Monday, February 13, 2017

Thanks, ABA! or: Good Times, These are the Good Times!

Remember how the ABA has been debating tightening bar examination pass rates with respect to law school accreditation?  You don't, but they have.

House of Delegates says nope! Diversity, that all-encompassing Wonderbread of American geopolitical argument, always cheap and filling, to the rescue:
A storm of criticism has surrounded Standard 316’s proposed revision, which would have required that to meet accreditation standards, 75 percent of a law schools’ graduates must pass a bar exam within a two-year period. At a notice and comment hearing the section held in August, various groups, including the National Black Law Students Association (PDF), testified that the proposal failed to address racial inequities in the law school admissions process and legal education.

According to data ... submitted for the hearing by William Patton, a professor emeritus at Whittier Law School, 33.4 percent of black students in California and 29.8 percent of the state’s Hispanic law students attend the five ABA-accredited law schools that would be most at risk of violating the proposed revision.

And in January, the Association of American Law School’s Law School Deans Steering Committee wrote the council to ask it to withdraw the proposal, based on concerns about different state bar scoring standards, falling bar-passage rates and a lack of diversity in the profession.
In other words, vague sociological ideals trump some strict "standard" that also happens to disadvantage quite a few law schools and other institutional actors who need more people of color in the feel-good brochures that solicit donation$ from mostly liberal lily-white donors.

What I particularly love about this particular issue is that apparently no one in this "debate" has ever seriously questioned the Defenders of the Faith on what, exactly, the causal connection is between having race-neutral strict bar passage standards as an output and a sufficient level of minorities being enrolled in law schools as an input.

It seems a highly relevant question where there is already a massive oversupply of lawyers generally and at least some minorities living in the legal profession's margins of incompetence or pseudo-poverty.  And if the legal profession really is too damned white, couldn't we cull some of the barely ethical boomers pulling the slouching court system towards Gomorrah? 

Consider how beautifully nonsensical this argument becomes upon even a whiff of scrutiny:  If minority students are able to pass the bar and the law schools deny them admission out of fear of stereotypical failure, the law schools are being blatantly racist.  If minority students aren't able to pass the bar, the law schools aren't doing them a favor by admitting them.

SO:  What does this fucking regulation do, but either relieve law schools of their own institutional racism OR permit the law schools to profit profit profit from students who have no business in an American law school under the Great White Cloak of "Opportunity"?

Why does a $10k soft tissue claim get more adversarial scrutiny than the policies that affect a generation of lawyer-serfs?

It's exploitation.  Glimmering, shiny exploitation.  Gleaming like polished alabaster in the noonday sun, fine as the deftly carved ivory in the foyer of warlord's mansion, as brilliant as bleached teeth or a birch forest covered in silent ice.  As beautifully shameless and blissfully overt as Mandingo or Foxy Brown, both of whom would be easily admitted into La Verne's night program.  Lexploitation.

God, even to a jaded, cynical political-legal realist, barred of any idealism related to law and justice, agnostic regarding the sacrosanct of the legal elite, this argument is awesome and ethereal:  superficially infallible, latently unsupportable, bigly profitable. 


  1. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingFebruary 13, 2017 at 7:53 PM

    The more new lawyers the merrier!!!! They can all work in Chicagoland with my esteemed billboard colleagues of the bar shilling $49.00 traffic ticket defense. "Don't Pay that TICKET!"

    1. "Don't represent yourself - I can get you the same offer and sell it as a blessing for only $49.99!"

  2. Yes, these pigs only give lip service to "social justice" and "pursuing liberty." Then again, if you are over the age of 12 and believe in this crap, I suppose that makes you a moron.

  3. Whittier Law School had a 22% pass rate on the July '16 bar exam. How does that "diversify" anything?

    1. If everyone passed the bar, then the bar applicant pool lacked failures, i.e., it would be non diverse. Whittier is doing the bar a service by providing diversity in the form of failures.

  4. Standard 501 still requires schools to only admit applicants who appear capable of passing the bar.

    Anyhow, I think the ABA slit its throat. While I would have thought a Trump administration would be on board with scamming -- privatize the gain, socialize the loss and all that -- this is poking the DoE in the eye.

    1. What I believe that we can expect is:

      1. Private student loans become the norm and the interest rate will be extortionate, and

      2. There will be a market correction in the next 4 years (which probably would occur regardless of the administration) and the students just graduating will have significantly higher debt and even fewer prospects.

    2. If challenged on Standard 501, a law skule would most likely allege that every one of its students appeared capable of passing the bar at the time of application.

      But that's bullshit. Toilet skules admit hordes of people who plainly appear incapable of passing the bar, such as half-wits with LSAT scores far below 150 and other signs of unsuitability for the legal profession.

      Put teeth in the standard by setting a reasonable minimum LSAT score. The current minimum of 120—the lowest possible score—obviously is not acceptable.

  5. This proves, yet again, that the ABA exists solely to keep any and all law schools in business period full stop. That organization doesn't give a damn about student debt or poor job prospects.

    1. The ABA's "standards" exist solely for appearance' sake. Every now and then the ABA makes a display of cracking down on one or another toilet, such as by denying Indiana Tech provisional accreditation (only to change its tune a few months later) or putting Charlotte on probation. Such limp-wristed gestures put a veneer of seriousness on the self-serving, scam-promoting ABA.

      I wouldn't trust the ABA to run a lemonade stand, still less to manage the accreditation of law schools.