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Young Leaders Circle Forum with Walter Olson

Wednesday April 2011


Walter Olson Senior Fellow, Cato Institute's Center for Constitutional Studies

Some of our nation's most powerful leaders from Barak Obama to Bill and Hillary Clinton are graduates of elite law schools like Harvard and Yale. In his new book, Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America, Walter Olson questions the type of education law students really receive while within the university's walls. Olson's fourth book on the law chronicles how bad ideas from America's elite law schools have harmed the nation. Rather than focusing on producing competent and ethical lawyers for the future, our top law schools have churned out disastrous policies ranging from court takeovers of school funding at taxpayers' expense, to the rights to sue anyone over anything in class actions, to court orders mandating mass release of prison inmates. And since many of our national leaders have their roots in these law schools, many of the ideas taught in legal academia will doubtless wind up shaping national policy in the years ahead.

On April 6th, Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute's Center for Constitutional Studies and former Manhattan Institute fellow – whom the Washington Post rightly named an "intellectual guru of tort reform," discussed Schools for Misrule and the ways in which law schools have evolved over time.

Suggested reading: is Walter Olson's award winning website chronicling the excesses in the legal arena.