Saturday, December 31, 2016

Fare Thee Well, 2016, You Hostile Twit of a Year

It's New Year's Eve, the last gasp for a truly deplorable year and cliched articles bemoaning its happenings.

Not horrible, mind you, because we lost icons of Anglo-American culture. Not because America's Presidential election fell into a satire for an audience too afraid to laugh.  Not because I've resorted to ripping off Voltaire.  And not because of Brexit, Syria, terrorism, Zika, Russia, economic bubblism, the continuing refusal to fill federal court vacancies being elevated to the Supreme Court, Hurricane Matthew, slain zoo exhibits, earthquakes, the ongoing global climate/ecological catastrophe, or Pokemon Go.

It was a shit year for law schools, particularly those that are underrated and produce a disproportionate amount of public service lawyers.

Indiana Tech?  Prospectively shuttered.

Charlotte?  Bitchslapped by the Department of Ed.

Charleston?  Still rebounding from the catastrophic, Shakespearean succession crisis.

North Texas?  Accreditation not recommended for bullshit reasons.

Law schools everywhere?  Continue to face the malicious assault of oligopolist bar examiners who refuse to allow women and minorities fair opportunity, or something.

The bleeping ABA?  Threatened with loss of its accreditation authority.

Eat a cold dick of justice, 2016.  I can't wait 'til this mockingbird of a year is as dead as Harper Lee.  I hope 2017 fares better for the less-prestigious law school scammers, much like it promises the continued riches of exploitation for the people who control Harper Lee's intellectual property.

But I digress.  Peace, health, and prosperity to my readership.  See you when the new calendar is on the wall.  Mine has a drawing of Scout Finch proudly receiving an LLM from Western Michigan - Thomas Cooley School of Law-Birmingham.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Law-Desolate Metro Areas and The Great Exit Plan

It's truly baffling that a school like Indiana Tech would be allowed, much less feel obliged, to close given that there are no other law schools in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area.  If the private market is unwilling, could not the public University of Indiana-Fort Wayne step up and give the state a third public law school to serve the dire need in a bustling metropolitan area?

An example: look to this letter to the editor from Charlotte, NC:
A good argument can be made that North Carolina is oversupplied with law schools. But all of them are concentrated in the Raleigh-Durham/Greensboro/Winston-Salem I-40 corridor.

A good solution to the Charlotte School of Law problem would be for UNC Charlotte to acquire the school... 
Let's break this argument down into its formal components.

Premise:  North Carolina is oversupplied with law schools.
Premise:  All of North Carolina's law schools are concentrated on one isolated, lonely stretch of major highway that connects multiple major metropolitan areas.
Conclusion:  UNC-Charlotte should buy up one that's already closing

In philosophy circles, this form of argument is known as argumentum whateverum.  There's a superficially obvious solution if Premises A and B are both true, as well as a secondary solution that would address both premises, yet the writer winds up ignoring Premise A entirely - it may as well be false - in developing a solution that in no way addresses its merits.

And frankly, it's understandable in this situation.  We've written before how research has shown that every major metropolitan area requires a school of law to be a real city.  Charlotte is the 24th largest metro area in the U.S.  Its peers - St. Louis, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh - average 1.5 law schools (higher if you count UC-Davis as being in Sacramento). 

We cannot let Charlotte become a pariah among these 3rd-tier cities.  It must keep its law school.

Really, this strategy should be the exit plan of any noble entrepreneur wishing to establish a for-profit law school.  Set it up in a good metro area, count the cash from Uncle Sam and then - when the spigot rudely shuts off - demand a bailout by way of acquisition from an established local school, preferably public so all that "serving the community" bullshit comes to fruition in a profitable way.

Recall that Texas Wesleyan was effectively bailed out by Texas A&M; that people in Charleston wanted to see the school merge with College of Charleston, and now Charlotte is desperate to keep the engorging prestige of a first-rate legal education enterprise.

I think now might be the appropriate time to plant a few other seeds.

The University of North Florida needs a law school, don't you think?  We can't leave Jacksonville naked!

Wouldn't Grand Canyon Law sound...dramatic?  #SaveLawSchoolinPhoenix

Atlanta needs three, don't you think?  Georgia. Tech. Law.

NYLS shouldn't close.  It should merge with Julliard!

[Name of new Law School in Barrow, Alaska] closing would imperil justice in all of the Arctic Circle! Ilisagvik College of Law has a nice ring to it!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The LSTC Christmas Card: Rudolf the Red-Butted Law Student

In the spirit of vulgar, juvenile literature (c.f. Chaucer, Swift), here is a classic Christmas tale re-told as a law school fable about anal sex.  Happy holidays!

"And what if Blackacre were deeded 'to A for life and then to B, but only if B graduates college?  Hmmm?"

The professor scanned the room of law students, each ass more sore than the next.  Selecting the right one was as artful as picking the perfect first chocolate from the enormous gift box he received every year from... he couldn't remember...probably the dorks in the tax program.  But his selection was important; this was the Socratic Method, and a mistake could imperil justice downwind.

"If it goes to B only if B graduates from college, it's an absurd condition precedent on a contingent remainder, for everyone knows that to truly prosper, one must achieve additional education, particularly a law degree."

 Gasp. Applause. Weeping. Rudolf's intellect quickly won over even his bitter rival gunners.

...until they saw him in the locker room.

"Look at his red ass!"
"It's like a cherry blew up on a fire hydrant covered in ketchup!"
" a stop light!"
" a rose!"
" the wickedly beautiful blood-geyser from a decapitated child!"
"Whoa, Frank.  That's a little morbid."
"Sorry.  At least I don't have a red ass!"

The rest of them all had firm, supple, but bland and pale asses; upon a slap of the towel, they might turn pink, but the skin rebounded shortly to its natural hue.  This Rudolf, sweet Enola Gay, son, who goes to law school with their ass already red like the dick of a firetruck dog?

Rudolf was ostracized. No study group for him. No circle to stand in. Wine and crackers in the corner. Were law review to call, he would draw the loser's lot of assignments. A leper, a pariah, a debt collection attorney. OCI success? A distant dream for such an outcast. No one would hire such a red-assed law student. What would they tell the clients?  They'd have to get the partner who looks most like Rip Torn to shit-can him after two months.

On the last night of finals, just two days before Christmas, the law school suddenly found itself in a crisis.

The nefarious Department of Education, enemy of taxpayer-backed career holidays, withdrew access to loan programs!

Former students sued, class action, this time with a federal agency determination of fraud!


Dean Satan - his entire body, and not just his ass, dashingly red - paced around the campus.

"What shall I do, minions?!" he snarled.  But they could not answer, both because they lacked even the atomic level components of creative strategic thought and because their sight became arrested by Dean Satan's rapidly bulging crotch.

To borrow from another Christmas classic, in the moment of crisis, Dean Satan's pitchfork perversely grew three times its size.

Massive, gargantuan priapism. A firehose overpressured, a bratwurst from Brobdingnag, a dinosaur dick.  It burst through his $500.00 pants. Gasp.  Applause. Weeping. Somewhere, Frank compared it a boa constrictor who just ate a whole Sudanese basketball player with rigor mortis already set in. God damn it, Frank, enjoy doc review.

"Sir," a minion finally said, "it's a Christmas miracle!"
"No, you idiot," Dean Satan said.  "I'm in agony!  I've got to bang something, now!"

The minions all looked at each other.  None of their asses could accommodate such a supernatural shaft. The student body looked perplexed as well; they all had firm, supple, tight asses.

"What about Rudolf?" one finally said.
"Yeah!" added another, "Rudolf's ass is so red, surely it has the biologic pliability to help the dean!"

They saw Rudolf, long neglected Rudolf, standing in the corner.  The dean, whipping his flagpole, called to Rudolf.

"Oh Rudolf, with your ass so red;
won't you guide my phallic sled?"

Dean Satan soon felt better.  Whereas the traditional Rudolf only saved Christmas from the peril of commonplace weather patterns, Rudolf the Red-Assed Law Student gave a noble law dean a cathartic break from the brutal reality of a crashing house of cards.  That's worth at least three pro bono hours.

Then all the OCI recruiters loved him,
As they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the Red-Assed law grad,
You'll keep a job at least to year three!

Merry Christmas, everyone (well, except the ones who don't celebrate it; give it a whirl next year, eh?); remember, Law Santa only brings models and bottles to those who believe in him!  Leave out milk, cookies, and a signed master promissory note!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Merry Christmas, Charlotte Law!

The Christmas legend, at least in most traditions, and ignoring that Nazareth fellow, holds that a well-fed, jolly man in a red suit brings gifts to children who probably don't have jobs.

Charlotte Law - that would make for an excellent character name for a femme fatale in a satirical noir, would it not? - is experiencing the ultimate anti-Christmas.  Instead of the childhood fantasy, it's living the adult nightmare: grumpy, yogurt-eaters in blue suits taking presents away from productive adults.

Find ye your tissues and violin:
The Education Department on Monday said Charlotte School of Law can no longer receive federal loans and grants for misleading students about their chances of passing the bar and its shaky accreditation with the American Bar Association.  [still not common law or statutory fraud, you shiftless dipsticks! - ed.]
In the 2015-2016 academic year, the law school enrolled 946 students who received about $48.5 million in federal student aid, primarily federal student loans, according to the department
On the positive side, Charlotte now gets to find out first-hand how well the free market understands the mathematics of the million dollar premium.  $48.5 million is nothing; you can easily find that sum when said investments will reap $300 million plus in economic benefit.  Now, Charlotte Law has an opportunity to prove the Simkovic-McIntyre Theorem.

Still, it is disappointing that the federal government would cease investing in a high-yield asset, at Christmastime no less.  The fine students at CSOL - and the American taxpayer - deserve better.

In a way, Charlotte Law recalls another Christmas legend in America: Charlie Brown.  It's not popular, the effective law school equivalent of a bald elementary school student who can't simultaneously claim to have leukemia.  But it tries so hard that you just can't help love its effort despite its total loserdom.  It deserves a break.

I say let's celebrate this bent twig of a Christmas tree delivered to Charlotte Law.  Deprived of any reasonable possibility of commercialism, Charlotte Law will now have to learn the true meaning of law school: to educate, to lead, to justice.

I guarantee you there were mouths agape in Charlotte this morning, and not just at Bank of America's headquarters. At CSOL, they probably weren't singing Hark! the Herald Angels Sing!  But in time, they see this devastating Scrooge-like insult as cause to pull itself up by its law school bootstraps and prove to the world that a great law school, providing value to students, can thrive without a dime of federal "Santa Claus" money.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

California Schools Blowing Up Bar Exam

California bar exam pass rates by school have been published.  They're real, and they're spectacular:
Just five of 21 California law schools accredited by the American Bar Association had at least 75 percent of their graduates pass the July bar exam...
The overall pass rate for this year’s summer exam was 43 percent, the lowest figure for a July sitting in 32 years....
[N]ine ...schools had pass rates below 57 percent. At some campuses, less than one-third of exam-takers passed the bar.
Now, you might think to yourself, "well that fucking sucks," much like the guy who steps onto a used car lot, kicks a tire, and watches the engine explode.  But just as the scorching fireball of rust and sleaze brings one the million-dollar gravy train of a big-money negligence lawsuit, these bar passage rates actually signify a good thing.

These schools are fighting against the most hostile, stringent bar examination climate ever, one that actively seeks to keep people from practicing law and reinforcing the justice monopoly.  This ain't 1975 anymore.  Adjusting our current bar exam passage numbers to 1970s levels, the pass rate would be around 93%.  I don't have a source for this number I pulled from ass, but it's just common sense, you know?

Don't believe me?  Let's ask an expert!
Kevin Johnson, dean of UC-Davis School of Law, said he doesn’t think [that less capable students are enrolling in law school].

The first-time pass rate for UC-Davis School of Law dipped to 72 percent in July, down from 74 percent in 2015 and 86 percent in 2014. At the same time, incoming students’ Law School Admission Test scores and undergraduate grade-point averages have remained constant, Johnson said.

“That fact makes one wonder what has triggered the decline and whether the grading of the California bar exam is becoming stricter,” Johnson wrote in an emailed statement.
Proof beyond a reasonable doubt, friends.  The bar examination simply isn't fair to the schools that keep relatively failing it.

Sometimes, when a car engine spontaneously explodes, it's just not a defect with the car, but rather someone kicking the car too damn hard.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sixteen Days: An Accreditors' Story

November 21, 2016:
[N]ational accreditors are getting tough and telling law schools to better prepare students for legal practice or risk losing their accreditation.
The proposal, which recently cleared a key administrative hurdle and could be implemented early next year, is rankling some law schools that say it will unfairly hurt those institutions with a mission of increasing access to legal education to a more diverse array of students.
Figure 1.  The Superficial Cockblock

December 7, 2016:
The University of Massachusetts School of Law-Dartmouth, established in 2010, now has full ABA accreditation.
According to the state’s Board of Bar Examiners, out of the 36 University of Massachusetts School of Law graduates who took the bar exam for the first time in July 2016, 69.4 percent (PDF) passed. Out of all the school’s graduates taking the Massachusetts bar in July 2016, there was a 50.9 percent pass rate.
Figure 2.  "The Prestige"

It is a date that will live in infamy.  Just as the Japanese suddenly brought the benefits of devastating transcontinental warfare to the still-recovering American economy, Massachusetts has been blessed by the joyful firebomb of a public law school in a state that previously had none.  Now, financially prudent prospective law students in Massachusetts finally have a public and affordable way to board the totally not crashing Million Dollar Express. Let us hope that, just as Pearl Harbor sparked plucky patriots to board battleships and transport ships, Dartmouth Law (future trade name) can bring in a long line of fresh meat eager to win the good fight.

Because, in  2016, Johnny doesn't need a gun.  He needs a law degree. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Law Schools Grab 'Em by the Plessy

John Lennon said a lot of stupid things in his life (e.g., "I don't want to a be a lawyer, mama"), but one of the more insightful is his (well, Yoko's and his - give the woman credit!) song title "Woman is the N***** of the World," an anthem to the more oppressed gender that sought to prove it's cool for a white dude to flagrantly use the N-word if he's a British rock & peace icon.

Let me know when you see Michael Richards' picture on Los Angeles tourism shirts, okay?

In any event, women are truly best viewed as an oppressed minority, particularly in these harsh, absurd times when our nation just elected C. Montgomery Burns Hall over the Platonic ideal of post-modern pant-suit feminism.

Just as certain law schools cater more towards other types of oppressed minorities, those same law schools, it seems, also disproportionately provide access for young women to pursue their legal dreams.
More women are attending law school, but their numbers at top-ranked institutions aren’t keeping up the pace, a recent study found. While women make up roughly half of all law students at ABA-accredited schools, they are overrepresented at lower-ranked schools.
This is exactly how market capitalism works.  "Higher ranked" law schools aren't doing their job to meet the demand for female law students.  "Lower ranked" law schools fill the gaping void and produce enough female candidates that a handful of 8/10s pass the bar and fill BigLaw's needs.

Yet the study's disreputable authors believe this is somehow a bad thing.  Unfortunately, some people just don't want to see women advance in the workplace.  N*****s of the world, indeed; if people like Kyle McEntee and Deborah Merritt had their way, the proverbial glass ceiling would be constantly dirtied as a courtesy so the stupid bitches trapped under it would have something to Windex like the house slaves they are.

Thank heavens institutions of higher learning don't subscribe to this discriminatory reasoning.

The one redeeming point of this travesty of an article is that it reaffirms that the LSAT reinforces racial and gender stratification in the legal profession and should be abolished permanently in favor of a more holistic, admit-whoever-we-want approach:
Schools focus admissions on candidates with the highest possible LSAT scores, the authors write, and women on average score lower than men on the test’s multiple-choice questions...
The only absurdity here is that lower-tiered law schools are being criticized for helping improve gender diversity in the legal profession.  It's clear, however, that the only rational course is to continue to let so-called "lower tier" law schools hook up with willing women, particularly those still physically able to sign the student loan paperwork, but frankly those knocked orgasmically unconscious by the spank-me fantasy of the Million Dollar JD will do just fine as well.

Because legal education shouldn't depend on what's hanging between your legs, be it a stubby wiener, hypertrophic labia, or a mysterious piece of now-amorphous flesh that's been decaying since the mob buried you in 1986.  If Uncle Sam wants to cut you a check, you should have the right to learn The Law wherever they're willing to add your name to the spreadsheet.