Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The first rule of Fight Club

One of the few legal academics who writes things that I have read voluntarily is a guy who 20 years ago was publishing scorched earth critiques in prominent law journals about the uselessness of doctrinal legal scholarship, the intellectual stultification of the typical law school classroom, the mind-numbing awfulness of legal practice in general and of being an associate in a big firm in particular, etc. etc. etc.  He was an angry young man then, and got some attention from his elders, although even back in the day he was already considered to be "merely" rehashing the cls critique of the 1970s and early 1980s. This is how legal scholarship works by the way:

Angry young man: My path-breaking scholarship published in the top legal journals demonstrates conclusively that law school is at best an unnecessarily expensive waste of time and at worst a seriously brain-damaging ripoff.

Legal academic establishment: That's fascinating but it has already been demonstrated many times. But please do continue in this vein if you're so inclined.

In other words, in the context of something like legal academia -- that is, in the context of a fundamentally anti-intellectual and anti-vocational exercise in ideological legitimation and social sorting -- pointing out that legal academia is an intellectual and vocational joke just becomes part of an ongoing punchline. Criticizing something on the basis of standards that aren't applied to itself by the enterprise you're criticizing is as a practical matter a waste of time, which is why the still-angry no-longer-young professor's copious body of very well done critical scholarship has had exactly zero effect on the objects of his criticism.

Which raises the question of what exactly angry young men (and women) ought to be doing these days, besides writing law review articles that by their very nature are guaranteed to have exactly zero effect on anything.  (I want to be clear on this point so I'll repeat it: Scholarship can have real-world effects within a social context that takes the idea of scholarship seriously, that is, which acknowledges the possibility that the achievement of certain insights could then actually require somebody to do something. Legal academia is at present not that sort of social context.)

Speaking of which in a couple of comment threads it's been suggested that somebody who holds the views I now hold ought to quit his job, or at least consider doing so.  I think this is a valid issue to raise, although of course it's the kind of claim that is often made strategically, in order to shut down dissent. Several people have responded to this claim by pointing out that whistle blowing would never get far if whistle blowers listened to similar advice.  And that's true. Still it seems rather odd to characterize this blog as involved in any sort of real whistle blowing.  Almost everything I've said has been a matter of very public knowledge, after all.  It's not as if the inadequacies of the law school classroom and of legal scholarship were exactly state secrets (see our angry young man above and his many predecessors et. seq.).  The skyrocketing cost of legal education, the salaries and teaching loads of law faculty, the contraction of the job market, the unhappiness of lawyers, and by now even the techniques by which law schools cooked their all-too-obviously phony employment numbers are also largely matters of public record.

The only things I've said on this blog that could be considered whistle blowing in even a loose sense are a few comments on the work habits of legal academics, which is really a very marginal matter in the context of the present disaster.  (After all who cares if the average law professor "works hard?"  If you were to get served a long series of lousy meals at an expensive restaurant would you care how hard the chef did or didn't work? Indeed if the meal represents the chef's most honest effort that's only a better reason for firing him, since working harder at his craft obviously isn't going to do any good. Unfortunately for fancy restaurants that serve bad food at high prices there's no accrediting agency requiring people to keep eating there so they can stay in business).

The whistle blowing element of this blog has almost nothing to do with revealing hidden information.  It's perceived as whistle blowing because, given the deeply hierarchical nature of the legal system in general and legal academia in particular, matters of public knowledge in a sense don't really count until somebody in a position of "authority" repeats them. (It was on the tip everybody's tongue. I just gave it a name).  Now as authority figures go I'm far from ideal: it would be better if I were at an elite school, or if I were a dean, or best of all if I were both, but for reasons that are too obvious to belabor the higher up somebody is in the hierarchy the less likely they are to call any aspect of it into question (Imagine Duncan Kennedy as dean of HLS. Imagine Richard Posner on the SCOTUS. And so on).  But still, I'm a tenure track law professor at a, for now at least, "first-tier" school who is pointing out that what the scam bloggers are saying is true, which in this business is pretty much the equivalent of Emma Goldman getting elected president of the Greenwich Junior League.

So one justification for continuing to cash my paycheck is that it's valuable to have somebody who knows what everybody already knows, but who is in a position to have it taken more seriously because people in his position never say what everybody already knows, to say it while staying in that position, as opposed to being a "disgruntled" former law professor saying the kind of stuff that disgruntled people can be expected to say. (I should add that a significant factor in all this is that the scam elements of law school have gotten much worse over the course of my career, and in addition I have only slowly allowed myself to become fully aware of them. I don't think I could have done what I'm doing now for the past 20 years, although I suppose I'm going to find out).

Another is that, in an admittedly minor way, I remain in a better position to exhort people inside the business to change the way we do things.  And I'm trying to do that.  Let's get practical, shall we?

Step One:  Demand that your school release its real employment numbers, now.

Step Two:  Demand that your school do what's necessary, now, to freeze or better yet roll back tuition.

My eyes are open.  Are yours?

127 comments:

  1. Not enough of a challenge to trouble your fellow Lawprofs, I'm afraid. The petition/signed letter idea touted before would have been better because it would have required people to put their names to it. But then perhaps you've tried to float such an idea already.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Now as authority figures go I'm far from ideal: it would be better if I were at an elite school, or if I were a dean, or best of all if I were both

    Actually, I think you'd be taken less seriously if you were at an elite school, because then it would be all too easy to marginalize your comments as being motivated by disdain for lesser schools and a desire to highlight the gulf between job prospects for elite school graduates and those for graduates of non-elite schools. Since you're talking about the failings of your institution and the challenges faced by your students, this blog has all the greater impact.

    ReplyDelete
  3. FOARP: I'm all for a petition advocating both these things. Somebody could draft one up . . .

    ReplyDelete
  4. We know this, because Campos knows this.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think the fight club reference is very fitting for the law school experience. The scene in my mind is the mindless recruit waiting on the doorstep of the club ready to swear he will disdain material possessions and live like a serf with only the clothes on his back.

    ReplyDelete
  6. A petition can't hurt; but is unlikely to help. The suits now pending alleging fraud by at least two law schools will, if successful, accomplish much, much more. But they seem unlikely to succeed. While the employment figures reported by law schools are laughable, they probably aren't actionable, in my not-very-informed opinion.
    I graduated from law school 20 years ago (in a terrible job market, btw; although probably better than today's) and, as today's post points out, others were making many of the same critiques of law schools then that are being made now. Even then, those critiques were considered old hat, as Campos also notes. The new wrinkle, as I see it, is the abuse of employment statistics. If pressure can be brought to bear, that seems to be the best place. Useless legal scholarship and out of touch professors are problems that aren't going to change.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but this will never happen because law students are the nerdy bookish types who are too meek to have any power.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My name is meek... it rhymes with reek!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'd like to see where this petition idea goes. What would happen if large numbers of law professors signed such a thing and it was reported in the news. Would this really have no effect on anything?

    ReplyDelete
  10. The next question, then, is has LawProf voluntarily offered to increase his teaching load and/or reduce his own salary? If not, why not?

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a hypocrite! You criticize everyone who works at a law school, almost down to the janitors, and you basically call them criminals. Yet you keep cashing your paycheck every week and living off your ill-gotten gains (according to your reasoning).

    A few years ago one of George Wallace's henchman said that they had been wrong and that to make up for their misdeeds there should be affirmative action. He didn't offer to give back the ill-gotten money. Rather let's let the innocent pay for our crimes.

    If you really believe as you do, you should quite immediately and give away all the money you earned at being a professor. If not, you are worse then the people you are criticizing. I bet that there is a book deal in here somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  12. If the problem is that law school is an all or nothing proposition on which students have to stake their lives, then things that occur to me include:

    -transferring money from hiring firms and giving it to schools, say X% of first year salary (since firms have utmost interest in hiring educated lawyers; education is a service they benefit from, they could pay for it)
    -use that money to discharge debt belonging to students who don't get jobs. Overall effect here is to have the profession take interest in the schools that perpetuate it.
    -take accreditation away from schools which fail to place X% of its graduating classes. Gives schools an important stake in students' futures & would prevent them from accepting anyone representing s/he has the money to pay for it.

    ...that's about all I got.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yes, 8:14, law grads are weak and have no political clout. How many former law students are there in the Senate, again?

    You are right about one thing; the horse is dead. I'd venture to say it was never living - it is patently obvious that the world is mostly run by former law students (though most of them are happy to eat their own - what does that say about you?) So you've spent the last few threads making yourself look like a repetitive fool, and worse, your classism has been truly obnoxious. Speaking as a mere bystander who reads this blog only because it is interesting, I used to have a lot more sympathy for law grads until I found out what you think of people outside of your own social set.

    ReplyDelete
  14. @ 9:47 - I disagree that it makes him a hypocrite or that he should resign. He's not part of the problem, and in fact if he resigned from his job he would lose his ability to so broadly broadcast his message. Even if you were to completely revamp the system and remove its "scam" elements, you would still have professors and teachers, so why should he resign?

    ReplyDelete
  15. It has nothing to do with the personalities of law school students- you're just in a very weak negotiating position. Law schools are making a tremendous amount of money right now- why should they do anything to hurt their profits? What power do you have over them, to make them want to negotiate?

    Before you try and negotiate with them, you need to have some sort of credible threat to make them at least notice you. I'd suggest a public protest.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "If you really believe as you do, you should quite immediately and give away all the money you earned at being a professor. If not, you are worse then the people you are criticizing."

    Thinking this through:

    1. Campos "quites".

    2. Admin hires a shitty replacement.

    3. Nobody listens to Campos anymore because he is no longer in academia.

    4. Students suffer.

    5. Scam continues with no internal dissent.

    6. ???

    7. Victory!

    ReplyDelete
  17. 9:47:

    Hello, Brian Leiter.

    ReplyDelete
  18. How is Campos innocent? He blames everyone that works at a law school and he works at a law school. He doesn't need to draw a paycheck to fight his fight. He has this blog. He would be much more effective if he stood up for his principles and quit. Now he just looks like a hypocrite.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think Campos should just stipulate that he is a hypocrite. Whether he is or is not is a complete distraction that has nothing to do with the content of his message. We should not allow this to become the focus. Campos has said in other posts that much of this is confessional. He is guilty and admits to it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Campos is an arm chair liberal. He talks a lot about social injustice, but he never leaves his comfortable arm chair.

    ReplyDelete
  21. @9:49 - I don't read much new about this problem but I thought your ideas could be really effective. Problem, of course, is that it will be a cold day in hell before the biglaw firms will transfer tuition payments from their coffers.

    @11:00 - that just about describes everyone in this debacle, especially the ones that have the most to gain and nothing to lose - the unemployed attys with 6 figure debt - and yet even they jus sit there.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yeah I bet there is a book deal coming up? Will you devote the profits to charity Law Prof? Where is Paul Krugman when you need him.

    ReplyDelete
  23. He has admitted to being a hypocrite. That is the problem. He knows he is wrong but he still takes his salary.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Whoever 9:47 is, he has the mentality of a psychopath criminal.

    His response to a whistleblower is to demand that the whistleblower lose his job. This is so shockingly backwards it would horrify anyone with a sense of decency, yet 9:47 repeats it over and over again.

    9:47, you have been posting this same critique, anonymously, every day. You pathetic psychopath coward. Here's what's going to happen. Campos is not quitting this job, or this blog, and your crimes are going to be discussed on here every day for a long long time, you putrid kid-scamming piece of bald, yellow toothed scumbag shit.

    Got it?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Someone needs to check the IP addresses of these anon hypocrite commentators. I bet a lot of them are coming out of Hyde Park...

    ReplyDelete
  26. "Hey, if you don't like the fact that we lie to stockholders in violation of 10(b), then why do you collect a paycheck here? Leave."

    "Hey, if you dont like the fact that we embezzle money here, then why do you collect a paycheck here as an employee? Leave."

    "Hey, if you don't like the fact that we beat our employees then why do you collect a paycheck here as a manager? You're fired."

    What an immoral idiot. An immoral, yellow toothed, mongloid head, bald idiot.

    ReplyDelete
  27. The first rule of fight club is not to talk about fight club. The second rule of fight club is not to talk about fight club. Hahah that's probably how law schools operate regarding their employment numbers. You just have to substitute "fight club" with "employment statistics."

    ReplyDelete
  28. In every one of these mini-screeds about Campos' hypocrisy, the sentence is always left incomplete. "Why don't you quit your job, then?" they ask, the subtext being "Or else shut your mouth."

    Campos can quit, and nothing changes. All of the other professors who thank each other so deliberately for their thoughtful comments at Prawfsblawg or Volokh can go back to sleep. Transparency in employment reporting can remain an eternal subject for another day, after we deal with something more pressing.

    He is an embarrassment to you and what you represent. He is someone to whom I can point when I write to my former dean, my congressman or my local newspaper. He makes it clear that the academy isn't just the victim of a terrible economy and ("not to add insult to injury, but frankly some responsibility must accrue to...") aggrieved graduates looking for someone to blame.

    If you have something to say about the issues raised, say it. If you broadly agree but dislike Campos for raising them while remaining employed, then why are you somehow superior?

    ReplyDelete
  29. It's really an astonishing criminal conspiracy.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I like this particular blog title. It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from the movie:

    Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.

    ReplyDelete
  31. One serious protest at a law school would fix this problem tomorrow. You'll never see it though, because only the pathetic nerds studied enough to get into law school in the first place (and like the losers they were thought to be in highschool, their lives are left swindled and left for nothing.). Such people don't have the courage to talk anywhere outside of the internet, never mind actually protest.

    ReplyDelete
  32. @11:32 - dude, how many times are you going to post the same shit over and over and over again? All you are conveying is your inability to understand a complex situation. Hell, I wish my law school had more of the geeky type you describe and less of the ass-kissing personality defects whose egos outsized their brains. But it isn't geeks...its about our subculture and the larger culture abroad. Someone laid out a pretty good analysis of the situation in the comments section yesterday. Go and study it.

    ReplyDelete
  33. "In every one of these mini-screeds about Campos' hypocrisy, the sentence is always left incomplete. "Why don't you quit your job, then?" they ask, the subtext being "Or else shut your mouth." "

    Exactly, it's "either stop whistleblowing, or you won't have a job." This is the mentality of most law professors and administrators. They are criminal psychopaths. It's shocking that the dumbass writing this astonishingly corrupt line doesn't see this.

    We don't talk enough about that moment, that precise moment, when the law school management decides to fudge the career placement numbers. It doesn't happen magically; it's someone's intentional act. It might be in the surveying stage, it might be in the "document the data" stage, wherever it is it happens, and it's the act of a damn criminal. These are the people training our society's keepers of justice!

    ReplyDelete
  34. @11:32 a.m.:

    200 U.S. law schools, collectively drawing over $2.7B in tuition and fees every year, will be embarrassed into making themselves relevant to their students' careers and telling them the truth about employment, because of "one serious protest."

    Also, in case you wondered, all that projection doesn't make you sound tough or cool. It makes you sound like you're a T4 Columbine waiting to happen.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Two black shirts.
    Two black pair of trousers.
    exactly five hundred dollars cash for personal burial money.

    I'm in.

    ReplyDelete
  36. "Hell, I wish my law school had more of the geeky type you describe and less of the ass-kissing personality defects whose egos outsized their brains."

    My geeky friend, the nerds were PRECISELY the ass kissing types. Think of the classic "kid who brings the teacher an apple every day" story. That kid is getting his ass beaten at recess.

    The discussion is complex, but we need to accept that it will never go beyond internet complaining, because nerdy law school types don't have the courage to do more.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Just wondering if Elizabeth Warren ever said anything about all this. If she reaches the Senate it seems like she would be a pretty sympathetic and powerful ally.

    ReplyDelete
  38. "Also, in case you wondered, all that projection doesn't make you sound tough or cool. It makes you sound like you're a T4 Columbine waiting to happen."

    I was talking about a protest, not a mass murder. Not sure why you read the latter into the former, but since you used the word "projecting," you might want to see someone about that little Rorschach test you just failed.

    ReplyDelete
  39. @11:45 - Then I don't think you know what 'geek' means....I think the pejorative you are looking for is pussy. But having never been inside one I can see how you might have difficulty remembering the term.

    Simpletons oversimplify.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Who is going to volunteer to draft that petition?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Fine, pussy then. Usually nerds are pussies, though.

    The point is that this protest will never go outside of the internet. Law school types are too much of a "pussy" or "geek" or "nerd" or "bitch" to do more.

    Could you imagine 100 law students marching down to the career services office and demanding to see every document and email put out by that place? Could you imagine if they don't back down? Could you imagine if a similar protest occured to see the school's books, and demand an annual accounting of where their tuition goes?

    The other day, outside a hotel where I live, ten of the hotel's restuarant workers were protesting outside with signs and a drum and hurling insults at anyone who walked into the hotel. Dishwashers have more balls than bookish law school types.

    ReplyDelete
  42. "Who is going to volunteer to draft that petition?"

    Definitely not 11:45 - that would be too "geeky." he's too busy typing another online screed about geeks not doing anything but typing online screeds.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Here's another protest idea - professors should make the median salary (properly calculated) of graduates.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I'm just pointing out that part of what goes on in law school is the classic victimizer-victim line (I forget which author said this, but it was something like "In life there are victims and victimizers.") Law school administrators and professors pwn, and the kids get pwned. It's a very primitive animalistic dynamic that is underappreciated and that controls this entire battle (one that the students are guaranteed to lose because of their innate lack of courage).

    ReplyDelete
  45. @11:58 - They wouldn't march down and do that because they don't see it as in their interest to do so. Kind of like blue-collar workers voting against their own economic interests because conservatives candidates share their social values. Campos described law school and employment perfectly when he said it was a lottery - even the most pathetic student thinks that somehow he'll get that big job by some connection or networking, or some other delusional means.

    Your analogy makes you sound like you're still stuck in high school (like most other law students, come to think about it).

    ReplyDelete
  46. ...also those protesters you described have unions. We don't.

    ReplyDelete
  47. P.S. You see this dynamic in every aspect of the overbearing and authoritative way that law school administrators and professors treat students.

    Where, outside of law school, do you see people speak so demeaningly and obnoxiously to others as you do when seeing how professors talk to students?

    ReplyDelete
  48. "...also those protesters you described have unions. We don't."

    That's fair. They were holding up huge union signs. But as I saw them, I thought here are 10 dishwashers, DAMN UNEDUCATED DISHWASHERS, who matter more than 50,000 law students. They were so f*cking loud with that drum and the insults they hurled at patrons. That must be a nightmare for the hotel.

    ReplyDelete
  49. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryYE9ZkvlXg

    ReplyDelete
  50. P.S. Re people thinking I'm playing out a highschool thing that happened to me, I have never in my life been attacked and I was relatively popular in highschool. I benched 300lbs if that gives you a sense. However, I am a sort of an amateur sociologist and I call it as I see it, and the vast majority of law school types are pathetic beaten down pussy bitches who will never have the courage to complain outside of the internet.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Rather funny to see someone take on the "Emma Goldman" identity, when he just blasted "income based repayment" for bilking income taxpayers. Ever happen to notice that half the country is too poor even to pay those taxes?

    "Protecting taxpayers" and mocking effete academics is a staple of rightwing thought. AnonProf would rather see rates on the rich go way down than see that money supporting an education system (and, by the way, lots of clinics that actually do "Emma Goldman"-like work).

    ReplyDelete
  52. "AnonProf would rather see rates on the rich go way down than see that money supporting an education system."

    Or, tuitions can go down, or, law schools can stop lying about job placement so that kids aren't misled into choosing a bad program. Or, loans could be dischargeable in bankruptcy, or even better, bad loans would have to be paid back by the school. Either of those things, but yeah let's go with your perverse interpretation.

    ReplyDelete
  53. @12:09 p.m.:

    I hope your bench press, misogyny and no-doubt-accurate reflections on your high school days continue to provide you with emotional security.

    ReplyDelete
  54. @12:09 - you do know with that post you are confirming a lot of my earlier suspicions? Your powers of strength and psychological insight are extremely intimidating.

    ReplyDelete
  55. John, You are so clearly a professor with those absurdly academic thoughts (who the hell says misogyny in the real world, and when did I ever bring up gender?).

    Any way John, now that I know you are a professor, it makes your misinterpretation of my calls for protests as a call for a Columbine mass murder that much more creepy. You are apparently so aware of how badly you victimize and steal from poor kids, that you view them as people who would shoot up the school over it.

    Now I don't know what your situation is like, but if I worked somewhere where I was stealing so egregiously that I worried about people shooting up the place, I would quit. I suggest you leave the academic world, for your own mental health.

    ReplyDelete
  56. "12:09 - you do know with that post you are confirming a lot of my earlier suspicions? Your powers of strength and psychological insight are extremely intimidating."

    My post will be confirmed when lawprof eventually gives up on this blog out of boredom, and resentment of the pathetic and cowardly nature of the people he is speaking to.

    I made a prediction, and it'll be the right one. As a result of the bookish temperament required to get into law school, the vast majority of law students are pathetic and meek subservient pussy whatever you want to call them bitches. They simply lack the courage to do anything about the scam, and nothing will change for that reason, ever. You'll never see a protest. You'll never see anything more than internet complaining and internet complaining is worth about as much as the hot hair that comes out of your average law professor's mouth.

    ReplyDelete
  57. ""Protecting taxpayers" and mocking effete academics is a staple of rightwing thought. AnonProf would rather see rates on the rich go way down than see that money supporting an education system (and, by the way, lots of clinics that actually do "Emma Goldman"-like work)."

    Whenever I see a law professor write something like this (and you can bet your bottom dollar than only a law professor would ever think of writing something like this) in response to criticisms of a financial system that is bankrupting his students and enriching him, I confess I do have an urge to just up and quit, if only out of the intense embarrassment I feel to be professionally associated with such people.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I do agree with the thought that most law students are pathetic and have strange temperaments and, more importantly, won't do much in their own favor. But your high school musings on the factors at play are just as pathetic. Come to think of it, you really do remind me of so many I went to law school with - immature know-it-alls who replaced experience and thoughtfulness with childish projections and conjecture. You are the problem you're complaining about. Now get offline and go do something, big mouth.

    ReplyDelete
  59. 12:39, I'm sure my reminding you of the past, to prove that you have been meek and taken advantage of your entire life, is painful. But it's also the truth and it's relevant to this discussion because it's the reason why nothing will ever change.

    Here's a very simple protest. 25, no not even 25, ten, JUST TEN, law students pick one class, or meeting, or whatever, per day (actually you might need 25 to scare the security guards into letting you in), for five minutes with a loud demand that career placement numbers be independently audited and that tuition budgets be revealed and tuitions frozen.

    How much easier can it be made? Even this will never happen. You wouldn't get five people forming such a group, because law students are a bunch of weak, bookish, nerdy, pathetic cowards.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I benched 300lbs if that gives you a sense. However, I am a sort of an amateur sociologist and I call it as I see it, and the vast majority of law school types are pathetic beaten down pussy bitches

    The psychic pain on display here just about bowled me over. You might as well just write, "I am a gay man, I am attracted sexually to other men, and also I hate myself."

    ReplyDelete
  61. Sure, talk shit on the internet, but as I've describe above I guarantee you wouldn't talk that way in the real world. You people don't talk in the real world. That's why nothing will ever change. You're pussy cowards in the real world. That's why you studied all night and went to law school in the first place.

    ReplyDelete
  62. P.S. I have to head out so I won't be able to engage in an instant message like discussion any longer, but I hope my point has been made.

    ReplyDelete
  63. P.S.S. A microcosm of law school http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awK0NrgHUbk

    ReplyDelete
  64. This is sad. Lawprof please reconsider moderating comments. The last several threads have been completely dominated by personal arguments having little to do with your post. This last one reached new lows.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I second Pete Jones's suggestion.

    ReplyDelete
  66. @ 12:49

    I think your indictment of law students' apathy is actually pretty symbolic of all middle class American attitudes.

    We're in the midst of the greatest recession in the last 80 years. The political angst in the country is palpable, there are no jobs out there for most (let alone law graduates), the middle class is essentially becoming part of the lower class, and yet there have not been large scale riots, mobs, or protests regarding the distribution of wealth in this country, government bailouts and the like. There has just been a lot of complaining. No action.

    Look around the world - Egypt, Greece, Spain, for instance - and there have been mass-scale revolts by the younger, educated populace. In line with the Fight Club theme of this post, we have all been trained in this country to be good little consumers. Whether there is something wrong with that should be reserved for another time. However, don't come guns blazing onto this blog and insinuate that law students (as a subset of all Americans) are "pussies," whereas most other groups outside of the legal world would revolt - because they wouldn't. Not here.

    I will agree though, that law school definitely brings out the worst personality types. Talk about a recipe for loss of hair, libido, and soul.

    ReplyDelete
  67. 1:38, perhaps true, but then again see Hoffa's "Take these sons of bitches out" line and the $450 billion jobs bill that followed.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Well, by all means, if you benched 300 pounds, then please, lecture on!

    This guy is great.

    ReplyDelete
  69. "Who is going to volunteer to draft that petition?

    It shouldn't be me because I did not study law in the US, but in the UK where things are similar in some ways but different in others. Still, if I was going to draft one, it would be something like this:

    "We, the undersigned, mindful of the high cost of legal education in the United States, and the worsening employment prospects of US law graduates, demand that [relevant organisations here - "the ABA and ABA-accredited law schools"?] take immediate steps to:

    1) Fully implement the proposals outlined in Part III of the Law School Transparency Project's white paper "A Way Forward: Improving Transparency in Employment Reporting at American Law Schools" ( http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1528862 ) so that prospective students may clearly understand their future employment prospects.

    2) Commit to either freezing law school fees in real terms for the next five years, or lowering them.

    Name Position Signature"


    But you could always try calling someone a pussy on the internet instead, that might work.

    ReplyDelete
  70. I think a petition is literally the most ineffective form of protest. It's just bold enough to cross the line into the category of protest, but so lacking in force that there is no lesser form of protest.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Whether LawProf quits or not, it has nothing to do with the substance of his posts and is clearly nothing more than a ad-hominem attack by a law school shill.

    If his quitting would actually change anything, then yes it is fair to ask him to do so. But nothing will change merely by him doing so. Law school enrollment, tuition, debt, job prospects, etc won't be changed by his resigning. And he will be in a far weaker position as an outsider to advocate change.

    Keep in mind that the whole reason this blog is so notable is that it is written by a current law professor! If it were written by someone else, it would just be another "scamblog". Of course the shills know this and this is why they so desperately want him to quit.

    And they keep waging these ad-homimem attacks, first because he was anon and now because he is a "hypocrite" because they simply cannot attack the substance of his post!

    ReplyDelete
  72. In defense of Campos (not that he needs it), as a recent and former student of Professor Campos's (that is the extent of my credibility here), it was reassuring and refreshing to have an 'atheist in the seminary.' He gave students a peak behind the curtain and revealed that the administration is (sometimes) beholden to students who complain, that professors are often insecure and intimidate students to make themselves feel like they know something, that they put students through the same 'pedagogy' they experienced because they don't know anything else/better, and to ask 'what are we doing here.' All of which was useful to those of us who are concerned about our education, and to those of us who are concerned about the state of the supposedly laudatory profession we seek to enter. To be sure, not all students appreciated this line of thought. Many were just interested in 'the law': the nuts and bolts application of the law. But without any critical view of how the law is applied/cultivated/commodified/etc., the education received is nothing more than a watered down formalism. It's not only painful but it's a disservice to students who pay to take classes where the professor has only given the cases/regs/rules/whatever slightly more thought than the students. Any education that is worthwhile must provide more than a 'here is how to apply' standard. For many studens, Campos (and several other professors at CU) provided the reflective and/or critical element that made the education worthwhile. So while he may claim that all legal education is a farce, it isn't. But it's Professors like him that make it worthwhile.

    And it's easy to deride Campos because he is voluntarily taking payment from the institutions that he has chosen to criticize, but it also lends him credibility - so where is this argument getting you? And it's easy to do a hatchet-job on the weakest element of a situation, but what would you expect anything more from someone with a sub-par education?

    ReplyDelete
  73. To the power lifting tiny brained d-bag....kindly take your idiocy someplace else. We all already know - u think law schools are full of geeks - u said it a million times. Im the guy who repeatedly told you what a simpleton you are and believe me if we met up I would teach you a lesson or two. And that is not necessarily a good thing, in terms of maturity, but it just goes to show that generalizing about any large group is a dangerous and stupid game.

    Now go away.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Professor Campos,

    I enjoy your blog tremendously. And while I also appreciate the rough-and-tumble that qualifies as "dialogue" on the internet, in most forums (aside from the crapfest that is /b/ or youtube comments) users have stable identities. The value in these stable identities rests primarily in the fact that forum participants are then able to make use of an "ignore" function to filter out posts by people whose contributions to the discussion are not only unhelpful, but also actively detrimental to allowing any meaningful discussion.

    I would strongly urge to you consider either requiring a non-anonymous login, moderating the comments with a heavy hand, or risk losing those commenters who would prefer to engage in something like a real (if often acrimonious and unfocused) discussion.

    While I'm nowhere near the most insightful participant in these comment threads, after today's discussion thread I think I may just opt out of ever even hitting the "comments" button in the future. It's not worth sifting through dozens and dozens of replies to our anonymous weightlifting troll to get to one FOARP post worth reading.

    Thank you very much,

    BreezyWheeze, esq.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Contrary to some of the well argued comments, I believe that in some states, a plaintiff could successfully prosecute a claim of fraud against many of these law schools. For instance, my state, Tennessse, has a surprisingly tough consumer protection law against unfair and deceptive practices, allowing up to treble damages. For instance, one subsection defines deceptive acts as: "Representing that goods or services have . . . approval, characteristics, . . . uses, benefits. . . . that they do not have. . . . Representing goods or services are of a particular standard, quality or grade . . . if they are of another . . . . Using statements or illustrations in any advertisement which creates a false impression of the grade, quality, quantity, . . . usability . . . of the goods or services offered. . . . .Engaging in any other act or practice which is deceptive to the consumer or to any other person. . . .Showing or demonstrating goods or services which are defective, unusable or impractical for the purpose represented or implied in the advertisement when such defective, unusable or impractical nature is not fairly and adequately disclosed in the advertisement. . . . .

    I believe that if a Tennessee law school deceives prospective students into believing that in exchange for $150,000 borrowed dollars the law school will give the prospective student a degree and training that will give that student a nine in ten chance of securing a position that both requires that degree and will allow that person to both service the debt and make a decent living that law school has violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.

    I cannot imagine that Tennessee is the only state in the Union (particularly considering Tennessee is a province of pro-business Redneckia)that so defines deceptive practices. I am a plaintiff lawyer (often charmingly referred to as "shit law") who must choose only the cases I can win and I would take such a case on a contingent basis (not that I'm trying to use this website to pike business.)

    ReplyDelete
  76. I love all the anonymous calls for LawProf to quit his job . . . . because he's a hypocrite. Seriously. Do you irony much?

    I mean, I spit my Cheerios across the keyboard.

    You're clearly cashing the same check - one way or another - and you're commenting on HIS BLOG. Anonymously! Really. Bless you for being so entertaining. So far he's the only one who's doing anything. You're absolutely fucking daft. Or, at best, you're a troll.

    ReplyDelete
  77. 12:45 PM:

    I really like your spirit, but I don't think you 25 students protesting for five minutes to get career placement emails, numbers etc. You need a good fraud suit for deceptive acts. You just need a civil court discovery order.

    At least, that's how I see it.

    I am sorry to see many of you convinced there is no hope for change and no hope to close down these malignant malefactorous scammers and frauds. But that is the point: that is how it appears some state statutes would legally define them. Perhaps I'm being overly optimistic, and after the first successful suit, some state legislators might exempt higher education from their state's consumer protection act; but these law schools are not invincible. I remember when the majority of Americans (along with the legal community) once believed the cigarette companies were invincible. Turns out---they weren't.

    ReplyDelete
  78. That should have read: "I don't think you need 25 students protesting. . . "

    ReplyDelete
  79. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  80. "We, the undersigned, mindful of the institutionally-accepted practice of publishing knowingly deceptive graduate employment statistics, the high cost of legal education, and the worsening employment prospects of US law graduates, demand that [relevant organizations here - "the ABA and ABA-accredited law schools"?] take immediate steps to:

    1) Fully implement the proposals outlined in Part III of the Law School Transparency Project's white paper "A Way Forward: Improving Transparency in Employment Reporting at American Law Schools" ( http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1528862 ) so that prospective students may clearly understand their future employment prospects.

    2) Commit to either freezing law school fees in real terms for the next five years, or lowering them.

    3) Collect and publish annually graduates' responses to the following question: "Considering the cost of of my education and my current employment status and my expected employment prospects in the three years following graduation, I believe my decision to attend law school at [relevant law school]: [Rate 1 to 5 with 1 being "Strongly Disagree" and 5 being "Strongly Agree"].

    Publish separately the percentage of students in each graduating class (1) who responded; (2) did not respond; (3) whose response was "1"; (4) whose response was "2"; (5) whose response was "3"; (6) whose response was "4"; and (7) whose response was "5".

    [Name]
    [Position: i.e., faculty, administration, student]

    ReplyDelete
  81. I might add something someone brought up above: committing to surrendering the raw data to an independent auditor.

    We pay or paid enough money. They can afford an auditor to take a quick look and give an unqualified opinion or qualified opinion or something.

    This would have the advantage of giving applicants another basis on which to assess schools: namely how honest schools have been over the years.

    It might be much easier said than done because there aren't (I don't think) very well-established guidelines for giving a qualified opinion or unqualified opinion or something on law school data, but, still, with a little work, it could get done.

    ReplyDelete
  82. None:

    Well done! What would you think of a similar petition to the ABA demanding that if law schools fail to meet certain criteria regarding job placement, the ABA will pull it's accreditation? I don't expect the ABA to act upon such a petition, but it does grab headlines and may help potential judges hearing lawsuits against these diploma mills to be more willing to challenge the status quo of his or her own thinking. If enough people sign the petition, it also would embarrass the leadership of the ABA which is rich in and of itself.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Steps One-Two are nice, but I like my plan better:

    http://autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=1758223&mc=62&forum_id=2

    ReplyDelete
  84. http://www.law.umich.edu/prospectivestudents/admissions/Pages/MessagefromAdmissions.aspx

    All the students who graduated in 2008 & in 2009 have jobs....

    University of Michigan is one of the TOP School for recruiting & job offers...

    ReplyDelete
  85. tdennis239:

    I think it's a good idea. I don't think it will happen, but that's not the point. The point, obviously, is in asking for it. I think we could probably use the same petition, with just a rider for the ABA.

    Here's the beginning of an "issue universe" for concepts to be added or considered. Hopefully LawProf will check in and work with this so that we can have some version control.

    1) Independent auditing

    2) Mandatory withdrawal of accreditation review for schools who do not implement Law School Transparency's reforms. [Note that we're not talking about something schools need a year or two years to implement. This is pretty painless for them in terms of logistics. I know it's painful for the schools in the sense that they don't want to do it, but we're not asking them to build a new wing on the building or something, you know.]

    3) Just like the freeze on tuition, a freeze on opening new law schools and accreditations.

    Also: I wonder if we could actually try to use US News and Wld Report against the schools. If you can get US News to agree to actually do some journalism when they publish their statistics next time around and just note whether or not each school conforms to the Law School Transparency standards, then we'll actually be able to use peer pressure to our advantage.

    ReplyDelete
  86. I worked a document review project with at least one 09 Michigan grad. But document review is a job too.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Sorry. The survey was mostly English.

    "We, the undersigned, mindful of the institutionally-accepted practice of publishing knowingly deceptive graduate employment statistics, the high cost of legal education, and the worsening employment prospects of US law graduates, demand that [relevant organizations here - "the ABA and ABA-accredited law schools"?] take immediate steps to:

    1) Fully implement the proposals outlined in Part III of the Law School Transparency Project's white paper "A Way Forward: Improving Transparency in Employment Reporting at American Law Schools" ( http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1528862 ) so that prospective students may clearly understand their future employment prospects.

    2) Commit to either freezing law school fees in real terms for the next five years, or lowering them.

    3) Collect and publish annually graduates' responses to the following question: "Considering the cost of of my education, my current employment status and my expected employment prospects for the three years following graduation, I believe my decision to attend law school at [relevant school] was a good decision: [Rate 1 to 5 with 1 being "Strongly Disagree" and 5 being "Strongly Agree"].

    Publish separately the percentage of students in each graduating class (1) who responded; (2) did not respond; (3) whose response was "1"; (4) whose response was "2"; (5) whose response was "3"; (6) whose response was "4"; and (7) whose response was "5".

    [Name]
    [Position: i.e., faculty, administration, student]

    ReplyDelete
  88. "tdennis239: I think it's a good idea. I don't think it will happen"

    Ummm, it already has happened. Two schools have been sued so far and yes, a lawsuit is even more ballsy than a protest.

    ReplyDelete
  89. None:

    Thinking more about your petition/statement. As I alluded to earlier, I'm a plaintiff/personal injury lawyer---an old baby boomer one (University of TN/1987)(by the way---truly sorry about how my generation totally screwed the next generation). As a personal injury lawyer, obviously I'm a member of the American Association for Justice (used to be American Trial Lawyers Association) and very active in the local Chattanooga Trial Lawyers Association. Anyway, my fellow plaintiff lawyers hate what the law schools are doing as it is directly affecting our bottom line---more and more lawyers dividing up the same number of cases---not good. Most of my colleagues also tend to hold the ABA in much contempt. After all, we feel our organization AAJ (which is definately not comprised of members of Biglaw) would be just as competent at accrediting law schools as the American Biglaw Association. Would it not be delightful if we could persuade the AAJ to issue a position statement based upon some of the language of the petition. I'm just thinking out loud, but it might be worth pursuing. A fight between the ABA and the AAJ on this issue might produce something interesting and helpful---I think the ABA has more "prestige" but the AAJ has more money and a better lobby.

    Anyway, just a thought to add to the problem solving discussion. I wonder what Prof. Campos thinks?

    ReplyDelete
  90. Tdennis, There was a joke in the bar event I attended about how the plaintiff's lawyers were the independent ballsy type, who sat in the back because they didn't like the professors and viewed law school as this bullshit exercise that they had to go through in order to do what they wanted. Plaintiff's lawyers are definitely not the meek type.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Here's another nuclear option you can do - auditing of one school's career placement numbers.

    1. Get their graduation list. This is usually public, and if it's not a grad will give it to you.

    2. Find each one and find out what they're doing.

    3. Publish the results on a website, highlighting the lies in the official career placement information.

    You couldn't do it for every school, but the school that you do it for will be humiliated.

    ReplyDelete
  92. @6:23: Yes, you're right re: ballsy. I agree. That said, there's no reason why both can't happen at the same time. The one will reinforce the other.

    tdennis239: I wonder what he thinks as well. I don't know much about the AAJ.

    ReplyDelete
  93. 6:48: Pick a school. I'm for it.

    ReplyDelete
  94. I'm personally against the AAJ because I think tort lawsuits are largely bullshit and essentially a tax on American business (i.e. a tax on doing business in the US and hiring Americans).

    ReplyDelete
  95. 6:37: TDennis239 here: I like your joke very much. I suppose I did sit in the back and make fun of most of my professors; but if you had some of the ones I had, you would have made fun of them as well.

    None: I encourage you to learn more about the Association for Justice. We are the "trial lawyers" of which the Republicans are always speaking so speaking so contemptuously (one is judged by one's enemies). We are, quite unapologetically (sic) personal injury lawyers and stand against "tort reform"---for an injured person deserves proper redress.

    6:53: I am sorry that you feel the way you do. It sounds like you have never represented a person who was paralyzed from the waist down because an ER physician assistant refused her an MRI that was clearly indicated by her symptoms and would have timely revealed an epidural spinal abscess destroying her spinal cord; or dealt with the two, horribly burned survivors of a young family of five who's only sin was being on I-440 when a fuel truck driver (who had not slept in 20 hours) took a curve at 85 miles an hour and dumped hot, burning fuel on the family automobile; or dealt with a quadriplegic when a poorly secured crane fell off the truck carrying it onto his automobile on I-75. I certainly hope you or anyone that you love ever suffer such a fate and find that Congress or a state legislature sealed off your right to redress because allowing you to do so translated into a "tax" on large corporations.

    ReplyDelete
  96. The last sentence should read: "I certainly hope that you or anyone that you love never suffer such a fate and find that Congress or a state legislature has sealed off your right right to redress . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  97. Well, the problem with medmal suits is that they drain money that should have gone to patient care resulting in even more problems. Also, a lot of them are "I'm suing my doctor because I can't sue my bad luck" meaning the person has an illness that is more the fault of fate than it is medicine, and they find some way to blame the doctor. Also, does a bum deserve a billion in punitive damages because Ford made one tiny error in designing the Pinto? What about all the extortionist class actions? If we shut down all the corporations, doctors and plaitiff's law targets, who will do their work? Plaintiff's lawyers?

    You talk about harm to life, but yesterday LawProf posted about a poor kid who killed himself from the law school scam? Who is seeking justice for him? Nobody, because there's no money in it.

    Of course we shouldn't completely eliminate the plaintiff's bar but some of the lawsuits are short sighted in terms over overall welfare.

    ReplyDelete
  98. None:

    I also agree that several things can and should happen at the same time. I know I am revealing my age here, but it took several years and a many front war on institutionalized segregation to end it my beloved hot, sacred south. These law school jerks are as equally entrenched as was the White Citizens Council, but now there are only a few remnants of that horrible organizations. (My lands--it feels good to know that some liberal Yankee law school professor may read that and keel over at the thought that some Southern floozie just compared him to the White Citizens Council.)

    ReplyDelete
  99. Typical digression caused by the boomer mentality. The problem that we are here to address is LAW SCHOOL. "Tort reform" is a boomer battle that is largely the product of clever marketing and political strategy by both sides. Don't fight it for them in this comments thread. I would gladly accept help from AAJ if they offered and any law school reformer with half a brain should too. I don't give a shit about tort reform, I don't think tort reform will bring jobs back, and I'd rather see $10-20K/yr law school tuition and closing of 50 law schools.

    ReplyDelete
  100. To put it short, my problem with the plaintiff's bar is three things (a) their lawsuits are about money, not justice. If they can file a morally frivolous suit and make money, they'll always choose that over a morally meritorious but barely profitable suit, (b) their lawsuits result in a misallocation of money (meaning it goes to John Edwards's $10 million ranch instead of towards medical care) and (c) they make it harder to do business in the US which is a problem in our global world (any employment lawyers suing that apple factory in china, the one with netting all around it to prevent suicides?)

    ReplyDelete
  101. Hey I'm the anti AAJ guy but I'd take help from them against the law schools in a heartbeat. They won't give it, though, because there's no proven money in suing law schools. They're after money, not justice. Just my two cents.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Let's see how the Cooley and NYLS lawsuits turn out. http://www.kurzonstrauss.com/Current_Class_Actions.html

    Go Kurzon Strauss!

    ReplyDelete
  103. 7:35:

    It appears we will have to respectfully agree to disagree with one another. Med mal suits (at least the ones I've handled) cost me between 50k and 70K in advanced costs. When that kind of money is at stake, I and all the med mal lawyers I know cannot afford to advance that kind of money on a case of possible "bad luck". But, perhaps you are better informed than I.

    Despite our disagreement on med mal issues, you are, I think, absolutely just in your outrage over Prof. Campos story of Alix. Even though, based upon the facts as related by Prof. Campos, I believe, it would be quite difficult to establish a direct causal link between his dashed dreams/perhaps excessive debt while at the same time deal with comparative fault issues, common sense (unfortunately, many times not sufficient to move past a summary judgment motion) leads us to believe these factors at least contributed to his despair. (But what do I know? My law degree didn't come from Vanderbilt, much less Harvard and I never clerked for a Federal COA--just state court---and Tennessee at that!)

    As far as there not being enough money in it---I'm afraid many just causes suffer because of that very fact. Unfortunately, practicing lawyers must pay ever rising overhead costs and provide for themselves and families. Economic realities do intrude. However, a lawsuit for treble damages against fraudulent law schools under the right state's consumer protection act could be economically feasible. I hope Prof. Campos as well as the many, many wise people commenting on this site (including you) weigh in on this idea. I am very interested in hearing what you think.

    Thank you for honestly sharing your views with me.

    ReplyDelete
  104. I can see a number of benefits to the plaintiff's bar from general law school reform: 1) less competition for cases from young solos, 2) better trained law students. Right now it is just not viable for a small time lawyer to hire a fresh graduate because that graduate is usually not ready to hit the ground running and the small lawyer does not have the resources to float him until he develops skills, 3) Reduction in the appeal of biglaw to recent grads. With less debt, top school graduates may feel free to pursue other lower paying but more exciting and intellectually stimulating options, lowering the size and quality of biglaw's associate army, 4) better perception of lawyers in society. The more law school itself is seen as a scam, the more the profession suffers. There are a lot of lawyer jokes now, but people still see lawyers as financially comfortable and members of the professional class. This will end in a few years if something isn't done to stop it. The people who stand to lose even more from a general loss in prestige are the least regarded practitioners- trial lawyers, 5) fewer frivolous cases, which have the potential to create negative precedent or a legislative blowback in the form of anti-plaintiff legislation

    ReplyDelete
  105. tdennis:

    I agree. I'm anxious to see something happen. I hope it does. The thing is that we might not accomplish much with a petition or some kind of organized statement, but what we certainly accomplish by not having one is preventing different law associations from having an opportunity to endorse it, whether it's the AAJ or local chapters of whatever association.

    ReplyDelete
  106. 7:56:

    Your comments are quite perceptive. The plaintiff's bar is a very motivated potential ally.

    As for the blogger criticizing my Boomer mentality and your misperception that I attempted to turn this into a blog about tort reform---please read the comments prior my brief mention of tort reform---I was, myself responding to a blogger who eschewed any help from the plaintiff bar because of his or her distaste for personal injury suits. I thought it important to remind this person that we are not quite the devilish scum he or she thought us to be.

    I am commenting on this site because, indeed, I think we boomer lawyers, particularly those of us who have experienced a modicum of success, do have an obligation to try to be a part of the solution to this mess created by greedy universities. It is outrageous to me, that a young law graduate cannot afford the early lean years of solo or small firm plaintiff practice because of the huge amount of undischargeable debt many of you young lawyers incur. A quarter of a century ago, I graduated with less than $11,000 dollars in debt into a market of far fewer lawyers. I could take risks. It is truly harmful, to the area of law I most care about, even if you don't, that a young, talented lawyer's debt and the non-existent training he or she receives in law school keeps that lawyer from doing the kind of legal work I find (most of the time) interesting and rewarding. This sentiment is shared by many of my colleagues and many of us would like to help in some concerted way.

    ReplyDelete
  107. None:

    Twice a year, in the winter and summer, the AAJ has a huge convention (particularly in the summer). Thousands of plaintiff lawyers (some of our fellow commentators would call that a plague of locusts) gather together from all over the country. The AAJ is generally always on the look out for a way to program five days or so. I think it would be interesting to put a group together of five or so for a panel discussion. I could be wrong, but I think it would be well attended. From that, perhaps, we could persuade the AAJ leadership to form a committee to look at the problem and issue a position statement. I realize the relative slowness of the process, but at least it amounts to concrete steps perhaps leading to some defensiveness on the part of the ABA and the Department of Education. Also, we definately need to persuade the AAJ to come out in favor of discharge of student loan debt in bankruptcy.

    Just a few suggestions. Developing these steps within the AAJ would get the issue in front of a broader and politically more sophisticated power base. At least that's my view. Pardon the spelling errors.

    ReplyDelete
  108. tdennis

    I'm 7:39/7:56. I actually posted that comment about boomers in response to the posters attacking the AAJ, I'm sorry if you misread me. I think this blog is at it's best when commenters are sharing their stories or trying to develop strategies for reofrming the law school system. Getting caught up in the battles of old is not the way to do this. If someone wants to comment on why they think the AAJ wouldn't help, or why if they did many law students wouldn't support the reformers (I can't see that happening except mainly among the small % of students who are biglaw-bound and rabid FedSoc folks- people who were unlikely to support reform anyway) that's great. But I don't think touching off the same old tired arguments is advancing this cause.

    ReplyDelete
  109. 7:39:

    You are absolutely right and if touched off old, irrelevant arguments, forgive me. I am clumsy at times. In the areas that count, the fraudulent fleecing of our best and brightest, we are in perfect accord. Let's figure out what concrete steps we can take to destroy this truly awful system.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Well, one thing about plaintiffs lawyers is that there would be no defense lawyers without plaintiffs lawyers.

    ReplyDelete
  111. @7:41 PM -
    "(c) they make it harder to do business in the US which is a problem in our global world (any employment lawyers suing that apple factory in china, the one with netting all around it to prevent suicides?)"

    I used to work at the factory you are talking about - the Foxconn plant in Longhua, Shenzhen, and actually, yes there are lawyers working on compensation for workplace injuries there.

    However, this is a total digression from the main point under discussion - why not stay OT for a change?

    ReplyDelete
  112. Ummm, if you worked at that factory then, at this moment, I would much rather hear about your experiences there than anything else on this blog!

    What caused you to work there?

    How does the chinese legal system work regarding such rules?

    Is it as horrifying as they say?

    What are your thought about Apple accumulating $70 billion in surplus cash by using what is essentially slave labor?

    I have so many other questions.

    ReplyDelete
  113. I'm not kidding, Apple literally has $70 billion in cash. Cash that they attained by negotiating a horribly unfair deal with the poor Chinese workers who make these things. You want to talk about the law school scam? Take a look at that!

    ReplyDelete
  114. Are you a chinese attorney FOARP? You just become an infinitely more interesting poster.

    ReplyDelete
  115. I'm an indebted law grad. probably the most effective way to get attention is to stop paying my private loans and create a blog about the collections process.

    ReplyDelete
  116. That would definitely be an interesting blog 10:35, but don't feel a need to martyr your credit for it.

    ReplyDelete
  117. As an addendum to my previous comment, I feel particularly screwed over bacause I started law school in 2003 and then in 2005 Congress effectively changed the terms of my private loan contracts by eliminating bankruptcy protections that were in place when I signed up for the loans. Then I couldn't pass the bar exam after 3 tries. You can also see my handiwork when you google "law school" and look on wikipedia.

    ReplyDelete
  118. @10.27 - You can read about my experiences at Foxconn, such as they were, here:

    http://foarp.blogspot.com/2009/07/trouble-in-foxconns-forbidden-city.html

    Post any questions you like there, where they will be on topic.

    @None -

    "We, the undersigned, mindful of the institutionally-accepted practice of publishing knowingly deceptive graduate employment statistics, the high cost of legal education, and the worsening employment prospects of US law graduates, demand that [relevant organizations here - "the ABA and ABA-accredited law schools"?] take immediate steps to:

    1) Fully implement the proposals outlined in Part III of the Law School Transparency Project's white paper "A Way Forward: Improving Transparency in Employment Reporting at American Law Schools" ( http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1528862 ) so that prospective students may clearly understand their future employment prospects.

    2) Commit to either freezing law school fees in real terms for the next five years, or lowering them.

    3) Collect and publish annually graduates' responses to the following question: "Considering the cost of of my education, my current employment status and my expected employment prospects for the three years following graduation, I believe my decision to attend law school at [relevant school] was a good decision: [Rate 1 to 5 with 1 being "Strongly Disagree" and 5 being "Strongly Agree"].

    Publish separately the percentage of students in each graduating class (1) who responded; (2) did not respond; (3) whose response was "1"; (4) whose response was "2"; (5) whose response was "3"; (6) whose response was "4"; and (7) whose response was "5".

    [Name]
    [Position: i.e., faculty, administration, student]


    Good, but is it necessary to ask signatories to commit to agreeing that law schools are engaged in an "institutionally-accepted practice of publishing knowingly deceptive graduate employment statistics"? I would say that you would get more signatures if the preamble avoided any blameful language, and that those signatures would be worth the reduced hitting-power.

    ReplyDelete
  119. tdennis239:

    It's encouraging to hear that an experienced plaintiff's lawyer thinks that a consumer fraud suit seeking treble damages is feasible. Were I a graduate of a Tennessee law school, I would contact you.

    ReplyDelete
  120. @None - I'm sorry, I just did something I always hate when other people do it - criticise a wording without suggesting an alternate wording. Here:

    "We, the undersigned, mindful of the need to provide prospective law school students with information clearly reflecting US law school graduate's prospects of successfully finding meaningful employment within the legal profession after graduation, the high cost of legal education, and the worsening employment prospects of US law graduates, demand that the ABA and ABA-accredited law schools take immediate steps to:"

    This wording explains the need for greater transparency without accusing law school administrators of deception.

    ReplyDelete
  121. 11:19

    If you were a Tennessee lawyer, I would definately look at taking such a case on your behalf. I'm also licensed in GA, although I've not familiarized myself with that state's consumer protection law.

    In any event, I believe a Tennessee lawsuit would survive summary judgment and would allow us to use the discovery process to get a wide range of raw data, correspondence, etc. concerning law school's employment data. That would definately help the cause.

    One more task Dr. Campos could perform (and I know this important blog takes up a lot of his time---he's probably doing enough) is grab a couple of second and third years and have them survey each state's consumer protection law relative to law school employment numbers. Now thats a law review article I would read.

    ReplyDelete
  122. I am the old lawyer who supported the idea of a well done lawsuit a few threads ago. It seems like that tactic might be taking hold. My biggest fear is having a badly done case go to judgment and therefore setting a negative precedent. On the other hand, one well done lawsuit setting a positive precedent will surely bring a host of others. Even the onset of discovery will get some attention I say go for it! If I could still physically do it I would be with you. This may get expensive so be prepared.

    ReplyDelete
  123. It's happening right now. Kurzon Strauss has sued two law schools. If they win you'll see a flood of lawsuits.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Solution to law school nonsense/market problems:

    1. Associate's (2-year) degree is only academic requirement for admission - from any accredited, degree-granting institution - with some prereqs established by ABA...

    2. Law school "reverts" to an LL.B. program and is a 2-year course.

    3. All law grads required to complete a 2-year apprenticeship - like done for solicitors in the UK - and State Bars require training for admission and regulate subjects/practice experience. All legal employers - including judges, companies, State agencies, law firms of any size, etc. - can hire and "qualify" apprentices - no matter the pay scale. Possibly other types of entities, such as insurance companies and accounting firms, if a grad wanted to specialize in insurance law or tax law.

    4. Bar Exam/Admission to Bar. Studying and sitting for the Bar exam can happen any time between steps 2 and 4.

    5. Apply to jobs (or hang a shingle) as a licensed attorney.

    6. Within 5 - 10 years of Bar admission, must obtain an LL.M. in some practice area or specialization - just one year's worth of academic credit - can be obtained at any accredited law school, etc. A similar model to the requirement in many States for public school teachers to obtain an MA/MS once employed.

    Effect: 3 years of legal education still "paid in" - so law schools have no gripe that they lose out economically. Students have 2 years less higher ed expense up front, thereby reducing debt burden for an additional 2 years of unnecessary education. The cost of the 3rd year, the LL.M. component, is deferred 5-10 years until after graduation. Law grads actually get trained and some job experience/connections in their communities during the apprenticeship - and a small salary - all benefits law schools currently have no capability (and fail) to provide. Further, this proposal turns the law degree into a basic 4-year track that is still useful in the marketplace but does not require incurring all of the additional cost to become licensed. Let's be honest - actual legal practice isn't for everybody, but the knowledge gained in law school is more useful to obtaining many more jobs than the knowledge gained with a literature degree. In a similar vein of candor - the practice of law is sinmply a trade, and this model offer a law grad many opportunities to jump off the train and not incur additional cost. Note that only those who would want to become licensed and practice under this model would incur Bar exam costs and the 3rd year (LL.M.) cost.

    ReplyDelete
  125. 2:22's idea is great, but it'll never happen, because good ideas never happen in this country.

    ReplyDelete
  126. The pig-animals who occupy the law faculties and benefit from the scam need to be prosecuted.

    ReplyDelete
  127. It makes no sense for Campos to quit his job. Lawyers spend their entire lives working for people whose conduct is morally reprehensible. Nice people don't need lawyers.

    In fact, Campos is doing a tremendous service for students individually, the legal profession in general, and society as a whole. If he were to leave he would just be replaced with a scamster who would be all to happy to spin fairy tales for his students.

    Finally, the problem is bigger than the law schools themselves. This is a problem which has been brewing for over a generation. The legal market has been seriously glutted (according to the Department of Labor) for longer than most of today's students have been alive.

    The amounts paid by the big firms are easily available for anyone bothering to look. What nobody says, however, that these jobs are attainable for only the top 10% of law students, and that the bottom 90% will make far less. Also, no one advises students that a job at a big lawfirm will last for an average of 18 months.

    No one should set foot into a law school without knowing that there will NOT be a job available for them when they step out of that law school. And certainly not a job that justifies the time and money spent.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.