Thursday, April 23, 2015

Law School an "Obvious" Decision: A Valentine to Bloomberg's Natalie Kitroeff

Natalie Kitroeff, I love you.

Not "I" the mortal writing this - I don't know you, and I have no idea if you titter delightfully at Adam Sandler movies or know how to make delicious raspberry scones or whether you are "down" with nurses' outfits and video cameras ("I'm just filming a movie about ER triage, mom!").  Thus, I can't love you.

No, Natalie, I write this missive of love from the law school industrial complex.  Last week, you helped make a complete hash of statisticsThis week, you're back, and better than ever:
It is still a perfect time to apply to law school, and here are five charts that prove it. 
That's just...Leducian.  The subtitle - "Becoming a lawyer has never been a more obvious decision" - is howlingly funny marketing gold for the dumb lemmings who need help making obvious decisions.

In a creative burst, Natalie, you're pushing yourself into the stratosphere of titans, that heavenly guest lounge where Professor Diamond serves as gracious host serving cocktails of JD-based propaganda.  So young, and shooting steadily for a vaunted place in the Langdell Order of Bullshit(fn 1).

Let's review quotes from the five reasons provided, with my commentary afterwards:
  • "The best a dean can do is try to keep a healthy headcount, which means it's a good time to make yourself a part of an increasingly scarce supply of heads."  Speaking of heads, late 1793 would have been a great time to be a French aristocrat!  Yes, and surely that means fewer lawyers after graduation to compete with!
  • "The odds of doing better than the person sitting next to you [on the LSAT] haven't looked this good in years."  Demonstrably and incredibly false.  How the hell do you write about this and not understand the basics?  Just plain wrong. Good odds!
  • "If you can ace the LSAT, there's a pretty good chance that big time institutions will lose their cool over you and offer up bags of scholarship cash to prove the love."  They have always done that.  And acing the LSAT has never been easier!
  • "Even if you do not kill the LSAT, you'll probably look like a catch to admissions officers."  And that may be the last time you look like a catch to anyone And if they catch you, prepare to be run in for a TOUCHDOWN!
  • "Among law students graduating this year who previously held summer associate gigs, 93 percent got job offers."  Why the fuck are you writing about an industry you don't understand?!  Job crisis over!
Natalie, this article reads like it was written by someone who had their cerebrum blown off by a cannonball and got hired to work for InfiLaw the enlightened prose of a more seasoned legal academic.  Princeton surely must be proud that they created an honors graduate exhibiting the basic reasoning skills shown herein.  

To completely ignore law graduate outputs beyond summer associate programs, and to totally ignore debt in an article whose sub-heading claims the choice is "obvious" takes a special blend of keen insight, moxie-driven intuition, and good old-fashioned write-whatever-the-fuck-I-want-ery.

But Ms. Kitroeff, oh Bloomberg Rose, you can go one step further in the garden of educational propagandistic delights.

Do it, Natalie.

It is one thing to write about the beauty of the seaside sunrise from afar.  It's another to experience that euphoric rush of the first beams peaking over the dark ocean waves from the chilly beach with the dawn breeze whispering "good morning."

Natalie, put your money where your sweet honeyed lips are.  Take your article's advice and make the obvious choice to enroll in law school.  Experience the thrill of competing with nothing but LSAT-flunking dolts and waltzing into an orgasmic, printing press job market.

But I urge you, Natalie, go not to the Harvards and Yales and Stanfords of the world whether you are accepted or not.  Those places are still filled with bright, talented students like yourself.  Go to a school like Fordham or American or Loyola (any of the 3!) - schools that are really desperate for future lawyers who want to take the obvious plunge into Uncle Scrooge's vault.  Slaughter the LSAT, take their scholarship cash, and hop straight into the gravy train of legal work.

At least then maybe you'll understand the damn industry Even if you don't want to be a lawyer, you should have no problem continuing your journalism career with a law degree.  It is JD-advantage, after all.

fn 1:  The Langdell Order of Bullshit is a claimed trademark of the Law School Truth Center.  And by "claimed," we mean we came up with it, and may file papers one day or something (if only we could find an IP attorney!  #lawyershortage), and in any event, if you use it without at least our implied permission, we'll get rather snippy.


  1. Superb writing, as usual.

    Four of the five Bloomberg charts that Kitroeff offers to "prove" her argument that "[i]t is. . .a perfect time to apply to law school" simply track the decline in applicants and matriculants, particularly those with high LSAT scores. (The fifth chart is nonsense).

    These four charts are relevant only if you believe the old investment cliche that the best time to buy is when everyone else is selling. It has been several years, and I am not quoting exactly, but I will not forget watching Jim Cramer on CNBC clawing at his suit and scalp for emphasis and shrieking things like: "It is a bargain!"; "There has never been a better time to buy."; "It is solid."; "The best time to buy is when everyone else is selling."; "Don't believe the doom-sayers."

    He was talking about Bear Stearns.

    1. Bear Stearns? What the fuck is that? That sounds like a country singer who's in a trio with Grizzly McRivers and Chuck Woods.

      I just checked the finance pages and I don't see a big company with that name. Why do you have to make shit up all the time?

      And I think the fifth chart is sheer brilliance. Not even Simkovic & McIntryre had the foresight to look at summer associate offer rates as a proxy for the employment market.

  2. According to her LinkedIn profile, her job at Bloomberg is "reporting on business education." She shouldn't be allowed to write about law school.

    Probably about 50% of law students now have summer jobs that actually pay. Perhaps 93% of those student got jobs (if slinging lattes counts as a job). That still leaves a lot of unemployed squeaky lawyers.

  3. Credential is treated as a proxy for quality of thought. This is a very convenient way to avoid scrutiny of your thoughts.

    Ms. Author is a 2011 Princeton graduate who did not bother to investigate how the LSAT is scored, and who cannot be trusted to have sufficient curiosity to wonder why it is that enrollments have declined. That, or she's been bought and paid for.

    They should just shove her over to Goldman to sell derivatives.

    I hope she's vain enough to Google her own name...

  4. Oh. My. God.

    Those charts, and the attendant "analysis", literally hurt my head, and I'm a reasonably bright fellow. I've got the LSAT score to prove it, so there.

  5. She links to this NALP report:

    What number of summer associates are they talking about? Apparently, about 3,267 (pg. 14) of the 44,637 who graduated in 2014.

    WOW! 7.3% of all grads. GREAT TIME TO GO TO LAW SCHOOL.

    1. It's lottery logic. "100% of lottery winners have won the lotto. Therefore, I am guaranteed to win the lotto."