All posts by Alex Grass

“Social justice lawyers” won’t save law school

Last Friday, the Dean of Brooklyn Law School, Nicholas Allard, published an op-ed in The Hill that theorized a recent minor uptick in the number of law school applications was due to “the intense interest among many Millennials in issues of social justice and the urge to make a positive difference.”

More specifically, Dean Allard pointed to the hordes of attorneys and law students that packed airport terminals in January to provide counsel to visitors caught up in President Trump’s poorly conceived immigration ban. In the dean’s opinion, these activists inspired new law school applicants “like the generation inspired by Woodward and Bernstein to pursue careers in journalism.”

There are entrenched, systemic problems in legal education — over-valued sticker prices, nearly insurmountable student loan debt, curricular requirements that skimp on teaching real lawyering practices — that guarantee law school is a bad choice for many or most students. Dean Allard is making an emotional appeal, but the truth is that legal education is undergoing permanent changes. These changes mean that fewer students should go to law school, constitutional crisis or not.

Continue reading at Learn Liberty.

It’s The Juristocrats!

There’s a growing phenomenon of wizened robe-wearers treading over more and more ground in the realm of national security, in the realm of sovereignty itself, all while abdicating their duty to protect the actual rights that affect most people on a daily basis. The inability of judges to restrain themselves from those specialized concerns, like the infamous recent Trump immigration order, poses real problems. Who are these judges and the people who support their gavel-leaded absolutism?

It’s the Juristocrats!

Some questions are inherently political. They’re the big picture issues that have no easy answers—was Lincoln right to suspend habeus corpus, should the Brits have bombed Dresden? It’s highly questionable whether those types of questions should be subject to review by a non-expert in an isolated courthouse chamber.

The importance of an independent judiciary isn’t the same as holding judicial supremacy to be of the utmost importance.

The Gulag Aperture: Hollywood Becomes Handmaiden To China’s Communist Party

On New Year’s Day, China Central Television (CCTV) unveiled its newest “soft power” entertainment media venture, whose purpose is to extend China’s global media influence. Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the overriding directive of this new collection of television stations and news agencies will be to “follow the party line and promote ‘positive propaganda as the main theme.’”

The CCTV announcement compounds the growing risk that increased Chinese investment will entice Hollywood into volunteering itself as a propaganda division of the Communist Party of China (CPC). And if these trends continue, the Western world’s outlet for Chinese dissenters will be closed.

China’s film industry has in recent years grown approximately 34% annually and generated $6.8 billion in 2015. While many applaud the very modest political reforms that sometimes complement China’s market liberalization, one should be wary of the country’s iron grip on its entertainment industry.

China’s industry players are inextricably bound to the CPC, as evidenced by the ascent of Wang Jianlin, China’s richest man. Jianlin’s successes are a product of quid pro quo arrangements between himself and the CPC’s top officials. Further, Jianlin is a delegate to the CPC congress and was a high-level advisor in China’s faux legislature from 2008 to 2013. Today, CPC delegate Jianlin can count several American awards shows, including the Golden Globes, the Billboard and American Music Awards, and even AMC Theaters as part of his recently accrued collection.

Continue reading at Forbes.