Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fare Thee Well, Dr. Jay

Not unexpectedly, given the hysteria of some when a going concern suddenly loses its primary source of revenue, Jay Conison, Charlotte Law Dean, has gone the way of Matasar and Larry Mitchell, although he'll be remaining on the faculty:
With his school’s future hanging in the balance, the dean of the beleaguered Charlotte School of Law is stepping down.

Jay Conison has led the uptown, for-profit school for almost four years. Charlotte Law announced his departure with a four-paragraph statement Monday afternoon. Conison will remain on the faculty, the statement said.
Conison brought the thunder to Charlotte from Valparaiso, which apparently was not enough of a scam-challenge for his Herculean talents.  Like upping the difficulty level on a video game, say, Lemmings (PC, 1991).

He had the misfortune of taking over Charlotte Law School a good two years after the national media awoke to the unfiltered swindle of the lowest-tier law schools.  Nonetheless, his efforts to keep Charlotte and its Infilaw backers well-fed pigs rather than well-slaughtered hogs were noble. 

But alas, his move to Charlotte seems akin to many a classical, tragic hero, they who overreached their grasp and exposed a fatal flaw.  In Conison's case, he left the relative comfort of a midwestern low-tier school attached to a longstanding university for the one of the south's most notorious sinkholes and targets for reformers who think for-profits are evil and non-profits walk on water.  It's sort of like leaving a sniper's nest for the front lines.  Balls, yes, but the chances of them getting blown off...

He puts the GOAT in scapegoat.  Let us remember the good times.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Million Dollar Express Chuggin' Through Boise

Right on schedule.
The University of Idaho College of Law’s efforts to begin a first-year law program in Boise have come to fruition, after the American Bar Association gave the plan its seal of approval this week, the UI announced Wednesday.
Yes, the University of Idaho - flagship of a state with a thunderous, expanding population of one and a half million - has found itself a two-campus solution, following such successful examples as Penn State, Rutgers, and the Widener College of Law.
“We expect to have 60 students at Boise and approximately the same number in Moscow next year,” Adams said. “There’s a really strong demand for both locations.”

Adams said each campus offers distinct benefits: Boise is surrounded by the business and legal community, while in Moscow students benefit from “the advantages of deep ties to other programs, dual degrees on UI campus and also at WSU.”
With Concordia University's law school already in Boise like a slowly growing tumor leaking blood, Idaho is finally catching up to the rest of America by realizing that there's absolutely no downside to over-saturating the population with lawyers, the only people capable of stopping various vague but urgent catastrophic insults to the Rule of Law.

A mere decade ago, this massive state had but one law school to fill its ranks of lawyers, leading to employment scores at lofty, anti-competitive levels like 80%.  Now it has three law school campuses.

That's what progress looks like.  I truly wish our lingering one-flagship states like Wyoming and North Dakota take note so their citizenry, too, can know the bounty of a properly saturated marketplace.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Movin' to Nebraska

It's been almost six years now since then-Prof. Sara Stadler told law school graduates they might have to move to Nebraska to hop on the Million Dollar Express.

Behold, from the Omaha World-Herald, we have the glistening, steaming, huffing, full-speed-ahead reality.

The article is unnecessarily pessimistic, natch, claiming that law school enrollment has ticked up without a commensurate boost in the job market, Faustian journalists being wont to bias their "work" towards the scandalous in exchange for sales and clicks. 

You know, what life's like in an actually dying cesspool of a once-proud profession.  Compare and contrast.

Instead, one has to read between the lines of this yellow rag to see the robustness of the job market in Nebraska.  First is the pessimism boldly displayed in the front window, so to speak.
Chris Schmidt had struggled to find a full-time teaching job in social studies a few years ago. One of his pickup basketball friends happened to be Richard Moberly, currently the interim dean of law at NU.

One day Schmidt told Moberly he was thinking about going to law school. The hesitation in Moberly’s response and the advice he gave surprised Schmidt at the time.

“Just be sure it’s what you really want,” Schmidt quoted Moberly as saying that day several years ago. 
The set-up here is pure pessimism.  Prospective students - lazy, we know - may read to this point in the article and receive only the caution from the now-interim law school dean.

But there's a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!  That thing you covet is in the back room, so to speak!
Schmidt has a one-year job clerking for a federal appellate judge in Omaha and a spot lined up with a Lincoln firm after that.
The Omaha Whatever might have viewed this as some sort of "a-ha" moment like a joke's punchline, the twist in a Maupassant or O. Henry story, or the obnoxious ending to a Paul Harvey radio bit, but let's be honest: very few prospective law students can read an entire news article and comprehend the greater message therein.

So I'll say it here, as elegantly as an Aesop fable summary:  if you play pickup basketball with the interim dean, serve as editor in chief of the law review, and graduate with highest honors from the state flagship, you too can work for a U.S. Court of Appeals and have a job in hand when the exit door opens.

Reports be damned, that's a Million Dollar Express that's working just fine. 

Still time to board for fall.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Summit Spreads 2100 Miles

Back in August, I wrote on Arizona Summit (in Arizona - I know it's odd, but the name is not misleading...at least that part) and Bethune-Cookman (Florida) entering into a $12.5 million dollar partnership.

Now they've signed an affiliation agreement.
Arizona Summit Law School has signed an affiliation agreement with the private, nonprofit Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida.
...
Bethune-Cookman President Edison Jackson said in a statement, “Together, we aim to be a leading force in disrupting a legacy of exclusion that has persisted into the 21st century.”
Details are imprecise, but one thing's for certain: dynamic synergy will commence. 

When looking at a school like Arizona Summit, it's hard to not see the truth in President Jackson's words.  For years, Arizona Summit has put out a fine crop of good young lawyers.  Yet they find it unduly difficult to land long-term positions in the legal sector, and most recently a disproportionate amount of them have been barred from being barred altogether by the elitist, anti-competitive bar examination.

If Bethune-Cookman can help Arizona Summit break that pernicious legacy of exclusion, the only regret is not signing this agreement years ago.

Plus, getting married to this fine Floridian institution is changing Arizona Summit for the better.
The agreement doesn't make Arizona Summit a nonprofit school. However, Lively said the school is working toward nonprofit status.
 See?  You complain enough about for-profit education, the for-profits affiliate with a school on the other side of the country and look for ways to change their status.

Can we get federal loan money back to Charlotte now?  Please?

Please?  They're doing good work here!  They can speak in euphemism!
We bring in students who are in catch-up mode.
Shouldn't every law school?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Praise Be to God for the Trump Effect

Somehow I missed it last week when hero-worthy-of-psalms Nick Allard fired yet another thunderous sniper-shot from the right side of history:
Almost single handedly, President Trump has made lawyers the breakout stars in the early days of his new administration.
Praise be to God for giving having our peers scurrying to airports like maggoty mice who just discovered a bread factory; surely such blessings equals breakout stardom profession-wide - and revenue to pay rent, bar dues, and bottles from the top shelf.
Law schools can seize this moment and, like the generation inspired by Woodward and Bernstein to pursue careers in journalism, lead the renaissance in legal education that would revive a profession in need of an injection of youth, idealism, and high-tech savvy.
Praise be to God for sending a 1979 law school graduate to deliver the Good News of salvation in youth, idealism, and tech savvy.

Praise be to God for the generation of journalists inspired by Woodward and Bernstein, who led a euphoric cloudburst of hard-hitting investigative journalism that led us to our current most blessed political-media state.

Praise be to God for the coming renaissance; may Botticelli's Venus pull her hair up, wear a gray pantsuit, and reverse Citizen's United.
[A]nother compelling factor is the intense interest among many Millennials in issues of social justice and the urge to make a positive difference.

They are a keenly entrepreneurial generation, and the law and well-trained lawyers are central to success of new ventures.
Praise be to God for the Millennials, particularly the ones who lack the relative pragmatism and thrift of their Gen X counterparts and instead want to pursue social justice as a lifestyle choice.

Praise be to God for the Millennials' open entrepreneurial spirit, readily observable in companies like Theranos.  Prior generations just, like, didn't want to roll the dice and see if their little thimble landed on the Instant Billionaire square.

Praise be to God for start-ups, who love burning capital on cost-effective legal services, usually performed by fresh law school graduates who can "bro out" with them at the Foosball table and not at all on partners at the shiny firms with a choke-hold oligarchy who know what the fuck they're doing.

Praise be to God for the Hamilton name-drop in the middle of the article; that will play nicely with the culturally savvy Millennials.

Praise be to God for furtive Brooklyn Law School advertisements; Brooklyn is now only $245,982 at non-discounted cost, and almost all receive a discount!

Praise be to God and the Rule of Law, whose very existence is just precisely imperiled enough, perpetually, that the solution is more lawyers and neither tanks for the rebellion or, perhaps in security, that would-be law students find something socially productive to do.

Praise be NOT to this blaspheming jackass here, who is obviously just trying to reduce competition for when he gets out of law school so he can profit profit profit.  Trust us; it takes one to know one.

Amen.