Friday, October 21, 2011

Bleg: Help Circulate the Law School Transparency Petition

In the last week of September I, or rather my research assistant on my behest, circulated the Law School Transparency Petition to the administrations of all 200 ABA law schools (with the exception of the University of Colorado), with a request that they circulate it to their faculties.  The following law school administrations agreed to do so:


Albany Law School
University of Arkansas School of Law
University of Louisville  School of Law
University of Mississippi School of Law 
University of Montana School of Law 
William Mitchell School of Law

Five law school administrations affirmatively refused to circulate it, invariably on the ground that they have an institutional policy against circulating petitions to faculty, and that such requests should be sent to individual faculty directly.   We haven't heard from the other 188 schools.

I'm now asking the readers of this blog to help circulate the petition to law school faculty at these 193 schools.  I suggest the following procedure:  If you attended or currently attend an ABA-accredited law school other than those listed above, please volunteer to circulate the petition to the faculty of that school.  You can do so either by individually emailing all the school's faculty members the letter below, or by emailing one or more selected faculty members -- ideally, people who might remember you -- and asking them to circulate the letter below to their colleagues, whether or not the selected faculty members are willing to sign the petition themselves.

In the alternative, if you're a law school faculty member and are willing to circulate the letter to your colleagues, please let me know.

Here's the letter:

***

Dear

Please circulate the petition below to your faculty.   Please note that the names of signatories to this petition will not be made public until at least 100 law faculty at ABA-accredited schools have signed it.

"We, the undersigned,  believe it is imperative that all law schools provide prospective law school students with information  that will allow them to accurately assess their prospects for finding appropriate employment within the legal profession upon graduation from the schools they are considering attending. We therefore call upon the American Bar Association to require all schools it has accredited to release clear, accurate, and reasonably comprehensive information regarding graduate employment, by for example implementing the proposals outlined in Part III of the Law School Transparency Project's white paper "A Way Forward: Transparency at U.S. Law Schools" (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1528862.), so that prospective students may obtain adequate information regarding their likely future employment prospects."


Name
Institutional affiliation*


*Institutional affiliations are for identification purposes only, and do not imply approval on the part of the signatory’s employer.
The petition can be signed by simply sending an email indicating the sender wishes to sign it to:
lawschoolpetition@gmail.com

Sincerely,

Paul Campos
Professor of Law
University of Colorado

***

Readers who want to participate in this effort should email me via this blog, to avoid redundant efforts.  (Feel free to note in comments if you're willing to do this for your own school).  Next week I'll post an update regarding how many law school faculties have been contacted via this method.
Thanks in advance.

36 comments:

  1. What's the status of the University of Colorado? Assuming most faculty there know of your project?

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  2. Please note the typo in the asterisked section:

    "and to do not imply approval"
    should read
    "and do not imply approval"

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  3. Somebody finds Campos's work less than genuine:

    http://outsideliesmagic.blogspot.com/2011/10/oh-hi-america-glad-youre-awake.html

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  4. I'm happy to forward you the names and email addresses for my school, but I think the emails would get more attention if you sent them, especially since your name is signed at the end of the petition.

    A fellow tenured professor would (you'd think) get more respect than a current or former student.

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  5. There is a picture of a sign at occupy wall street, which is protesting the law school scam at http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_skills/ .

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  6. 8:13: If so, that's pretty much the whole problem right there. Why in the world would a professor's views on the transparency issue merit more respect than a graduate/former student's?

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  7. Because Sardonic Method/Hide-the-Ball professors have made a career out of telling students they're wrong no matter how right they are.

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  8. Not having sent the petition, we do not know that his assumption that having it come from you would be better than having it come from a professor's former student.

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  9. 8:12 That db of a blogger (you?) doesn't even let you post a comment without his approval. I tried to post something telling him to stop advertising his crap on here and it said "it will be posted after approval."

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  10. Why don't you write a short message saying the email is forwarded on behalf of Campos?

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  11. 8:13 is helping in that he/she is posting the names, but I wish he/she would attempt to contact the professors as well. If all of them ignore him/her then that is news in itself (extra extra professors at 8:13's school are huge a**holes!).

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  12. Prof. Campos,

    One other option for doing this, while a bit more intricate, is to set up a website that you and/or another administrator updates. This website would be a four column by x rows chart listing:

    (a) The school.
    (b) The professor.
    (c) Whether they have been contacted, and if so when.
    (d) Their response.

    This can easily be done by creating an excel spreadsheet in Microsoft's Hotmail email service (click the skydrive tab). The columns of the spreadsheet would be the above items. The rows would be the professors' names. You then make this spreadsheet viewable by the public (but only editable by you and/or another administrator) so that anyone can see the progress but only a few people can edit the entries. I think Google Docs has such a feature as well.

    Any time we contact a professor, we will send you an email or something stating so and you will update the spreadsheet. And you can link this chart on the front page of your blog, so every day we could check to see who has been contacted and who has not, who responded and who did not and so on.

    This would also help, because if a professor has been contacted and has not responded, it will notify us of that so that we can start calling him/her repeatedly to get a response which is something we're entitled to. His or her choice of response is their right, but a response at all is our right IMHO.

    Just a thought.

    http://explore.live.com/skydrive

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  13. This would also piss anti-petition professors off to no end, obviously, since there would be a permanent record that they did not agree to sign the petition which could lead to numerous calls to their office by people like me who want to persuade them, but if you want to take it to the next level, the option is there.

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  14. You'll know when I post something or comment. Till then go suck a bag of dicks.

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  15. Do you mean to get a bagful of dicks, and such each one, or to get a bagful of dicks and actually suck the bag itself?

    And here I thought law schools were supposed to emphasize clear, unambiguous writing...

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  16. As a textualist, I would have to say that he meant to suck an actual bag that contained 2 or more dicks. Of course, that is not to be done until he posts something or comments about the comment the other person left. So, potentially, the sucking of the bag of dicks may never happen.

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  17. He didn't say "a bagful of dicks." He said "a bag of dicks."

    I presume this means a bag made out of dicks. I suspect these can be found on etsy for reasonable sums.

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  18. http://www.etsy.com/listing/79962203/cat-toy-catnip-cat-toys-pet-penis-mature?ref=sr_gallery_4&ga_search_submit=&ga_search_query=bag+dicks&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade

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  19. Professor Campos,

    Which campus for the University of Arkansas School of Law responded to your petition request? Fayetteville or Little Rock?

    These are two different schools and I would like to know, since I went to one of them.

    Thanks for the clarification.

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  20. Are the dicks sticking out of the bag like baguettes or are they like chicken parts? Additionally should he suck each one till they come like edamame?

    Indeed Louis CK's bit is funny.

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  21. AtheistATLLawyer: It's Fayetteville.

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  22. I think the public chart of law professors and their approval or disapproval is the way to go. Unemployed law grads go through fits of hope and anger, and when they hit the anger stage you need to give them a way to channel it properly.

    A list of professors whom the graduates can call is a great way to channel this. If a business rips someone off to the tune of a few bucks they will have hell to pay from angry customers. Why should law schools get to steal a fortune and not have their phones ringing off the hook?

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  23. Transparency is a tempest in a teapot. So we will have a list of non-signing profs....and then what? We all already know that `99% don't give a shit and have countless rea$on$ not to.

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  24. Then we call them and lobby, that's what.

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  25. You are kidding right?

    Concerned lawyers, law students, prospective law students, and normal, virtuous people do not have the time or money to spend lobbying. Blogging and commenting yes, lobby no. Law School and Higher Education is a multi-billion dollar industry with endless resources to fight lawsuits, grease and threaten potential whistle blowers, and create kick-back agreements with the media and lenders.

    You don't fight them at their game. That's part of why OWS is so brilliant.

    The effective modes of challenging them are imo:

    1) Badgering them with truth. The internet helps level the titlted playing field vis a vis disseminating TRUTHFUL information to the public. One of the reasons propaganda is so effective is that it's repeated a gazillion times. This is why scamblogging continues to serve and valuable service to the public and will in the future.

    2) Pricking them like mosquitoes. Every lawsuit is is like a little thorn in the side of the cartel. Just like banks, the higher ed cartel protects its business and carries out its objective like war. When you are outgunned in this war, you don't fight conventional. This is especially true when they control the laws. Instead, you keep pricking the powers that be till they open their mouths and/or do stupid things that raise the public's awareness to the issues.

    Here's a good example:

    Dean of TJSL in response to their former student's lawsuit:

    "Kransberger said she doesn’t believe Alaburda or any other students “worth their salt” base their choice of a law school solely on the U.S. News rankings."

    I personally don't view a petition for transparency as a good tactic since it is trying to work within a corrupt framework.

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  26. I mean we lobby by picking up the phone and calling one of the professors on the list and trying to understand why they did not sign it.

    You could have placed such a call in the time it took you to write that post.

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  27. Most professors, even if they kind of agree with the transparency issue, are not going to sign the petition because it is chipping away at their source of riches.

    It is ridiculous to think that any significant number of them would do otherwise.

    IF the hoped for result is that greater transparency = less demand for a law school education = lower tuition prices, then that will obviously lead to lower professor salaries.

    I personally don't agree that transparency will make enough difference to do that, but that is your hope, right LawProf? IF you are correct, and even there is only a slight chance that you are, you are not going to get many signatures.

    And why would you? Each law professor probably thinks that what THEY bring to the table is worth their pro-rata share of tuition, if not more. For some of them, I suppose it is. But you know they all tell themselves they are...it's the old "I'll be in the top 10%" mindset all over again, but now it is even stronger because they likely WERE in the top 10% in law school!

    You're asking people to speak out against their own economic self interest (even if you think it is better in the long term, people don't look long term when it comes to finances or almost anything else). That is why the letter will look better coming from you--because you are doing the same.

    It is YOU that must convince your peers to join the club, even if we help you.

    How many of your fellow professors at your school have you convinced to sign?

    How many students (I ask again--sorry if I missed your response) have you talked into dropping out after a poor 1L showing?

    Have you contacted the lawyers who have filed these lawsuits to see if you can help them?

    Have you contacted your local members of congress?

    This petition drive is going nowhere...it like a lot of hot air at this point.

    We all can help, but you're the one out in front and I don't know what you're doing other than blogging, at this point.

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  28. Here you go: Pittsburgh is a small town and the law profs are friends with a lot of the employers. I'm not going to risk pissing any of them off by spamming them, but you can.

    Jessie Allen jallen@pitt.edu
    Kevin D. Ashley ashley@pitt.edu
    Elena A. Baylis ebaylis@pitt.edu
    Deborah L. Brake dlb21@pitt.edu
    Ronald A. Brand rbrand@pitt.edu
    Douglas M. Branson branson@pitt.edu
    Benjamin E. Bratman beb9@pitt.edu
    Teresa Kissane Brostoff brostoff@pitt.edu
    John M. Burkoff burkoff@pitt.edu
    Nancy M. Burkoff nburkoff@pitt.edu
    Pat K. Chew patchew@pitt.edu
    Emily A. Collins eac50@pitt.edu
    Mary Crossley crossley@pitt.edu (current dean)
    Vivian Curran vcurran@pitt.edu
    Kevin Deasy deasy@pitt.edu
    Mirit Eyal-Cohen eyalm@pitt.edu
    James L. Flannery jflan@pitt.edu
    Harry M. Flechtner flecht@pitt.edu
    Lawrence A. Frolik frolik@pitt.edu
    David J. Garrow garrow@pitt.edu
    Jasmine B. Gonzales Rose jrose@pitt.edu
    Harry Gruener hgruener@pitt.edu
    Haider Ala Hamoud hamoudi@pitt.edu
    David A. Harris daharris@pitt.edu
    Arthur D. Hellman hellman@pitt.edu
    David J. Herring dherring@pitt.edu
    Bernard J. Hibbitts hibbitts@pitt.edu
    Anthony C. Infanti infanti@pitt.edu
    Charles Chernor Jalloh jallohc@pitt.edu
    Jules Lobel jll4@pitt.edu
    William V. Luneburg, Jr. wvl@pitt.edu
    Michael J. Madison madison@pitt.edu (he should support)
    Margaret M. Mahoney mahoney@pitt.edu
    Martha M. Mannix mmannix@pitt.edu
    Francis Barry McCarthy fbm@pitt.edu
    Alan Meisel meisel@pitt.edu
    Peter B. Oh poh@pitt.edu
    George H. Pike gpike@pitt.edu
    Thomas Ross tr1@pitt.edu
    Ann Sinsheimer ans24@pitt.edu
    Stella L. Smetanka sls6@pitt.edu
    George H. Taylor gtaylor@pitt.edu
    Lu-In Wang wangl@pitt.edu
    Rhonda Wasserman wasserma@pitt.edu

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  29. "It is ridiculous to think that any significant number of them would do otherwise."

    That may be true, but we have a right to know which ones won't sign it.

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  30. Paul Campos, I appreciate your work on this issue. Law students should have clear information about the steep decline of employment prospects in the profession. In 1998, I was one of two persons out of 10 applicants hired as assistants in the appellate division of the public defender. In 2008, the same office posted for two more assistants, and over 400 applied.

    I want to add this, though not a major focus of the scamblogger movement: legal education should be reconstructed as a two year program, consisting of a crash bar review-type course to teach core doctrine, followed by a structured series of clinics and externships, supervised by local practitioners and agencies, to teach students how to try a case, write an appeal, and do circuit court gruntwork in various practice areas. No more Nietszche specialists masquerading as law professors.

    As an alumni of Washington and Lee Law, I will forward the petition to Mark Grunewald, Professor of Law and Interim Dean.

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  31. "In 1998, I was one of two persons out of 10 applicants hired as assistants in the appellate division of the public defender. In 2008, the same office posted for two more assistants, and over 400 applied."

    Jesus.

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  32. 6:25, If we set up the list described above, you wouldn't need to call your school's or even your city's professors. You can call other professors and someone else will call your school's professors.

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  33. Wouldn't that defeat the reasoning used by LawProf on why he is trying to get the student/alum to do it? Supposedly (I doubt this is true), coming from a student/alum of the professor's own school would mean something more than coming from a fellow professor.

    I think many of you are letting LawProf off a little too easy. He is the one with more weight to get something done here, but now it seems like his whole "movement" has been watered down to just another scamblog.

    I'm glad he stepped up, whatever his motivation, but at this point his voice is just one more that is beating the same dead horse that has been beaten for the past few years.

    He's got tenure. He's got money. He'll get more respect from fellow law profs/deans than a simple student or grad will likely ever have.

    There is absolutely no reason why Professor Campos can't cut and paste the list of email addresses and send out the petition from his own email account.

    He has nothing to lose and he chose to be the noble law professor against the regime, so cut, paste, and send.

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  34. 11:45, in the time you wrote that bs you could have called a professor and asked him why he/she did not sign the petition.

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