Saturday, December 31, 2016

Fare Thee Well, 2016, You Hostile Twit of a Year

It's New Year's Eve, the last gasp for a truly deplorable year and cliched articles bemoaning its happenings.

Not horrible, mind you, because we lost icons of Anglo-American culture. Not because America's Presidential election fell into a satire for an audience too afraid to laugh.  Not because I've resorted to ripping off Voltaire.  And not because of Brexit, Syria, terrorism, Zika, Russia, economic bubblism, the continuing refusal to fill federal court vacancies being elevated to the Supreme Court, Hurricane Matthew, slain zoo exhibits, earthquakes, the ongoing global climate/ecological catastrophe, or Pokemon Go.

It was a shit year for law schools, particularly those that are underrated and produce a disproportionate amount of public service lawyers.

Indiana Tech?  Prospectively shuttered.

Charlotte?  Bitchslapped by the Department of Ed.

Charleston?  Still rebounding from the catastrophic, Shakespearean succession crisis.

North Texas?  Accreditation not recommended for bullshit reasons.

Law schools everywhere?  Continue to face the malicious assault of oligopolist bar examiners who refuse to allow women and minorities fair opportunity, or something.

The bleeping ABA?  Threatened with loss of its accreditation authority.

Eat a cold dick of justice, 2016.  I can't wait 'til this mockingbird of a year is as dead as Harper Lee.  I hope 2017 fares better for the less-prestigious law school scammers, much like it promises the continued riches of exploitation for the people who control Harper Lee's intellectual property.

But I digress.  Peace, health, and prosperity to my readership.  See you when the new calendar is on the wall.  Mine has a drawing of Scout Finch proudly receiving an LLM from Western Michigan - Thomas Cooley School of Law-Birmingham.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Law-Desolate Metro Areas and The Great Exit Plan

It's truly baffling that a school like Indiana Tech would be allowed, much less feel obliged, to close given that there are no other law schools in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area.  If the private market is unwilling, could not the public University of Indiana-Fort Wayne step up and give the state a third public law school to serve the dire need in a bustling metropolitan area?

An example: look to this letter to the editor from Charlotte, NC:
A good argument can be made that North Carolina is oversupplied with law schools. But all of them are concentrated in the Raleigh-Durham/Greensboro/Winston-Salem I-40 corridor.

A good solution to the Charlotte School of Law problem would be for UNC Charlotte to acquire the school... 
Let's break this argument down into its formal components.

Premise:  North Carolina is oversupplied with law schools.
Premise:  All of North Carolina's law schools are concentrated on one isolated, lonely stretch of major highway that connects multiple major metropolitan areas.
Conclusion:  UNC-Charlotte should buy up one that's already closing

In philosophy circles, this form of argument is known as argumentum whateverum.  There's a superficially obvious solution if Premises A and B are both true, as well as a secondary solution that would address both premises, yet the writer winds up ignoring Premise A entirely - it may as well be false - in developing a solution that in no way addresses its merits.

And frankly, it's understandable in this situation.  We've written before how research has shown that every major metropolitan area requires a school of law to be a real city.  Charlotte is the 24th largest metro area in the U.S.  Its peers - St. Louis, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh - average 1.5 law schools (higher if you count UC-Davis as being in Sacramento). 

We cannot let Charlotte become a pariah among these 3rd-tier cities.  It must keep its law school.

Really, this strategy should be the exit plan of any noble entrepreneur wishing to establish a for-profit law school.  Set it up in a good metro area, count the cash from Uncle Sam and then - when the spigot rudely shuts off - demand a bailout by way of acquisition from an established local school, preferably public so all that "serving the community" bullshit comes to fruition in a profitable way.

Recall that Texas Wesleyan was effectively bailed out by Texas A&M; that people in Charleston wanted to see the school merge with College of Charleston, and now Charlotte is desperate to keep the engorging prestige of a first-rate legal education enterprise.

I think now might be the appropriate time to plant a few other seeds.

The University of North Florida needs a law school, don't you think?  We can't leave Jacksonville naked!

Wouldn't Grand Canyon Law sound...dramatic?  #SaveLawSchoolinPhoenix

Atlanta needs three, don't you think?  Georgia. Tech. Law.

NYLS shouldn't close.  It should merge with Julliard!

[Name of new Law School in Barrow, Alaska] closing would imperil justice in all of the Arctic Circle! Ilisagvik College of Law has a nice ring to it!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The LSTC Christmas Card: Rudolf the Red-Butted Law Student

In the spirit of vulgar, juvenile literature (c.f. Chaucer, Swift), here is a classic Christmas tale re-told as a law school fable about anal sex.  Happy holidays!

"And what if Blackacre were deeded 'to A for life and then to B, but only if B graduates college?  Hmmm?"

The professor scanned the room of law students, each ass more sore than the next.  Selecting the right one was as artful as picking the perfect first chocolate from the enormous gift box he received every year from... he couldn't remember...probably the dorks in the tax program.  But his selection was important; this was the Socratic Method, and a mistake could imperil justice downwind.

"Rudolf!"
"If it goes to B only if B graduates from college, it's an absurd condition precedent on a contingent remainder, for everyone knows that to truly prosper, one must achieve additional education, particularly a law degree."

 Gasp. Applause. Weeping. Rudolf's intellect quickly won over even his bitter rival gunners.

...until they saw him in the locker room.

"Look at his red ass!"
"It's like a cherry blew up on a fire hydrant covered in ketchup!"
"...like a stop light!"
"...like a rose!"
"...like the wickedly beautiful blood-geyser from a decapitated child!"
"Whoa, Frank.  That's a little morbid."
"Sorry.  At least I don't have a red ass!"

The rest of them all had firm, supple, but bland and pale asses; upon a slap of the towel, they might turn pink, but the skin rebounded shortly to its natural hue.  This Rudolf, sweet Enola Gay, son, who goes to law school with their ass already red like the dick of a firetruck dog?

Rudolf was ostracized. No study group for him. No circle to stand in. Wine and crackers in the corner. Were law review to call, he would draw the loser's lot of assignments. A leper, a pariah, a debt collection attorney. OCI success? A distant dream for such an outcast. No one would hire such a red-assed law student. What would they tell the clients?  They'd have to get the partner who looks most like Rip Torn to shit-can him after two months.

On the last night of finals, just two days before Christmas, the law school suddenly found itself in a crisis.

The nefarious Department of Education, enemy of taxpayer-backed career holidays, withdrew access to loan programs!

Former students sued, class action, this time with a federal agency determination of fraud!

Fuck!

Dean Satan - his entire body, and not just his ass, dashingly red - paced around the campus.

"What shall I do, minions?!" he snarled.  But they could not answer, both because they lacked even the atomic level components of creative strategic thought and because their sight became arrested by Dean Satan's rapidly bulging crotch.

To borrow from another Christmas classic, in the moment of crisis, Dean Satan's pitchfork perversely grew three times its size.

Massive, gargantuan priapism. A firehose overpressured, a bratwurst from Brobdingnag, a dinosaur dick.  It burst through his $500.00 pants. Gasp.  Applause. Weeping. Somewhere, Frank compared it a boa constrictor who just ate a whole Sudanese basketball player with rigor mortis already set in. God damn it, Frank, enjoy doc review.

"Sir," a minion finally said, "it's a Christmas miracle!"
"No, you idiot," Dean Satan said.  "I'm in agony!  I've got to bang something, now!"

The minions all looked at each other.  None of their asses could accommodate such a supernatural shaft. The student body looked perplexed as well; they all had firm, supple, tight asses.

"What about Rudolf?" one finally said.
"Yeah!" added another, "Rudolf's ass is so red, surely it has the biologic pliability to help the dean!"

They saw Rudolf, long neglected Rudolf, standing in the corner.  The dean, whipping his flagpole, called to Rudolf.

"Oh Rudolf, with your ass so red;
won't you guide my phallic sled?"

Dean Satan soon felt better.  Whereas the traditional Rudolf only saved Christmas from the peril of commonplace weather patterns, Rudolf the Red-Assed Law Student gave a noble law dean a cathartic break from the brutal reality of a crashing house of cards.  That's worth at least three pro bono hours.

Then all the OCI recruiters loved him,
As they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the Red-Assed law grad,
You'll keep a job at least to year three!

Merry Christmas, everyone (well, except the ones who don't celebrate it; give it a whirl next year, eh?); remember, Law Santa only brings models and bottles to those who believe in him!  Leave out milk, cookies, and a signed master promissory note!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Merry Christmas, Charlotte Law!

The Christmas legend, at least in most traditions, and ignoring that Nazareth fellow, holds that a well-fed, jolly man in a red suit brings gifts to children who probably don't have jobs.

Charlotte Law - that would make for an excellent character name for a femme fatale in a satirical noir, would it not? - is experiencing the ultimate anti-Christmas.  Instead of the childhood fantasy, it's living the adult nightmare: grumpy, yogurt-eaters in blue suits taking presents away from productive adults.

Find ye your tissues and violin:
The Education Department on Monday said Charlotte School of Law can no longer receive federal loans and grants for misleading students about their chances of passing the bar and its shaky accreditation with the American Bar Association.  [still not common law or statutory fraud, you shiftless dipsticks! - ed.]
..
In the 2015-2016 academic year, the law school enrolled 946 students who received about $48.5 million in federal student aid, primarily federal student loans, according to the department
On the positive side, Charlotte now gets to find out first-hand how well the free market understands the mathematics of the million dollar premium.  $48.5 million is nothing; you can easily find that sum when said investments will reap $300 million plus in economic benefit.  Now, Charlotte Law has an opportunity to prove the Simkovic-McIntyre Theorem.

Still, it is disappointing that the federal government would cease investing in a high-yield asset, at Christmastime no less.  The fine students at CSOL - and the American taxpayer - deserve better.

In a way, Charlotte Law recalls another Christmas legend in America: Charlie Brown.  It's not popular, the effective law school equivalent of a bald elementary school student who can't simultaneously claim to have leukemia.  But it tries so hard that you just can't help love its effort despite its total loserdom.  It deserves a break.

I say let's celebrate this bent twig of a Christmas tree delivered to Charlotte Law.  Deprived of any reasonable possibility of commercialism, Charlotte Law will now have to learn the true meaning of law school: to educate, to lead, to justice.

I guarantee you there were mouths agape in Charlotte this morning, and not just at Bank of America's headquarters. At CSOL, they probably weren't singing Hark! the Herald Angels Sing!  But in time, they see this devastating Scrooge-like insult as cause to pull itself up by its law school bootstraps and prove to the world that a great law school, providing value to students, can thrive without a dime of federal "Santa Claus" money.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

California Schools Blowing Up Bar Exam

California bar exam pass rates by school have been published.  They're real, and they're spectacular:
Just five of 21 California law schools accredited by the American Bar Association had at least 75 percent of their graduates pass the July bar exam...
...
The overall pass rate for this year’s summer exam was 43 percent, the lowest figure for a July sitting in 32 years....
...
[N]ine ...schools had pass rates below 57 percent. At some campuses, less than one-third of exam-takers passed the bar.
Now, you might think to yourself, "well that fucking sucks," much like the guy who steps onto a used car lot, kicks a tire, and watches the engine explode.  But just as the scorching fireball of rust and sleaze brings one the million-dollar gravy train of a big-money negligence lawsuit, these bar passage rates actually signify a good thing.

These schools are fighting against the most hostile, stringent bar examination climate ever, one that actively seeks to keep people from practicing law and reinforcing the justice monopoly.  This ain't 1975 anymore.  Adjusting our current bar exam passage numbers to 1970s levels, the pass rate would be around 93%.  I don't have a source for this number I pulled from ass, but it's just common sense, you know?

Don't believe me?  Let's ask an expert!
Kevin Johnson, dean of UC-Davis School of Law, said he doesn’t think [that less capable students are enrolling in law school].

The first-time pass rate for UC-Davis School of Law dipped to 72 percent in July, down from 74 percent in 2015 and 86 percent in 2014. At the same time, incoming students’ Law School Admission Test scores and undergraduate grade-point averages have remained constant, Johnson said.

“That fact makes one wonder what has triggered the decline and whether the grading of the California bar exam is becoming stricter,” Johnson wrote in an emailed statement.
Proof beyond a reasonable doubt, friends.  The bar examination simply isn't fair to the schools that keep relatively failing it.

Sometimes, when a car engine spontaneously explodes, it's just not a defect with the car, but rather someone kicking the car too damn hard.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sixteen Days: An Accreditors' Story

November 21, 2016:
[N]ational accreditors are getting tough and telling law schools to better prepare students for legal practice or risk losing their accreditation.
...
The proposal, which recently cleared a key administrative hurdle and could be implemented early next year, is rankling some law schools that say it will unfairly hurt those institutions with a mission of increasing access to legal education to a more diverse array of students.
Figure 1.  The Superficial Cockblock

December 7, 2016:
The University of Massachusetts School of Law-Dartmouth, established in 2010, now has full ABA accreditation.
...
According to the state’s Board of Bar Examiners, out of the 36 University of Massachusetts School of Law graduates who took the bar exam for the first time in July 2016, 69.4 percent (PDF) passed. Out of all the school’s graduates taking the Massachusetts bar in July 2016, there was a 50.9 percent pass rate.
Figure 2.  "The Prestige"

It is a date that will live in infamy.  Just as the Japanese suddenly brought the benefits of devastating transcontinental warfare to the still-recovering American economy, Massachusetts has been blessed by the joyful firebomb of a public law school in a state that previously had none.  Now, financially prudent prospective law students in Massachusetts finally have a public and affordable way to board the totally not crashing Million Dollar Express. Let us hope that, just as Pearl Harbor sparked plucky patriots to board battleships and transport ships, Dartmouth Law (future trade name) can bring in a long line of fresh meat eager to win the good fight.

Because, in  2016, Johnny doesn't need a gun.  He needs a law degree. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Law Schools Grab 'Em by the Plessy

John Lennon said a lot of stupid things in his life (e.g., "I don't want to a be a lawyer, mama"), but one of the more insightful is his (well, Yoko's and his - give the woman credit!) song title "Woman is the N***** of the World," an anthem to the more oppressed gender that sought to prove it's cool for a white dude to flagrantly use the N-word if he's a British rock & peace icon.

Let me know when you see Michael Richards' picture on Los Angeles tourism shirts, okay?

In any event, women are truly best viewed as an oppressed minority, particularly in these harsh, absurd times when our nation just elected C. Montgomery Burns Hall over the Platonic ideal of post-modern pant-suit feminism.

Just as certain law schools cater more towards other types of oppressed minorities, those same law schools, it seems, also disproportionately provide access for young women to pursue their legal dreams.
More women are attending law school, but their numbers at top-ranked institutions aren’t keeping up the pace, a recent study found. While women make up roughly half of all law students at ABA-accredited schools, they are overrepresented at lower-ranked schools.
This is exactly how market capitalism works.  "Higher ranked" law schools aren't doing their job to meet the demand for female law students.  "Lower ranked" law schools fill the gaping void and produce enough female candidates that a handful of 8/10s pass the bar and fill BigLaw's needs.

Yet the study's disreputable authors believe this is somehow a bad thing.  Unfortunately, some people just don't want to see women advance in the workplace.  N*****s of the world, indeed; if people like Kyle McEntee and Deborah Merritt had their way, the proverbial glass ceiling would be constantly dirtied as a courtesy so the stupid bitches trapped under it would have something to Windex like the house slaves they are.

Thank heavens institutions of higher learning don't subscribe to this discriminatory reasoning.

The one redeeming point of this travesty of an article is that it reaffirms that the LSAT reinforces racial and gender stratification in the legal profession and should be abolished permanently in favor of a more holistic, admit-whoever-we-want approach:
Schools focus admissions on candidates with the highest possible LSAT scores, the authors write, and women on average score lower than men on the test’s multiple-choice questions...
The only absurdity here is that lower-tiered law schools are being criticized for helping improve gender diversity in the legal profession.  It's clear, however, that the only rational course is to continue to let so-called "lower tier" law schools hook up with willing women, particularly those still physically able to sign the student loan paperwork, but frankly those knocked orgasmically unconscious by the spank-me fantasy of the Million Dollar JD will do just fine as well.

Because legal education shouldn't depend on what's hanging between your legs, be it a stubby wiener, hypertrophic labia, or a mysterious piece of now-amorphous flesh that's been decaying since the mob buried you in 1986.  If Uncle Sam wants to cut you a check, you should have the right to learn The Law wherever they're willing to add your name to the spreadsheet.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Too Few Lawyers: Dylan Roof Representing Self

One of the most famous [accused!] racist mass murderers in recent memory, Dylan Roof, has apparently been forced to represent himself in a capital murder case:
His three court-appointed lawyers filed a motion Sunday saying that the 22-year-old wanted to discharge them and represent himself. Judge Richard Gergel of U.S. District Court granted the motion moments before jury selection began though he called the self-described white supremacist's decision "strategically unwise."
Objection, elitist jibber-jabber! 

Mr. Roof, assuredly a rational actor like almost all of those who enter our justice system either though shackle or the total non-shackle of a law school loan application, no doubt looked at his court-appointed lawyers and found them not up to the task of defending him in high-stakes litigation.

This is not an insane serial killer trolling everyone; this is a sign that the bar of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina simply isn't putting forth sufficient counsel so that [accused!] racist mass murderers feel confident in the public defense system for capital crimes.

It's bad enough that a shortage of barbers has left Mr. Roof with a bowl cut that's not even the envy of a damaged Propecia user.  The least we could do is set up a system that's so flooded with competent legal counsel that Mr. Roof can find one to his racist and insane liking.  I mean, if we're going to conclude that these dudes are able to be tried and death penaltied even though the screws are not even there, the least we could do is give them an overwhelmingly diverse carousel of desperate suits so at least one is to their liking.

I say expand Charleston and build one at Clemson, with maybe a satellite branch at Myrtle Beach.  More lawyers.  More more more.  So many that we go back and take Fort Sumpter with slapdash motions and overwrought, repetitive correspondence...

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Build It, and Someone Will Come

New legislative terms mean new hope for visionary lawmakers to introduce zany bills.

One that's not so zany?  Building a new law school.  After all, America just lost an accredited law school in Indiana, and others around the country report continued shrinkage as potential applicants reject the opportunity to make social justice millions applying law to fact all Clarence Darrow-like.  Some law schools will have to expand or, like, just suddenly show up to fill the void.

And in Big Texas, they find Big Solution:
A new legislative year is bringing renewed hope for Rio Grande Valley lawmakers who hope to establish a law school in the area.
“The law school is a natural progression as our demographics grow, as our population grows,” said Eddie Lucio III, D-Brownsville.
“There are some great, very talented young professionals who for financial reasons or reasons related to family cannot travel to San Antonio, which is our nearest law school.”

Cameron and Hidalgo Counties easily break one million people, and that's only counting the ones who answered the last census.  Meanwhile, thriving law schools subsist in areas with far less population.  For example, Washington & Lee has a highly regarded law school and its home town of Lexington has under 10,000 people.  And yet, W&L attracts three hundred students each year.  Using similar rates and basic fucking math, a law school in McAllen would attract approximately 30,000 students each year.  It's a rough estimate; the real total could be higher.

So build it, Texas.  Consider that paragraph a feasibility study.  Trust me when I say that if you build it, students will come.  There'll be lots of coming, in fact.  A flood of come.  And definitely some smooth supportive commentary from the LSTC.  With the imminent departure of Indiana Tech, a new receptive orifice of hope is needed.

Build it.  I dare you.  Two years ago, people laughed at Donald Trump running for President.  Now, he's going to grope himself some Oval Office.  What that means is that every seemingly stupid idea now should not lack the courage to go forth and become a brilliant one.  Build it, Texas.  Build the greatest law school you can right next to that border and show Mexico what American jurisprudence can do.  Make sure you build it higher than the wall.  But built it.

Monday, November 21, 2016

LaVerne, Surely

Which school have I not thought about in a while, but epitomizes everything I love about legal education?  LaVerne.  LaVerne was in ABA accreditation dubiety before it was hip.  And it persisted.

In this Wall Street Journal article, we can see the type of leadership that has steered LaVerne like the PeQuod against the Moby Dickheads of law school reform.
“Nobody looks at what percentage of Ph.D.s end up as college professors, or what percentage of M.B.A.s achieve their goal,” said Gilbert Holmes, the dean of University of La Verne College of Law in California, who opposes the rule [re: minimum bar passage rates].
Gilbert should change his name to Sherlock, and obviously not because he's huffing snuff.

The article also features the classic "hey, that's racist!" argument, this time featuring Phyliss Craig-Taylor of N.C. Central.  But Holmes' argument, evaluating JDs against MBAs and PhDs in a totally mismatched, tone-deaf, and inapplicable comparison that discards any pretense of a control variable or uniform denominator, is inspired.

If we consider only the alleged failures, an un-barred JD is in much better shape than a "failed" PhD or MBA.  No one, to my knowledge, which is purposefully limited and not even bothering with a cursory Google search, has proven definitively that failed PhDs and MBAs still have a seat on the Million Dollar Express.  There's certainly no reason to think they would; how, one asks, would business acumen or advanced knowledge in a discrete area be even remotely as beneficial as learning the rule against perpetuities?

So regulators would be wise to not be so harsh on JD programs who can't get their graduates to pass the bar exam.  Sure, one could say that we need more oversight of worthless MBA and PhD programs or that JD programs should be evaluated on their own merits rather than to the paltry standards of other bogus educational ventures.  But that's fucking stupid.  People should be allowed to pursue whatever lottery-chance educational voyage they wish, be it JD, MBA, PhD, or something that the educational innovators make up in the future.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Announcing My Candidacy for Supreme Court Justice

With the apocalyptic election of Glorious Leader last week (if you can run a scam university, you can scam the electoral college!), I'm not only frantically scrubbing my internet footprint and spending significant amounts of time forming play-dough into consent-friendly penises (really, what else do you do with play-dough?) to soothe my millennial angst...

....I'm prepping my resume to apply for Supreme Court Justice.

Obviously, Judge Garland may as well go and hang with Harriet Miers at this point.  But beyond securing the Rule of Law by saving appointment of a new justice until 11 months after the vacancy was created, President-elect Trump has already announced that his Supreme Court will be more egalitarian.
In important ways, Mr. Trump’s candidates represent a sharp break from the current conservative justices, who all went to law school at Harvard or Yale and who all served on federal appeals courts in the Northeast or in California.

If the list has a main theme, it is that there are plenty of good judges who went to law school at places like Notre Dame, Marquette, the University of Georgia and the University of Miami.
That's right.  And some of you thought these were "second tier" schools!

In the context of this administration and this zany election, anyone has a chance and anything can happen.  That Trump is broadening the horizon of government isn't just an example of his Jacksonian populism, it's high time for the rest of us to grab life by the pussy.  As lawyers, we are a step ahead, already intimately familiar with getting gently pegged by the rousing boost of law school premiums.  But now, someone's finally found a bottle of lube and the keys to the handcuffs.

I'm announcing my candidacy for Supreme Court Justice.

No more is it about prestige or knowledge (was it ever?).  It's a circus contest sideshow, about as side-splitting as that satirical film where numerous moneyed interests are suddenly motivated to keep older Supreme Court  Justices functioning as long as possible until a Democrat can be reelected.  (Hilarity ensues).

So, to meet the Senate's concerns head-on here are my twitter opinions on the issues that matter as a Supreme Court Justice, in no particular order:

1.  The Constitution, love it!  But it was written by losers and shouldn't stop the Pres.from making great deals!
2.  Scam on.

That's my platform.  I look forward to donning the black robe - which, if my Facebook feed is any indication, we might all be doing soon anyway just before we drink the punch and board the mothership.

But until that time, I want to tell all the law school students of America not to despair at the President-Elect.  The worst case scenario is that he has opened up even bigger doors for 95% of you.  The best case scenario is that we've boldly launched into a brave new world of endless lawsuits over presidential authority, new slander legislation, mass deportations, media regulations, sexual assault sentencing guidelines, federal zoning law preemption, conflicts of interest, executive branch immunity, you name it.

If you thought Donald Trump was litigious as a private citizen, imagine the exponential increase when he's sitting atop the most important executive branch on the planet.

In any event, justice might have taken a bong hit, but the prospects for the legal field in general almost certainly have improved in the last week.  Don't let the pessimists drag your mind to their level. And if you value sound reasoning that gives appropriate deference to moneyed and exploitative interests, vote me, the LSTC, onto the Supreme Court.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Editorial: LSTC Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

Never before has the LSTC endorsed a candidate for President of the United States.  We may never do it again.  That's your trigger that this shit's serious.  A call to action.  What action?  Uh...deposit money in the box?

But today, November 9, 2016, we feel compelled to join almost every major media outlet on the planet by endorsing Hillary Rodham Clinton to be the next President of the United States.  The last polls before the election suggest that she will win in a relative landslide well before we have published this piece.  The media does not lead its consumers astray, and imagine by the time you read this piece, Donald Trump has politely conceded.  But please do not let that stop our endorsement.

Simply put, as we all know, legal education is the United States benefits from a continuation of the elitist status quo, an entrusting of the means of education and loan regulation to the existing moneyed parties and executive leaders.  Hillary Clinton, herself a lawyer married to a lawyer, politically embodies everything that has worked about the law school scam, including the gracious acceptance of wholesale, uncritical endorsement from media outlets such as this one.

Scandals?  Corruption?  Shit, who doesn't have a scandal or two?  Most of them are simply a distraction developed by hostile agents infected with the personality disorder of being an asshole.

Note that her primary rival, Donald Trump, is almost equally worthy of our nation's tenth-highest office (normally there are nine Supreme Court justices, although presently justice somehow functions with only eight).  In particular, the LSTC unequivocally praises his leadership with ventures such as Trump University.  That amoral siphoning of funds from hopeful lemmings portends an excellent tenure running the scam o' scams.  Likewise, his particular brand of capitalism - ostentatious self-aggrandizement, brash misogyny, aggressive defense litigation, strategic use of the tax and bankruptcy codes - would find allies on many a law school board.

Yet, when it comes to this particular race, we feel Secretary and - let's go ahead and say it - President-Elect Clinton has slightly more of what it takes to become the leader of the pseudo-free world and, therefore, enforcer of justice and profitable pedagogy.

Just as we jumped onto the law school bandwagon at the perfect time to continue supporting a fantastic and necessary venture as others started to become skeptical, we have chosen to throw our support behind Hillary at the precise moment that fringe elements of the media show signs of abandoning her.  Our timing and track record on this front is as unimpeachable as the decision to open a post-recession law school or acquire a legal education in 2016.

Regardless, we are proud to give Hillary the first endorsement in the history of the LSTC, and not a moment too soon.  You go get 'em, Ma'am, and scam on.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Accredited Law Schools Go Green: Opt Not to Create Necessary Compliance Paperwork Until Audited

It is a truth universally acknowledged that convoluted, expensive regulatory systems are designed not to protect consumers or market fairness, but rather to ensure that the larger, more shrewd companies - those able to selectively shave compliance as close to the bone as possible or, better yet, ignore it altogether - will thrive over more honest ones.  Competition on price, quality, or convenience simply isn't enough; the Game needed a new twist, and that twist was to implant an obstacle course of regulation.

So it's no surprise that a few prestigious ABA schools flunked an audit of employment reporting.  Shit, we should be looking skeptically - or giving ludicrously high praise - to the half that achieved 95% compliance.  The whole point of an audit is that entities fail them.  Why else would one go looking except to find something?  You don't see me showing a pan in the river just to say the water's clean; no, I want some fucking gold.

And gold is this, my friends:
Just five out of 10 reviewed schools posted compliance rates of 95 percent or more. A sixth school missed the mark by a hair, posting a compliance rate of 94.8 percent. Two more came in at 86 percent, and a final two were found to have compliance rates in the mid-50 percent range. One of the lowest scorers appeared to have created supporting documentation after it was told it had been chosen for audit, the memo said.
That's not poor compliance.  That's flaunting.

Holy hand grenades, ABA, these places aren't IBM or Monsanto.  They're in one industry and deal with a few hundred lines on a spreadsheet for each class.  Most of them have been voluntarily keeping such records for years. 

On the menu of difficulty for institutional compliance, the ABA's regulations are saccharine baby food.  Considering that it's incredibly easy for most law schools to hire highly skilled professionals collecting that lifetime lottery premium, one would think they could handle compliance questions over an after-work beer and that someone just wouldn't fucking ignore creating supporting documentation until after the notice of audit shows up.

"So, Carl, this isn't, like, legal advice or anything, but, I mean, really, you don't have to create any of this stuff until they're going to audit you.  I mean, otherwise you're just wasting energy and paper - let's try and run a green law school, you know?  If the ABA really wants us to have this shit, they'll ask for it."
"But what if we get busted?"
"One of two things will happen.  Either everyone else does it, too, if they're smart like us - then it's an industry problem and nothing happens.  Or we're it, and then we fire the temp who already left, pretend that we were confused about what we were supposed to have, we're a footnote in a memo, and next time around we're bound to improve." 
"Thinking like this is why we're one of the top 150 law schools in America."

Plus, the ABA is going out of its way to assist in developing defense arguments:
“Our documentation requirements are quite specific and some think complex, so it is reasonable that in the first year of this review, there may be confusion over what we require,” Adams wrote. “The two schools that appear to have created their documentation after the fact raise more serious problems, but they may also be able to explain that what we perceive is not accurate.”
Imagine a federal prosecutor putting that disclaimer in its press release on a murder or massive RICO case.  You could throw a textbook in a law school and hit ten people who understand ejusdem generis.  But suddenly it's herculean to check the right boxes and keep a file?

And there, too, is the redoubtable Barry C., opining that the issues were mostly minor, the underlying data appears accurate, we've always been at war with Eastasia, they're not expanding the scope of audits, and - to this blog's understanding chagrin - names will not released.

So, sadly, we will never know the institution or institutions that apparently didn't even bother to have supporting paperwork until after they learned of the audit. 

But know this:  you, John Doe Law School, are an inspiration to us all.  May the ABA bless you and keep you, and make its face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you, may it lift its countenance onto you, and grant you lemmings for all the days to come.

Amen, and scam on.

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Eerie Mathematics of Indiana Tech's Closure

Indiana Tech Law School graduated twenty students last year.  It has "lost" twenty million dollars from the University.  Accident?  Not in this clusterfuck of a world.

Because of the Million Dollar Premium(c), each graduate of Indiana Tech will reap an earnings premium of one million dollars.

Thus, the University, in its magnanimity and beneficence, has gifted the State of Indiana the benefits of a labor pool with an increased education, almost dollar for dollar.  Never before have we seen such a direct, unmistakable example of an investment by educational institutions translating into direct economic benefit by graduates.

Twenty million invested.  Twenty million benefit to society.  That's math.

But that's not all.  The graduates are not the only people who have benefited from Indiana Tech.  There are also current students who, while they have yet to graduate, have learned much from the professors who sacrificed lucrative practice salaries to teach the next generation.  They at least get partial premiums, valued conservatively at $666,666.66 and $333,333.33.  More math.

Those extra benefits come with no additional "loss."  More math.  Fort Wayne feelings of constitutional justice dropping precipitously.  Also math.  Graph math.  Graph make linear version of frowny face.

When people say that Indiana Tech's imminent closure cost lots of money, I call bullshit.  They're not quitting because they're behind.  They're quitting right about the moment they've made a net positive economic benefit to the world, regardless of what the balance sheet says.  They close solely because of calumny leading to low "enrollment," cost-benefit "analysis," and bar passage "statistics."

What's truly scary this Halloween is how callously people not only disregard the isolated economic benefits law schools bestow, but completely ignore the role law schools play in social life, like increasing diversity in the lily-white profession law schools created.  Why are you so damned racist?  I can hear you, cracker, claiming my interjection of racism is a suddenly shameless and disgusting red herring attempt to gloss over the "real numbers," but I would really prefer not to be told how to think by the legal field equivalent of a Klansmen, thank you very much, DW Griffith. We were only a few hundred law schools away from radically changing the Hoosier state from a Mike Pence-electing overalls grease stain to an enlightened center of global culture and legal thought.  *This close* you selfish assholes.

And if you think this blog posting reads like a Baghdad Bob rant while there's a line of M1 Abrams  tanks in the background and the fat lady is singing with a megaphone in his goddamned ear, you should know that right now I am so high on mescaline that I've gone Syd Barrett on the world.  I found the glassine baggie in this board room, Fort Wayne, Indiana, a few years back.  Next stop, gonna build me law schools in Myrtle Beach, Mobile, Reading, Shreveport, Anchorage, Peoria, Kalamazoo, Duluth, by gum, I'll put them all on the legal education map with unique and innovative models never heretofore seen.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Drink that South Texas Lemonade

Creative dispute resolution is a key gun in the lawyer's arsenal.  So who better than the Artists Formerly Known as South Texas to fire away?

As the astute reader will recall, South Texas was denied changing its name to the Houston College of Law.  Well, when life gets you lemons, maniacally shoot them until you've got a puddle of lead-tainted lemonade.
The law school is devising a new name that will honor a benefactor and include the word “Houston” at the end, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Dearest Benefactor: Congratulations!  You were clearly our second option, but now your name is forever associated with the greatness of a top three [tier] law school!  Also, while talking about things that totally aren't shit sandwiches, there's Whataburger coupons enclosed!

While obviously the LSTC is disappointed that Joe Schmoe Law School - Houston rejected its numerous options without even bothering to pay a reasonable hourly rate for top-notch consulting services, the ability to quickly pivot after getting one's clock cleaned in federal court is a high virtue, indeed.

It would be unbecoming for the law school to continue fighting, reconsidering, appealing, etc., all the while continuing to try and lure bait with the old South Texas name - while clearly the school is not in south Texas!  It may have worked for 90 years, but doggone it, times have changed for the law school industry.

You have to be innovative, and cooler heads prevailed in (not really) south Texas.  As various other law schools have proven, you can run the act with any range of names, including random people no one has heard of, particularly in a large city.

The shotgun lemonade may be sweet, but cashing student loan checks without worrying about paying lawyers absurd amounts that might actually justify student loan investment?  So sweet the coma from superhyperglycemic shock will leave a permanent smile on the face

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Houston, I mean South Texas, We Have a Problem

Remember how South Texas College of Law was trying to change its name to Houston College of Law and the University of Houston threw a legalistic fit and filed for an "injunction" (whatever the fuck that is)?

As it turns out, sometimes courts can actually give fairly quick relief (federal judiciary shortage, my ass - although they should increase hiring of qualified law graduates!) and the Houston College of Law has been ordered to change its name back to South Texas College of Law in spite of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the First Law of Scam.  TaxProf has solid coverage and original sourcists like me can read the actual memorandum order here posted on UH's site in the fashion of exquisite braggarts. Good bedtime reading, particularly the following:
Finally,  the  Court  cannot  help  but  note  the  peculiar  context  of Defendant’s  contention that no irreparable harm will occur from their infringement.  Defendant insists that the findings of the Simpson Report were the impetus for its recent name change.  The Report found that “the most  frequently  mentioned  reason”  that  respondents  were  in  favor  of  a  name  change  was  that “‘South  Texas  College  of  Law’  is  often confused  with  other  schools,  particularly Texas Southern University.” It must be with a great sense of irony that Defendant now attempts to downplay the effects of the same type of affiliation confusion that prompted Defendant to spend
hundreds of thousands of dollars to rebrand itself.
In other words, the Court praised STCL's zealous advocacy abilities.

Crucially, the Court did not find that STCL intentionally sought to infringe and create market confusion.  This is curious, because it's fairly clear to myself and most other law school sycophants that STCL knew exactly what it was doing and angled themselves to have an excellent excuse for their behavior.  That the judiciary resisted putting such a conclusion in print is a testament to STCL's abilities as a law school.

NOW the problem is what the fuck do we name STCL?  As STCL observes "South Texas" doesn't mean Houston (though they could open a branch in McAllen or Laredo!!!) to everyone and there's market confusion with Texas Southern, the HBCU also located in Houston for some reason.

It's like they didn't have complete maps of Texas all those years ago.

SO, let's re-name STCL!

My initial suggestions:
  • Houston Texas College of Law 
  • Houston Summit College of Law
  • Houston Superlawyer Academy
  • Houston Rocket College of Law
  • Houston Astronomical College of Law
  • Houston Oil Law College, Brought to You By [insert company here]
  • Not the U. of Houston Law Center (parody account)
  • John Marshall Law College - Houston
  • Houston-[DONOR NAME HERE!] College of Law
  • Texas Gulf Coast College of Law
  • Southeast Texas College of Law
  • Rice University Law School (if phone call successful for once)
  • Rice College of Law ("No, no, we named it after Houston's history of rice consumption!")
  • Southwestern Law School
  • The Tom C. Clark College of Law - Houston
  • The Sam Houston College of Law
  • The John Adams College of Law
  • Big Texas Lawyer Academy of Houston
  • Houston Texas Ranger Law School
  • Baker Botts Entry Level Hiring Program
  • Apollo Legal Academy - Houston
  • Houston Permanent Assurance
  • Houston Justice Production Corporation
  • Houston Educational Inter-Generational Holdings Transfer System, LLC ("HEIGHTS Law School")
But of course democracy is en vogue everywhere except the American electoral system.  C.f. Trump, Donald, Whatever He's Saying Today, [Today's Date].  What are YOUR suggestions, legal scholar readership?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Forget Nebraska: Meet These 25 Random Metro Areas Waiting to Make Lawyers Rich

Something called GoodCall ("What is law school, Alex?") has put out a delightfully quotable list of random metropolitan areas that seem pretty darned good landing spots for new lawyers.
GoodCall analyzed more than 900 metropolitan and "micropolitan" areas based on four criteria to come up with the rankings: average lawyer salary; job availability and competition; housing prices; and amenities, such as restaurants and arts and entertainment venues.
Four criteria for 900 separate geographic areas?  Sounds as infallible as US News and the Gospel of S & M.

I don't want to steal thunder and publish the whole list, but I would be remiss not to point out some highlights:
  • Los Angeles.  Yes, that Los Angeles, the one with the museum-quality collection of law schools rivaling only that found in Boston, NYC, DC, and Chicago, indisputably the epitome of mass legal education west of the Mississippi and east of Tokyo and it's still a great place for new lawyers.
  •  An inordinate amount of these locations appear to have super-affordable "third rate" law schools located right in the metro area: Orlando, LA, Nashville, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Houston, Tulsa, Charlotte, and Naples Motherfuckin' Florida, the home of Ave Maria, God's law school.
  • The Number 1 slot goes to Hot Springs, Arkansas, the 35k hometown of Bill Clinton and Billy Bob Thornton, and no doubt completely open to lawyer tourists overstaying their welcome in the middle of Arkansas to compete with Arkansas and Arkansas-Little Rock grads.
Clearly, there's no law school scam if a major, prestigious economic publication can find twenty-five diverse areas where being a law graduate kicks ass among nine hundred.  Kids, if you're not going to get a JD, move to Great Falls, Stephenville, or Centralia, and swim in the vault of golden coins, someone else will.


You don't even have to use the imagination that you're missing.  They fucking made a list for you.  So, uh, "go to Fort Collins!"

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Salesman Optimistic for Future of Product While Wanting Rivals to Die

From the ABA Journal:
Ninety-two percent of those responding to the survey said they are feeling more optimistic about the state of education than they did a year ago...
Ninety-two percent - just like how ninety-two percent of their recent graduates acquire high-paying jobs within months of graduation!  But:
Despite their optimism, 65 percent agreed it would be a good idea if at least a few law schools closed.
At first blush, this made me angry.  Law schools close?  Aren't they reading the newsletter?

When trying to spread the immaculate gospel in exchange for a small tithe of lifetime income streams to repay a third party after the church has spent the spoils on new organs and communion Cabernet, it's not a great idea to close churches.  And you're sure as shit not going to do it with ninety-two percent optimism and million-dollar JDs.

But then I remembered that law school admissions personnel thrive on being selfish Machiavellians with an inflated sense of their own institution's importance in the legal industry.  Naturally, they would want the competition to close a few other schools to increase their own profit margins.  These things are like Subways.  They're all necessary to fulfill the demand for $5 foot-long sandwiches that taste like something a school cafeteria made to remind the children of life's suckage, but surely the owners would love to close other branches down to broaden their own sphere of influence.

Totally makes sense.  But despite these admissions people being greedy capitalists, I'd like to remind everyone that they have the best interests of prospective students at heart.  Were they not so optimistic about the law's future, surely they would reduce spots or voluntarily vote to close their own institutions.

Also: while the LSTC's official policy is against sexual harassment and assault of all kinds, please feel free to grab law school by the pussy, 0Ls.  You're that special that she'll let you grip a hold and... well, where it goes from there is your own personal educational voyage.  Just make sure you sign the IOU on the night stand.  92% optimism for enterprising students who latch on to the genitals.  It's a non-scientific poll of a purely subjective measure, but we're not curing cancer here; we're making your life great again.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

LSTC Pseudo-Live Blogging the VP Debate

The first edition was so popular, the LSTC is back with commentary on the VP Debate!

9:03 pm EST:  Debate is ON!

9:49 pm EST:  Life is empty and meaningless.  I am watching two milquetoast villains from poorly written 1980s comedies debate to find out which one might better fit in America's least-important important job behind an immediately unpopular President.  There's Mike Pence, the cold businessman secretly plotting to bulldoze Camp Racist Indian Name because he wants to build a squirrel slaughterhouse that produces cheaper, fraudulent hot dogs.  There's Tim Kaine, the hyper, pocket-protector guy who sits next to our hero on a sputtering Greyhound bus carrying him to his love just moments she marries Total Douche and Kaine just... keeps... talking...  There is no God.  There is only the bleak vacuum of dead space.  We are hurtling on a small, insignificant rock moving rapidly, accelerating, even, towards the still death of all life upon it.  This moderator is like a schoolteacher who realized five minutes after class started that she wasted years of her life studying for this particular profession and there are only two students in the room; futility is setting in and the ideals of youth are dying.  Values, morality, patriotism.  These things are illusions, phantoms of the mentally ill who refuse to see the universe as devoid of real knowledge or truth, a grand game of planetary charades.  This is where our spiraling, winding roller coaster of a pathetic existence has dumped us with terrible nausea.  Tim Kaine's eyebrows were produced in the laboratory that makes evil Muppets, Mike Pence's facial expressions were made by a renegade military unit. This cannot possibly be a rational, meaningful existence.  We are the aborted punchline of a cosmic joke abandoned halfway through and told with no timing. I just don't care if Mike Pence succeeds at ruining the childhood memories of Kurt Russell and Rick Moranis.  Part of me hopes Michael J. Fox is stuck listening to Tim Kaine forever blather about 9/11 and Russia and Donald Trump's tax returns while Elizabeth Shue goes ahead and marries Judge fucking Reinhold.  Does that make me a sadist instead of a nihilist?  Who gives a shit?  It just - it just doesn't matter.  I wish someone would have partial birth abortioned this debate, like five minutes beforehand the producer has an areligious epiphany and kills the power because the world has no intrinsic meaning and you might as well just get drunk on bumwine until the sweet solitude of dreamless sleep.  Instead, we get the height of spirited American pointlessness: two idiots chosen to be lukewarm sidekicks talking about policies they will have absolutely no control over unless someone dies or has to quit the most powerful job in the world.  They look quite dapper in their red and blue ties.  Millions of years ago, dinosaurs walked across what is now this country, and if they came up with anything this sociopolitically stupid, they deserved every flaming meteor that fell on their reptilian backs.  Millions of years hence, everything known now will hopefully turn to dust, perhaps maybe fossilized at best, but most certainly lost to contemporary memory, and likely for the better, because were this display to become some of lingering memorial to human existence on planet Earth, it would drive all intelligent life to instant suicide seconds after awakened consciousness, because fuck me this sucks.

9:51 pm EST:  Why not go to law school?  Law school can provide meaning to your otherwise dead and dreary life by opening the sacred rivers of justice and putting you in one bitchin' canoe!  Tim Kaine (Harvard) and Mike Pence (Indiana) once dipped their mighty oars in the sparkling water, and look where they are today!  Don't worry about the tuition being so high - that's only so we can give you massive savings savings savings!

Friday, September 30, 2016

The New Math

Just when you think law school professors have tapped their mighty innovation-sticks dry, surely requiring a long refractory period before another great thrust of intellectual energy can sprout, they pleasantly surprise, making one wonder whether it's pill enhanced because it just doesn't seem fair.

Over at The Faculty Lounge, they're now veering out of the law and developing whole new mathematics:
It is not possible for all ABA schools to achieve an 85% (or even 75%) pass rate in Florida.
See, initially, I was thinking that each bar exam taker's pass or failure is independent of other bar exam takers' passes or failures, so it's entirely possible for any individual school to have 85% of its graduates pass the bar, and if it's possible for one school to achieve that, then it's possible for all such schools to achieve that.  Likely, no, but possible.  Like duh.

New math!  It's impossible, apparently.  Why?  I don't know - me not smart enough.

Let's continue with our lesson.
The reality is that if one ABA school gets a passage rate that is above the state average, another one will be below it.
I would've said this was bullshit as well, as law schools do not fall evenly on a bell curve with equal numbers of applicants or anything else that would possibly mandate this result.

For example, the average of 11, 11, 11, 11, 11, and 5 is 10.  Five numbers above the average, one outlier below.  None of this one goes up, one goes down crap.

But hey, new math!  Averages fall on the apex of a bell curve even if they aren't otherwise likely to. Eat your dead departed heart out, Paul Erdos.

The learning doesn't stop there.
[T]he pass rate on the Florida bar has been declining fairly dramatically over the last eight years:
 The numbers provided are 80, 79.2, 80.1, 80.2, 77.2, 71.8, 68.9, 68.2.  Stupid, old-math-me would have looked at the list and concluded that there was no drop-off at all until the 4th entry (2013) and no significant - much less "dramatic" - decline until the 5th (2014).

Nope.  New math.  80 to 80.2 is not a 0.25% increase, but rather a dramatic drop over three years.

Next Fields Medal isn't being awarded until 2018, but I'm not sure why they're bothering with the wait.

Monday, September 26, 2016

LSTC Pseudo-LiveBlogging the First Presidential Debate

It's Yale trained lawyer v. obnoxious 1% scion who uses lots of lawyers!  Make America Great Again?  Fuck, we're already there!

9:09 EST:  Hillary, bright red pant suit like the guy who's lost before he even walks into court, looks like Dean Satan's wife, which is probably not far from reality.

9:11 EST:  American job market apparently expanding gloriously.  Good news for #MillionDollarJDs.

9:13 EST:  Trump effortlessly brushes off $14M non-recourse loan in 1970s as a "small loan." And law graduates think puny six figure debts in 2016 are "crushing."

9:15 EST:  Trump responds to Clinton accusing him of exploiting the housing crisis by saying "that's called business, by the way."  FINALLY, a candidate who understands the shenanigan-zen of being a law dean.  Elect this fucker, please.

9:20 EST:  Hillary drops reference to appointing special prosecutor for some made-up reason.  10,000 Hillarys and there's not even a purported law job gap.  #LawJobCreator

9:22 EST:  Trump yelling about NAFTA and TPP.  Ignoring, no application to law school graduates, aside from the thousands who practice international law.

9:24 EST:  Both candidates are now plugging their websites, and Hillary got a book plug in earlier.  If petulant law school graduates could market themselves like petulant politicians and pseudo-politicians, there'd be a lot less complaining.

9:27 EST:  A nation where a rambling, discursive egomaniac like Donald Trump can be a major party nominee is a nation that desperately needs a stronger investment in finely tuned oral advocacy skills like those taught at over two hundred ABA-approved law schools.

9:29 EST:  Why does the judge in small claims court have more control over the litigants in her courtroom than the moderator in a motherfucking national presidential debate?  I'll tell you why: the legal system knows what the fuck it's doing.  Go to law school.

9:31 EST:  Lester Holt is somehow embarrassing NBC News right now. 

9:33 EST:  Trump making empty promise to discard his tax lawyers' advice not to release his records.  Don't worry about the lawyers; they're drinking cab and receiving nonstop oral sex that needs no reciprocation.

9:35 EST:  Trump claims he's smart for dodging federal income tax.  Shrewd tax lawyers, people.  Get an LLM!

9:37 EST:  5th Amendment name-drop, boom! If that wasn't on the bar exam, dozens upon dozens of lawyers wouldn't be able to turn to their spouses and explain the privilege against self-incrimination!

9:40 EST:  Per Clinton, Trump is the "king of debt."  Sounds like a perfect prerequisite to either be President or a law school dean, if that fails somehow.  Cardozo, NYLS, or Touro, perhaps? 

9:42 EST:  Trump inviting the nation to change bankruptcy laws in response to allegation that he abused them.  Will that mean good news for indebted, lazy law school graduates? 

9:43 EST:  No, you fucking idiots.  Go bill another hour or two - you're way behind for September.

9:46 EST:  Clinton, a lawyer, has taken a question about race and invoked criminal justice reform and gun control.  Trump follows by promising law and order.  Somewhere, William Brennan and Antonin Scalia are having a remarkably similar debate with equal intellectual heft.

9:49 EST:  Trump, a non-lawyer, just evaluated NYC stop and frisk case potential on appeal with the confidence of a lifetime pro se litigant.

9:53 EST:  Hearing rich honkies talk about intercity crime that they have never, and will never, experience... if you enjoy this sort of caste system pandering, you'll fit right in at dozens of law schools! SLOTS STILL OPEN FOR FALL!

9:57 EST:  Hillary's chin-up, angled to the side facial pose would look good on a Soviet-era postage stamp.

10:00 EST:  Nation's problems are obviously addressed fully in an hour, as we're now talking about Obama's fucking birth certificate.  No mention of law school bubble, scam, debt, whatever.  So, they're obviously not problems.  #SoundReasoning

10:04 EST:   This presidential debate is now discussing a real estate racial discrimination case from the 70s and Trump sticking chest out re: settling without an admission of fault!  The law is literally everywhere, and rude people want to stop others from getting law degrees?

10:06 EST:  The biggest loser of tonight's debate is Lester Holt.  What the fuck does he do, anyway?  They should get federal judges to do this shit, seriously.

10:08 EST:  Hillary now rambling about international cybersecurity.  #NotIrony

10:11 EST:  This cybersecurity discussion is boring.  Know what's not?  The first year of law school.  It's a nonstop tour-de-force of intellectual stimulation, and it's so classically foundational that the idea of discussing dull, modern topics like E-discovery or cybersecurity will seem Jetsonian as you read fine cases like Buck v. Bell.

10:13 EST:  All this Putin talk has made me realize my vodka is not pouring itself fast enough.

10:15 EST:  Who the fuck names their child Lester, anyway?  Do Summit and Cooley even accept Lesters?  [Answer:  Yes!]

10:18 EST:  In another life, Trump would be a personal injury attorney who advertises at midnight.  #BillionDollarJD

10:21 EST:  Trump says he has a "winning temperament."  That's a trait I have seen in a lot of lawyers.  Only some of them were driven to the brink of madness, substance abuse, and violence.  The rest are livin' the dream.

10:24 EST:  Lester is like the name you give a child when you want him to be the plaintiff in a textbook test case for education law.

10:26 EST:  Trump wants to charge other counties rent for our rampant militarism.  (#ContractLaw). We should charge them for the justice we export as well from our willful surplus of lawyers.

10:32 EST:  Hillary doesn't have the stamina to be President? She made it through 1L property, so I'm not getting his criticism.

10:34 EST:  Hillary now forcing a discussion of women's rights.  I'm about as drunk as Lester Holt is going to be in about an hour.

10:37 EST:  Candidates claim they'll accept result of election.  Shoulda read Bush v. Gore.  Lester Holt going back to talking to studio cameras, an audience he can govern.

Overall, a disappointing evening given the lack of discussions regarding crucial concepts like higher education and the domestic justice league, but it's clear to me that regardless of which of these turds gets flushed upwards, America's law schools will continue doing great things and fishing in the stream of naive, youthful optimism.

Scam on, and rock the vote.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Double Speedball of Optimism: ABA and Indiana Tech

They say when it rains, it pours.  I say when the sun shines, it burns!

For our first good news item today, the ABA won't face disciplinary action that could have jeopardized its ability to Always Be Accreditin':
In a letter sent to Barry Currier, managing director of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Emma Vadehra, the department’s chief of staff, wrote that she was accepting the recommendation of department staff to allow the ABA to continue accrediting new law schools rather than the recommendation for a one-year suspension made by the National Advisory Council on Institutional Quality and Integrity.
That's another win for Barry Currier, who's like the Michael Phelps of defending...whatever it is the ABA has been doing for the last several years.  Enjoy your Friday evening, sir.  You are a hero and the Tsar and/or party leaders [check newspaper to learn who is running things] praise your services. Enjoy the cruise.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!  ACT NOW AND YOU GET THE REPLACEMENT VOMIT-MOP SET FOR FREE! NO LONGER FEAR INVITING SEVENTEEN YEAR OLDS TO THE KEGGER, SENATOR!

Not only do Friday afternoons bring Obama vetoing 9/11 legislation, police shooting vids, and dumps of whatever other crap someone hopes to go unseen, but mixed in the pile is Indiana Tech news.

You might have heard some idiots barking about Indiana Tech's purported 8% bar passage rate for having a purported one (1) student pass the Indiana bar examination out of twelve (12) (which is actually an 8.333% pass rate, you nerds).

Well guess what, math geniuses, you're full of shit.  Indiana Tech is on the verge of raising that number to 50%.
Five graduates of Indiana Tech Law School have filed appeals with the Indiana Board of Law Examiners to have their bar exams reviewed, according to the law school’s dean Charles Cercone.
...
Cercone was angry about the attention the law school has received since the results were publicized Sept. 12. He said the graduates have been put under a level of scrutiny that graduates of other Indiana law schools have not had to face.

“I understand it’s your job and the media’s job to make law schools look bad, but you overlooked in your zeal to make us look bad that you hurt young men and women trying to take the bar,” Cercone said. “Now these people will be branded for the rest of their careers.”
That's some fine zealous advocacy, Chuck!


Personally, I like the idea of branding Indiana Tech graduates.  Literally.  On the fucking forehead like Charlie Manson.  With a degree so innovative and refreshing, so inspiring, so improving of its recipients core competencies regardless of what some stupid, inane, slack-jawed, totally objective and thoroughly scientifically tested "bar examination" says, we should be identifying these people.  Marking them with a brand of quality.  We can't leave such things to the chance of a resume being read.


But this isn't empty zealous advocacy.  No, watch the law school alchemy of golden institutions being made slightly more golden through the thought that only comes with years of seasoned practice, that merger of the insight of Oliver Wendell Holmes with the craft of a Machiavellian fox.  By God, beebop a luah, you got a functioning law school where every fucking graduate passes the bar exam!
Cercone, speaking publically [sic] for the first time since the bar exam results were announced, said he is confident the law school will turn the results around. The school is offering a “very expensive re-taker program” to the graduates free of charge and is offering other bar prep and doctrinal courses to the graduates and the current third-year students.

“If they do what we tell them to do, they’ll pass,” Cercone said.
Listen, kids, this bar examination company has sold bar examination quick-passes to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and by gum, it put them in the US News Rankings!

It's not like Indiana Tech has ever been mistaken about anything.

If only more students just did what law schools say, there'd be a lot more million dollar dreams that only end when the cruel touch of jealous Death's scythe hits sometime during the second hour of the yacht orgy just off the coast of Corsica, with the lingering taste of the Swiss chocolate fountain's avalanche and the warmth of 20-year-old breasts and/or ...manparts?... fitting ends to a life well lived and a justice well-served...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Indiana Tech Survivor: Finale

Against the cries of people who had no sense of cosmic humor and felt like Fort Wayne didn't need an entertaining law school attempt, Indiana Tech started in 2013 with 100 slots for competitors in what became the ultimate legal education reality show.

Sadly, only thirty people had the courage to sign up for the contest with the promise of potential riches if they could survive the brutal challenges of professors who couldn't get better jobs at elitist law schools founded before the recession.

After three years of intense training, only two out of three survived, and this past May Indiana Tech graduated a class of twenty brave souls.

Of those twenty Navy Seal-like soldiers, twelve moved on to the Final Round, the supreme hurdle challenge of the Indiana bar exam, a test so grueling, mere thousands of living people have passed it.

As of now, one has survived.
An Indiana Lawyer review of the names of successful applicants for the July 2016 Indiana Bar Exam released Monday only includes one student from Indiana Tech. A spokesman for Indiana Tech would not confirm or deny that student was the only one who passed the test, but did clarify that a dozen graduates sat for the exam.
Critics with a pre-set narrative see this as a negative, only one student apparently passes the bar exam without appeal from an initial class of thirty.

But in reality, that lone student standing atop the metaphorical Rocky staircase is the most employable law graduate in America. 

He or she is the Survivor of Indiana Tech's Inaugural Class.  The One for whom they make gilded elevators and corner offices with windows on both walls.  The One who can go to a real steakhouse and order off the full menu - not that special offer bullshit - and add the peppercorn Bearnaise sauce.  The One whose French cuff dress shirts are tailored.

Congratulations to Indiana Tech and the Champion.  For the runners-up, whether you took the bar examination or not, whether your appeal is successful or not, you are still a lawyer, an alpha thug of the white collar gang world. 

The runner-up prize is an earnings premium of one million dollars.  Don't spend it all in one place.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Federal Trademark Office Joins Conspiracy Against Low-Tier Law Schools

Regular readers of this blog - all fourteen of you - will recall that South Texas College of Law has recently changed its name to Houston College of Law, which sparked consternation and a lawsuit from the University of Houston Law Center, a Brahman institution that claims some sort of monopoly on Houston-named law schools.

Now the US Patent and Trademark Office has joined the cockblocking party against a third-rate law school suddenly changing its long-held ame to confuse the marketplace in a desperate attempt to attract metaphorical maggots to a metaphorical lump of decaying severed leg:
While the newly named Houston College of Law awaits a judge's ruling in a federal lawsuit filed by crosstown rival the University of Houston Law School, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has officially suspended the application for a special logo featuring the scales of justice with the new name designed for the new school.
Pardon me for invoking traditional ideas that resonate in certain racist parts of the south, but what right does the federal government have to get in the way of lower-ranked law school shenanigans to lure in local applicants?  Go read Gibbons v. Ogden and tell me this is fair and Constitutional.

Besides, as Houston COL's lawyers recently argued, law applicants aren't stupid enough to fall for the confusion that Houston COL is trying to create:
Houston College of Law argued . . . that law school applicants were savvy enough to figure out which school was which, even if they were initially confused
Who cares if "savvy" means "it dawns on them the third week of classes?" As we know from the law school fraud lawsuits, it doesn't matter if law schools attempt chicanery upon their applicants, because in their applicants they have found a happy medium between being just dumb enough to fall for the sweepstakes but barely smart enough to figure it out.


Really, reformers want law school to be this bland thing where a rational number of applicants gains a cost-effective education and then most of them have respectable careers, but god damn, is it not way more fun this way?  Are you not entertained by the endless innovation?

Someone just needs to get the memo to the feds.  I juts hope when Arizona Summit changes its name to Lawyer College of the Sun Belt that they don't have to face this red tape.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Law Enrollees Chugging Along Despite Public Skepticism

A hypothetical:

Critics say the nation has too many antiquated transportation systems, and you build a $50M steam locomotive railroad system and start charging $500 a credit-hour mile anyway.  The same critics lambaste your service and suggest anyone paying your exorbitant prices is a moron, but the customers show up, and in droves.

I think it's pretty clear that you were right and the critics are a bunch of misguided, naysaying dunderheads.

So why doesn't this logic apply to law schools?

Look at the University of North Texas - Dallas College of Law.  A chorus of Negative Nancys.  Accreditation problems.  Yet...
Two weeks into its third year, the UNT-Dallas College of Law reports a total enrollment of 387 students. That includes 145 first-year students, a slight increase from last year.

"I feel good about the numbers," Royal Furgeson, the school's dean, said this week. "We got a little more than we expected."
Yes, even in 2016, an unaccredited start-up law school can reel in 145 new students.  America doesn't need to be made great again; it's already there.

Meanwhile, in Indiana...

Indiana Tech is gaining in popularity.
Hilgenbrink is one of 55 incoming first-year law students who bring the law school’s total enrollment to about 85, Dean Charles Cercone said during the school’s August registration. The school is entering its fourth academic year. Classes began Aug. 22.

The goal was to enroll 50 new students, Cercone said. Recruitment by email and social media played a big role, but gaining provisional accreditation in March was even bigger.

“It has enhanced our ability to attract students,” Cercone said. 
Pessimists, you can cause delays in the Law School Express.  You can create hazards and mechanical breakdowns, damaged track segments and adverse weather.  You can try to sabotage the fuel shipments so the boilers run temporarily dry.  You can torch the train stations and yards.

But you cannot stop the Law School Express.  The people demand the service and the service will come.

Now it's up to the regulators - the good ol', reliable ABA - to take the free muffins and stay the fuck out of the way.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Arizona Summit: America's Youngest Historically Black College

You may remember from the last post that Arizona Summit was looking for a dance partner (or partners, the tramp).  We should've known that she'd go black, and likely won't care if she comes back.

Arizona Summit, located in - yes - Arizona - is partnering with Bethune-Cookman.  In Florida.  Thank God lemmings often don't get geography, or else this might be a stupid idea.  It's a shame more schools don't take advantage of the absurd trans-continental pipeline arrangement that makes absolutely no sense outside of shamelessly well-crafted exploitation.
Arizona Summit Law School (Summit) and Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) will work together to address the lack of diversity in the legal profession.  The partnership will focus initially on increasing the number of HBCU graduates who attend and successfully complete the law school process and are prepared for admission to the practice of law.  To launch the partnership, Summit and B-CU will invest an unprecedented $12.5M in full scholarships and provide living assistance for qualified students from B-CU and other HBCUs.  Summit will accept its first class of students this fall from B-CU.
"Accept"?  More like roll out a red carpet and put a mint on the pillow.

If there's one institution that can understand the lack of diversity in the legal profession, it's Arizona Summit.  Just a few short years ago, Summit's founders looked the state of Arizona and saw only two reasonably priced, well-respected public law schools affiliated with major universities that were completely adequate for filling the state's need for attorneys.

Summit was having none of that rationally based, white privilege shit.  It understood that Arizona needed a standalone private school at toilet level to ensure there was an excess of lawyers.  Everyone who wants to plunk six figures on a law degree should get one with a bagel and a can of coke at some luncheon.  It's exactly like how HBCUs established themselves to serve an excluded minority population years ago, by which I mean it totally is not.

Now, Summit wants to make the southwestern legal landscape a little bit darker - bring da ruckus just like Summit did, if you will.  And who could blame them?  Mexican-American assimilation is working wonders with the good folk of Arizona.  It's a multicultural wundergarten, and no doubt ready to lead the revolution of diversifying the legal profession.

Lord knows there aren't any HBCU-friendly law schools back east.  It's not like there's already six HBCUs with law schools or anything like that; I don't see one named after Thurgood Marshall yet, do you?

Sure, people may scoff and wonder how a for-profit scam factory in Phoenix can credibly claim any sort of mission in line with HCBUs in a time when qualified minority applicants can get into a decent law school five seconds before classes start, instead thinking it's some sort of cheap ploy to get applicants impervious to criticism because of their diversity.  Such people are cynically racist assholes.

Once, Martin Luther King, Jr., famously observed that he, like Moses, had been to the mountaintop and seen the Promised Land.  In these times, it's hard not to read "mountaintop" as "Summit," and foresee a bountiful land of multicultural justice while the heartless law school critics perish under their faulty ideology the way the persecutors of Egypt and Dixie fell.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Personals Ad: Getting Arizona Summit Laid

Source.

Doesn't Arizona sound like a good name for a quirky, slightly unhinged pixie chick, the type who bangs you and makes lemonade afterwards while whistling the theme from Star Trek, but then suddenly redacts all the female names from your book collection to dissuade you from getting any forbidden ideas?  By extension, does Arizona Summit not sound like yet another could-be sex worker name gracing box covers or introducing herself in a seedy bar?

Now that Arizona Summit is seeking a university life partner, she might need a little assistance.  We here at the LSTC have put together the following personal ad:
Feisty HPV-ridden 11-year-old legally-aged institution of scam higher learning seeks attractive accredited, older university system for LT sugar daddy companionship. Must be unaffiliated and love children as I have hundreds who are un- and underemployed making the world better. Love diversity, but must have cash cash cash. Work as overpriced prostitute prestigious arm of national financial company. Hobbies include pegging clients with a baseball bat education and social justice.
...or something along those lines.

Oh, and also Summit is going to suddenly require all of its students to pass a mock bar exam to even graduate from law school, which is just the sort of innovation that legal education critics have been asking for.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Totally Unfair Domino-Style Backlash Against North Texas Dallas College of Law

The ABA has come under unfair scrutiny recently.  For example, last month Barry Currier and his friends were subject to the ignominy of a[n indirectly elected!] government bureaucratic regulatory team asking them non-softball questions.  Da fuq?  I thought this was America.

Unfortunately, the ABA does not exist in a vacuum.  While these allegations are baseless, the ABA has a need to appease the simple-minded peons out there who might stupidly expect a six-figure investment in legal education to actually break even (or better, as the data clearly show!).

Thus, in an obvious domino reaction to these infantile wankers, the ABA committee on accreditation has recommended rejecting accreditation for the North Texas Dallas College of Law:
 According to the Dallas Morning News, the ABA committee cited a large number of students with low LSAT scores at the school, and was concerned that students were being admitted who would be unable to pass the bar exam. The article also notes that last fall, one-fifth of the school’s first-year class was placed on academic probation. Additionally, the school admitted 17 students who were dismissed from other law schools, mostly for bad grades.

But it is just this type of student that led Furgeson to become the founding dean of UNT Dallas Law. A 2014 Huffington Post article said, “Furgeson and his admissions staff are relying less on GPA and LSAT scores … in favor of recommendations and life experience.”
As someone who wholly believes in the school of hard knocks over what some "exam" or "first year grades" or "lack of malpractice claims" shows, I stand firmly behind Furgeson.

So what if the school picks up rejects and kids who may not traditionally be able to practice law in any conventional sense?  If the kids want to go there, and the government - an elected government - makes an informed choice to pump $56 million into the school to meet the demand for JDs, no trade organization subcommittee should throw a spanner in the churn 'n' burn because some effete turds want to enforce some "rational regulations."

$56 million.  I think I trust the wise State of Texas, thanks.  It's time for the ABA to [again] do the same and reverse this stupid "recommendation" that disadvantages those in the Dallas area who are desperate to have a low-cost, lifetime-altering law school that they attend instead of going out of state to meet the need for JDs in Texas.

UPDATE:  Despite print journalism's spot in the nursing home room closest to the morgue shuttle, the Dallas Morning News has taken up the flag of defending Texas' 10th ABA-accredited law school with two articles lashing back against elitist bureaucracy.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Shameful Bloomberg Publishes Scamblogger Message

Unquestionably, Bloomberg is a respected media organization. Thus, while I was disheartened to read the title of this piece, I was re-heartened by the symphonic content of the 3rd and 2nd to last paragraphs and figured the above was a misnomer:
Also, everyone who enrolls in law school is a consenting adult. Why should the ABA prevent people from taking a risk that they understand and accept? It’s true that the very same low-income and minority applicants who tend to score lower on the LSAT will also be most hurt if they are hit by high debt and poor job prospects.

There’s something uncomfortably paternalistic about saying that the elites of the ABA accreditation committee need to swoop in and save these applicants from themselves. 
Bingo, Ringo.  If there's one thing a butt-rapist likes to hear, it's the phrase "consenting adult." When law students get barebacked by a two-headed pine-cone, it's because they voluntarily chose such activities. What, you want a bunch of metaphorical anal gangbang virgins representing your real estate conglomerate?

Once full disclosure is made of the risks and rewards, which every law school in America does in a quaint theory completely unmoored from the gravity of Planet Realism, it's absolutely paternalistic to set LSAT cut-offs and bar passage rates. Heck, it's paternalistic to even have a bar exam. The free market is fully capable of determining good lawyer from bad.

But then we have the devastating conclusion.
As long as the bar exam remains a significant barrier to practicing law, one of the obligations for schools that admit students with low LSAT scores is to prepare a large majority of them to pass the exam. Any school that fails to do so is not serving these students, but preying upon them. The American Bar Association would be right to revoke its accreditation.
Far from the paternalism concerns of the previous paragraphs, the writer now is seeking to hold law schools (non-fiduciary, non-principal third parties) responsible for the individual failures of their customers. Essentially, people of this mindset would completely ignore the actual quality level of instruction in favor of evaluating a multi-million dollar institution based on how a few students do on an inherently biased test.

Could you imagine if hotels were rated this way?  The actual quality of accommodations would become irrelevant and hotel chains would gain or lose their licenses based solely on how well-rested the guests were on some third-party test conducted right after check-out.  Some two-star shithole in Ohio could outsource handjobs and score higher than Hilton.

It would be bedlam, and it's bedlam in the law school world as well. If a consumer wants to purchase five-star law school services from a prestigious long-standing institution like Mitchell-Hamline or the Houston College of Law with well-earned government funding, said consumer should be allowed to do so. The government has no business interposing itself and proclaiming that the consumer wouldn't benefit enough from the five-star services to do some unrelated career that the student may not even want.

A love of education should naturally mean a love of the crony free market in education.  For Bloomberg of all companies to even publish tripe repudiating this ideal and obstructing the standard higher education model in America is shameful.

Note that at the end of the article, Bloomberg the organization disclaims that the article represents the views of the company. One should hope so!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Black Juris Doctors Matter

The Wall Street Journal has a piece about the inane "war" over "tougher" bar passage "standards" for law schools that will inevitably jeopardize the existence of certain minority-heavy schools which like to provide opportunity to minorities who score in the 140s of the LSAT and are only projected to pass the bar every now and then.

First of all, there has never been a better time to be an African-American carrying a 155 LSAT.  Never.  For all the criticisms law schools get, a black man with a 155 LSAT is a diamond compared to the ejaculate-encrusted quartz of a 155 LSAT white male.  Is that not racial progress?  Do we not deserve a trophy and a letter from Jesse Jackson?

Second, and more importantly, the entire civil rights era was about opportunity and equality.  For the state apparatus to come in and arbitrarily set a "standard" for bar passage that just happens to be above a level that makes exploiting a new lode of African-American applicants practicable, the state apparatus is denying those individuals the same opportunity and equality afforded to white students who score marginally better on the LSAT.

Of course, it's really the law schools that would be prejudicial in this scenario, basically concluding ex ante that a black student with a 145 LSAT would not pass the bar in three years' time based on prior data that evaluates students along racial lines. So, uh, WOW, LOOK AT THAT BUTTERFLY OVER THERE!

As should be obvious by now, setting a bar passage standard at any level is inherently racist.  You could set it at 170 and it would be racist.  You could set it at 120 and it would be racist.  You could require applicants to successfully color a turtle cartoon and it would be racist.  Why?  Because no matter where you set the applicant entry level, law schools have a social prerogative to subtract ten, grab as many minorities as possible, and claim they're doing society a great favor by making academically marginal candidates (in the relative sense) take on $150-200k in debt so they can get their trophies and letters from Jesse Jackson.

And why?  Because it's all about opportunity and equality, you see.  If white folk are allowed to in-debt themselves so hard they need a proctologist to extract the master promissory note, then black people should be free to do so in equal or greater numbers.

So what if the whole ordeal resembles shackling minorities with the manacles of unpayable debts and intangibly indentured servitude?  That just sounds to me like a poetic coming-full-circle, does it not?

Bottom line here is that if you are in favor of establishing bar passage minimums (or LSAT minimums, the de facto result), you are a racist and you are opposed to a fantasy of low-scoring minority prospects proving themselves and diversifying the lily-white profession.

Go burn a cross or something.  I'll scam on, and collect my trophy and letter from Jesse Jackson.