Friday, April 25, 2014

Law Schools to the Rescue with Fellowships!

Check out the title of this article on CNN Fortune:
When grads are jobless, schools come to the rescue
We all know that stupid lemmings can't read past the second, so the positive spin of heroism is a thing of beauty.

Let's get some choice quotes:
Schools say that the post-graduate programs they fund help ease graduates into a brutal legal job market and support lawyers interested in public interest law, which is much less lucrative than the private sector. "Law school is more expensive, and so it is becoming more of a financial sacrifice to go into public service," Paul Mahoney, dean of UVA Law, told Fortune.
See?  Fellowships aren't just giving you something to do while waiting for that six-figure private sector job, they're exposing graduates to the public sector jobs that no one wants to sacrifice for.

Law schools:  again saving students from their own engulfing sense of selfishness.

But wait, there's more!
 "Part of our motivation for ramping up the amount of funding for these programs is the realization that if you get a foot in the door, a year or two years in, you're an experienced person who can compete with other lateral candidates."
How soon until we see a law school tracking their fellowship results and bragging about 98% placement in FT/BR jobs 9 months after the fellowship ends?  Because, when given the opportunity to hire actually-experienced people, and someone working a couldn't-get-a-job-elsewhere fellowship, I have no doubt the employer will choose the fellowship-refined individual.  One of my primary reasons for believing this is, of course, that once you have legal experience, you're basically set for life, constantly employable, and destined to enjoy hot tubs filled with cash, booze, and Russian models.

But what about the economics?  Aren't these gifts of resume-worthy experience expensive for our nation's treasured law schools?  Calling everyone's favorite law school economist:
William Henderson, a professor at Indiana University School of Law, argues that if law schools are trying to game the rankings in this way, they've picked an awfully expensive way to do it. "You have to have the cash to give them full-time bar-required jobs," he says.
If only law schools had a ready way to have increasing annual revenue coming in every year.

Until then, we'll just have to live with law schools being magnanimous towards recent graduates conveniently within one year of their graduation.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

On Robert Illig

If you found your way to this dark corner of the internet, you must surely be a tried and true-blue scam-lover who knows all about Professor/Demigod Robert Illig of Oregon.  For a refresher:
We see students without jobs and think that if we throw them a few of our dollars we can go back to our scholarship and not worry about whether they are getting real careers and real training? We can study the 17th Century and believe we are preparing them for the 21st?
“What we owe them is our time and effort and skill, not our paltry raises (which, by the way, don’t even cover the increase in the cost of living). …
“And am I to blame for the bad economy? Are my efforts so lacking as to make the difference between students with jobs and without? Is my teaching and mentoring so deficient as to merit what is essentially a pay cut....
I am crying in admiration of beauty, in fits of joyous laughter, in subtle sadness that my hubris is hopelessly reserved, so that I may never rise to this level.  Are you there, God?  It's me, LSTC.  Yeah, can you give me a uterus so I can reproduce with this and gestate his mythological offspring?  Thx.

As the article above points above points out, Oregon relented on its plan to siphon faculty raise money into scholarships.  This is democracy, kids; if you bitch loud enough and make an expertly-earned six figures, you will eventually get your way.

In any event, you know who the REAL asshole is in the Illig story?  The jackass who spilled the beans on professorial angst, of course!!!
 “We might not know who initially leaked the email to UO Matters,” [student Tom] Marshall says, “but I hope whoever the culprit was is aware that they have likely hurt our law school.” 
Duh.  In the absence of publicity, Oregon quietly crushes any proposal and the faculty get raises.  With disclosure, Oregon crushes the proposal, the faculty get raises, and people waste time and energy jealously bitching about superior people when they could be out networking and representing poor people.  And now the law school has had an elite professor threaten to leave and go back to earning gazillions in a large firm.

Learn how to keep your damn mouths shut, hippies.  This is a great swindle, but some of you need to learn how to close ranks and keep it hush-hush.

And in that light, Illig's worst fault is being silly enough to put his thoughts in writing.  As all lawyers know, if you want to be totally honest about something, pick up the damn phone.  If you're trying to snow someone over, put it in writing.  99%, 160k?  Writing, with disclaimer.  Reminding everyone that your cock is eight feet long?  Not in writing.

This is basic stuff, comrades.  Scam on.

Friday, April 18, 2014

New Law School Only Taking Right-Minded Lemming Superheroes

Judge Royal Furgeson is the founding dean of UNT-Dallas.  But is he going gung-ho on the stupid lemming-harvest like law schools are often criticized of doing?  Nope.  Law schools need diversity.  This one wants people who are going to be lawyers for the right reason.  No greedy future slicksters here:
When Furgeson retired last year from his prestigious post on the federal bench to become founding dean of the UNT Dallas College of Law, he wasn’t interested in maintaining the status quo. He wanted his law school to subscribe to an unconventional ethos — to cultivate lawyers as public servants. 
Finally, we're going to get an unconventional law school devoted to cultivating public servants.  MANNA FROM HEAVEN.  If we get THOSE kind of lawyers, obviously there's a substantial need for them:
Launching a new law school presents plenty of obstacles, especially considering the droves of law graduates who face massive debt and dismal job prospects each year. ...Furgeson disagrees. “My view is, there needs to be more lawyers,” he says.
Unmet legal needs!  And of course, to find such lawyers in a sea of avaricious shitbird applicants, UNT-Dallas has to seek out a special kind of student:
Furgeson and his admissions staff are relying less on GPA and LSAT scores — the gold standard for most law school admissions because of the impact high scores have on schools’ national rankings — in favor of recommendations and life experience. They’re actively recruiting a different kind of student, those with meaningful life experiences that are ingrained in their communities.
Tuition at this Taj Mahal of legal servitude is starting at a very-affordable $14k, and their scholarships are going to be based on need instead of rankings.  Unmet legal needs!!!  Even if you pay full sticker, the 75-90k in debt should be easy-peasy to pay off representing impoverished families and small businesses.

Obviously this school is going to go through growing pains, particularly its efforts to offer too-low tuition and eschew the role of well-compensated faculty devoted to educating the next generation of lawyers.  Unmet legal needs!!!  I suspect they'll learn their lesson on that point.

But it'shard to fault a brand new law school for wanting to produce public service lawyers.  There are only two hundred law schools, and I can't remember the last time I saw one touting public service and a different kind of lawyer, much less even mention unmet legal needs, although I did bash my head rather hard against a jagged brick wall earlier today.
"[Our students] see lawyers as people who can go to bat for others, who won’t stand idly by while some injustice happens. They kind of see us as caped crusaders.”
Mister Trouble never hangs around 
When he hears this Lawyer sound. 

"Here I come to save the day" 

That means that SuperLawyer is on his way. 
Yes sir, when there is a wrong to right 
SuperLawyer joins the fight. 
Who cares if he's got debt or bills?
Repping poor folk gives him thrills!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

You Can't Stop UC-Irvine. You Can Only Hope to Contain It.

From Dean C. and co-writer in the New York Times:
And with the economy improving and law-school enrollments shrinking, there will be more jobs available for new law graduates.
Many law schools have reduced the size of their classes, to be sure, but this is simply to balance supply and demand.
Our chief concern is that the claims about a crisis in legal education will be the impetus for reforms that will do more harm than good.
Law schools need to teach a greater diversity of subjects to improve legal judgment and decision-making.
And sometimes, the rhetoric of crisis leads to proposals that are far worse than the actual problems we face.
These are quaint examples of bad-assed shilling that exude the type of excellent persuasion expected of legal experts.  These have me smiling.

Here's what has me in rip-roaring, rolling-on-the-dance-floor laughter:
Law schools specifically should do more to provide need-based financial aid to students — rather than what most law schools have been doing in recent years, which is to shift toward financial aid based primarily on merit in order to influence their rankings. This has amounted to “buying” students who have higher grades and test scores.
Considering UC-Irvine's origins are as a vanity project to see if a new law school in Orange County could jump up instantly by "buying" a Georgetown-level first-year class, instead of, you know, being the sort of public law school that California may actually need, this is a fucking riot.

I mean, is this not the ultimate drinking-buddy fodder at parties and law dean getaways?  Bro, I heard you, you banged twin sisters on their birthday at different times, but dude, listen to this, bro, I gave free rides to an entire class of high achievers who could've gone to Cornell, then knocked the practice in the New York Times, bro, with quotation marks.

Stupid lemmings.

Friday, April 11, 2014

On Law Dean's Sacrificial Salaries

If you're like me, you're still mourning the fate of Louisiana College's law school venture, which began a few years ago and was put on standstill in 2012, unlike our secular bastions of faith in Irvine and Fort Wayne, which have thrived in bringing future lawyers to their regions.

In any event, here is a tragic article about the stalling of LC's law program, which cost around $5.5 million mostly due to investing in a wonderful building that was necessary to educate legal scholars.  In any event, the school's absence is depriving northern Louisiana of valuable legal education outputs that it DOES NOT HAVE.

Key to the stalling of the law school was that the dean at the time, J. Michael Johnson, resigned to take a "great job offer."  As it turns out, that great job offer was as counsel with the Liberty Institute, one of those super-cool non-profit advocacy groups that generally have tons of jobs for new graduates in areas like 1st amendment law.

Now back to the article:
Multiple sources connected to LC have reported that the school spent about $400,000 on salaries in the 18 months the law school had employees.
In addition, LC President Joe Aguillard’s base salary was raised from $179,159 to $190,813 in the fiscal year that ended July 31, 2010. Aguillard’s base was raised again, to $198,556 for the fiscal year that ended July 31, 2012. Sources said those raises were necessary for Aguillard to earn more than J. Michael Johnson, founding dean of the law school.
Did you know it's a rule that your president has to make more than your law dean?  Did you know that a dean of a school not in operation will only land in the $160k range?  That's barely as much as a first-year associate at Skadden!

Such work is certainly necessary, and such a salary can be garnered by any practicing attorney with years of experience.  It takes a special sort of individual who forgo a lucrative private practice in order to face the daunting task of spending two years as a "founding dean" for a non-operational law school.  It is these sacrifices that make law deans noble creatures of academic sacrifice.  Why, if Louisiana College had paid any less, they may not have gotten a stellar candidate who could guide them to accreditation and operation.  Thank goodness they paid what they did.

Johnson left that gig to the Liberty Institute, whose general counsel at the time made around $150k according to available tax records, with "litigation directors" making around $130k.  Johnson was senior counsel.  That was a "great job" opportunity, I suppose, because the reprobates had won and Louisiana College's law program sunk deeper into the abyss of great ideas forgotten.  He's now left for private practice, apparently.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Proud Capital Graduate Supports Lawyers from Lower Tiers

Sometimes, the claim is lodged that ordinary working lawyers are out of touch with the realities of legal education and young lawyers entering practice today.  Pish-posh.  Thank goodness we've got gentlemen like this writing into The Careerist to defend the sacred honor and virtue of fine institutions of legal education:
How many excellent lawyers would not be practicing if they had followed this advice [to not attend a school outside the top 100]?...I disagree that anyone who wants a “decent job” should “draw the line at the top 50,” and that those choosing to attend schools ranked lower than 100 should “come to their senses.” 
Because state courthouses are full of fourth-tier graduates doing good work for their clients in "decent jobs," it naturally follows that it's a good idea to enroll in a fourth-tier institution if you want to do good work like that.  This is a thoroughly logical, well-thought conclusion that could withstand the pathetic assault by "elitists" who think it's a bad idea.  What's that word they like to use?  Debt?  Shit, I've got a word for you in response:  irrelevant.  GO TO A COURTHOUSE AND ASK AROUND.  Everyone there went to 3rd and 4th-tier schools.  So you can OBVIOUSLY go to a 3rd or 4th tier school today and you will be okay.  Christ on a Chrysler, how many times do I have to explain this?

Thankfully, the writer also provides graduates with some helpful advice:
I would advise those attending lower ranked schools that they will need to be both aggressive and creative in their job search. That means networking early on in your law school career. It means being willing to work for $40,000 (or less) at your first job. You may even have to take a risk and hang out your own shingle.  
However, if you have a passion for law and really want to be a lawyer, do not “come to your senses” and deprive society of a quality attorney—we need more of them, not less.
PREACH ON, MY 4TH TIER BROTHA.  YOU, you considering law school and reading this informative blog, YOU are going to be a quality attorney and even if you have to "hang a shingle" or work for a "meager" 40k, YOU are being selfish if you deprive the world of a future quality attorney and decline going to a fourth-tier school like Capital.

Any questions from today's lesson?  No?  Good.

Next time, I hope to continue Scam Madness!, as it's one of this blog's most popular features.  I had a bit of a "crisis of scam" in Round 4, as I couldn't decide what criterion to use. THERE'S SO MANY.