Thursday, February 5, 2015

Pirate Law Deans Far from the Caribbean

A few weeks back, I celebrated the transfer game, where law deans send raiding parties to other law schools to swoop in, appropriately pillage, and leave the remainder to enjoy mid-law jobs instead of big law riches.

Today, Inside Higher Ed has an article honoring our favorite pirate captains.  Here's Georgetown's Andy Cornblatt (great pirate name!):
Cornblatt said it would violate antitrust laws and be "paternalistic to the extreme" to try to curb transfers.

“These are not elementary school kids, these are adults who are in the middle of or finished their first year of law school,” he said.
Ay, the fear of antitrust argument coupled with the "sophisticated consumers of free choice" argument, coupled with a giant straw man, to the extreme.  That's some nice piratin' on the good ship Georgetown.  I mean, the way he sails past the implicit questions of why transfers may be a bad thing and goes straight to refuting arguments no one's making is some excellent verbal maneuvering.  To the extreme.

But shiver me timbers, look at what the Arizona State Raiders can do:
“The LSAT is a good predictor of first-year performance, but it’s nowhere near as good a predictor as first-year performance,” said Douglas Sylvester, the dean of Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.
Give that man a parrot and call him Captain Sly!  And why is he being interviewed?
Arizona State accepted 66 transfer students last year, the second most in the country, behind Georgetown. Nearly a third of ASU’s second-year students are now transfer students. Forty-four of those transfers came from Arizona Summit Law School.
Yes, first-year performance at an InfiLaw school IS better than either an LSAT.  After all, who would YOU rather hire as a lawyer:  the 43rd-best 1L at Arizona Summit or a random 157 LSAT? 

You know what the number-one sign of some great piratin' is?  Butt-hurt.  Cue the victimhood:
“I do believe it to be poaching,” [Arizona Summit Dean Shirley] Mays said of ASU, “and I do wonder if the ranking system were changed so that the LSAT scores of transfer students were included whether or not the poaching of students from the lower-tiered schools would continue.”
While one has to admire her "my precious!" attitude towards her top students, I can't help but agree with Captain Sly:
"Give your students reasons to stay and we wouldn’t be able to take them,” Sylvester said.
Ahoy!  Sounds to me like a dare!

Obviously, Arizona Summit's promises of future career riches and JD-Advantage(c) thinking skills aren't enough to retain top talent.  They should set up a foundation or something that gives out extra scholarships and can be used as kick-backs to hot professors and forgivable loans to deans.  They should also build a swimming pool and tack on a billiard room.  And maybe sponsor a minor league baseball stadium.

Or better yet, they could build their own pirate ship and send out a raiding party of their own.  California has plenty of state-accredited schools.  Mexico probably has law schools.  Take laterals from nursing schools or something.  Seriously, get creative.  The ABA isn't going to stop you.  It's, like, an antitrust violation or something.


  1. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Dept. of Ed. posted a $21.8 billion dollar loss for 2014 which was added to the federal deficit.


    Yet the loans keep rolling so law deans can keep squabbling over the fungible conduit slave trade. Rage, rage against the dying of the light!

  2. I wonder if the requirement to obtain a law degree from an ABA accredited school before being allowed to sit for the bar exam wouldn't be a bit antitrusty. Naaah, forget I mentioned it.

  3. Q: How is your first day at law school or being seized by pirates like hearing banjo music while hiking deep in Appalachia?

    A: In all cases, you are about to give up the booty.

  4. Of course, the question we all have in mind is what happens to those transfers.

    Well, at Georgetown the following number of students were employed by Georgetown in full time long term jobs (full time probably is nine months-now ten months- after graduation):

    2011: 19 law school graduates
    2012: 61 law school graduates
    2013: 80 law school graduates

    Now, one might be excused for thinking, why in the world would a law school accept so many transfers when such a significant portion of the class can't find full time long term bar passage rate employment outside of an $8/hour law school job? I'm sure there is a good reason and Dean Satan can probably enlighten us.

  5. Here's a dirty little secret: GU is a'piratin' for several reasons-not the least of which is that the lost close to 10% of their first year class...that didn't transfer; it just didn't come back.

  6. I used my critical thinking skills honed in law school to sort seed corn as it passed by on a conveyor belt!