Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Coming to a Scam Near You: Grade Inflation and Law & Technology

1. Grade Inflation Makes My Pants Inflate

Arkansas Little Rock professor Joshua Silverstein wants law schools to eradicate the C because it makes the lemmings feel inadequate after years of conditioning by, well, high school and undergraduate grade inflation. And he got the prestigious U. of San Francisco Law Review to publish this in a lengthy article (83 pages in PDF form...). This scam is like an onion from heaven: so many layers, each bursting with new breath-befouling behavior.

Two questions:

1. Which will be cited first in a real-life court, this piece of cutting edge legal scholarship or the latest snot shot from Maestro d'Nietzsche?

2. Is anyone actually going to read to page 62 so they can catch lemming-insulting gems like this:

Most of our students are not adults; they are adolescents. A majority of those who enroll in law school are between the ages of twenty-one and twenty-four. And it is now well accepted that adolescence continues into the mid-twenties.


Of course, the real reason why Our Lovable Scammers would want to inflate 1L grades is only briefly brushed, an insignificant aside trapped in the middle of the daunting paper (p. 40-41):

A former Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at my institution had similar experiences. He explained that, during his tenure, numerous C+ students came to his office in such a dejected state after the release of first semester grades that they were ready to withdraw from school.
Disappointing marks can therefore have a profoundly negative psychological impact. And research indicates that when students receive such marks, they are more likely to withdraw than to work harder to improve their performance.

And there you have it!

The words "drop out," "withdraw," "leave law school," etc. rarely appear in the article, but in the end, that's the schools' number one motivation for inflating grades. Silverstein surely knows this. Heck, the college scam in general has been doing it for decades to keep kids from transferring out. 1L Cs = 2l lost income. Yes, Maud, it's that simple. Give everyone a B+ and everyone still thinks they're employable, so they'll put more chips on the table. Delicious, delicious student loan chips.

83 pages and the words "tuition" and "revenue" don't appear anywhere. Try to figure that one out, mmkay?

2. Law & Technology? How Novel!

Northern Kentucky (yes, Maud, there's a law school there) is receiving (cue Dr. Evil voice) one million dollars to "fund a new honors program to develop 'renaissance lawyers for the information age."

Renaissance lawyers?! Coming to a law firm near year: Albrecht Durer, Esquire...

Law schools have had these centers and programs pop up like cash-spewing zits in recent years. It's really one of the most underrated trends in law school scamming. Law schools with some "unique" program that combines some grouping of technology, law, and business are a dime a dozen and yet the donations keep pouring in for these scamtastic things, which allows the law school to pay certain affiliated faculty members more, which OBVIOUSLY has its advantages.

Remember, friends, the best law schools don't just scam the newbies. There's a whole big bucket o' cash out there from people who want to slap their name on some useless center instead of, like, working to cure cancer or keep a legal aid running.

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