Monday, June 30, 2014

No, Really, Apply to Law School Now!

When Jordan Weissman at Slate published his recent article that it might be a good time to go to law school, critics lambasted him. Undeterred, Weissman has doubled down with a part deux that makes me want to drink vodka until my brain explode in an orgasm of bliss.

Choice bits:
Right now, law school looks like a stock that crashed too far after a panic, and is suddenly a bit undervalued. It’s a good time to buy....
Simkovic and McIntyre’s paper is controversial in part because it looks back at the glory days of the legal industry to predict what tomorrow’s grads might make. But the fact that even law graduates with low earnings made a solid return on their investment is a good sign for current students. And, as far as I know, nobody has managed to come up with a better set of numbers. (Beyond that, Simkovic and McIntyre don’t even bother to account for debt forgiveness programs, which help make graduate school a safer investment.)
Nonetheless, most long-term, full-time J.D.-advantage jobs aren’t paralegal spots and the like. The majority are professional opportunities in business, government, and the nonprofit world with pay that’s on par with much of the legal sector.
God damn, that's some tasty bits.

Rightly, Weissman's clckbait ignores those uninformed haterz who think it's an error to assume that employer behavior will remain a constant.  Nothing ever changes in law, which is precisely why all this crap about unemployment is nonsense.  Everyone knows lawyers make bank.  Look at the Simkovic and McIntyre study!  Even if it's terribly flawed and mistaken in theory, no one else is providing better numbers.  

At a time when most writers are wimping out, Jordan Weissman and Slate boldly repeat their inconvenient controversial truth.  That's a service.  A public service.  More importantly, it is the sort of doubling down that law graduates should learn.  If ever you become unemployed, don't start going negative.  Get yourself an LLM.

But that probably won't be necessary, as the ratio of grads to jobs will virtually guarantee that tomorrow's law graduates will land employment.  It's like investing in a stock that's got a guaranteed return AND gives you models and bottles.

Models and bottles, folks.  Models and bottles.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Apply to Law School Now!

Have I mentioned before how I'm consistently impressed with the journalism quality at  People used to say that on the internet, no one knows your a dog.  That any old hack could set up a webpage or submit articles to some shitrag and pass utter nonsense off for the minions who gobble it up.  Obviously, bucks that trend, or proves valuable in the fight against lowering standards, or whatever.

Thanks to the historic enrollment crash that has shrunk law school classes during the past few years, it means that graduates might soon be looking at a shockingly strong job market.
With less competition it should be far easier for graduates to find decent work....[If past numbers hold] we can expect that about 91 percent of the class of 2016 will find long-term, full-time work, compared with about 72 percent last year. About 73 percent would be in full-time, long-term legal jobs, compared with 58 percent last year.

Screw anything else I could possibly say!

91%!  Kids, if you go to law school right now, you have a 91% chance of full-time gainful employment!  And these aren't the bogus, made-up stats we in the legal education sector were throwing around a few years ago!  These are real numbers backed by real data backed by math and science.  YOU COULD CITE IT IN A LAW JOURNAL!  Listen, this guy is the Senior Business and Economic Correspondent!

If the did a similar analysis in order to calculate the salaries that accompany that 91% I would think... maybe $150,000?  I mean, I know that's speculation, but it's based on data that's based on math and science.

91%!  $150,000!

Christ, you would be insane not to go to law school.  Jordan Weissman is not only a trend-bucker, but he's a surefire nominee for a MacAthur Grant.

91%, and we don't even have to lie about it, since we can just make it up using math based on crude projections.

So many kids have bailed from law school it's now a money-making bargain.  The moral of the story is to jump in before the masses come rushing back.

Go get 'em, prospective lawyer.  Go get 'em.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

JD Advantage: You Can Start Me Up

Startups are a wonderful area in which recent law school grads can thrive and build on their skills.
Yes, "Starting Up" - who DEFINITELY is real - asked U.S. News and World Report's Shawn O'Connor for advice about landing in a non-attorney role with start-ups and - BOOM SHAKALAKA - Shawn hits it hard.
I recommend taking some courses to round out your resume if you don’t already have that expertise.
At this point in the article, readers are probably wondering what classes are ideal for tech start-ups.  Let me suggest!  Let me think of a good law school for high-tech start-ups...  Why, Santa Clara! In addition to the standard, missionary-position slate of business courses, you can get this buffet of karma sutra-goodness:
Advanced Corporations:  249
Advertising and Marketing Law:  712
Assisted Reproduction[1], Cloning, and Genetic Engineering:  525 (special startups only)
Civil Practice, High Tech, and Social Justice Externship I and I:  590/597
Climate Change Law:  669 (hey, your business needs to know this shit!)
Community Economic Development:  513 (this too!)
Computer and High Technology Law Journal:  799
Corporate Social Responsibility:  363
Corporate Theory and Policy:  541
Entertainment Transactions:  324 (special startups only)
Improving America's Economic Competitiveness: 564
Internet Law:  793
Intro to High Tech Law:  717
IP Theory:  708
Leadership for Lawyers:  521
Legal and Business Aspects of the Entertainment Ind.:  649 (special startups only)
Legal Issues of Start-Up Businesses:  387
Legal Systems Very Different Than Ours:  353
Mass Communication I and II: Television, Cable, Satellite Video and Convergence:  429/520
Technology Licensing:  228
My god, you could start so many start-ups, you'd be like the Ed Sullivan plate spinner of the high-tech start-up community.

Back to the article:
The next thing I would do is explore organizations that pique your interest the most and research their legal needs. If listed on their website or LinkedIn, check out the list of employees and see if they are lacking a critical role. 
Once you have identified companies and their needs, don’t be afraid to cold call or email.
An area where I am constantly seeing new graduates fail is by not taking advantage of everything you can learn about a random company through linkedin.  That, and cold calling.

But there's also part of this article that makes me WAG MY BIG FINGER:
An MBA prepares students for leadership and entrepreneurial roles, which could be a better fit for your goals.
What the shit, Shawn?  You and I both know that the JD is a valued credential among all sorts of sorts.  Just look at the course offerings Santa Clara has to offer.  Do you think someone who studies Leadership for Lawyers and Corporate Social Responsibility isn't well-trained for such roles?  Get real.

[1] All reproduction is assisted reproduction.  Unless you're one of those animals.

Also, I offer this service in an alleyway for $25.  I call it a start-up and go by the street name J.D. Advantage.  Scam on.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Double Pennsylvanitration, or, Go, Nittany Fatcats

Where once there were three public law schools in Pennsylvania, there soon will be four.  Collapsing bubble?  I think not.  That's a 33.3% increase, for you math-less law graduates out there (i.e., all of you who think paying $200k for the prestige of the J.D. is a "rip off").

Penn State is going for double the fun:
The American Bar Association has granted Penn State’s request for separate accreditations for its two law school campuses, starting with classes entering in fall 2015, the university said Wednesday. 
The name Dickinson School of Law will remain as an umbrella, but the independent campuses will now be known as Penn State Law at University Park and Dickinson Law in Carlisle.
Remember how New Jersey's state public university is called Rutgers, and they decided to have separate law school campuses and it worked flawlessly and the benefits have been worth it long-term?  It's become the envy of other states, I guess, and the craze of having two public law schools under the state public flagship is sweeping westward.

Let me put on my Nostradamus hat and tell you all where this is going:

The Ohio State Moritz College of Law (Columbus)
The Ohio State Moritz College of Law (Cleveland)
Indiana-Fort Wayne Art District
University of Illinois-Urbana
University of Illinois-Chicago
University of Illinois-East St. Louis
Iowa College of Law (Iowa City)
Iowa College of Law (Sioux City)
Iowa College of Law (Quad Cities)
University of Minnesota (Minneapolis)
University of Minnesota (Crookston)
University of Minnesota (Morris)
University of Minnesota (Rochester)
University of Minnesota (Duluth)
University of Minnesota (Frostbite Falls)

If there's one thing Minnesota needs, it's five more law school campuses outside of the Minneapolis St. Paul area.  Also, Rocky and Bullwinkle references.  You and your negativity are fracturing your own fairy tale of JD riches.  Get in your damned wayback machine and go back to a time when schoolchildren understood Soviet villains and lousy whiny lawyers could make bank.
“Penn State is very serious about the law school business,” James Houck, who is serving as interim dean for Penn State Law, said Wednesday. “Penn State has had a full opportunity to look at this and decide they are all in. They want to have two terrific law schools.”

Monday, June 16, 2014

Quinnipiac Officials Showcasing the Art

Oh, Quinnipiac.  You're one of those schools whose frivolousness often gets overlooked in the greater scam.  Your relative neighbors Vermont and Albany have gained more attention in recent times, and likely never reach the lofty heights of the lemming abattoirs in the large urban areas, like NESL or Touro.

But you can hold your own.  Cue Ed Wilkes, associate vice president and dean of admissions:
"The legal job market has suffered, and it hasn't quite fully rebounded yet," said Ed Wilkes... 
"No one predicted there would be this kind of huge drop in applications," Wilkes said. 
The decline in applications is linked to the perception of withering job prospects, school officials said. As in other industries, technology advances and outsourcing have disrupted the legal job market. The economic downturn forced firms small and large to reduce the number of summer associates and new hires, Wilkes said....
Emphasis added to showcase the expertise in word choice.  "Yet," meaning it's going to fully rebound?  "Perception," as in there's some subjectivity to the lousy job market and he's unsure about it?  "Small," meaning that small firms were once taking on summer associates?

The drop in applications came out of nowhere?!?!?!

Behold the product of the master craftsman.

Enjoy the new campus, schlubs.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Your ABA Looking Out for You, Blocks Student-Debtor Pay; UC-Irvine Worth It, One of Nation's Best

The ABA recently affirmed the already-standing ban on students getting both pay and credit for performing externships.  As they say in LawLand, they reached the correct result.  Let's get some legal reasoning for the more intellectually-minded:
But a majority of the council sided with critics of the proposed change, who fear that allowing students to be paid for a field placement program for which they receive academic credit would undermine the academic focus of the experience. 
“If this is about the educational experience, it shouldn’t be turned into a job,” said Edwin J. Butterfoss, a professor at Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, one of nine council members who voted the proposal down.
Seriously.  Academics and money should be separated.  You can't be educated on something while being paid for it.  Everyone knows that once you receive fair compensation for something, you stop learning anything.  That's why corporate America sucks at training people.  Only through the alchemy of signing a master promissory note and sitting with professors like Mr. Butterfoss - or working for free, of course - can one truly clear their mind and learn.

Otherwise, lawyers would be able to learn most of their trade while on the job the first few years.  As we all know, that does not currently happen, as law schools are the exclusive educational source for students, and a complete one at that.  Besides, the companies who choose to have externs instead of hiring law clerks or young attorneys should be rewarded for their affiliation with law schools and the nation's educational mission.  Everyone deserves to get some free labor.

Meanwhile, elsewhere right-minded peoples have found additional reasons to reject such changes:
The Clinical Legal Education Association also opposed dropping the pay ban, fearing creation of a system of unequal access as employers accepted only students they deemed worthy of long-term employment.
Egads.  A system where employers bring on the best potential candidates?  Unheard of.  Thank goodness firms now have the freedom to continue bringing on completely unworthy students.

That was a fun meal, wasn't it?

Here's desert:
As you'll see from the links after the jump, we've written since the UC Irvine School of Law's opening in 2009 about critics who felt California did not need another law school and the world certainly did not need more lawyers. But the law school has soldiered on, becoming among the most respected in the nation.
Yummy yummy.  Take that, critics.  Cali obviously needed a new law school, and you are wrong.  Case closed.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Viva la Innovacion! LSAT Less Mandatory Than Yesterday

Innovation.  You asked for it.  You got it.
The [ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar], which met Friday in Cleveland, approved five of the six remaining proposed changes in the standards, including one that would permit schools to admit up to 10 percent of their entering class with students who haven’t taken the LSAT...
See?  You all bitch that law schools don't try to save students money.  Now a tenth of the class doesn't have to pay the LSAT administration fee!  Also, now law schools can be more flexible about, like, bringing in diverse candidates who just don't test well.

If you're in a state like Wisconsin, you can now go to law school without taking the LSAT and waive into the bar.  The eradication of the severe oppression of taking standardized tests after the SAT may well have begun.  That's progress you can eat for breakfast.

When did this whole "scamblog" nonsense begin?  Last year?  Look at the progress the ABA is already making.  Up yours, naysayers.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Congratulations, UC-Irvine!

UC-Irvine is now fully-accredited!  Congratulations to Dean Chemerinsky and his insta-prestigious vanity law school for clearing the ABA's arduous hurdles and joining the prestigious ranks of such schools as Thomas Jefferson, Touro, and the multi-campus John Marshall Experience.

It's refreshing that California understands the need to continually replenish the ranks of law schools, even while running headlong into a recession and legal industry collapse with naysayers babbling blah blah blah.

Meanwhile, Louisianans COULD have built a law school four years ago, but some have their heads up their butts.
Amid the accreditation and forged signature scandals, it is time Louisiana College’s new leadership abandons the law school project and focuses on the real problem on the campus.
Please.  Look at UC-Irvine.  They have a shiny, sterling law school placing 64% of is graduates long term, bar passage required jobs.  They've increased enrollment by 37 students since 2010 while other law schools are declining.  Maybe you could even build a public law school that charges $44k.  Who knows?!  The sky's the limit, and with a lot of hard work and innovation, you, too, can have an ABA accredited school working wonders in legal education.

Hey, Louisiana, remember the civil war?  Yeah, you're wrong on this one, too.

Build it and they will come, or, well, someone comes.  Scam on.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ohio State Professor Strikes Back for InfiLaw

If there's one thing I have to tell you about InfiLaw, it's that empires don't fall easily.  Yesterday afternoon, Prof. Steven Davidoff (Ohio State/Moritz) struck a blow for InfiLaw in the New York Times.  Put on your shades, kids, 'cause these gems are brilliant:
The complaints that InfiLaw operates schools of lower quality than Charleston seem overheated. 
In fact, InfiLaw’s statistics for its students are largely comparable to Charleston’s for tuition, salaries, jobs, low loan default rates and passage of the bar. Not only that, but InfiLaw has a track record of improving schools....
With everyone looking to profit, the private equity accusation may be shorthand for a more real fear about the acquisition — that a private equity firm will lower standards. InfiLaw has a broader focus and appears much more willing to admit students with lower scores on the Law School Admission Test.
Lost among the dispute is the fact that a lower-tier law school like Charleston — whoever owns it — can not only produce capable graduates but help students start careers they couldn’t have without a law degree.
InfiLaw will not be Harvard, but for those who go in with open eyes, it may be a path to being a lawyer. The point is really to make sure that students know the costs and benefits before they matriculate so they can make a sound judgment about whether to attend. In other words, if InfiLaw or Charleston cannot provide an education that helps students obtain jobs, then presumably students will know and not attend. 

As Professor Davidoff eloquently points out, Charleston Law School was doing just fine in terms of training lawyers, EXCEPT that its owners were making too much money at the expense of students.  InfiLaw can add more bang for the buck while improving the law school and allowing for easier access to justice, all while operating in a free market of caveat emptor-minded, sharp consumers.

InfiLaw may have withdrawn its application, but the war is hardly over.  Read Sun Tzu, people.

A lesser writer may have argued that Charleston Law School has no reason for continued existence and that the school should fold while having the legislature seek reciprocal in-state perks at Georgia and North Carolina schools to satisfy any demand that USC cannot meet.  A lesser writer may have pointed out that neither Charleston nor InfiLaw's slate of schools are reasonable options for anyone, for-profit or non-profit or whatever.  A lesser writer may have raised the actual market demand for lower-tier law graduates.

Thankfully, Prof. Davidoff hasn't bought into the cynicism.  While he sees that students may have been paying too much, he understands the need for large secondary law schools in a small state and encourages a market-driven, caveat emptor approach.  Why, if the judges could profit handsomely, InfiLaw should get a turn.  Heck, InfiLaw could make it better.

Look, I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and by gum it put them on the map!

'Merica.  Free Market.  Diversity.  Openness.  Think of the students.  Scam on.