Friday, May 3, 2013

News Roundup: New ScamDeans, Catholicism, Barry, and - of course - the ABA

Big news day here at The Center.

New Deans at Cash-Mills
We start with a review of two new deanships handed out: Southwestern has named Susan Prager its new uberdean while Quinnipiac tapped Jennifer Gerarda Brown.

Prager gets an A from us. She has prior experience as UCLA's dean and as the executive director of AALS (this is like being a race-conscious Grand Dragon Wizard, mmkay?), and while she'll have to up the scamming at Southwestern, she's off to a good start with poetic verbiage like this:

"Southwestern is a remarkable place, with a rich tradition of making a difference in the futures of its students," Prager said. "The law school's innovative and collaborative spirit is part of its DNA, and the faculty and countless graduates are committed to helping today's students contribute to the complex and challenging worlds they will occupy as professionals." 

The law school's DNA also has the genetic disposition for cancerous debt; way to leave that part out!

Brown is a wildcard. She did her three years time in BigLaw and then seemed to return to academia, but she's taught mostly practical courses and we're just not seeing the Nora Demleitner spirit in her. Time will tell. B- hire in this market.

ATL Forgot Wisconsin
Here is an article from Cheeseland whining (read between the lines a bit) about Marquette and Wisconsin not making the ABA top 50 rankings.

What most caught my eye was this particular bit of journalist scamming:

Some Marquette-type institutions also appear -- Georgetown (16), Notre Dame (18), Boston College (21) Seton Hall (36), St. Louis (47), and Fordham (48).

Ah, yes. "Marquette-type," which apparently now means "Catholic and urban" and not "crusty poo." Of course, no one who's been to both places sees ANY similarity between Marquette and, say, Notre Dame or Georgetown or even Fordham, notwithstanding the vague lingering God affiliations. So what does this paragraph do? It creates an equation in the mind of prospective students that if they cannot go to Georgetown then can go to Marquette! Same God, same law, big(ish?) city, sha-zam!

I don't know who Bruce Vielmetti is, but that's some good schemin' for a journalist. Dude needs to write brochures or something.

Barry Law School has announced it is freezing tuition for 2013-14. If you're AT ALL familiar with inflation (which most 0Ls are not because they were stupidly taking gender studies classes to find out what's inside their own pants), you'll note that this means, in a very real sense, that Barry is now DROPPING tuition.

Once the economy gets rolling again, we expect law school applications - and tuition - to surge. So act now to get this special discount rate!

Your ABA In Action
The American Bar Association (motto: "We Fight For You!!!") is looking at revising bar exam standards upwards from 75 percent pass rate over 2 years to an 80 percent pass rate over two years.

The odds that this will actually change anything are impossible to calculate because there's only so many 0s my Calculatron can spit out before it kills itself.

Get a load of this one:

Graduates would have at least five shots at passing the test to help their alma maters meet the 80 percent requirement. 

So in other words, if EVERY SINGLE ONE of a school's graduates flunks the bar exam three straight times and passes on the fourth attempt, that school will be in full compliance with ABA standards, because they're apparently doing away with the first-time bar pass rate standards because the existing regulations are more "confusing."

Committee members now believe the existing standard is too confusing, according to member Erica Moeser, president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners. "The current alternatives have led to operational complexities that have perhaps gotten in the way of regulation," she said. 

Wait, you mean law schools can't figure out confusing statistics? Laugh. out. loud. (Bonus props for letter the NCBE president serving on a committee for bar exam regulation - nope, no personal conflict there!)

And there's also this gem, from Prof. Jeffrey Lewis:

Law schools, he continued, bear a fiduciary responsibility to prepare students to pass the bar exam. 

But wait, professor... if law schools have a fiduciary responsibility to get students into the profession, wouldn't they also have a fiduciary responsibility to enrolled 1Ls and 2Ls to get them into the profession with the least debt possible by disclosing in full the costs and prospects of repayment?

Ha! NOPE! Case dismissed, motherfuckers.

Of course, if someone sued SLU for breach of fiduciary duty for failing to prepare them for the bar exam, Lewis and friends would suddenly change their mind and proclaim there's no fiduciary duty whatsoever.

God, I love this profession, this business, this smooth operation that will scam until the Whore of Babylon and the Four Horsemen are outside doing their thing.

Have a good weekend, scammers and whiners. Mine will be spent eating endangered animals and whispering to newborns at the hospital how awesome law school is.

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