Friday, January 23, 2015

The State of the Scam

The following was written by frequent (?) contributor Dean Satan as an exclusive to the Law School Truth Center.

Greetings, my fellow mountebanks.  I, Dean Satan, am proud to update you on the State of the Scam.

We are fifteen years into this new century. Fifteen years that dawned with glorious boom times; that unfolded with a new generation benefiting from glorious boom times; that saw a vicious recession almost threaten our glorious boom times. It has been, and still is, a hard time for only a few of our laziest, blame-the-world graduates, that has been amplified, like, way out of proportion.

But tonight, we turn the page.  Like Bob Seger.

Tonight, after a breakthrough year for law deans, our legal economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999. Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis. More of our graduates are getting some type of jobs than ever before; more of our graduates are insured to pay their loans than ever before; we are as free from the grip of financial responsibility as we’ve been in almost 30 years.

Law deans, for all that we’ve endured; for all the grit and hard work required to come back; for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this:

The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Scam is strong.

At this moment – with growing tuition, shrinking oversight, bustling legal industry, and still-booming scholarship production – we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other law deans on Earth. It’s now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next fifteen years, and for decades to come.

Will we continue to accept a legal economy where only a deserving few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we listen to the pinko scambloggers and give participation medals for everyone who makes the effort?

Will we approach the applicant pool fearful and reactive, dragged into costly conflicts that strain our greatest minds and set back our standing? Or will we lead wisely, using all elements of our power to defeat new threats and protect our summer research stipends?

Will we allow ourselves to listen to these diseased factions and turn against one another – or will we recapture the sense of common purpose that allowed us to to model and bottle at the AALS conventions? 

And if we can't do that, will the right law deans have the courage to jump under the bus voluntarily?

And now I'd like to tell you a story about Rebekah and Ben.  Seven years ago, she waited tables. He worked construction.  As the crisis worsened, Ben’s business dried up, so he took what jobs he could find, even if they kept him on the road for long stretches of time. Rebekah took out student loans, enrolled in community college, and retrained for a new career. They sacrificed for each other. And slowly, it paid off, but, of course, not enough. They bought their first home. They had a second son. Rebekah got a better job, and then a raise, but not nearly enough to be super well off and such. Ben is back in construction – and home for dinner every night - how quaint.

Law deans, Rebekah and Ben’s story is our story. They represent the millions of prospective students who have worked hard, and scrimped, and sacrificed, and retooled, and are a good place, but maybe could want a little more, rewarding us with satisfactory salaries and 20-hour workweeks. They are the reason I sacrificed the chance to have a corner office at Latham and swim in the swill of high-class hookers and top-shelf scotch.

But students and Rebekah and their sweet, succulent families still need our help. She and Ben are working as hard as ever, but have to forgo vacations and a new car so they can pay off student loans and save for retirement.  That's where we step in.  See, Rebekah and Ben's biggest mistake is that neither of them ever went to law school.  With a legal education, one or both of them could easily get a job paying $160,000 in salary each year, with plenty of vacations and new cars even after paying modest student loan payments.

My fellow law deans, we are a strong, tight-knit family. We have made it through some hard times. Fifteen years into this new century, we have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off, and begun again the work of continuing our beautiful exploitation like nothing bad as ever happened. We’ve laid a new foundation that looks remarkably similar to the old one as we prattle on about "experiential learning" and other hogwash. A brighter future is ours to write, particularly with slick brochures and subway ads targeted to minorities. Let’s begin this new chapter – together – and let’s start the work after having a round of pina coladas and cigars in Havana, since it looks like men of our class can do that again fairly soon.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless this industry.  Scam on.


  1. Thank you, Satan. You're doing a helluva good job.

  2. Consigning young people to a lifetime of debt servitude for a chance to enter a GLUTTED, dying field truly is the work of the devil.