Sunday, November 19, 2017

Alabama Pride

The football teams are good, but the lawyers?  They're even better, thanks to some excellent law schools in Alabama.

Roy Moore has been in the national news lately for trying to court women because, you know, 2017 is such a whack, perverse, ahistorical year we've now entirely repudiated the time-honored dating technique of harassing teen girls at 2nd rate malls

Moore himself went to the state's flagship law school, the U. of Alabama.  Despite being an apparently mediocre student, losing multiple elections, having multiple bar complaints against him, and switching party affiliations in 1992, Moore was appointed a circuit court judge in 1992.  Eight years later, despite the ACLU trying to stop him, he won election to the Alabama Supreme Court.  Cruel happenstance removed him from the high court, but in 2012, he did the unthinkable and won a second election to the court.  Now, he is poised to do what many lawyers seek by using his legal knowledge to help transition to the non-legal sector.

Imagine the swelling pride at the University of Alabama, having, 40-some years ago, put this young pioneer on the path to success!  It stirs the mind to glorious wonder:  what new arrivals to today's law schools will be tomorrow's Roy Moores, navigating the perilous rapids and thick forests of oppression to national prominence?  Those of you wanting to snuff out sub-150 LSATs or placing other undue restrictions on today's enrollees...what if you are barring the next Roy Moore from being barred?

Imagine the glorious power of rubber-stamping "YES" on applications!  Of knowing that you're securing a bright future, not only for America, but for teen girls looking for lawyer husbands!

And whom did this SuperLawyer hire when HE himself needed a lawyer?  Trenton Garmon, that's whom.  A graduate of the proud Birmingham School of Law.

Garmon likewise is doing Birmingham proud.
Thus, do you know this clearly, yet significant difference which your client’s publication(s) have failed to distinguish. And the legal requirement that your client retract the stories, to include the details which clearly are false.
Birmingham is state-accredited.  Often, these fine institutions exist because the ABA standards are too unnecessarily stringent in multiple respects and may inhibit innovative processes.  Here, we see elegantly transgressive prose, a composition so mind-blowing its merits are being lauded across the snippy internet despite its disregard of "traditional" style and grammar rules.

Garmon has also made noteworthy television appearances and was apparently disciplined one for over-zealous advocacy, as if we do not want that from our lawyers.

All from a "lower-tier" school not even accredited by the American Bar Association.  That's the power of law school, and thank God Alabama understands it enough to have state-accredited lawsuits to supplement its ABA-accredited output.

In a state-by-state review, Alabama gets an A.

Monday, November 13, 2017

How Texas A&M Rose in the Rankings

Giddy-up Aggies; Texas A&M has been rising in the coveted and self-worth-establishing law school rankings.

Why?  Is it a shallow and transparent admission that law school rankings are ultimately little more than superficial national name recognition and the people sorting these things are the type of clueless sinecures who wind up on blue ribbon task forces? 

Not entirely!  The Star-Telegram has the propaganda hard-hitting reporting:
[I]nside, the school — acquired by A&M from Texas Wesleyan in 2013 — has gone from unranked to one of the top 100 in the country, hiring more than 25 new professors in the last two years, improving job placement numbers and putting itself on a competitive playing field with well-established law schools in the state, such as SMU, the University of Houston and Baylor.
...
“While the reputation score went up simply because of the name, I think [Dean] Morriss did actually improve the academic caliber of the school,” [Demigod Distinguished Prof. Brian] Leiter said. “Lateral hires are certainly the right investment to make over the long haul. They’re already known quantities. People take notice if they see those people going to Texas A&M. They go, ‘Oh, things must be happening there.’ 

The way Leiter sees it, A&M is already in a position to at least be competitive with SMU in attracting prospective law students to North Texas.
Surely, the Dallas legal community has already adjusted its hiring networks accordingly.

Perhaps best of all is the school's charity. They magnanimously let a third of the would-be class pursue the million-dollar dream elsewhere:
A&M’s enrollment has decreased from 774 in 2013, when it acquired the school, to 484 last year, according data from the American Bar Association.
Watch out, Texas...

As an unrelated aside, are YOU still running a no-name law school?  Drop that zero and get yourself a BRAND!  All sorts of good affiliations still available.  Princeton, Dartmouth, Brown, MIT, CIT, Central Florida, Clemson, Colorado State, San Marcos, Middle Tennessee St., Cal State Whatever, Mississippi St, Providence, Grand Canyon, Utah State, Butler, Delaware, Nevada-Reno, Boise State, Army, Navy, Air Force, Wossamatta, PCU, you name it!  Why is your school still named after John Marshall like a loser?

Friday, November 3, 2017

Dance the Charleston and Don't Let Bar Failure Stop Your Sunshine and Rainbows

Eventually.

Eventually we all die.  Eventually the sunshine will end and the Earth will be a cold rock drifting in nothing.  Eventually a half-eaten carrot will pass the bar examination and the next day triumph over RoboDarrow 8500 in a motion hearing where a computer program sued itself.

Charleston School of Law only had 44% of its graduates pass the July bar examination compared to 76% from the University of South Carolina.

Don't worry, though.  Dean Andy Abrams has the magic bag o' excuses very sound rational reasons ready to list:
This is the first year South Carolina has administered the Uniform Bar Examination,
...
"It's not a bad skill set to test; it's just very different from the way bar exams have been in the past," Abrams said.
...
Abrams said the Charleston School of Law might be seeing the long-term effects of some high-performing students who transferred out after school leaders entered negotiations with the for-profit management group InfiLaw System in 2013.
...
Abrams also pointed out that while this year's bar results look bleak, Charleston School of Law students tend to perform well in the long run. Law school grads may re-take the bar multiple times, and, according to Abrams, 90 percent of the school's graduates eventually have passed a state bar exam, either in South Carolina or another state.
First:  Bar examiner rug-pulling perfidy.

Second:  Evil capitalist sabotage.

Third:   Eventually the school's grads at an acceptable rate.

We saw this recently with Florida Coastal, now with Charleston, and probably other schools, the defense that the school's graduates eventually pass the bar even if they fall like advancing troops at Verdun the first time around.  Soon, no doubt, we'll see even more law schools adopting the talking point, as s tradition.

And why not?  For years - imprisoned, despondent years - "transparency" enthusiasts have encouraged everyone to look at long-term results, i.e., how much wealth these young strokes are going to accrue before retiring at 52 to sail and drink wine from around the world.

Why not apply that long term focus to bar exams?  Instead of "first time pass results," ask who passes it eventually.

Who does anything right the first time anyway?  You hit a home run your first time at the plate, slugger?  Paint like Rembrandt?  Lay tracks like 2 Chainz?  Cook a perfect omelet?  Make her wake the neighbors?

Of course, if we really look at the eventually side of things, 100% of law school graduates win, every time.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Jacksonville Horror Story, Part II

We've had some fun on Halloween here at the LSTC.  Three years ago, we introduced Dean Satan with a spooky tale of law school remorse.  Last year, we shared the spine-tingling, chilling story of Indiana Tech.

But perhaps our greatest Halloween horror story came in 2015, when Florida Coastal dean Scott DeVito went like Jason Voorhees with the chainsaw of Truth on the school's critics.
Our alumni repay their loans at a higher rate than the “elite” schools.
...
Sometimes it takes a for-profit entity to right a wrong—in this case the lack of diversity in law schools.
...
...taxpayers are not paying for our students’ education.
...
If the board comes I think they will be delighted with what they see: a law school that is educating and preparing a diverse group of students for success in a way that is better than traditional not-for-profit law schools.
Ghoulish carnage.  And like Freddy Kruger, there ain't no keeping a diabolical antihero away...

He's baccccckkkkk...

As first act backstory in this sequel, the stodgy, outworn ABA is questioning Florida Coastal's compliance with ABA standards, presumably in response to grossly misleading first time bar exam pass rates of 25% (Feb. 2017) and 47.7% (July 2017).
Barry Currier, ABA managing director of accreditation and legal education, wrote in a letter to the school Oct. 12 that the Accreditation Committee concluded Florida Coastal is not in compliance with regard to maintaining a rigorous program of education that prepares its graduates for admission to the Bar.
The boiling of the administration's blood - that stirring that will eventually lead to scalding vengeance against the naive population - is palpable even as one reads this ridiculous introductory paragraph.

And sure enough, in the second act, here comes our hero like Pennywise the Dancin' Fuckin' Clown:
DeVito said the “ultimate pass rate” for Florida Coastal graduates is in the high 90s.
...
When the ultimate pass rate is considered, “we are fully compliant,” DeVito said, “and our projections are we will remain in compliance.”
So much blood... so much blood...  so much blood...

You know what's morbidly scary?  The thought of Jacksonville, Florida - a metropolitan area of 1.6M - having to ship bright young 0Ls to Gainesville, Orlando, or Tallahassee for cost-inefficient legal education.  That's fucking scary.

I'm back to the Trick or Treat door with my A-game brogues, snifter of brandy, and model girlfriend dressed like a horny cheerleader.  Everyone gets a Snickers and a law school application.  Helen next door may be handing out scrumptious cookies, but I'm doling out tickets to these little rat bastards' futures.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Grisham Endorsement

In The Rooster Bar, John Grisham, a proud but typical third-tier graduate now worth well over $100 million, features for-profit law school graduates who, with bootstrap-pulling moxie and legal knowledge, win big and drink from the golden tits at the milk bar.

The media is trying to spin it as "Grish" putting such institutions in his cross-hairs, but he's actually quite complimentary of legal education if you think about it.

For one thing, he rightly chose to focus on a for profit institution, preserving the sacrosanct truth that non-profit schools serve the public good and don't lead to the sort of spooky Halloween-level fictions of joblessness, debt, and skill mismatch.

For another thing, he doesn't even excoriate all for-profit schools.
According to the American Bar Association, there are currently six for-profit law schools in America that are accredited. One of them, the Charlotte School of Law, was recently closed.

"Not all the schools are shady....." 
See?  Using super-lawyer logical reasoning, that means no more than five (5) of the ABA's 205 accredited schools are "shady," which is less than 2.5%.

"Grish" may not write sex scenes well, and he may not have known about the student debt crisis until 2014, and his books may be highly enjoyable formula pieces about superficial injustices, but god damn it, the man understands law.

Not having read or even been sent a courtesy copy of The Rooster Bar, I have no idea if there's a dedication.  But let's give "Grish" a proposed epigraph for his next book, which I can only hope will be about an enterprising law dean who fights defamatory and unscrupulous journalists in the trenches of a courtroom and torches their asses with the hellfire of precise rhetoric and glimmering cuff-links:

97.5% of law schools are not shady. 
- John Grisham

Saturday, October 21, 2017

California Bar Exam Held Hostage

As you will recall, a common thread lately is bar examiners unreasonably rejecting qualified lawyers, much as armies everywhere reject 6'1"/180 workout freaks because they had a pulled muscle or a sinus infection that cost them 300 points on an entrance exam.

It's baffling.  We have a known justice gap.  People are going unrepresented.  Doesn't repeating this resonate?  Default judgments are a norm and government offices are burdened with lots of paper that extra lawyers should shuffle with aplomb.  It's beyond debate that the solution to our national crisis is turning as many 22-year-old waifs into 25-year-old card-carrying bar journal cover photos.

I've been on a multi-year crusade to get my readers to understand the importance of letting any shit with a briecase defend a murderer.  You'd think our cloistered elites would at least grasp the concept before the proletariat.  You really would.

And yet even the California Supreme Court doesn't even get it.
In view of the rising costs of legal education and the financial hardship potentially resulting from non-admission to the California bar, the court determined last February to assess whether the current pass score (cut score) of 1440 for the California bar exam is appropriate for evaluating the minimum competence necessary for entering attorneys to practice law in this state.
...
On September 13, the court received the State Bar’s “Final Report on the 2017 California Bar Exam Standard Setting Study.” ...  Opinions of the study were mixed:  two independent psychometricians identified flaws in the study but ultimately found its process and conclusions sound, while a number of legal educators and others concluded the flaws of the study were so significant as to render it unreliable.
...
[T]he court is not persuaded that the relevant information and data developed at this time weigh in favor of departing from the longstanding pass score of 1440.
If you are not going to listen to your amici curae law professors, the very people whose views have assisted in writing voluminous, perfectly cited briefs skimmed thoughtlessly by your clerks for decades, who are you going to listen to?

Plainly, the California Bar Examination is being held hostage by a body that doesn't understand the nuances of disregarding scientific methods and turning the regulatory state over to limousine capitalists.  Someone should commission another study.

Shit, I'll give you your conclusion right here:  free the bar examination.  Let the people who know the industry best administer the examination and determine where an appropriate cut-off for passing scores is.  Legal educators have their manicured hands on the pulse of the legal community.  While the Supreme Court is listening to oral arguments on high, most law professors are working 25 hour weeks delivering oral arguments to students in lecture halls and receiving them during office hours.

Law professors, deans, and other concerned parties should be "setting the bar."  It's the passion that they devoted their lives to the day they realized the BigLaw partnership wasn't happening.  They shouldn't have their life's work ruined because some political homeboys want to rubber-stamp a number pulled out of someone's ass when Ronald Reagan was President.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Assault on Arizona Summit Continues; Have Bar Examiners No Shame?

Predictable and sad.
Pass rates for first-time test takers from Arizona Summit Law School dipped to 26 percent in July after having improved to nearly 30 percent in February. Results hit a low of 25 percent in July 2016, according to results released Monday by the Arizona Supreme Court.
...
Arizona Summit once boasted State Bar exam passage rates as high as 97 percent.
I'm sure the self-appointed critics will see this as validation of what they've been saying about Arizona Summit.  They're such mental midgets they would use a term like "mental midget."  Lord knows I wouldn't.  I'm sophisticated and well-endowed. 

The only variable that matters with bar passage rates is whiners bitching about the law school scam and thereby driving bar examiners to make the test more ludicrously difficult for would-be lawyers.  When Phoenix has a shortage of qualified attorneys in a few short years, there's going to be plenty of blame to go around, but squarely, indisputably, it can be directed at the legal media who have driven intelligent, hard-working students towards less-"scammy" professions premised on a presentation of evidence that is unnecessarily and absurdly objective and even-handed.

But-for you assholes, Summit would still be scoring 97 percent on the bar exam.  No doubt in my mind, as the test-makers would have no incentive to make the test more difficult.

I heard there's now a math section on the bar examination.  That's how bad it's gotten.  Did you know that?  Like why are they making future criminal law defense attorneys do integral calculus?

Oh well...

What you all don't realize is that the survivors of this ludicrous system are going to the baddest millennial badass attorneys to ever badass.  It's called evolution.  More resistance makes the trainees who escape the cruel system even stronger.  The fascist cretins at the bar association may be unjustifiably shredding tickets to the Express but the ones who can board are going for a long, multi-million dollar ride.  Most of us would prefer a more egalitarian approach, but to each his own.

Scam on.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Blunt Beauty of Dean Chemerinsky

Four years ago, Richard Susskind published a book about the future of lawyering.  Befitting the role of academics to always be publishing, Susskind has published a second edition.  Here is an excerpt from it that will restore your cynic-shot faith in academic writing.

In this section, Susskind addresses what law students should be teaching their students, i.e., how to train them for the post-Terminator reality of a legal profession that has no practical jobs for lawyers (spoiler alert: in the year 2000, the Million Dollar Express will run on solar power fuel cells and the money we swim in will be digital!).

As some of Susskind's more agressive conclusions could be perceived as potentially contradictory to the pump 'n' dump strategy of America's fine institutions of legal education, AMR appropriately asked for comments for the salted cashew gallery of American legal academia. 

As might be expected, Dean Chemerinsky cuts to the heart of the matter:
Legal education is better than Richard Susskind realizes.
Chemerinsky, the Graham Greene thoracic surgeon of legal academia. If he didn't believe in the long-term prosperity of legal education, he wouldn't have built a brand new vanity project law school in a congested metro area and bail to Berkeley.

Go to law school, kids.  It's better than Richard Susskind realizes.  If that doesn't convince you, you may not be law school material, but it's okay - someone's going to have to program our robots and clean the digital money pool.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Megyn Kelly Plan

Today, former Fox News all-star and Donald Trump advisor Megyn Kelly debuted her morning show/segment/whever on NBC, ready to complete her makeover from bitter MILFish icon of conservative propaganda to a mid-morning MILFish matron for middle America.

As many of you know, Kelly is a proud graduate of Albany Law School (the number one law school between NYC and the border!).  Like many Albany graduates, she's making millions each year, albeit in a slightly different field than most lawyers.

That isn't to say she doesn't have advice for would-be attorneys.  Just check out this sage career wisdom that - apparently - many of you are missing.
In her memoir released last year, "Settle for More," Kelly described how she landed her first job as a lawyer fresh out of law school in 1995, and she offered advice for anyone applying for a new job in any field.

"I did something all job applicants should do — I asked for the job," she wrote. "I told them that if they extended an offer, I would accept it on the spot, that I had done the research and investigation, and this was where I wanted to be."
...
"Don't underestimate the power this message can have on a potential employer," Kelly wrote. "Everyone likes to be flattered. Of course it works better if it's true."
She, a simple third-tier K-JDer, parlayed that job into a nine-year run at Jones Day followed by landing a gig at Fox News.

So, kids, what's your problem?  Why are you bitching about $40k jobs in Boston with many applicants?

Maybe you could start with something as simple as your cover letter.  Are YOU telling prospective employers you're desperate enough to accept on the spot?  If not, what are you waiting for? 

Your spot at Fox News may be waiting.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Dean Satan Q&A: Lawyers... In "Love"

Q.  Howdy, Deano!  Love the new feature and thanks for taking my question.  I've been a lawyer a few years now, and while I absolutely love being in the front ranks slicing the Slimy Orcs of Injustice with my handy TruthSaber - motion for judgment on the pleadings POW - I notice my marriage is sort-of...sad.  Like two ships passing in the night, although we're both taking on excess cargo and I think the other ship may be mingling around the harbor.  What can we do to keep the romance smooth smiling while steering this million dollar cruise ship?

-Drydocked in Des Moines

A:  Ambiguously gendered writer, I'm something of an expert on this topic, as I have been married five times.  You might ask yourself why a philanderer diametrically opposed to Juedo-Christian norms would indulge the institution of marriage and the answer is:  networking.

Once you hit a certain age, professionalism requires that you take a spouse or else everyone will think you're a [weirdo/closet queer/nympho/commitmentphobic/incel/predator/super-feminist/etc.].  Don't believe me?  Show up to a lawyer networking event as a 40-year-old, wait the obligatory hour for the alcohol to set in, and start telling people that you're "single."  Not divorced.  Not separated.  Not "we've been together for a few years now."  Single.

Drydocked, you may as well unbutton your shirt and show everyone oozing, festering boils.

The point is that - much like your decision to go to law school - you have already made an excellent professional life decision.  Congratulations!  Breed a future lawyer or two - they're like sprinkles on your networking sundae, or, to use your boating metaphor, a gilded anchor.

Unfortunately, almost all marriages are superficial scams.  Just as the depression and substance abuse reported in the legal industry are common across all professions and therefore not of concern, please know that no one really has a blissful, fully satisfied domestic life, lawyer or no.

Major unhappiness in relationships, I have found, is the result of unrealistic expectations.  Once you accept the fact that romance is a delusion propagated by other industries' scam operators, you'll find a certain peace with that awkward co-existence with another person from your class in a dull, emotionally vacant, and relatively sexless suburb.  Again, pop a litter out if you really need to add some gravy to that IV of sad mashed potatoes running into your ass.

Sadly, Drydocked, sometimes the significant others of lawyers don't appreciate these truths that you and I, as superior intellects, can grasp.  They still believe in "communication," "emotional support," "work-life balance," "intimacy," and "not stress drinking until you scream-cry pass out," that Disney-fantasy existence of cartoon characters and pop psychology textbooks.

The silver lining - on top of the literal silver lining you can now afford in your bathtub - is that if you find yourself in one of these totally toxic, ahistorical, and unrealistic partnerships, law school gives you the legal resources to fight tooth and nail for what is yours when she sees the "other" credit card statement, at least in theory - you'll still want to hire a peer lest you represent a fool.  My legal acumen has saved me one of my three houses and at least 40% of my earned income over the years.

Many things in law and life are an issue of perspective.  Once you accept that long-term monogamy is a multinational scam and that you should simply approach it as a Machiavellian means to an end, your life is going to get a whole lot better.  When your partner bitches about not doing housework, smile and think "All for the networking."

Your one true love is yourself.  Second-place?  The Law.

My approach to marriage - which is now 5 for 5 - is heads I win, tails she loses.  Non-lawyers won't crack that code until after they've called one of our esteemed peers, which means - yet again - law school put you in a winning position.  Works every fucking time, and you know what?  The network loves crazy ex- stories, too! 

Smooth sailing!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Dean Satan Q&A: Akron-y Capitalism

Q:  Yo, Supreme Law Prof of Darkness, love the new feature.  What do you think of the University of Akron dumping $21 Mil into remodeling its law school?  The school stockpiled $9M from tuition hikes over the last decade and bilked another $5M from the state of Ohio.  Enrollment is up 49 students from last year to a meaty 473.  I think it's great, but some other lawyer - probably one of the very few alcoholic narcissistic shitbirds that sneaks into the profession given our generous entry requirements and the promise of fortune and fame - told me the school only had a 44% employment score (da fuq?) and that Akron is a rust belt dumpster fire with no need for its own law school.  What's wrong with these dust-licking dorks? 

- Can't-Lose in Canton

A:  The greatest basketball player in the world, Lebron James, is from Akron, Ohio.  I'm now going to cut and paste his stats as a way to fill space:

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2003–04 Cleveland 79 79 39.5 .417 .290 .754 5.5 5.9 1.6 .7 20.9
2004–05 Cleveland 80 80 42.4* .472 .351 .750 7.4 7.2 2.2 .7 27.2
2005–06 Cleveland 79 79 42.5 .480 .335 .738 7.0 6.6 1.6 .8 31.4
2006–07 Cleveland 78 78 40.9 .476 .319 .698 6.7 6.0 1.6 .7 27.3
2007–08 Cleveland 75 74 40.4 .484 .315 .712 7.9 7.2 1.8 1.1 30.0*
2008–09 Cleveland 81 81 37.7 .489 .344 .780 7.6 7.2 1.7 1.1 28.4
2009–10 Cleveland 76 76 39.0 .503 .333 .767 7.3 8.6 1.6 1.0 29.7
2010–11 Miami 79 79 38.8 .510 .330 .759 7.5 7.0 1.6 .6 26.7
2011–12 Miami 62 62 37.5 .531 .362 .771 7.9 6.2 1.9 .8 27.1
2012–13 Miami 76 76 37.9 .565 .406 .753 8.0 7.3 1.7 .9 26.8
2013–14 Miami 77 77 37.7 .567 .379 .750 6.9 6.4 1.6 .3 27.1
2014–15 Cleveland 69 69 36.1 .488 .354 .710 6.0 7.4 1.6 .7 25.3
2015–16 Cleveland 76 76 35.6 .520 .309 .731 7.4 6.8 1.4 .6 25.3
2016–17 Cleveland 74 74 37.8* .548 .363 .674 8.6 8.7 1.2 .6 26.4
Career 1,061 1,060 38.9 .501 .342 .740 7.3 7.0 1.6 .8 27.1

That, my dear readers, is some kick-ass dominance, and that's only the regular season.  His playoff numbers are even better:

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2006 Cleveland 13 13 46.5 .476 .333 .737 8.1 5.8 1.4 .7 30.8
2007 Cleveland 20 20 44.7 .416 .280 .755 8.1 8.0 1.7 .5 25.1
2008 Cleveland 13 13 42.5 .411 .257 .731 7.8 7.6 1.8 1.3 28.2
2009 Cleveland 14 14 41.4 .510 .333 .749 9.1 7.3 1.6 .9 35.3
2010 Cleveland 11 11 41.8 .502 .400 .733 9.3 7.6 1.7 1.8 29.1
2011 Miami 21 21 43.9 .466 .353 .763 8.4 5.9 1.7 1.2 23.7
2012 Miami 23 23 42.7 .500 .259 .739 9.7 5.6 1.9 .7 30.3
2013 Miami 23 23 41.7 .491 .375 .777 8.4 6.6 1.8 .8 25.9
2014 Miami 20 20 38.2 .565 .407 .806 7.1 4.8 1.9 .6 27.4
2015 Cleveland 20 20 42.2 .417 .227 .731 11.3 8.5 1.7 1.1 30.1
2016 Cleveland 21 21 39.1 .525 .340 .661 9.5 7.6 2.3 1.3 26.3
2017 Cleveland 18 18 41.3 .565 .411 .698 9.1 7.8 1.9 1.3 32.8
Career 217 217 42.1 .485 .330 .742 8.9 6.9 1.8 1.0 28.4

How can you deny this man's awesome power?

Yet some people claim the University of Akron shouldn't spend hard-earned cash to improve itself?  What if Akron produces a Lebron James of the law?  Paul Clement was born in a town of 6,000.  Clarence Darrow is from a super-small Ohio town not terribly far from Akron.

You want to deny them a local place to go to law school?  You don't think it's worth a measly $21M to ensure their teachers have a decent lounge and there's a mock courtroom worthy of the term?

At 150 graduates a year, the anticipated lifetime premium for the class is $150M.  Ten years' worth of graduates is a $1.5B.  If just 1% of those earnings are donated back to the school, it's $15M.  Tax revenue to the state will pay back that $5M with ludicrous, mouth-watering interest.

Can't Lose - and you can't - I'm frankly growing quite tired of our nation's petulant attitude towards public education.  Men like me gave up lucrative salaries to make slightly less lucrative salaries educating tomorrow's leaders.  Akron fills the Ohio Bar with top-shelf material.  We must support such ventures, and if that means dumping $21M for new windows and a coat of paint, we should dump $50M, or else we run the severe risk of seeing the would-be Lebrons of the world taking their talents to other fields.

Scam on, Ohio.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Dean Satan Q&A: A Holiday in the Life

Q:  Hi Dean Satan!  Mega-dittos and scam on!  Beautiful tan you have.  Did you enjoy the eclipse?  (That's not my question, just my go-to conversation starter until Halloween; "always be networking").

As I write this question, it is the morning of Labor Day, that annual sabbath for capitalism, ostensibly the one day where the overlords give non-essential worker bees a day of repose just because.  By all accounts a holiday.  One of a handful that close the courts, our sacred vanguards of  justice.

Yet, instead of feeling relaxed, I have a weighty sense of guilt about not billing anything yesterday and an anxiety about hitting n hours in a shorter month.  No pending trials or looming deadlines, just a feeling of worthlessness and dread because I should be working.  Most of November and December will be the same, only the rest of the rational world slows down even more, and the sense of missing out on a standardized cultural celebration is even higher.

Why does the legal profession inflect this mental strain on itself through a ludicrous business model?  And why do law schools not prepare students for this sort of thing?  Where's the thought leadership in addressing a common cause of burnout and ensuring that law firms are staffed with sane, healthy, well-adjusted people instead of narcissistic schmoozers and shell-shocked survivors?

-"Down in Denver"

A:  First of all, I'm going to rename you "Up."  Attitude is everything!

Up, yours...that's a great question!   And thanks for the kind words on the tan.  (I had a research project in Costa Rica, and the answer is yes, I can have sex with four lovely lapsed Catholics at the same time.  Thanks, science!)

Naturally, though, being out of the country means that I missed the eclipse, including my opportunity to post super-meta "normal idiot" pics of me with ABA-approved eclipse glasses over my cell phone. 

Eclipses are not really my thing anyway, as I prefer to smother the nation with a more intangible form of darkness. If I want literal darkness, I'll just close my damn eyes.  I'm a literal man; if I see a Corona, it means I'm at the wrong bar.  Know what I mean, Up?

But you're absolutely correct to always be networking and to value the contribution of our courts in ensuring civic order.  It sounds like you have the pitch-perfect idea of what makes a lawyer a lawyer.

Additionally, Up, as a law school dean, it's a gentle island breeze on my hellishly hot heart to see a lawyer thinking through client matters on a day the rest of the world believes is best left to barbecues, clearance sales, and Hurricane relief efforts.

After all, if you treat life like a holiday, you will never do anything amazing.  That anxiety is just the world's way of getting you prepared for greatness.  If you shoot for the moon, you may still land among the stars.  Etc.

Granted, I think it's a bit egotistical to seek validation through an advice column, but as a professional narcissist, I like the cut of your jib.  So here you go, bro:  Your clients chose wisely.  Your thinking of their interests, of how to protect them and what work needs to be done on a "day off" is proof positive that you have the Right Stuff(c).  

The fact that you're able to formulate such a question is an affirmation that the legal education industrial complex produced a properly calibrated weapon of justice.

Thanks for writing, Up. Looking ahead to November and December, remember that it's never too early to make an end-of-year tax-purposes donation!  Giddy-up and scam on!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Make the Right Choice, Ex-Charlotte Students

The options:
The department's guidance identifies April 12 as the earliest date students could have withdrawn from the program and still qualify for a closed-school discharge, which provides a path for students to receive full forgiveness of federal student loans if their institution closes while they are enrolled.
...
The department did not have an estimate of the number of students expected to qualify for closed school discharge, but 100 were still enrolled and about 70 were on leave when the school shut down. Stein's office estimated that more than 300 students would qualify if exceptional circumstances were declared by DeVos. A Charlotte Law degree cost upward of $100,000.

Students who withdrew before April 12 will have the option to pursue loan discharge through a borrower-defense claim, which requires borrowers to meet a higher standard than a closed-school discharge. Borrowers seeking loan forgiveness through that route must demonstrate their program violated state law through an act or omission related to their federal student loan. (Students can also seek to transfer their Chalotte credits to another program but would not be eligible for closed school discharge if they do.)
The evidence:
A federal criminal investigation involving Charlotte School of Law was opened more than a year ago, according to recently unsealed court documents in a qui tam lawsuit....

The lawsuit was filed by Barbara Bernier, a former Charlotte School of Law professor, the Charlotte Observer reports. Her complaint (PDF)—which also names InfiLaw as a defendant and was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, claims that Charlotte School of Law manipulated bar exam and employment statistics by offering students who seemed unlikely to pass a $5,000 stipend to not take the test.
Another article:
Bernier claims she has inside knowledge that hundreds of unqualified students were admitted to the school. She also alleges that student records were manipulated and that enrollment was inflated in an effort to increase profits through government-backed tuitions.

"Many candidates for admission (were) academically unqualified, and would be improbable candidates for admission in most other law schools," the lawsuit read.
The potential roadblock:
The U.S. Department of Education has not approved any borrower defense applications since the beginning of the Trump administration, a department official told Democratic senators this month. 
A solution.

Another solution.

Another good choice you can enter with street cred.

Stay local for this one.

A final option for the truly dedicated.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Classes Begin: A Letter to the Class of 2020

Dear Class of 2020:

You're likely back at law school now.  You've begun a three-year suborgasm and a forty year super-orgasm.  In three years' time, most of you will be starting jobs as BigLaw lawyers, federal prosecutors, or judicial clerks.

At the same time, you're already behind, if only by a hair.

Look at this SuperLawyer in the making!
Now [Aaron Parnas] is entering George Washington University Law School at age 18, with hopes of one day becoming president.

Parnas told Law.com that he has wanted to go into law school since he was about 10 or 11 years old, though he didn’t know what kind of law he wanted to practice. He volunteered in Donald Trump’s election campaign, and the election spurred his interest in a political career. “I felt like law school was the perfect stepping stone to that goal,” he said.
Yeah, remember when Donald Trump graduated from college at 18, snapped his fingers, and headed to law school inspired by the example of... JFK, I suppose?

It'll be just like that.

I don't bring up our li'l' Doogie Howser here to discourage you all, but you should probably get used to the fact that law school (and lawyering, and life) is a massive pyramid scheme competition and if you don't know where you're at on the pyramid, you're a bottom bitch slave.

The Good News is that even lawyer slaves make it rich and happy.  Law school, with its focus on appellate law and reading cases from the 1920s, doesn't really prepare you for the euphoria of satisfaction with leaving work at 7:30 on a Friday after billing 60 hours in a week.  But trust me, it's real, and way better than the stressful torpor these sadistic professors put you through.

Given how little law school matters in the grand scheme of things - we all buy our liquor from the same shelves, friends - you should really just enjoy yourselves.  Eurotravel, fine dining, Adderall, disgraceful self-pleasure - whatever your recreation of choice, just go nuts.  Borrow from Uncle Sam and pay it back it back later.

But remember a few ground rules:
Dean Nicholas Allard gave the final speech, confessing to the class that he might not understand their generation, but he urged them to take care of each other and “play well in the sandbox.”

Before concluding the ceremony, he offered them a piece of modern-day advice, to “stay woke.”
Have a good time, bros 'n' ironic hos.  When you're fully cooked and members of the bar barely standing, we'll see you in court...in a good way.

P.S. - ProTip:  When in the sandbox, remember that it often gets in places you may not want.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Goodbye, Charlotte, and Remember: Law School Lives Matter

Charlotte Law appears to have died with the silent nobility of an old, used-up lawyer, a gentle, unadorned suicide when ends can no longer meet, the supply of inner justice has been exhausted, and the Million Dollar Express has reached its terminus.  CLS made it a valiant eleven years, in the end losing a noble battle against the pernicious disease of educational pessimism.  It was a preventable death, a testament to how far society still must go in the unyielding march of justice.

Preceded in death by a cousin.  Survived by its loving parents, two siblings, and many many friends.  Hobbies included understanding the nuances of justice in a postmodern multicultural democracy and rigorous, safe butt play.

Donations can be made to the American Bar Association.  Or, you can find a lemming to help console the survivors with a fat tuition check.  Have you considered that with one less law school, the demand for lawyers in the future just went from outstanding to outstanding plus?  The forecast hasn't been this good in years.

As an aside, over the last week, the nation has become gripped by racial tension in the aftermath of events in Charlottesville because particularly inane white supremacists decided to support a cause that died one hundred and fifty two years ago.  As the President has indicated, there are some fine, upstanding citizens in that group taking such a position that, on the surface, appears far more reprehensible than anything any law school has ever done.  Indeed, you critics should consider yourselves lucky that law schools are bitterly fighting for the continuation of a status quo merely decades overdue for abandonment.

In any event, as the President noted, there's blame to go all around in Charlottesville, a position that could only be reached from the safe, philosophically nurturing environment of his gilded Manhattan tower upon appropriate reflection.  There's lots that can be learned and applied to the law school context. 

For one thing, consider the absurd chain of events that has led you to reading this particular blog with an intentionally tasteless invocation of a ridiculous national tragedy in an obituary for a shit-tacular law school.  Given this sheer senselessness of human life, why not blow three years and run up six figure debt for a pointless degree?

The most important lesson, however, it's that law school lives matter.  We forgot that lesson in letting Charlotte Law School die and leave our nation's 22nd largest metropolitan area without a functioning law school.  As the President indicated, there's lots of blame on all sides in these situations.  Fie on the students for refusing to pay tuition.  Fie on the oppressive governments.  Fie on the rival law schools for not taking a stand.  Fie on the ABA.  Fie on the fake new media.

In the wake of Charlotte's premature death, it's important that  we heal and learn this vital lesson.  Because God forbid we let it happen to any of the others.  Paraphrasing Stalin, a single law school death is a tragic; a whole wave of them is really really tragic.

RIP, Charlotte.  Here's to hoping your branch in the afterlife has a line of ghost marks out the door so you can, as we say, scam on.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

So Much Heartwarming My Blood's Gonna Boil and My Lungs Will Burst into Spontaneous Flame

We pause on the threshold of yet another throbbing erection of a law school year.  Like clockwork, the virgin crop of lemmings is thrust into the harvester, the alchemy-forged machinery of Socrates, Darrow, and Westlaw grinding and churning them into that sweet, low-calorie gel that lubricates the wheels of justice.

Another year. Another convicted felon suiting up for the legal education feelgood all-stars.
When UCF graduate Angel Sanchez starts law school in Miami this week, it will be a strange sort of homecoming. After all, the last time Sanchez lived there, he was a 16-year-old gang member being sentenced to 30 years for attempted murder.

...All-American bootstraps-pulling...

[W]hen he transferred to the University of Central Florida in 2014, he helped to collect more than 300 books for the Orange County Jail’s inmate library while becoming one of the top moot-court competitors in the nation and graduating with top honors this year.
Undergrad moot court?  Shit yeah.  So good Homeboy got the judge at his probation hearing to terminate his probation entirely instead of merely reducing it and she offered him a spot as a clerk.  Dude's paying his dues with interest.

God damn, every year these stories get better and better and better.  Next year's felon will be a blind single mother who escaped sex slavery and taught herself law by working as a courthouse janitor.  Year after, a stray dog who bit the head off a child will decide to be a human lawyer. 

These stories thrust more deeply at that innate sense of Dickensian justice buried in the beating hearts of every member of the character and fitness committees, even the most hardened and treacherous monopolists who want to keep these bad-ass upstart millennial social justice fighters from the hoary, conservative bar merely because of a few unfortunate felonies.

The problem for most of you is that you tried to stay on the straight and narrow path, forgetting that the first rule of getting anywhere in law, if not life, is to network.  And networking requires being memorable.  Who's more memorable to a state court judge, Mr. Kenneth Cole Suit and his K-JD 3.5 GPA or a reformed gunslinger who can sustain a grown-up conversation without saying "'n' shit" every now and then?  Who do you think His Honor is more likely to hire?

A resume is a nice sheet of paper.  A pricey JD, even better.  But a rap sheet?  Now you're sitting pretty to be the talk of the judicial hobnobbing.

Rob a bank.  Become a lawyer.  Dirty, wash, rinse, repeat.  The machinery can baptize you, grant you beautiful narrative redemption, if only you let it - and law schools will.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Lawyers Needed: South Dakota Edition

Since apparently no one has an appreciation for bastardized accreditation standards or bastardized Shakespeare, let's go to South Dakota.

Up in this super-exciting state where the four people most worth visiting are carved into rocks, a dispute has arisen over where the law school should be located.

Currently located in Vermillion (not a typo), South Dakota, along with the bulk of the state's flagship university, the USD School of Law is considering moving to Sioux Falls.  Vermillion, located in the far southeastern portion where people can easily escape to near Iowa and Nebraska, has about 11,000 people.  Sioux Falls has around 250,000 in its metro area an hour's drive to the north.

While the obvious LSTC solution is to keep the state flagship in Vermillion, build an independent law school in Sioux Falls, and slap a satellite campus in Rapid City, this sort of crucial decision as to which metropolitan area should most benefit from The Law is likely best left to the mechanics of local democracy.

For our purposes, one unearths the salient point near the end of the article, where it comes shooting forth like the glistening teeth of a sudden bear trap for the optimistic legal education entrepreneur.
South Dakota is in great need of attorneys, Collier-Wise said.

“The purpose of the law school and why it is supported by South Dakota taxpayers is to make sure that everyone in our state has access to vital legal services,” she said. “Sioux Falls and Rapid City are not experiencing a shortage of attorneys that we are seeing in the rest of the state … I can’t imagine a potential student who wouldn’t even spend three years in Vermillion, which is too urban to qualify for Project Rural Practice, would somehow end up in Lemmon or Bison or one of the other communities that really needs legal services.”
Lemmon, South Dakota, reported 1,227 people in the 2010 census.   Bison, South Dakota, had 333.  That may seem too low to justify dispatch of a fresh wave of law graduates to Perkins County, but Bison's the county seat with its own airport and post office!

Wherever South Dakotans decide to host one of America's fifty best state flagship law schools in the future, all should agree that addressing the lack of lawyers in small, isolated prairie counties should remain a top priority. 

It's not the size of the market that matters; it's that there's a judge, a prosecutor, and a gaggle of attorneys hawking personal injury services. 

Justice can have it no other way.  #Justice4SouthDakota.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

A Sonnet for Betsy DeVos

Call up Tyler Perry's Madea, because there's a Hallelujah moment brewing on the hot stove:
The for-profit Charlotte School of Law may be receiving another chance as the Department of Education offers a bail out to the previously failing institution.

On July 31, Charlotte School of Law announced that it was notified by the Department of Education that students could be eligible once again to access federal student loans for this upcoming semester.
...
Bloomberg News also reports that the adviser who worked with Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, during her confirmation was also hired to lobby on behalf of the Charlotte School of Law. The adviser, Lauren Maddox, works with the Podesta Group, a lobbying firm in Washington D.C. primarily around education and healthcare issues.
Networking for the win, you dysfunctional moose clitorises. 

Speaking of Tyler Perry, here's another great poet for you:

A Sonnet for Betsy DeVos
 
When, in envy of fortune and deans' loots,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf judges with my nonsense suits,
And look upon my own indebted fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in cash,
Employed like them, lawyers with funds possessed,
Desiring this man's art and that man's stash,
Million dollar premiums oh so blessed!
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the dean at break of day arising
From silken threads) scammity scam elate;
       For thy sweet love remembered scam wealth brings
       That then I shut up, pay my loans 'n' things.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Infilaw Continues The Scam's Courthouse Dynasty

As a too-proud member of the legal profession, I think lawyers should get championship rings when they win big cases.  Something to impress the ladies and leave for the handsome bastard children they expel.  If you're going to evade child support, may as well leave some spiffy jewels.

Were we to adopt such a spoils system, the lawyers for the law school scam would be weighed with more bling than Jordan, Kobe, and Duncan put together.  This is Bill Russell territory, old school dominance of the court where weak challengers would be wise to not even put on the uniform.

This week, these SuperLawyers got Infilaw's mafia bosses out of the bullshit lawsuit brought by Charlotte Law students
[Judge] Mullen found that the court has no jurisdiction over Sterling Entities.
...
“Plaintiffs make a feeble attempt in their opposition brief to tie the Sterling Defendants to their claims by vaguely citing their conduct related to the longterm financing and strategic goals of InfiLaw and the for-profit law school that it owned and operated in Charlotte, North Carolina,” Mullen notes in his order (PDF) for Krebs v. Charlotte School of Law (PDF). “Plaintiffs then, in a roundabout way, point to an allegation in the complaint that Sterling Entities were present at Charlotte School of Law after the Department of Education’s lack of recertification occurred as proof of sufficient connections.”
How do you like that International Shoe up your ass, ya louses?

Regardless of your opinion of  the personal jurisdiction issues (don't forget Burger King v. Rudzewicz!), it's hard to ignore the prodigious losing streak by those seeking to hold law schools accountable for "alleged" "misdeeds."  These would-be lawyers continuously and systematically lose before a single piece of discovery is answered.  It's like paying $60 for a video game and not getting past level 2.

The Million Dollar Express can make anyone disgustingly rich.  But if you can't get past the pleading stage against an evil empire or two, I'm not sure you have the intelligence to not, like, inexplicably fall off.  How do you folks even tie a tie without choking yourselves?  Buy clip-ons like a blue collar Joe going to a wedding in Paducah?

It boggles the mind.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Asian-American Engineers Passing on Lucrative Career Doesn't Add Up

Two stories today for your simultaneous consideration:

Asian-Americans are underrepresented in law:
Asian-American enrollment in law school has declined more steeply than that of other racial and ethnic groups, according to a report documenting a glass ceiling for this group in the law.
...
The report, “A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law,” suggests the decline could be because of instability in the market for legal employment, the relative attractiveness of other professions, and recruiting efforts by law schools seeking African-American and Hispanic students.

The report’s major conclusion—that Asian-Americans are underrepresented among the top ranks of the legal profession—was released in January. Findings include: Asian-Americans are the largest minority group at major law firms, but they have the highest attrition rates and the lowest ratio of partners to associates. Asian-Americans make up only 3 percent of the federal judiciary and only 2 percent of state court judges.
The second story is Law School Admissions by College Major:
The chart makes a strong case supporting the conventional wisdom that the GPAs from different college majors are not equivalent. Although French majors and mechanical engineering majors have the same average LSAT, the average GPA for French majors is more than 0.3 higher, which is an enormous difference in the tightly stratified world of law school admissions. The applicant with a 158 LSAT and a 3.25 GPA in mechanical engineering likely has similar prospects as an applicant with a 158 LSAT and a 3.55 in French, but the latter is probably more likely to be admitted to law school and receive a scholarship.

This bias toward higher-GPA college majors creates several problems for law schools. The schools may end up admitting students who will not perform as well as others who were not admitted. In addition, schools miss out on students with science backgrounds who have strong employment prospects in areas such as patent prosecution.
Obviously, high-scoring Asian-American STEM students are idiot savants.  They could go into law, where they're doubly underrepresented. They could make so much money their distant ancestors would awake and cry with happiness at the blessings of corporatized postmodern western culture.    Even the most culturally atavistic, conservative cousins across the Pacific will instantly be quoting Wall Street and buying each other Thomas Friedman books at Christmas.

Instead, the Asian-American STEM student chooses to do "other things."  Well, my Asian- and Asian-American friends, how about instead of shooting off real rockets of limited practical utility you blast through that legal sector glass ceiling?

You can't cure cancer unless you secure the patents first, and need I remind you that no one - no one - solved Fermat's Last Theorem until after the jurisprudential breakthrough of Sony v. Universal City Studios (1984).

Obviously, law schools do the situation no favors.  Presumably under the belief that Asian-American STEM students don't need the benefits of a law degree as much as certain other non-whites, law schools have declined aggressively pursuing these particular marks.

Well, my beloved law schools, that's racist stereotyping.  Who are you to assume that these young individuals wouldn't find law an infinitely more satisfying career than the traditional STEM options?  Who are you to assume that BigLaw only wants the Asian-American as a niche specialist?  Who are you to assume that these youths and their well-intended tigerparents fully evaluate the available information and routinely determine that law school is a no-go post-recession?

Such presumptive race- and ethnicity-driven evaluations are wholly inappropriate for vaunted institutions of higher learning.  If you're going to scam Latinos and African-Africans, you damn well should be exploiting the Asian-American youth, too.  Fair's fair, law deans.

Law schools should develop programs specifically targeted to luring the Asian-American STEM lemming back to the law school scam. Scholarship programs, targeted guilt-inflicting initiatives, and outright lies about the need for international law and IP attorneys seem to be good starting points.  Survivor bias alumni speeches are also good.  Misleading graphs, even better.

Asian-American STEM grads also bear some blame.  Why give law - and by extension, social justice - the childish cold shoulder?  Because other opportunities - boring opportunities irrelevant to the Rule of Law - appear more instantly gratifying?  Because you don't see Asian-Americans filling the ranks of BigLaw partnerships?  Because the hip TV lawyers are all white?  Because your parents are pushing you into a more stable and less alcohol-fueled STEM field?  Because you care more about paying a reasonable amount of debt in a timely matter with a productive career?

Well, grow up, snowflake.  Be your own person and take the bait like a fully integrated old-school Eisenhower American.  If I know the shallow depravity of law schools, they'll even cook it in curry sauce and pair it with rice for you.

That obviously wouldn't be how those of Anglo-Saxon stock get bamboozled hook line and sinker, but fully realized exploitative multicultural paradises aren't built in a day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

This Summer I Hear the Grumbling. More Debt in Ohio

The Ohio State Bar Association recently did one of them blue ribbon reports on new lawyer practice, and I have to say, for a state with numerous outstanding law schools worth attending at double sticker, it's disappointing in its lack of context comparing debt to long-term starting salaries.

You can see the full report here, although if you're like most of my readers the lack of guns, cash, teets, or anti-Trump drivel will likely deter your better attention.
The average 2015 Ohio law school graduate has approx. $98,475 in law school debt. Yet, only approximately 58% of Ohio law school graduates are employed in jobs requiring bar passage, and a national study shows median law firm starting salaries have dropped more than 40% from 2009 to 2013. In addition, without effective mentoring, many of these graduates may lack crucial “practice-ready” skills they need to competently serve clients.
The conspicuous omission here is long-term salary earnings premium.  Exactly how many peer-reviewed articles have to be published showing a lifetime lawyer boost before these hack journalists get it?  Does it have to be more than one?

Sure, there's $98,475 in debt now.  Sure, only 58% are employed in jobs requiring bar passage now. 

But what about 20 years from now when the Boomers are drooling in nursing homes and these Millennial badasses are sipping gin and juice on beaches in the Balearic Islands?  Are you going to be complaining about debt or jobs requiring bar passage then???

But I digress.

Setting aside the chicken little debt bitching, it's a fairly comprehensive report with a sui generis poetic grammar.  For example, there are concerns about legal pedagogy connected to a nut-licking of large law firms:
The traditional Socratic method of teaching law students to “think like a lawyer” is more widely scrutinized than ever as law schools and the practicing bar acknowledge that law school graduates are not graduating practice-ready.  They enter a field of law which remains highly interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial, but the economics have shifted. Fewer attorneys, for example, are being hired by large firms, which have historically provided invaluable, on-the-job training and mentoring to help new lawyers learn the business.
There's a bizarre and awkward interjection of the opioid crisis.
[W]ith Ohio facing an opiate epidemic and knowing that so many Ohio lawyers, like the rest of the population, continue to struggle with substance abuse, chemical dependencies and mental health issues, there is still a need to educate attorneys on how to recognize the symptoms and seek help when necessary.
Chet, of course, can lay off the Hydro and go to a rural part of Ohio, because they drop that white lightning, too:
OSBA should continue to offer and expand upon its “Rural Practice Initiative” to encourage new lawyers to practice in nonurban areas of Ohio, where there is a growing access to justice need due to the diminishing number of attorneys practicing in these areas. Many new lawyers aren’t willing or able due to debt to re-locate. We must develop a program to entice them to do so. 
One may wonder how debt prevents someone from living in a low-cost area with a market need for legal services, but it's best to simply not ask questions and go with the mojo.

See, the good thing about these Task Force! reports is that they always find a way for the important people to have their cake and eat it, too.  With just a few minor changes, poor folks can find affordable representation and new lawyers can get themselves easy payable work.  One has to admire the sheer pluck of the liberal reformer.

Of course, these folks are so left-wing Bernie Sanders-y that they missed the long-term earnings increase that comes from having a law degree even if one never practices law.  So many of the concerns in the report could be more properly addressed by simply letting Case Western and Toledo produce exemplary graduates in an efficient and factory-like manner.  Enough law graduates and eventually legal needs in East Shitsberg are met or, better yet, created.  Enough work and eventually some of it becomes high paying - that's a law of economics.  Enough easy money and eventually the private market invests in companies that end the opioid crisis by producing even better drugs.

Sometimes we just need to trust the market.  Free markets work, especially when you subsidize them with government-guaranteed loans.  At least the report didn't get all hell-bent on that particular "solution."

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Charleston Saga, Cont'd: The Law School Strikes Back

The Trump era has been nothing if not the indisputably glorious triumph - finally - of the red-blooded, punch-first white American male, the type of schmoes who toil in moldering factories to buy bolt action rifles and heavy duty pickups for their daily trip to the domestic-only liquor store 'cross town.  The mid-shelf hard stuff and none-too-crafty beer.  God bless 'Merica.

Charleston, SC, is a city of Men. Colonial, southern, true blue American, 70% white, coastal, nice climate, nice-assed women, Fort Sumpter - that most American of places - just off the beautiful harbor...

It fits that Charleston has a resplendent law school worthy of its environment.  Contrary to all you granola poops who said the place was done, Charleston School of Law is a haughty roar of thunder on an otherwise pacific afternoon.

Charleston is off the naughty list of the Department of Education, which has finally realized it has better priorities - like doing nothing at all.
Several years after the Charleston School of Law became engulfed in chaos over a pending sale to a private company, its president says the institution has rebounded in enrollment and finances.

"The school is turning around quicker than anyone could imagine," President Ed Bell said Friday. "We literally thought it would take four to five years, but we've done it in less than two."

Bell noted that in October 2015, the school had only 82 members in its freshman class. Last year, that had climbed to 202, and he said he expects between 200 and 225 this fall.
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! 
Good for Charleston.  Like the 42-year-old freshly divorced father of three who bagged a 23-year-old Denny's waitress, it's rebounded nicely, showcasing an admirable amount of institutional prowess.

And, back on the road to freewheeling American white male success, it's telling its disposable consumers - all pending millionaires - to go fuck themselves in remarkably adroit ways:
The school is appealing its failing rating on another federal list that compares graduates' incomes with their student debt. Bell said his goal is that future students can cut their student debt in half within five years — without abandoning the school's emphasis on encouraging graduates to take unconventional jobs, at least at first.

"We encourage students immediately after getting out of school just to take a couple of years and give back," he said. "Go be a policeman, go be a fireman. Go work as a law clerk. A lot of these are low-paying jobs, but it teaches them something they will take with them for the rest of their lives."
Can you imagine a better way to metaphorically shove a razor wire dildo up a lemming's firm buttocks than to tell him or her to go work as a policeman, fireman, or law clerk?  The former two are basically crashing a high-demand fraternity with the wrong skill-set and the third one is telling them to do what lawyers sometimes do anyway out of career ambition (judicial) or a failure to find a real lawyer job (private).

Selling public service as a mask for the fact that one's graduates maybe perhaps sorta can't get good lawyer jobs is the sort of scam cookin' that wins James Beard Awards. 

"A couple of years" also happens to be the shelf life for many third tier law degrees.  Trying to get an entry-level lawyer position after three years of fightin' fires sounds like a great way for employers to assume there's something mentally wrong with you. 

You're as employable as you'll ever be the day you graduate law school, so why not take some completely unrelated job and piss away the short window of opportunity you have?

Well, if anyone can do it, it's Charleston students.  These plucky bastards ran straight back on the Million Dollar Express right after a derailment.  If anyone can pull off K-JD-cop-lawyer, it's this snowfall of special flakes.

Like  Ken-doll, I guess, you can dress your little superman in all sorts of new outfits.  For example, here's a cute little Jos. A. Bank suit with matching briefcase.  And here's a snazzy policeman's outfit complete with a whistle, baton, and a working Glock!  Hands up, don't shoot!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Nevertheless, Charlotte Persisted

I'm not saying it's misogynist for the fascist thugs to go after Charlotte School of Law before its gender neutral brethren siblings Coastal or Summit, but we're running out of arguments here, so... the ABA is a vast conspiracy in mansplaining...

Charlotte School of Law is however setting a first-rate example to our young girls on how to persist in the face of desolate futility.  Like the brave girl ready to be trampled by the Wall St. Bull or Sen. Warren showing off her ability to schoolmarm, it's persisting.
The for-profit Charlotte School of Law has been forced to stop accepting new students, and the faculty count has been reduced by about 70 percent. Only about 100 students remain enrolled, down from about 750.

But it’s still limping along. Summer school is currently underway, and fall classes are scheduled to start on Aug. 28.
Good speed, li'l' fighter!

Of course, you can set the best example in the world and still have people not follow it:
Hunter is concerned about getting a job with CSL on her record. She said she and other students are viewed as “damaged goods,” and some local law firms aren’t interested in hiring any CSL graduates, regardless of class rank.
...
Herrera said there were signs that the school wasn’t all that it was supposed to be. When he first enrolled at CSL in August 2015, Herrera said the bar exam passage rate was around 30 percent.

“It was an eye-opener that maybe something’s wrong here,” he said.
These students had the right idea in completely ignoring red flag after red flag.  But then - when their school needs them the most - they suddenly find favor with nonsense!

Sigh...  

Charlotte has until August 1 to provide the UNC Board of Governors with proof of its financial viability and until August 10 to have the ABA approve its "teach-out" plan.  Do a sistah a solid, friendly citizens, and donate now.  Charlotte's persisting, just like the Million Dollar Express onto which its trying to cling.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Florida Coastal Admissions Stats to Surge

Just as a third grader can turn that wimpy, wiry frame into a 6'4" beefcake who bench-presses Volvos merely by drinking milk and doing some pushups, law schools can change, too.

Florida Coastal has some shit-stained admissions numbers.  But it's about to polish that shit-stain to a lustrous shine.
[T]he Jacksonville law school says it has introduced stricter admission requirements.

For admissions, the law school plans to raise its minimum LSAT score by almost 7 points, the Florida Times Union reports.
At this thunderous pace, Florida Coastal will rival Harvard in a mere four more years.

But of course it comes with noble sacrifices.
Scott DeVito, the law school’s dean, told the newspaper that some elective classes have been cut to focus more on bar preparation and law practice schools. [sic]

“Our classes are shrinking based on that,” he said. “We want a core set of classes that are rigorous enough to really teach students how to be prepared to practice law.”
Finally, a law school that's going to teach students how to be prepared to practice law.  It only took a a century and a half, but finally one of them cracked the code.  This will be like installing nuclear powered crack cocaine in the Million Dollar Express's boiler.

Infilaw might get a lot of flack, but you know what? They're trying.  They're learning.  And in like five years, you're going to regret making fun of them.  They might be puny now, but they're chugging milk.  Swimming in the stuff.  No lactose intolerance here.  They're going to kick. your. ass.

Monday, July 3, 2017

USA Today and the Glorious, Super-Interesting Future of Law

You know it's bad when USA Today has to find the right experts to correct your rampant misconceptions.

While this recent article focuses at first on the common themes of recent attention-seeking headlines - law schools closing, fewer student-marks enrolling, etc. - the meat comes halfway when writer Greg Toppo essentially hands the keys of the Lambo to Suffolk Dean Andrew M. Perlman and LegalZoon General Counsel Chas Rampenthal.

Perlman concedes initially that there may be "fewer opportunities" for lawyers in the future, but those that exist are going to be pretty damned sweet:
The upside: lawyers these days “are practicing at the top of their license, so to speak — that is, they’re doing higher-value work, which is actually a good development," he said. "It’s good for lawyers, because the work they do get is more interesting. And it’s also good for the consumers, because they aren’t having to pay for lower-value work.”
With this view, one would logically expect that Suffolk is producing the Goldilocks amount of lawyers to meet the market demand for this future interesting work.  There's no way it would recklessly pump out hundreds of kids when only twenty of them get to play with the big boys someday, right?

To think otherwise - to even think that Suffolk is willingly selling kids on job opportunities that its leadership knows aren't going to exist in 5-10 years with oppressive loans that take 25 to pay back (if!) - is to assume Perlman is assisting in a duplicitous slaughterhouse of a monstrously obvious scam.  That would be a crass thing to do, and I categorically will not do it.

Likewise, I wouldn't want to debate what, exactly, is interesting about attending mundane status hearings, writing pointless objections to poorly written discovery requests, rejecting tracked changes on the 4th draft of an asset purchase agreement because another attorney blew off a lesson or two of middle school English, receiving client calls on a Friday afternoon because the internet says something so terribly wrong one wouldn't know where to start, arguing frivolous or stupid motions because [pro se; someone's bill padding/selling value to hapless client; someone's rolling the dice with a maverick judge; opposing counsel is just plain stupid; etc.], watching a contingency case blow up two years in because the broke-ass client lied about something sort-of important, scratching one's eyeballs out because small businessman client ran three businesses and his personal bills through one LLC that he created through a scam company in Nevada, deposing a generic back injury auto accident victim for the 50th time, writing unread research memos on things your $750/hr boss should probably know if he actually earned that A- in civil procedure, showing up at a traffic court call with anything more than a cheap sport-coat hangover and the bleary smile of lifetime defeat, or any of the hundreds of other things that make law practice go go go.

I wouldn't want to discuss these things because it's self-evident that being a lawyer gives one a sense of self-actualized vivacity and power that makes Robocop look like a freckled, scrawny armed hall monitor.  Imagine drinking wine for fun and not as a coping mechanism!  Lawyering is like that.

But what happens when they finally program the sophisticated SuperLawyerBot to fully evaluate cases and controversies before they even begin?  To evaluate just compensation?  Proof beyond a reasonable doubt?

That's as dumb as talking about smartphones in the 70s, you futurist.  Put down Brave New World and Player Piano and come back to reality.  For now, there's lots of interesting lawyer work.  Tons.

Ask around.  Ask LegalZoom's top lawyer.  He agrees that too many lawyers are just being inefficient right now focusing on un-lawyer things.
...[H]e estimated that 70% to 80% of every hour billed by lawyers “probably doesn’t require a law license.” Finding new clients, wining and dining them and fretting over billing, he said, can be done by someone else. “That is not what lawyers should be spending their time doing.”
No kidding.  Stop billing your clients for these things, you inefficient private practitioners! Do some of that interesting work instead!

And once we get this technology to free up lawyers for that interesting work, WE MIGHT EVEN NEED MORE LAW SCHOOLS!
LegalZoom's Rampenthal said technology may well shrink the job market in the short term, but if costs go down, public demand for legal services will eventually rise. In the long term, he said, demand for lawyers could rebound and more law schools may open.
Hail the future!

Dean Perlman agrees that this technological disruption has more or less created a buying opportunity for the economically shrewd prospective student:
It’s actually “a great time” to go into the legal profession, he said. “From my perspective, it is an especially exciting time to be part of the legal industry, because I think it is changing more significantly and more rapidly than at any time in anyone’s memory.”
I remember a decade ago discussing Amazon with some MBA homies.  A few of them - wild masturbatory loners, really - predicted it would be the eventual end of retail.  "NO!" I said, "it's actually an especially exciting time to be a part of the retail industry, because I think it is changing more significantly and rapidly than at any time in anyone's memory."

I've been buying up Sears and Penney's stock for years.  They're not dying companies, just significantly changing ones.  It's an exciting time to be investing, if you completely disregard the rational conclusions that result from reviewing every fragment of  objective evidence.

Happy 4th of July, readers.  As you watch fireworks beautifully explode like the career dreams of a generation, please remember to make your monthly student loan debt payments.  Some of us have mistresses with expensive habits.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Fort Wayne Circle of Scam and the Million Dollar Community College Degree

Every American law school is required to have a library.  It's necessary, as law practice requires physically cracking open a book every now and then.  What did you nutless chickadees think this was, a PlayStation tournament?

In any event, what becomes of that golden pile of holy knowledge, that infinite supply of sacred legal wisdom only endowed upon those special enough to pay the tuition fees at an ABA accredited school?

Indiana Tech found a revolutionary solution to dispensing the wealth:
Ivy Tech Community College's Fort Wayne campus will soon have a new resource for students -- a law library made possible by a donation from Indiana Tech.
And when I say wealth, I mean it literally.  Labor economists have these whiz-bang theories that value human capital by seeing how earnings rise with additional training and education.  Inductively, then, we know that the value of a legal education is massive, since the earnings premium of a law graduate over a non-law graduate is over a million dollars.

Knowing that a legal education is worth a million dollars, what's the result if we could squeeze that same product into a shorter time frame, and earlier in the educational process?

Why, with those paralegal students about to pack the knowledge in like their brains are literally made of protein bars, we've developed the million dollar community college degree!  If yer 20 and basic English composition ain't yer cup o' dirt-flavored coffee, why not pick up Pennoyer v. Neff?  25-year-old single mother from Corn City struggling with Intro to Crim?  Fuck it and learn yourself the Roth test!

Endless applications, the law.  For years, the LSTC has supported integrating legal education at earlier levels of schooling, both to promote general knowledge and to develop a bad-ass corps of whip-smart paralegals ready to take low-level lawyer jobs, which they totally won't, because we're all cool about it. 

If it takes a fifth-tier law school dumping its books on the local community college to wind up operations without having to expense an extra dumpster to get there, so be it!

Here's to every community college getting itself a set of law books.  And remember, if you really want to get your students an edge, you'll full sets of Am Jur, the CJS, and the ALR.  Can't get 'em anywhere else.  Accept no substitutes!