Monday, November 30, 2015

Valvoline Dean Living Sports Law Dream

For all those of you who think that Patrick Hobbs a/k/a "The Valvoline Dean," former slickmeister at the helm of Seton Hall, is - say - a bucket of oleaginous pond scum - please take heed of the conclusion by this esteemed media organization:
Hobbs' credentials are impeccable.
Suck on that teat, Bullock.  It's been like six years since people started calling out/"slandering" this guy for being a glorified used car salesman at Seton Hall and he's still got an "impeccable" reputation in the media.

Kids, you've been served.  Make sure you tip 20% like grown ups who wear pocket squares.

In any event, Hobbs is about to softly land his parachute in what might be called a top sports law JD Advantage job:
Rutgers officials were unavailable for comment, but two sources familiar with the decision said all signs pointed to Barchi tapping Hobbs to run the Rutgers athletics department.
Yes, Dean Hobbs is going to glide right out of legal education and right into running a Big Ten athletic department.  When you think about it, Big Ten Network money is sorta like the GradPlus program, no?

Skeptics might ask themselves what, exactly, Hobbs has done to warrant this job.  They might point out that his prior stint as an AD was on an interim basis for a school without a D-1 football program where his one revenue hire has gone 30-60 in conference basketball play.  They might observe that Rutgers has a significantly larger alumni base and Hobbs doesn't seem to have any experience with big-program athletic fundraising, which is a different animal that pumping older lawyers for a share of the lucre.  They might also cynically remark that the federal government does not back loans for purchasing Rutgers football tickets.

BUT TO THEM, I would say:  Behold! This be the mighty power of the juris doctor!  When Rutgers looks at Hobbs, it doesn't see a slick bullshitting academic who could sell a traffic court clerkship as a six-figure jackpot to salivating law students.  It sees a man with finely tuned leadership abilities and the breadth of knowledge granted only by a legal education - including an intimate knowledge of how college athletics interacts with law and such.  It doesn't just see a man who's an expert at pulling money out of fools into a ridiculous and unnecessary program; it seems a man who does so while wielding the mighty modern day Tyrfing of Justice with every step in his finely polished shoes.

So to those who argue that sports law is a non-field, I present Dean Hobbs, our latest exhibit that with a bit of hard work, dedication, gravitas, and the right dominoes falling, any law graduate can find himself or herself in a position to hoodwink one's way into running a power five athletic department.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Humane Proposal for the Syrian Refugees this Thanksgiving

Syrian refugees have been a big item in the news this week.  There must be, like, a war or something going on over there.  Anyway, our Law Professor in Chief decided to grant 10,000 of them refuge in the United States.  Then France got attacked and a bunch of GOP governors decided to protest the refugees.

Thankfully, I have a solution to this quandary - it starts with "juris" and ends in a drunken hot tub among many beautiful people!

In short (actually, in entirety), we give them all master promissory notes, but only if they enroll an ABA-accredited law school.  Immediately, we have assisted in reducing low law school enrollments.  But the positive effects don't stop there!  By enrolling them a law school with the backing of American funds, you would breed a generation of lawyers who would no doubt have an affinity for law and justice and the American way.
Terrorism?  For the 1 in 10,000 who might possibly want to blow up a synagogue, any such desires will be radically snuffed by learning the almighty rule off law.  Whatever glory comes of being a shoe bomber is sure to wane after reading International Shoe.

And let's not forget the awesome benefits enjoyed the American public when 10,000 new lawyers emerge in three years' time.  As a result of welcoming more Syrian folk, the law schools - and the profession - would be enriched by greater diversity.

After graduating from law school, these fine new citizen superheroes would either enrich the American public by bringing buckets o' justice to the landscape OR they could be conduits for American democracy to enrich the Middle East.  If Jimmy Carter and the Bush family couldn't democratically "fix" that part of the world, I have no doubt that Thomas Cooley and Whittier are up to the task.

So let 'em in and give 'em a hornbook.  For a modest investment from the treasury (and one that will pay back richly when these people are bringing in more bacon than a Wendy's), we can repopulate America's law schools to stop the inevitable lawyer shortage, give these folks a marketable, life-affirming skill-set, and quell any concerns of nervous conservatives by educating these folks in the majesty of the common law.

If that's not a humane proposal in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I don't know what is.  In fact, now that I think about it, if there's one more thing that we should've done for the Native Americans while we were systematically eradicating their presence on this continent, it's that we should've done more to teach them our way of law.  After all, a Cooley law degree is certainly worth more than smallpox.

If you enjoy outside-the-box solutions like this, remember, I'm not just a shameless shill for law schools.  I'm also a law school graduate. 

Happy Thanksgiving.  I'll probably be working in the afternoon.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Charleston Saga...Concluded?

From The Post and Courier, winner of the Pulitzer Prize:
Last week, the law school announced that Georgetown lawyer Ed Bell will take over as president and managing partner of the law school. InfiLaw is out of the picture.
He is committed to making the School of Law a nonprofit school as soon as it is possible to do so. Doing that will encourage people and businesses to give tax-deductible scholarship money to the school, allowing students to avoid accruing such heavy debt loads. 
Robert Carr and George Kosko, the main proponents for selling to InfiLaw, remain as co-owners. They have said they welcome Mr. Bell (who will be paid $1 a year) and the financial support, vision and stability that he will provide the school. 
Well, sounds like their problems are solved.  Sure, it sucks that good ol' 'Flaw couldn't add itself a crown jewel to the ol' empire, but Charleston School of Law will now be on the sure path of financial success as such other non-profit law schools like Vermont or Indiana Tech.  Charleston School of Law may have only been founded in 2003, and the world at large may still be turning downward for law schools - particularly less-prestigious stand-alone shit heaps - but gosh darn it, CSOL just feels right in the Charleston community and if it gives everyone the warm and fuzzies that it's going to be exploiting the 145s as a non-profit, then I say let's throw money at it and print six-digit promissory notes as fast as we can.

Kudos to Mr. Bell of Georgetown (S.C., not the university) for finding the most pleasing way possible for a plaintiff's attorney to advertise and gain rapport with the public.  Given that law school is poised for a massive turnaround in interest any year now, it's high time that CSOL brings in a visionary who can nudge the school into non-profit territory and reel in a whole new class of sucker who's too good to pick up a million-dollar paycheck from Florida Coastal or Charlotte.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Budding County Star Not in Law School, Losing Potentially Millions in Lucrative Sub-Niche

Randy Houser is a budding country music star.  But when asked how law school is going, he gets surprisingly non-receptive:
[A]ccording to the country singer-songwriter’s online biography posted on Wikipedia, “He enrolled in the Texas Tech University School of Law in August 2015 with intentions to graduate in 2018 and seek admission to the State Bar of Texas. As of September 2015, Houser intends to pursue a double concentration in intellectual property and jurisprudence.”
“I don’t know anything about that,” he says...
Even if his Wikipedia page is "totally fabricated," he should take it as a sign from White Country God that now's the time to strike and become a star in a different sphere.  The world might need another Wrangler-commercial cowboy singing songs about godly white people and their pickup trucks, but the world needs another lawyer even more.  With a law degree from [Texas Tech] concentrating in [Jurisprudence], his estimated annual income stream would be around [$183,913].  Giddy-up!

Still want to twang, partner?

In fact, what if Houser could combine the two?  I see it now: a minstrel lawyer, simultaneously imbued with Gene Autry and Abraham Lincoln, gleefully ripping off clients and Toby Keith at the same time.  Because it's an area I just now made up, it's now doubt severely under-served, and Houser would be poised to make millions and fill a hot tub with the domestic beer of his choice.

Shit, if dre d.p. cummings can fuse hip hop and the law as a scholarly discipline, I fail to see why Houser couldn't inspire a new wave of lawyer-musician-scholars to forge Country-Western and the Law as a bona fide curriculum addition, if not a streamlined LLM program at a school like Wyoming or Tulsa.

I'll even start y'all off with some song lyrics.  Cue the steel guitar:

Sittin' on my porch, my dog 'n' me
Like the night sky came clear to see
I would go to Tech and study I.P.
then sing about justice and liberty.
Well I'm who I am because of J.C.
Now I make my money because of J.D.
...because of J.D.
...because of J.D.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

American Dream Alive and Well at NYLS

Back in May, I praised Joe Plumeri for some sage advice that will ensure many an NYLS graduate a bucketload of clients, joy, and money money money money money.

Now Plumeri is putting his hard-earned money where his mouth is.  Five million to NYLS.  Finally - FINALLY - an American law school will have a "Center for Social Justice and Economic Opportunity."

Mr. Plumeri is never as a loss for ingeniousness.
“The American dream is alive and well at NYLS,” said Mr. Plumeri. “It is truly New York’s law school, with a student body as diverse as New York City itself, filled with real people pursuing their dreams and who will help others pursue theirs."
I remember that one time I helped a gang of tweaked-out cowboy banking scions beat multiple charges of racketeering, embezzlement, and sexual assault.  It was always their dream to conduct a quasi-criminal organization that barely skirts by the Almighty Law.  With my law license and a black suit from Kohls, you can call me Gary Wright, 'cause I'm like a motherfuckin' dreamweaver.

And kudos to NYLS, which, as it is truly as diverse as NYC, is now admitting homeless smack addicts and crazy insomniacs who sit in cafes at 4 a.m. just to stare.  Way to go, NYLS.  You're finally truly opening doors for all comers.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Prof Noah Feldman Builds Ark of Triumph

Consider that when Noah, old-school Noah, built his Ark, the so-called "conventional wisdom" for all marmots but two was to stay on dry land on not get on the boat of salvation with the ridiculous hippie who apparently looked like Russel Crowe.  The other marmots likely mocked those two and accused them of having the antediluvian equivalent of a 140 LSAT score, but they drowned.  Foolish marmots.

Really, it's no different with law school today.  "Conventional wisdom" is to not go.  But those who don't are going to wind up drowning in the flood of poverty-driven tears and wistful thoughts...

Now consider Noah Feldman.  Feldman, a Harvard law professor, author, and Esquire intellecttual, has done something equally impressive as constructing a giant boat.  He - somehow - has published a piece with so much testicular fortitude, so much blithe ignorance of practical commonsense realities, so much bird-flipping to do-gooder reformers, that he got called out by Jordan fucking Weissman, the guy who told people it was a good time to go to law school in JUNE 2014.

Are your loins tingling in anticipation?

Feldman claims that law schools in the business of collectively denying 140 LSAT scorers a spot "would rightly be accused of elitism and denial of opportunity."
You see, law schools just can't collectively be elitist - but it sure seems that some law schools can be elitist if they so choose and find themselves in the socio-historical position to do so.
Not every law school needs to subscribe to the technocratic-elite belief that all its handpicked students are excellent and should therefore be guaranteed success.
In other words, it's completely okay for Harvard to have elitist, high standard admissions practices that it relies upon, but schools at the bottom of the food chain should not be held to high standards or else the whole system will be elitist. 

There has to be somewhere for dreamers to dream.  Places like Florida Coastal serve a vital public function by making sure there's somewhere on the Titanic for everyone.  So what if it's in the third-tier deck?  They're allowed to pay 150k for a low chance of survival when boat meets ice.  This is America.  If people want to throw good money at bad and enrich educational oligarchs channeling Morrissey in the process, so be it.

In fact, a high bar passage rate isn't so much a sign of success, but is a sign of systemic failure to provide enough dreamspace for all the dreamers who are more than happy to put a bucket o' taxpayer-backed student loan money on black to dream.
If all law students were passing the bar, it would be a sign that law schools weren't taking a chance on students at the margin of the capacity to succeed.
Don't worry; if there's anything wrong in Feldman's "parochial" thinking, law students all over the country - even the 140 LSATs - should be able to easily suss it out on their way to holding any of the proliferate amount of JD-advantaged positions:
 We teach (I hope) rigorous thinking, strategic analysis, and a distinct approach to identifying structures of power and shaping them. Those are benefits even to graduates who don't practice law, and indeed many of the most successful graduates of my school and others don't practice law at all. They’re writers and hedge-fund managers and community organizers and presidents.
And then with the wrathful fire of Old Testament god Noah Feldman lays his big staff to the bare asses of namby-pamby paternalists:
Those who think law schools shouldn't admit students with low test scores are reflecting, whether they know it or not, a culture of paternalism that verges on infantilization. Since when did college graduates pursuing the American dream of professional success come to be seen as an act of self-delusion? Do we really need to protect people from trying to achieve their dreams?
After reading this, who wouldn't follow Noah Feldman onto the equivalent of a DIY boat built by people who believe in impending doom to the scorn of the rational world?

No one needs infantile protection from their dreams.  After all, when the world fucks one over, it sure as hell doesn't wear a condom. 

If a young person has a fantasy, and that fantasy just so happens to have a particular set of narrow historical advantages that allow its shifty purveyors to claim it's unique from other dreams, consumer products, and investments, so much so that the dreamers are willing to take on escalating amounts of absurd, non-dischargable debt for decreasing chances of earnest repayment or beneficial experience, while a bunch of loafer-wearing jackanapes can take home a cozy six figures because they had the right chairs when once the music stopped, then by the GOD of NOAH, we're going to write those dreamers a blank check no matter how badly they botched some entrance exam that only correlates with law school and career success the overwhelming majority of the time.

This is America.  If infantile snowflake wants to snowflake like an infant, we let it snowflake like an infant.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Once More Unto the Breach, Dear Friends, Once More!

If you think the legal academy is easily going down like a tweeking zit-faced ten buck hooker without a fight, you'd be sorely mistaken.  These folks have spunk in their blood.  They're going to fight back against vicious calumny, and they don't care if they have to close the fictional holes in the opposition's arguments with the bodies of their loser graduates.

The New York Times recently published an editorial about alleged shenanigans.  A cry went into the night, and the academy responded.  Blake Morant (GWU dean), Kellye Testy (U. of Washington dean), Judith Areen (Georgetown professor), the aforepraised Scott DeVito, Michelle Anderson (CUNY dean), Debra Raskin (Fordham and Columbia adjunct), and Matthew Diller (Fordham dean).  There's also David Stern, who heads the Equal Justice Works and wants PSLF to continue.

They're names that can be safely added to the Annals of Truth and Justice.  It doesn't even matter what they individually say.  We could spend days arguing over who laid down the greater wit between Morant/Testy/Areen's claim that capping student lending will damage poor students and Diller's claim that law schools were responsible and prudent actors in trimming their enrollments.

What matters is that they do it.  See also my post from two months ago.

Every time there is a big swing by an opponent to legal education, someone from within hits back.  It doesn't always have to be Leiter or Diamond or Allard.  Great men like Matasar, Mitchell, and Hobbs can ride off into the sunset, and there will be a whole new group of brave warriors to step up in the ranks and wield the Mighty Sword of Paralogy against foes who would prefer the federal government to have rational student lending polices that don't confuse default with non-repayment.

It's like Leiningen v. The Ants.  For those who haven't read that one, here's a spoiler alert: the species closer to cockroach wins.  Always do.