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.


  1. “Nobody looks at what percentage of [grads of nonlaw programs]. . . achieve their goal." -- Dean Gilbert Holmes, Squiggy School of Law.

    I would ordinarily be loath to disagree with a law school dean who allows himself to be pictured on his school's website wearing a huge red, yellow, and blue striped and spotted bow tie, along with his suit. I feel that Holmes's decision to be pictured wearing a clown's garment next to the text of his "Dean's Message" to prospective students was a highly commendable act in that it subtly communicates that his law school is for clowns.

    And, yes, it does seem unfair that law schools, in contrast to other academic scams, can't take financial advantage of the unrealistic or outright delusional aspirations of impressionable sub-qualified young people without being held to outcome-based account. It violates the sacred principle of Equal Protection of the Scam.

    However, contra Holmes, it is possible that a few nonlaw programs have elicited a skeptical glance at outcomes.

    From Forbes:

    "In July 2013 Chester Career College, formerly known as Richmond School of Health and Technology, in Richmond, Va., agreed to pay $5 million in a class-action suit filed by eight former students who claimed that the school targeted minorities for enrollment and did not provide them an adequate education."

  2. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight
    shlemiel, schlemazel, hasenpfeffer incorporated
    We're gonna do it

    Give us any chance, we'll take it
    Read us any rule, we'll break it
    We're gonna make our TTTT dreams come true
    Doin' it our way