Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
In 1996, the Minnesota Supreme Court adopted the requirement that every lawyer licensed in Minnesota periodically attend Continuing Legal Education classes on Elimination of Bias. It’s been 15 years. Has any progress been made? What measurement is used to determine the extent to which bias has been eliminated from the legal profession? Donald Rumsfeld, pondering the problem of Middle East terrorists, famously asked: “Are we killing them faster than we’re creating them?” What metric is the Supreme Court using to measure reduction in bias in the legal profession?
In other words, how will we know when we’ve won? And if, as I strongly suspect, the answer is “it never will be possible to eliminate bias in the legal profession,” then aren’t we wasting a lot of time and money chasing unicorn dreams? The practice of law is tough enough these days, and the cost of days off to sit in class plus the fees for the classes themselves are passed along to the customers along with rent, taxes and all other overhead. And if it turns out the insulting, humiliating and degrading classes are making lawyers MORE biased rather than less . . . .
Given the record of most government programs – a war on poverty that made us poorer, urban renewal that made cities crappier, education spending hikes that are followed by stupider students – it doesn’t seem unreasonable.