Don’t Get Caught Being a New Lawyer in Mississippi

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Everyone will agree there are too many lawyers and not enough jobs. But what states are suffering the worst? Matt Leichter, author of Law School Tuition Bubble, compiled lawyer job projections for 2010-2020 with anticipated graduates from ABA-accredited law schools to determine who’s the worst off. This list comes hot on the tail of news that law school applications declined for a third straight year:

• Mississippi (10.53 law grads for each job opening, according to initial numbers)

• Michigan (6.48 law grads for each job opening)

• Delaware (4.20 law grads for each job opening)

• Nebraska (4.04 law grads for each job opening)

• Vermont (3.50 law grads for each job opening)

• Massachusetts (3.27 law grads for each job opening)

• Indiana (3.03 law grads for each job opening)

• Oregon (2.98 law grads for each job opening)

• Louisiana (2.95 law grads for each job opening)

• New York (2.92 law grads for each job opening)

And way down at #26: California (1.99 law grads for each job opening). Rounding out the list, Alaska was ranked as one of the best because it had no grads from ABA-accredited law schools (0.00 law grad for each job opening). Running these numbers based on new bar admittees, Alaska, like all other states, suffers from an oversupply of lawyers.

Via The Atlantic.

Donating a Kidney as Condition of Prison Release

Mississippi sisters, Jamie and Gladys Scott, serving double life sentences for their roles in an $11 armed robbery will be released on condition that the younger sibling donate her kidney to her sister whose failing organs are costing the state a lot of money in dialysis treatment. This condition, proposed by the sisters themselves, comes at the end of a grassroots movement to have the sisters released from prison.

There seems to be something problematic with allowing an inmate to trade a vital organ for freedom. A gambler couldn’t tender the pink slip for his kidney to his bookie (assuming the debt were legal) as one would a car. Yet somehow this is washes with the Mississippi Governor.

Under Mississippi Code of 1972 §41-39-131 selling body parts within the Magnolia State:

(a)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b), a person that, for valuable consideration, knowingly purchases or sells a part for transplantation or therapy if removal of a part from an individual is intended to occur after the individual’s death commits a felony and upon conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) or imprisonment not exceeding five (5) years, or both.

It is interesting to note that the Revised Mississippi Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA), of which § 41-39-131 is a part, will be repealed on January 1, 2012. Whether the repeal is to make way for a new human organ law or to provide a new revenue stream for po’ folk is unclear. Regardless, the law is in effect at the time of Gov. Haley Barbour’s decision.

Separately, this goes to a question of morality, specifically: why didn’t Gladys fork over her kidney a long time ago? Two kidneys are great and all but most of the time she doesn’t need them both. Perhaps she was just waiting to use her organ as a bargaining chip or maybe she just never wanted to give Jamie that kidney. Either way, from a policy perspective do we really want inmates offering up body parts for shorter prison sentences?

Via the NYTimes.