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.