Thursday, March 29, 2012

And you may ask yourself: Well, how did I get here?

I just finished reading through the thread from Tuesday's post.  It -- along with some other things -- leads me to ask myself whether there's use in continuing this blog, at least on a regular basis.  Since I started it a little less than eight months ago, I've put up more than 200 posts, totaling somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 words (that's the size of a long academic book).  The site has been visited nearly 850,000 times, and people have left more than 15,000 comments. It has generated a good bit of media coverage as well.  I think it's fair to say that this thing has played its role in getting the word out to people who are willing to consider their options, and/or who have any, realistically speaking (a lot of people don't of course, which is half the problem right there).

This comment from Bored3L is the kind of thing that makes one ask oneself (I actually hate that precious academic formulation -- that makes me ask myself) what exactly the hell I think I'm doing:

I was on an Amtrak train today. I met a student at [insert expensive private school here] who is thinking about going to [insert private TTT law schools already/about to be sued here]. She has 100K in UG debt and a 155 LSAT which she barely studied for ("well, I was working a lot, and it's really hard to study for the test when everyone else is partying!). No scholarship money. She is from a working class family where her mother makes 30K a year and she makes about the same waitressing. In the hour long conversation we had she managed to trot out nearly every single clueless 0L cliche in the book. She has a prelaw degree, so she can't get jobs outside of law school. Her two semesters abroad during UG and basic command of a language will give her a leg up in war crimes and human rights law. She knows the job situation is bad, but adversity hasn't stopped her before. She REALLY REALLY wants to be a lawyer, unlike all her classmates who don't really care. She needs to go to law school, because she sees no other way she can make payments on the 96K of debt she has.

I was floored by that last one. I asked if she had federal loans. She said yes. I asked if she knew what IBR was. She said no. This person, this "sophisticated consumer" to be precise, was thinking of taking on another 150K of law school debt because -- she didn't want to pay back her 100K in UG debt for three years!

This girl knew the score. She knew a lot of unemployed grads. She even knew of people waitressing and bartending at her restaurant with JDs from the schools she wanted to attend!

I asked her how many people in her pre-law program wanted to go to law school. More than half. I asked her how many knew about the articles in the NYT and almost every other major national paper. She said almost none. I gave her the URL of this site and others.

I am writing this post on a red-eye train back to New York. Hopefully I got through to her. But I know I didn't. Next year she will march off to law school. And Judge Melvin Schweitzer will still be convinced she's a reasonable person acting reasonably. And TTT profs and deans will be happy to take her loan checks- while crowing about social justice and fairness.
 Anecdotes are not data blah yadda etc., but the other day I was talking about the reverse diploma dilemma (this is the obverse of the classic situation in which one spouse puts another through school to get a valuable professional degree and then gets dumped shortly afterwards; in other words how do you analyze the situation when the degree is actually a major marital debt rather than an asset?) in the context of discussing marital property in a class of first-years, and I asked how many people knew what IBR was.  Almost nobody did.

The rational maximizer of utility is basically a bunch of bullshit made up by econ professors so that they could claim their equations were about the world, as opposed to constituting another clever self-referential academic game (Yes I'm exaggerating. Sue me if I post too long).  In other words trying to improve transparency has some value but let's not exaggerate: a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

Also, arguing on the internet has some value but that too has its limits.  How many times does this have to be pointed out: THIRTY YEARS AGO HARVARD LAW SCHOOL COST WHAT CUNY COSTS TODAY.  In real dollars that is.  The most expensive private law school cost what the least expensive public law school costs today.   Why?

I'll tell you what the answer to that question isn't: It isn't because legal education today is substantially different from what it was thirty years ago, at least in terms of education.  Law school is still made up, mostly, of three years of large lecture-style classes, which for the most part consist of analyzing appellate court opinions in terms of the doctrinal propositions of law they announce.

Yes there are more clinics (which the large majority of students never take).  Yes there are now lots of first year legal research and writing classes (The one I took, 25 years ago, was actually taught by third years. This was at Michigan, and the class was useless. Plus ca change).  Yes the buildings are a lot fancier, and they're filled with exponentially more administrative personnel, and the tenure track professors are less likely to be straight white guys, and they teach a lot fewer classes, and they get paid twice as much, and they publish a lot more law review articles, and (just for you Bruh) state funding has been cut at the 40% of law schools that are parts of public universities.  It ALL adds up -- to the point where what cost $15,000 30 years ago is going to cost $51K next fall (Harvard's tuition in both cases, in 2011 dollars).

That still works for most Harvard students, it doesn't work for most students almost anywhere else, and I'm not sure what the point is of continuing to repeat this, especially since it tends to provoke the six blind men touching the elephant response (it's a wall; no it's a rope; no it's a tree etc).

Law school is pretty much the same educational experience it was 30 years ago, because it continues to be taught by pretty much the same kinds of people (now with new improved race/gender/ diversity; class diversity not included) in the same kinds of way.  Oh yes there are a whole bunch more PhDs, which ensures that more people who didn't want to go to grad school will be subjected to something loosely resembling a faux grad school experience, and there are five times more articles (this is literally true) being published in law reviews, to the unspeakable benefit of the entire human race, and everybody is getting paid a lot more and teaching a lot less, but other than that it's SNAFU all the way down, except now it costs an arm and a leg while at the same time there are no jobs for the graduates any more, which makes the absurdity of the whole thing tragic rather than farcical, since a process that merely used to be an annoying waste of time for most students has become more along the lines of a life-wrecking disaster.

So again I'm not sure what the point of continuing to repeat all that is, although there are of course various topics I haven't touched on yet which are worth writing about (I've been meaning to do a post about doc review for months now).

Anyway, I suspect I'll post somewhat less in the weeks to come while letting this thing reach what feels like a natural conclusion.  Along those lines I will be giving a talk at Michigan Law School tomorrow at 12:15. It's sponsored by a dozen student groups (In the last few months I've been invited to speak at five law schools by students, and zero by faculty) and lunch will be provided, and a splendid time is guaranteed for all.*

*Not a guarantee.

Update:  Just to be clear I am going to continue this blog for the present, although I will probably post somewhat less.  And in any case I'm going to leave it up even after there are no new posts.  One thing a colleague told me I need to do is to organize the archives into categories -- a list of posts for first-time readers, etc.  BTW while it is of course gratifying to be told this blog has value for readers, I'm well aware that I'm profiting from a fundamentally unjust structure, and that to some extent I'm a hypocrite for not finding another way to make a living.  However this fact seems irrelevant to the truth value of anything asserted here. That's my own problem, as is the institutional blowback "one" deals with when engaging in whistle blowing, so they aren't topics that I'm inclined to address.

104 comments:

  1. I will be giving a talk at Michigan Law School tomorrow ... lunch will be provided, and a splendid time is guaranteed for all.*

    *Not a guarantee.


    The footnote is unnecessary. Law students are under an obligation to perform due diligence before undertaking a major lunchtime commitment, and can evaluate for themselves the likelihood of a splendid time. Whether a reputable (or formerly so) law school faculty member guaranteed them a splendid time doesn't enter into it.

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  2. Please, please, please keep the blog. As someone who works at a large, public school with pre-law students, I cannot tell you how much of a difference you make. Yes, I send my students articles from the NYT's. However, your position as a law professor makes a huge difference in how students perceive the data. You, along with Bill Henderson, Jerry Organ, and Bernie Burk (among others) are doing something invaluable. You ARE making a difference. Yes, I still have students (who I call my "Teflon kids" because everything slides right off of them) that will never listen to anything I say, or any data that is adverse to their position that law school will be perfect for them. But I have also talked to many students who are making different choices because people like you are speaking out. They are choosing different law schools, choosing jobs (primarily in engineering)that will fund their legal education if they go part-time, being more aggressive about scholarships and merit aid, and some of them are deciding that law school is just too much of a risk.
    To paraphrase Bill Henderson, I would rather be on the right side of history than the right side of a self-interested argument. You are helping me and many others, stay on the right side of history. And helping countless students.

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  3. This is terrible news. Are you seriously going to stop writing? This blog is by far the highlight of my day.

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  4. Your blog has been essential reading from the beginning for me. It is has laid the groundwork for yet more discussion. Of note, if Obama-care is thrown out in the next few weeks, will that essentially do away with all the student loan reforms that were packaged in with Obama-care?

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  5. The baby boom generation (of which I am a member) is consuming its young. AARP is increasingly powerful in preserving the entitlement order, which crowds out investment in our youth (including state support for education). At the same time, the boomers revulse against tax increases, in part because we know the money won't be used to invest in education, infrastructure, etc. It will be lobbied for by the financial megalith and military/industrial complex and ultimately used to fund America's on-going war machine. I wish it weren't so, but I am afraid it's up to you all to start the revolution.

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  6. Why don't you create a Paul Campos blog like Ann Althouse has? Then you could post about every topic of interest to you, including occasional law school scam updates.

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  7. If you decide to let the blog reach a natural conclusion, at least keep this blog up, for posterity. The info is solid, and future prospective students will be served well by seeing these words from a tenured law professor. Take care.

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  8. yOU NEED to do a 4th Turning Post b4 u sign off !111111

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  9. That is,..how this all fits into history...

    and the Scam from the 30's at law schools.

    This has all happened b4!!!!!!

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  10. Please don't stop writing this blog! You have provided a great deal of energy to the law school scam movement, and made students who puzzled about the stupidity of law school since 1L realize we are not alone in this mess.

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  11. Please keep blogging, your contributions have been immense. This scam is in the 4th inning, there is still more baseball to be played.

    I am taking a free online course offered by Stanford on Game Theory. The fact that a high quality can be offered for free by a leading university juxtaposed with the cost of law school is a topic all by itself.

    But the reason I bring this up is that Game Theory offers up some interesting reasons behind Bored3Ls story.

    Clearly, if there are 43K grads and 26K jobs, the system is not in balance (as you have said). However, in the case of the starry eyed future TTT grad, maybe law school isn't such a bad idea.

    First, she has little to lose. With a prelaw degree and experience in food service, the current economy probably offers little advancement.

    By attending law school, she achieves an increase in social status, arguably better marriage prospects, and a slight chance at a better career. All of this at a cost of increasing debt significantly but a real cost perhaps insignificant due to IBR.

    (It is interesting that knowledge of IBR is not widespread among law students or prospective law students - increasing this knowledge would INCREASE the number of law school applicants.)

    So the bottom line is that while it is not socially optimal for this student to attend law school, for any individual law student to attend law school the decision might make sense personally.

    The same phenomenon occurs in other areas - such as managing fisheries and traffic patterns - where the individual actors act rationally in a way that is not optimal for the entire group.

    The only way to control is to either change the incentives for the individual or eliminate seats. But there is little appetite for that.

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  12. Will there be video of your talk tomorrow?

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  13. I concur. Please continue to blog. There are fewer and fewer good blogs highlighting this issue, and you brought a real sense of legitimacy to the movement. This is a great blog, and one that doesn't resort to the silliness or sensationalism of some other law school blogs.

    Or is this a ruse like that regularly conducted by JD Painter or whatever his blog is called now, where you pretend to be calling it quits once every couple of months just to keep people interested?

    I suspect that you are receiving some pressure from your school. I also suspect that seeing people continue to flock to law schools makes you really feel that it's a pointless exercise, and that you might as well just go with the flow and stop trying to convert the stupid masses.

    And I respect that. Law schools, whether we like it or not, will be stuffed to the gills with students even if the number of applicants is slashed by 50%. And after many years, law school blogs have done almost nothing to stop students attending law schools by any significant amount. It's a lot of effort for very small results, and while these blogs may stop a few students from attending law school, they don't stop the vast majority of students lining up to mortgage their lives to the almighty JD.

    And I also think that you might feel that your work is actually damaging yourself too. Much as I love to read about how law school really is a bad investment and a bad system, part of me feels that I've already paid my $100K in tuition and I have the JD on my office wall and these blogs are devaluing my own effort and my own profession. So while I love to see efforts to stop people attending law school, I don't actually like the efforts to make my own JD seem like a piece of junk. Being a JD grad with so much debt is already depressing enough, and it will be unbearable if in five years everyone else knows that my JD is a piece of junk.

    There's a lot to think about. Do what you need to do, but if you decide to return to the fold and just stick it out as a regular law professor, that's fine by me too. And I suspect that there's very few people in your readership who would begrudge you earning a good living from law school, especially after the effort and quality you've brought to the argument against law school.

    Good luck!

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  14. I think if you are coming under pressure from your school to stop, you should be honest about it.

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  15. Lawprof- I know it is boring to us because we know all about it. But it is do useful to have your blog to link to.

    I hope you continue. Maybe a post once a week or so? I know every day is a lot. I also know that your blog males a difference. You just don't heat about the people who read your blog and change their minds. I'm sure they are out there.

    Please keep going!!

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    Replies
    1. Makes and hear. Stupid quick posting from my phone while I'm at the dentist.

      Delete
  16. Just don't give up the blog altogether. You've said in previous posts that the road is long and winding and difficult and, of course, there will be setbacks. This blog is a unique voice of rationality in academia where otherwise none exists. Thanks for everything you've accomplished so far, and please don't abandon the effort in total.

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  17. SENATOR DURBIN HAS INTRODUCED A BILL ALLOWING FOR BANKRUPTCY DISCHARGE OF PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN DEBT. WHY ARE YOU NOT COVERING THIS IMPORTANT PROPOSED LEGISLATION!?!?!?!?!

    SENATOR DURBIN HAS INTRODUCED A BILL ALLOWING FOR BANKRUPTCY DISCHARGE OF PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN DEBT. WHY ARE YOU NOT COVERING THIS IMPORTANT PROPOSED LEGISLATION!?!?!?!?!

    SENATOR DURBIN HAS INTRODUCED A BILL ALLOWING FOR BANKRUPTCY DISCHARGE OF PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN DEBT. WHY ARE YOU NOT COVERING THIS IMPORTANT PROPOSED LEGISLATION!?!?!?!?!

    SENATOR DURBIN HAS INTRODUCED A BILL ALLOWING FOR BANKRUPTCY DISCHARGE OF PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN DEBT. WHY ARE YOU NOT COVERING THIS IMPORTANT PROPOSED LEGISLATION!?!?!?!?!

    SENATOR DURBIN HAS INTRODUCED A BILL ALLOWING FOR BANKRUPTCY DISCHARGE OF PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN DEBT. WHY ARE YOU NOT COVERING THIS IMPORTANT PROPOSED LEGISLATION!?!?!?!?!

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  18. You know, the mindset of Bored3L's law-school-bound travel partner brings an old saying to mind.

    If you owe the bank $1,000, it's your problem. If you owe them $1,000,000, it's the bank's problem.

    Intentionally or not, millions of people have become that 0L. Some are going to law school, some are going to for-profit colleges, some are doing master's degress in public policy or social work at full sticker so they can become Secretary of State or someone who reaallly cares about *people*.

    You're right that you can't personally solve the entire higher education funding problem. But what that response misses is that there is a generation of 20-somethings who now owe the bank -- if not $1,000,000 -- then over $100,000 each. And that is now the bank's problem. (The bank here being the government, since they lent or guaranteed the money.)

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  19. Prof. Campos,

    I hope you choose to post intermittently, rather than not at all. Your writing is perceptive and elegant, and it scares the shit out of the scammers.

    Remember uberputz Brian Leiter's charming comment when this blog was still anonymous: “I still hope he [Paul Campos] has the good sense to delete the whole blog. I and his colleagues will be glad to treat this all as “our” secret.” A guy like that should not get to feel that he has outlasted his opponents.

    dybbuk

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  20. For the guy, and only the guy who insists on posting only in caps.
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/3/19/

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  21. I think this blog is critical and is making a difference. Eight months seems like a long time when your efforts do not "appear" to produce results. But appearances are deceiving. I agree with the above posters that you do much to legitimize this movement. Yes, it takes a long time to turn around a dinosaur, but it can be done and it starts with people like you.

    Tricia Dennis

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  22. Professor:

    Running a blog exposing the truth will never result in changing everyones minds. There are some people who will not believe anything unless it is approved by their society and peers.

    But if you can change 10-20% of the minds of those who read this blog, that is a success.

    I would suggest you keep updating this blog for a total of three years which is the normal law school cycle, and then leave up for future readers.

    By the summer of 2014 I predict some 4th tier law schools will be closing which should demonstrate what you are now arguing.

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  23. It seems like an odd time to throw in the towel when everything in the legal atmosphere is about to reach a critical mass. You've become somewhat of a leader amongst the scambloggers.

    With great blogging, comes great responsibility professor.

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  24. Oh, by the way, I am in a state (TN) that has one less accredited law school (Duncan) because of the efforts, I believe in part, of the law school scam bloggers, generally and you specifically. I believe the ABA will do the same to another unneeded law school, Belmont, very soon. Perhaps emboldened by blogs such as this one, Tennessee's bar examiners significantly raised bar passage standards. I believe we are witnessing the tumbling of the first few pebbles of what will become an avalanche.

    Tricia Dennis

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  25. Edgar Allan ShmoeMarch 29, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    I have a couple of suggestions.

    Can you do a post on pre-paid legal services? The dean of my law school keeps insisting that this type of business will save the legal profession and provide thousands of middle-class jobs for new lawyers in years to come. I think he may have a vested interest in a pre-paid legal services company.

    Also, maybe set up a Twitter account and link it to this blog so that when you put up a post, a tweet automatically goes out announcing the new post.

    This is an extremely valuable and well written blog. Thank you for taking the time to do this. I understand the daily posts are a real grind so it makes sense that you would scale back somewhat. There are a lot of topics to be discussed, and there is even some value in repeating some of these topics over and over again in different ways.

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  26. The real problem with law school is that the 0Ls are not rational consumers.

    Does anyone in the country who is knowledgeable not know that the lottery has lousy odds? Yet sometimes I can't buy a pack of gum from the bodega because of all the fools lining up to buy lotto tickets.

    Law school for 0Ls is the same deal. It's fake money, and it only becomes real money after graduation. You get to spin the wheel and maybe become a supreme court justice, or John F-ing Grisham, or a fairy princess. And when it comes up craps it's too late.

    This is why the schools should be held accountable. Make them have skin in the game. They shouldn't just get the profit. If I were king (or fairy princess) they'd also get the costs. Especially the TTT mills who, IMHO, are about as sympathetic as payday lenders. The real bottom dwellers of academia.

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  27. Despite the name, I don't really consider this a "scamblog." Scamblogs are whiny students who are bitter ("All profs are pigs!" etc).

    This blog is clear, concise, and in my most humble opinion, objectively persuasive. Perhaps Campos is lonely, as he appears to be the only adult in the room?

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  28. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySTFDxsvzKI

    "You don't have a choice any more. You've become a significant threat to the legal-educational-financial structure. They would have had you fired you already, but you got a lot of light on you. Instead they're trying to destroy your credibility. They already have in many circles in this country. Be honest, your only chance is to come up with a case. Something, anything. Encourage lawsuits, stir the shit storm, hope to reach a point of critical mass that'll start a chain reaction of people inside the law school scam coming forward. Then the scammers will crack. Remember, fundamentally, people are suckers for the truth--and the truth is on your side, Bubba. I just hope you get a break."

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  29. I told you losers that lawprof would eventually get tired of doing all the work. That's all you people are, bums who do nothing but ask others to work for you. Dirty bums who don't deserve jobs, and that's not law school's fault. It's your parents' fault or perhaps the fault of your genes, but don't blame law schools for your problems.

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  30. "Hi, William Robinson III!"

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  31. Questionable timing prof.

    Coming under any heat from the U. ?

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  32. Please continue to blog. Our intern, an OL, was determined to go to law school for all the wrong reasons. I told her to read your blog and she has changed her mind and is now looking for full time employment. You made the difference and I don't use this word loosely, you are a hero. Loved the Paul Simon quote from "The Boxer".

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  33. I think this blog has brought a lot of attention to the subject. The difficulty is that the cost of law schools is only a part of a larger problem. I don't see a way that the problem can be solved in a vacuum. Whenever that has been pointed out over these past months, the response is to suggest the person is trying to avoid the real issue: the evil of law school. Yes, let's say that over and over.
    We are in the legal world, so the temptation is to focus just on our space. But successful movements are ones that look for points of commonality with others and build coalitions. Here, there seems to be a need to win the who is the most oppressed sweepstakes. Winning that psychic battle is more important than acknowledging that others have problems, too and if we banded together, there might be a chance to move forward. It would seem especially important to link with others because no one really likes lawyers-- until they need us.

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  34. @ 8:51: Exactly. This issue is finally seeping into the mainstream media and Campos decides to pull out now? If he is facing any pressure from CU he needs to say so. To cover their butts at this point in the game would completely discredit him.

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  35. 8:53 again... and the case for more public support for institutions of higher learning should be made--even if the current times don't seem amenable to the idea.

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  36. Professor I've never posted before but I am another reader of your blog, and I want to add my voice to the chorus thanking you and asking you to keep this valuable resource available. I have a niece and nephew who are both recent college grads, and I will point them here FIRST if they seriously consider law school! (Also been a lawyer since the early 90s.)

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  37. I more or less agree with your decision to slow posting to unique topics that you have not yet covered. Some of your recent posts have felt like you're trying to find more ways to say the same thing over and over again. Better to leave up the original posts with a neatly indexed archive.

    However, as you are a tenured professor who has an extraordinary degree of flexibility to do what he wants while still keeping his job, I think the next step for you is to move beyond blogosphere posts in finding ways to effect practical change on this issue.

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  38. I think the points have been made. He's not going to take the thing down, and will keep posting occasionally. Seems reasonable.

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  39. Hi Prof. Campos,

    I'm just writing to ask not to discontinue this blog. I understand that while writing a cogent, interesting post every day may be difficult, I'd ask you to leave this blog up for another reason - the fact that this is the go-to blog for a lot of people simply for NEWS on the current legal education situation. Since the alternatives seem to be JDUnderground and Nando, both of which seem to have some problems with mental illness (and I don't mean this as a judgment, really), I at least would prefer to have your blog as my primary source of law school scam news.

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  40. Concern Troll: In this particular student's case, it is not in her individual benefit to attend law school next year. Her main reason for going with her current slate of schools was to avoid racking up more debt during her year off (when she would be missing payments) and trashing her credit. I gave her two pieces of relevant information that she didn't know:

    1) The LSAT is learnable, and the section she did the worst on (games) is the most learnable section of all. There are free or low-cost ways to practice for the LSAT and learn games. So she has a great chance to increase her score enough to get better acceptances or $$$.
    2) With IBR, or by enrolling in a cheap CC or state school, she could defer a year and retake the LSAT without suffering the hit to her credit or taking on 50K of debt (she was planning to live at home during school).

    It's those two pieces of information in conjunction that make waiting and retaking the most reasonable option.

    Additionally, the chances of IBR lasting for 20 more years with the political climate in this country is low. By the time she graduates she will have over 300K in all-in student loan debt.

    The marriage thing is actually something I thought might be influencing her decision although she never said it. One of the schools she is planning to attend is now known as a school for the children of the rich despite it's history as a school for working-class people. She might be able to meet a rich kid who can pay off her debts.

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  41. I dropped out of law school (TTT) after one week (got a full refund too) and have never regretted it or thought of going back for one second. This was a few years back when the market was really beginning to tank. I remember reading two NYT articles about how tough things were for recent grads. I learned that salaries were bimodal and being extremely pessimistic by nature I rightly assumed that I wouldn't be making 160k. I began to realize how full of shit all the law school stats were. All I really wanted was a decent middle class job that I didn't hate. Going against all that inertia and dropping out was tough. Everyone in my life thought LS was a good idea for me. I would only have been about 60k in debt, but that scared the shit out of me. During orientation I realized that most of my classmates didn't have a clue about anything. Again the one reason I think I was able to walk away is my pessimistic nature. I also started to become more realistic about my abilities. I realized I didn't want to do the work of LS and actually becoming a lawyer. I realized I wasn't really any smarted than the average student. I also realized my LS's curve was set up for me to fail. So I walked away. Since then it has amazed me how many young people I meet are either in LS, planning to take the LSAT, etc. Don't do what everyone else does. Most people are idiots.

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  42. LawProf, don't stop blogging! I understand if you want to post less on areas you haven't covered before, that sounds great! The post on small/solo practice was very informative, and I really look forward to reading your blog every day.

    Yes, I'm a law student, and I'm going to a TTTT (yeah, sue me), but I have a full ride, will incur no debt, and I am in the top 10%. I've been exposing your blog to a few of my colleagues who are incurring a lot of debt for the same education as me but with a much worse outcome, and you would not believe how wilfully blind people are, even the ones with bad grades at a TTTT (!!!!) !!!!!

    Well, maybe you could. But this blog serves a very important purpose. Thank you for your hard work.

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  43. Prof. Campos, whatever you decide to do from here on out, you will know that there are young people whose lives will not be ruined because of you did. And that there are fat kids whose lives will be better because of what you write.

    You are an honorable man.

    Publius

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  44. bored3L,

    That's interesting. Obviously, I don't know her situation personally.

    I'm just trying to wrap my head around why so many people are still attending law school - especially the TTTs which weren't a good idea even when the market was better.

    Transparency has limits - some because of self-delusion but I'm not sure that a "a good outlook for a good paying job" is as critical for these 0Ls as social status, etc. Even TTT prospects found at least moderate success in undergrad. Maybe it just more comfortable to be in school.

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  45. I'm an 0L and I like to think that I am a "sophisticated customer" so let me put out some facts to see what everyone else thinks.
    I have narrowed my options down to two schools: University of Texas with a 15k/year scholarship, which will probably be increased somewhat, (tuition and fees are currently 32k) and Baylor University with full scholarship. You can probably guess that I would like to stay in Texas from my school selection.
    Right now I don't have any undergraduate debt and I am working full time in advertising. I don't see a lot of prospects for advancement in my current job and I would like to get out of a field that is historically over worked and underpaid. I haven't let my employer know about my aspirations yet, so it's not too late to back out.
    I know this is not public advice forum, but I think that I am one of the few people that law school may be a good idea for and am curious to see if others agree.
    While I'm at it, Mr Campos let me give you a glimpse into the mind of your target audience. I graduated in 2009, it took me nearly two years to find a decent full time job. So while the huge student loans associated with law school scare me, the dismal employment prospects seem to be a fact of life no matter what profession I choose.
    With all that said, I really appreciate the time and effort you have devoted to this blog and I am trying to give your warnings the proper consideration they deserve.

    ReplyDelete
  46. 12:54: A few questions for you:

    Do you have in-state tuition from Texas?
    What is the total cost of attendance at both schools include cost of living?
    What kind of law do you want to practice? What size firm/organization?
    What markets (cities) do you have ties?
    What is the minimum starting salary you would accept?


    Also: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=1

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  47. 12:54: Also, what GPA stipulations (raw numerical GPA and class rank) are on the scholarships?

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  48. @12:54, Why do you think you'd like being a lawyer more than you like working in advertising? If you think advertising is a field where people are overworked and underpaid, how do you think it compares to law? Do you actually know what lawyers do on a daily basis - have you talked to lawyers, followed one around for a day, done an undergrad internship in a law office?

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  49. Well, the person making the comment at least knows advertising is not the way. 32k would be in-state for Texas. I would say you do not have to know right now what kind of law you would like to practice, and how big a firm you want to be in. People have it in their heads that they want to do one thing, and end up doing something completely different, like becoming a tax lawyer out of nowhere. It would be critically important to talk to lawyers in different fields, however, to get a sense of how they work and how they get business, which at the end of the day, is what is important if you are interested in firm work.

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  50. 1:17: It is important to know whether a student wants to do generally, like biglaw, government, public interest law, or something else, before they take on the debt and spend the three years. Obviously if the student is "biglaw or bust" or wants to do transactional M+A work or big time securities class action litigation, Baylor would not be a very good choice. And if the student says something like they want to do "international" "constitutional" "sports" "entertainment" law, it's vital that they be warned that those fields are almost impossible to break into out of law school.

    Law school doesn't teach you enough about the different areas of law and you can only get so much information from talking to people. You then get one summer internship opportunity to explore government, PI, small firm work before you are thrust into the biglaw hiring process during OCI.

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  51. 0L/12:54 here,

    My father is a lawyer, I've never followed him around for a day, but I have spent a good deal of time talking with him about it. I do qualify for in state tuition by virtue of being from Austin (where I know a number of other lawyers and other connections too). Both scholarships require me to maintain good academic standing only. I would like to be a litigator, but I learned enough in undergrad to know that what you think you want to do with your life and what you actually end up doing/being good at are often different things. My parents have volunteered to cover the cost of living so that is negligible. I expect cost of attendance at UT to be about 60k over three years and at Baylor to be about 12k over three years. I think to make the investment in law school worth my while I would need to make about 50k starting out. I think that answers everyones questions.

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  52. God bless LawProf and DJM, your efforts are appreciated. Much of Higher Ed, including law school, is a commodity like anything else in the 21st century. Some people have success in life realizing this --- commodity cost reduction, have employer pay for night school, take advantage of other peoples mistakes, etc.

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  53. @1:28-- Yes, the person should do more than talk to people. He or she should read about the various ways to be a lawyer. But I do not think it is right to suggest that a person should know right off the bat what type of law he or she is going to practice. Sure, a general preference is one thing. But students should be open to other possibilities. And I do think law school can give you an idea about the kinds of things you might be interested in doing. It certainly indicated what I did NOT want to do, and that can be important as well. Law school may not have done that for you, but it did for me.

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  54. Same as it ever was, lawprof, same as it ever was.

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  55. 12:54: I would attend Texas, I think it gives you the widest range of job opportunities in Texas and best biglaw placement. I'm not saying biglaw is what you want to do forever but it opens a lot of doors. 60K of debt for UT is reasonable.

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  56. Why do law students always think that the money their parents will be spending to support them is negligible? I think people should compare the actual cost of attending which includes the $$$ parents have to cough up. I've also noticed that many parents seem to set demands like - we'll pay for your living expenses as long as you go next year; but if you take a year off, we aren't supporting you. Yet these parents know nothing about law school admissions, the benefits of retaking and reapplying and job prospects.

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  57. I would at least like to see you continue posting any new meaningful numbers you come across. I think the numbers are a lot more likely than words to get the point across to the masses that are at-risk of going to law school.

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  58. Dear Professor Campos,

    I hope that you will continue blogging or at the very least maintain your posts as an archive. With your keyboard, you have probably accomplished more than anyone else in highlighting the dire employment situation for law school graduates. Also, your position as a law professor and as someone who is speaking out against his own pecuniary self interest while risking adds extra credibility to your writings.

    I have been writing the Fluster Cucked blog for almost two years now, and even though I have conducted some original research into the JD production and employment statistics, my blog is relatively unknown and unheralded. In contrast, with your blog you have been able to reach an audience and to attract publicity that all of the other "scambuster bloggers" would never be able to accomplish, including gaining the attention of journalists.

    Please keep fighting the good fight. If the University of Colorado is pressuring you to stop, I hope you'll find a way to blow the whistle on the administration.

    Also, please don't feel obligated to post everyday. Even if you cut back to posting one or two high quality posts per week, you would still be providing an invaluable service to society.

    Frank

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  59. LawProf - blogging is not a binary choice, a one or a zero, all or nothing. Many writers, myself in included, have throttled back on post production from time to time. Keeping a website going can become a Sisyphean task.

    Aim for one article a week, or a few articles each month. There are plenty to topics left to address. And, current evens such as they are will only offer up more opportunities in the future. You are at the cutting edge of a movement, the true avant-garde.

    Coming up with fresh content every day, week after week, month after month, is mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting. I know it well. This "crux" monikor I coined last fall is connected to a rather boring little blog which few have ever seen (and for good reason). I made it, honestly, so I could comment here without using my real name.

    But that is not the full extent of the web presence I have built for myself. I have been blogging for over a decade, which is for freak'n ever in internet terms. (I will not share those domain names as I wish to remain anonymous.) I have also written articles that have been published in national magazines. I know the game.

    You, sir, have accomplished a lot. You may be too close to the trees to appreciate your place in this story. Take a few steps back and take in the full view of the forest.

    We all thank you for your efforts thus far. And, we hope you continue on this path. You are a voice of reason in what is no more than a sea of lies.

    Crux, JD May 2011.

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  60. Understandable. You've clearly put a great deal of time and effort into this blog, and I think everything that can be said has already been said. I do think there's value in just repeating things over and over again, but I can't blame you for not wanting to do that every single day for the rest of your life.

    That being said... since you do recognize that your job gives you an enormous amount of power and privilege, and comes directly at the expense of law students being saddled with outrageous debt, I think you still have a responsibility to do what you can to fight against this scam. So if you stop blogging, I hope you will find some other avenue to continue the fight.

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  61. 12:54 again

    The reason I said my cost of living is negligible is because I can live at home and my parents can afford it easily. That said, it's not negligible, I appreciate the support and I am lucky to have parents that are willing and able. But enough about me, my real question was when does law school become worth it? Obviously a full ride to Y,S,H is worth it and full price to Cooley is a horrible idea, but where is the line to cross that makes going to law school worth it? My situation was intended as an example of someone who may have crossed that line.
    Reading some blogs gives the impression that law school is never a good idea EVER. To people considering law school this discredits the argument to some extent because obviously it is worthwhile to go to law school some of the time. Some people win the law school lottery.

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  62. Let me, on an iPad - they are not perfect so excuse the extra typos -make a point. Professor Campos is one of the winners from the current system - and a number of others on this site are too - hiring partners from Law 100 and Law 250 firms, other tenured professors (DJM), and other successful lawyers - I am only medium successful after a long slog - and it is a precarious success.

    But - the power of the winners like Professor Campos denouncing the system cannot be underestimated. The typical scam blogger is to be blunt, someone that exhibits all the traits of a graduate who wold have been a failure in any situation, and who can be portrayed as just a bitter failure. When you have failed the bar multiple times as one prominent scam blogger has - your complaints are easily discounted. When you have engaged in the system and won - your suggestions that the system is rotten and systemically corrupt are much more credible, much more serious. That Paul Campos is willing to denounce a system that has treated him well is a much more powerful argument than most of the scam bloggers can muster because he is a winner in the system.

    Many winners in the current system are appalled at what has transpired in the legal education system - and they have been encouraged to speak - albeit discretely and semi-anonymously by this blog - and that has been hugely powerful. It is harder to dismiss a winner in the system than a loser who is easily descibed as embittered and unable to accept their own failings. Campos is a winner and has denounced the system and induced other winners to do likewise - that is a signal service to reform.

    MacK

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  63. First off, regardless of what you do, thanks. You have done something courageous, and you have likely made more than a few people's lives better.

    I have always felt like one of the lucky ones, being that I landed in a job I love with a salary that might not make me wealthy, but allows me to live comfortably. I started out with six figure debt, which has been whittled down over the years, thanks to another stroke of luck in terms of timing with a very low interest rate at consolidation.

    There really is no reason for me to follow the scamblog movement other than to help others. In the past year, however, I've become proactive in trying to help. I've spoken to a pre-law class and tried to give them some idea of both the saturation of the market and the astronomical costs (my alma mater has doubled tuition in less than a decade).

    More importantly, I was able to influence one aspiring student who clearly has the talent to become a lawyer, but who had the same information that I had, which was to say, incomplete information.

    That person will go anyway. I cannot say if that person will succeed or fail. I can say that that person will save somewhere between forty and fifty THOUSAND dollars by attending an in-state school instead of accepting the convential wisdom (which is what I relied upon several years ago) of going to the highest ranked school possible. Amazing that folks will pay the eqivalent of a brand-new Mercedes for a half-dozen spots on the USNWR rankings, but amazingly, so many do not know any better. One does now. We aren't saving the world, we're throwing back starfish. If we can get enough folks to help, we might stand a fighting chance one day.

    Having said that, it's vital that folks like you continue.....even if it's abbreviated. I have never once posted on the blogs with the pictures (and language) straight out of the sewers. I understand their sentiment and perspective, but it's not my life and it's not for me....by contrast, I check this blog every day. There is a place for it to continue.

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  64. Professor Campos:

    One other thing you can do to extend the life of this blog is to have an email address for guest bloggers. People can submit proposed pieces but you would only respond if you wanted to run something. (Pretty much like any newspaper) That would give you probably 3 high quality entries a month so you could easily post 1-2 times a week.

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  65. I only rarely comment but I'll add my voice to the chorus that hopes you'll still throw a post out from time to time. I can understand coming up with something of quality on a daily basis is hard to do and no one could expect you to do that forever.

    I would also offer thanks since this is the first "scam blog" that I took seriously and am comfortable recommending to the 0L's in my life. I found most scam blogs rather easy to dismiss since they often sound like they're written by people who would have difficulty attaining success not just as attorneys but anywhere. It helps to have a credible voice on your side, especially when forced to have awkward conversations with relatives and acquaintances about why you aren't doing what everyone thought you'd be.

    -2010 Grad, barred in 2 jurisdictions, currently trying to make lemonade from lemons

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  66. I love this blog. I check it every day, and I'm happy to see it updated so often. Having said that, if there is one down side, it's that sometimes the comment threads tail off right when they are getting interesting. If I check it at night, find something interesting that could take on a discussion of it's own, but the response rate slows on that thread because there is a new one up 12 hours later. Some of your commenters are obviously quite intelligent, and many of them have a great deal to add.

    A modest proposal:

    Keep it going. Post once or twice a week---and just prune the comments. As long as they stay generally on-track (nothing kills it faster than a back-and-forth between two know-it-alls or some silly political argument over the merits of conservative or liberal thinking on some issue) let the comments threads carry on for two or three days. I think you'll find some interesting insight and you'll get more input. Now, if I'm gone for the weekend, catch up on an old post, it makes no sense for me to respond, regardless of what I might have to add to the discussion, because the three or four intervening posts have attracted all the new comments.

    I don't think you'll run out of things to do. You could easily supplement as little as one original post per week with a couple of things that will start their own conversations, such as:

    1. If a news article comes out that is of interest, link to it. Maybe you'll only expound by writing a one or two line comment like instapundit or something. You have some bright followers that will have things to add. That's the magic of the internet...the wisdom of the crowd.

    2. You indicate that law students and grads often send you letters. Put them up. Redact as necessary. People love stories. Other professors read this blog, whether they agree with it or not and whether they will admit it or not. You will not change their mind. I will not change their mind. But it's hard to cling to abstract theoretical points when the heartbreak of a real, live human being is staring them in the face. Particularly folks who at least give a great deal of lip service to the concept of "social justice." Feeling the plight of the penniless is one thing...and easy. Feeling the plight of someone who needs a briefcase full of hundred dollar bills just to get BACK to penniless, that's another. They need to see those stories. I bet if you solicited these letters, you'd have no shortage of supply, so long as they could remain anonymous.

    Between those three sources of material (two of which would require very little in the way of work or preparation, you could keep the best of both worlds.

    And maybe save a few dozen/hundred/thousand more students from financial devastation.

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  67. I'm going to be more forceful. You should NOT quit this blog. First of all, any career damage is already done, and quitting the blog will not stop your co-workers remembering that you wrote what you wrote. So second, you might as well continue, not just because there's no benefit to quitting, but also because you're actually on the RIGHT side of the argument. It's often uncomfortable being a leader when the Establishment is against you, but I think you're better than that. It took guts to start this in the first place. And it took guts to continue once Leiter outed you. It'll take guts to get over this hump, but your readership is strong, you're the best blog on this issue, and there's lots of lives that you might just change, even though you'll never hear that you did.

    And I agree with the poster who wrote this: "Despite the name, I don't really consider this a "scamblog." Scamblogs are whiny students who are bitter ("All profs are pigs!" etc)."

    You're better than a scamblog. You're a proper, legitimate, solid blog, and you should avoid all attempts from the scamblogs to pretend that you're part of their silly movement. You're not Nando and his pictures of unflushed toilets. You're not Cryn and her shameless attempts to latch onto other movements to gain public attention. You're not Painter with his poetry and madness. And you're not Kimber and Mark with their dirty podcasts.

    Like it or not, you're the flagship for this important, important issue. And like it or not, I think you're stuck with the path you've taken.

    So push forward, and at the very least, you'll make far more of a difference in this world that you'll ever make as a law professor.

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  68. Further, Professor Campos,

    You aren't a hypocrite, and you shouldn't let folks make you feel badly about the role you play.

    You did your best to acheive what I can only assume was a goal for you--to teach the law. It's a coveted position for a reason, and folks who say they wouldn't have taken it if offered are likely either lying or would not trade beause they can make more money or be more fulfilled in other areas of legal practice.

    First, you do not run U.S. News and World Report, which refuses to require and report the most accurate information. With a stroke of the pen, they could transform the legal education market overnight...simply require documentation from the schools of graduate outcomes. If school A can't supply it for 32% of the class, then school A gets no higher than a 68% employment rate.


    Secondly, you are not running the American Bar Association. You did not rubber stamp approvals for twenty new law schools when the profession was already overflowing with thousands more graduates than the profession could absorb.

    Third, you are not cooking the books on LSAT scores or finding creative ways to present misleading information so that you can all but lie to folks to take on more debt for an increasingly futile educational endeavor.

    Fourth, you are teaching at a fine, state-supported school that would survive (and would have reason to survive) even if half the law schools were eliminated tomorrow.

    The job of law professor has been and can be noble. Even in a perfect world, there would be law professors. There would be fewer of them, sure, but it's not your fault you got there first. You are doing the right thing.

    You cannot control all of the above. You are judged by your integrity in your own actions. You are sounding an alarm when you encounter trouble, which stands in sharp contrast to the 95% of your profession that covers their eyes and ears rather than see the human costs of their willful ignorance.

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  69. Professor Campos:

    Redundancy is the key with blogging. One has to repeat the message maybe thousands of times, and in the end it is back breaking manual labor.

    Which is why most intellectuals will never understand that good writing, such as yours, is a back breaking manual labor craft.

    Stephen King said the same thing. It is a craft.

    A trade perhaps.

    Me, the mad Painter has the debt, and my debt will not go away.

    The debt pushes a person into madness and suicidal thoughts, and poetry is cathartic, and staves off the very dark thoughts in a sense.

    When the stock market crashed in 1929, people jumped out of windows.

    So why shouldn't people sentenced to a life with absurd debt and with no human rights bankruptcy protections against the creditors, and with no second chance at life, start to go a little nutty by now?

    Placing a large segment of any society into hopless debt for life is a horror, and I am shocked that such a thing is allowed in America today.

    The US Congressional Oversight committee had a look at my blog yesterday.

    But go if you think it is best for you.

    BTW, the scamblog label is what other people call us.

    I was a bit surprised when You and the ABA journal called me a scamblogger.

    A better name is a blogger in search of Human values in this day and age, and not coming up with very much.

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  70. I wonder why every law school scam blog peters out after a while.

    To be sure, they are making the same basic points again and again, but the same thing could be said about most blogs.

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  71. >>>>>You are judged by your integrity in your own actions. You are sounding an alarm when you encounter trouble, which stands in sharp contrast to the 95% of your profession that covers their eyes and ears rather than see the human costs of their willful ignorance.<<<<<

    This is the whole point. Blowing the whistle is a noble endeavor, and one that can only be done from the inside.

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  72. Lawprof: I'm still waiting on a post about how many jobs there are in the US that justify law school debt at sticker. I would figure it out myself if I knew where to look. Do you think adding SAs from NALP is a way to go? What salary do you have to make to justify sticker at any school?

    My thinking is that if we calculate the jobs that justify sticker ( should there be any) then people can go from there to make their own personal decisions based on whatever scholarships or family money they have.

    What do you think?

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  73. Adding to above, I don't even know how to begin to calculate the amount of salary you have to have to justify sticker at any law school. What assumptions would you have to make?

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  74. Oh and when are we going to audit the NYU numbers? :)

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  75. Paul,

    Let me add my thanks. Your Herculean effort has raised the visibility of these issues immensely.

    Brian Tamanaha

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  76. Thank you Prof Campos! Its a hard fight but having you shining a bright light HAS made a difference. Keep doing what you can...

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  77. Prof Campos,

    Your blog is incredibly valuable. You have shined a light on a great outrage heretofore ignored by society, and you have done so with integrity. I thank you for your commitment to this important cause, and hope that you will choose to continue your efforts to expose and ultimately reform a rigged and corrupt system.

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  78. Professor Campos,

    I apologize profusely to you and your readers if my story precipitated your change of heart. I hope you will continue to post occasionally. This blog is often the first website I visit when I wake up each morning. If you ever come to New York to speak please let me know, as I will be in attendance to voice my support.

    This weekend I will attend a gathering of law students from across the nation. Undoubtedly they will talk about your blog and the ideas discussed here. I have met admitted students who have mentioned your work as something that has influenced their decision making process. As the above poster said, you have done truly honorable work here, more than can be said for your colleagues (including professors I work for and have co-authored articles with). I have never heard anyone of my generation speak of honor as more than an anachronism. It seems so foreign to us, having grown up an the age of moral relativism and dogmatic individualism. I believe you fit the bill. As the above poster said, you are an honorable man.

    I look foreword to the continued development of this movement. Just today I learned of a journalist interested in writing about the law school scam. Apparently it is a hot topic among the press now and he wants to get in on it.

    This response may seem melodramatic since you will continue to post. But I cannot stress how helpful your words (and the discussions) have been to me, a humble unemployed law student with six figures of debt. To know that someone is looking out for us is close comfort in these strange days.

    Sincerely,

    Bored 3L

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  79. Lawprof,

    In the mere eight months this blog has been online, it has made quite an impact. While others (like the good Prof. Tamanaha) have also publicly questioned the law school business model, you have shown everyone (perhaps a bit unfairly) that the ivory towers of academia also make moral compromises.

    Change will come. It is only a matter of time. More 0Ls are becoming smarter decision makers. The old guard will eventually retire. Some will acknowledge their mistakes and others will become whistleblowers. The USNWR rankings will become irrelevant when a new, competing ranking system becomes the standard. A scamblogger may one day become the president of the ABA.

    Lawprof, I suggest you reach out to bar associations, law schools and undergrad universities and let them know about your blog and your mission. To all of the disillusioned 0L-3Ls, please forward this blog to your undergrad pre-law advisors.

    Also, whenever a law school releases its employment statistics, you should review them for any inconsistencies. In case of outright lies, call them out on their bullshit.

    Finally, I think you should start posting on lawprof websites and TLS with your true identity. Go toe to toe with the law school defenders. You know you won if your opponents' arguments eventually boil down to the tired talking points (i.e. "you are entitled", "you should have worked harder", "nothing's guaranteed", etc.) If you are banned or your posts are deleted, then that will say a lot about the site's integrity.

    As for myself, I think I am done caring about law school reform - it is too late for me. After my experiences and recent events, I have learned to become a more "reasonable consumer". But I no longer have the same level of compassion for others as I once did. Maybe this is the way of the world.

    Best of luck. I hope you accomplish your goals and help others along the way.

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  80. During the course of this blog, it seemed that you often tabled a number of important issues that were not central to the point of this blog. For example, you'd express skepticism about:
    1) The current state of legal scholarship;
    2) The current approach to legal teaching; and
    3) Diversity within the law.
    But, you devoted much less space and time to those inquiries because you were focused on the scam and the economic problems of the legal academy.

    Personally, I would be interested to see you explore those topics more on this blog, but I could see if you were worn down and felt you were done. If so, I would recommend that you repost your "there aren't enough jobs" post at the top. You argued at the time that this was the fundamental point to return to, and so it would be fitting for it to be the first thing a latter visitor would see.

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  81. Lawprof does post on TLS as Paul Campos. He usually gets treated badly. I think it is a waste of his time to post on TLS unless he has a very specific point. People there link to his blog, and the forum well knows it exists.

    There are people on TLS who are major Campos detractors. I think most of them are 0Ls. People do not hesitate to post derogatory comments about lawprof and the people who link to this blog.

    I

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  82. Started to say, that TLS has changed its policy and you can link directly to relevant posts on this blog. That is a huge step forward. I think the blog got spammed all over the forum when lawprof first started it and the mods got tired of it. But now we can link directly to the blog.

    Keep at it lawprof.

    If you need help with something, like reviewing comments, all you need to do is ask.

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  83. I also encourage you to reorganize the blog around its greatest hits, but I would love to see you put the YouTubes from your Stanford presentation front and center. In 14 minutes, Part 1 of 5 summarizes everything that is fucked up about legal education for anybody just happening along.

    Again, you've done a service to the transparency reform movement and law students as a whole. Thanks.

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  84. Prof Campos,
    You sound a bit burned out on the blogging. There is no need to post every day like you have been.

    Dial it back to once or twice per week when you have something that really inspires you. We will still be here checking you out.

    Personally, I check in about once per week to see what you have been writing. I would hate to see you quit this blog. Pace yourself. No need to make it a job.

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  85. "I want to blog."

    "I don't want to blog so much any more."

    "But I want to keep the blog."

    "And maybe I'll keep writing."

    Class Campos hypocrisy.

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  86. There are just too many issues coming up for you to quit. Please continue even if it only means one post a month. The stuff you are saying goes far beyond law schools, it's generational. Thanks for all you have done.

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  87. please do not quit.

    if you have to slow down, then do it. No need to post everyday. You are the leader of a movement that makes the Occupy wall st movement look pathetic because in comparison we are do SO much more, we are have so much more of an effect than OWS ever did. This is a historic movement, and the efficacy of our efforts will be evident this fall when the lower ranks schools will have some empty seats.

    We have seized the reins of power!

    -"exposing the law school scam" blogger

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  88. A number of prominent economists like Mark Thoma maintain blogs on economic issues. That is why they are prominent economists, rather than lesser economists at lesser universities. The economists have conducted studies showing that maintaining a blog is a great way to enhance their professional reputation.

    Now, I suspect that some of these economists have help from their students in maintaining their blogs. In fact there might be no better way to get the message out than by having students do the work. While law professors like to lecture, students tend to learn better if they have to dig out the facts themselves.

    What this blog is covering is material that those of us who have gone to lesser schools, like CU, have known for a generation: there are not enough good jobs out their for law school graduates. It has only become an issue now that graduates from Ivy League schools are unable to find paying work. (Sort of like the Vietnam War becoming an issue once they started drafting middle class kids.)

    Your blog has value and eventually the word will get out -- or at least prospective law students will start to ask questions. However, the law schools themselves have a lot of money for glossy brochures to induce kids to attend law school. It's the blogosphere versus Madison Avenue.

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  89. For what it's worth. My T1 Toilet post detailed employment data on their website.

    Nothing is good, but at least I know that I am fucked.

    68% JD required. Since I am "capable of sifting through data" the result is 46% of class got Campos grade jobs. I have hard time trusting this "sifting" since data is rather vague. But it at least it gave me the clear picture that I am not getting a job.

    only if Campos started 2 years earlier may be i would not end up in this T1toilet trap.

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  90. As the father of an attorney and a late baby boomer, I urge you to keep it up. I still think there is much to be done with the law school scam and possibly the whole higher education bubble. I love reading what is going on here and like you I've been thinking what is next both for this blog and the law school scam movement. I think the momentum is just beginning. We can't allow our children to be misled by those in higher education who are turning a blind eye or even lying to save their sorry asses. Keep this web site going, slow down if you must, I don't think its worthwhile to discuss the same things over and over. Thanks for sticking your neck out.

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  91. @ B1ly - what do you mean? I think he is having trouble keeping up the work he has put into this blog and may be discouraged with the situation. Also he is probably getting a lot of pressure and no support from other professors and, possibly, his school.

    What other hypocrisy are you talking about? I am genuinely curious. I like your site and I've read your comments here and on ATL. I'm hoping you could spell out your concerns a little more.

    Thanks

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  92. In today's episode of ABA Gone Wild, the University of La Verne is given provisional accreditation status.

    http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2012/03/university-of-laverne-school-of-law-gets-provisional-accreditation.html

    Check out the law school's website for some interesting numbers:

    law.laverne.edu/prospective-students/admissions/basic-consumer-information/

    56% first time bar passage rate.
    $39,900 tuition (full time) (keep in mind this was before ABA accreditation - imagine what it will be afterwards...you know...to accommodate the eventual growing student body). Likely debt for a student paying full sticker: $150,000 + undergrad debt.

    Location: Ontario, CA. No BigLaw here. No BigAnything really.

    Nando, you know what to do...

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  93. Thanks, LawProf. I like the guest blog suggestion or a similar evolution into a multi-blogger forum (an unintended consequence of Paul Campos?).

    -Z32

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  94. From GuyInGorillaSuit:

    Dear Sir, you don't have to give up blogging altogether. There's no rule that says you have to post every day. Keep up your advocacy, and post once a week if you want, or once every two weeks. You will still have loyal fans.

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  95. Dear BL1Y:

    I hope you're joking, but just in case you're not:

    hypocrisy: n. "1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness. 2. An act or instance of such falseness."

    I don't think that Campos is being hypocritical here, certainly not in the typical sense. The word you're looking for is "indecisive." Of course, you don't want to use that word, because it's not really an insult and Campos admits his indecision (indeed, the title of the post contains a question mark).

    Anyway, my point is, chill out and lay off.

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  96. I think BL1Y is mad that Campos described him as living in his parents' basement when he really lives upstairs.

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  97. Its too soon to quit as the issues have really not been addressed by the ABA, state regulators or the federal government. Those of us who support law school reform believe that there is more you can say and say well.

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  98. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  99. Prof Campos,

    I having been reading your post because I have an interest in higher education and I have a child.

    I admire your writing this from your post as a law school Prof.

    I was disappointed to read this:

    "The rational maximizer of utility is basically a bunch of bullshit made up by econ professors so that they could claim their equations were about the world, as opposed to constituting another clever self-referential academic game"

    This shows a profound lack of analytical thinking. The thing to note to the young lady is that if law school is a rational decision for her, she essentially weights her life-time wealth and quality of life at nothing.

    You can simple posit, is this true? Is it possible that the young lady will never have use for money or a desire for a comfortable lifestyle at any point in her life in exchange for a small probability of being able to do something she really really wants to do?

    There are some people willing to make this trade (aspiring actors and screenwriters come to mind), however for most undergrads, as I think you accurately portray, they are actually not willing to make this trade but they are not aware that this is the deal.

    My point is not that modelling people's behavior as rational is always correct or always correct in the aggregate, but that the point you seem to be making fits into the idea of rational decision making not out of it. You do not even need to use a dreaded equation or formula to follow this line of thinking.

    Thinking about their situation more analytically, not less, will help them reach this conclusion.

    I have no vested interest in defending economics (I am not an economist, I am a mathematician), however it is likely that the charge that a field is a 'self-referential game' could be laid at the majority of academic fields (including the sciences) ; this doesn't make them disappear or make knowledge of them less important in understanding the world around you.

    I read your later post also where you mentioned the fellow's question about what to do after BA if not law school. Personally, I went to BA in liberal arts and worked as a paralegal before deciding law school wasn't for me. I switched, educationally and professionally, to more quantitative interests.

    Perhaps it may be fruitful to people who have earned a BA that the market doesn't value to acknowledge that this simple fact (the market doesn't value their education or at least not to the degree they would like it to) and allow that to empower them to strike out in a new direction (hopeful where they now choose their new interests conscious of the expectation of wages).

    It doesn't even have to involve further formal education (though it could and did for me). Tutorials on how to develop software, pass actuarial exams, design websites and many niche interests are widely available on the internet.

    Note: I deleted and re-posted due to typos.

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    ReplyDelete
  101. I read your later post also where you mentioned the fellow's question about what to do after BA if not law school. Personally, I went to BA in private school wa and worked as a paralegal before deciding law school wasn't for me. I switched, educationally and professionally, to more quantitative interests.

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