Thursday, November 30, 2017

Dayton Flying A Bit Lower Than High

Dayton students aren't passing the bar exam like they should be, hysterical news report says.
A Dayton Daily News analysis of a decade’s worth of bar exam data shows UD’s passage rate has declined by 29 percent among all test takers and first-time test takers since 2008 when the school had an 87 percent passage rate. 
Hard-hitting analysis getting out a calculator and all.  How about you make the bar exam easier so you don't choke out southern Ohio's supply of attorneys?
Ohio Northern University was the only law school in Ohio where the bar passage rate has changed as much as UD’s over the past decade, dropping 9 points.
The conspiracy strikes more than one school, eh?  Looks like it's not just Dayton's problem.  Make the bar exam easier!
UD’s passage rate has prompted its law school to roll out new programs and offerings to remain competitive...
Wasted resources if you're just going to admit the suckers anyway.  Make the bar exam easier!
Students pay $35,619 in tuition plus additional fees each year to attend UD’s law school. That is the third-highest cost for Ohio law schools; students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland pay $50,666 a year.

Around 83 percent of people enrolled at UD’s law school receive some form of financial assistance from the school.
Jesus, a $15k discount off book value plus generous scholarships and you're STILL breaking these kids' balls over the bar exam?  Say it with me, now...
“We work really hard to try to make it affordable to people,” Strauss said. “We understand that (bar passage) is a big issue and we are totally committed to turning this around.”
Right...or you could just MAKE THE BAR EXAM EASIER and get rid of making law schools internalize their own students' problems.  What's Dayton got to "turn around?"  It's been educating Dayton's lawyer's for decades at a low cost.  The trajectory is still up.  In the zeitgeist of Trump's America, let's stop letting pesky government regulations get in the way.

Let Dayton fly higher.  Get it a hit of crack by making the bar exam easier.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

A Thomas Cooley Thanksgiving

The Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Euphoric School of Law has filed a lawsuit and for a Temporary Restraining Order against the American Bar Association.

The lawsuit alleges "that a letter made public about the school’s accreditation compliance violates the Higher Education Act and common law due process."  The TRO requests that "the ABA be restrained from publishing or dispersing the letter."

In both the lawsuit and the TRO motion, thankfully posted by the ABA Journal despite purporting to bitch-slap the ABA, Cooley's lawyers have redacted pertinent information.  Apparently in reckless disregard to the relentless damage its hurtful, libelous correspondence causes, the ABA has posted the letter from the article above. 

ABA:  Always Brazen.  Always.

I could get into the legal details of this tete-a-tete, but why bother?

We're coming off of Thanksgiving weekend, that hallowed time of year when we see those relatives at the intersection of convenience and likability, where we sit around a table, get food-drunk, and tell our second-favorite cousins, nieces, and nephews that yes, law school is still a great idea.

Did you do your duty this year, to God and your country?  To justice?  To your bloodline?  To your future need for a divorce lawyer?

The Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Traveling All-Stars and Motor-Kings School of Law sure did.

Did this letter-publishing situation call for litigation?  It's correspondence from an accrediting organization that may be disclosable under open government laws.  It was relatively obscure, doesn't really say anything that anyone who researches legal education wouldn't already know, and let's face it - your average Cooley applicant will likely need a semester of top-notch legal education to comprehend it.

But why miss a good opportunity to employ the fine lawyers at Miller Canfield?  A good law school talks the talk.  Cooley?  It litigates the litigation. 

What better example to its students and applicants that this law school is as good as pumpkin pie than to file a completely pointless lawsuit six weeks before the end of the year?  Wisdom, and beneficence to whatever associate got to pad hours on redacting things that are already public.

I normally don't take sides in an ABA vs. law school grudge match, but I relish good sport for what it is.  And besides, much like that whole settlers vs. natives kerfuffle, the holidays are when we set aside our differences and commune together in good faith.  And remember: if there's still leftovers in the fridge, there's still time to text your cousin that law school is a great idea!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Alabama Pride

The football teams are good, but the lawyers?  They're even better, thanks to some excellent law schools in Alabama.

Roy Moore has been in the national news lately for trying to court women because, you know, 2017 is such a whack, perverse, ahistorical year we've now entirely repudiated the time-honored dating technique of harassing teen girls at 2nd rate malls

Moore himself went to the state's flagship law school, the U. of Alabama.  Despite being an apparently mediocre student, losing multiple elections, having multiple bar complaints against him, and switching party affiliations in 1992, Moore was appointed a circuit court judge in 1992.  Eight years later, despite the ACLU trying to stop him, he won election to the Alabama Supreme Court.  Cruel happenstance removed him from the high court, but in 2012, he did the unthinkable and won a second election to the court.  Now, he is poised to do what many lawyers seek by using his legal knowledge to help transition to the non-legal sector.

Imagine the swelling pride at the University of Alabama, having, 40-some years ago, put this young pioneer on the path to success!  It stirs the mind to glorious wonder:  what new arrivals to today's law schools will be tomorrow's Roy Moores, navigating the perilous rapids and thick forests of oppression to national prominence?  Those of you wanting to snuff out sub-150 LSATs or placing other undue restrictions on today's enrollees...what if you are barring the next Roy Moore from being barred?

Imagine the glorious power of rubber-stamping "YES" on applications!  Of knowing that you're securing a bright future, not only for America, but for teen girls looking for lawyer husbands!

And whom did this SuperLawyer hire when HE himself needed a lawyer?  Trenton Garmon, that's whom.  A graduate of the proud Birmingham School of Law.

Garmon likewise is doing Birmingham proud.
Thus, do you know this clearly, yet significant difference which your client’s publication(s) have failed to distinguish. And the legal requirement that your client retract the stories, to include the details which clearly are false.
Birmingham is state-accredited.  Often, these fine institutions exist because the ABA standards are too unnecessarily stringent in multiple respects and may inhibit innovative processes.  Here, we see elegantly transgressive prose, a composition so mind-blowing its merits are being lauded across the snippy internet despite its disregard of "traditional" style and grammar rules.

Garmon has also made noteworthy television appearances and was apparently disciplined one for over-zealous advocacy, as if we do not want that from our lawyers.

All from a "lower-tier" school not even accredited by the American Bar Association.  That's the power of law school, and thank God Alabama understands it enough to have state-accredited lawsuits to supplement its ABA-accredited output.

In a state-by-state review, Alabama gets an A.

Monday, November 13, 2017

How Texas A&M Rose in the Rankings

Giddy-up Aggies; Texas A&M has been rising in the coveted and self-worth-establishing law school rankings.

Why?  Is it a shallow and transparent admission that law school rankings are ultimately little more than superficial national name recognition and the people sorting these things are the type of clueless sinecures who wind up on blue ribbon task forces? 

Not entirely!  The Star-Telegram has the propaganda hard-hitting reporting:
[I]nside, the school — acquired by A&M from Texas Wesleyan in 2013 — has gone from unranked to one of the top 100 in the country, hiring more than 25 new professors in the last two years, improving job placement numbers and putting itself on a competitive playing field with well-established law schools in the state, such as SMU, the University of Houston and Baylor.
“While the reputation score went up simply because of the name, I think [Dean] Morriss did actually improve the academic caliber of the school,” [Demigod Distinguished Prof. Brian] Leiter said. “Lateral hires are certainly the right investment to make over the long haul. They’re already known quantities. People take notice if they see those people going to Texas A&M. They go, ‘Oh, things must be happening there.’ 

The way Leiter sees it, A&M is already in a position to at least be competitive with SMU in attracting prospective law students to North Texas.
Surely, the Dallas legal community has already adjusted its hiring networks accordingly.

Perhaps best of all is the school's charity. They magnanimously let a third of the would-be class pursue the million-dollar dream elsewhere:
A&M’s enrollment has decreased from 774 in 2013, when it acquired the school, to 484 last year, according data from the American Bar Association.
Watch out, Texas...

As an unrelated aside, are YOU still running a no-name law school?  Drop that zero and get yourself a BRAND!  All sorts of good affiliations still available.  Princeton, Dartmouth, Brown, MIT, CIT, Central Florida, Clemson, Colorado State, San Marcos, Middle Tennessee St., Cal State Whatever, Mississippi St, Providence, Grand Canyon, Utah State, Butler, Delaware, Nevada-Reno, Boise State, Army, Navy, Air Force, Wossamatta, PCU, you name it!  Why is your school still named after John Marshall like a loser?

Friday, November 3, 2017

Dance the Charleston and Don't Let Bar Failure Stop Your Sunshine and Rainbows


Eventually we all die.  Eventually the sunshine will end and the Earth will be a cold rock drifting in nothing.  Eventually a half-eaten carrot will pass the bar examination and the next day triumph over RoboDarrow 8500 in a motion hearing where a computer program sued itself.

Charleston School of Law only had 44% of its graduates pass the July bar examination compared to 76% from the University of South Carolina.

Don't worry, though.  Dean Andy Abrams has the magic bag o' excuses very sound rational reasons ready to list:
This is the first year South Carolina has administered the Uniform Bar Examination,
"It's not a bad skill set to test; it's just very different from the way bar exams have been in the past," Abrams said.
Abrams said the Charleston School of Law might be seeing the long-term effects of some high-performing students who transferred out after school leaders entered negotiations with the for-profit management group InfiLaw System in 2013.
Abrams also pointed out that while this year's bar results look bleak, Charleston School of Law students tend to perform well in the long run. Law school grads may re-take the bar multiple times, and, according to Abrams, 90 percent of the school's graduates eventually have passed a state bar exam, either in South Carolina or another state.
First:  Bar examiner rug-pulling perfidy.

Second:  Evil capitalist sabotage.

Third:   Eventually the school's grads at an acceptable rate.

We saw this recently with Florida Coastal, now with Charleston, and probably other schools, the defense that the school's graduates eventually pass the bar even if they fall like advancing troops at Verdun the first time around.  Soon, no doubt, we'll see even more law schools adopting the talking point, as s tradition.

And why not?  For years - imprisoned, despondent years - "transparency" enthusiasts have encouraged everyone to look at long-term results, i.e., how much wealth these young strokes are going to accrue before retiring at 52 to sail and drink wine from around the world.

Why not apply that long term focus to bar exams?  Instead of "first time pass results," ask who passes it eventually.

Who does anything right the first time anyway?  You hit a home run your first time at the plate, slugger?  Paint like Rembrandt?  Lay tracks like 2 Chainz?  Cook a perfect omelet?  Make her wake the neighbors?

Of course, if we really look at the eventually side of things, 100% of law school graduates win, every time.