Saturday, January 2, 2016

Law Deans: They're Just Like You! Albany Edition

Let's ring in 2016 with a ball-drop of truth from Albany:
Alicia Ouellette has a message for would-be Albany Law School applicants afraid of graduating with crushing debt and no job in the legal profession:

Don't believe everything you hear.
Early in her deanship, Ouellette is doing an admirable job attempting to follow in the footsteps of such New York trailblazers as Richard Matasar and Nick Allard.

She already is showing a finely tuned appreciation for appealing to the social justice lawyer.  Note the sales pitch to future PSLF applicants slipped into her own background:
"I thought I would end up getting a master's in social work and would do that kind of work forever," Ouellette said. "I ended up deciding that there is only so much you can do from that end and I'd rather be a lawyer."

Ouellette said there is a link between social work and practicing law.

"The big difference, as I saw it, is if you're in a social work setting — like you're working in a homeless shelter — you're trying to save a few fish out of the water," she said. "The lawyer can save people from drowning..."
Rhetoric such as this can only be taught in the halls of justice.  In providing her thought process from 25+ years ago (an antiquated opinion), she is reinforcing beliefs actively held by prospective students.  I can hear the little lemmings thinking now:  "In a homeless shelter, I can only ladle one spoonful of charitable justice at a time; as a super-lawyer, I can take down Monsanto!"

Indeed, this is higher-order academic advertising and fear-assuaging.  Later, when discussing loans, she works in the same level of relatability:
"[Prior work in real estate] was just a job but it paid bills and it made it possible for me to do (law school), and I could do it with a baby in the backpack," she said. "We took a lot of loans. We're familiar with the story of our students." 
Emphasis added, as-if to metaphorically tell the reader to suck it.  The lesson here is simple:  She took out loans over 20 years ago, therefore she understands today's student.  She turned out okay, so today's student will as well.  Sure, kids, you hear losers talk all rational-like about increased tuition and decreased market opportunity, but this woman is just like you! 

Her expired anecdotes confirm your wishful thinking, so just shut up and enroll already; it's almost too late to buy-in to the best investment opportunity around....until seats for the 2017 class start filling.


  1. Cockroach Alicia Ouellette is correct in noting the connection between practicing law and social work. If you are not in Biglaw, but are in the field, get used to representing scum who cannot be called before 11 am. Also, don't be surprised when these losers "forget" to show up to court appearances, "fail" to mention current warrants or probation status, or the occasional threat of violence upon your head and body. Yes, what a glorious "profession," huh?!?!

    By the way, when you graduate with a TTT law degree from the Albany Law Sewer and owe $143,718.92 in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt, Alicia Ouelette will not give one damn about YOU or your situation. Nor will she care about your foolish desire to save the world. Most importantly, SHE will not be on the hook for one damn dime of your student debt!

    1. I have no problems with the mopes. They make the law interesting....I expect clients to wear their Budweiser frog shirts to their DUI hearings. They make me laugh. I bargained for that. What I didn't bargain for is the following:

      The problems with Dean Wormer here is that she graduated 20 years ago when the legal profession wasn't oversaturated with attorneys, jobs were available and a decent solo could hit 6 figures with a modest effort. She is a Dean, a highly insular, ivory tower position that is well compensated. She doesn't have to struggle and compete with thousands and thousands of desperate attorneys who all need to pay IBR and Obama Care.

  2. The great Albany Law School-the most recent ABA stats(inflated in favor of the school as they are) are stark: out of a class of 204, 34 are flat-out unemployed; almost 17%. And of the others, only 129 had jobs which required a JD. How does the good dean sleep at night, knowing she is enticing so many into financial ruin? Easy...she just doesn't care.

  3. It's not just the TTTs. I went to a T1 school and dropped out of practice after 4 years (about 3 years ago) because there wasn't enough work and what work was available was shit. If I didn't have a preexisting career to fall back on, I'd be screwed.

    Even with a whole bunch of first chair trial experience (preparing and winning non-trivial cases in front of juries), I practically had to suck dicks to get a job paying 50k a year which consisted of constant trial prep 60+ hours a week and horrible treatment by shitbird clients and backstabby coworkers. There's just so many desperate lawyers out there that employers can treat lawyers like toilet paper and most will lap it up out of sheer desperation.

    I borrowed 60k for my degree, 4 years of practice turned it into 85k. After returning to engineering, I'm finally back to making over 100k a year and I'm almost back to where I started in terms of loan balance. If I'm lucky, I should have it all paid off in another 2-3 years.

  4. I also decided to attend law school rather than obtain an MSW. I was correctly advised that as an attorney one can be a Worker. As a Worker, one can not practice law. I enjoy the Social Work aspects. The problem is appointed work, consumer and Guardianship matters no longer pays the bills. The paid work is too thinly spread among legions of desperate elderly, middle aged and newbie attorneys. The work is there, but the volumes per capita is down. Public Defender offices are not robustly hiring if at all. In Illinois alone, there are 92,000 registered attorneys. In one CLE, the number was 95K. Hello, NY, how many of us do you have?

    1. That is nonsense. Anyone can go to law school and then become an attorney.

      But how many JDs get hired to become social workers? The JD is a disadvantage, a scarlet letter. It is extremely difficult to get hired for anything with those scarlet letters.

  5. she said. "The lawyer can save people from drowning..."

    It seems that she is specist. What about the dolphins? Don't they get to be saved from drowning too?

    1. Methinks, that might be the only time The lobby and will ever mention the reality. After all of this and she's referring to one of the alumni there who because of the wonderful skill was able to get a job as a lifeguard, a position they give to literally anyone and everyone who can do some basic tasks that any human being can be expected to perform which is a stunning achievement for an alumni of that school, since most of them don't problem the account as human beings at least according to their intelligence quotient.

  6. NY trailblazers? You forgot Joan Wexler and Joan "Network" King.

  7. Good Lord. Before Albany law graduates can start saving people from drowning, they have to pass the bar. Albany has had horrible bar passage rates which fall below the state average. The July 2015 bar results were even worse. From the November 9, 2015 New York Law Journal:

    "Three institutions—Touro Law School, New York Law School and Albany Law School—had a double-digit or near double-digit slide."


    "Alicia Ouellette, dean of Albany Law, said that this year's pass rate is "deeply disappointing."

    "We can and we will do better," Ouellette said. "We are analyzing exam results, meeting with our students, and developing a short-term response for the current 3Ls, and a long-term response for future graduates."

    If they continue to receive less than 1000 applications and extend offers of admission to approximately two-thirds of them, it's going to hard climb.

  8. I observed a law dean at a house party speak to a young lady who was husband hunting. I wasn't interested in her because I am married. Perhaps if she moved to Utah...Anyway, Dean Wormer told her that there are many eligible cute men who attend law school and that she would have a lucrative career once she passes the Bar if she attended. She then told Dean Wormer that she graduated from Lincoln College on the Lake or some other retard magazine insert school with a 2.5 in Beauty Physiology. He told her "not to worry" that he would "walk her application in the door."