Professor Fehrman seems to be
encouraging contempt for ethics
among young lawyers
from: Maura Larkins
July 13, 2013
Dear Ms. Fehrman,
I was fascinated by your recent article, "How not to be jaded
when the world is going to the bad place in a hand basket."
You wrote, "... if you want to be a cynical peevish tired old horse, then be that way. This article isn’
t for you."
Does this mean that if someone wants to talk about the honesty, fairness, justice and ethics that
are lacking in most law practices, you consider that person a "cynical peevish tired old horse"?
You also wrote, "Just say yes. Don’t expect anything other than what the world offers. Accept what
is, and unless you’ve wisely chosen an important battle, don’t create your own grain for the world
to go against. The surest way to tire yourself out is to create the opportunity for that kind of
How serious does an issue have to be before you consider it a "wisely chosen" and "important"
battle? Can you give an example? I'm asking for the threshold level of unethical, immoral or
illegal behavior that you consider worth the cost of going against the grain. Obviously, you would
want students to refuse to take part in a murder. That's not the sort of thing I'm asking for. When
you say, "Just say yes", where do you draw the line? When does it become appropriate, in your
mind, to just say NO?
What causes are important enough that they're worth tiring yourself out for? Have you ever
become jaded? Have you gone against the grain? Do you advise students to just look out for
their own comfort and financial success?
I would like to think that there are some law professors who actually teach ethical standards to
students, rather than telling them to put up with as much corruption as they possibly can.
Cal Western School of Law--Ethics
Shinoff & Holtz v.
California Court of
Appeal on Aug. 5,
names of school
|San Diego Education Report
From Cal Western
website page "Ready for
"As a law school, we
recognize our obligation
is to train students to be
lawyers. To do this
effectively, we need to
skills throughout the
curriculum," says William
Aceves [former ACLU
Associate Dean for
Academic Affairs and
Professor of Law. "It
can't just happen in one
class or in one
skills take years to
develop. Rather than
force graduates to learn
it on their own after
graduation, we are
committed to giving them
the skills needed to
practice as soon as they
graduate and pass the
By their third year, law
students are ready
and excited to apply
their learning in