Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Shut Up and Make Your Money

It's difficult to comprehend the chutzpah of young lawyers, emboldened by their exponential, skyward salaries, the flaming sword of justice at their sides, all of sudden they start demanding things like making stupid-money is some sort of democracy.

Thanks, Kyle McEntee, you ungrateful bastard.
That report, titled A Way Forward: Transparency in 2018, calls for the ABA to immediately add two young lawyers to the legal education council and eventually designate two of the 15 at-large council positions for young lawyers.
“The deans and faculty on the Council know the cost of today’s tuition only in the sense that they can recite the price,” the report reads. “They do not understand the life impact of tuition prices of $40,000, $50,000, or even more than $60,00[0] per year have on decision making.”
It's minimal.  When you make $180,000/year, $50k in debt is a sneeze on the morning crapper.  It doesn't matter if your old or young or from the dark side of Uranus. Money's money.

And what of young lawyers wanting to join forces with the ABA?  Is that not a party admission that the ABA is looking out for the best interests of all lawyers young and old?
Beyond the addition of two young lawyers to the council, providing more data on law student borrowing, diversity, and bar pass rates will help legal educators better understand the larger trends, McEntee said.
We know the larger trends.  We make lots of money.  You human communion wafers make slightly less money.  Clients win, law firms win, justice wins, etc.  No one loses in this scenario.

So stop complaining.  Make your money, enjoy the whirlpool in the belly, and pay the generosity forward to the next morsels of food sliding down the tube of digestive love.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Battle of North Carolina Continues

As you may recall, Charlotte Law School was driven to closure by what can only be described as fascist extremism in a late and disproportionate reaction to the completely unexpected changes in the legal and legal education sectors after the global recession of 2008.

Now the implicit Hunger Games continue; North Carolina Central - the state's only law school for black people - is in the radar of these white-collar cannibals.
Alumni leaders started suspecting N.C. Central University’s law school might wind up in trouble with the American Bar Association when they saw last summer that slightly more than a third of the 2016-17 first-year class had washed out.

Now, they’re waiting to see how the school answers the ABA’s December demand for a report on admission standards...

NCCU law’s first-year attrition rate had floated between 20 and 30 percent for four years before spiking to 34.3 percent in 2016 and 37.7 percent in 2017.  
That's it?  37%?

As the article points out, NCC uses a more aggressive grading curve compared to its local rivals Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill, where students can be relatively lazy.  At NCC, they prepare students for the real world with tough love and C-averages.

That isn't the LSTC propagandizing, either.  It's in the damned article, as is the claim that NCC is low-cost and that it's better to flunk out students quickly than keep them around for three years and "laugh[] to the bank."

The LSTC concurs, obviously.  Different strokes (no "Diff'rent Strokes" pun intended!) for different folks.  The ABA should embrace diversity in the law school community and realize that if a school wants to enroll a full brood and drown the bottom 40% in the river, they should be free to do so.

As then-student Martin Luther King once wrote, "[i]f we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts."  If the ABA is hell-bent on making North Carolina nothing more than pompous cane-wielding graduates of Duke and North Carolina, it should be prepared for a homogeneous that serves a very narrow set of interests - none of which will be criminal defendants, sub-rich civil litigants, or the cocktail party's worth of people who benefit mightily from our most sacred and lucrative legal industrial complex.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Fake News Awards 2018

Our President sees fit to publish a list of award-winning fake news stories.  Those in the law school skepticism business seem to love centralized accrediting authorities, so surely they agree with the executive up top in spirit.

It's a herculean effort and the President is to be commended.  As much as the LSTC would like to issue similar awards for fake news in legal education, we lack the time, energy, and fortitude to wade through the massive heaping pile o' bullshit that's been published in the last year telling people how bad legal education is, usually because they're false flaggin' it, selfishly wanting the perceived value of law school stock to drop so they can profit from the shortage of good lawyers.  They're selfish assholes and law schools are the good guys.  Don't forget that.

So we'll give an award out for the fakest article published in the last forty-eight hours.  Let's go with this one.  That was easy.
After enjoying an enrollment surge in the first decade of the new century, many law schools have more recently struggled mightily amid a dearth of jobs for young lawyers, dwindling student interest, worries schools were encouraging students to take on high debts they would struggle to repay, and intense criticism that many schools had been admitting students who never had the academic chops necessary to become practicing lawyers.
F is for Fake like Orson Wells wrote it.
Experts predict the contraction will come not among the largest, most prestigious institutions, but among small, private law schools that are already struggling to enroll enough students who can pass the bar.
Experts?  Fake like your step-mom's bazongas.
Some schools find themselves facing the unsavory choice of admitting more students who might not be able to pass the bar or not admitting enough tuition-paying students to keep the doors open.
Fake like the Faberge egg your Grandpappy lost in a poker game in Altoona, 1956.
Pass rates started slipping several years ago, though -- right around the time when students admitted in years with sharply fewer LSAT takers would have been graduating and passing the bar.
Fake like the first moon landing, fake.

This article is a whopping 4000 words and can't even be bothered - once - to give credit where credit is due and thank American law schools for providing the world's most affordable and efficient means of training young lawyers.  Worse, it can't even be honest and admit that even painted in the worst light possible, law school is still a winning option for the 99% of us not born with F-you money.

I've been railing against legal education's malicious detractors approaching five years now.  Trump's calls fake news are nothing new to me.  These reality-benders have been plaguing education for ages, and it's high time we had leadership in the White House and Department of Education who knew how to ignore "evidence" and let the state-boosted crony-market do its nasty thing.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

On Arizona Summit: You Maniacs, You're Blowing It Up

One day, a million gazillion years from now, our descendants - malformed from a tortured re-evolution path within an irradiated (but just!) dust-bowl planet after we wipe ourselves out with nukes and viruses - will want to know what happened.

They will dig in the sand and eventually they will discover a law school called Arizona Summit.  And in their primitive English-gruntspeak dictionary, they will see what "summit" means and they will know that it was the greatest law school in the history of law schools. 

Their historians will theorize, speculate, and keep digging.  When figuring out what went wrong and how they can avoid our decaying fate, they will see articles such as this flushed turd:
A letter from Barry Currier, the ABA's managing director of Accreditation and Legal Education, said the school is not in compliance with an ABA financial standard that states "the current and anticipated financial resources available to the law school shall be sufficient for it to operate in compliance with the standards and to carry out its program of legal education."

The ABA is asking school officials to submit a financial report by Feb. 1 and to appear before the accrediting committee again in mid-March.
They will wonder at our peculiar cultural rituals, our administrative meddling song-and-dance, and be baffled at the hurdles we placed before august institutions who merely want to train aspirants to live in line with our most important virtues at a reasonable government-funded profit.

"But father," a child will say, "could they not see the folly of fascist educational policies?"
"No, child," the father will say, "they felt that legal training could only be done at schools that were financially viable and rigorous enough to produce qualified practicing lawyers."
"What silly times, papa!  No wonder their society collapsed."
"Indeed.  Now we are enlightened, and give everyone a graduate level education in the ways of justice."
"If only we had a time machine to guide them away from darkness!"

I don't understand how you can undercut federal funding and then get mad when the institutions lack sufficient "financial resources."  And doesn't this undercut the argument that law schools are filthy rich?

It's a mad world, and you're all maniacs.  Hopefully whatever deformed, inbred donkey-boner finds this in the remnants of some fossilized server knows I'm one of the good guys.  We tried, Gaug-Vrax.  Oh how we tried.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

ABA Against Success and Opportunity

First, the LSTC is extremely disappointed that no mainstream legal commenter that we have seen has yet called Matthew Riehl a scamblogger.  Not one! 

Second, here's Brian Tamanaha's latest screed, where he accuses law schools of running afoul of Standard 501(b), which requires that law schools only admit applicants who "appear capable" of becoming lawyers because Interpretation 501-3, which proposes a rebuttable presumption of failure at 20% non-transfer attrition.
[Interpretation 501-3] was adopted to prevent schools from admitting large numbers of unqualified students, collecting tuition, then failing them out. In particular, the concern motivating the new interpretation was that law schools in danger of violating bar passage standard 316 might protect their bar pass rate by dismissing students they perceive to be a high risk of failing the bar....

The 509 reports indicate that 14 law schools have run afoul of interpretation 501-3, thus incurring a presumption that they have violated Standard 501(b).
There's a chart with numbers for those geeks so inclined.  Apparently, the ABA's standards are so warped that they've ensnared long-successful programs like Capital and Golden Gate.

The presumption is obviously rebuttable, but let's rebut anyway!

First, the employment market is red-hot.  Do we know why these students are leaving? If they've found a different million-dollar train, why is that the good-hearted school's fault?  Wouldn't Widener be the victim in that case?

Second, a twenty percent attrition means an eighty percent success rate (math!).  That's pretty darned good!  Imagine if you're a tax driver and only 20% of your passengers die on the way to their destination.  You're probably turning a profit!

Third, even if we assume that these students are "unqualified" (whatever that means), why is this even a bad thing?  Law schools are giving people a chance to better themselves, to take a dice roll at their greatest ambitions. Isn't that worth a $75k fedloan voucher?  Isn't that open road American dream worth leaving ensuring the future of a variety of educational institutions, some of which are Harvard and some of which are borderline mafia-run divebars?  And what of the other students - aren't you harming them by telling law schools not to fish for minnows anymore? 

Fourth, what does "appear capable" of graduating and passing the bar even mean?  The typical maternity ward is full of spongy things that appear capable of someday being lawyers, and that's before we consider intelligent animals and various stains on walls.

Exactly what anti-capitalist interests is the ABA protecting, anyway?