Saturday, October 31, 2015

Setting the Record Straight

If you pay attention to legal education news at all, you probably saw that the New York Times tried to body slam Florida Coastal and like schools this weekend, and, in fact, dropped the "s-bomb" in referring to such schools.  Of course, we rational, sane citizens know that if Florida Coastal is a "scam" then so are 185 other law schools in America.

Well, Florida Coastal dean Scott DeVito (sounds mafioso-y) is setting the record straight.  As someone with fairly impressive testicles, I know a good pair when I see 'em in action, and at the poker table of academic life, Dean DeVito's got the nuts.
Our alumni repay their loans at a higher rate than the “elite” schools. Approximately 1.1% of alumni at Florida Coastal are in default while 2.5% of alumni at the top 20 universities with law schools are in default. Our alumni even outperform alumni at Ivy League schools who default at a 1.2% rate.
Our students repay their loans because our students succeed.
Sometimes it takes a for-profit entity to right a wrong—in this case the lack of diversity in law schools. The student body in not-for-profit law schools is about 29.7% diverse. According to the U.S. Census bureau, the United States is currently about 37.9% diverse. The student body at Florida Coastal is approximately 44.4% diverse.
Yes, [our students'] debt load is higher but that is because taxpayers are not paying for our students’ education. In addition, if you want to diversify the profession across race and socio-economic lines, then you will have to admit students who do not have the same resources as students at “elite” law schools.
If the board comes I think they will be delighted with what they see: a law school that is educating and preparing a diverse group of students for success in a way that is better than traditional not-for-profit law schools.
My record has been set so straight it's making John Wayne look like John Waters.

For those who have a hard time following sound law school reasoning, "not defaulting" is now the same as "repaying," "not defaulting" means an institution's students are succeeding, prior to FC's founding there was a dearth of non-profit schools in the country that expressly sought to boost diversity, for-profit schools are expense because the taxpayers aren't funding anything, and Florida Coastal and its 33.5% LST employment score is a better option than places like Florida State or Florida.

Reading things like this really makes me want to do law school all over again.   If you're keeping score at home, that's a beatdown.  Mercy rule applies.  Go home, and do not try to mount a comeback.  You will only hurt yourself.


  1. Any relation to Danny DeVito?

  2. "Our students repay their loans because our students succeed."

    Well just over 40% did not succeed in passing the Florida July 2015 bar.

  3. The mafia joke is unfair. Dean Scott DeVito has a Ph.D in Philosophy, and obviously no Ph.D in Philosophy would behave in a thuggish or dishonest manner.

    DeVito's doctoral thesis was entitled "Towards an Epistemic Theory of Probabilistic Causality." According to the abstract, this work, "provides an account of how we can make justified inferences regarding causal relations."

    I would like to know whether, in Devito's obviously expert opinion, one can make a justifiable inference of causal connection between Florida Coastal's admissions practices and its bar passage rate. Or between Florida Coastal's reputation and its legal employment rate.

  4. Your conclusion was hilarious. How many are currently not in default because they have minimal payments due to being on IBR? What percentage of this commode's recent graduates is in forbearance, typically because they are not employed or earning paltry wages?

    By the way, I don't place "non-profit" law schools above the for-profit trash pits. At least, the latter are up front about why they are involved in "legal education." Hell, "non-profit" is a political designation for tax purposes. Why else would many American college$ and univer$itie$ have endowments that exceed $1 billion?

    Anyway, Florida Coa$TTTTal is a fourth tier law school - according to US "News" - and it provides its graduates with pathetic, weak-ass job prospects. In other words, it furnishes fourth tier results. As the commenter at 7:38 pm noted, nearly 2/5 of the last class failed the Florida July 2015 bar exam. LSTC documented that the Law School Transparency score is a vile 33.5 percent. Furthermore, USN&WR lists the average law student indebtedness - for FC$L's class of 2014 - as $162,785. In fact, 93% of this commode's cohort incurred debt for law school. Keep in mind, the figure above does not include interest that accrues during enrollment.

  5. Please take out the gratuitous mafia reference. Whatever your opinion of Dr DeVito and his school, there is no need to insult him with a racial slur based on the Italian surname. Your audience includes Italian-Americans the vast majority of whom have no connection to organized criminality and who consider mafia references to be hurtful. You smear your own reputation as a blogger and harm your cause by perpetuating this stereotype.

    1. You might be new here. On this blog, vaguely comparing a law dean to a mafia don is high praise, and quite far from a slur of any kind. In fact, I've referred to Cooley's dean (even with his Frenchy name) as The Godfather. ( I've also directly compared law school administrators to gangster rappers ( I've regularly used the words "comrades" and the phrase "scam on" to encourage my readers to continue the organized confidence game, and probably a bunch of other things I don't want to look up. Not that I even directly said it in this post, but being mafioso or a gangster or a thug in the context of this site has no racial or ethnic quality whatsoever. It's a state of mind.

      99.9% of Italians and Italian-Americans (like all people) simply don't have what it takes to be Underboss at a place like Florida Coastal. The appellation here isn't just because DeVito shares his last name with Tommy DeVito (Goodfellas) and Danny DeVito (Wise Guys) - it's because he's running a private, for-profit enterprise that pins disadvantaged students with crushing debt taken on in what are likely to be false hopes. Then, on top of that, he's brazen enough to publicly claim that the institution is necessary for racial diversity and that it's superior to schools who wouldn't touch 3/4 of his student body.

      I'm not saying if there was a Godfather Part IV I would cry with happiness if the Corleone descendants had further legitimized the family by running a law school in some sunny place, but I've been making flippant organized crime analogies since this blog was in its infancy. Pre-Blogger, I had a page where administrators all received nicknames, and at one point I planned to add black and white photos that mimicked an FBI crime folder to bolster the general theme.

      I'm surely not going to deny giving Dr. DeVito such praise solely because he has an Italian surname instead of a French or English one. That would be racial discrimination, and not in line with the principles held by this blog - or Florida Coastal. I believe in praising people with equal opportunity.

  6. 8:33 am here ... Thanks for your insights. I do not agree with referencing criminality at all because what the schools are doing is 100% legal. It gives them an easy target for discrediting the scam-bloggers. As in, they call us criminal and we're not. Better to point out how legal it all is. The schools are not going to close until all that easy risk-free, upfront cash flow from Uncle Sam stops.

  7. I know a Florida Costal graduate who is doing ok. He has a great personality and presence and a large ethnic community of non-lawyers referring him work. He told me I graduated from a "real" law school. I graduated from a ranked law school and am struggling even out 25 years out. It seems like every other Jewish man or woman alive is a lawyer. Everybody has got their guy. I was ashamed that he was doing much better than me