Wednesday, October 30, 2013

UPDATE: O'Brien Shows Monarchial Wisdom, Takes Pay Cut

To update the previous post, Dean John O'Brien is taking a $200k+ pay cut in light of NESL's financial plan.

How many of you little buggers would even take a $2k paycut voluntarily?  Think of his immense sacrifice the next time you find yourself worthy to criticize the so-called "scam."

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Intolerable Acts of King O'Brien

New England School of Law - close to the place where Britain really put the vicegrip on the American colonies' revolutionizing nutsack - is paying homage to that heritage by cracking the whip on its law professors:

35-40% cut in faculty.

Increased teaching loads to 8 classes per annum.

9-5 work schedule.

9-5 work schedule!!!!!!!

Intolerable.  These are academic professionals.  Why don't you just tell them to go work in a fucking law office if you want to subject them to such barbarity.

Unlike the American revolution, however, the King will win.  And by King I mean John O'Brien, who makes $800k+ a year tossing lemmings into the invisible debtor's prison.  Law professors, by their genes as former JD students, simply do not have the fortitude or market position to mount a serious protest.

Because at the end of the day, law professors need to realize that if they don't lend a helping hand in scooping up more meat for the abattoir, they're going to get booted out.  That's capitalism, and it's a very good thing, especially if the ruling class of legal administrators continues to make out like bandits.

Oh, and the scambloggers are still full of shit and legal education will rebound stronger than ever when employers figure out the diversity of a degree and students learn to network properly yadda blahda blah...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Nation's Second-Best Law School Fighting for Truth

Remember that New York firm that brought all those silly lawsuits?  They're still fighting The Mighty Thom Cooley!  Apparently, Kurzon Strauss (or whatever the leftover firm is now called) is trying to get documents that Cooley filed under seal made public.
Jim Thelen, Cooley’s Associate Dean for Legal Affairs and General Counsel, said the Lansing-based law school objects to the motion to unseal the court records, and accused Kurzon Strauss of attempting to litigate “in the court of public opinion.”
Because if there's one place a law school should never have to litigate, it's in the court of public opinion.
“The bottom line is if he wants to continue contesting whether there was defamation or not, we’re going to have an appeal,” he said, referencing the law firm. “He’ll have a chance to bring those issues to the court.”
For those of you keeping score at home, Cooley sued Kurzon for defamation.  Kurzon won.  Cooley has vowed to appeal.  Now Cooley's general counsel is saying that if Kurzon wants to argue about whether defamation occurred or not, "we're" going to have to appeal.

If you cannot fully understand the logical soundness of that reasoning, you obviously went to a law school ranked much lower than number 2.
"And we continue to believe that if we had a hearing on the issue, we could establish that their statements that they made on the Internet and other places about us were false."
A hearing, a hearing, my kingdom for a hearing!  If only someone would listen to the largest law school in America!

Of course, Kurzon Strauss never did much more than repeat the court of public opinion's verdicts against Cooley, but when you're the nation's second-best law school, you have the privilege of making up your own damned law.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Turncoat Tenured Law Prof Sues SuperDean Larry Mitchell

If you'll recall, Larry Mitchell is the patriotic hero who boldly announced the following in the Fall of 2012:
I’M a law dean, and I’m proud. And I think it’s time to stop the nonsense. After two years of almost relentless attacks on law schools, a bit of perspective would be nice. 
For at least two years, the popular press, bloggers and a few sensationalist law professors have turned American law schools into the new investment banks. We entice bright young students into our academic clutches. Succubus-like, when we’ve taken what we want from them, we return them to the mean and barren streets to fend for themselves.
And Mighty Thor Struck With Mjolnir!!!  And Look How the Nonsense Has Ceased!!!

You, I, and everyone else with a oxygenated blood knows what Mitchell was doing, which was - to sum it up modestly - trying to save the motherfucking universe.

Now for something completely different:  he and Case have been sued for retaliation for someone reporting sexual harassment against Mitchell by a turncoat ungrateful LawProf.  Move Raymond Ku to the Campos File.  The Cleveland Plain-Dealer has the Complaint:
24.  ...From the time Mitchell became dean, he made comments to Professor Ku regarding his Chinese heritage.  Upon hearing that Professor Ku was about to convert to Judaism, Dean Mitchell remarked that now Professor Ku was in two of Dean Mitchell's favorite groups, Asian and Jewish.  Dean Mitchell asked Professor Ku about being circumcised...25.  On or about August 28, 2011, Dean Mitchell hosted an event for faculty and staff of the law school at his new home...26.  Dean Mitchell consumed numerous alcoholic beverages...27.  ...Professor Ku observed Dean Mitchell run his hand up the back of [female staff member]...and found it to be sexually inappropriate as well as unnerving and creepy.
Professor Ku then decides to be a tattle-tale and report this and other indiscretions based on university policies.   The suggested course of action he's given?  Meet with God, of course:
39.  Dean Mitchell accused Professor Ku of being "disloyal" and breaching Dean Mitchell's trust by reporting his behavior to Provost Bacslack.  Dean Mitchell stated that he viewed Professor Ku's reporting as "betrayal" and a "breach of trust" and questioned whether Ku could continue to work as associate dean.
How dare he!  The basic result - this thing runs 29 pages, okay? - is that Dean Mitchell allegedly retaliated by forcing Professor Ku to show up to work five days a week (paragraph 55) along with other retaliating threats and actions, the university tried to cover it up, blah blah blah.

I may have gotten bored with it, but you know it's well done, as Ku hired a Yale law grad to represent him.

Also, Exhibit 3 is a flier ostensibly passed out at some event that lambasts Dean Mitchell's attitude towards women, like:
Dean Mitchell, what does it say about your attitude toward female students that you joked to Case faculty members that the Case graduate student you were having an affair with, "wasn't good for anything but keeping the bed warm"?
Just because that woman was worthless doesn't mean the rest are worthless.  Some women are only good for a few things.  Others are not.  That's called "diversity" and it's a good thing.

So, uh, I guess it's chest-thumping red-blooded LawDean vs. entitled prestigious diversity LawProf.

In case you are living in a cave, let me tell you how this ends:  Mitchell and the school win.

Face it:  Larry Mitchell is the head of a private third-tier law school.  His unofficial job description is to create a smoke and mirrors operation that gets as much student loan money as possible before the lemmings wake up.  And then he bragged about it to the New York Times.  Do you think a sexual harassment allegation is going to phase this battle-scarred motherfucker?  You think Case, an institution in the joint venture of flooding Ohio with indebted attorneys, gives a shit?

Kids, I'm like 45-1 in predicting the result of lawsuits based on which side the law school is on.  Bet on the house.  The house always wins.  Just like a Succubus.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Prestige Never Dies: Business Insider's Top Law Schools

As I've said previously, every new ranking that comes out is good for law schools, because it increases the odds that any given crap school will wind up on at least one list which it can use to pimp to prospectives and current students trying to rationalize the terrible, terrible decision they've made.  I mean, enough bogus rankings come out and eventually someone will put Cooley no. 2 or American at 23rd.

Here's Business Insider's methodology:
We asked more than 400 American legal professionals to select the 10 law schools that would best serve a legal career.
Objection to foundation OVERRULED.  Obviously, if you're going to try and figure out what would be best for a student facing law school today, you don't need to figure out employment projections from actual data or look at tuition/debt levels, or look at current opportunities at various schools, or pay attention to how saturated the local legal markets are for new graduates in various areas.

Nope, just ask a random bunch of busy working professionals to comment via SurveyMonkey on conjecture.

Select results:

5.   Georgetown University
10.  University of Chicago
12.  University of Pennsylvania
23.  American University
29.  Pepperdine University
36.  Yeshiva University (Cardozo)
39.  Loyola Marymount University
Not listed in top 50:  Alabama, Maryland, Arizona State, Houston, etc.

I'm astounded.  I've been trying to figure out a way to credibly claim that Georgetown is still a top 5 law school.  Jesus all you have to do is ask a bunch of people an unscientific survey that has no interest in actually getting students good information.

Sometimes, the easiest way to scam is just be dumb.

Loyola-Marymount is a better school than Alabama to best serve a legal career.  Take it from "Business Insider" (which, it seems, is deliberately doubly ironic).

Thursday, October 17, 2013

S&P Unaware of Pending Rebound in Legal Education, May Downgrade Brooklyn

Standard & Poor may downgrade Brooklyn Law School's debt:
In a report, the credit ratings agency lowered its outlook on the school's debt, issued by the New York State Dormitory, to negative from stable.
In a statement, a spokesman for the law school acknowledged S&P’s concerns but added, “We are highly confident that, despite these challenges, Brooklyn Law School will continue to do well.” He also noted that Moody’s Investors Service reconfirmed a stable outlook on the school’s debt two months ago.
Headcount decreased 10% to 1,137 this fall from a year ago and 22% over the last three years, the ratings agency said.
For the fiscal year ended, June 30, 2012, Brooklyn reported a $996,000 operating deficit, the report said.
Obviously, S&P is underestimating the future of law school, this one in particular.  A million dollar deficit?  Shit, Joan Wexler made 1.3 million in 2011.  You could cut salaries at the school from stupendously ridiculous to merely exhorbitant and - bam! - you've got a profit.  Plus, Brooklyn has a long way to go down in finding new lemmings to harvest.  And as the unindentified spokesman pointed out in the article, Brooklyn is launching a two-year program that will substantially increase revenue if you live in fantasydemandland, where the AALS owns a time share and some mineral leases.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Touro Brings Class-Action Against Diploma Mill Law School

The pot called the kettle black, but it was okay because the pot was more of a dark gray.  There's 50 shades, people, and law schools are quite familiar with all of them.

Yes, Touro College has brought a lawsuit against Novus University for turning out phony law degrees.  Yours truly has located a copy of the complaint on New York's online system.  Obviously, this school was really scamming people, as apposed to "scamming" people, like the law schools allegedly do.

Scambloggers, pay attention now.

Touro purportedly has standing to bring this because it's claiming it relied on false representations regarding accreditation made to third parties and as a result erroneously accepted cash cash cash, er, students, into its LLM program.  On behalf of the class (of all law schools similarly situated), Touro alleges that Novus claimed it was a legitimate foreign law school instead of an on-line school that didn't even have a faculty (the horror!!!).

The degrees, Touro says, are worthless.  Obviously!  This damages Touro, who only "admits students in accordance with its mission of educating future attorney [sic - is there one per class?] who will be qualified, competent, and ethical."  Novus, on the other hand, is a California corporation that allegedly set up in the Marshall Islands and represented itself as being international when it was not.  Both Texas and Oregon have deemed the degrees illegal/unauthorized, whereas Touro is legal in both.  Do you see the difference, scambloggers?!
Novus does not apprise the consumer of these facts, and in instead [sic], refers to its degress as "prestigious." [par. 60]
Novus's business model in [sic] predicated entirely upon falsehoods, misstatements, half-truths, and hyperbole.  [par. 64]
As opposed to mostly predicated on falsehoods, misstatements, half-truths, and hyperbole.

Touro claims that Novvus claims accreditation under Marshall Islands law when it states that it confers degrees on the "power of the Novus University of the Marshall Islands."  More representations that put Touro's panties in a bunch:
"Some of the best minds of our nation have law degress that did not require an LSAT, and you will rank among them with your own JD degree."  [par. 73(i).]
"[A]s the Internet becomes more and more prevalent in education the likelihood of expanding ABA approval to worthy online programs increases." [par. 73(iii).]
Novus communicates on its website that a Novus degree "qualifies you to be the authority on a number of different topics."
Obviously, these are statements of fact and not mere puffery or opinion.  Touro also takes issue issue with the conspicuousness of whatever disclaimers Novus actually made:
On the Novus website, in a section requiring multiple links to access, (hereinafter the "Buried Section"), Defendant makes mention of the ABA, the process to be licensed to practice law, and provides a lengthy "terms of service" provision.  (par. 80).
The so-called Buried Section also discloses that states generally require ABA accreditation and that the ABA does not approve online schools.

Touro wound up involved in "frivolous" litigation with people it had admitted into its prestigious LLM programs on the basis of having a Novus degree.  They use the word "hoodwinked"  (par. 129) and conclude that it is a "diploma mill" under federal law.  (par. 131).

My favorite line in the entire thing:
Any Juris Doctor degrees awarded by Novus are illusory and hollow. light of the fact that Touro did not enroll in the program and the complaint does not make many affirmative allegations about the instruction itself.  I mean, I always thought learning the law gave you powerful versatility regardless of whether you were licensed in anything.

Touro's general counsel apparently did all this and signed it.  The law school that charges 22k for a semester is apparently representing itself pro se.  I suppose with such an obvious case, there's no need to hire outside counsel.


1.  Touro obviously has standing to bring a declaratory judgment action against another for making representations addressed to a third party that the third party made subsequently to Touro.

2.  Touro obviously was duped by disclaimer information that's clearly available on the school's website and would, in the absence of such information, be common fucking sense.

3.  Touro obviously was duped by puffery regarding the abilities and prospects of graduates of this other school.

4.  Touro obviously did everything it could to ensure educational and institutional integrity in verifying the qualifications of all its applicants before placing them on the cash conveyor belt.

5.  Touro obviously has done nothing hypocritical at all.

When I speak to the Zen of scamming others, it's shit like this that has me bowing down and weeping while clutching my diploma.  People have alleged that Touro pumps out nearly-worthless degrees and was not conspicuous enough in telling graduates that they would most likely be unemployed and deeply in debt.  So what do you do?  Make some lemonade, motherfuckers.  Find a law school that's even worse as-in it basically takes students money conducts "classes" over email/phone (with no faculty, the horror!!!) and SUE SUE SUE.  

That's a real scam law school.

By comparison, Touro is obviously a prestigious, upstanding institution that would never, ever bilk its students in any way.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thirty Percent Fail Bar; School Applauds

Florida Bar Results (bottom part):
ALL law schools, 77.2%  (2373 of 3073)
Barry, 74.8%  (92 of 123)
St. Thomas, 73.7%  (112 of 152)
NON-FLORIDA law schools, 72.2%  (615 of 852)
FAMU, 71.7%  (109 of 152)
Florida Coastal, 67.4%  (209 of 310)
Ave Maria, 57.7%  (45 of 78)
Florida A&M's Reaction:
"Law school students ace Bar exams" 
Florida A&M College of Law students are beating state averages 
The FAMU College of Law sent more than 150 students to take the Bar and had a 70 percent passing rate in July. That was the highest passing rate for such a large group.

Obviously, this is just puffery and could never be taken for a statement of fact.

The school gets mega-super bonus points for this particular strain:
FAMU’s College of Law was recently under review by the American Bar Association for the quality of its program. The association said that the school was not meeting the criteria to stay accredited. 
Washington said the overall group of July test takers was advancing towards a “steady mark of improvement.”
In light of this:
The accreditation committee questioned whether FAMU was doing enough to prepare students for the exam needed to get a law license. The 31-page report points out that 30 percent of the students admitted either do not graduate the school or do not pass the bar exam.
For you non-math majors, that's a steady mark of improvement.  This is like the kid running home with a D+ on his report card because he's not getting D's anymore, but if you put it in a press release, it looks much, much more reputable.

If only you bums had that level of optimism,..

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I Went Back to Ohio, But My Law School Was Gone

Traffic for this space was up some 20% over the last few days because some grateful, law school-supporting soul decided to spread the word on something called "top law schools."*  I find such a phrase redundant; they're all at the top.

Unfortunately, law school traffic in Ohio is down considerably.  The numbers (OSU is down 20+% in application volume.) are depressing as hell, so let's award prizes for the best DeanSpeak(c).

Here's the silver medal:
“They’re coming in with their eyes open, and that makes them more serious about their studies and passionate about potential jobs,” said Daniel Steinbock, dean of the University of Toledo College of Law.
Yeah, because you 2008 graduates weren't passionate enough about finding gainful employment.  Shame on you all!

But the winner is this delightful presentation:
Worried about attracting too many under-qualified students, Cleveland State cut the target for its entering class from a high of 203 in 2009 to 140 this year, Boise said. 
To offset the loss of revenue, Cleveland State cut $800,000 from its budget last year, partly through attrition. And it expects to slash $750,000 more over the next two years. 
The school also raised tuition 9.5 percent this year...
Thank God.  For a second, I was worried Cleveland-Marshall was going to have a respectably-sized, fairly-priced law school for a city that probably actually needs it.  Phew, that was close.  Oh, and thanks to Dean Boise for keeping all those under-qualified students away from the hallowed halls of low 150 LSATs.  This time-tested business strategy of jacking prices while downsizing because of unhappiness with the customer pool should end well.

Folks, at some point you have to take responsibility for your own actions.  Your revealing of the truth regarding law school has caused significant alterations to the fiber of the learned profession.  Schools are no longer sure if they should take as many suckers as possible, or feign prestige, or increase tuition to balance costs, or decrease tuition to attract customers.  This confusion is all your fault, and you will pay for your selfishness through higher attorney prices and a throng of unrepresented people clamoring for sweet, sweet justice.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Enduring Fourth Tier: CSOL and Indiana Tech

The year is 2013.  It's October.  The cat has been out of the bag for quite some time.

And yet there's a pending bidding war that's developed for the for-sale Charleston School of Law.  Read it and weep:
The state’s Commission on Higher Education on Thursday gave Charleston School of Law leaders a green light to discuss a possible sale of the private law school to the public College of Charleston.  Edward Westbrook, one of the law school’s founders and a member of its board, had asked the commission...
Retired U.S. magistrate judges George Kosko and Robert Carr, two of the three remaining founders and board members of the law school, however, announced Tuesday that they were proceeding with a sale to the for-profit InfiLaw System.
College of Charleston spokesman Mike Robertson said the college is interested in entering into discussions about a possible acquisition of the law school.... the college is prepared to enter into these discussions if the Charleston School of Law indicates its interest.”
Ha!  You stupid kids keep talking about law schools closing.  These founders have a private party who wants to buy their craptacular law school, and now they have the green light to open discussions with a public school.  So now they're either getting the state to overpay them for a law school that has limited prospects OR they can push InfiLaw for a higher price.

Have these guys played their cards right, or what?  They picked one of the two entities that would cause an uproar among their fourth-tier alunmi sufficient to get the state involved in possibly taking over the law school instead.  This is high-level corporate gamesmanship.  These guys have been feasting off student loans for years; what more could you expect than a brilliant exit strategy that screws the state one way or the other?

Seriously, at this point these public servants (two of the three are former federal judges) are either going to leave the state of South Carolina holding the bag of a deadweight second public law school or a fully-fledged member of the InfiLaw troupe.

In case you can't see the ending, the founders are the only people sure to win this game.

Meanwhile, at Indiana Tech:
...the school is also providing training in things like legal writing, litigation and alternative dispute resolution with a lot of hands-on instruction in courtroom settings. 
"We'll basically enact or re-enact a case like Hamdi vs. Rumsfeld, where we have to present both sides of the argument, and both sides can be argued very well, and we're learning that, and we learn it a lot better than just a regular lecture..."
Behold the revolution in law school pedagogy!  Arguing cases like Hamdi v. Rumsfeld is exactly what these students will be doing in five years, so it's good that they're actually learning how to argue these high-level cases about the due process rights of who-the-fuck-cares.

(Why in the butter-flavored world are you discussing Hamdi v. Rumsfeld in the first two months of law classes?)

Oh, and for the record, the survivor count at Indiana Tech is at 28 according to that article.  The joke's on you, people who thought they'd be down to 25 by midterms.  If junction boys logic has any truth to it, these are going to be the best lawyers in the state.

(Are they even going to set a curve for this class?   Kick out the bottom 2?  Rescind scholarships for not being in the top 14?  Is everyone going to be a board member on the I-Tech Law Review?)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Boo and/or Hiss, Judge Jonker

If you'll recall, Cooley had to sue a blogger and a law firm to defend its honor.

Just in time for the federal shut-down, Judge Jonker shut down Cooley's claims.

See scambloggers?  That's proof positive that the judiciary is not biased towards the schools.  Of course, that doesn't change the fact that the decision is rid-to-the-iculus.  For example:
A public controversy exists concerning the value of a law degree.
p. 11.  Uh, no, there is no controversy.  A law degree is valuable, transformative, and enriching.  There is no controversy there.