Sunday, January 31, 2016

BLS Projects Rosy Outlook for Lawyers

It's an amazing time to be a law student!

Don't take my word for it.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics has just released a finding that we're at the beginning of a lawyer job boom:
[T]here will be an estimated 157,700 new lawyer jobs this decade, an average of 15,770 new lawyer jobs a year.
A lot of skeptics are going around the internet saying these findings are not good.  For example, notorious scamblogger and pseudo-intellectual donkey chode Matt Leichter uses the word "dismal."

These folks simply don't understand lawyer job accounting.  Sure, in the abstract there may be 40,000 law graduates vying for those 16,000 lawyer job openings, for a ratio of 2.5 law graduates to every job opening.

But, see, many of those graduates simply aren't cut out to be lawyers.  If we had 40,000 job openings every year, lots of people who weren't meant to be lawyers would suddenly wind up being lawyers if for no other reason than to satisfy the perverters of justice who think everyone deserves a job for taking a morning shit like this is some communist daycare.  Only a selfish asshole would want to heave unqualified people onto the market; yet, that is apparently exactly what certain "activists" would prefer with their "glum" and "dismal" language.

Instead, the world we have creates competition, that holy engine of capitalism.  Only about the top third or so of law graduates can land good jobs in this wonderful world of ours.  And that's great.  Because let's be honest: no one wants to hire a 63rd percentile University of Tulsa alum.  No, the only way to protect the lawyer-consuming public is to pump out way more graduates than actual jobs available to make sure that the people who wind up representing others are as qualified as possible.  The winners in our world are battle-tested.

And that's why this lawyer outlook is so rosy.  The bloodthirsty survivors - that hearty third who lands remunerative legal employment - will be well-placed to thrive, pay down loan debt, and enjoy multiyear careers fulfilling their lawyer fantasies.

But don't worry, prospective lemming, you will be in that top third if you work hard enough.   If you don't wind up in the top third, you obviously didn't work hard enough and maybe aren't cut out to be a lawyer.  I'm sure, though, that you'll be at the top of the class; you're a survivor, right?

Remember, even though only 1/3 of the class can land good jobs, everyone can be in that top 1/3.  That's lawyer math, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  16,000 new jobs isn't a depressing limitation revealing the sheer absurdity in our legal education models; oh, no; it's a prize for the elite of the justice squad.

Do you have what it takes?  That's rhetorical - we all know you do.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Las Facultades de Derecho Son Muy Impresionante (a/k/a "The Bar Exam is Racist")

Observant readers will note that this is the second entry in a row where I have used foreign words in the title.  It's an artistically ironic mocking of Donald Trump, who I actually hope gets elected, because if anyone understands what it's like to have a flawed business model about to go under and the need to get bankruptcy protection (student debtors need not apply) and/or a bailout, it's Trump.

In any event, off the coattails of some misguided post at OTLSS regarding racial exploitation by law schools post-downturn, I provide you with this third-party observation regarding Hispanic students:
Law school enrollment has decreased each year since 2010, according to numbers from the American Bar Association (ABA).  That was the all-time high with more than 147,000 students at the 204 ABA-approved schools.  But, there’s an interesting trend taking place amid this overall student reduction: more minority students are being admitted and attending law school.

Hispanics are applying to law school less frequently than in 2010, along with all other groups.  The change is that more Hispanics and other minorites are being accepted.
To get this obnoxious problem out of the way now, let me say it once and for all times:  the bar exam is rayciss!

In fact, it's even more sinister than that.  The non-lawyer media - which, again, has an interest adverse to law school profiteering - is already planting seeds regarding this crop's supposed inferiority.  Buried in this article is the following:
Aaron Taylor of St. Louis University School of Law published research on LSAT scores.  “Schools with higher-median LSAT scores tended to enroll more white and Asian students. Black and Hispanic students were more likely to attend schools with lower median LSAT scores, particularly at private schools.”
As my dear readers know, law students are now harder-working and smarter than ever.  This is particularly true now that law students are as diverse a group as we have ever seen, not just racially, but socioeconomically and intelligence-ly.  We're now diverse in our diversity.

Unfortunately, we also know that bar examiners in various jurisdictions and at the NCBE have bought into the "law school scam" propaganda and have convinced themselves that present groups of students are less able than their whiter and Asianer peers from 2010.

Well I say, "crotchswaggle!"  These kids are taking the exact same classes with an attractively-groomed herd of professors.  They're every bit as able as students in the past.  Why, I would bet that if you polled schools nationwide, law school GPAs have not significantly dropped year over year in core courses.

It's fine and dandy when your artificial policy preferences evidencing hostility towards lawyers disadvantage a small group of would-be lawyers just to stroke your ego with the illusion of "statistical science" and "high standards," but when the law schools are going out of their way to exploit new batches of minorities at the low-LSAT levels and you try and disproportionately stop those groups from being lawyers with the pretense of high-minded paternalism, you're being racist.


Jesus, how many times can I say this word before it becomes true and the bar examiners resign in modern shame and the bar exam is eradicated?  Racist racist racist.

Let's do it in math form, since Ms. Moser and her Merry Band of Humbugs like numbers so fucking much:

Tighter bar examination restrictions on lower-LSAT scorers
+ more diverse student body at the lower end
= racist.
...sure, I mean, the bar exam where this particular complaint is raised hasn't exactly happened yet, but I wanted to set it all forth here because it's exactly where we're heading when some heroic professor looks at the bar exam results and has a mini-stroke when he sees that minorities are failing being denied equal opportunity at faster and faster rates.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi, Thomas Jefferson?

The recently-widowed Thomas Jefferson spent a few years in France, serving as the young America's foreign minister and hanging out with the Marquis de Lafayette just before the French Revolution.  It was there that he purportedly took up with Maria Cosway and a statutorily young Sally Hemings.

So it's fitting that his namesake legal education institution, the west coast post-graduate analog to Jefferson's esteemed University of Virginia, is also going to France for a little prestigious diplomacy and a little screwing.

For the low price of $3,000, one can go to Nice and study constitutional law in the global context with Justice Antonin Scalia, a man whose record on the global implications of the U.S. Constitution and vice-versa is fairly well established.  But, hey, kids, why do a Google search when you can have a month-long Riviera vacation while you should be building a domestic resume?
The Nice program activities include a day in the French court, a luncheon lecture series featuring distinguished judges, law professors and practitioners of international law and a French class offered for free to all students,” said Susan Tiefenbrun, founding director of the program. “The University of Nice School of Law offers an ideal environment for learning international law in a city that is both beautiful and rich in European culture and history.
Because if you're going to pay $3,000 in tuition alone to go to France for a month, you might as well spend your time learning about law.

Sure, Thomas Jefferson is one of the most transparent scams in all of legal education and should be ashamed at using the name of one of America's greatest minds, but that doesn't mean it has to stop doing it's thing.  Just because it's going to trial on a fraud case and having lenders cash in their chips doesn't mean the French study-vacations with a (surely well-compensated) smug, living imprimatur of unobtainable legal sector prestige have to stop.

Enjoy the vino, your Honor.  Maybe you, like Jefferson, will enjoy the finer offerings of France.  One can only hope, though, that there is no revolution this time around, that the students of Thomas Jefferson remain ignorant to the bubble in which they live, and that the mandarins like you and those who run this fine school may continue enjoying the fruits of Metropolis above-ground while the justice-doers happily work beneath the Earth without a thought of egalite or fraternite in their fourth-tier brains.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Real Most Influential People in Legal Education

Paul Caron has posted the top ten from National Jurist.

No Paul Campos, although Tamanaha still lingers on the back-end of the list like a rude houseguest who just won't leave.  Kyle McEntee, of the organization that should be known as Law School Confusion and Opacity, also shows up.  Same with Jerry Organ, who's had a nice little run of riding the tanking LSATs and bar scores "news" "narrative."  Dick.

But the real gems of the list are in the top ten.  Chemerinksy.  Leiter.  Katz.  Morant and Testy.  Simkovic.  It's a veritable who's-who of invitees to the secret club where tried and true scam artists wear fancy hats, wink at tight-lipped bartenders, and sip vintage Cognac. 

Indeed, were men like these to leave legal education, the void of influence would swallow our good sense like a black hole; the oncoming confusion and fear would envelop us with an imprisoning mental fog, such that the survivors, the remnants of so-called legal education unfairly burdened with carrying forth The Rule of Law like Atlas tasked with carrying the heavens on his shoulders, would start to stumble and do ridiculously silly things like embrace honesty, face legal education's problems head-on, slash tuition, and take a skeptical view of accreditation standards that allow for 200+ law schools to pump out double the country's new lawyer capacity.

But the list arguably omits the most important people in legal education.  The prospective students.

So here's to you, Mr. 148.  You know that with a legal education at any one of the fine accredited institutions in America, you can pay down debt financing in no time with your easy-bake upper middle class salaries.  And if you can't, there's always IBR, which thankfully has no effect on how one's life is lived outside of reducing monthly student loan payments.  If you've got the work ethic, the 148 smarts, and a valid enough social security number to slip it past some GS-5 rubber stamper, apply today!

For Brian Leiter is but one man standing as a principled, embodied legal Rechtuebermensch against the tidal wave of barbaric and insolent irrationality that speaks of "crisis" as-if people aren't still making bank off this carnival game.  You, my friends, are the 50,000, the able footsoldiers of justice ready to defend the law, each one a knight of jurisprudence inducted into that round table we call the bar association.  Yes, you may bleed and your career may die the second you go over the top or try to board the transports where only two-thirds of you can fit by design, but damn it, you know that you are the torch-bearers, givers of light against darkness and cynicism who, purely incidentally, happen to generate enough revenue to allow for in-ground pools and in-home movie theaters and spa treatments for the second wife.

You are justice.  You are law.  You are America.  And it would be a damn shame if you let this enrollment period pass by without taking your tuition-paying spot on the Million Dollar Express, leaving your free money from the government on the table and a spot in the ranks sadly unfilled.  Sure, the Express will be back next year - and in fact never stops thanks to rolling admissions - but we're not fucking around when we tell you that there's no reason to wait except to damage yourself.

You, prospective students, are numbers one through fifty thousand on any list of influence.  Without you and your beautiful, well-spent tuition payments, none of the other magic - including, but not limited to, the world's greatest court system - would be possible.

Friday, January 15, 2016

If My Pants are on Fire, It's Because I'm Burning with Social Justice

First, I give you the following excerpt from Professor Luke Milligan of Louisville, who, apparently, needs his classes this next semester to be held in the Ministry of Love's Classroom 101:
Promotional materials for the law school now proclaim its institutional commitment to “progressive values” and “social justice.”  Incoming students and faculty are told that, when it comes to the big issues of the day, the law school takes the “progressive” side.

The plan, in short, is to give the state-funded law school an “ideological brand.”  (The Interim dean says it will help fundraising and student recruitment.)  In 2014, the law faculty voted — over strong objection — to commit the institution to “social justice.”  Now we’re at it again, seeking to brand ourselves “the nation’s first compassionate law school.”
And blah blah blah.  You've heard this story before: pissant conservative asshole preaches against the happy current for institutional recidivism, wanting to spoil everyone's good time of forced finger-painting because... I don't know, but he name-drops Louis Brandeis, for whom the school is named, which is particularly smarmy and lawyerlike...

I can't help but read misguided screeds like Milligan's and ask myself what is the purpose of law school? and the answer, which makes so much sense I cannot possibly see other approaches as even plausible, is that law schools exist to solve massive issues of social justice.  At the end of the day, does anything matter in law or in serving (servicing, not working) as a lawyer if the task cannot be connected to the overarching concern that justice should be social?  If it means that only 1/3 of our law graduates have meaningful jobs, is that not a worthy sacrifice in the name of our groupthink empire?

Recently, Kellye Testy, dean of Washington and President of AALS, gave an interview where she underscored this general concept in an astute response to a noisome question:
NLJ: It seems that the phrase “law school crisis” has died down a bit, yet enrollments and bar passage rates are still declining. Do you think legal education is still in crisis mode?
KT: I don’t see legal education as being in crisis at all. What I do see is that there are a lot of crisis in our world that legal education can help address.
You simply can't make this shit up.  After the NLJ asked her a question with dubious factual foundation, the witty Dean Testy spiked that shit like it was prom punch with a brilliant example of antimetabole.  Were she not a law dean helping solve the world's social justice crises, she could solve the world's social justice crises by writing speeches for Donald Trump or running for poet laureate.

It is good to know that in a world of Milligans, skeptics who dare question the mission of a law school when it starts making people declare their sexual preferences and religious beliefs in a room full of near-strangers, that we have Testys, the lionhearted faithful who know that the only crisis in legal education is the vague social justice one presently on its plate.

Because I tell you, dear readers, there is no broad scam in legal education.  There is only legal education within the broader scam.

Social justice on, comrades.  Social justice on.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Congratulations, Ladies, I Accept Your Application to be Drunkenly Ravished by My Slobbering Mass

I'm rapidly approaching my third year of covering the noble and heroic deeds of America's legal educators, who stand at the forefront of defending the Rule of Law in not only the United States, but the Local Cluster.

Still, occasionally I am amazed at the new feats that law school administrators manage to develop.  Like kooks in moldering labs, they continually experiment and evolve the science of generational academic dream exploitative profit maximization.

Consider Touro.  Touro "accidentally" sent acceptance emails to numerous students "by accidentally drawing from a database of prospective students."  Because if an "accidental" email is going to be sent to a random group of email addresses, it might as well be prospective students from that year's database...

I'm not saying they did this on purpose, but neither did the dude who invented Teflon.  Human psychology being what it is, we tend to like those who like us more.  When I was 16, a girl told me she liked me.  Sure, now she's got three kids with five different guys and lives in a dilapidated trailer park listening to Carly Rae Jepsen and collecting food stamps like they're Inverted Jennys, but you know what?  I still think that door is open.

When Touro "accidentally" tells prospective students that they've been admitted, even in "error," it's cracking that door ajar, planting that seed in their tiny little barrister brains that Touro has positive connotations and is receptive to their unique blend of 150 LSAT and mouse to click through prom note.  Touro likes you, kids, so you should apply, be admitted, make a million dollars, have a collection of snifters.

I see no reason this approach can't have significant applications in the dating world.  Why, it just so happens I have the email addresses of 1034 comely young lasses  between the ages of 18 and 25 neatly organized in a prospective blah blah blah database.  All I have to do is open the wrong window, run the wrong program, select the wrong batch of email addresses, or make some other completely ludicrous and unbelievable technological mistake and - wuh oh! - it looks like I just sent the entire group a message congratulating them on acceptance into my prestigious penthouse dungeon harem.  Sure, none of them have actually applied, but a few might send in a seat deposit...or I could them a seat deposit...the possibilities are endless!  And it's all because my prestigious penthouse dungeon harem is a really cool place that leads to all sorts of successful things and maybe, just maybe, they'll come to realize that it's a good option after all after I express my desire for them to attend.

Now I send them an email that it was an honest mistake.  They will respect me for my frankness, and honestly they'll apeciate the kind of straightforward manner in which I told them of my decision unless I'm a real jerk or a cry baby...which I'm not because I'm a lawyer.

My snifter is clutched.  Time to reel in the fishes...

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Law Deans: They're Just Like You! Albany Edition

Let's ring in 2016 with a ball-drop of truth from Albany:
Alicia Ouellette has a message for would-be Albany Law School applicants afraid of graduating with crushing debt and no job in the legal profession:

Don't believe everything you hear.
Early in her deanship, Ouellette is doing an admirable job attempting to follow in the footsteps of such New York trailblazers as Richard Matasar and Nick Allard.

She already is showing a finely tuned appreciation for appealing to the social justice lawyer.  Note the sales pitch to future PSLF applicants slipped into her own background:
"I thought I would end up getting a master's in social work and would do that kind of work forever," Ouellette said. "I ended up deciding that there is only so much you can do from that end and I'd rather be a lawyer."

Ouellette said there is a link between social work and practicing law.

"The big difference, as I saw it, is if you're in a social work setting — like you're working in a homeless shelter — you're trying to save a few fish out of the water," she said. "The lawyer can save people from drowning..."
Rhetoric such as this can only be taught in the halls of justice.  In providing her thought process from 25+ years ago (an antiquated opinion), she is reinforcing beliefs actively held by prospective students.  I can hear the little lemmings thinking now:  "In a homeless shelter, I can only ladle one spoonful of charitable justice at a time; as a super-lawyer, I can take down Monsanto!"

Indeed, this is higher-order academic advertising and fear-assuaging.  Later, when discussing loans, she works in the same level of relatability:
"[Prior work in real estate] was just a job but it paid bills and it made it possible for me to do (law school), and I could do it with a baby in the backpack," she said. "We took a lot of loans. We're familiar with the story of our students." 
Emphasis added, as-if to metaphorically tell the reader to suck it.  The lesson here is simple:  She took out loans over 20 years ago, therefore she understands today's student.  She turned out okay, so today's student will as well.  Sure, kids, you hear losers talk all rational-like about increased tuition and decreased market opportunity, but this woman is just like you! 

Her expired anecdotes confirm your wishful thinking, so just shut up and enroll already; it's almost too late to buy-in to the best investment opportunity around....until seats for the 2017 class start filling.