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Schools for Misrule

Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America

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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. The ideas taught there in one generation often shape national policy in the next.

The trouble is, Walter Olson reveals in Schools for Misrule, 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. And the worst is yet to come. A fast-rising movement in law schools demands that sovereignty over U.S. 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.

Publishers Weekly Review

Feb 28, 2011 – The latest book from Olson (The Excuse Factory) is part historical overview and part cutting-edge commentary examining corporate case studies and public and tort law with a sharp analysis of the academic system and the internal and external forces shaping its agenda. Law schools mould the future leaders of America, shaping the nation and influencing consensus. Recent legal scholars have infiltrated politics, journalism, and broadcasting, claiming greater authority and creating potentially serious social repercussions. The author explores perceived political bias at Harvard and Yale, their dependence on "left-tilting philanthropy," and the tendency of professors to permeate the curriculum with their own values. Additionally, Olson argues, the commercialization of American universities creates markets of intellectual property and a culture of one-upmanship. Often with tongue firmly in-cheek, Olson addresses the "American disease" of dubious injury claims and product liability lawsuits, the ever-spurious "recovered memory" litigation, and other legal precedents. This hard-hitting, witty account reveals the effect of law on the individual and the collective and astutely forecasts the future of law reform, in the academy, in politics, and across the globe.

Customer Reviews

Disheartening, But Read It

Law must be about the second oldest profession, and probably the more reviled of the two. The author of this book makes it plain that our most elite law schools, in particular, have cranked out several generations of lawyers ideologically out of step with the rest of the country. It appears they play fast-and-loose in areas of simple morality and even common sense. Well written, broad in scope and even has humor (darkish).

Schools for Misrule
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  • $17.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Law
  • Published: Mar 01, 2011
  • Publisher: Encounter Books
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 296 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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