Friday, July 27, 2012

By the time I get to Phoenix

I was talking yesterday with someone who is deeply involved in the law school reform movement, and who knows a lot of law school deans.  He suggested to me that it's quite possible that until this March Rayman Solomon had no idea what the average law school debt load was of the students graduating from the law school of which he's been dean for the past 14 years. So I may have been unfair to Solomon when I accused him of lying about those numbers to the ABA and US News.

Now I still believe this is extremely unlikely -- another key figure in the reform movement let me know he agrees that it's almost inconceivable Solomon didn't realize the numbers were wrong when he commented on the US News and National Law Journal stories praising Rutgers-Camden for being a great value proposition -- but on reflection I have to admit it's not impossible that Solomon is telling the truth.  I even have to admit that it's possible he wasn't lying in his email to Rutgers students earlier this week, when he said US News didn't publish graduate debt numbers until this year, even though he commented in the media on US News's analysis of those numbers last year.

In other words, the mistake I may be making is to assume that while somebody who has been dean of a law school for 14 years may have become something of a sociopath, he surely isn't an utterly incompetent clown.  But again on reflection, this may be wrong. Maybe Solomon is just a complete joke of a person. What else would you call somebody who has been running a law school for more than a decade and yet has literally no idea whatsoever what it costs the school's students to attend the school?

That, after all, is Dean Solomon's only defense.  I suppose even something as preposterous as the blatant contradictions between the assertions in his email and his comments to the media last year can be explained in these terms: He's a "busy man," who just signs off on things like university press releases and law school ABA disclosure statements put together by others, without really reading them, or knowing or caring what they say.

This is possible. But at some point, professional incompetence reaches a point where it's not only functionally but also morally indistinguishable from conscious dishonesty.  Again, Solomon's defense is that he's the kind of person who, after being informed that the school he runs has been reporting wildly inaccurate numbers to the ABA for at least the last four years, writes an explanatory e-mail to hundreds of people that still gets the basic facts of the situation completely wrong (Or maybe a staffer wrote it. For Solomon is a busy man).

In other words, in legal academia we're constantly dealing with things that preclude assuming both good faith and minimal professional competence on the part of the relevant actors. If you assume good faith, you have to also assume utter incompetence, while if you assume the person actually knows what he's doing, you have to conclude he's on the grift.  People like Solomon -- and there are apparently quite a few in this business -- might be both crooks and clowns, but at a minimum they have to be one or the other.

Speaking of which, let's take a quick look at what's going on at the Phoenix School of Law.  Phoenix (not affiliated with the University of Phoenix by the way) is a for-profit outfit run by the Job Creators at the private equity firm Sterling Partners, who also own Charlotte and Florida Coastal.  The school's website claims that it "places 97% of its graduates into jobs within nine months of graduation."

That sounds pretty good, but how much is it going to cost?  This page on the website reports  that "the median cumulative program debt for PhoenixLaw graduates between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011" included $153,489.50 in federal student loan debt, and $35,000 in private student loan debt. This means the median (not the mean) loan debt for Phoenix graduates for the class of 2011 was $188,489.50.  This astonishing figure is 30% higher than the figure reported by the school to US News in the fall of 2011. I called up Phoenix's director of financial aid, who assured me the figure on the school's web site was correct, and that she would look into how a much lower figure ended up getting reported to US News.

Note that the language on the website is phrased carefully to describe a median, rather than a mean (the mean would of course be higher, especially since Phoenix seems to be counting graduates with no law school debt in its calculation). Edit: as a commenter points out, if  Phoenix is in fact counting graduates with no debt in this calculation, the median figure for all graduates is likely higher than the mean figure for all graduates. However the US News figures are supposed to exclude people with no debt so it's unclear whether the median in that context is higher than the mean, assuming again that all schools are reporting means rather than medians, which remains unclear.  I've been working under the assumption that the graduate debt numbers reported to the ABA and US News are means, but it turns out this may be in many cases incorrect. Here's the language from the ABA questionnaire to which schools are required to respond, and whose language US News copies when it asks schools for the same data:


17.  Average amount borrowed in law school: 

a).  The average amount borrowed in law school by 2010-2011 J.D. graduates who borrowed at least
      one education loan in law school: $_____

b)      Number of 2010-2011 J.D. graduates who borrowed at least one educational loan in law school:

"Average" is -- or at least a lawyer could argue is -- an ambiguous term, and could be interpreted to signify a median rather than a mean average.  It would be interesting to learn how many schools are interpreting question #17 to mean the former rather than the latter.

All of which is to say that we have an increasing amount of evidence that the graduate debt figures reported to the ABA and US News are far from reliable, and that the real numbers may well be a lot higher than reported.  And it's increasingly clear that this entire business is in desperate need of some sort of independent auditing process, which would have been put in place long ago if either the ABA or the DOE had any real interest in getting reliable data, as opposed to the garbage they're getting fed now.

Consider what it means that Phoenix law grads are graduating with a median debt of nearly $190,000.  The good folks at Sterling Partners, bowing I suppose to the harsh reality that employment outcomes for Phoenix grads can now be looked up on the ABA website, also supply a version of those numbers on the school's website, although one has to dig around a bit to find them, unlike the prominently featured claim that the school "places 97% of its graduates into jobs within nine months of graduation."

Those stats reveal that only 49 of 131 2011 graduates purportedly got full time jobs requiring bar admission. Furthermore, almost all these jobs were with very small law firms of ten lawyers or less, or as solo practitioners.  (The 97% stat -- 94% for the class of 2011 -- is bolstered by the school hiring 16% of its graduates into short-term part-time "jobs."). Phoenix publishes no graduate salary data, but it's safe to say that not a single graduate of the 2011 class got a job that pays a salary that comes within a country mile of allowing that graduate to pay anything close to the median debt load incurred by members of the class.

In other words practically the whole class is going to go into IBR, and will end up staying there as long as the program exists.  And what percentage of these people do you suppose will be practicing law five years from now, let alone 15 or 20?

And Phoenix, which was founded in 2005, is very much getting while the getting for Sterling Partners is good: although the 2011 class had 131 members, the school had a total of 969 JD students last year, including 450 1Ls.  These people are projected to graduate, assuming costs don't go up, with a total of $183 million in student debt.

Is it OK to call this a scam?

99 comments:

  1. For-profit schools - all of them! - are nothing more than a conduit to transfer tax money to private corporations via the student loan system. This is the perfect scam, since there is absolutely no recourse for those who are the unwitting victims, i.e. the students. The bankruptcy system has been rigged, the courts (we are now seeing) are rigged, and the corporate-centric media constantly blasts out a message that students are whiners, and that education is the way forward.

    We are so screwed.

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  2. Average is mean no matter what these math illiterate fools argue.

    And great Pubilc Enemy reference.

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  3. holy fucking shit. unbelievable.

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  4. Professor:
    I looked at the USNWR link. How is it that only 50% of John Marshall students had debt?

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  5. It is okay to describe it as a scam, but what gets most people huffy is when you point out that the difference between Phoenix and their non-HYS school is one of scope rather than kind.

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  6. Mathematically speaking, "average" means the same thing as "mean." There is no such thing as an "average median" or an "average mean." Are there legal definitions of average, mean, and median that differ from the mathematical definitions?

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  7. It is a scam. IBR enables it. There should be no IBR for law or business school. All it does is force a governmental subsidy through the backdoor, screwing taxpayers, without drawing the ire of taxpayers. It also inflates the cost of legal and business education, encourages an oversupply of law and business students, and serves no public purpose whatsoever.

    I understand some limited subidized loan programs like Stafford. I understand Perkins. I even understand some subsidies to offset the high costs of providing quality technical and medical education.

    Law school is just a scam. And taxpayers are being scammed. Wake up angry, crazy Tea Partiers. If you want an outlet for legitimate outrage rather than nonsense, focus on law school.

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  8. @6.57 - Yup. Average = mean. This is the problem when you let arts grads loose on statistics.

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  9. 6:54 concern Troll.

    Check your pop culture references. Chuck D's song title was a take on the extremely popular "By the Time I get to Phoenix," which Law Prof referenced.

    From Wikipedia:
    "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" was named the third most performed song from 1940 to 1990 by Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) on September 14, 1990.[3] Cover versions include those by Ray Price, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Reba McEntire, Thelma Houston, Dorothy Ashby, Frankie Laine, Chet Atkins, The Lettermen, Herbie Mann, Lorrie Morgan, Dean Martin, Wanda Jackson, Jack Jones, Stevie Wonder, John Walker, Engelbert Humperdinck, William Bell, Georgie Fame, Isaac Hayes, The Ventures, Marty Wilde, Solomon Burke, Santo & Johnny, Tony Mottola, Burl Ives, Ray Conniff, Gary McFarland, Ralna English, 101 Strings Orchestra, Johnny Mathis, Chris Westfall, Frank Sinatra, Gladys Knight, Denny McLain, Dave Dudley, Bobby Goldsboro, Vic Damone, Erma Franklin, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Isaac Hayes' version of the song runs for 18 minutes and 40 seconds, consisting in large part of a detailed backstory about the events that transpired,[7] before the actual roadtrip took place. Brídín Brennan, sister of singer Enya, sampled the song for her second single on her Eyes of Innocence album. Hayes and Dionne Warwick released the song as a live medley with "I Say a Little Prayer" in 1977. The single reached number #65 on the R&B singles chart.

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  10. I suspect that Phoenix's website is counting undergrad debt (likely where the $35,000 in private loan debt comes from; since GradPlus is unlimited, it is and should be rare for law students to take out any private loans). There is also a difference between the "amount borrowed" and the "cumulative amount owed" at the end of the program, since interest accruing in law school will increase the total debt burden.

    And I think everyone who pays attention (or is forced to pay attention) to these numbers agrees that the current system is unsustainable--it WILL break down, the only question is how big the bubble will grow before lending is limited. The more tuition and lending grows before the crash, the harder the landing will be. But at some point, Congress is going to realize that cutting off the loan spigot will save tax dollars, and pretty much everyone will have other ideas about how those tax dollars could be better spent (or cut entirely, if you're Grover Norquist).

    And re: Rutgers, this looks like willful blindness to me--a nearly perfect illustration of the Upton Sinclair quote "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

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  11. "But again on reflection, this may be wrong. Maybe Solomon is just a complete joke of a person."

    a/k/a the "good heart, empty head" defense

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  12. I think they should provide both mean and median figures. But if I had to choose one, I'd consider the median more informative.

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  13. The John Marshall numbers are wrong, and according to the NLJ the school sent a correction to the ABA four months ago. I don't know if they've informed US News. I spoke with Bob Morse this morning, and told him that since US News remains the only public source for the graduate debt data reported to the ABA, it's important to get corrections from the half dozen or so schools that clearly reported erroneous data to the ABA in March. He said he's working on it. (To be fair, Camden gave US News the correct numbers just this week, four months after they "discovered" they were massively under-reporting their graduate debt).

    Yes as a matter of mathematical definition average signifies mean. I'm not too confident that all or even a large majority of law school administrators either know this or want to know it.

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  14. For-profit schools - all of them! - are nothing more than a conduit to transfer tax money to private corporations via the student loan system.

    As opposed to non-profit schools, which are a conduit to transfer tax money to private individuals via the student loan system.

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  15. It is amazing that we burden most of the best and brightest of our young people with six-figure debt because we implore them to get ever greater amounts of higher education because somehow the market demands exceptionally a high skilled workforce. This is totally wrong.

    You develop most of the skills you have as a worker or manager on-the-job through the interaction with others and particular to that firm or industry. This effort to force hires to be ready on day one of their jobs is what has compelled us to seek out more and more credentials to prove to our prospective employers that we can transition immediately from school to work.

    Student loan payments shouldn't rival mortgage payments just to apply for an entry-level job.

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  16. "non profit" law schools are non profit in name only. The deans, profs, and admins at these schools make obscene salaries at taxpayer expense. The dean of Cooley makes over a half mil a year and it is a "non profit" school.

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  17. IMO there's a good legal argument that "average" as used by the ABA in the above questions is ambiguous, in that it does not necessarily mean the mathematical average (i.e., the mean), rather than the median or even the mode.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Average

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  18. Re: "average," Merriam Webster includes both definitions: "1: a single value (as a mean, mode, or median) that summarizes or represents the general significance of a set of unequal values" and "2: an estimation of or approximation to an arithmetic mean."

    It's another example of how the underlying data needs to either be made public or be audited by an outside entity. There is too much room for error/duplicity/different interpretation.

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  19. Hobbit,

    Well said. Objective hiring criteria are more fair than nepotism and cull discrimination. The downside is a credentials race where lazy HR personnel can sort through resumes and exclude scores of competent, good applicants based on hiring metrics that bear little connection, if any, to job requirements.

    Now everyone feels that they must obtain bachelors degrees or masters degrees or professional degrees to do the job.

    Lewis Ranieri invented securitization and in the before times was heralded as a banking pioneer for his work. He wanted to be a cook, but could not work in smokey kitchens, so he joined Salomon's mail room and then eventually became a bond trader. That would never happen now.

    When I did more commercial litigation work, I was surprised to see how open European companies (even banks) were to allowing people to move up the ranks by competence rather than credentials. Individuals who joined european banks as secretaries or tellers eventually ran whole divisions, despite no academic credentials.

    This used to be true in America. Now, no one would hire you.

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  20. 183 million. Breathtaking.

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  21. Hmm... wonder if today's post and mea culpa will be enough to keep Dean Solomon from "Going Cooley" on LP?

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  22. Being an 09 graduate of Rutgers-Camden, I can offer some insight into Dean Solomon. YES he is that f*cking clueless about the school that he runs.

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  23. @7:20 re: Hobbit

    What you are saying is 100% true. It used to be that the hiring was done by, well, who your boss was going to be. Now it is micro-managed by HR minions and their resume scanning software.

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  24. @7.20 - I don't know which European country you're talking about, but there's whole swathes of Europe for which that is not true. The Germanic countries (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) have PhDs as the norm for many high-level positions. A friend of mine was the youngest qualified teacher in Berlin at the age of 27 - all other teachers only managed to start around the 28-29 mark. Eastern Europe is awash with master's graduates. Even in the UK degree-level qualifications are a must for almost all professional positions.

    There was, of course a time when non-graduates could rise to the top. John Major is an example of a non-graduate who entered the banking industry through an appreticeship, rose to the top, moved into politics, and ended up as prime-minister. However, that all finished 20 years ago or so.

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  25. the law school industry HAS TO BE making some sort of payment to the media (advertising buys?) and/or to politicians (campaign bribes, er, donations?) to keep this from blowing up.

    Money simply has to be involved somewhere.

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  26. For good or ill, news stories about lawyers, law schools, and law students don't have legs, because people hate lawyers.

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  27. @ LawSchoolDeathWatch

    "Follow the money."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVNU5jkOwzU

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  28. I agree with 7:42. I have seen so many articles about lawyers out of work, and the comments from the lay people are along the lines of "they make too much money anyway" and the like. The lay people do not understand it. Further, I was telling my friend, who was proud of me for going to law school, that the law economy is awful right now. He did not understand it at all, but instead said "I would find something". The lay person has no grasp on being a lawyer, and no pity towards the "rich lawyers" who are "complaining" about not making enough.

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  29. @7:47: Maybe because the economy has been awful for the lay people too- and always has been. Despite the conservative rhetoric that one could always go to trade school, pay has never been great for those that work with their hands. You can't blame them for not being sympathetic to your law school woes- at least you're not outside digging ditches for minimum wage. And if roles were reversed and say every dental student was complaining about the dental economy and the cost of their education, how many working lawyers would really care?

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  30. "Note that the language on the website is phrased carefully to describe a median, rather than a mean (the mean would of course be higher, especially since Phoenix seems to be counting graduates with no law school debt in its calculation)."

    In fact, the mean is almost certainly lower, because of the inclusion of graduates with no debt. When the minimum (zero) is farther from the median than the maximum (surely not over $300,000), then the mean should be lower than the median.

    While I have no idea if this fully explains the referenced 30% discrepancy, it might--especially considering that any quantity of zero loan graduates (using their own or their parents' money to pay for law school) would significantly skew the curve and resulting mean.

    None of this in any way suggests that Phoenix law is any bargain, or that LP's general points are anything other than well taken. However, I give the school credit for publishing the higher median number on it's website. This number actually makes the school look more expensive than the mean, but is also be better representation of the actual cost of a legal education.

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  31. For profit law schools are a disgrace to humanity. Those who work for them are nothing but criminals and immorals. It is just a matter of time before all their graduates realize that they have been scammed and hunt down those criminals for a good old fashion flogging.

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  32. Why single out for-profit law schools for your ire? A crook is a crook.

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  33. I second that...

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  34. In fact, "non-profit" parent institutions often rake off far more law school tuition dollars than the greediest of shareholders.

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  35. It would be interesting to see if individual schools use the same definition of "average" when reporting salaries or do they switch between mean and mode to their advantage?

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  36. Easy to be that incompetent when you're schedule consists of either: fancy lunch, errands where others do manual labor for you, shopping, short vacations, long vacations, talking to people about things that "will" happen in the future, looking at the internet (like I'm doing now), talking to students that are always "the lucky ones", and sleeping. The privileged class has lost all ability to feel any responsibility, too many creature comforts available, and most everyone else is running the race to meet them at the finish line.

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  37. I always thought the primary role of the dean was to raise money for the school (grants, private donors, etc.). I could be mistaken but that was just my impression from what my dean was most well known for.

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  38. The people at penn state were also clueless ;^)

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  39. Fat guy:

    A big part of raising money includes having the first fucking clue about the financial structure of your enterprise. Solomon's excuse is that he didn't possess this asset.

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  40. When I first became a lawyer in Arizona (in 2007) all new attorneys had to attend a mandatory professional responsibility course put on by the Arizona bar within a year of admission. One of the teachers at the course I attended was a judge who is an adjunct professor at the Phoenix School of Law. During the class he spoke very fondly of the school and boasted about how it's a great development in Arizona because we only had two law schools here to begin with and the school will be able to serve the poor and underserved populations in the Phoenix area who simply "had no access" to lawyers because there weren't enough lawyers. Such bullshit. I was lucky to get a job but by then the legal job market across the country and in Phoenix was already not great.

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  41. From n.58 to LawProf's paper: "While a generation ago it was not unusual for a law school's dean to teach at least one class per year, such double duty would be considered wholly unreasonable in an age when a law school dean's job has come to be dominated by constant fundraising and the attendant frequent flyer miles."

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  42. 8:22
    At a nonprofit school the excess income goes to faculty salaries and benefits. At a for profit school the excess income goes to the investors.Where would you rather teach?

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  43. So 9:47, you're a disgruntled law prof at a for-profit school? You're mad because you're not getting a big enough cut of the swag?

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  44. This is still the pitch: let's start another law school so all the people who don't have lawyers now will be represented. That might apply if lawyers were a limited resource or if poor people had money to pay them. We all know that isn't the case.

    ~boomer_hater

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  45. ATL has posted a great article about Rutgers- Camden:
    http://abovethelaw.com/2012/07/law-school-dean-takes-on-the-blogs-but-he-doesnt-have-the-facts-on-his-side/

    They take the approach that the students at Rutgers-Camden need to take action. I don't think this is correct. These students are having problems enough. they don't want to rock the boat.

    The kid who started posting on TLS about that trap school Minnesota was shunned by his peers. It takes a lot to stand up to that abuse.

    Law prof already has a job, students are in a much more vulnerable position.

    ~boomer_hater

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  46. Okay, I guess I am too old (wow) to get By the Time I Get to Phoenix but everyone needs to check out the PE on Arizona -
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrFOb_f7ubw

    Great pre 9/11 video where the appropriate response to dissing Dr. King was performing various terrorist acts on state officials.

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  47. 9:51
    Nope, I am at a top school and on the gravy train. I teach a little and assemble law review articles on my computer. They all have different titles but they are basically the same. After all, you can't be a plagiarizer when you did the initial paraphrasing can you? It is just getting embarassing so I am waiting for some big firm or government to steal me away before it all comes crashing down. I have been laboring for too little and I need a new.............

    OMG they are here! Arrgggg!

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  48. 9:36,
    My understanding (again, possibly incorrect) was that the dean focused more on a strategic level. Like, we have X dollars of revenue per year and Y dollars are from tuition and Z dollars are from alumni donations. We want to do a capital improvement project and need such and such additional funding blah blah blah.

    I agree the e-mail definitely should have been correct though. When you're in a leadership position and you become aware of a problem then one should drill down and get to the bottom of it. He should also be holding his advisors (associate deans) accountable for the errors.

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  49. I was going to say that at least this kind of post shows that Campos isn't doing any of this for his own gain, because he is certainly not opening up professor spots for himself at Rutgers or Phoenix, but maybe he's actually angling for become a dean position. Dean Campos has a nice ring to it (to everyone besides professors).

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  50. I really should sign in so I can edit my posts.

    -11:48

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  51. Dean Campos has a nice ring to it

    Sort of like Judge Dredd.

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  52. @ 11:54 AM

    "He IS The Law!"

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  53. I'm sure Paul is erect at all times, without even the use of Viagra, with many of you stroking him as you do.

    THAT is why he types his entry each day, even when there is nothing worthwhile to say (many days), and you're too stupid to realize it.

    Or, even sicker, perhaps you DO realize it and you're getting off on it too?

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  54. Regarding average as mean/median, I think you can read "average debt" to mean "debt of the average student." The average student has the median debt, not the mean.

    I think that's a weird way to read it, but it does get at the more relevant data. Prospective students should be concerned with the debtload of the typical student - the median. The mean would be more useful from a larger policy perspective, such as deciding whether too much federal money was going to the school.

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  55. Stroke away the chains of debt and liberate yourselves

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  56. @ 12:36 P.M.

    Jealous much, Leiter?

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  57. As to Dean Solomon, I lean more to the sociopath than to the incompetent clown theory.

    Suppose the anonymous staffer whom Solomon blames for the mess had made a mistake in the other direction, and prepared a report for the ABA indicating that graduates had a debt load that was three times what it is, rather than one-third? Would Dean Solomon have noticed the error before signing off on it?

    Suppose that, based on incorrect information, Rutgers appeared in articles with titles like "Worst Value Law Schools" rather than "Best Value Law Schools." How long would it have taken Solomon to notice and correct his little blunder?

    It is a form of plausible deniability. The innocent mistakes that corporations and universities make are invariably mistakes that make them look good. And the record does not get corrected until the whistle is blown--at an ear-shattering pitch.

    dybbuk

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  58. 12:36/Leiter

    If you think this blog has "nothing worthwhile to say," why keep reading it so avidly (and posting gormless/tasteless comments on it)?

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  59. Lawprof: I plan to be in NYC starting in the fall. I want to find a way to get the ABCNY group to look at all this data. Getting them information is a volunteer task I will work on doing.

    I know you didn't think they will be effective. However, I am sure that you haven't spoken to biglaw partners about the law school scam. We can get them on board, most of them are unaware.

    Clueless boomers - none of the partners I know can tell the cost of law school within say 20 or 30,000 dollars. At least they aren't LAW SCHOOL DEANS! LAW SCHOOL DEANS SHOULD KNOW HOW MUCH THEIR SCHOOL COSTS!!! Biglaw partners should know too, but they are so far removed, that they don't.

    Let us not give up on that committee before it even starts.

    Have a great weekend!
    ~Boomer_hater

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  60. PS. Shouldn't we also be emailing some people in New Jersey and not just the ABA?

    I will find a way to post the ABA email for complaints about Rutgers on TLS if LST hasn't already.

    ~Boomer_hater . :)

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  61. Hey, it worked for Arthur Andersen! I think you're mistaking incompetence for willful ignorance. I mean, it's not tax fraud if I simply toss those silly 1099s in the trash without ever looking at them, right? Right?

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  62. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  63. Silence and personal embarrassment allow law schools to get away with it. Why don't unemployed lawyers picket at LSAT sites? Or at alumni fundraisers? Or at parent orientation?

    Can everyone honestly say that they weren't WARNED by a practicing attorney somewhere along the line that they should rethink the decision to practice law school? A daughter of the people that live next door to my parents were so excited that their daughter got married and moved back into their home with husband so she could go to law school. My parents warned them a few times to have the daughter come talk to me first but nooooooo. I'm waiting for her to show up AFTER law school asking for any job.

    Law school is a carnival game where everyone pays because they think they will be the one to win.

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  64. I've got to enter all my person information on the keypad and then recite it all over again for these fucking imbeciles? Have we not figured this one out? 2012. We're suppose to have flying fucking cars. ACS sucks donkey balls.

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  65. @12:36,

    Listen dickhead, we urge Professor Camps on because he is one of the few prominent people on this board advocating for the correction of a major social problem.

    The higher education scam, and in its particular manifestation in law schools, perpetuates a social injustice that violates the ethos of both conservative and liberal thought. From a liberal perspective, the children of the lower classes are being destroyed in order for certain members of the uper class, i.e. deans, administrators, professors, and bankers to benefit. From a conservative perspective, the tax payer is being ripped off to the tune of billions because of Federal involvement on this issue.

    So, essentially, the tax payer is being fucked into creating debt slaves so that members of the upper class can benefit. If you don't think thats significant, fuck you.

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  66. ^very well said

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  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  68. This is so much more than i needed!!! but will all come in use thanks!!
    Personal Injury Attorney Florida

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  69. ^^^ Kids, enroll in law school and in just three years, you too can be spamming blogs in a desperate bid for clients.

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  70. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  71. @Studentdebtforlife

    Dude, what are you talking about? Don't stop commenting (except about how you are going to stop commenting). The law school/higher education scam movement isn't much of one if we are alienating and rejecting acolytes.

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  72. I don't generally buy into the "law school scam" school of thought, but Phoenix School of Law is a diploma mill. The goal of the school, like all corporations, is to make as much money as possible. The tragedy here is that it is being done at the expense of students that the administration is packing in like sardines with no end in sight. Morale is low and the quality of the education is questionable. I am shocked that this school received ABA accreditation.

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  73. @Studentdebtforlife: You would have incurred debt even if you were tossed out after your first year of law school. It would have been less, but would it have been manageable? And, would it have been fair? I think that criticism fails.

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  75. @Studentdebtforlife

    I have read every comment and do not see anyone accusing you of "harming the movement" (maybe they did in e-mail?). Quit being a drama-queen; we've got to transcend criticisms. Giving up or going away is more harmful than offering your opinions. We need all hands on deck to carry this load.

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  76. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  77. @Studentdebtforlife: Dude, you are the movement. Or, at least part of it. Anyone with a story like yours is. Take a deep breath, go for a walk. A friend of mine is fighting leukemia. At least none of us are walking that path.

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  78. Full Licensed Name: Rayman Louis Solomon
    Full Former name(s): None
    Date of Admission as Lawyer
    by Illinois Supreme Court: October 23, 1976
    Registered Business Address: Rutgers Univ School of Law Camden
    217 N 5Th St
    Camden, NJ 08102-1203
    Registered Business Phone: (856) 225-6191
    Illinois Registration Status: Not authorized to practice law as attorney is not currently registered with ARDC and has not demonstrated required MCLE compliance
    Malpractice Insurance:
    (Current as of date of registration;
    consult attorney for further information) In annual registration, attorney reported that he/she does not have malpractice coverage. (Some attorneys, such as judges, government lawyers, and in-house corporate lawyers, may not carry coverage due to the nature of their practice setting.)

    And you can get an investigation form here:

    http://www.iardc.org/information/online_forms/RequestFormFillable.pdf

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  79. In common usage average is the mean, but in math average can mean (not a pun) the mean, the mode or the median. Frankly, since it is easy to calculate all 3 when you have the data - and also the quartiles - why not make law schools report all 4?

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  81. It is hard to understand why anyone would attend University of Phoenx Law given these numbers. People really put their heads into the sand if they attend that school.

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  82. "A daughter of the people that live next door to my parents were so excited that their daughter got married and moved back into their home with husband so she could go to law school. My parents warned them a few times to have the daughter come talk to me first but nooooooo. "

    Got married and moved back in (presumably with the feckless hubby) with the parents; this pretty much says it all. You don't need to add that she's nearly guaranteed to be a LS loser, too.

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  83. What interview with JD Painter Guy were people talking about? Link?

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  84. these days a lot of once reliable, cushy money-making enterprises (like law school) are being outed.. essentially, this is all a part of a transparency (consciousness) movement..
    http://www.avclub.com/articles/fx-at-the-tca-press-tour-fx-creates-weird-feud-wit,83082/

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  85. MacK - You comment at 12:34 is a most appreciated service. Could you provide similar information for the New Jersey and Pennsylvania bars for Camille Spinello Andrews, Associate Dean of Enrollment and Projects at Rutgers-Camden. The conjectural opinion is that she is the bag lady for this little felony.

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  86. If Solomon let his bar membership lapse, why would the ARDC investigate?

    dybbuk

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  87. 1:16 - did way back, on the original Rutgers posting:

    Dean Rayman Solomon is a member of the Illinois Bar - non practicing (he nerve actually ever seems to have practiced law - he was a "bar historian" instead) - you can find his record here
    http://www.iardc.org/ldetail.asp?id=649641344

    The associate dean for enrollment at Rutgers - and probably the person responsible for the misleading information is Camille Andrews - who cough, cough, teaches legal ethics !!! The mind boggles. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar - record is as follows

    Camille Spinello Andrews
    PA Attorney ID: 47307
    Current Status: Active
    Date of Admission: 11/21/1986
    Lawfirm:
    Other Organization: Context Capital Partners, LP
    District: 2
    County: Montgomery
    Public Access Address CONTEXT CAPITAL PARTNERS LP
    401 CITY AVENUE STE 815
    BALA CYNWYD, PA 19004
    Tel: 610 538-6102
    Fax: 610 660-5000
    Professional Liability Insurance: I do not maintain Professional Liability Insurance because I do not have private clients and have no possible exposure to malpractice actions (e.g. retired, full-time in-house counsel, prosecutor, full-time government counsel, etc.).

    The Associate Dean of Students and Career Planning - another person with responsibility is Angela V. Baker She is an active member of the New Jersey Bar:

    ANGELA VIRGINIA BAKER
    NJ Attorney ID : 028081985
    Bar Admission Date : 12/23/1985

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  88. PA Bar Complaints:

    http://www.padisciplinaryboard.org/forms/consumer.php
    http://www.padisciplinaryboard.org/faqs/consumers.php#FilingAComplaint

    For Andrews the relevant disciplinary board is Board 2

    For New Jersey

    http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/oae/atty_disc/atty_disc.htm

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  89. I hate to quibble, but Raymond is NOT a member of the Illinois bar. He has not registered with the ARDC, paid his dues, or demonstrated continuing legal education compliance.

    The fact that his name pops up in a lawyer search of the ARDC website means nothing. The names of dead and disbarred lawyers show up as well.

    However, if we can find a licensed, registered bar member among one of the lying or deceptive deans, then a bar ethics complaint is a very good idea.

    dybbuk

    dybbuk

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  90. Dybbuk:

    That is not correct - he is a member of the Illinois bar but not "active" that is to say that if he has not resignednhenis not subject to the requirements to pay sues, do cle etc. - but he likely could still be disciplined

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  91. 11:31

    You are wrong. In IL, lawyers who have "inactive" status have the obligation to pay dues, albeit at a lower rate. Since Solomon has not paid dues, his status is undoubtedly "retired."

    dybbuk

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  92. Retired is a formal status in Illinois, while per-retirement voluntary in active status requires a formal court application. He has simply not fulfilled his cle etc.

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  93. " $183 million in student debt"

    Stop throwing these numbers out. You're giving law deans, and deans of universities without law schools hard-ons.

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  94. thanks for sharing.

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  95. It's true. The world is getting more and more expensive and more and more competitive. The trick is to anticipate the change before it comes. I would say- if you want to be a personal injury attorney in Camden go for it. But come out of it with an idea of how you are going to get hired.

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