This section examines a series of 11 newspaper articles on the moral standards of legal education at a single university, one of Florida's principal state supported law schools; where students are learning a stock in trade of intimidation, hypocrisy, sleaze, the good old boy system, sexual harassment, more.
The lack of moral standards at Florida State University Law School have been around for a long time, at least 15 years.
To what degree these low standards apply to the other seven Florida law schools is problematical. However, these schools are all part of the same legal system, with the same Bar and legislature. Its all part of the same good old boy system; and thus it would appear that if the other law schools, legislature, or state Bar, had a problem with it, changes would have been made long ago.
Indeed, it is particularly disturbing to note that the same person who was dean of the FSU law school, and has obviously acquiesced in if not actually facilitated FSU Law School's low moral character, has also served as president of FSU and the American Bar Association. Thus the lesson appears to be, if you want to get ahead, run a sleazy law school. Unfortunately, it is a point that may not be lost on other law school faculty around the state and country as well.
The reality in this legal system is that sleazy law professors and law schools turn out sleazy lawyers; with a bottom line that sleazy law makes money for lawyers, bar associations, law schools and legislators.
For it is well established that students emulate their teachers, whether the subject be law or anything else. However, incredibly, no one in the legal profession discussed in any of these articles even raises this point; let alone suggesting anything needs to be done about it.
Indeed, it appears that as long as a corrupt degenerate law professor can dish out his subject matter, that's all that matters. For, unlike virtually any other profession, morality is irrelevant; and these graduates are all set to raise the sleaze level of law practice throughout the state. We can only shudder to think of the fate of those citizens who come up against graduates of this kind of legal education.
And as such, we have just one more example of the inability of this legal profession to recognize simple psychological/sociological/educational dynamics that would be first grade level for any science based legal system.
Indeed, the point is so basic to human nature and experience that it scarcely requires any such sophisticated analysis, and I suspect most readers would be lost to identify a university faculty member in any other discipline with anything like this level of sleaze.
All students these days are on the Web. Thus the fact of UF and FSU's party school image and FSU Law School's low moral character are readily available to them. Indeed, all of the articles making up this section came off of the Web. And it is inevitable that this will attract students, whether undergraduates eventually planning to go into law school, or those applying directly to law school, looking for a permissive legal environment; and it will turn away students aspiring to higher moral character.
The articles are listed in chronological order and where I have made observations in them, they are labeled "comments":
Whatever one can say about these rankings, one way or another, both universities rank in the top 2 percent as party schools. And it seems likely a party school label or high liquor consumption label is going to attract students with lower moral standards or future substance abuse problems looking for a congenial university (among of course many fine students). And these students are going to go on into their respective university's law schools, among other places. Thus Florida's 2 oldest large public universities with law schools may be attracting a higher percentage of such students into their law schools than other states, regardless of the quality of education they may receive once they get to the law schools.
McHugh was using training seminar funds inappropriately. Tinsley said he turned it over to FSU's auditors, who investigated. The auditors found the center's financial books in disarray. Files on paid and unpaid invoices were incomplete, documents were missing, money hadn't been deposited.
Law student Elizabeth Lamb, a retired doctor who returned to school last fall, spent just five days in McHugh's class before deciding she had had enough. She says that McHugh called on her at the start of class every day and kept peppering her with questions, so that she remained standing for the entire 55-minute class.
But what really angered Adams was the university's lack of response. She originally filed her complaint with then Associate-Dean Donna Christie in May 1997. Four months later, after she'd heard nothing, she inquired about it. Law professor Jeffrey Stempel, who had taken Christie's place, had no record of the complaint.
After he uttered some kind of crude remark, she recalls, McHugh told the class that anyone who was offended could report "this sexual harassment" to the dean. "You just go out this door here, turn to the right and go up the stairs and down the hall to the dean's office," Miller recalls him saying. "But on your way there, I want you to note that there is a worn place in the carpet where students before you have gone to report me, and nothing has ever happened to me."
Indeed, there's little to suggest that anything will happen to McHugh. As recently as last week, FSU President Sandy D'Alemberte and acting Dean Don Weidner -- who between them have served as law school dean for 10 of the past 14 years -- said there was no need to explain why no previous disciplinary action had been taken against McHugh. "No facts came to my attention on anything relating to his performance in the classroom that would justify his dismissal," said D'Alemberte, whose only official action against McHugh prior to the suspension was a warning letter in 1997.
McHugh's complaint, filed with the state Commission on Human Relations, came as he and the university were negotiating a response to a complaint by law student Candace Kollas, who charged he made sexist and racist comments in his contracts class.
McHugh's strategy may well have worked."