Trying To Maintain Rationality

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Get This: "Brownie" Graduated From (What Was Then) A NON-AALS Accredited Law School

According to this blip from an exposé from The New Republic (cross-posted at The News Blog):

To understand the Mike Brown saga, one has to know something about the intricacies of the legal profession, beginning with the status of the law school he attended. Brown's biography on FEMA's website reports that he's a graduate of the Oklahoma City University School of Law. This is not, to put it charitably, a well-known institution. For example, I've been a law professor for the past 15 years and have never heard of it. Of more relevance is the fact that, until 2003, the school was not even a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS)--the organization that, along with the American Bar Association, accredits the nation's law schools. Most prospective law students won't even consider applying to a non-AALS law school unless they have no other option, because many employers have a policy of not considering graduates of non-AALS institutions. So it's fair to say that Brown embarked on his prospective legal career from the bottom of the profession's hierarchy.


What, then, are we to make of the claim in Brown's FEMA biography that, prior to joining the Agency, he had spent most of his professional career practicing law in Colorado? Normally, an attorney practicing law in a state for ten years would have left a record of his experience in public documents. But just about the only evidence of Brown's Colorado legal career is the Web page he submitted to, an Internet site for people seeking legal representation. There, he lists himself as a member of the "International Arabian Horse Association Legal Dept." and claims to be competent to practice law across a dizzying spectrum of specialties--estate planning, family law, employment law for both plaintiffs and defendants, real-estate law, sports law, labor law, and legislative practice. With all this expertise, it's all the more striking that one can't find any other evidence of Brown's legal career in Colorado.

You gotta read the whole article... if it weren't for the fact that (1) no one could've predicted hurricane Katrina, and (2) the obvious cronyism involved in his having been appointed to be FEMA chief... it's like he was set up to be the "idiot fall-guy" from the start.

Not to keep slamming on unaccredited law schools... but these are the kinds of law schools that send you brochures a few weeks after you register with the Law School Data Assembly Services (the LSDAS puts together all your info for the schools) and get your transcripts all taken care of... um... so... that's *before* you even take the damn LSAT; they only know your grade point average (and whatever other background info you plugged into LSDAS at that point). And if you get a good score to go with that nice GPA?... oh man... they'll virtually bombard you with literature and sometimes *full* scholarship offers.

If I haven't made my point clear... let me just say that at the time Mr. Brown was there, Oklahoma City University School of Law was probably of the "Royal Suckage-ness."


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