Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Goodbye, Charlotte, and Remember: Law School Lives Matter

Charlotte Law appears to have died with the silent nobility of an old, used-up lawyer, a gentle, unadorned suicide when ends can no longer meet, the supply of inner justice has been exhausted, and the Million Dollar Express has reached its terminus.  CLS made it a valiant eleven years, in the end losing a noble battle against the pernicious disease of educational pessimism.  It was a preventable death, a testament to how far society still must go in the unyielding march of justice.

Preceded in death by a cousin.  Survived by its loving parents, two siblings, and many many friends.  Hobbies included understanding the nuances of justice in a postmodern multicultural democracy and rigorous, safe butt play.

Donations can be made to the American Bar Association.  Or, you can find a lemming to help console the survivors with a fat tuition check.  Have you considered that with one less law school, the demand for lawyers in the future just went from outstanding to outstanding plus?  The forecast hasn't been this good in years.

As an aside, over the last week, the nation has become gripped by racial tension in the aftermath of events in Charlottesville because particularly inane white supremacists decided to support a cause that died one hundred and fifty two years ago.  As the President has indicated, there are some fine, upstanding citizens in that group taking such a position that, on the surface, appears far more reprehensible than anything any law school has ever done.  Indeed, you critics should consider yourselves lucky that law schools are bitterly fighting for the continuation of a status quo merely decades overdue for abandonment.

In any event, as the President noted, there's blame to go all around in Charlottesville, a position that could only be reached from the safe, philosophically nurturing environment of his gilded Manhattan tower upon appropriate reflection.  There's lots that can be learned and applied to the law school context. 

For one thing, consider the absurd chain of events that has led you to reading this particular blog with an intentionally tasteless invocation of a ridiculous national tragedy in an obituary for a shit-tacular law school.  Given this sheer senselessness of human life, why not blow three years and run up six figure debt for a pointless degree?

The most important lesson, however, it's that law school lives matter.  We forgot that lesson in letting Charlotte Law School die and leave our nation's 22nd largest metropolitan area without a functioning law school.  As the President indicated, there's lots of blame on all sides in these situations.  Fie on the students for refusing to pay tuition.  Fie on the oppressive governments.  Fie on the rival law schools for not taking a stand.  Fie on the ABA.  Fie on the fake new media.

In the wake of Charlotte's premature death, it's important that  we heal and learn this vital lesson.  Because God forbid we let it happen to any of the others.  Paraphrasing Stalin, a single law school death is a tragic; a whole wave of them is really really tragic.

RIP, Charlotte.  Here's to hoping your branch in the afterlife has a line of ghost marks out the door so you can, as we say, scam on.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

So Much Heartwarming My Blood's Gonna Boil and My Lungs Will Burst into Spontaneous Flame

We pause on the threshold of yet another throbbing erection of a law school year.  Like clockwork, the virgin crop of lemmings is thrust into the harvester, the alchemy-forged machinery of Socrates, Darrow, and Westlaw grinding and churning them into that sweet, low-calorie gel that lubricates the wheels of justice.

Another year. Another convicted felon suiting up for the legal education feelgood all-stars.
When UCF graduate Angel Sanchez starts law school in Miami this week, it will be a strange sort of homecoming. After all, the last time Sanchez lived there, he was a 16-year-old gang member being sentenced to 30 years for attempted murder.

...All-American bootstraps-pulling...

[W]hen he transferred to the University of Central Florida in 2014, he helped to collect more than 300 books for the Orange County Jail’s inmate library while becoming one of the top moot-court competitors in the nation and graduating with top honors this year.
Undergrad moot court?  Shit yeah.  So good Homeboy got the judge at his probation hearing to terminate his probation entirely instead of merely reducing it and she offered him a spot as a clerk.  Dude's paying his dues with interest.

God damn, every year these stories get better and better and better.  Next year's felon will be a blind single mother who escaped sex slavery and taught herself law by working as a courthouse janitor.  Year after, a stray dog who bit the head off a child will decide to be a human lawyer. 

These stories thrust more deeply at that innate sense of Dickensian justice buried in the beating hearts of every member of the character and fitness committees, even the most hardened and treacherous monopolists who want to keep these bad-ass upstart millennial social justice fighters from the hoary, conservative bar merely because of a few unfortunate felonies.

The problem for most of you is that you tried to stay on the straight and narrow path, forgetting that the first rule of getting anywhere in law, if not life, is to network.  And networking requires being memorable.  Who's more memorable to a state court judge, Mr. Kenneth Cole Suit and his K-JD 3.5 GPA or a reformed gunslinger who can sustain a grown-up conversation without saying "'n' shit" every now and then?  Who do you think His Honor is more likely to hire?

A resume is a nice sheet of paper.  A pricey JD, even better.  But a rap sheet?  Now you're sitting pretty to be the talk of the judicial hobnobbing.

Rob a bank.  Become a lawyer.  Dirty, wash, rinse, repeat.  The machinery can baptize you, grant you beautiful narrative redemption, if only you let it - and law schools will.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Lawyers Needed: South Dakota Edition

Since apparently no one has an appreciation for bastardized accreditation standards or bastardized Shakespeare, let's go to South Dakota.

Up in this super-exciting state where the four people most worth visiting are carved into rocks, a dispute has arisen over where the law school should be located.

Currently located in Vermillion (not a typo), South Dakota, along with the bulk of the state's flagship university, the USD School of Law is considering moving to Sioux Falls.  Vermillion, located in the far southeastern portion where people can easily escape to near Iowa and Nebraska, has about 11,000 people.  Sioux Falls has around 250,000 in its metro area an hour's drive to the north.

While the obvious LSTC solution is to keep the state flagship in Vermillion, build an independent law school in Sioux Falls, and slap a satellite campus in Rapid City, this sort of crucial decision as to which metropolitan area should most benefit from The Law is likely best left to the mechanics of local democracy.

For our purposes, one unearths the salient point near the end of the article, where it comes shooting forth like the glistening teeth of a sudden bear trap for the optimistic legal education entrepreneur.
South Dakota is in great need of attorneys, Collier-Wise said.

“The purpose of the law school and why it is supported by South Dakota taxpayers is to make sure that everyone in our state has access to vital legal services,” she said. “Sioux Falls and Rapid City are not experiencing a shortage of attorneys that we are seeing in the rest of the state … I can’t imagine a potential student who wouldn’t even spend three years in Vermillion, which is too urban to qualify for Project Rural Practice, would somehow end up in Lemmon or Bison or one of the other communities that really needs legal services.”
Lemmon, South Dakota, reported 1,227 people in the 2010 census.   Bison, South Dakota, had 333.  That may seem too low to justify dispatch of a fresh wave of law graduates to Perkins County, but Bison's the county seat with its own airport and post office!

Wherever South Dakotans decide to host one of America's fifty best state flagship law schools in the future, all should agree that addressing the lack of lawyers in small, isolated prairie counties should remain a top priority. 

It's not the size of the market that matters; it's that there's a judge, a prosecutor, and a gaggle of attorneys hawking personal injury services. 

Justice can have it no other way.  #Justice4SouthDakota.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

A Sonnet for Betsy DeVos

Call up Tyler Perry's Madea, because there's a Hallelujah moment brewing on the hot stove:
The for-profit Charlotte School of Law may be receiving another chance as the Department of Education offers a bail out to the previously failing institution.

On July 31, Charlotte School of Law announced that it was notified by the Department of Education that students could be eligible once again to access federal student loans for this upcoming semester.
...
Bloomberg News also reports that the adviser who worked with Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, during her confirmation was also hired to lobby on behalf of the Charlotte School of Law. The adviser, Lauren Maddox, works with the Podesta Group, a lobbying firm in Washington D.C. primarily around education and healthcare issues.
Networking for the win, you dysfunctional moose clitorises. 

Speaking of Tyler Perry, here's another great poet for you:

A Sonnet for Betsy DeVos
 
When, in envy of fortune and deans' loots,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf judges with my nonsense suits,
And look upon my own indebted fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in cash,
Employed like them, lawyers with funds possessed,
Desiring this man's art and that man's stash,
Million dollar premiums oh so blessed!
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the dean at break of day arising
From silken threads) scammity scam elate;
       For thy sweet love remembered scam wealth brings
       That then I shut up, pay my loans 'n' things.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Infilaw Continues The Scam's Courthouse Dynasty

As a too-proud member of the legal profession, I think lawyers should get championship rings when they win big cases.  Something to impress the ladies and leave for the handsome bastard children they expel.  If you're going to evade child support, may as well leave some spiffy jewels.

Were we to adopt such a spoils system, the lawyers for the law school scam would be weighed with more bling than Jordan, Kobe, and Duncan put together.  This is Bill Russell territory, old school dominance of the court where weak challengers would be wise to not even put on the uniform.

This week, these SuperLawyers got Infilaw's mafia bosses out of the bullshit lawsuit brought by Charlotte Law students
[Judge] Mullen found that the court has no jurisdiction over Sterling Entities.
...
“Plaintiffs make a feeble attempt in their opposition brief to tie the Sterling Defendants to their claims by vaguely citing their conduct related to the longterm financing and strategic goals of InfiLaw and the for-profit law school that it owned and operated in Charlotte, North Carolina,” Mullen notes in his order (PDF) for Krebs v. Charlotte School of Law (PDF). “Plaintiffs then, in a roundabout way, point to an allegation in the complaint that Sterling Entities were present at Charlotte School of Law after the Department of Education’s lack of recertification occurred as proof of sufficient connections.”
How do you like that International Shoe up your ass, ya louses?

Regardless of your opinion of  the personal jurisdiction issues (don't forget Burger King v. Rudzewicz!), it's hard to ignore the prodigious losing streak by those seeking to hold law schools accountable for "alleged" "misdeeds."  These would-be lawyers continuously and systematically lose before a single piece of discovery is answered.  It's like paying $60 for a video game and not getting past level 2.

The Million Dollar Express can make anyone disgustingly rich.  But if you can't get past the pleading stage against an evil empire or two, I'm not sure you have the intelligence to not, like, inexplicably fall off.  How do you folks even tie a tie without choking yourselves?  Buy clip-ons like a blue collar Joe going to a wedding in Paducah?

It boggles the mind.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Asian-American Engineers Passing on Lucrative Career Doesn't Add Up

Two stories today for your simultaneous consideration:

Asian-Americans are underrepresented in law:
Asian-American enrollment in law school has declined more steeply than that of other racial and ethnic groups, according to a report documenting a glass ceiling for this group in the law.
...
The report, “A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law,” suggests the decline could be because of instability in the market for legal employment, the relative attractiveness of other professions, and recruiting efforts by law schools seeking African-American and Hispanic students.

The report’s major conclusion—that Asian-Americans are underrepresented among the top ranks of the legal profession—was released in January. Findings include: Asian-Americans are the largest minority group at major law firms, but they have the highest attrition rates and the lowest ratio of partners to associates. Asian-Americans make up only 3 percent of the federal judiciary and only 2 percent of state court judges.
The second story is Law School Admissions by College Major:
The chart makes a strong case supporting the conventional wisdom that the GPAs from different college majors are not equivalent. Although French majors and mechanical engineering majors have the same average LSAT, the average GPA for French majors is more than 0.3 higher, which is an enormous difference in the tightly stratified world of law school admissions. The applicant with a 158 LSAT and a 3.25 GPA in mechanical engineering likely has similar prospects as an applicant with a 158 LSAT and a 3.55 in French, but the latter is probably more likely to be admitted to law school and receive a scholarship.

This bias toward higher-GPA college majors creates several problems for law schools. The schools may end up admitting students who will not perform as well as others who were not admitted. In addition, schools miss out on students with science backgrounds who have strong employment prospects in areas such as patent prosecution.
Obviously, high-scoring Asian-American STEM students are idiot savants.  They could go into law, where they're doubly underrepresented. They could make so much money their distant ancestors would awake and cry with happiness at the blessings of corporatized postmodern western culture.    Even the most culturally atavistic, conservative cousins across the Pacific will instantly be quoting Wall Street and buying each other Thomas Friedman books at Christmas.

Instead, the Asian-American STEM student chooses to do "other things."  Well, my Asian- and Asian-American friends, how about instead of shooting off real rockets of limited practical utility you blast through that legal sector glass ceiling?

You can't cure cancer unless you secure the patents first, and need I remind you that no one - no one - solved Fermat's Last Theorem until after the jurisprudential breakthrough of Sony v. Universal City Studios (1984).

Obviously, law schools do the situation no favors.  Presumably under the belief that Asian-American STEM students don't need the benefits of a law degree as much as certain other non-whites, law schools have declined aggressively pursuing these particular marks.

Well, my beloved law schools, that's racist stereotyping.  Who are you to assume that these young individuals wouldn't find law an infinitely more satisfying career than the traditional STEM options?  Who are you to assume that BigLaw only wants the Asian-American as a niche specialist?  Who are you to assume that these youths and their well-intended tigerparents fully evaluate the available information and routinely determine that law school is a no-go post-recession?

Such presumptive race- and ethnicity-driven evaluations are wholly inappropriate for vaunted institutions of higher learning.  If you're going to scam Latinos and African-Africans, you damn well should be exploiting the Asian-American youth, too.  Fair's fair, law deans.

Law schools should develop programs specifically targeted to luring the Asian-American STEM lemming back to the law school scam. Scholarship programs, targeted guilt-inflicting initiatives, and outright lies about the need for international law and IP attorneys seem to be good starting points.  Survivor bias alumni speeches are also good.  Misleading graphs, even better.

Asian-American STEM grads also bear some blame.  Why give law - and by extension, social justice - the childish cold shoulder?  Because other opportunities - boring opportunities irrelevant to the Rule of Law - appear more instantly gratifying?  Because you don't see Asian-Americans filling the ranks of BigLaw partnerships?  Because the hip TV lawyers are all white?  Because your parents are pushing you into a more stable and less alcohol-fueled STEM field?  Because you care more about paying a reasonable amount of debt in a timely matter with a productive career?

Well, grow up, snowflake.  Be your own person and take the bait like a fully integrated old-school Eisenhower American.  If I know the shallow depravity of law schools, they'll even cook it in curry sauce and pair it with rice for you.

That obviously wouldn't be how those of Anglo-Saxon stock get bamboozled hook line and sinker, but fully realized exploitative multicultural paradises aren't built in a day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

This Summer I Hear the Grumbling. More Debt in Ohio

The Ohio State Bar Association recently did one of them blue ribbon reports on new lawyer practice, and I have to say, for a state with numerous outstanding law schools worth attending at double sticker, it's disappointing in its lack of context comparing debt to long-term starting salaries.

You can see the full report here, although if you're like most of my readers the lack of guns, cash, teets, or anti-Trump drivel will likely deter your better attention.
The average 2015 Ohio law school graduate has approx. $98,475 in law school debt. Yet, only approximately 58% of Ohio law school graduates are employed in jobs requiring bar passage, and a national study shows median law firm starting salaries have dropped more than 40% from 2009 to 2013. In addition, without effective mentoring, many of these graduates may lack crucial “practice-ready” skills they need to competently serve clients.
The conspicuous omission here is long-term salary earnings premium.  Exactly how many peer-reviewed articles have to be published showing a lifetime lawyer boost before these hack journalists get it?  Does it have to be more than one?

Sure, there's $98,475 in debt now.  Sure, only 58% are employed in jobs requiring bar passage now. 

But what about 20 years from now when the Boomers are drooling in nursing homes and these Millennial badasses are sipping gin and juice on beaches in the Balearic Islands?  Are you going to be complaining about debt or jobs requiring bar passage then???

But I digress.

Setting aside the chicken little debt bitching, it's a fairly comprehensive report with a sui generis poetic grammar.  For example, there are concerns about legal pedagogy connected to a nut-licking of large law firms:
The traditional Socratic method of teaching law students to “think like a lawyer” is more widely scrutinized than ever as law schools and the practicing bar acknowledge that law school graduates are not graduating practice-ready.  They enter a field of law which remains highly interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial, but the economics have shifted. Fewer attorneys, for example, are being hired by large firms, which have historically provided invaluable, on-the-job training and mentoring to help new lawyers learn the business.
There's a bizarre and awkward interjection of the opioid crisis.
[W]ith Ohio facing an opiate epidemic and knowing that so many Ohio lawyers, like the rest of the population, continue to struggle with substance abuse, chemical dependencies and mental health issues, there is still a need to educate attorneys on how to recognize the symptoms and seek help when necessary.
Chet, of course, can lay off the Hydro and go to a rural part of Ohio, because they drop that white lightning, too:
OSBA should continue to offer and expand upon its “Rural Practice Initiative” to encourage new lawyers to practice in nonurban areas of Ohio, where there is a growing access to justice need due to the diminishing number of attorneys practicing in these areas. Many new lawyers aren’t willing or able due to debt to re-locate. We must develop a program to entice them to do so. 
One may wonder how debt prevents someone from living in a low-cost area with a market need for legal services, but it's best to simply not ask questions and go with the mojo.

See, the good thing about these Task Force! reports is that they always find a way for the important people to have their cake and eat it, too.  With just a few minor changes, poor folks can find affordable representation and new lawyers can get themselves easy payable work.  One has to admire the sheer pluck of the liberal reformer.

Of course, these folks are so left-wing Bernie Sanders-y that they missed the long-term earnings increase that comes from having a law degree even if one never practices law.  So many of the concerns in the report could be more properly addressed by simply letting Case Western and Toledo produce exemplary graduates in an efficient and factory-like manner.  Enough law graduates and eventually legal needs in East Shitsberg are met or, better yet, created.  Enough work and eventually some of it becomes high paying - that's a law of economics.  Enough easy money and eventually the private market invests in companies that end the opioid crisis by producing even better drugs.

Sometimes we just need to trust the market.  Free markets work, especially when you subsidize them with government-guaranteed loans.  At least the report didn't get all hell-bent on that particular "solution."

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Charleston Saga, Cont'd: The Law School Strikes Back

The Trump era has been nothing if not the indisputably glorious triumph - finally - of the red-blooded, punch-first white American male, the type of schmoes who toil in moldering factories to buy bolt action rifles and heavy duty pickups for their daily trip to the domestic-only liquor store 'cross town.  The mid-shelf hard stuff and none-too-crafty beer.  God bless 'Merica.

Charleston, SC, is a city of Men. Colonial, southern, true blue American, 70% white, coastal, nice climate, nice-assed women, Fort Sumpter - that most American of places - just off the beautiful harbor...

It fits that Charleston has a resplendent law school worthy of its environment.  Contrary to all you granola poops who said the place was done, Charleston School of Law is a haughty roar of thunder on an otherwise pacific afternoon.

Charleston is off the naughty list of the Department of Education, which has finally realized it has better priorities - like doing nothing at all.
Several years after the Charleston School of Law became engulfed in chaos over a pending sale to a private company, its president says the institution has rebounded in enrollment and finances.

"The school is turning around quicker than anyone could imagine," President Ed Bell said Friday. "We literally thought it would take four to five years, but we've done it in less than two."

Bell noted that in October 2015, the school had only 82 members in its freshman class. Last year, that had climbed to 202, and he said he expects between 200 and 225 this fall.
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! 
Good for Charleston.  Like the 42-year-old freshly divorced father of three who bagged a 23-year-old Denny's waitress, it's rebounded nicely, showcasing an admirable amount of institutional prowess.

And, back on the road to freewheeling American white male success, it's telling its disposable consumers - all pending millionaires - to go fuck themselves in remarkably adroit ways:
The school is appealing its failing rating on another federal list that compares graduates' incomes with their student debt. Bell said his goal is that future students can cut their student debt in half within five years — without abandoning the school's emphasis on encouraging graduates to take unconventional jobs, at least at first.

"We encourage students immediately after getting out of school just to take a couple of years and give back," he said. "Go be a policeman, go be a fireman. Go work as a law clerk. A lot of these are low-paying jobs, but it teaches them something they will take with them for the rest of their lives."
Can you imagine a better way to metaphorically shove a razor wire dildo up a lemming's firm buttocks than to tell him or her to go work as a policeman, fireman, or law clerk?  The former two are basically crashing a high-demand fraternity with the wrong skill-set and the third one is telling them to do what lawyers sometimes do anyway out of career ambition (judicial) or a failure to find a real lawyer job (private).

Selling public service as a mask for the fact that one's graduates maybe perhaps sorta can't get good lawyer jobs is the sort of scam cookin' that wins James Beard Awards. 

"A couple of years" also happens to be the shelf life for many third tier law degrees.  Trying to get an entry-level lawyer position after three years of fightin' fires sounds like a great way for employers to assume there's something mentally wrong with you. 

You're as employable as you'll ever be the day you graduate law school, so why not take some completely unrelated job and piss away the short window of opportunity you have?

Well, if anyone can do it, it's Charleston students.  These plucky bastards ran straight back on the Million Dollar Express right after a derailment.  If anyone can pull off K-JD-cop-lawyer, it's this snowfall of special flakes.

Like  Ken-doll, I guess, you can dress your little superman in all sorts of new outfits.  For example, here's a cute little Jos. A. Bank suit with matching briefcase.  And here's a snazzy policeman's outfit complete with a whistle, baton, and a working Glock!  Hands up, don't shoot!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Nevertheless, Charlotte Persisted

I'm not saying it's misogynist for the fascist thugs to go after Charlotte School of Law before its gender neutral brethren siblings Coastal or Summit, but we're running out of arguments here, so... the ABA is a vast conspiracy in mansplaining...

Charlotte School of Law is however setting a first-rate example to our young girls on how to persist in the face of desolate futility.  Like the brave girl ready to be trampled by the Wall St. Bull or Sen. Warren showing off her ability to schoolmarm, it's persisting.
The for-profit Charlotte School of Law has been forced to stop accepting new students, and the faculty count has been reduced by about 70 percent. Only about 100 students remain enrolled, down from about 750.

But it’s still limping along. Summer school is currently underway, and fall classes are scheduled to start on Aug. 28.
Good speed, li'l' fighter!

Of course, you can set the best example in the world and still have people not follow it:
Hunter is concerned about getting a job with CSL on her record. She said she and other students are viewed as “damaged goods,” and some local law firms aren’t interested in hiring any CSL graduates, regardless of class rank.
...
Herrera said there were signs that the school wasn’t all that it was supposed to be. When he first enrolled at CSL in August 2015, Herrera said the bar exam passage rate was around 30 percent.

“It was an eye-opener that maybe something’s wrong here,” he said.
These students had the right idea in completely ignoring red flag after red flag.  But then - when their school needs them the most - they suddenly find favor with nonsense!

Sigh...  

Charlotte has until August 1 to provide the UNC Board of Governors with proof of its financial viability and until August 10 to have the ABA approve its "teach-out" plan.  Do a sistah a solid, friendly citizens, and donate now.  Charlotte's persisting, just like the Million Dollar Express onto which its trying to cling.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Florida Coastal Admissions Stats to Surge

Just as a third grader can turn that wimpy, wiry frame into a 6'4" beefcake who bench-presses Volvos merely by drinking milk and doing some pushups, law schools can change, too.

Florida Coastal has some shit-stained admissions numbers.  But it's about to polish that shit-stain to a lustrous shine.
[T]he Jacksonville law school says it has introduced stricter admission requirements.

For admissions, the law school plans to raise its minimum LSAT score by almost 7 points, the Florida Times Union reports.
At this thunderous pace, Florida Coastal will rival Harvard in a mere four more years.

But of course it comes with noble sacrifices.
Scott DeVito, the law school’s dean, told the newspaper that some elective classes have been cut to focus more on bar preparation and law practice schools. [sic]

“Our classes are shrinking based on that,” he said. “We want a core set of classes that are rigorous enough to really teach students how to be prepared to practice law.”
Finally, a law school that's going to teach students how to be prepared to practice law.  It only took a a century and a half, but finally one of them cracked the code.  This will be like installing nuclear powered crack cocaine in the Million Dollar Express's boiler.

Infilaw might get a lot of flack, but you know what? They're trying.  They're learning.  And in like five years, you're going to regret making fun of them.  They might be puny now, but they're chugging milk.  Swimming in the stuff.  No lactose intolerance here.  They're going to kick. your. ass.