AND I SEE NO FRAUD.
Let's look nationally, statewide, and locally to see justice dismantled and know we can reverse this EASY PEASY!
Below you see the mechanism for killing the public justice department----high tuition. Think to yourself the costs of running a law school:
THERE ARE NO COSTS IN LAW SCHOOL. MOST WORK IS DONE FROM DOCUMENTS AND IN DEVELOPING DISCOURSE IN COURTROOMS
I'm sure I will be hit with accusations of bias but this is the truth. The costs for tuition in law schools are only driven by the intent to make law degrees elite. As I was told just a few weeks ago in Baltimore------all lawyers are rich.
This is a continuation of corporatization of university campuses and part of the costs have to do with the focus on international law. The need to intern in corporate settings provides the ability of those corporations to be paid to accept these law students. Meanwhile, public justice from government oversight, to civil rights and liberties, to consumer protections, and white collar crime represent affordable programs and are disappearing.
Keep in mind the reason there are no jobs for lawyers is that the entire white collar criminal justice system/government oversight has been dismantled and criminal/public justice is now settled by plea deals by prosecutors.
ALL VERY, VERY, VERY BAD FOR ALL PEOPLE NEEDING PUBLIC JUSTICE.
Law Schools’ Applications Fall as Costs Rise and Jobs Are Cut
Paul Sakuma/Associated Press The law school at Stanford University has increased its attention to hands-on training.
By ETHAN BRONNER Published: January 30, 2013
Law school applications are headed for a 30-year low, reflecting increased concern over soaring tuition, crushing student debt and diminishing prospects of lucrative employment upon graduation.
The New York Times
As of this month, there were 30,000 applicants to law schools for the fall, a 20 percent decrease from the same time last year and a 38 percent decline from 2010, according to the Law School Admission Council. Of some 200 law schools nationwide, only 4 have seen increases in applications this year. In 2004 there were 100,000 applicants to law schools; this year there are likely to be 54,000.
Such startling numbers have plunged law school administrations into soul-searching debate about the future of legal education and the profession over all.
“We are going through a revolution in law with a time bomb on our admissions books,” said William D. Henderson, a professor of law at Indiana University, who has written extensively on the issue. “Thirty years ago if you were looking to get on the escalator to upward mobility, you went to business or law school. Today, the law school escalator is broken.”
Responding to the new environment, schools are planning cutbacks and accepting students they would not have admitted before.
A few schools, like the Vermont Law School, have started layoffs and buyouts of staff. Others, like at the University of Illinois, have offered across-the-board tuition discounts to keep up enrollments. Brian Leiter of the University of Chicago Law School, who runs a blog on the topic, said he expected as many as 10 schools to close over the coming decade, and half to three-quarters of all schools to reduce class size, faculty and staff.
After the normal dropout of some applicants, the number of those matriculating in the fall will be about 38,000, the lowest since 1977, when there were two dozen fewer law schools, according to Brian Z. Tamanaha of Washington University Law School, the author of “Failing Law Schools.”
The drop in applications is widely viewed as directly linked to perceptions of the declining job market. Many of the reasons that law jobs are disappearing are similar to those for disruptions in other knowledge-based professions, namely the growth of the Internet. Research is faster and easier, requiring fewer lawyers, and is being outsourced to less expensive locales, including West Virginia and overseas.
In addition, legal forms are now available online and require training well below a lawyer’s to fill them out.
In recent years there has also been publicity about the debt load and declining job prospects for law graduates, especially of schools that do not generally provide employees to elite firms in major cities. Last spring, the American Bar Association released a study showing that within nine months of graduation in 2011, only 55 percent of those who finished law school found full-time jobs that required passage of the bar exam.
“Students are doing the math,” said Michelle J. Anderson, dean of the City University of New York School of Law. “Most law schools are too expensive, the debt coming out is too high and the prospect of attaining a six-figure-income job is limited.”
Mr. Tamanaha of Washington University said the rise in tuition and debt was central to the decrease in applications. In 2001, he said, the average tuition for private law school was $23,000; in 2012 it was $40,500 (for public law schools the figures were $8,500 and $23,600). He said that 90 percent of law students finance their education by taking on debt. And among private law school graduates, the average debt in 2001 was $70,000; in 2011 it was $125,000.
“We have been sharply increasing tuition during a low-inflation period,” he said of law schools collectively, noting that a year at a New York City law school can run to more than $80,000 including lodging and food. “And we have been maximizing our revenue. There is no other way to describe it. We will continue to need lawyers, but we need to bring the price down.”
Some argue that the drop is an indictment of the legal training itself — a failure to keep up with the profession’s needs.
“We have a significant mismatch between demand and supply,” said Gillian K. Hadfield, professor of law and economics at the University of Southern California. “It’s not a problem of producing too many lawyers. Actually, we have an exploding demand for both ordinary folk lawyers and big corporate ones.”
She said that, given the structure of the legal profession, it was hard to make a living dealing with matters like mortgage and divorce, and that big corporations were dissatisfied with what they see as the overly academic training at elite law schools.
The drop in law school applications is unlike what is happening in almost any other graduate or professional training, except perhaps to veterinarians. Medical school applications have been rising steadily for the past decade.
Debra W. Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools, said first-time enrollments to master of business degree programs were steady — a 0.8 percent increase among Americans in 2011 after a decade of substantial growth. But growth in first-time foreign student enrollments — 13 percent over the same period — made up the difference, something from which law schools cannot benefit, since foreigners have less interest in American legal training.
In the legal academy, there has been discussion about how to make training less costly and more relevant, with special emphasis on the last year of law school. A number of schools, including elite ones like Stanford, have increased their attention to clinics, where students get hands-on training. Northeastern Law School in Boston, which has long emphasized in-the-field training, has had one of the smallest decreases in its applicant pool this year, according to Jeremy R. Paul, the new dean.
There is also discussion about permitting students to take the bar after only two years rather than three, a decision that would have to be made by the highest officials of a state court system. In New York, the proposal is under active consideration largely because of a desire to reduce student debt.
Some, including Professor Hadfield of the University of Southern California, have called for one- or two-year training programs to create nonlawyer specialists for many tasks currently done by lawyers. Whether or not such changes occur, for now the decline is creating what many see as a cultural shift.
“In the ’80s and ’90s, a liberal arts graduate who didn’t know what to do went to law school,” Professor Henderson of Indiana said. “Now you get $120,000 in debt and a default plan of last resort whose value is just too speculative. Students are voting with their feet. There are going to be massive layoffs in law schools this fall. We won’t have the bodies we need to meet the payroll.”
Below you see a comment from a national public justice organization calling the US Department of Justice on its deliberate mechanisms for ending public justice. All of these bank fraud settlements have been unconstitutional as the public has been taken out of the entire process under the guise that the US Department of Justice is the agency for public justice. Only, when it is run by corporate lawyers......not so much.
Better Markets sues Justice Department over JPMorgan dealwww.reuters.com
'The Justice Department cannot act as prosecutor, jury and judge and extract $13 billion in exchange for blanket civil immunity to the largest, richest, most politically connected bank on Wall Street," he said'.
Remember when people were told to get a health care degree like nursing and you will have no trouble getting a job. Now, nursing has one of the highest unemployment. This has to do with a type of outsourcing------immigrants brought to the US to take health care jobs but it is also the effect of downsizing health care staff to maximize profit according to the Affordable Care Act. The same thing is happening in the legal profession. Besides all public sector justice being dismantled, law is now outsourced all over the world. So, the idea of elite schools having all the lawyers extends beyond the US to Ivy League Schools all over the world. This is what Immigration reform was about-----bringing the Best of the Best in the world to the US and leaving American citizens unemployed. We all know Best of the Best does not mean smarter or best qualified to do the job......it means having connections and working in a system rife with fraud and corruption and being quiet about it.
Imagine these law students sitting on the sidelines when the entire government and corporate system is full of fraud and corruption. Then think what will happen when coming school admissions fall as people feel there is not future in law for most. That is how you get a legal system run by only graduates of Ivy League schools......the Brown/Obama's from Harvard and the Gansler's from Yale. Both having absolutely no talent except kissing the boots of Wall Street.
Inside the Law School Scam
Friday, June 8, 2012
Two out of three 2011 law school graduates did not get real legal jobs
NALP has released preliminary employment statistics for the class of 2011 as of nine months after graduation. They are, unsurprisingly, terrible.
12% of 2011 graduates were completely unemployed in February 2012, and another three per cent had re-enrolled in further graduate study, which can be treated as the functional equivalent to post-law school unemployment. So the first takeaway from these numbers is the nearly 15% unemployment rate for people who got law degrees from ABA-accredited schools last year. This compares with an 8.2% overall national unemployment rate, which, to my surprise at least, is also the unemployment rate among 25 to 34 year-olds (see Table A-10). So getting a law degree correlates with a doubling of the risk that a young adult will be unemployed nine months after receiving it.
But of course this 85.6% “employment” rate includes every kind of job law graduates obtained: legal, non-legal, full-time, part-time, long-term, and temporary. Let’s work with this preliminary data to make an estimate regarding how many 2011 graduates of ABA law schools had real legal jobs nine months after graduation, with a real legal job defined as a full-time non-temporary paying position requiring a law degree.
We can begin by eliminating jobs for which a law degree was not required. 24% of employed law graduates fell into this category, including the large majority of the 18.1% of all graduates who reported being employed in “business” (For most law graduates getting a job in “business” is short hand for either a low-paying service sector job that the graduate could have gotten more easily before going to law school, or in a smaller number of cases a good job that the graduate was qualified for prior to getting a law degree – indeed often literally the same job the graduate left in order to get a law degree).
What about those graduates of the 2011 class who had a job for which a law degree was required? Note that only 60% of graduates whose employment status was known were working full-time in a job requiring bar admission. (Since it appears the status of somewhere around 7% of graduates was unknown, and since those graduates surely had far worse outcomes than average, this suggests that perhaps 56% to 58% of graduates had full time jobs requiring bar admission. 12% of all jobs, legal and non-legal, obtained by graduates were part-time). Now consider how many jobs in this category have to be tossed out if we are limiting ourselves to real legal jobs, even liberally defined. The 5% of all “jobs” funded by law schools themselves for their own graduates must be excluded, as should the 6% of all private practice jobs which consisted of graduates reduced to the desperate expedient of attempting the start a solo practice straight out of law school.
NALP has not yet reported what overall percentage of jobs were temporary -- defined as being for a term of less than one year – but for the class of 2010 26.9% of all jobs were defined as temporary (To be conservative I’m going to treat all judicial clerkships as full-time long-term legal jobs, even though many state court clerkships are one-year way stations on the road to legal unemployment). We do know that 7% of all jobs obtained by 2011 graduates were reported as both part time and temporary.
Then we have the always tricky category of jobs with law firms of two to ten attorneys. A remarkable 42.9% of all graduates who obtained jobs in private practice (49.5% of all graduates went into private practice) were listed in this category. Many of these positions are of course real, if generally low-paying, associate jobs with established several-lawyer firms. But some are of a much more tenuous nature, including transient law clerk positions with solo practitioners, eat what you kill arrangements, in which people are given office space in return for a percentage of whatever they manage to bill, and basically fictional “law firms” consisting of two or three graduates banding together in a last-ditch attempt to avoid formal unemployment. But let’s be optimistic and assume that 80% of new graduates who were reported as obtaining jobs with firms of two to ten lawyers were in fact getting real legal jobs, liberally defined.
Thus once we exclude jobs that don’t require law degrees, law school-funded jobs, other temporary jobs, and part time jobs, and then make a generous estimate of how many private practice positions with very small firms were real legal jobs, the numbers look like this:
60% of all graduates whose employment status was known were in full-time jobs requiring bar admission.
Minus the 4% of all graduates in law school-funded temporary jobs.
Minus the approximately 15% of all graduates in temporary (less than one year) legal positions other than law school-funded jobs.
Minus an estimated 4.25% of all graduates in fictional “firm” jobs.
Minus the 3% of all graduates working as solo practitioners.
This leaves us with 33.75% of all 2011 ABA law school graduates in real legal jobs nine months after graduation. This is, in my view, a conservative estimate of the scope of the disaster that has overtaken America’s law school graduates. It counts almost all positions with law firms and with government agencies as real legal jobs, even though we know some of these “jobs” are actually one-year unpaid internships. (See for example these). Indeed it counts whole classes of time-limited jobs that are likely to leave graduates with no legal employment at their conclusion, such as most state judicial clerkships, as long-term rather than temporary employment. Most of all, it makes what by now must be considered the questionable assumption that law schools are reporting these numbers accurately, rather than misreporting them to their advantage.
Yet even this generous estimate of how many 2011 graduates of ABA-accredited law schools managed to get real legal jobs leads to the conclusion that two-thirds did not.
This is why many US law school graduates are unemployed and unlike customer service call centers, losing our law students and graduates essentially ends the public's ability to access legal recourse which is what is happening today.
What happens when people stop going to law school in America? Ivy League schools are the only ones graduating lawyers and indeed, as my local Baltimore commenter said-----LAWYERS ARE ALWAYS RICH.
U.S. firms outsource legal services to India
By Cynthia Cotts and Liane Kufchock Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2007
NEW YORK — Bruce Masterson, the chief operating officer of Socrates Media, asked his outside counsel to customize a residential lease for all 50 U.S. states in 2003. About $400,000 was the firm's estimate. He rejected that cost and hired QuisLex, a firm in Hyderabad, India, that did the work for $45,000.
"It was good quality," said Masterson, whose company, which is based in Chicago, publishes legal forms on the Internet. "We've been working together ever since."
Clients are pushing law firms like Jones Day and Kirkland & Ellis to send basic legal tasks to India, where lawyers tag documents and investigate takeover targets for as little as $20 an hour. The firms are part of a trend that will move about 50,000 U.S. legal jobs overseas by 2015, according to Forrester Research in Boston.
"The objective is to have only the most valuable people in London or New York, and the others in India, China or Columbus, Ohio," said Robert Profusek, co-head of the mergers and acquisitions practice at Jones Day in New York.
Profusek sends low-end work to the cheapest locations and plans to open a document center in India.
"Lawyers are service providers," he said. "We are not gods."
Companies with in-house legal departments in India include DuPont, Cisco Systems, and Morgan Stanley, according to ValueNotes Database, which is based in Maharashtra, India.
The Indian legal services industry will more than quadruple to $640 million by 2010 from $146 million in 2006, ValueNotes said.
General Electric sends about $3 million a year in routine legal work to its Indian affiliate, said Janine Dascenzo, the GE managing counsel for legal operations.
"India has very talented lawyers," she said. "But it's a misconception that you can just send work there and it gets done. You need proper supervision and security."
Kirkland & Ellis, a major U.S. law firm based in Chicago, works with offshore lawyers at clients' request, said Gregg Kirchhoefer, a senior partner in the firm's outsourcing and technology transaction practice.
"I'm not an advocate of offshoring legal services," Kirchhoefer said. "But having worked in this area for so long, I understand the value of the model."
Typically, he said, clients hire a provider and Kirkland helps manage the laywers.
One incentive for corporations to send legal work overseas is that ethics rules compel law firms to disclose their profit margins. Traditionally, law firms charge clients markups of as much as three times what they pay associates and contract attorneys.
"Law firms can earn more by using labor they can mark up without disclosure," said Stephen Gillers, professor of legal ethics at New York University School of Law. "Clients are knowledgeable about costs, and they want to negotiate the markup on these charges."
But not every law firm has accepted the trend.
"Some firms are spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt," said David Perla, co-chief executive of Pangea3, an offshore legal-services company based in New York and Mumbai. "They see any competition as bad and they'll raise any issues as to why you shouldn't go offshore."
Of the 10 highest-grossing U.S. law firms, 7 declined to comment on outsourcing. Only one, Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, also based in Chicago, said it did not use the practice.
Perla added: "I don't think law firms are ashamed of offshoring. The firms that are having success with it aren't talking because they view it as a competitive advantage."
Of about 100 third-party legal services providers in India, clients give top marks to Pangea3 and Integreon Managed Solutions, which is based in New York according to "The Black Book of Outsourcing," a survey published in July by Brown-Wilson Group, which is based in Clearwater, Florida.
About 80 percent of Pangea3's clients are corporations and 20 percent are law firms, Perla said.
"Some firms are coming to us because in-house clients suggested it or pressured them," Perla said. "Others want to come to the client first and offer a solution."
Integreon, which provides legal services in India, the Philippines and Fargo, North Dakota, has long-term contracts with about 45 companies and 15 law firms, said Liam Brown, the company's chief executive.
Law firms contribute 45 percent to offshore revenue, while corporate law departments contribute 36 percent, ValueNotes said.
Integreon recruits lawyers from second-tier law schools in India and managers from the litigation practices of firms like Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Brown said. After training in India, managers relocate to New York or Los Angeles.
In India, legal education is based on common law and conducted in English, requiring two or three years of classes. The country produces about 80,000 law school graduates a year, according to ValueNotes, compared with about 44,000 in the United States.
Offshore companies charge $10 to $25 an hour on low-end work and $25 to $90 an hour on advanced jobs. Junior Indian lawyers might earn as much as $8,160 a year, according to ValueNotes, compared with the $160,000 average salary for associates in major U.S. cities.
Janice D'souza, a 26-year-old lawyer in Pangea3's litigation and research department in Mumbai, said her pay was three times as much as she would get at an Indian law firm.
"At an Indian law firm, generally your potential is not recognized at an early stage," D'souza said. "Here it's talent-based. In the near future, I think I will be a department manager.
Keep in mind this national budget deficit and debt is all manufactured by Wall Street and allowed to be used by Congress as an excuse to dismantle all that is public. Tens of trillions of dollars in corporate fraud can easily pay the entire national debt but as you can see, we have no public justice employees.
With Eric Holder simply using settlements as justice, the state and local prosecutors cutting plea deals for everything, and class action lawsuits being disallowed by the Supreme Court....there are no avenues for public justice. When I asked a Law School professor what the US citizens do when the highest public justice in the land, the US Justice Department becomes captured and corrupt his answer was PEOPLE WITH POWER MAKE THE LAWS.
Well, I disagree because we have a US Constitution that says WE THE PEOPLE MAKE THE LAWS!
IN ORDER TO REMAIN CITIZENS WE MUST DEMAND THAT PUBLIC JUSTICE STAY IN PLACE!
Keep in mind public justice is not always urban youth being shuffled through an unjust criminal justice system. It means you and I have no one to recover fraud, no one to protect election laws, no one protecting community zoning issues for example.
IT HAS AN EFFECT ON EVERYONE!!!
The Impact of Federal Budget Cuts on State and Local Public Safety
An anonymous respondent wrote, “As federal funds have declined and will obviously continue to do so it reduces our means to leverage and/or diversify funding to sustain discretionary programs and programming. In the business of juvenile and adult detention, we are losing and stand to lose more alternatives to incarceration and programs that provide evidence based and/or treatment pro-gramming. These are the less costly programs to avoid more costly and lengthy stays in detention. And these are the programs that help to reduce recidivism. For example, cutting residential community corrections beds that serve as a last chance to avoid prison for probation violators has resulted in a dramatic increase in prison admission and more jail time. Bottom line, the less costly and more effective alternatives to incarceration are closed and demand for prisons and jails goes up. It is a bad deal for taxpayers but the more progressive alternatives are discretionary and jails and prisons are all that is left...Sustaining prevention and early intervention programming for juveniles as well as effective rehabilitative programming is critical to public safety. Evidence based programming changes lives away from a criminal behavior. It is not costly but without encouragement through shared funding we are losing the means to sustain it.”• An anonymous respondent from New York wrote, “The real impact over time will be the lack of funding to support new approaches in criminal justice. The reductions in crime over the past 20 years have resulted from new approaches and research that was supported with federal grant dollars. Lack of funding will seriously curtail these efforts and diminish local communities’ ability to respond to new crime problems.”• An anonymous respondent wrote, “[We have] served 50 less at risk youth since budget cuts in 2010. This puts youth at higher risk of entering the juvenile justice system dropping out of school or abusing substances. The cost of treating youth is 10 times the cost of the prevention services lost for these youth. Reductions in federal funding greatly impact our ability to serve at-risk youth in the community. These reductions, coupled with reductions in local public funding have an impact well into the future for our community. Less youth served in diversion and prevention programming will only serve to dramatically increase the cost of providing more intensive and more expensive out of home services in the future. Federal funds directed at diverting youth from formal court processing and out of home placement pay significant dividends both financially and practically in reducing crime. Federal reductions now will only increase costs to federal entities and other public organizations in the future. Short sighted budget cuts now will cost governments more, by a factor of ten, in coming years.”• An anonymous respondent from Pennsylvania wrote, “The reduced funds have also taken their toll on our partnering and community outreach. In a couple of instances, we have needed to expand or enhance community services to juveniles and adults and the local non-profits have not partnered with us - stating that they simply do not have the resources to bring new/improved services to our target population. This means many of our juveniles and needy adults remain unserved and are unable to attain self-sufficiency and are at high-risk of returning to the criminal justice system... We anticipate our recidivism rates would increase greatly and, without any services or support to offer juveniles and adults, we fear the prison cycle will spiral out of control - impacting not only the offender, but also their family.
The Vera Institute of Justice is a research and policy organization that combines expertise in research, demonstration projects, and technical assistance to help leaders in government and civil society improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety.The National Criminal Justice Association represents state, tribal, and local governments on crime prevention and crime control issues. Its members represent all facets of the criminal and juvenile justice community, from law enforcement, corrections, prosecution, defense courts, victim-witness services and education institutions to federal, state, and local elected officials. As the representative of state, tribal, and local criminal and juvenile justice practitioners, the NCJA works to promote a balanced approach to communities’ complex public safety problems.In the summer of 2012, the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) and the Vera Institute of Justice conducted an in-formal nationwide online survey of 714 state and local criminal justice stakeholder organizations. The questionnaire’s purpose was to gather information from a wide range of jurisdictions about the impact of budget cuts, both already enacted, and anticipated cuts that would result from sequestration. This document is a summary of self-reported responses
Sandra Day O'Connor famously made all these observations over a decade ago as she was leaving the Supreme Court. She shouted out against plea deals and settlements, arbitration and loss of public justice and judicial funding. So, this has been happening throughout Reagan/Clinton/Bush. Obama has now decided to pretend this transition is official and not recognize any US Constitutional law and Rule of Law. That's what they teach in Harvard after all!
Sandra has a wonderful solution. We need all communities to follow her lead. We know Race to the Top is taking all social studies lessons out and civics is one of those subjects. Baltimore is the worst in making sure public school students do not receive social studies at most schools.
THIS IS A MUST-------PARENTS AND COMMUNITIES MUST DO THIS AS WE WORK TO REBUILD OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND CURRICULA!
Sandra Day O’Connor champions civics education
by Donna Krache, CNN
July 19th, 2012 06:18 AM ET
(CNN) - The retired Supreme Court justice is all business as she walks into our meeting room.
But inside, she’s got the heart of an educator.
Of course, Sandra Day O’Connor will always be associated with her historic “first,” as the first woman justice to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to that appointment by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, she also served as a judge and a state senator.
Since her retirement from the high court in 2006, she has found a new passion – civics education.
How did she decide to become a champion of that cause? O’Connor says that in her last year on the bench, she was “very much aware of the major issues and debates” being brought before the high court. There were lots of complaints about the decisions, she says, and many were directed at the judicial branch – with some blaming the justices for certain outcomes.
“As you analyzed it, it appeared to show in many cases that the concerns were misdirected: There was a tendency to blame the courts for things that were really not a judicial matter,” she told CNN.
The solution to that misunderstanding, she believes, is civics education – a subject she notes has changed through the years. She remembers her own schooling in El Paso, Texas, and how she learned about Texas government. Civics knowledge was helpful to her later in life, O’Connor says, and she’s disappointed that today, many schools have stopped teaching the subject.
But she believes young people do have a desire to learn civics because they want to participate in their government, to change things and better their lives. “There is an increasing appreciation that we do need to know how our government works: national, state and local,” says O’Connor. “And that this is part and parcel of the things that every young person wants to know because they want to have an effect.”
It’s not just about learning facts and the processes, says O’Connor. It’s about learning how to make a difference in one’s community, state, or nation. But, she adds, “Sometimes people don’t know what government entity is equipped to deal with the problem.”
“You can make a difference if you know how to bring a particular area of concern to the attention of people who can make a change. Then you’re learning to be in a position where you can cause public bodies to take action, the public bodies that have jurisdiction over that particular area. Maybe it’s a city council, maybe it’s a town planning and zoning commission… maybe it’s a state legislature… You have to be knowledgeable.”
“To understand how to define the issue, find out what level of government can have the biggest impact on it, where should you go with this problem. Lastly, how to best approach that body and make your case - but that takes some knowledge and experience to get that far,” she says.
O’Connor advocates an analytical approach to an understanding of government that includes defining the problem or issue, identifying the government entity that is best able to address it, then determining a course of citizen action to effect change.
Identifying the problem, she says, is the first step toward change.
“We need to learn how to define a problem then tackle it as a local issue, a state issue, a national issue.”
O’Connor was in Atlanta to address the Education Commission of the States and promote awareness for her project, iCivics. iCivics aims to generate civic interest and knowledge among young people and is available to all teachers, free of charge.
Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor helps a student learn as she plays a game on iCivics.
Students can play games and simulations on iCivics focusing on each of the three branches of government as well as individual rights and responsibilities. For example, students can test their powers of persuasion in “Argument Wars” as they argue cases before the Supreme Court. They can run for president in “Win the White House” while they learn about real campaigning, including raising funds, polling voters and crafting media campaigns. In “Immigration Nation,” students can guide newcomers through the path to citizenship.
The games are engaging and offer some opportunities for critical thinking. All the while, students are learning about the Constitution and the branches of government. There are about 70 lesson plans available for teachers, in addition to the games.
O’Connor and her team launched iCivics in 2009. She’s extremely proud of the site, and says teachers and students are “raving” about it.
O’Connor says she has always been interested in public service and wants to see young people engaged in it, too. But in an age of social media and lots of distractions, what advice does she offer to parents who want their kids to be interested in civic participation and current events?
“Encourage kids to be involved in projects that get them to interact at some government level,” she told CNN.
Parents should “engage them in projects they care about, get them to interact in ways that illustrate as a practical matter how things can work and how you can be effective in creating change or adopting some policy that matters. Get them involved!”
After all, says O’Connor, “That’s what civics is all about.”