Saturday, October 27, 2018

Arizona Summit Gets Blast-Mined

I met a traveller from an Arizona land,
Who said—“A vast and empty cadaver
Lay in the desert. . . . Near it, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered Justice lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
Shaped well by the old Socratic Method;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Well, you finally did it, you caustic maniacs.  Arizona is back to two law schools, regressing the state's legal educative process to the hellscape of 2004. 

Everyone suffers.  Students have one less place to blow through hundreds of thousands of dollars in the worst way possible.  Arizona is deprived a key production facility for budding shitlawyers.  The bar examiners will see a massive drop in retakers.

But alas, some people can't restrain their selfishness.  That, my friends, is how empires fall.

The survivors will, as always, scam on. Let's sip somma that top-shelf booze 'n' remember the good times:

Sunday, October 21, 2018

PSA: The LSTC Will Offer Pro-Law School Consulting Services Much Better Than Relative Hacks in Valpo/Tennessee Case

Proof Middle Tennessee State needs the magical logical reasoning granted only by casebook/Socratic-style legal education after all:  when the matter was before the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, the consultants retained by the commission were Aslanian Market Research (the fuck kinda name is that?) and Jane Sadd Smalec.

Problem: as far as I can tell, Ms. Smalec does not have a law degree.  This brings to my mind an immediate question: have not enough JD Advantage graduates been produced that these government-adjacent easy-contract consultancies are still using non-lawyers?!?!?  Oh my gosh, ABA, turn the faucet back on!

This blatant and regrettably systemic failure to understand the legal education marketplace is readily apparent even from this news summary, e.g.:
"Valparaiso does not have a good reputation," Smalec said during her presentation to the commission.
That's a self-own, Jane. As we all know, Valparaiso's reputation is dried dog-food solid.  The school is, admittedly, chronically underappreciated or, apologies to Spinal Tap, its appeal has become more selective.  But in the words of a rapper (somewhere): 
bein' niche
don't mean
thatta bitch
is in da ditch
So where did this idea that Valpo is somewhere inferior come from?  Oh, the other law schools in Tennessee seeking to protect their oligopoly, of course.
During the public comment period, both the University of Tennessee College of Law and the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in Memphis wrote letters of opposition.
C'mon! I know you academic beefsteaks want your piece of the pie so you can fart apple-spiced fragrance during your "office hours", but there's plenty of justice education to go around - Tennessee could support 15 law schools - not that Smalec is convinced by the basic math of more is better:
A seventh law school in Tennessee won't improve services to those underserved, Smalec said.
Did she not research the teeming mass of people who show up at court without counsel, their uneducated stuttering causing them to regularly lose winnable cases?  Does she not understand competition reducing prices for the Joe Schmo legal consumer?  Does she not want her local dean's creating jobs by investing in real estate, vanity restaurants, and shitty art?

It's not the only place Smalec's grasp of law, economics, and competition provokes skepticism from a would-be rival consultancy:
The transfer of Valparaiso University's School of Law to MTSU would increase competition for qualified students.
The study says adding another law school will only increase the competition for a limited number of opportunities for enrolled students.
The study showed that a new law school wouldn't increase employment opportunities across the state; it will only increase competition.
Is competition a bad thing now?  I thought we were still doing capitalism.  Has Tennessee gone pinko on us?  In America, if you have a business accredited by the government and backed by generous public student loan financing, you should be able to set up shop wherever you want in order to maximize your institutional profit and happiness at the expense of whatever misfired carbon-splatters successfully complete the entrance exam.  If you don't like that, you can get out.  I hear Saudi Arabia is nice and much more progressive than it used to be.

All in all: it's a flawed feasibility study, much like the one that was used to kill any idea of an Alaskan law school, and not at all like the one that green lit legal education in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Do you need specific reasons why it's flawed?  Like reason-based arguments?  Well you're in the wrong place, bub; I go from the gut.

In the spirit of free market competition, I propose the LSTC as rival consultants to Aslanian.  The LSTC has now been in business for five years, acquiring diverse expertise in evaluating the American legal education market and licking its rippled, leathery body from every possible angle.  For a high enough fee, the LSTC will write as many pages of academic-ish argument as your rump-roasting commission desires explaining the virtues of affordable, mass produced student loan disbursement in Murfreesboro in language written specifically for gutless government sinecures and delusional interdisciplinary advocates who haven't kept up with the fake news in the last decade. 

Best of all, the LSTC offers very affordable hourly rates for the cash-strapped legal education enterprise.  In fact, for good applicants, I might even offer a scholarship discount.  (Hint: they're all good applicants).

Chug chug goes The Express; chug chug!

The actual, full feasibility study is located here if for whatever reason you want to see how to construct a fairly good feasibility study documenting why Tennessee doesn't need another law school, even though we all know it just does.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

There May Be No Jobs But There Will Be Work

Are you a prospective law student or perpetual malcontent STILL harping and fretting about the lack of traditional j-o-b-s in the legal sector?  Well buckle buck, butt wart, you're not even asking the right questions:
[T]he improving employment rate may not be influencing law school applicants for the simple reason that employment prospects are not their main reason for going to law school.
But even assuming that every law students wants to practice law, and that there are fewer traditional law practice jobs to go around, this misses the point. While there may be fewer law jobs to go around, there is more than enough legal work.
Emphasis added because half of you can't read more than two paragraphs without sobbing uncontrollably and Googling for a summary.

Jobs don't matter, kids, it's all about whether there's work available.  This may surprise some, particularly those of you who believe that the "free market" can create jobs to meet existing real "demand."

Oh, no, my friends.  Current market participants just can't meet the needs of America's massive prospective client base. There's tens of millions of people willing to pay completely manageable rates of $50/hr to $125/hr for quality legal representation.  In the branch of mathematics called fictionometry, that's $500B of sidelines legal work if we simply take the $50/hr number, the minimum of ten million, and say that each lawyer pull just 1000 hours of work each year from this shitpile, bringing in revenue of $50,000, which is sustainable because it's above the national median income level.

You might ask yourself why current lawyers aren't simply meeting this demand.  The answer, one must assume, is either that tens of thousands of lawyers aren't good at the whole "business" thing or that they're all getting too rich already to bother with $50/hr work.

The author insists that law schools must - at a minimum! - teach lawyers how to exploit this "low bono" marketplace, you know, the people who get turned down by all the greedy, snooty lawyers presently in practice, among other things.

While I think it's unfair to fault law schools or require that they teach anything, I wholeheartedly endorse enrolling more and more of these boofers in law school to send more infantry to the slaughtering trenches of the justice crisis.  Teach them about limited scope representation and digital law practice.  Shit, let's teach 'em about dowsing rods, too.  It's like chucking handfuls of seed at the barren, salty Earth.  If just a few land, we'll soon have trees of justice and new sources of precious ground water.

Scam on...and scam online!

(The author of the linked article helps run "the nation’s first fully online law school" in case you or a dear law school applicant needed an even more innovative pathway to the Million Dollars Express)

Friday, October 5, 2018

2400 Law Professors Got Nothin' on Two Senators

As I write this, 2400 (and counting!) of America's finest law professors have signed an open letter in The New York Times opposing the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh.  It's a motley group - newbie soft socialists mixed with the doddering emeritus faculty titans.  Chemerinsky, Tribe, and Geoffrey Stone are there.  There's Deborah Rhode.  Notorious faith-defender Ted Seto signed; so did legal Bolsheviks Brian Tamanaha and Paul Campos.

A notable name isn't there, of course.  Don't worry - the Prophet opposes Kav, too, just on other grounds. Is that the perfect rad neato MTV response or what?

More than anything, though, this petition shows just how insignificant legal academia is.  So what if they agree on everything?  Poof, this guy's getting ramrodded through to a Supreme Court anyway and all because a very small handful of Senators don't want to be shunned at barbecues and future consulting engagements. Neither Jeff Flake nor Susan Collins are enlightened with the gift of law and yet their thoughts mean more than the opinions of thousands of full-time law school faculty members they're going to summarily ignore.

God bless America.  You might think, reader, that as a law school advocate I would scold the Senate for not trusting their obvious betters.  On the contrary, this is what educators refer to as a teaching moment.  There is perhaps no better way to show law students past, present, and future the utter and obvious futility of having informed opinions shared publicly. No greater lesson can be learned as a young lawyer than to have an ignoramus of a client trample one's advice.  This epistle is clinical education on a national scale.

If you think you can actually win when you go out and make it rain justice like a god of yore, you've got a lot to learn about The Law.  It's all in how you play the game: wear a snappy suit, say the right things, collect your paycheck.

Because these law professors aren't doing a god-damned thing to move the needle a micrometer.  They might as well be playing Learned Hand with themselves.  But holy cow it looks swell.

What do they all have in common?  They're getting paid, suckers.  The Million Dollar Express tracks run parallel to the Big Money Line.  We all can get rich.

...and so can you.  With just 300 easy payments of $1500/mo, you can finance a legal education at any number of outstanding law schools whose professors make their voices heard on very important matters.  Some day you'll make enough money that no one will care what you and 2399 friends have to say publicly, too!  All aboard!