Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cooley Road Scholars and Villanova Freebies

Everyone's favorite Michigan law school has added a new foreign study option.  Try saying this without a high-class BBC-quality British accent.
The study abroad program in Oxford allows students to earn six credits and provides the opportunity to study at Oxford University. In addition to international and comparative law courses, the program includes legal events in Oxford and London and social activities.
It's one thing to study international and comparative law in the United States.  But to do it in Britain will make future legal employers give a weeping standing ovation mid-interview.

But Cooley isn't the only law school lacing its already-sweet deal with toxic amounts of sugary goodness.  Villanova is upping its scholarship offerings:
Establishment of the program, which will cost the university about $6 million over the next three academic years, means nearly a third of the incoming class will be attending law school on a full scholarship.
Law schools are making it damn near irresistible practically giving away million-dollar legal educations.  Big universities will no subsidize their law schools' price cuts in order to get you - the lucky student - the best deal possible.

Look, kids, if you sign up for the LSAT, you've basically got a 95% chance of Ed McMahon showing up at your door with two C-level models, balloons, and a briefcase of cash.  As we speak, Matthew Lesko is probably writing another book as we speak with nothing but GO TO LAW SCHOOL on every damned page.

13 comments:

  1. In a way, the Villanova program is very good...if, as I'm assuming, it's wealthy donors rather than other students paying for the scholarships. However, as a prospective law student, I would ask myself whether the Villanova JD is even worth the cost of living for 3 years while going to law school.

    Could I handle $70,000 in debt with nothing to rely on but the jobs opened up to me by a Villanova JD? Probably not.

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    1. Not to mention the opportunity cost.

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  2. who is going to pay for the Villanova free rides? African-American and Latino students through higher tuition. This reverse robinhooding has got to stop. It is racial exploitation, and it is being done by law deans who claim to believe in social justice. Yeah, these deans are liberal democrats who believing in redistribution. Redistribution from minorities and the poor into their bank accounts.

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  3. How many of Cooley's customers (I hesitate to dignify them with the label "students") can even find England on a map of the world?

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  4. Here is what Above the Law said:

    "If a law school is offering “scholarships” to high-performing students, that means that the low-performing students who are paying full price are subsidizing the people in their class who are most likely to bust up the curve. Addressing the value proposition of law school involves lowering tuition for all students, not making law school free for the kids with potentially better options."

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    1. In principle, I don't object to subsidies for high-performing students (assuming here that "high-performing" has a clear and useful definition). The problem is that "high-performing" tends to be linked to money: one becomes a "high-performing" student by having Daddy pay for an expensive tutor for the LSAT. Also, the law schools are not awarding these "scholarships" for the noble purpose of facilitating access to law school for capable people with little money; rather, they are just BUYING people with high LSAT scores in an attempt to raise their position on those stupid rankings by U.S. News.

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  5. RE: Cooley in Oxford

    It's easy for any university to have a summer program abroad. They just rent some facilities from a local law school that is in summer recess and isn't using the classrooms. The Cooley students are really just paying to transport Cooley professors to Oxford to teach the same crap that they would have taught at Cooley. It's not like any Oxford professor is going to be in the same room with a Cooley student except by accident.

    But dang! I bet that Certificate looks awesome and is worth the extra cost of subsidizing a European vacation for some Cooley profs.


    From the Cooley Website:

    "*Certificate of Completion: The University of Oxford and Hertford College are not awarding credit for this program. Students who successfully complete a Cooley foreign study program receive a certificate suitable for framing and may note on their curriculum vitae "Certificate, (applicable year e.g., 2014) Oxford Study Abroad Program, Thomas M. Cooley Law School." It would be a misrepresentation to assert that you were a student of the University of Oxford and Hertford College."

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  6. Oops. I believe a warning is warranted. I looked up the Cooley Oxford program on their website and now I am receiving an ad for Cooley Law School on other websites.

    It's a misfortune cookie.

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  7. A free ride to Villanova! It is like winning an all-expense paid trip to some mephitic swampland. It won't necessarily hurt you to accept, but why would you bother?

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  8. In the linked article I counted the word 'Cooley' just twice and counted the more prestigious word 'Oxford' five times.
    I searched for the program on Cooley's website and found the disclaimer. Apparently while Thomas M. Cooley School of law is allowed to use the word Oxford for prestige and money making purposes, you dear law student, are not; and must declare your Cooley worth on your curriculum vita.

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    1. That's a very insightful comment.

      Apparently, they use "prestige" to get you to buy their defective product, but make sure you never actually get any "prestige." That way, they can sell the same "prestige" over and over again.

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  9. Oxford should demand reciprocation. After all, Oxonian students must be champing at the bit for a chance to attend the second best law school in the US.

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