Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Idaho Desperately Undersaturated

So the main event of this story is mostly a non-issue (they're expanding the Boise program, and they turned down a cap on total enrollment that wouldn't matter anyway), but check out this:

Lewis said there’s an oversupply of attorneys nationwide, but Burnett said those statistics don’t count the 30 percent of UI law graduates who choose to go into another profession, rather than practice law.

Yes, choice. Choice. Burnett, for the record, is Idaho's President. He used to...wait for it...Idaho law dean.

Burnett said Idaho is a net importer of attorneys, with only 28 percent of those admitted to the bar in Idaho in recent years having graduated from the U of I.

“We are nowhere near saturating the legal education market,” Burnett declared. “We are still admitting only about half of the applicants.”

Apparently, if your basement is flooded, you might not be saturated if the water comes from next door.

Nowhere near saturating legal education. I'm trying to come up with commentary but...Jesus, just read that. The man is claiming with a straight face that there's no saturation in legal education. Of course, you can do this when you make up your own definition of "saturation." Again, I guess your basement isn't saturated if there's still water coming in?

If you truly want to understand the bushido of the Scam, you have to reengineer your whole mind into believing the utter bullshit that flows out of your mouth. Burnett likely earnestly believes that 30% of Idaho grads voluntarily choose not to practice and that they need to pump out more grads because importing attorneys is just awful and surely the imports will stop if only you pump out more...

Cue Burnett, January, 2013:

Idahoans pay a “hidden tax” because three-quarters of the new lawyers in the state don’t graduate from the state’s sole public law school at the University of Idaho, the law school’s dean told state lawmakers Wednesday – so they arrive with huge debt loads and charge more for their services.
“Our students come out with five-figure debts not six-figure debts, and they can manage them and they can stay in Idaho. … They can represent communities, they can be public defenders, they can be prosecutors.”

He also noted that law degrees can lead to successful careers for many outside of practicing law, with examples ranging from top corporate CEO’s to the current investment manager of Idaho’s state pension system.

To believe this nonsense and ignore the school's 30% underemployment rate or the fact that 7.7% of the last class set up shop as solos, you just...you have to enter into a whole new plane of consciousness.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Peter Alexander is God

I know I just made an entry - go read it if you appreciate some smooth scammin' from the west coast feed - but holy soda water, read this magnum opus from Indiana Tech Czar Peter Alexander:

There are people in the blogosphere who are vicious with their comments. It allows them to be anonymous and it shows the darker side of our profession. I use them as Exhibit A for the need for more professionalism and ethics training. There’s no doubt that it’s hurtful to read things that suggest the faculty members are just trying to steal student’s money and that the school has no soul. In one case, we had a blogger who took off after one of our students and commented about the student for making this choice. You just have to have a thick skin because, unfortunately, there are people out there who do not have all the facts and have not done their homework but have very strong opinions.

Obviously, the school has a soul, and it's black as a bat wearing a catwoman suit in a coal mine. 

Exhibit A - holy shit, it's like he's writing a fucking motion or something, like a real-life practicing lawyer!

Let this be a lesson to those anonymous critics, like "Paul Ogden" or "Charles Cooper" or "Matt Leichter" or "Paul Campos" or "Elie Mystal." Obviously, these anonymous, unprofessional, unethical swine are factless blowhards with unreasonably strong opinions.

So do your homework, assbags, and stop hurting the Dean's feelings.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

LA Times Still Buying Whoppers

Here's Jason Song of the LA Times doing his part to perpetuate the mythology:

Loyola Law School administrators once justified accepting extra students or raising tuition because the market virtually guaranteed prospective attorneys a high-paying job after graduation.

But faced with growing alumni complaints that they can't find employment, Dean Victor Gold and other administrators decided this year to do something they had never done before: They accepted fewer students.

I'm laughing so hard the neighbors - this is an exurb, okay? - are complaining.

But seriously, how are journalists still buying into the idea that there was once virtual high-paying employment for all? Is the power of myth that strong? What would it take for mainstream journalism to grasp that law schools have been herding calves through the slaughterhouse for years? How long will it be until they pick up on the fact that tuition has nothing do with student outcomes?

Of course the biggest myth is the idea that student complaints about unemployment are prompting Loyola to accept fewer students.

"Reality has caught up to higher education," said Gold, who has served as dean since 2009. "The job market is still very slow, and we have a moral obligation not to just take tuition dollars and then turn a blind eye when our graduates can't find jobs."

Did you hear that, scambloggers? MORAL OBLIGATION. Like you know what that is.

Gold acknowledged that Loyola's move was partly to protect the school's image

Oh yeah. There's that, too. Buried down the article, after he roped in a Tamanaha quote.

The main idea here is that the journalist has no interest in actually understanding what's been going on. There's an intractable bias towards deans doing right even as they collectively do oh so much beautiful, beautiful wrong.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Cooley Weathering Temporary Storm

The fable continues.

At is peak in 2006, Cooley had more than 2,900 students at its Lansing campus, but that number had dwindled as the other four campuses have grown and overall enrollment has fallen. By the fall of 2011, it was less than 1,800. Last fall, it was less than 1,300.


Just 56 percent of those who finished law school in 2012 had full-time, long-term legal jobs nine months after graduation. For Cooley’s graduates, it was 29 percent.


This fall, it will raise tuition by 9 percent for first-year students, bringing the cost of the first 30 credits to $43,500, and by 8 percent for everyone else.

It hasn’t lowered its admission standards, LeDuc said....But LeDuc doesn’t see a drop in minimum requirements as out of the question.


As for the [$111 million cash as-of early 2011], he calls it a nest egg.

“Our model has basically been the grasshopper and the ants from your fables,” LeDuc said. “We set aside a fair amount of money to weather what we thought the storm would be..."

LeDuc believes this a cyclical downturn. He said the effects of a bad economy have been “exacerbated by the stuff on the Internet.”

His prediction: The economy will improve. Government agencies will start hiring lawyers again. The older generation of lawyers will retire. Students graduating in three or four years will find a much more welcoming job market.


One thing I want to note immediately is that the author of this fine piece of journalism actually wrote that Cooley had been stockpiling cash to await a coming storm (like, this is straight from the Godfather's mouth) and then on page 2, the writer turned around and claimed that the January 2011 NYT article started the narrative of skepticism.

Now if you're a real journalist with that Nellie Bly instinct, you're probably going to wonder why a law school was purposefully stocking away money while telling its applicants there'd be sunshine and oatmeal raisin cookies for all. And if the law school was basing its budget on such facts, surely they were known to those in the administration and others in the industry, which should make you wonder why the narrative didn't apparently get started until early 2011.

So... what was going on exactly?

Well, thanks to the American media's collective desire to double as a propaganda division, we have no idea. Life was rolling along great, then bad things happened, but it's okay, because the law school was preparing for the bad times even while publicly denying the basic reasoning behind the bad times.

And you stupid internet people are still blowing things out of proportion. We're going to keep slandering you even though our financial planning was based more on your version of the future than the one we publicly presented three years ago.

And you new kids can trust that when Dean LeDuc says the legal economy's going to rebound, the legal economy is going to rebound. Because the rest of your are just flat-out uninformed.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Law School "Scam" Now Damaging San Diego Economy

Thomas Jefferson Law School - the ONLY law school named after a President between nos. 2 and 13 - has sadly had to make some budget adjustments, cutting 12 staff members, laying off adjunct faculty (is that possible?) and slashing 14 classes.


The school had expected 350 new students to enroll for the upcoming semester, but only 250 have signed up, she said.

Not only is that 12 fewer people earning and spending money in San Diego, it's 100 less law students earning federal loan money and spending federal loan money in San Diego.

So it's official: the scambloggers hate the economy and want everyone to suffer because they aren't attractive enough to land jobs like the rest of us. Fuck them.

As an aside, if you're in the San Diego area, there's a seat - or 100 - at a local law firm just waiting for you! It's not too late to sign up!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Chapman Law School is Going Green

Chapman University has won the lottery.

“This is one of the greatest gifts to any law school in the history of the United States," said Tom Campbell, dean of the law school. "Our best research has determined that this is the second largest reported single gift to an American law school. For our law school, it is the most definitive statement possible that we are here to stay and to prosper.

Look, these people are obviously virtuous and smart, as no one who has 50 million to donate can be a dumbass who has more money than brain cells, and they're going out of their way to keep this fine law school (est. 1995) pumping out public servants for many years to come.

Because if there's one sector in America right now that needs gratuitous financial support, it's America's private lower-tier law schools. Not cancer research, not the arts, not starving children in Appalachia, not endangered species of the Mojave, not our roads and bridges, or a million other things. Private lower-tier law schools.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

This Week in Smart State Governments

1. South Carolina

God, is there a better state in the union than South Carolina? These people put a palmetto tree on their state flag! You think they were going to stand by and let Infilaw reap amazing profits at Charleston School of Law?

Oh no, they're buying in. A state lawmaker is trying to get the Charleston School of Law to merge with the College of Charleston to stave off a sale to Infilaw and protect the integrity of CSOL degrees. Basically, we now have a state legislator fighting a for-profit business for a low-ranked law school.

And you idiots think this industry is dying?

2. Texas

If the ABA is good at anything, it's good at giving close scrutiny to all matters requiring the rubberiest of rubber stamps. Well, they approved Texas A&M's purchase/merger/whatever of Texas Wesleyan. So Texas is - still - buying into the fourth-tier legal education model. Again, why aren't you?

3. California

California decided to accredit this place. I'm astonished that we haven't seen more ABA-approved schools take on bar passage rates. Everyone knows that law school isn't for practicing law; it's for thinking like the archetypal person who practiced law in an American fairy tale. Theoretically, a law school could have a bar passage rate of 0% and still be the best law school in the country as long as its students learned how to think. After all, with their JD in their hand like Thor's mighty hammer they can be a force for good in the universe and get all sorts of jobs.

Law school is not a bar passage course. It's a place for intellectual development of the highest order. If you want a bar exam prep course, sign up for BarBri. If you want a law school, enroll in Southern California Institute of Law. I have no doubt that the recent graduates of SCIL will show each and every one of the school's "publish your bar rate" Inquisitors just how silly bar passage rates are in evaluating the quality of a law school.

Well, it's Saturday afternoon, meaning I'm sprucing up and putting a shine on my Mustang/Camaro (yeah, it's BOTH) to hit the town. There's a lot of ladies out there, and if I get lucky, we'll all have breakfast together tomorrow morning. If I get REALLY REALLY lucky, they'll wake up Monday morning and head to law school orientation. From the ladies' point of view, the latter is surely preferable. 

A night with me is the most amazing night of a woman's life, but a trip to law school is the most amazing THREE DAMN YEARS of a woman's life. 

Plus, law school will make you a fortune, while sleeping with me will only make as much as the tabloid is willing to pay for the story. 

Also, a night with me may impregnate you with a baby or two. A trip to law school will impregnate you with the POWER of LAW.

I'm pretty sure I could keep going with those...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I Love This Elite Club

Yes, apparently scoring well on the LSAT is news now.

Score: 99.7th percentile

Destination: Fordham.

If Fordham is good enough for him, then surely there's a place at NYLS for people who only score in the 95th percentile.

He said he applied to Fordham Law because it seemed a good-fit for his aspirations. "I am very interested in pursuing a career in public interest law and using my skills to help people," he said.

Giles, who lives in Eltingville, explained that one of his reasons for studying law is that a law degree is "one of the highest academic pursuits, and it grants you access to an elite club of people who argue at an incredibly high level."

Welcome to the club, brother!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

TASK FORCE! Issues Earth-Shattering, Villain-Slaughtering Working Paper

Yes, boys and girls, our TASK FORCE is back in the news, joining the prestigious forces of judges, professors, and elite attorneys to form a group of SuperReformerFriends to save the system of legal education.

SOMEWHERE, in an OFFICE: the TASK FORCE has decided to strike a blow against tyranny by releasing a devastating WORKING PAPER that is sure to foil the plans of any new law school schemers.

Admire their work, mere citizens:

In the United States, a law school is an institution that provides a legal education program to train lawyers.


Although criticism of legal education ha been beneficial, some has been erroneous or misleading. This may result in part from the complexity of both legal education and the current problem...It may also reflect the fact that both lawyers and professors have always been targets for criticism, and that some people are willing to believe the worst about them.
Moralizing and blaming are not productive. What is needed is a dispassionate and pragmatic examination of the current situation that begins with a presumption of good faith on the part of all participants. This will enable those in the legal education system to collaboratively articulate credible goals and strategies.

TASK FORCE! Don't worry, kids, the real reformers are here. All that scamblogging? They didn't have "credible goals." Now that the ABA TASK FORCE is here, we're getting serious. And getting serious means holding no one blameworthy for the massive amount of wealth-shifting that's occurred in the last decade.

I am in awe at how weak and non-responsive this working paper is. It's truly a piece of artwork that could only be created by getting the perfect blend of self-interests to create an incredibly bland, weak, milquetoast veiled protection of the status quo. On page 17, they basically disclaim the scamblogs by claiming criticisms of good faith came from within the legal education system, even though such criticisms amount to probably 2% of total attacks. And the ones that have come are "fragmented." Tamanaha's book is "fragmented?" This is hilarious in its ivory tower bravado.

They actually get to specific, targeted recommendations on page 30 (of 34...only in academia), and even then they read more like possibilities or suggestions. And they miss quite a few, likely by design, which, if I were a scamming law school dean, I would certainly say "oh, no problem there!"

If you want to see an excellent example of taking 34 pages to say absolutely nothing helpful under the guise of meaningful reform, look no further than this paper. 

The TASK FORCE does its job, friends. The system shall go on, and on, and on.