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Mar 22

Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America

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A book event

Our elite law schools keep churning out ideas that are catastrophically bad for America. From class action lawsuits that promote the right to sue anyone over anything, to court orders mandating the mass release of prison inmates; from the movement for slavery reparations, to court takeovers of school funding – all of these appalling ideas were hatched in legal academia.

The trouble is, as Walter Olson explains in Schools for Misrule, the ideas taught there in one generation often shape national policy in the next – and the leaders who push them on an unwitting or unwilling citizenry. From Barack Obama (Harvard and Chicago) to Bill and Hillary Clinton (Yale), many of our current national leaders emerged from the rarefied air of the nation's top law schools. And the worst is yet to come. A fast-rising movement in law schools demands that sovereignty over American legal disputes be handed over to international law and transnational courts.

It is not by coincidence, Olson argues, that these bad ideas all tend to confer more power on the law schools' own graduates. In the overlawyered society that results, they are the ones who become the real rulers.

Walter Olson is a Senior Fellow at the CATO Institute, a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal and other leading newspapers, and author of the acclaimed books on the American legal system, The Litigation Explosion, The Excuse Factory, and The Rule of Lawyers.

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Walter Olson

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Todd F. Gaziano Todd F. Gaziano

Director, Center for Legal & Judicial Studies Read More