Saturday, May 31, 2014

Law Deans Ripe to Tap It

Jumping over the "Texas law schools cost too much" hysteria, this piece caught my eye for this quote:
The rush to cut costs is a healthy response to the shrinking market, said Marc Miller, the dean at the University of Arizona's law school. And with the smaller applicant pool, some schools just might need to look elsewhere for the best students, he said. 
"I still think that being a lawyer is one of the great things that people can do. It's a service profession," Miller said. "I think the global demand for American legal education is untapped."
You stupid dicks think legal education is doomy gloomy because the American consuming public has balked?  I see your American millions and raise you Chinese and Indian BILLIONS.  There's no law that says our finest law schools cannot educate sophisticated foreigners in the twists and turns of the Rule in Shelley's Case.  After all, given that the versatility of a legal education is unmatched in its application to countless fields in our domestic marketplace, it surely is an invaluable commodity on the international marketplace.

Why, if you go to Peru and network with an American JD, you're 47% more likely to get hired.  It's a fact.(1)

If there's one thing law deans are good at, it's tapping the available graduate pool.  If there's extraterritorial warm bodies who want to fill seats, our finest law deans will connect starving ass to polymer desk chair.

The article has other merits as well.  Second prize in noble scamdom goes to the author, who relayed this information:
Of the 258 graduates from [Houston law]'s class of 2013 who sought jobs after graduation, 225 of them - or about 87 percent - found one. UH does not yet have salary information for all of those graduates, but among the 125 the center knows about, the average salary is $109,210.
Average salaries on limited data doubly-self-reported data?  "Yet?"  A claim that a law school only "knows about" 50% of its graduates one year out uncritically reprinted?  Ignoring that UH's 225 "employed" includes 46 who are not in bar required jobs?  Beautiful.

Miss Congeniality goes to Dean Farnsworth at Texas, who has not pulled a Sager-bomb(c) yet, but there's still time:
Farnsworth pointed to UT's success in recent U.S. News rankings - which said law students there get the biggest return on their investment of any law school in the country - as evidence that the school has remained competitive. 
UT law students graduated with an average debt load of $86,312 in 2012 and earned a median starting private sector salary of $155,000 in 2011, according to the rankings. The average law school graduate in 2012 was $108,293 in debt, and the median starting private sector salary for all 2011 graduates was $76,125, according to U.S. News.
The only thing better than U.S. News and its whack methods is watching people blindly quote U.S. News and its whack methods.  With UT, we can verify that 79 students or so reported a salary of $150k or more.  Out of 382.  That's 20% or so being used to calculate a purported return on investment for a whole population that is almost certainly not sharing this subgroup's characteristics.

Gosh darn, I love statistics.  The numbers are transparent, open, free, in plain sight.  And yet our scamtastic alchemy can still make them murky, misleading, and used for devlish lemming trolling of a highly amusing order.

What a beautiful world.  Scam on.

(1) Disclaimer:  Not actually a fact.  Go to law school, kids.


  1. I really feel sorry for foreign students whose parents save a few hundred thousand to send them to an American law or business school. Some of them are just happy to envision an American name on their diploma. If they're lucky, they may end up at a mediocre school like Arizona. If not, they can start a Cooley alumni chapter in Korea.

  2. As bad as you think, it's even worse. They're basically saying that close to 100% of the grads with private sector jobs known to the school are Big Law. That says that they had close to a 100% nonresponse/nonsurvey rate for grads with non-Big Law private sector jobs.

    From what I've heard, there are only a very few schools with a substantial proportions of grads getting such jobs, and UT is not one of them.

    I suspect that these figures have been subjected to more layers of fudging that a double fudge wedding cake.

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