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: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.
Don't believe everything you hear.
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."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!"
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..."
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.