The LSTC Legal Dictionary

This is a work in progress to build a reference material for newcomers to the "scam."  Please feel free to suggest contributions to this list.

0L:  See Prospective Law Student.

ABA (American Bar Association): The publicly-accountable organization entrusted by your Congress and most state bar associations with giving official approval to law schools.  Thanks to the ABA's rigorous standards and persistent, unyielding commitment to excellence in the legal profession, you can rest assured that any ABA-accredited law school is a sound option towards a bright legal future.

Adjunct Professor:  A professor who is not as good as the other professors because they would rather maintain another job instead of drinking from the golden cappuccino machine in the faculty lounge.  They teach more lousily because they are bitter about their pay and constantly thinking about all that money they're making in private practice.

Baby Boomer:  The greatest generation in American legal history, as proven by their dominance in most courtrooms and their prudent financial management of their student debt loads and real property holdings.

Bar Exam:  A valued rite of passage that ensures law school graduates are ready to enter the profession after successfully cramming a brief bar review course that has a slight correlation to what they learned in law school.

Bar Review Study Course:  A course that purports to cram hundreds of years of legal doctrine into a few weeks and then take credit for running the last few yards of a marathon that refined the lawyer's mind.

BigLaw:  The largest and best law firms in America, providing excellent, well-paid work for graduates of all law schools, although they are far from the only excellent legal employers.

Career Services:  A department of your law school that does everything short of rigging the global economy to get graduates jobs.  Often, these people are JDs themselves who chose to work harder, stay later, and network with employers until every one of their recent graduates has a satisfying job instead of taking the easy money of working in private law firms.

Character and Fitness:  A system designed to ensure that only the most worthy, moral, and ethical applicants are admitted to the state bar using a system of medieval moral absolutism that has proven efficient and infallible at keeping liars and cheats from representing consumers of legal services.

Clinical Professor:  A law professor who has insecurities about his or her practice skills and therefore teaches more practical classes.

Curve:  Science-based method of ensuring grading standards, based on the sound principle that a room of 50-100 professional students falls neatly into a bell curve in their understanding of straightforward blackletter law.

Dean:  The head of a law school; the perfect combination of business management skills, legal ethics and practical lawyering knowledge.  As befits essential people who have earned it, he will likely spend most of his time drinking mid-range wine with donors and cruising in his BMW.  Bow with respect, and realize that despite the superficial appearance of a pyramid scheme, there's a very good chance you'll be wearing suits like his someday.

Debt:  See Investment.

Diversity:  An essential goal that underscores the importance of reducing the role of the LSAT and ensuring that students have unfettered access to student loan funding; if you disagree, you are a racist piece of shit.

Donors:  Rich people who are so selfless and charitable that they give their money to unnecessary tertiary professional schools and only ask for their name to be attached to something prestigious and semi-permanent in return.

Employment:  A goal of some students, where one does necessary and essential justice-proving work in exchange for obscenely-high compensation; roughly 97% wind up with employment within nine months of graduation from law school, and the unemployment rate among practicing lawyers is comically low.

Final Exam:  In most law school classes, the one time you will be evaluated, and the entire determinant of your grade for a fifteen-week course.  It's not only fair, it's scientific.

For-Profit:  The real fraudsters.  Except the ones approved by the ABA or a respectable state bar association.

Fraud:  A cause of action that protects consumers that have been misled by nefarious business people looking for dishonest profits; obviously cannot possibly apply to nonprofit education.

GPA, law:  A number that represents how hard a student worked in law school so that employers can gauge the student's work ethic, for two semesters.  Your A in advanced antitrust law, internship with the FTC, and multiple publications on anticompetitive practices is not as good as an A- in 1L con law, and the latter is more likely to get a job at a top firm by virtue of their hard work.

GPA, undergraduate:  One of only two numbers that matters in law school admissions.  Your B- in advanced microcomputer programming in finance is not as good as a B+ in Pop Music, 1995-2000, because you obviously didn't work as hard.

Government job:  Working for federal, state, or local government in a diverse amount of opportunities is a rewarding and fulfilling avenue of service.  Unfortunately, hardly anyone wants these jobs, so the government has to use PSLF and practically give away a legal education to get people to work as federal prosecutors.  The good news is that these jobs provide a place for graduates who finish more towards the bottom of their law school classes.

Grades:  An objective and scientific manner of calculating knowledge and skill in highly-technical areas such as Federal Civil Procedure.  Because law professors are all also experts in education, this system is designed to be fair.  At most institutions, such evaluations are anonymous to ensure objectivity, where the professor does not know the student's identity until he or she exercises the right to adjust students' grades despite what they got on the final exam.

GradPlus Loan:  Proof that the federal government has come to the inescapable conclusion that infinite debt is necessary or else there will literally be no lawyers left to serve the poor.

Income-Based Repayment (IBR):  A generous financial incentive of student loans - as opposed to risky forms of debt - that allows the borrower to pay back the loan at a modest proportion of taxable income, with forgiveness after 25 years, with no other apparent downsides.

Investment:  A modest upfront expenditure in exchange for more lucrative long-term gains, such as paying law school tuition in exchange for the income of a 50-year legal career.

Law:  A peaceful system of social organization and dispute resolution that ensures the rich and politically-powerful will stay that way.

Law Professor:  an esteemed, experienced lawyer entrusted by a law school to teach future generations; an intellect who combines the academic skillset of a PhD with the versatile practicality of legal education and experience; a true paragon of Lexus-driving virtue.

Law Review:  A perfect publishing model; future lawyers spend valuable time learning the citation and editing skills they will need in practice, while law professors have widely-read outlets with rigorous publication standards for their scholarship.

Law School:  A magical place where you can go and not be deemed unemployed for three whole years, all while gaining useful skills and learning invaluable lessons from some of the world's great scholars at a low price bought by monopoly money.

Lemming:  Pejorative term for a pre-law student.  Ironically, real-life lemmings follow each other to ideal food sources and mating grounds.  Just like law school.

LSAT:  Despite being the only test that means anything to law school admissions departments and in comparing law school student body quality, meaning this half-day hackneyed IQ test is responsible for filtering a generational cohort into career paths, it has no meaning and does not determine your worth as an attorney.

MidLaw:  Law firms that are smaller than BigLaw, and are often seeking more specialized graduates with equally-excellent opportunities for new law grads, particularly those who network appropriately.

Minority:  A commodity; an invaluable resource sought by law schools to give their law schools diversity.

Money:  One of only two things that matters in law.  Thankfully, every single ABA-accredited law school has access to it in the form of government-backed student loans.

Network:  One of many excellent ways to land legal employment.  Essentially, law students and new lawyers go out and meet successful lawyers.  Then, based on friendship and seeing a willingness to learn, the successful lawyer will work to find a job for the new lawyer.  This can work for everyone because there is an infinite amount of job opportunities to go around if only graduates would go out and have a few drinks with local attorneys, or something.

Non-profit:  A model where administrators run the operation for the benefit of the public and not for any private individual.  As a result, these administrators take significantly lower salaries than they could garner in the private sector.  Additionally, law students are encouraged to work for non-profits with financial incentives; but alas, far too few of them work at such things, but instead opt to make significantly more money in the private sector.

On-Campus Interviewing:  Where even our less-prestigious schools feature scores of potential employers and opportunities for all students to pick from during their second year in law school, proving that law is a profession concerned with the long-term careers of its students by determining their employment options two years in advance.

Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE):  Yet another financial incentive for student debt given by our generous Congress, and further proof that tuition is merely nominal and not what students actually pay, rendering complaints about tuition utterly without merit.

Prospective Law Student:  An individual poised to embark on the journey of a lifetime, a three-year trek of mind-bending knowledge that ends with a lucrative and stable career in one of America's most trusted and respected professions.

Public-Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF):  A program where people who do extra special law can have their debts washed away after ten years.  This is partly because no one wants to work for non-profits or for the government, and partly because these individuals won't have the lucrative rewards of private practice.

Practice-Ready:  Movement in legal education that recognizes new lawyers can be even more practice-ready than they have been in the past with a few minor innovations in legal education that should prove easy to integrate and capable of expanding job opportunities for the already-in-demand legal graduate.

Prestige:  One of only two things that matters in law.  Thankfully, every single ABA-accredited law school has prestige from every nook and cranny in its library to the tail of the unemployment line where only 2% of its students wind up.

Salary:  The sizable amount of money made by new law graduates; certain scientific statistics project that starting salaries for law graduates are now approaching $430,000.  However, even students who do not make that much should easily expect their salaries to increase tenfold over their forty-year legal career.

Scambloggers:  Anonymous egocentrics who love mythology and celebrating their psychological issues.

Scholarship (1):  An essential exercise of First Amendment freedoms where law professors provide the world with insightful insights that everyone from judges to prelaw students reads and cites with regularity.

Scholarship (2):  A practice where law schools give rewarding financial packages to the most deserving students, meaning those who most need financial assistance and incentivizing, often with few, if any, strings attached.

Student Loans:  A great democratizer; an innovative financial instrument that allows everyone below the upper class to gain a professional education for a mere pittance of their future earnings.

Tenure:  The protection afforded the most elite law professors against retaliation by jealous administrators who desire a better parking spot for the Audi.  If you oppose tenure, you spew vile hatred for the First Amendment.

Tuition:  The tangible price of a legal education, always a bargain given the infinite value of said knowledge.

Unemployment:  A phantom of the depression-obsessed imagination; see also Employment.

Unmet Legal Needs:  Sociological theory that, at any given moment, there are more people needs lawyers than there are grains of sand on an endless beach.  They will only abate if we continue to produce lawyers at a responsible pace and/or eradicate present antitrust barriers and let any yahoo with a seminar certificate represent child custody clients.

Versatility:  One of the key virtues of a legal education.  People with law degrees can work not just any occupation in the world, but any position within that occupation.  Whereas MBA graduates are destined for fast food service management, JDs can work the kitchen, run the register, clean the toilets, and ensure FDA/OSHA compliance.  And employers of a more ...lurid... nature are consistently amazed at all the different ways a JD can bend over.

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