Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Happy Trillion Dollar Student Loan Day

This story doesn't attempt to precisely specify the time of the blessed event, but apparently it will come before the end of the year.

The following observation seems to be based on the theory that blood can be extracted from stones after all:

Taxpayers and other lenders have little risk of losing money on the loans, unlike mortgages made during the real estate bubble. Congress has given the lenders, the government included, broad collection powers, far greater than those of mortgage or credit card lenders. The debt can't be shed in bankruptcy.
On  a related note, I'd like to attend a faculty meeting at which everybody had been assigned the task of reading the responses to the questions posed here (or at least the responses to the fifth question).

31 comments:

  1. Dear Mr. Cauchon:

    Please google "judgment proof." Then revise your story accordingly.

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  2. While I usually like the ABA Journal, they basically gave the young lawyers a slap in the face with their choice of featured answer:

    "I would interview prospective new students in person. I can’t tell you how many students were just plain weird and shouldn’t have been in law school. People skills are vital in this profession. Those without them have little chance at success, especially in a tough job market. Or maybe they’re future law professors, what do I know."

    Over 200 stories, the majority of which have the same message, the legal market is a bloodbath. Even those who things worked out for recognize that law school is a terrible idea.

    But, instead the ABA chose to feature the response that basically said "You're all a bunch of losers."

    ...Classy.

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  3. That's funny; my initial reaction was that they had selected that comment as a jab at professors. But you could be right.

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  4. @8:26-- That was my thought, too.

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  5. The comment itself is a jab at both lawyers and professors.

    That the ABA chose it rather than any of the 200 or so responses that were representative of what young lawyers are going through is a slap in the face.

    Hell, she didn't even answer the survey.

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  6. I think it was an answer to last week's question...

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  7. 8:04:

    Would you post a link to the article? I went to my law school to ask questions about securing employment and the administrator basically told me the same thing about law students in general.

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  8. http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/law_school_grads_take_this_six-question_survey_on_finding_that_first_job/

    9:11 is correct, I misread it, that's the featured answer from last week. It'll be interesting to see which from that mess they pick as the next feature.

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  9. lol what an idiot

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  10. I talk to a lot of lawyers, and in my experience the "people skills" comment is usually said by the biggest asshole - the person who is completely devoid of people skills and who you will hate after about a few minutes of speaking with them. I would bet money that my observation would hold if we knew who KS Lawyer was.

    Really, who but an autistic or someone with diagnosed social cognitive issues would even use the term people skills in the first place?

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  11. Not that Yale has been named as a problematic school here at ITLSS, but I thought you guys would enjoy the news of their latest hire... specifically, how - forget about practicing! - he doesn't have a J.D.

    http://www.law.yale.edu/news/14093.htm

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  12. "“Tom is the world’s greatest expert on the social psychology of law,” said Yale Law School Dean Robert Post ’77. “He studies the procedures and processes by which legal legitimacy is produced. He brings a welcome expertise to our community.”

    Professor Tyler’s research and teaching has focused on social psychology and the psychology of procedural justice—the fairness of group rules and processes, and the motivations that lead people to cooperate when they are within groups. Among his many publications are the books, “Why people cooperate” (2011), “Psychology and the design of legal institutions” (2007), “Why people obey the law” (2006), and “Trust in the law: Encouraging public cooperation with the police and courts” (2002). He was awarded the Kalvin prize for “paradigm shifting scholarship in the study of law and society” by the Law and Society Association in 2000."

    ----------------

    wthf. Interesting stuff, I guess, but WHO IS GOING TO PAY YOU HIS STUDENTS FOR THIS KNOWLEDGE?!?!?

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  13. He is a great fit for the YLS and their program. He and the students there will do just fine. No need to worry about them.

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  14. Fair enough, they'll get paid for the Yale name even if they don't know as much about the law as your average junior level paralegal.

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  15. @9:42: You think using the term 'people skills' is strange? Must be because you're not a Type A personality.

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  16. Really, who but an autistic or someone with diagnosed social cognitive issues would even use the term people skills in the first place?

    Amusingly I had an experience that confirms this - the manager at our office was the most offensively creepy weirdo and he would constantly talk about how certain part-time staffers had no "people skills".

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  17. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGS2tKQhdhY

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  18. @10:15--Yeah, well, that may or may not be so. But again, no need to worry about them. They will do just fine in practice or the the myriad other opportunities and positions available to them.

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  19. 10:13: I agree that YLS grads will do just fine - although even they may prefer for their tuition dollars to go to professors who can tell them something about the practice of law. (YLS may be a special case, though, because so many of their grads go on in academia; perhaps this is exactly what many of them want, after all.)

    Anyway, not to dwell on that student body, which is not the focus of this blog. My problem is this. You know the mentality that got that professor hired - i.e., "It's a great idea to hire as a tenured law professor someone who has not practiced and cannot practice law, but who can tell you 'why people behave'"? That mentality is not limited to YLS.

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  20. "although even they may prefer for their tuition dollars to go to professors who can tell them something about the practice of law."

    I don't even want that much. I just want to be able to call some employer, somewhere, tell them that I took this course and learned this knowledge, and have that employer say, "I'll pay you to apply that knowledge at my business." It doesn't even have to be law. It just has to be something someone will pay me money for.

    That's all I want. But such a conversation will never happen between an emloyer and someone who took that Yale guy's class.

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  21. If my sources are correct, an interesting thing has happened here in Tennessee, now home to six law schools for our 6 million population. For years, the bar passage rate of our three well established law schools, University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt and University of Memphis was in the mid to high ninetieth percentile. This year, the Tennessee Bar Examiners passed only about 80% of the UT and Vanderbilt graduates (I do not know if the same percentage failed from University of Memphis). What I understand to be true, the Vanderbilt and University of Tennessee deans are raising hell with the Bar Examiners for suddenly raising the bar score for passage. While it is horrible for the graduates of these institutions to suffer the consequences of the ABA's actions, if these reports are true, I wonder if the Bar Examiners are responding to the addition of Belmont and Lincoln Law Schools to our state and attempting to send a message that if the ABA will not control the number of lawyers in Tennessee, the Bar Examiners will.

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  22. Read the comments to the ABA article linked above. If that doesn't open some eyes I don't know what will. Truly depressing stuff.

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  23. Fantastic news 10:41. Hopefully it's a trend.

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  24. @10:29, I am sure you could find someone at Yale who might complain about this--there is someone who will complain about anything.But I cannot imagine that large numbers of Yale students will be upset The ones who aren't interested, won't take his courses. The ones who are interested, will. My only point was that what Yale does seems to work out okay for them. They know their program and how this fits. Chicago is about to hire five economists for their faculty. I don't think their students' job prospects are going to be hurt by this.

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  25. Trillion dollars, yeah! Let's get that number UP, people!

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  26. Next time you go to your dentist thank them for doing their part, and look at your bill REALLY closely.

    http://dental.pacific.edu/Academic_Programs/Doctor_of_Dental_Surgery/Tuition_and_Fees/Estimating_Your_Attendance_Costs.html

    That's $400,000 for a single professional degree, if you meet your spouse there you'll be toting almost $1 million in debt before you earn a single dollar.

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  27. @11:27 - this is the essential problem in today's America. Transfer of wealth from the young to old both in entitlements and monetizing education. Disgusting. Why don't we start selling social security benefits up front for $50,000 a year starting at the age of 55 for 3 or 4 years and they can spend the rest of their lives paying off the loans or no access to medical care...or something else somebody more creative can come up with.

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  28. And growing by $100 billion per year.

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  29. @Campos:

    Is this subject discussed in your presence whatsoever, or are your colleagues doing their very best to ignore it in your presence?

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  30. I just helped a client in a pro bono bankruptcy clinic that had over $200,000 in law school debt. He had an additional mere $10, 000 in other debt that he also wanted discharged. I had to break the terrible news to him that the $200,000 was not dischargeable in bankruptcy. He has not had a law related job since he graduated from law school 6 years ago. He was understandably very upset.

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  31. Far too often, people file for bankruptcy unaware of what may happen and how bankruptcy will affect their debts and assets. Don’t fall into that trap.
    california bankruptcy

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