29 October 2010

Electing Judges

With elections just around the corner in the United States, some commentators are once again lamenting the increasing politicization of selecting judges in some states. While electing judges is nothing new in America (many states have been selecting their judges in this manner for decades), the money that has been poured into these judicial campaigns as well as the harshness of the negatives ads put out by candidates has increased substantially in the past decade.

Richard Hansen and Dalia Lithwick over at Slate write:
If you're a fan of The Exorcist and Carrie, if you like sex and violence and ominous music, you've come to the right place. Because we have gathered some of the most spine-chilling Halloween footage you will ever see—all produced in an effort to influence state judicial elections.
Be sure to take quick look at some of these campaign ads for judges.

28 October 2010

Would Make You Think Twice

As my students in both my introduction to law courses (in Osnabrück and Münster) are or will be finding out, law school in America is an entirely different proposition than what students here are faced with. For starters, law school in America is a graduate degree. One cannot begin studying law without first having a bachelors degree. Then there is the cost. While students here in Germany take to the streets as a result of having to pay €1000 per year in tuition, law students in America are faced with five, sometimes even six, digit loans upon completion of their legal education. Slate Magazine has an interesting piece on the American lawyer market (supply has outstripped demand) and the trials and tribulations of new lawyers just starting out.