Sunday, December 29, 2013

North Carolina Law Schools Getting More Focused Applicants, Maintaining Course for Paradise Island

From somewhere in North Carolina that apparently hasn't bought into the whole "scam" thing:
Bill Hoye of the Duke University law school says his university is seeing students these days who are more “self-directed,” or “motivated.”
Yeah, you whenever-2013 graduates who were/are unemployed are totally non-self-directed and non-motivated.  You feckless, aimless idiots just came to law school without the necessary attitude.  Now, law students are motivated.

The science of law school scheming has made great strides in the last five years.  Whereas law deans used to employ statistical manipulation and the vulgar science of mathematics to demonstrate that students would find success post-graduation, they've now moved to higher orders of thought, a peculiarly baffling alchemy where finding the most self-directed students will suddenly create broader job opportunities in legal employment.

They've moved from the turf of the rationalists to the turf of Zig Ziglar and Rhonda Byrne.

Attitude is everything.  Sha-to-the-zam.

And yes, self-directed people still need three years of legal education to direct them in the right path.  Sometimes, of course, that versatile moneypath leads to artistry:
This is not to say a law degree can’t be valuable to students who decide on business careers or even choose to become writers or artists. Law school teaches people to think analytically, to learn to advocate for their position and to organize themselves in every endeavor. 
The establishment of new law schools in North Carolina over the past years (at Elon University and at The Charlotte School of Law) was questioned by some lawyers in terms of the demand for such schools. But the demand clearly is there, and the high quality of student has been maintained.
Poll time!

Which is the best-chosen word/phrase in this excerpt?

A.  Decide
B.  Choose
C.  "Organize themselves"
D.  Clearly
E.  High
F.  Maintained

Well, I wish you all a happy new year.  I'm off to self-organize, as I learned during my law school days.  I think heart tissue goes above liver tissue, and that pants are best put on one leg at a time.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays; The Wise Men Bring You Gold, Frankincense, and Online Education

What does Santa Truth Center have in his gift bag for you little unemployed girls and boys?

How about innovation?  Innovation is causation for revelation of capitalismation that gives me boneration for penetration!

Daniel Rodriguez will be inaugurated as president of the Association of American Law Schools in early January. That'll happen at its annual meeting in New York.
A Monday statement from Northwestern University cites Rodriguez as saying that "legal education is at a crossroads." He adds that law school educators must learn to "think creatively and strategically" to manage "rapid change."
And no, "think creatively and strategically" does not mean "network" and "rapid change" does not mean "getting shitcanned," you smart-asses.  There will be coal in your stockings!

And wrap me with tinsel, look at the innovation! (website is terrible; sorry).
At William Mitchell, school administrators like Associate Dean Mehmet Konar-Steenberg, hope a new generation of learning helps bring students back and better prepares them for the job market
"There is so much history here in terms of innovation and so many firsts at this law school," Konar-Steenberg says. 
Now, Mitchell will soon offer the nation's first accredited hybrid law school program – a four-year option that students can take online and in-class. The program will be accredited by the American Bar Association, which means it has the same requirements, difficulty, rigor and cost as a traditional 3-year law school program taught mostly in the classroom.
A rigorous ABA-accredited online program!  Merry Christmas, folks in Frostbite Falls.  Law school just got easier to attend.  Previously, only 90% (approved accounting method used) of the American population lived within ninety of a ABA-stamped law school.  Now, everyone has one right on their laptop.

Think of all the firsts William Mitchell may have.  First online degree.  First Socratic Method meltdown over Skype.  First dude literally jackin' it through the entirety of law school instead of the rest of us, who only did it figuratively.

The sky's the limit, Mitchell.  Or should I say, bandwidth?

Keep churning out that innovation, law schools.  We'll stave off the tide reversal yet.  #TeamJDs4Everyone

Saturday, December 21, 2013

All You Need is Focus Focus Focus

Not networking, not prestige, not academic excellence, not the vicissitudes of the job market.  Laser-sharp focus:
"The single most determinate factor I noticed from all those I know from law school was not grades, class rank, or school attended," our source said in an email, "but rather whether they had a set goal, a motivation for going."
Indeed, it's easy to see that employers would be disinclined to hire someone lacking a clear and meaningful motivation.
On the other hand, if you're extremely eager to do a particular kind of legal work — say, being a prosecutor or a divorce attorney or an intellectual property lawyer — then law school might be worth it after all.
Just click your ruby slippers together and say "I WANT TO BE A TAX LAWYER."  That's it.

Or take a double dose of Adderall to accompany the debt-fueled morning coffee run.

This reminds me of my friend "Mike," a top 20% graduate who wanted nothing more than to be a public defender.  Mike took every criminal law and trial class offered and interned with the public defender's office three straight semesters with the promise of a job if they had room to hire him.  He now works as a part-time debt collections mill.

In all my astute defenses of legal education, I've been trying to figure out why Mike didn't get what he wanted.  Now I know.

Brotha's got ADHD and wasn't focused enough.  I've sent him a brochure.

It's all on you, grads, and your lack of focus.

And all those people who really want to be M&A lawyers or work for Greenpeace saving whales who wind up helping deadbeat dads try and keep their kids?


Would-be entertainment lawyers who wind up sneaking peaks at TMZ during doc review marathons?


Intellectual property litigators who wind up working in retail?

Focus.  Focus Focus hocus pocus.

This might be the simplest explanation for legal employment outcomes I've ever seen.  Occam's Razor, kids.  Occam's Razor.  Cuts like a knife.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

ABA Overly Tough on Fraud, Slams Kansas

In what is quickly becoming a distressing theme for law schools interested in freedom of speech and academic freedom and freedom to be fine-tuned lemming-processing machine, the ABA has sanctioned the University of Kansas:
The ABA's final report concluded KU law school administrators "made misleading statements" regarding the new degree. In addition, the ABA determined the law school's handling of the matter was "grossly negligent" and that officials engaged in "an absence of candor."
Apparently, there was a mix-up regarding two foreign students and admitting them into the ABA-approved elder law program and telling the ABA they wanted to get it approved through the elder law program while separately applying to the Board of Regents to make it a separate program and yada yada yada.

Feel the cold, hard wrath of justice, Kansas.  

Things like this are why law schools have resolutely and unmistakably avoided any "absence of candor" and gone overboard in being completely forthright with applicants, students, faculty members, and the general public.

If the police are strict and the police didn't catch you, there's no way you did anything wrong.  That's logic, friends.  Logic.  What another syllogism?

1. Law school today makes people successful and happy and totally not regret six-figure debt.
2. You go to law school.
3. You win and retire at 62 to a tropical yacht called the Daily Orgasm.

Ain't no way the ABA could sanction that truth.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Modern Law School: Training Graduates Faster Than Ever Before

For all those of you corn-fed idiots who think that law schools don't teach anything and that "third tier" schools are worthless and that it's best to play Sandy Vagina, I'd like you to pull up a chair and learn about a young attorney named Maverick Ray.  You can read all about Maverick at Mark Bennett's site here and here.

Long story short, Maverick - who appears to be a December 2012 graduate of South Texas and a May 2013 bar admittee -  is serving as retained counsel in a mothafuckin' capital murder case as a solo attorney six-seven months on the job.

Law schools are evolving, friends.  People like Maverick are the vanguard of the New Normal.

The rest of you are bums.  Ipso facto res ipsa loquitor duh.  Obviously, there's a ton of demand for go-getter attorneys like him, and these criminal defendants apparently have no other option.  You all are letting these people go under-served with your "too many lawyers" attitude, showing a complete lack of eagerness to learn and help mankind as a public servant.

People like Maverick are rising stars.  You're a turd-brown dwarf.

Maverick is an inspiration to us all, a beacon of legal humanity in very dark and troubling times for alleged "third-tier" law schools everywhere.  South Texas College of Law is doing things right, and anyone who enrolls there and actually networks and hustles and has the right attitude can thrive even if (if!) BigLaw doesn't present that six-figure offer sheet.

So here's our next challenge as law schools move above and beyond, to ever-greater heights of serving the public.

Can we do it faster?!

I believe we can.  I want to see our best law schools (not Stanford or Yale!) pumping out graduates who can take capital murder cases three months after admission.

Two months after admission.

Trying the case hours after getting the bar card.

Driving straight from the admissions ceremony and/or letter in mail to voir dire a hostile jury in Backwater County, Deep South State, to defend Innocent Ernie (minority, blue collar, gee shucks) against Crusty Chickenhawk (angry prosecutor) and Hon. Callum Fairley (ironic name).

I believe that with the right combination of winning personality and tuition-honed skillz, our law schools will be spitting out lawyers with full-blown practices during their 3L year.  Celebrated practices.  Judicial candidates.  From 2L to professor.

With all the excellent law schools in this country, I know we can.  The sky's the limit, and it's only a matter of time before a lawyer so great and so powerful comes along, the state and defense consent to continue a death penalty case so that lead defense counsel can be licensed first.

And you assholes want to exclude new solos from the employment statistics.  Next time a first-year associate at WilmerHale sits first-chair on a death penalty case, let me know.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Your Friday the 13th Nightmare: TJLS Slashing Expenses

From the dean of Thomas Jefferson via Muckrucker Prime:
First, while a general decline in enrollment is a systemic problem, we did not help the situation by allowing an unsustainable growth in the administrative structure of the school or building a facility as grand as ours. But, as you may have seen in press reports, the law school made severe cuts to its budget in response to the nationwide decline in applications. The reports did not paint the full nature of those cuts. For fiscal year 2014, the law school made cuts, totaling $4,798,081. Among other things, we layed-off 12 staff members, eliminated many more unfilled open positions, cut staff salaries by a minimum of 5%, cut faculty salaries by a minimum of 8%. In spite of these cuts, I am proud to say that 100% of the faculty contributed to this year’s annual fund.
Praise the Lawd the faculty cares enough about the school to donate in such circumstances!  That's the law professor spirit!  And everyone will sing Nearer My God to Thee, too!

The Friday the 13th nightmare, of course, isn't TJLS's.  Their story - of a thrifty independent school started in the 60s that changed its name to that of a famous American who has nothing to do with San Diego less than 20 years ago and built a super-kewl campus right into a recessionary wind - is not a horror story, but a tragedy.

The nightmare is the people of San Diego who will be destined for the Land of No Representation if this fine school's economic woes continue to drive the school to reduce slots for eager students.  And it's San Diego, so not only do you have families and businesses who need legal counsel, but you've also got Mexicans, Marines, and Dudes Jackin' It Publicly.  All sorts of legal condundra for law graduates, left vacant, to pro se, to try and wade the harsh waters of the legal system without the compass of ABA-approved-educated counsel.

Fuck Freddy Kruger, that's a real nightmare.

And they'll sing softly, curled up in attics and crawl-spaces while the looming shadows of skeletal, haunting LEGAL TROUBLES overtake their lives, and they'll softly sing...

Where have all the lawyers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the lawyers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the lawyers gone?
Irrational fears about oversupply scared them off.
Oh, why did they not learn?
Oh, why did they not learn? 

Where have all the law firms gone, long time passing?
Where have all the law firms gone, long time ago?
Where have all the law firms gone?
My yellow pages and bus-sides are blank, every one.
Oh, why did they not learn?
Oh, why did they not learn?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Plaudits for Audits so No More Claims They Defraud It

You claim law school figures are bogus, eh?  The ABA matches you with a game-changing proposal:
Under the draft proposal, all ABA-accredited schools would be subject to an annual website compliance review of the employment outcome data they post online to ensure that it is consistent with the information they report to the section. 
But at least 10 schools a year would also be subject to a random review of the supporting data they would be required to maintain for the employment information they must report to the section. Schools with files found to be more than 2 percent “deficient” would have to verify the information they reported for a random sampling of at least 10 percent of their graduates. And, if 2 percent of that information is found to be unsupported, inaccurate or false, the school would be required to hire, at its own expense, an outside expert pre-approved by the ABA to verify the accuracy of its reported data.
APPLY TO FACTS TIME.  So let's say you have 150 law graduates every year.  There are, like, 200 ABA-accredited law schools, so every year, you have a 5% chance of being subjected to the Russian Roulette of a "1st audit" at your supporting data.  Of that 5%, if they have 2% of files "deficient," you do a "2nd audit" based on fifteen students.  If 2% of those 15 students' data is unsupported, you get a "3rd audit" done by an outside professional, who may only be remotely connected to the law school industrial complex.

When people say the ABA is toothless, I have no idea what they're talking about.  I mean, 2% of 10% is 0.2%, meaning unless you have 500 law students or more, you have to make sure every single student submits supported information or else you're screwed into getting a real audit if you were selected and failed audit level one and the errors are in the selected 10%.

Not that it ever existed, but any residual dishonesty is sure to cease immediately at the intimidating threat of actually having to pay for an audit in the small chance the dominoes fall the wrong way. BEWARE.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Free Contrarian Investment Advise Re: Independent Law Schools

In every boom and bust of market capitalism, there are always extremists who overreact and can be exploited for an easy upper middle class life.  "Real estate will always go up," "Stocks are going to crash," and "law school is a poor investment" are all sides of the same coin.

With that universal truth, I note that now the S&P is turning against independent law schools:
The creditworthiness of independent law schools that aren’t affiliated with larger universities is deteriorating as enrollment declines, Standard & Poor’s said in a report.
Brooklyn Law, New York Law, Thomas Cooley and Thomas Jefferson have negative outlooks, S&P said. Albany, with a BBB rating, was listed as stable. 
David Singer, an Albany spokesman, declined to comment on the report. Representatives of Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Cooley didn’t respond to e-mails seeking comment.
Of course they didn't.  Would you?  It'd be like explaining the Rule Against Perpetuities to a 5 year old, or trying to justify faculty hiring to someone who couldn't even get a district court clerkship.  MY SMARM IS JUSTIFIED, LESSERS.

The business world is now piling on law schools.  For the contrarian investor, it's time to go all in.  Law schools are not milk men or 8-tracks.  Because of the massive need for lawyers among dolphins, Ethiopian children, and po' people, there will always be room at the bar; the bar is, in many ways, like the trenches in World War I, as there's always room.

And yet the S&P thinks that over 1/10 of law schools may be at risk.  Yeah...go back and look at how those assclowns did in 2008.

World is selling and dumping on a stable and necessary commodity.  Time to buy, kids.  Still time to get in for next semester...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

ABA Laying Down the Authority on Rutgers-Camden

One of the first rules of admissions-slutdom is that if you can find a way around those pesky "take the LSAT" or "earn a college degree" requirements to get yourself more action, you do it.  Law schools are, in many ways, like horny college guys.

Between 2006 and 2012, the [Rutgers-Camden] admitted dozens of students who took tests other than the LSAT. In 2009, the [ABA] sent a memo to all accredited law schools clarifying its policy requiring the LSAT, except with prior arrangement.
But Rutgers-Camden continued to admit students who did well on other tests.
If you're a "real lawyer," ignoring bar association admonitions might cause trouble.  But this is a fucking law school.  And did they benefit?
That amounted to fewer than 80 students between 2006 and 2010...
Heh.  "Fewer than..."  And the punishment for this creative practice?
Rutgers-Camden has been fined $25,000, and a public censure document is posted on both the bar association's website and at the bottom of the law school's home page.
But...but...that's, like, part a student's tuition!  For ignoring rules and admitting almost 70-80 students!  How totally unfair!

Face the facts, scambloggers:  ABA is basically gumming the law schools.  A public censure document, oh no!  Like any 0L is actually smart enough to read public censure documents.

And why did they admit people without the LSAT? Was it a nefarious plot to cut out LSAT fat and preserve rankings?
"It was not related to rankings at all. We reported every LSAT we had . . . we did this to round out the class, and to identify qualified people who decided to come to law school after the May registration, for the most part," [Dean Rayman] Solomon said.
Rayman, you're all right.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Law School and the Open Road

The open road narrative is central to the American dream narrative; indeed, it traverses right through it. [1]  Man-going-on-voyage [2] stories have deep roots in world literary history.  From Moses [3] and Odysseus [4] to Dorothy [5] and Frodo [6], the journey narrative is ingrained in human consciousness, where a single step can start an individual on a life- or world-changing voyage.

In the United States, a special offshoot of this broader journey narrative group took shape in the 20th century [7]:  the "open road" narrative, where America's miles of highway [8], roadside distractions [9], and classic car marques [10] became metaphors for freedom, optimism, fortune, and the American Dream. [11]

Consider Raphael John, our multiethnic superstar from Queens. [12] He's always been good at reading and writing, and loves being vocal, particularly about injustice.  For example, he once wrote the following poem for junior English:
I sling rock to the suits on the StreetI sling rock in the Central Park heatI sling rock to the sluts and the hoswith the nine inch nails on they feet and they toesBut the po-lice be hasslin' me.I sling rock in Brooklyn and SohoI sling rock to straight and homoI sling rock to the blacks and the whitesChinese, Cubans, and many mo', allrights?But the po-lice be hasslin' me. [13]
Raphael had an entrepreneurial spirit and outgoing personality.  Similarly, his extensive business activities created a substantial network from which to develop opportunities.  [14]  Unfortunately, Rapheal's road narrative to the American Dream narrative had become bombarded with roadblocks and barricades.  His narrative was being derailed by angry police, cynics, and other opponents of progress and opportunity. [15]  When he graduated from CUNY with a 3.3 in Urban Studies, he considered taking the LSAT and applying to fine law schools such as Albany and Widener.  But all around him, he saw pessimism about the legal profession, such as this insolent screed:
I'll do doc review until I'm blue in the face; I will sit there doing doc review until my prostate explodes. Why? BECAUSE I NEED A GODDAMN JOB. Don't get me wrong: I've given up hope of ever being successful. Law school destroyed me and destroyed my life. I'm fucked forever, I know that. But my girlfriend will leave me if I don't get a job fast and she's the only thing I've got going in the world. Seriously, I'll be out on the fucking street and I won't even care. I might go live in a box or get a canoe and go out into the ocean to die of exposure. [16]
Clearly, the narratives of other people were disrupting his American dream narrative with a counter-narrative that was narratively vitriolic, even more so than his biracialness.  [17]  As-if Bonnie and Clyde decided to just live in the sexless suburbs for a year, Raphael put off his American dream legal education and left his Porsche of a mind in the garage of inertness. [18]

So he slung rock for another year.  [19]  The whole time, the anguish of wanting to do something more with his life hung over his head.  He didn't want comfort.  He wanted freedom and danger. [20].

Thankfully, he sound found salvation for his stunted narrative. [21] One day, while a-slinging his rock, he found a trio of street preachers called Public Interest.  There was Valvolive Valv, who wore a giant money-sign necklace; Leduck D, a slightly heavier man with a seriousness about him; and Professor Grift, who was wearing a Villanova shirt.

And, oh, how Public Interest rapped:
As the law designed to bounce
What counts is that the law
Designed to fill your mind
Now that you've realized the time's arrived
We got to pump the stuff to make you legally tough
From the heart
It's a start, a work of art
To revolutionize make Socratic Method nothin's strange
People, people we are the same
No we're not the same
Go to law school, you'll win the game
What you need is law awareness, you can't get careless
You say what is this?
My beloved, lets get down to business
Mental self defensive fitness
(Yo) bum rush the show
You gotta go to law school, you know
Get your legal degree, in order to fight the powers that be
(faint voice in background) Lemme hear you say...
Fight the Power!
Fight the Power!...  [22]

RAPHAEL:  Wow.  You guys sure think a law degree is necessary to fight the power!  [23]

VALV:  Totally, yo.  With a law degree, you can do anything. [24]

RAPHAEL:  Anything anything?

LEDUCK:  Shit, bro', I know lawyers and they workin', not just in gob'mint and law firms, but they running art galleries and non-profits, restaurants and stores, workin' as consultants for cell phone companies, you name it, dogity dog. [25]

GRIFT:  You can change the world, motherfucka. [26]

VALV:  Most importantly, you can get a job working with public interest groups helping with all sorts of causes, like representing poor people or beached whales.  [27]

RAPHAEL:  But I've heard that law school is a bad investment.  Isn't the cost really high?

VALV:  Dude, there is a fuckin' money sign around my god-damned neck.  You think this is just decoration? [28]

LEDUCK:  The average lawyer makes, like, a $G a year.  That's not just me yappin, that's the motherfuckin' Bureau of Labor Motherfuckin' Statistics.  I think. [29]

RAPHAEL:  But will I get a job?  I've heard the legal market is big cities is extremely tough and technological advances have been narrowing the job market.

GRIFT:  Sore losers. [30]

VALV:  While we can't guarantee you'll have a job as an attorney, we're going to tell you that 98% of our students wind up with good jobs, and that I don't think you're in the bottom 2%, and that I'm virtually guaranteeing you a job. [31]

LEDUCK:  C'mon man, just take the motherfuckin' LSAT, man.

Raphael took the motherfuckin' LSAT.

LSAT administrations are down sharply over the last four years. [32]  Would-be moderate- to higher-scoring applicants are being deterred from the profitable narrative of law school riches to instead pursue other narratives.  As a result, law schools are placed in a precarious position in their pedagogical narrative, and many have elected to accept slightly-lower LSAT scorers, while other schools have opted to drastically slash enrollment to maintain LSAT standards and hopefully preserve their treasured rank in U.S. News & World Report.  [33]

But Raphael had the keys to his American dream in his hand in the form of a pencil that he used to fill in the LSAT bubbles.  He scored a 150.  Within days, he had 72 scholarship offers. [34]  His car was being built, and it was shaping up to be a sweet-ass ride.  [35]

"Yo Raphael, what's up, bro'?"
"Who is this?"
"This is Ice Rude.  I'm with a group called Lawdeans With Attitude.  We from the west coast school, bro'."
"Lawdeans With Attitude?"
"Yeah, me, Easy C, Dr. K, MC Debtr'en from the Summit, and DJ Whittiah'.  Listen to us tell you all about the west coast style."
Dr. K:  You are about to witness the strength of legal knowledge. 
Ice Rudy:
Straight outta Harvard, crazy motherfucker named Ice Rude
From the gang called Lawdeans Wit Attitude
When I'm called off, I take my tie off
With a few mouseclicks, to the Riviera, I'm off
You too boy if you follow me
Fraud?  Shit, that bitch Juris Prudence love me
Off yo ass, and network, balls out
It's the punk motherfuckers that's showing out
You look and feel inspired, they gonna make the hire
Don't sit on the couch like a lazy-ass dumbo... [36]
"Stop it," Raphael said.  "Stop this nonsense.  All I want is to do is make a prudent investment in a career choice and not wind up fucked for my ambition and work and give up my decent career.  Can't you assholes just cut the bullshit and understand that people are making serious decisions about their futures with dire consequences if you're just making shit up to pad your lifestyle choices?" [37]

Is our hero sure?  We still have a whole roster of deans-artists to explore, like Lil Jon Marshall from the Atlanta school, LL Cool M, and Socratic Method Man.

"Raphael," one of the admissions officers told him, "I'm going to be as honest with you as I possibly can.  With tools like IBR and PAYE, law school is a really good proposition."

Sun shining.  Engine started.  Garage door open.

Consider the film Easy Rider.  [38]  In this film, released just as 60s Hippie idealism turned fatefully towards the dreary 70s, our antiheroes go by the names Billy, referring to Billy the Kid, and Wyatt, referring to Wyatt Earp, the latter also decked out in flag garb and being referred to as Captain America.  [39]  They venture on their motorcycles across a dust-coated American landscape that almost has an aura of post-apocalypticism to it.  [40]  With the profits of their hard work, they travel to the bacchanalia of Mardi Gras, along the way staying on an agrarian hippie compound, parading down Main Street USA, and dropping acid with prostitutes.  [41]

But these are not confident, classical heroes like in the epic narratives of our mythology.  Far from having the steadfast leadership qualities of Earp or the patriotic vigor of Captain America, Peter Fonda's Wyatt is more brooding and bitter, while Hopper's Billy is decked out in Indian-inspired clothes and harbors more outspoken hostility. [42]  The answer comes from the drunken ACLU lawyer they meet, George Hanson, who notes "You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can't understand what's gone wrong with it." [43]  George and Billy then engage in a dialectic about fear and freedom, with George opining that conservative America fears people like Billy and Wyatt because they represent true freedom; the distinction is noteworthy as, George is self-aware that he, too, is limited by fear (e.g., that marijuana will lead to harder drugs, that he's set off for Mardi Gras, but never made it).  [44]

George, in his embodiment of the law, serves as a mediator in the narrative between the oppressive, anti-progressive forces of the society and the anarchic, free forces of 60s counter-culture.  [45]  He is, indeed, the perfect metaphor for law itself; while frustrated with the injustices and hostilities of the post-capitalist world, he guides the naive, idealistic proletariat in their interactions with the system, resulting in positive interactions and outcomes. [46] And indeed, in Easy Rider, while the open road narrative is fully at work with the open road symbolizing freedom and opportunity, ultimately George serves as the impetus to Wyatt and Billy finding salvation, as George sacrifices to get the bikers to Sonoma Valley so they can open their winery that succeeds within a capitalist paradigm without sacrificing hippie ideals. [47]

Likewise, our hero Raphael has chosen a similar path.  Assured that he can definitely prosper if he enrolls in law school, he has a veritable feast of options, a garage full of vehicles to lead him to the promised land.  After extensive research [48], he took a half ride to Southwestern Law School.  He felt like he needed a change of pace, and he figured, if necessary, he would have no problem coming back to New York to find work.  He knew his future was bright no matter what coast he did his narrative thing on.

Shortly after he started on the new turn in his narrative, he saw a young African-American pulled over, with the flashing lights of three police cruisers lighting the macabre drama of the racial profiling that stopped so many open road narratives.  "Some day," Raphael said, "I'll be able to help you.  Or at least well off enough to donate to someone who can."

And so he zips through the flat Midwest as he does on the highway of life, the supple lips of mother nature smiling wryly as she breast-feeds him; the rescuing ship has saved him from ocean isolation; he drove on, tires against the pavement, thrusting ceaselessly towards his future.  He smiled broadly.  He knew he had made the right choice.

On the road of life, there are passengers and there are drivers.  In law school, you, like Raphael, can become a driver.  While all vehicles have their cost, it is the destination that makes the voyage worthwhile, and with law school in your sights, your open road narrative is sure - like Easy Rider - to have a satisfactory, life-affirming ending. [50]

(Happy Thanksgiving Weekend, y'all)
[1] a positive easment
[2] sexist
[3] tortfeasor
[4] tortfeasor
[5] tortfeasor
[6] tortfeasor
[7] obviously, this is just for white people
[8]  see, e.g., an atlas
[9] "look, kids, it's the world's biggest law school debtor!"
[10]  good luck living out the narrative when you can't afford the payment on your 1949 Studebaker.
[11] ...and a whole bunch of other things that directly contradict such ideals, but we're going to ignore those stories or just pretend they have alternative meanings.
[12] home of St. John's law school!
[13] this poem is likely good enough to be published in certain law reviews.
[14] the trust in the drug dealer-customer relationship leads to excellent opportunities for the exploitative networker.
[15] scambloggers resist opportunities to expand diversity, want to restrict federal spending, and are critical of the excesses of academia, obviously supporting arch-conservative ideals.
[16]:  shit's real: or
[17] narrative
[18] the rental fees in the garage of inertia are inSANE.
[19] "rock" is an urban vernacular term for a basketball, and "sling" is the thing David used to kill Goliath, so a fair interpretation of this would be that Raphael was playing pick-up basketball against much better opponents.
[20] i'm alluding to Aldous Huxley; God damn, I'm smart.
[21] yes, he found salvation for a narrative as part of the narrative.  try not to overthink it, kids.
[22] by alluding to this song, I am now qualified to sit at the andre douglas pond cummings table at various conventions, you know, with the real brothas.
[23] duh.
[24] duh.
[25] duh.
[26] duh.
[27] duh.
[28] have a law dean on your holiday shopping list?
[29] duh.
[30] duh.
[31] duh.
[32] read a newspaper.
[33] law deans are, it appears, the last people in the universe to take US News seriously.
[34] this might be an under-exaggeration
[35] you know, law school-as-a-car is a good metaphor.  you're really excited when you first get it, you almost always paid too much, and the odds of it lasting 30 years are fairly low.
[36] will someone please just give me a professorship in this shit?
[37] this is an example of a rhetorical question.
[38] 1969 (dir. Dennis Hopper).
[39] Id.
[40] Id.
[41] speaking of good metaphors for the modern law school experience.
[42] i guess we just cite id again?
[43] how do people write like this?
[44] i'm writing yet another footnote because i thought it seemed like a good place to put a footnote.
[45] smoking dope with crack-dealing bikers is a great form of ADR.
[46] and oh how the system works!
[47] admittedly, I haven't seen the film in a while, and it's possible the winery was in the Columbia Valley instead.
[48] a weekend on google, plus a broad skimming of various brochures
[49] just making another footnote so I can end with 50.
[50] in writing this genre-bending law review article, I was assisted by 104 student assistants and 84 law professors, all of whom i am deeply indebted to.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Which is More Credible, Forbes or Salon?

Let's do a compare and contrast of two articles published on the same day.  Here's Salon:
That question, the one that is so obvious that even thinking about it is deeply painful, is this: Why aren’t law schools ashamed of themselves? Where is their sense of pity, of remorse, of human decency? After all, aren’t the very ideals that law schools purport to teach about – justice, fairness, equality – fundamentally and exactly opposed to this sort of naked capitalist exploitation? 
What a pessimistic Peter!

And now here's Forbes, through the expertise of U. of Washington Law Prof Ryan Calo:
My parents are part of a generation so large they are known as the Baby Boomers. My father retired last year and my mother plans to retire soon. Even if people work longer than in the past, will be leaving the work force in the next five to ten years.  Some of these people will be lawyers. The demographics are such that knowledgeable folks like the head of the Washington Bar Association are predicting a market gap. They worry that future demand for legal services cannot be met by a dwindling supply.
Ah, "lawyer shortage."  I needed that one.  Calo, of course, has the typical "it's not for everyone" concessions in his article, but it's refreshing to see someone lay out why the time is always right for law students who really want to be law students no matter how high the price.

Forbes is a respected economics magazine that's taken seriously by big-shot corporate finance wizards. is an internet publishing mill for liberal artists and stay-at-home moms.

To which one would you trust your future?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Suffolk Law Grads to be Unstoppable Legal Cyborgs

Law practice is swiftly evolving, and soon, I suppose, will be little more than electrons zipping back and forth between an idle practitioner's cell phone and an electro-receptor worn by the judge - or hell, maybe even a neutral computer program called LawNet.  Trials will be conducted via video conferencing.  Depositions will take place via Twitter.  Clients will be downloaded.  Setting aside the fact that law is mostly about having money, being old, and knowing the right people, it's clear that new graduates need to be fully integrated into the Legal Borg to have any chance at success.

Thank God a school like Suffolk is ahead of the curve that others, like Harvard and Boston U., continue to slavishly adhere to, like Luddites who would do math by hand.

Introducing The Evolution of Legal Education with this brand new concentration Suffolk is adding:
To ensure the university was producing the most knowledgeable, adaptable graduates in the field, Suffolk launched the Institute on Law Practice Technology & Innovation in April... 
The new concentration features specialized courses on different legal technologies and innovations, including automated document assembly, legal project management, knowledge management and virtual lawyering... 
Perlman touted technology's ability to make a lawyer more efficient, and lauded LegalZoom... 
The Law School is now tasking students with developing tools of their own. One course, "Lawyering in the Age of Smart Machines," taught by Marc Lauritsen, forces students to create software that would help them practice law.
And you all rip the diversity of the law degree!  Not only will these students know how to practice in practical areas of law, they'll be able to design VisualBasic programs that already exist that can help them do it.

Do you hear that?  It's the rush of clients leaving experienced, gray-haired practitioners for cool kids who have integrated Google Glass into their practices.

Real scenarios coming to a future near you:
Interviewer:  Have you ever worked on a document review before?
SuffolkAlum:  No, but I did have a concentration in legal practice technology, where we learned about technological advances in large discovery management.  I have an advanced understanding of your company and how I can fit in.
Interviewer:  Well, we just need a lawyer to click the mouse for three days so we can bill you at $6,000 while paying you $600.  But what the hell, you're hired!
Potential Client:  I'm really happy LegalZoom exists.  Now I have all the knowledge and know-how I need to incorporate subsidiary companies for my various business functions.
SuffolkAlum:  Why, yes, I learned all about the amazing LegalZoom in my studies.  I can help you fill out those simple forms, as LegalZoom has made my practice far more efficient.
Potential Client:  Well, I'm pretty sure I can handle this, but what the hell, you're hired!
Interviewer:  What we're looking for is someone to make routine court appearances in municipal and criminal court for our clients, who are mostly being charged with traffic tickets and low-level misdemeanors.  Does this sound like something that interests you.
SuffolkAlum:  Totally, bro'.  I did coursework in knowledge management.  I've got a smart phone, and I know how to use it.
Interviewer:  Shit, bro', why didn't you say so?
Interviewer:  You understand this job is in Montana, no?
SuffolkAlum:  You did see on my resume where my concentration included virtual lawyering, didn't you?
Interviewer:  Oh, my mistake.  Hired.

Beware the Legal Cyborg, friends.  Versatility and employability are about to go where no law graduate has gone before.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

BigLaw Democraticizing, Lower-Ranked Schools Looking Better Every Day

It's 1973 and you want to go to law school with the aim of sliding into the driver's seat of your BigLaw Mercedes.  Do you dare go to a school like the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern?  Oh, no, it wasn't open yet.

It's 1993 and you want to go to law school with the aim of sliding into the driver's seat of your BigLaw Mercedes.  Do you dare go to a school like the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern?  Oh, no, the doors to BigLaw were closed.  Shut.  No steak and wine for you.

It's 2013 and you want to go to law school with the aim of sliding into the driver's seat of your BigLaw Mercedes.  Do you dare go to a school like the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern?  Oh, yes.  Door is open.  

Greenberg Traurig, the state's top law firm in 2012 revenues and No. 2 with its more than 300 lawyers, once only recruited graduates from the top-tier law schools. But in October, the firm launched a residency program to hire new graduates for non-partnership track employment. They bill at a lower rate and earn a lower paycheck.
The firm reportedly bumped its pay this year for first-year associates from $125,000 to $145,000. 
Resident attorneys earn a salary below that — Kaufman won't say how much. The program typically lasts a year, with an option for a second-year extension. 
"Our hope is that after a successful year they will convert to associates with the ultimate goal of becoming a shareholder," Kaufman said.
[Nova's head of career development] said while participants may be paid a bit less than traditional hires, "they're still getting the same pedigree."
Viva la revolution!

With a full 3.7% of its alumni finding their way into large (>100 attorneys) firms, and with an undetermined number of those gaining the second-year option and possibly converting into a normal associate (just like their "peers" at better schools!), with an undetermined number of those associates becoming shareholders, with an undetermined number of those shareholders becoming shareholders that matter, there's simply no way you could possibly lose by going to Nova Southeastern.  It's math.

And even if they don't, they're obviously getting the same pedigree.  The same pedigree.

When people criticize the fact that the Shepard Broad Law Center and Nova Southeastern now costs $34,740.00 a year in tuition plus whatever living expenses a student needs (what, maybe $5k a year?), they obviously aren't factoring in the wealth of new opportunity that has cracked open now that BigLaw is accepting the unwashed masses with its warm, welcoming embrace.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Law School Way: Your Ticket to a Meaningful Existence

All too often, we see muckrucking bloggers ignore what I call The Law School Way, those life-affirming, intellectually enriching qualities of legal education and practice that transcend easy obective dismissal and sound like ooey-gooey mushy goodness.  Instead, the simpletons choose to be narrow-minded number zealots who focus on things like being employed and repaying loans, which are not as high up on the pyramid of needs as having a meaning and purpose in life, so they are not as essential.

They simply don't get the unbridled mirth of The Way.

The Wall Street Journal calls this basic approach "provocative" in its discussion of Sherman Clark's latest epistle.  Ah, yes, the Wall Street Journal would think the pursuit of meaningful truth is a provocative proposition.

Anyway, here's Clark, sort of:
“[I]f we are to be thoughtful about the impact of law school on the quality of lives, we must be willing to think at least tentatively about what makes for quality in life,” writes Mr. Clark. “Law school must teach law and lawyering and nothing I say here is meant to deny that law schools above all must provide professional training. Indeed, my claim is that it is the very study of law and lawyering that can develop the capacities and habits of mind that, in turn, can help one wrestle with deeper issues.”
How very Socratic, which is fitting, as legal education is, in many ways, is preparation for dying, if not a direct injection of pure hemlock.

You see, people who don't live The Law School Way have no way of employing critical analysis to the world around them on deep issues of social justice and ethics and the delicate balance between liberty and authority, not to mention the body as a dignified last stop against the abuses of central power and the contours of the intersections of race and gender in post-integration municipal elections.  People who live outside of The Law School Way never find meaning in their lives, for they lack the tools to even comprehend the immense meaning of the things they would do, if only they had a legal education.

This is, of course, why attorneys have incredibly high qualities of life and remarkably low suicide, depression, and substance abuse rates.

Because The Law School Way is a mode of thinking you can only (or primarily) find in America's ABA-accredited hallowed halls, where the mind becomes able to grasp at those deeper issues.  Indeed, Clark himself is so in tuned with greater humanity that he anticipated skepticism towards his self-evident truth/belief that law school is a special and unique provider of the essential tools for finding value in continued life:
“I recognize that framing the question in this way may create some skepticism.”
“But wherever lies a rich and meaningful way of living, and whether it be manifold or one,” Mr. Clark concludes, “we all should agree that it is worth seeking. And we should all agree that what increases our ability and willingness to look for it is of great value indeed.”
Can we not at least agree to this fundamental premise of The Law School Way?  Surely, the debt slaves would be fools to claim they didn't want a meaningful life.  Theirs, of course, involves little more than a callous mountain of cash, but that's still meaning.

And is it not obvious that law school increases one's ability and willingness to seek a meaningful life?  Learning about the precise bounds of personal jurisdiction under federal law is a key slice of pavement on the road towards enlightenment.  Who cares if the rent is late again?  Law school will teach you about the statute of frauds and the commerce clause, which will help the true believer think deeply about events both far and near, from solving the eternal problems in the middle east to figuring out the perfect way to ask whether she's on the pill or not.

You cannot do these things without going to law school.  Take my word for it.  I went, and now I'm a super-brain who lives on an ethereal cloud of hovering silk-covered textbooks where it never rains and everyone appreciates the utter baloney that comes out of my mouth and impeccable grasp of citizenship and ethics.

If you, too, want to live a meaningful life and gain that peace that passes understanding, I encourage you to join our faith in The Law School Way.  We have over 200 locations nationwide, and unlike other churches that constantly pass the plate around, we only ask for a modest tuition fee in exchange for life-altering grace and wisdom.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Survey Says Charleston Students Are Quitters, May Bail En Masse in Infilaw Buys School

From Charleston City Paper:
In a recent survey, 96 percent of Charleston School of Law students said they do not support the impending sale of their school to Florida-based education company InfiLaw System. In the same survey, 82 percent of first-year law students and 52 percent of second-year law students said they would consider transferring to a different law school if the proposed sale were to go through.
This begs the question, of course, of what would happen if InfiLaw put its silver-coated hands in every law school in the country.  Would these wimps go to Canada?  Find another profession for their worthless liberal arts degrees?

Talk about a lack of diligence and perseverance that signals a very poor prognosis for a legal career.   If you can't handle InfiLaw, how are you going to handle it when that large firm buys out your sweet MidLaw/Boutique firm and your liquor bar is replaced by a different liquor bar?  How are you going to react when the Chinese take shit over and your $100,000 invoices are paid in yen?  Law, in many ways, is all about picking yourself up when the world shoves you down.

And of course, their fears are irrational.  Don't take it from me, take it from the Charleston City Paper:
InfiLaw has come under fire from local law students and lawyers, despite the fact that its three existing law schools in Phoenix, Ariz., Jacksonville, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., report average tuition costs and bar passage rates similar to CSOL's (the enrollment numbers and student-to-faculty ratios, however, are higher at InfiLaw schools than at CSOL).
See?  You stupid law students.  You'll go from excellent to excellent under the care of InfiLaw.  What are you going to do?  Transfer to Villanova or McGeorge?  Good luck with that.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Scandalous and Repugnant Assault on Dean Mitchell Continues

Episode 3:  The Good Guys Strike Back.  Literally.

In last week's titillating episode of the Larry Mitchell Show, Professor Ku amended his complaint with more salacious allegations, while Mitchell's former research assistant played lawyer and kicked the good dean while he was down.  In the meantime, Dean Mitchell has announced that he will take a leave of absence.

But is it done time for our hero?  No, kids.  The moment that the villains get the upper hand on Batman is the precise moment the caped crusader finds his greatest strength.  Batman does pushups and plots an action plan.

The dean - now represented by Steven Kaufman and Jennifer Lesny Fleming of Kaufman & Company - shot back a twelve page emergency motion to strike before even being served anything.  If I'm reading the motion correctly, the defense's position is that the issues in the case are legally-narrow on the issue of retaliation and that all that stuff about Dean Mitchell's sexcapades had nothing to do with anything Ku has alleged and are therefore just scandalous and repugnant and should be stricken from the record.

If you'll recall, the complaint alleged that Ku tattled on Dean Mitchell because he is a Boy Scout in a Brooks Brothers suit.  Now we learn the sordid, seedy truth:  Professor Ku was butthurt because he wanted the deanship that went to Mitchell.

I know.  I had a hard time believing it as well.

Not being duly licensed in the Wonderful Land of Ohio (now with nine law schools!), I'm in no position to evaluate the legal merits of such a motion, except for telling you that it's fucking awesome and makes blood flow to special parts of my body.  For one thing, the defense lawyers just found a mass of billing time before their client has even been served with a lawsuit.  Second, they get to assist in defining the issues of the case and argue factual assertions without even filing an actual, binding pleading or being involved in discovery.

It seems to me that the point of 12(f) (which seems similar to the federal rule) is to reserve to the court the power of taking an eraser to the pleadings to scrub out truly irrelevant crap and that it's not a vehicle for defendants to tell the plaintiff how to establish their case.  Moreover, in the motion itself, Mitchell's attorneys have created a factual dispute over Ku's motivations in filing the report (among other things) that lead to Mitchell's alleged retaliation, which I would think would put Ku's good faith at issue and, thus, the motion would actually help establish the relevance of Ku's motivations, which means the truth or falsity of Ku's beliefs - and thus the factual basis for those beliefs - is at issue.  I mean, generally, if you want the case to be narrow, it's advisable to limit your factual disputes.

But fuck that noise.  Mitchell's attorneys just laid a solid LITIGATOR SLAP on the bitter turncoat LawProf's face.  Good luck waking up from that 12(f) motion, buddy.  You're going to need some Advil and a cold steak for your eye.

Don't poke a LawDean kids.  You may have truth, morality, dignity, and the law on your side, but they've got that je ne sais quoi, probably picked up from multiple yearly trips to France and its various overseas territories and colonial legacies.

They hire attorneys who hit back with double-digit-page motions before a pleading is filed.

And what attorneys are these?  Why - yes - they've both apparently served as adjuncts at Case Western.

And Mr. Kaufman, far from going to Harvard or Yale, appears to be a Case graduate himself.

Obviously, Case produces worthy attorneys, given that the law dean himself is hiring them.  Res Ipsa, and go fuck yourselves, scambloggers.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Introducing Arizona Summit Law School

Phoenix School of Law has changed its name to Arizona Summit Law School.  ASLS.  That's an L-shaped accident in the middle of the ASS.  What a startling coincidence.

Why change the name?  Is it because they realized after eight years that certain idiot 0Ls confused PSOL with U. of Phoenix given the remarkably similar names?  Is it because they want to erase negative associations with the school?  Is it because they want to create market confusion with ASU and Arizona?  Get the patented US News name-change boost in a down year?

Oh, no.  They wanted to highlight the pursuits of excellence the school's students embark on.  Duh:
The new name highlights the ambition and drive of the students, faculty and staff at Arizona Summit Law School, collaborating to accomplish more, and ascend toward their personal "Summit." This concept exemplifies the school's mission of delivering student outcomes, preparing graduates for successful careers and improving diversity within the legal community.
Did you know that law faculty members were motherfuckin' sherpas?  I didn't either.  That's the type of versatility that comes with a proper JD.  Student outcomes delivered.

Arizona Summit:  because finding a job after attending here is an uphill battle.

Arizona Summit:  because the debt you leave with will be mountainous.


Tommy read Palsgraf, like a kid out in the rain
Then he lost his mind in Phoenix, and his dreams went down the drain,
They were all in love with dyin', they were drinking from debt fountain
That was pouring like an avalanche, coming down the mountain

This blissfully splendid exercise in irony was thought up by Off Madison Avenue and Landor Associates.  Yes, it took two firms to come up with such a perfect name for a law school that's like a stalwart rock that its graduates wear as they swim into the ocean of the legal profession.

What if you climb up a mountain and realize too late it's a volcano?

Costs almost as much as climbing Mount Everest.

I could do this all day.  The main idea, though, is that if you go here, you will someday be at the top of a mountain of some kind, which will give you great personal enjoyment and satisfaction as you peer down on the minions below and laugh in contempt at low-hanging clouds.  So sign up, now.  The summit isn't going to climb itself.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Stop Picking on Larry Mitchell

Remember a few posts ago where I reported about the multi-incident sexual harrasment/retaliation suit against Case Western SuperDean Larry Mitchell?  Am I too late to call him Leisure Suit Larry Mitchell?

Now Mitchell's former assistant, Attorney Daniel Dube, has identified himself as a person in the complaint and confirmed the accuracy of the relevant claims where he was involved publicly:
Attorney Daniel Dubé told The Plain Dealer Thursday he was the administrative staff person who wrote the letter to university officials [detailing Mitchell's sexual relationship with a student and retaliation] and confirmed the instances involving him contained in the complaint were accurate. Dubé said he came to Cleveland with Mitchell from George Washington University where he was his research assistant. He said Mitchell was a mentor to him. [does anyone else picture Darth Vader zapping the Emporer here?  -ed.]
He said he was speaking publicly for the same reason he went to university officials in 2011, even though it was against his own self-interest.
Yeah, because he's a wiener.

How can you be the special assistant (yes, that's a job title) to a third-tier law school dean and call foul like this?  Your job is special assistant to a third-tier law school dean, a man whose goal is apparently to lubelessly butt-ram half the school and cashity cash cash in.  What did he think Mitchell was doing, exactly?  Serving a noble profession by educating a future generation of attorneys for a fraction of what he could make in private practice?

Great googly moogly.  Who the hell cares where Larry Mitchell puts his LawProf?  The guy is a Law Dean whose slickness has brought blessings upon GWU and CWU.  God willing, he'll someday bring glory to BWU, NWU, PWU, and the others.  If he wants to treat the campus like the Playboy Mansion, he's earned it.

Ethics?  Responsibility?  What quaint ideas.  Maybe I'll take Mary Sue to the sock hop and share a banana split with her afterwards, then walk her closed legs home by 8:30.  Maybe I'll "score" and kiss her on the cheek.

Speaking of dates that end well:
Dubé also complained that Mitchell would talk about his sex life and inquire about Dubé's sex life. At one point, according to the complaint, after one of the numerous student and staff parties at the dean's home, Mitchell tried to engage Dubé and his date in a "threesome" and pointed out a guestroom with new Chinese silk sheets.
Mr. Dube apparently never really understood life in a law school administrative capacity, which is a big shocker given that he's a recent law graduate.

This system is a perfect capitalist pyramid.  You either play ball or you don't.  If you play ball, you might make it to the big leagues.  If you don't, you write a whiny butthurt blog about how the system isn't "fair" as your ethical compass and conscience try to pay bills and buy groceries.  Or you just disappear and work at something else like the other skeletons in the closet.  Dube had a chance to join the circle, but, apparently, would rather be a whiner than participate in the endless orgy that is legal education.

His loss.  He tags Mitchell in on a threesome (Chinese silk sheets!) and he's got an assistant deanship at Wayne State within a year.  Bank on it.

The only thing I can fault Mitchell for in all of this is hiring a guy who puts an accent mark over a vowel in his name.  This is America, bro.  Our letters don't have decorations.

But stop picking on Mitchell.  Law deans be law deans.  No matter what "social responsibility" mandates.  They have their own rules.  Don't hate 'cause you can't relate.

(God bless Cleveland media)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

UPDATE: O'Brien Shows Monarchial Wisdom, Takes Pay Cut

To update the previous post, Dean John O'Brien is taking a $200k+ pay cut in light of NESL's financial plan.

How many of you little buggers would even take a $2k paycut voluntarily?  Think of his immense sacrifice the next time you find yourself worthy to criticize the so-called "scam."

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Intolerable Acts of King O'Brien

New England School of Law - close to the place where Britain really put the vicegrip on the American colonies' revolutionizing nutsack - is paying homage to that heritage by cracking the whip on its law professors:

35-40% cut in faculty.

Increased teaching loads to 8 classes per annum.

9-5 work schedule.

9-5 work schedule!!!!!!!

Intolerable.  These are academic professionals.  Why don't you just tell them to go work in a fucking law office if you want to subject them to such barbarity.

Unlike the American revolution, however, the King will win.  And by King I mean John O'Brien, who makes $800k+ a year tossing lemmings into the invisible debtor's prison.  Law professors, by their genes as former JD students, simply do not have the fortitude or market position to mount a serious protest.

Because at the end of the day, law professors need to realize that if they don't lend a helping hand in scooping up more meat for the abattoir, they're going to get booted out.  That's capitalism, and it's a very good thing, especially if the ruling class of legal administrators continues to make out like bandits.

Oh, and the scambloggers are still full of shit and legal education will rebound stronger than ever when employers figure out the diversity of a degree and students learn to network properly yadda blahda blah...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Nation's Second-Best Law School Fighting for Truth

Remember that New York firm that brought all those silly lawsuits?  They're still fighting The Mighty Thom Cooley!  Apparently, Kurzon Strauss (or whatever the leftover firm is now called) is trying to get documents that Cooley filed under seal made public.
Jim Thelen, Cooley’s Associate Dean for Legal Affairs and General Counsel, said the Lansing-based law school objects to the motion to unseal the court records, and accused Kurzon Strauss of attempting to litigate “in the court of public opinion.”
Because if there's one place a law school should never have to litigate, it's in the court of public opinion.
“The bottom line is if he wants to continue contesting whether there was defamation or not, we’re going to have an appeal,” he said, referencing the law firm. “He’ll have a chance to bring those issues to the court.”
For those of you keeping score at home, Cooley sued Kurzon for defamation.  Kurzon won.  Cooley has vowed to appeal.  Now Cooley's general counsel is saying that if Kurzon wants to argue about whether defamation occurred or not, "we're" going to have to appeal.

If you cannot fully understand the logical soundness of that reasoning, you obviously went to a law school ranked much lower than number 2.
"And we continue to believe that if we had a hearing on the issue, we could establish that their statements that they made on the Internet and other places about us were false."
A hearing, a hearing, my kingdom for a hearing!  If only someone would listen to the largest law school in America!

Of course, Kurzon Strauss never did much more than repeat the court of public opinion's verdicts against Cooley, but when you're the nation's second-best law school, you have the privilege of making up your own damned law.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Turncoat Tenured Law Prof Sues SuperDean Larry Mitchell

If you'll recall, Larry Mitchell is the patriotic hero who boldly announced the following in the Fall of 2012:
I’M a law dean, and I’m proud. And I think it’s time to stop the nonsense. After two years of almost relentless attacks on law schools, a bit of perspective would be nice. 
For at least two years, the popular press, bloggers and a few sensationalist law professors have turned American law schools into the new investment banks. We entice bright young students into our academic clutches. Succubus-like, when we’ve taken what we want from them, we return them to the mean and barren streets to fend for themselves.
And Mighty Thor Struck With Mjolnir!!!  And Look How the Nonsense Has Ceased!!!

You, I, and everyone else with a oxygenated blood knows what Mitchell was doing, which was - to sum it up modestly - trying to save the motherfucking universe.

Now for something completely different:  he and Case have been sued for retaliation for someone reporting sexual harassment against Mitchell by a turncoat ungrateful LawProf.  Move Raymond Ku to the Campos File.  The Cleveland Plain-Dealer has the Complaint:
24.  ...From the time Mitchell became dean, he made comments to Professor Ku regarding his Chinese heritage.  Upon hearing that Professor Ku was about to convert to Judaism, Dean Mitchell remarked that now Professor Ku was in two of Dean Mitchell's favorite groups, Asian and Jewish.  Dean Mitchell asked Professor Ku about being circumcised...25.  On or about August 28, 2011, Dean Mitchell hosted an event for faculty and staff of the law school at his new home...26.  Dean Mitchell consumed numerous alcoholic beverages...27.  ...Professor Ku observed Dean Mitchell run his hand up the back of [female staff member]...and found it to be sexually inappropriate as well as unnerving and creepy.
Professor Ku then decides to be a tattle-tale and report this and other indiscretions based on university policies.   The suggested course of action he's given?  Meet with God, of course:
39.  Dean Mitchell accused Professor Ku of being "disloyal" and breaching Dean Mitchell's trust by reporting his behavior to Provost Bacslack.  Dean Mitchell stated that he viewed Professor Ku's reporting as "betrayal" and a "breach of trust" and questioned whether Ku could continue to work as associate dean.
How dare he!  The basic result - this thing runs 29 pages, okay? - is that Dean Mitchell allegedly retaliated by forcing Professor Ku to show up to work five days a week (paragraph 55) along with other retaliating threats and actions, the university tried to cover it up, blah blah blah.

I may have gotten bored with it, but you know it's well done, as Ku hired a Yale law grad to represent him.

Also, Exhibit 3 is a flier ostensibly passed out at some event that lambasts Dean Mitchell's attitude towards women, like:
Dean Mitchell, what does it say about your attitude toward female students that you joked to Case faculty members that the Case graduate student you were having an affair with, "wasn't good for anything but keeping the bed warm"?
Just because that woman was worthless doesn't mean the rest are worthless.  Some women are only good for a few things.  Others are not.  That's called "diversity" and it's a good thing.

So, uh, I guess it's chest-thumping red-blooded LawDean vs. entitled prestigious diversity LawProf.

In case you are living in a cave, let me tell you how this ends:  Mitchell and the school win.

Face it:  Larry Mitchell is the head of a private third-tier law school.  His unofficial job description is to create a smoke and mirrors operation that gets as much student loan money as possible before the lemmings wake up.  And then he bragged about it to the New York Times.  Do you think a sexual harassment allegation is going to phase this battle-scarred motherfucker?  You think Case, an institution in the joint venture of flooding Ohio with indebted attorneys, gives a shit?

Kids, I'm like 45-1 in predicting the result of lawsuits based on which side the law school is on.  Bet on the house.  The house always wins.  Just like a Succubus.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Prestige Never Dies: Business Insider's Top Law Schools

As I've said previously, every new ranking that comes out is good for law schools, because it increases the odds that any given crap school will wind up on at least one list which it can use to pimp to prospectives and current students trying to rationalize the terrible, terrible decision they've made.  I mean, enough bogus rankings come out and eventually someone will put Cooley no. 2 or American at 23rd.

Here's Business Insider's methodology:
We asked more than 400 American legal professionals to select the 10 law schools that would best serve a legal career.
Objection to foundation OVERRULED.  Obviously, if you're going to try and figure out what would be best for a student facing law school today, you don't need to figure out employment projections from actual data or look at tuition/debt levels, or look at current opportunities at various schools, or pay attention to how saturated the local legal markets are for new graduates in various areas.

Nope, just ask a random bunch of busy working professionals to comment via SurveyMonkey on conjecture.

Select results:

5.   Georgetown University
10.  University of Chicago
12.  University of Pennsylvania
23.  American University
29.  Pepperdine University
36.  Yeshiva University (Cardozo)
39.  Loyola Marymount University
Not listed in top 50:  Alabama, Maryland, Arizona State, Houston, etc.

I'm astounded.  I've been trying to figure out a way to credibly claim that Georgetown is still a top 5 law school.  Jesus all you have to do is ask a bunch of people an unscientific survey that has no interest in actually getting students good information.

Sometimes, the easiest way to scam is just be dumb.

Loyola-Marymount is a better school than Alabama to best serve a legal career.  Take it from "Business Insider" (which, it seems, is deliberately doubly ironic).

Thursday, October 17, 2013

S&P Unaware of Pending Rebound in Legal Education, May Downgrade Brooklyn

Standard & Poor may downgrade Brooklyn Law School's debt:
In a report, the credit ratings agency lowered its outlook on the school's debt, issued by the New York State Dormitory, to negative from stable.
In a statement, a spokesman for the law school acknowledged S&P’s concerns but added, “We are highly confident that, despite these challenges, Brooklyn Law School will continue to do well.” He also noted that Moody’s Investors Service reconfirmed a stable outlook on the school’s debt two months ago.
Headcount decreased 10% to 1,137 this fall from a year ago and 22% over the last three years, the ratings agency said.
For the fiscal year ended, June 30, 2012, Brooklyn reported a $996,000 operating deficit, the report said.
Obviously, S&P is underestimating the future of law school, this one in particular.  A million dollar deficit?  Shit, Joan Wexler made 1.3 million in 2011.  You could cut salaries at the school from stupendously ridiculous to merely exhorbitant and - bam! - you've got a profit.  Plus, Brooklyn has a long way to go down in finding new lemmings to harvest.  And as the unindentified spokesman pointed out in the article, Brooklyn is launching a two-year program that will substantially increase revenue if you live in fantasydemandland, where the AALS owns a time share and some mineral leases.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Touro Brings Class-Action Against Diploma Mill Law School

The pot called the kettle black, but it was okay because the pot was more of a dark gray.  There's 50 shades, people, and law schools are quite familiar with all of them.

Yes, Touro College has brought a lawsuit against Novus University for turning out phony law degrees.  Yours truly has located a copy of the complaint on New York's online system.  Obviously, this school was really scamming people, as apposed to "scamming" people, like the law schools allegedly do.

Scambloggers, pay attention now.

Touro purportedly has standing to bring this because it's claiming it relied on false representations regarding accreditation made to third parties and as a result erroneously accepted cash cash cash, er, students, into its LLM program.  On behalf of the class (of all law schools similarly situated), Touro alleges that Novus claimed it was a legitimate foreign law school instead of an on-line school that didn't even have a faculty (the horror!!!).

The degrees, Touro says, are worthless.  Obviously!  This damages Touro, who only "admits students in accordance with its mission of educating future attorney [sic - is there one per class?] who will be qualified, competent, and ethical."  Novus, on the other hand, is a California corporation that allegedly set up in the Marshall Islands and represented itself as being international when it was not.  Both Texas and Oregon have deemed the degrees illegal/unauthorized, whereas Touro is legal in both.  Do you see the difference, scambloggers?!
Novus does not apprise the consumer of these facts, and in instead [sic], refers to its degress as "prestigious." [par. 60]
Novus's business model in [sic] predicated entirely upon falsehoods, misstatements, half-truths, and hyperbole.  [par. 64]
As opposed to mostly predicated on falsehoods, misstatements, half-truths, and hyperbole.

Touro claims that Novvus claims accreditation under Marshall Islands law when it states that it confers degrees on the "power of the Novus University of the Marshall Islands."  More representations that put Touro's panties in a bunch:
"Some of the best minds of our nation have law degress that did not require an LSAT, and you will rank among them with your own JD degree."  [par. 73(i).]
"[A]s the Internet becomes more and more prevalent in education the likelihood of expanding ABA approval to worthy online programs increases." [par. 73(iii).]
Novus communicates on its website that a Novus degree "qualifies you to be the authority on a number of different topics."
Obviously, these are statements of fact and not mere puffery or opinion.  Touro also takes issue issue with the conspicuousness of whatever disclaimers Novus actually made:
On the Novus website, in a section requiring multiple links to access, (hereinafter the "Buried Section"), Defendant makes mention of the ABA, the process to be licensed to practice law, and provides a lengthy "terms of service" provision.  (par. 80).
The so-called Buried Section also discloses that states generally require ABA accreditation and that the ABA does not approve online schools.

Touro wound up involved in "frivolous" litigation with people it had admitted into its prestigious LLM programs on the basis of having a Novus degree.  They use the word "hoodwinked"  (par. 129) and conclude that it is a "diploma mill" under federal law.  (par. 131).

My favorite line in the entire thing:
Any Juris Doctor degrees awarded by Novus are illusory and hollow. light of the fact that Touro did not enroll in the program and the complaint does not make many affirmative allegations about the instruction itself.  I mean, I always thought learning the law gave you powerful versatility regardless of whether you were licensed in anything.

Touro's general counsel apparently did all this and signed it.  The law school that charges 22k for a semester is apparently representing itself pro se.  I suppose with such an obvious case, there's no need to hire outside counsel.


1.  Touro obviously has standing to bring a declaratory judgment action against another for making representations addressed to a third party that the third party made subsequently to Touro.

2.  Touro obviously was duped by disclaimer information that's clearly available on the school's website and would, in the absence of such information, be common fucking sense.

3.  Touro obviously was duped by puffery regarding the abilities and prospects of graduates of this other school.

4.  Touro obviously did everything it could to ensure educational and institutional integrity in verifying the qualifications of all its applicants before placing them on the cash conveyor belt.

5.  Touro obviously has done nothing hypocritical at all.

When I speak to the Zen of scamming others, it's shit like this that has me bowing down and weeping while clutching my diploma.  People have alleged that Touro pumps out nearly-worthless degrees and was not conspicuous enough in telling graduates that they would most likely be unemployed and deeply in debt.  So what do you do?  Make some lemonade, motherfuckers.  Find a law school that's even worse as-in it basically takes students money conducts "classes" over email/phone (with no faculty, the horror!!!) and SUE SUE SUE.  

That's a real scam law school.

By comparison, Touro is obviously a prestigious, upstanding institution that would never, ever bilk its students in any way.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thirty Percent Fail Bar; School Applauds

Florida Bar Results (bottom part):
ALL law schools, 77.2%  (2373 of 3073)
Barry, 74.8%  (92 of 123)
St. Thomas, 73.7%  (112 of 152)
NON-FLORIDA law schools, 72.2%  (615 of 852)
FAMU, 71.7%  (109 of 152)
Florida Coastal, 67.4%  (209 of 310)
Ave Maria, 57.7%  (45 of 78)
Florida A&M's Reaction:
"Law school students ace Bar exams" 
Florida A&M College of Law students are beating state averages 
The FAMU College of Law sent more than 150 students to take the Bar and had a 70 percent passing rate in July. That was the highest passing rate for such a large group.

Obviously, this is just puffery and could never be taken for a statement of fact.

The school gets mega-super bonus points for this particular strain:
FAMU’s College of Law was recently under review by the American Bar Association for the quality of its program. The association said that the school was not meeting the criteria to stay accredited. 
Washington said the overall group of July test takers was advancing towards a “steady mark of improvement.”
In light of this:
The accreditation committee questioned whether FAMU was doing enough to prepare students for the exam needed to get a law license. The 31-page report points out that 30 percent of the students admitted either do not graduate the school or do not pass the bar exam.
For you non-math majors, that's a steady mark of improvement.  This is like the kid running home with a D+ on his report card because he's not getting D's anymore, but if you put it in a press release, it looks much, much more reputable.

If only you bums had that level of optimism,..

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I Went Back to Ohio, But My Law School Was Gone

Traffic for this space was up some 20% over the last few days because some grateful, law school-supporting soul decided to spread the word on something called "top law schools."*  I find such a phrase redundant; they're all at the top.

Unfortunately, law school traffic in Ohio is down considerably.  The numbers (OSU is down 20+% in application volume.) are depressing as hell, so let's award prizes for the best DeanSpeak(c).

Here's the silver medal:
“They’re coming in with their eyes open, and that makes them more serious about their studies and passionate about potential jobs,” said Daniel Steinbock, dean of the University of Toledo College of Law.
Yeah, because you 2008 graduates weren't passionate enough about finding gainful employment.  Shame on you all!

But the winner is this delightful presentation:
Worried about attracting too many under-qualified students, Cleveland State cut the target for its entering class from a high of 203 in 2009 to 140 this year, Boise said. 
To offset the loss of revenue, Cleveland State cut $800,000 from its budget last year, partly through attrition. And it expects to slash $750,000 more over the next two years. 
The school also raised tuition 9.5 percent this year...
Thank God.  For a second, I was worried Cleveland-Marshall was going to have a respectably-sized, fairly-priced law school for a city that probably actually needs it.  Phew, that was close.  Oh, and thanks to Dean Boise for keeping all those under-qualified students away from the hallowed halls of low 150 LSATs.  This time-tested business strategy of jacking prices while downsizing because of unhappiness with the customer pool should end well.

Folks, at some point you have to take responsibility for your own actions.  Your revealing of the truth regarding law school has caused significant alterations to the fiber of the learned profession.  Schools are no longer sure if they should take as many suckers as possible, or feign prestige, or increase tuition to balance costs, or decrease tuition to attract customers.  This confusion is all your fault, and you will pay for your selfishness through higher attorney prices and a throng of unrepresented people clamoring for sweet, sweet justice.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Enduring Fourth Tier: CSOL and Indiana Tech

The year is 2013.  It's October.  The cat has been out of the bag for quite some time.

And yet there's a pending bidding war that's developed for the for-sale Charleston School of Law.  Read it and weep:
The state’s Commission on Higher Education on Thursday gave Charleston School of Law leaders a green light to discuss a possible sale of the private law school to the public College of Charleston.  Edward Westbrook, one of the law school’s founders and a member of its board, had asked the commission...
Retired U.S. magistrate judges George Kosko and Robert Carr, two of the three remaining founders and board members of the law school, however, announced Tuesday that they were proceeding with a sale to the for-profit InfiLaw System.
College of Charleston spokesman Mike Robertson said the college is interested in entering into discussions about a possible acquisition of the law school.... the college is prepared to enter into these discussions if the Charleston School of Law indicates its interest.”
Ha!  You stupid kids keep talking about law schools closing.  These founders have a private party who wants to buy their craptacular law school, and now they have the green light to open discussions with a public school.  So now they're either getting the state to overpay them for a law school that has limited prospects OR they can push InfiLaw for a higher price.

Have these guys played their cards right, or what?  They picked one of the two entities that would cause an uproar among their fourth-tier alunmi sufficient to get the state involved in possibly taking over the law school instead.  This is high-level corporate gamesmanship.  These guys have been feasting off student loans for years; what more could you expect than a brilliant exit strategy that screws the state one way or the other?

Seriously, at this point these public servants (two of the three are former federal judges) are either going to leave the state of South Carolina holding the bag of a deadweight second public law school or a fully-fledged member of the InfiLaw troupe.

In case you can't see the ending, the founders are the only people sure to win this game.

Meanwhile, at Indiana Tech:
...the school is also providing training in things like legal writing, litigation and alternative dispute resolution with a lot of hands-on instruction in courtroom settings. 
"We'll basically enact or re-enact a case like Hamdi vs. Rumsfeld, where we have to present both sides of the argument, and both sides can be argued very well, and we're learning that, and we learn it a lot better than just a regular lecture..."
Behold the revolution in law school pedagogy!  Arguing cases like Hamdi v. Rumsfeld is exactly what these students will be doing in five years, so it's good that they're actually learning how to argue these high-level cases about the due process rights of who-the-fuck-cares.

(Why in the butter-flavored world are you discussing Hamdi v. Rumsfeld in the first two months of law classes?)

Oh, and for the record, the survivor count at Indiana Tech is at 28 according to that article.  The joke's on you, people who thought they'd be down to 25 by midterms.  If junction boys logic has any truth to it, these are going to be the best lawyers in the state.

(Are they even going to set a curve for this class?   Kick out the bottom 2?  Rescind scholarships for not being in the top 14?  Is everyone going to be a board member on the I-Tech Law Review?)