Monday, October 31, 2016

The Eerie Mathematics of Indiana Tech's Closure

Indiana Tech Law School graduated twenty students last year.  It has "lost" twenty million dollars from the University.  Accident?  Not in this clusterfuck of a world.

Because of the Million Dollar Premium(c), each graduate of Indiana Tech will reap an earnings premium of one million dollars.

Thus, the University, in its magnanimity and beneficence, has gifted the State of Indiana the benefits of a labor pool with an increased education, almost dollar for dollar.  Never before have we seen such a direct, unmistakable example of an investment by educational institutions translating into direct economic benefit by graduates.

Twenty million invested.  Twenty million benefit to society.  That's math.

But that's not all.  The graduates are not the only people who have benefited from Indiana Tech.  There are also current students who, while they have yet to graduate, have learned much from the professors who sacrificed lucrative practice salaries to teach the next generation.  They at least get partial premiums, valued conservatively at $666,666.66 and $333,333.33.  More math.

Those extra benefits come with no additional "loss."  More math.  Fort Wayne feelings of constitutional justice dropping precipitously.  Also math.  Graph math.  Graph make linear version of frowny face.

When people say that Indiana Tech's imminent closure cost lots of money, I call bullshit.  They're not quitting because they're behind.  They're quitting right about the moment they've made a net positive economic benefit to the world, regardless of what the balance sheet says.  They close solely because of calumny leading to low "enrollment," cost-benefit "analysis," and bar passage "statistics."

What's truly scary this Halloween is how callously people not only disregard the isolated economic benefits law schools bestow, but completely ignore the role law schools play in social life, like increasing diversity in the lily-white profession law schools created.  Why are you so damned racist?  I can hear you, cracker, claiming my interjection of racism is a suddenly shameless and disgusting red herring attempt to gloss over the "real numbers," but I would really prefer not to be told how to think by the legal field equivalent of a Klansmen, thank you very much, DW Griffith. We were only a few hundred law schools away from radically changing the Hoosier state from a Mike Pence-electing overalls grease stain to an enlightened center of global culture and legal thought.  *This close* you selfish assholes.

And if you think this blog posting reads like a Baghdad Bob rant while there's a line of M1 Abrams  tanks in the background and the fat lady is singing with a megaphone in his goddamned ear, you should know that right now I am so high on mescaline that I've gone Syd Barrett on the world.  I found the glassine baggie in this board room, Fort Wayne, Indiana, a few years back.  Next stop, gonna build me law schools in Myrtle Beach, Mobile, Reading, Shreveport, Anchorage, Peoria, Kalamazoo, Duluth, by gum, I'll put them all on the legal education map with unique and innovative models never heretofore seen.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Drink that South Texas Lemonade

Creative dispute resolution is a key gun in the lawyer's arsenal.  So who better than the Artists Formerly Known as South Texas to fire away?

As the astute reader will recall, South Texas was denied changing its name to the Houston College of Law.  Well, when life gets you lemons, maniacally shoot them until you've got a puddle of lead-tainted lemonade.
The law school is devising a new name that will honor a benefactor and include the word “Houston” at the end, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Dearest Benefactor: Congratulations!  You were clearly our second option, but now your name is forever associated with the greatness of a top three [tier] law school!  Also, while talking about things that totally aren't shit sandwiches, there's Whataburger coupons enclosed!

While obviously the LSTC is disappointed that Joe Schmoe Law School - Houston rejected its numerous options without even bothering to pay a reasonable hourly rate for top-notch consulting services, the ability to quickly pivot after getting one's clock cleaned in federal court is a high virtue, indeed.

It would be unbecoming for the law school to continue fighting, reconsidering, appealing, etc., all the while continuing to try and lure bait with the old South Texas name - while clearly the school is not in south Texas!  It may have worked for 90 years, but doggone it, times have changed for the law school industry.

You have to be innovative, and cooler heads prevailed in (not really) south Texas.  As various other law schools have proven, you can run the act with any range of names, including random people no one has heard of, particularly in a large city.

The shotgun lemonade may be sweet, but cashing student loan checks without worrying about paying lawyers absurd amounts that might actually justify student loan investment?  So sweet the coma from superhyperglycemic shock will leave a permanent smile on the face

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Houston, I mean South Texas, We Have a Problem

Remember how South Texas College of Law was trying to change its name to Houston College of Law and the University of Houston threw a legalistic fit and filed for an "injunction" (whatever the fuck that is)?

As it turns out, sometimes courts can actually give fairly quick relief (federal judiciary shortage, my ass - although they should increase hiring of qualified law graduates!) and the Houston College of Law has been ordered to change its name back to South Texas College of Law in spite of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the First Law of Scam.  TaxProf has solid coverage and original sourcists like me can read the actual memorandum order here posted on UH's site in the fashion of exquisite braggarts. Good bedtime reading, particularly the following:
Finally,  the  Court  cannot  help  but  note  the  peculiar  context  of Defendant’s  contention that no irreparable harm will occur from their infringement.  Defendant insists that the findings of the Simpson Report were the impetus for its recent name change.  The Report found that “the most  frequently  mentioned  reason”  that  respondents  were  in  favor  of  a  name  change  was  that “‘South  Texas  College  of  Law’  is  often confused  with  other  schools,  particularly Texas Southern University.” It must be with a great sense of irony that Defendant now attempts to downplay the effects of the same type of affiliation confusion that prompted Defendant to spend
hundreds of thousands of dollars to rebrand itself.
In other words, the Court praised STCL's zealous advocacy abilities.

Crucially, the Court did not find that STCL intentionally sought to infringe and create market confusion.  This is curious, because it's fairly clear to myself and most other law school sycophants that STCL knew exactly what it was doing and angled themselves to have an excellent excuse for their behavior.  That the judiciary resisted putting such a conclusion in print is a testament to STCL's abilities as a law school.

NOW the problem is what the fuck do we name STCL?  As STCL observes "South Texas" doesn't mean Houston (though they could open a branch in McAllen or Laredo!!!) to everyone and there's market confusion with Texas Southern, the HBCU also located in Houston for some reason.

It's like they didn't have complete maps of Texas all those years ago.

SO, let's re-name STCL!

My initial suggestions:
  • Houston Texas College of Law 
  • Houston Summit College of Law
  • Houston Superlawyer Academy
  • Houston Rocket College of Law
  • Houston Astronomical College of Law
  • Houston Oil Law College, Brought to You By [insert company here]
  • Not the U. of Houston Law Center (parody account)
  • John Marshall Law College - Houston
  • Houston-[DONOR NAME HERE!] College of Law
  • Texas Gulf Coast College of Law
  • Southeast Texas College of Law
  • Rice University Law School (if phone call successful for once)
  • Rice College of Law ("No, no, we named it after Houston's history of rice consumption!")
  • Southwestern Law School
  • The Tom C. Clark College of Law - Houston
  • The Sam Houston College of Law
  • The John Adams College of Law
  • Big Texas Lawyer Academy of Houston
  • Houston Texas Ranger Law School
  • Baker Botts Entry Level Hiring Program
  • Apollo Legal Academy - Houston
  • Houston Permanent Assurance
  • Houston Justice Production Corporation
  • Houston Educational Inter-Generational Holdings Transfer System, LLC ("HEIGHTS Law School")
But of course democracy is en vogue everywhere except the American electoral system.  C.f. Trump, Donald, Whatever He's Saying Today, [Today's Date].  What are YOUR suggestions, legal scholar readership?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Forget Nebraska: Meet These 25 Random Metro Areas Waiting to Make Lawyers Rich

Something called GoodCall ("What is law school, Alex?") has put out a delightfully quotable list of random metropolitan areas that seem pretty darned good landing spots for new lawyers.
GoodCall analyzed more than 900 metropolitan and "micropolitan" areas based on four criteria to come up with the rankings: average lawyer salary; job availability and competition; housing prices; and amenities, such as restaurants and arts and entertainment venues.
Four criteria for 900 separate geographic areas?  Sounds as infallible as US News and the Gospel of S & M.

I don't want to steal thunder and publish the whole list, but I would be remiss not to point out some highlights:
  • Los Angeles.  Yes, that Los Angeles, the one with the museum-quality collection of law schools rivaling only that found in Boston, NYC, DC, and Chicago, indisputably the epitome of mass legal education west of the Mississippi and east of Tokyo and it's still a great place for new lawyers.
  •  An inordinate amount of these locations appear to have super-affordable "third rate" law schools located right in the metro area: Orlando, LA, Nashville, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Houston, Tulsa, Charlotte, and Naples Motherfuckin' Florida, the home of Ave Maria, God's law school.
  • The Number 1 slot goes to Hot Springs, Arkansas, the 35k hometown of Bill Clinton and Billy Bob Thornton, and no doubt completely open to lawyer tourists overstaying their welcome in the middle of Arkansas to compete with Arkansas and Arkansas-Little Rock grads.
Clearly, there's no law school scam if a major, prestigious economic publication can find twenty-five diverse areas where being a law graduate kicks ass among nine hundred.  Kids, if you're not going to get a JD, move to Great Falls, Stephenville, or Centralia, and swim in the vault of golden coins, someone else will.

You don't even have to use the imagination that you're missing.  They fucking made a list for you.  So, uh, "go to Fort Collins!"

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Salesman Optimistic for Future of Product While Wanting Rivals to Die

From the ABA Journal:
Ninety-two percent of those responding to the survey said they are feeling more optimistic about the state of education than they did a year ago...
Ninety-two percent - just like how ninety-two percent of their recent graduates acquire high-paying jobs within months of graduation!  But:
Despite their optimism, 65 percent agreed it would be a good idea if at least a few law schools closed.
At first blush, this made me angry.  Law schools close?  Aren't they reading the newsletter?

When trying to spread the immaculate gospel in exchange for a small tithe of lifetime income streams to repay a third party after the church has spent the spoils on new organs and communion Cabernet, it's not a great idea to close churches.  And you're sure as shit not going to do it with ninety-two percent optimism and million-dollar JDs.

But then I remembered that law school admissions personnel thrive on being selfish Machiavellians with an inflated sense of their own institution's importance in the legal industry.  Naturally, they would want the competition to close a few other schools to increase their own profit margins.  These things are like Subways.  They're all necessary to fulfill the demand for $5 foot-long sandwiches that taste like something a school cafeteria made to remind the children of life's suckage, but surely the owners would love to close other branches down to broaden their own sphere of influence.

Totally makes sense.  But despite these admissions people being greedy capitalists, I'd like to remind everyone that they have the best interests of prospective students at heart.  Were they not so optimistic about the law's future, surely they would reduce spots or voluntarily vote to close their own institutions.

Also: while the LSTC's official policy is against sexual harassment and assault of all kinds, please feel free to grab law school by the pussy, 0Ls.  You're that special that she'll let you grip a hold and... well, where it goes from there is your own personal educational voyage.  Just make sure you sign the IOU on the night stand.  92% optimism for enterprising students who latch on to the genitals.  It's a non-scientific poll of a purely subjective measure, but we're not curing cancer here; we're making your life great again.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

LSTC Pseudo-Live Blogging the VP Debate

The first edition was so popular, the LSTC is back with commentary on the VP Debate!

9:03 pm EST:  Debate is ON!

9:49 pm EST:  Life is empty and meaningless.  I am watching two milquetoast villains from poorly written 1980s comedies debate to find out which one might better fit in America's least-important important job behind an immediately unpopular President.  There's Mike Pence, the cold businessman secretly plotting to bulldoze Camp Racist Indian Name because he wants to build a squirrel slaughterhouse that produces cheaper, fraudulent hot dogs.  There's Tim Kaine, the hyper, pocket-protector guy who sits next to our hero on a sputtering Greyhound bus carrying him to his love just moments she marries Total Douche and Kaine just... keeps... talking...  There is no God.  There is only the bleak vacuum of dead space.  We are hurtling on a small, insignificant rock moving rapidly, accelerating, even, towards the still death of all life upon it.  This moderator is like a schoolteacher who realized five minutes after class started that she wasted years of her life studying for this particular profession and there are only two students in the room; futility is setting in and the ideals of youth are dying.  Values, morality, patriotism.  These things are illusions, phantoms of the mentally ill who refuse to see the universe as devoid of real knowledge or truth, a grand game of planetary charades.  This is where our spiraling, winding roller coaster of a pathetic existence has dumped us with terrible nausea.  Tim Kaine's eyebrows were produced in the laboratory that makes evil Muppets, Mike Pence's facial expressions were made by a renegade military unit. This cannot possibly be a rational, meaningful existence.  We are the aborted punchline of a cosmic joke abandoned halfway through and told with no timing. I just don't care if Mike Pence succeeds at ruining the childhood memories of Kurt Russell and Rick Moranis.  Part of me hopes Michael J. Fox is stuck listening to Tim Kaine forever blather about 9/11 and Russia and Donald Trump's tax returns while Elizabeth Shue goes ahead and marries Judge fucking Reinhold.  Does that make me a sadist instead of a nihilist?  Who gives a shit?  It just - it just doesn't matter.  I wish someone would have partial birth abortioned this debate, like five minutes beforehand the producer has an areligious epiphany and kills the power because the world has no intrinsic meaning and you might as well just get drunk on bumwine until the sweet solitude of dreamless sleep.  Instead, we get the height of spirited American pointlessness: two idiots chosen to be lukewarm sidekicks talking about policies they will have absolutely no control over unless someone dies or has to quit the most powerful job in the world.  They look quite dapper in their red and blue ties.  Millions of years ago, dinosaurs walked across what is now this country, and if they came up with anything this sociopolitically stupid, they deserved every flaming meteor that fell on their reptilian backs.  Millions of years hence, everything known now will hopefully turn to dust, perhaps maybe fossilized at best, but most certainly lost to contemporary memory, and likely for the better, because were this display to become some of lingering memorial to human existence on planet Earth, it would drive all intelligent life to instant suicide seconds after awakened consciousness, because fuck me this sucks.

9:51 pm EST:  Why not go to law school?  Law school can provide meaning to your otherwise dead and dreary life by opening the sacred rivers of justice and putting you in one bitchin' canoe!  Tim Kaine (Harvard) and Mike Pence (Indiana) once dipped their mighty oars in the sparkling water, and look where they are today!  Don't worry about the tuition being so high - that's only so we can give you massive savings savings savings!