Tuesday, August 28, 2012

They write letters

A lawyer received an email recently from a former professor, asking for advice on how she could improve her teaching.  Here is the lawyer's response, reprinted with permission (a few inessential details have been altered to protect identities):

The greatest problem facing your law students has little to do with the subtleties of curriculum and rhetorical style in the classroom, and everything to do with the ongoing jobs-and-economic crisis in legal education.  So the best thing that you can do to improve your teaching is to help your students obtain real jobs as lawyers, such as by making your teaching more vocational, and also by setting up networking contacts, informational interviews and lunches, and even job internships, externships, and interviews.

In making these broad statements, I'm relying on the growing recognition of the crisis in legal education and employment, as explained by Paul Campos' great blog Inside the Law School Scam and Tamanaha's book Failing Law Schools.
To give you one concrete example, I just met a young woman from BYU Law here in Salt Lake City.  I had judged this student two years each in an annual moot court competition for IP.  Her individual score was the highest both years.  She was executive editor of a law journal.  She had a perfectly average and respectable 3.3 GPA (much higher than mine, despite the B+ I made in your class).  Despite doing basically everything right, she was unemployed after graduation and the bar exam and came to me for help.  Fortunately, I was able to get her an interview and some contract work with the small firm that I work for, which may potentially lead to full time work.  Her story is one of countless similar stories.


Here are some more specific recommendations:

1. For reasons that baffle me, law school only provides meaningful feedback through one final exam at the end of the year.  What's worse is that this feedback is basically limited to a mysterious grade that, from the student's perspective, has no clear relationship to the student's performance.  Once the grade is out, the class is over, and students and professors generally spend zero time going over the exam and what people did wrong (I tried this once, the professor gave me cursory explanations that I didn't understand, as if I was annoying him, and I never tried to do it again). 
This is basically a high-risk/high-reward one shot opportunity to prove what you know.  For students like me, who learn through hands-on practice, I feel like this system failed me.  (To give you one example, I studied for many dozens of hours for Property I, and made a C+, and the next semester I didn't buy the book and used a friend's outline two days before the exam, and made a B+.).  It is as if law school teaching is designed to purposefully avoid maximizing their students' grades on the final exam, even though that is their only measure of performance and critically important to their future employment.


As strange as it sounds on the surface, I would have welcomed more quizzes, homework, practice tests, and example problems.  As far as I remember, law professors never went through practice problems with their students, even though that would help them tremendously on the exam.  As someone with an engineering background, this was very strange and confusing to me.  If students are concerned about doing more "work," you can give them the option to do either the traditional final-only track, or a homework-quiz-and-final track.
If you are concerned that grading homework is too burdensome, I would simply use scan-trons, which are easy to grade, or have the students grade their own quizzes as you work through them during class.  As you develop a body of material over the years, preparing and grading quizzes will be easier.  There will necessarily be an increase in burden on you, but I think it shouldn't be overstated, and could help students like me tremendously.  You will have to ask yourself how much extraordinary work you want to do to be an extraordinary teacher.


2. Students generally go to law school to get a job.  Law professors, in contrast, are quite academic.  Law school felt incredibly divorced from the real world practice of law - which is why people say that law school won't teach you how to practice law, and why the bar exam is an additional requirement to law practice that is very different from law school.  I would generally try to move your class into a more vocational style to address the real interests and goals of your students.
3. Most students and 1Ls enter law school without a full appreciation of the difficulties of getting a real lawyer job and paying off student debt.  This is changing fast - law school admissions are down about 25% over the last two years, which is going to put pressure on law professors (the professor-student ratio even at [my law school]) blew my mind) - but students still don't really appreciate what they are getting into.  They generally don't appreciate, for example, that A. employment statistics are absolutely meaningless, because they are based on self-selected samples, and underemployed or unemployed students are drastically less likely to report their status at all.  Students also generally don't appreciate that B. reported average indebtedness fails to include accrued interest.  If you share my (and others') concerns about these issues, I think it would be appropriate to spend part of the first class, or so, discussing these and similar realities in the legal-education-and-job market.

4. One thing I enjoyed about my Torts class was that our professor made us read the book "Damages," which I thought was fascinating.  Every character in that book seemed like a flawed hero in some quasi-Shakespearean tragedy.  And it felt like a realistic perspective on what tort law is really like.  You could give students a realistic perspective by bringing in real torts/trademark plaintiffs, defendants, attorneys, etc. and have them speak briefly (or lengthily) about the reality of legal practice.  These guest speakers would also help you establish networking connections and internship/lunch/externship/employment opportunities for your students, which many of them desperately need.

5. Basically every single class in law school is graded on a curve.  I don't know if the law school requires this, but it makes no sense to me.  It basically ensures that, if enough people do horribly, many will still pass.  Vice versa: if enough people do well, many will still get a C.  Notably, if students have scholarships that require a certain GPA level, the curve can literally force some students to lose their scholarships, even if their performance is adequate on a objective/curveless measure.  There are reports that some law schools give out so many GPA-contingent scholarships that it is mathematically impossible for every receiving student to keep their scholarship, simply because of the curve (if you're curious, you could investigate this at [your law school]).  So, if at all possible, I would try to grade exams (homework, quizzes, practice tests) without a curve.  Decide what is an A, B, or C level, and assign grades based on objective performance.

Note, also, that the curve creates the illusion that professors cannot fail to serve their students.  The professor can do an absolutely amazing job, and turn every student into the next Scalia (or Stevens).  The professor can be absolutely horrible, and teach every student nothing.  But, in both cases, the grade distribution looks exactly the same.  The professor has zero feedback on his/her performance.  Eliminating the curve would remove this illusion.  A professor who fails to serve her students (not that you ever did) would be unable to hide that fact, if there was no curve, because every student would fail.

6. Most everyone will admit, I think, that outside the highest (and lowest) range of law school performance, there is a large factor of randomness that separates B+, B, B-, and C+ students, etc.  One Georgetown professor famously admitted this in an online video (which I can't seem to find on Youtube now).  By eliminating the curve (see 5 above), you would help overcome this sense of randomness.  Also, by having practice problems, homework, quizzes, etc., you could repeatedly show students how certain answers are objectively the right answer to questions.  This would also undercut the sense of randomness.  Multiple choice questions tend to be/feel more objectively fair than essay questions (although it can still be surprisingly difficult to create good multiple choice questions, I know).

7. As a last general point, I am not an expert on education, either academic or vocational, nor am I an expert on learning.  There is an absolutely gigantic literature on how students, esp. grade school or high school students, really learn.  Philanthropists like Bill Gates have funded many millions of dollars into this research, to distinguish between good teachers and bad teachers, what methods work and what methods fail.  You can watch Bill Gates' TED talk to get a sense of this science, and then find related books on Amazon.  As far as I know, the typical law professors has zero exposure to this scientific literature.  The typical law professor just did really well at a good law school, which is very different than doing really well in an Education Ph.d program.  If I was a law professor genuinely interested in my students learning, and doing well in an objective sense (not just on a curve), then I would not only expose myself to this literature, but I would master it, and apply the techniques that distinguish the best teachers from the mediocre teachers.

112 comments:

  1. I never understood "the curve." My school didn't have one and anyone I talk to who was subject to it agrees that it's idiotic.

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  2. Odds of implementation: next to zero.

    Odds that the professor simply wanted to be told how great he was and how he couldn't improve: moderate.

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  3. I think we should make law schools optional. Apprenticeship or "reading" law should be the preferred path to practice.

    What was so bad with the 19th Century system? It produced fine lawyers, there were fewer of them, there was collegiality within the bar, lawyers at the top of the pay scale received lower compensation than they do now, lawyers at the bottom of the compensation scale received more than they do now, lawyers did not drown in debt, and lawyers did not get rich. What was so damn bad with the prior system?

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  4. “The wicked have told me of things that delight them, but not such things as your law has to tell.”

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  5. Kindly but pointedly written -- just beautiful.

    You will have to ask yourself how much extraordinary work you want to do to be an extraordinary teacher.

    No truer words have been posted on this blog.

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  6. Hasn't anyone learned from this blog? Law professors aren't in it to be extraordinary educators. They're part of the scam. They're the dealers in the mob casino.

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  7. I don't disagree with any of the lawyer's points/recommendations. In fact, they make a lot sense. But these are minor matters. The real problem remains - too many JD's, too few jobs. In this regard, any news on the size of incomming 1L classes around the country?

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  8. Prof Campos, are you going to follow this advice, and make your classes more vocational and give more frequent assignments and feedback?

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  9. LawProf,

    I know you are not a fan of-or, at the very least, place a lower priority on-pedagogical crituiqes of the legal academy, but this is a discussion that needs to be happening just as openly fearlessly and critically as other issues you've highlighted on this blog. Thank you for bringing it again to the fore, with an input from a lawyer out in the field.

    As my yoga instructor likes to say, "You can't learn what you're not taught" and the methods used to teach "the law" (and, yes, the scare quotes really are necessary) were disproven as an effective form of pedagogy over a century ago.

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  10. All good points, but really, I don't think law school can teach students how to practice. New lawyers need to learn through experience. Even the most practical class would be too narrow to fill the bill entirely. It is a shame that most states eliminated the "reading law" option. When I went to law school, students could opt for one year of school and two (I think) of apprenticeship before taking the bar. Two of the best lawyers I know took this route. But of course the number of students who could do this would be limited by the number of internships available. Another advantage.

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  11. Obviously, it does nothing to fix the actual crisis in legal education (i.e. that the cost of law school now drastically out-paces the likely economic benefit of obtaining a JD) to address the crisis at the core of legal pedagogy. But it certainly gives lie to one of the major lines of defense at the heart of the status quo: that there is something inherently magical about a legal education and the way lawyers are "trained".

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  12. As a 2L, I thought the letter writer's critiques where very well thought out. It's true that some /most of them won't be implemented, but he/she was pretty well right about everything. The "one exam" model of assessment is, to me, the biggest indictment of legal education. Can anyone believe this is the best way for students to learn and the best way to evaluate what students have learned?

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  13. Reforms to the curriculum will not solve the basic problem that there are too many lawyers. But I strongly agree with this writer that the law school grading system needs to be reformed in order to make law school a better experience for the people who are there.

    In addition to the writer's suggestions on reforming the curve, all of which I endorse, would students benefit from having three semesters of grades before OGIs so that the first-semester grades, always more than usually arbitrary since students don't yet know how to take an exam, don't weigh so much on everything from Law Review selection to interviews? This could be accomplished by beginning 1L year with a summer semester, and then subtracting a semester 3L year.

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  14. Unfortunately, the entire "academic year" of law school (really, just your first two semesters plus write-on competition) has become part and parcel of the OCI recruiting process. Any change that doesn't serve the purpose of signalling top talent to legal employers is going to be greatly resisted institutionally. Moreover, I would argue that the pedagogical critique of law school is one that law professors are even less tempermentally equipped to engage than the "scam" critique. Quite possibly no law professor anywhere has ever found themselves on the wrong side of a 1L curve and, as such, is experientially removed from having to understand why any individual student would ever struggle with the one exam/one grade paradigm. To them, it's self-evident. This last point goes towards the writer's point that what little exam feedback is made available to law students is usually delivered with a measure of mild annoyance, as thought to say "you brought it on yourself by not understanding what I was asking you to do").

    I imagine there's a generational dimension to this too. My contracts professor (a man, at that point, in his early forties) was a bow-tie enthusiast seemingly intent on channeling John Hausmann as Professor Kingsfield whose Contracts exam took SIX HOURS and included a duplicate multiple choice question intended as a headfake. To so many of them, this is an intellecutal excerise, not the one dispositive benchmark for whether or not anyone will ever hire you.

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  15. The writer encapsulated the pedagogical problems of law school. I hope we hear more from this writer. Unfortunately, other posters are correct: it does nothing to address the oversupply problem.

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  16. Law school has both a sorting function and a pedagogical function. But at my law school, the way the curve was used to sort substantially undermined the learning function. Every class my school offered--including small clinics with 6 people, advanced tax courses, small seminars--was curved. But since professors didn't feel able to distinguish the performance of students in these smaller classes, they usually gave everyone a B+. For an above-the-curve student attempting to maintain a high GPA in order to get a job, this consequently meant not taking many classes that would otherwise have been useful. While the sorting function schools plays is important, it should not come at the expense of education.

    Even in large lecture classes the curve distorted the students' class choices. Students would consider who else was in the class--and hence what their odds were of getting a good grade--and then keep or drop the class accordingly.

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    1. Plus, if students "game" the curve, then the curve isn't really sorting based on merit anyway. We probably don't care about the accuracy of sorting measures; we're happy so long as there is sorting. But to the extent that we do care about accuracy, perhaps we'd get more of it without the curve since we'd compare people on the merits of their performance rather than on how well they "game" or who they are randomly placed in class with.

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    2. Only if there is only one section, or each section has the same profs. Otherwise the section that has the easier grader wins the sorting game. This is why the curves exists in the first place.

      And just because i understand the purpose of the curve does not men I like it.

      :>>--

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  17. A comment on the one exam model:

    So long as classes are taught using this model, professors should both give out sample exams and answers AND make sure they have someone (preferably many people) take the final before they give it to the class.

    About three times in law school I had a professor give a "bad" final in the sense that the directions were unclear, the questions too easy, or there were errors in the exam. It is a frustrating experience to have your professor blow your one chance at being graded.

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    1. There has been a lot of criticism of professors who reuse tests. It does seem lazy. But, students will often be better served with a recycled exam, because it has been previously tested and proven. Assuming of course the exam still reflects the course's content!

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    2. With easily reviewable exams recycling is harder, since obviously some details will leak, so it leads to new exams each time. For better or worse of course.

      :>>--

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  18. My wife is a 9th grade English teacher. Her district requires her to have 5 daily grades, 3 minor grades, and 2 major grades EACH six weeks. So over the year, there will be 60 assignments that have to be graded. She teaches 5 classes for a total of 166 students. 166 students times 60 assignments equals 9960 grades. Now, some of these assignments are just mere daily grades, but others are 2 to 5 page papers, which, I bet are the page lengths of many 2 to 3 hour exams. She does all of this for less than 50k.

    I keep telling her, she should be a law school professor. She would probably do a better job as a law school professor since she has actual teaching experience. As a professor, she would work a third less and make at least two times more.

    Enough of the Socratic method. Reform law school curriculum. Close some of the schools as well. That would help with the problem somewhat.

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    1. Please offer your wife my support for her hard and important work.

      I was with the author of the original post until he mentioned (with approval) Bill Gates. Gates, together with Michelle Rhee, is a big proponent of charter schools and attacks on teachers. I'd be willing to bet that he and the reprehensible Arnie Duncan (Sec. Of Education) send their kids to private schools, just like Obama does, instead of working to improve public schools.

      Sorry for the off-topic rants, but good teachers should be treasured, not attacked.

      Delete
    2. Let me enthusiastically second this response. I tried teaching before going to law school. It was the hardest thing I ever attempted--much harder than practicing law and frankly, I wasn't very good at it. It takes as much talent to be a good teacher as a concert pianist, in my opinion. And like the great pianists, the good ones make it look so easy---well , it isn't.

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    3. "It takes as much talent to be a good teacher as a concert pianist, in my opinion. "

      glurge glurge glurge

      Delete
  19. i do not think the author understands grading in the absence of a curve. Some professors will give out a lot of A's, and some will give out a lot of F's, but it will not be because the former professor taught his or her students more than the latter one, and it will not expose the latter one as a failed teacher and show that the former one is a good teacher. Rather, it will be because the former one is an easier grader than the latter one. The professors make up their own tests and do the grading. Grade inflation has been a problem in recent years, particularly at the undergraduate level, and removing a curve would be just more of that.

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  20. "... one example, I studied for many dozens of hours for Property I, and made a C+, and the next semester I didn't buy the book and used a friend's outline two days before the exam, and made a B+..."

    This sounds familiar. After 1sem, I attributed this mystery not so much to random chance, though, as to a prof either "getting" (liking) or "not-getting" my particular style of writing. With me it was really driven home in CivPro.

    In a school with a mandatory fit to 76% (all sections, all 3 years), I got a 74 in 1sem CivPro, after literally studying my brains out. Knew it backwards and forwards, thought I'd aced it, and had no clue why I'd not done well.

    All the prof had to offer (to the class as a whole) was, "You are not permitted to ask me about your grades, unless you catch me in an arithmetic error, ha-ha-ha-ha".

    2nd semester they switched CivPro to another prof. I was disillusioned and lazy after the 1sem experience, and although I went to class as mandated I didn't read and basically just listened, didn't bother with an outline, etc. I did get scared the day before that exam, took a vaca day from work and studied. But I was nowhere close to as prepared as I had been 1sem.

    Got a 96 and the Cali.

    Go figure.

    So thereafter, for any prof who seemed to "get" my writing style and gifted me with an A, I made sure to take later classes/electives with them (despite subject matter (dis)interest).

    Turned out to be a decent plan.

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    1. This was my experience as well. I settled on a similar plan.

      One of the saddest things about second semester of 1L year was seeing bright, motivated students during first semester just give up after their first-semester grades.

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    2. Or drop out, when they realize that they won't keep their scholarship, even though they could graduate. Of course in the long run it could be better for them.

      :>>--

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  21. (I hate the fact that I feel compelled to publish my comments without my name for fear of job repercussions). The point about pedagogy is particularly sad to me. When law faculty study pedagogy, they are labeled as not serious about scholarship. Pedagogy is not considered a legitimate area for research by a law professor. I have been discouraged from publishing on law pedagogy because the resulting articles will "dilute" my body of work. So, we stay in the dark ages, teaching in exactly the same way we were taught or hiding our innovations.

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    1. you can be "The Untenured Henry Giroux" if you likeAugust 28, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      Just sayin'.

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    2. you can be The Untenured Henry Giroux if you likeAugust 28, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      (keep forgetting the name feature can't handle " marks).

      Delete
    3. That has been so not my experience. Innovations in pedagogy are all the rage. I have talked to people at other schools who indicate that it has become a big part of discussions at their schools. Maybe publishing is seen as different from actually doing things, or trying new things in real classes.

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  22. I've heard a number of people make the argument that the curve is necessary to prevent grade inflation. But is grade inflation really a problem?

    If grades are an objective measure of whether you've learned a skill set, higher grades could just mean students are better now. If grades are needed to decide who is best, then even if grades are generally higher, some people still end up with the highest grades. So, I'm curious for an explanation of exactly what harm grade inflation causes.

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  23. A few weeks ago, a professor over at Prawfs posted an entry titled In defense of hiding the ball in law school classes: Does being confused help you learn stuff?. In the professor's view, there were two ways to teach - his way, and spoonfeeding the class a la BarBRI - and obviously his was superior.

    That's right, all you stupid professors who actually take the time to clarify difficult material: you're breeding morons with your "straightforward explanations" and "helpful examples." What is it that you should be doing instead? Asking an overwhelmed student to babble out his answers and hope that the rest of the class can infer what you're trying to get across from the exchange. That's how real professors teach.

    I pointed out that we are the only graduate or professional program whose shelves at the bookstore have two or three explanatory supplements to explain what's happening in the textbooks for pretty much every non-seminar class. While I'm neither a physicist nor a MD, I find it hard to believe that law is as innately difficult as either, and yet I don't remember seeing rows and rows of supplements for them. This was airily dismissed as using the Cliffs Notes instead of reading Moby Dick, and really, it would do students a "disservice" to deprive them of the "experience of mastering a tough, dense original text head on." That fewer professors use quasi-Socratic instruction after 1L made no impression on the guy, or that none of the bar review classes employ anything like it.

    Obviously, inertia is a powerful force to overcome in any bureaucracy, but most of the worst professors prefer the status quo simply because it's not hard to run a class where all you do is ask students questions about cases you've read several dozen times. And if they didn't get it, then too bad - bar review will have to be enough for them.

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    1. Thanks for the link. Did you catch the particularly pitiful attempt at the old "appeal to authority" gambit?

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    2. Yes, that professor has absolutely no familiarity with any of the academic work done showing the Socratic Method as practiced in American law schools is a particularly terrible teaching method. As long as he can conjure up ANY value of the method, no matter how simplistic, that absolves him of any responsibility to try something else. Meanwhile, that method just happens to minimize his time spent grading!

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    3. I think this method also lets them pretend they are appellate federal judges---

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    4. Rick Hills can call it "productive confusion" if he wants to. And, he can even try to defend it as beneficial in some convoluted way (the "eureka" moment) all day long for all I care. Bottom line - your students pay you to learn a subject area. Don't stand in the way of that effort. The case book is generally confusing enough (or simply inadequate). Supplementary textbooks are mandatory. To add a lecture with mandatory attendance that adds no insight into the materials for such great financial cost is nothing less than insulting.

      / rant. I have work to do.

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    5. Always read the outline, e and e first, then listen to the audio lectures. (Do all of them, Gilbert, Sum and Substance, Kaplan, Barbri, and anything else.) After that the case book is a walk in the park, and they can't hide the ball from you. Won't necessarily get you a job, but at least your grades will be above average.

      :>>--

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  24. I had a corporate taxation course where the final had absolutely no relation whatsoever to the assigned cases or IRC sections, class discussions, or anything else. It was tantamount to taking an exam from a different course. Easily the worst testing experience of my life. Years later, I can still flash back to reading the fact patterns and dozens of questions pertaining to them, and not have the slightest clue what was going on. Go fish in the IRC - no fun on a timed final for 100% of your grade.

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  25. 10:09 -- Grade inflation makes everyone a winner and a special snowflake.

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    1. And does nothing to solve the overproduction problem.

      Harsher 1L curve could work. If you flushed half of the 1L class at all the law schools, there would be just about as many graduates as jobs, and the schools would still get the lemmings tuition for a year, so they could be happy too. Perhaps that is the solution. Back to the bad old days of: look to your left, look to your right...

      All for it if it limits the graduation class, and not just because i am in the top 10% of the class.

      :>>--

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  26. Hell, essentially half of the 2010 and 2011 graduating classes from BYU Law and the University of Utah S.J. Quinney SOL did not have employment lined up 7-9 months after graduation. This is in a state that only has two law schools, each with reasonable-sized entering and graduating classes.

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    1. Wished I had found your blog about a year earlier than I did. Things would likely have been different. I was 2L by the time I saw it.

      :>>--

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    2. Discovered this blog around the same time, and have been disillusioned since. Many things became clear. At least it is in the open now.

      :>>--

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  27. a friend taught an advanced seminar at the largest law school in the country. he had about 10 people in the class. all had to have taken several prerequisites to qualify for the class and all had a difficult undergrad class to be in this speciality. all but one student did really good and he felt that all should get a's except for the one that did not apply himself. he had several heated discussions with deans/assist deans and such telling him he needed to give some people b and c. he was livid. a "b or C" in an advanced seminar for the field you wanted to be in would likely prevent that student from getting hired at a decent firm. pretty incrediblle stupid. i never did find out what happened. he did say he would never teach there again.

    and all/most of his class was already working in some cpacity in their chosen field.

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  28. 1) Isn't Cooley the biggest law school in the country (by enrollment)?

    2) By the time you get to the advanced seminar stage of law school, your hiring fate has been more or less sealed.

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  29. i have actually heard that sometimes people change jobs. something that can be harder to do with a bad grade in an advanced seminar class.

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  30. Law schools can change their teaching methods all they want.

    It doesn't change the fact that there just are not enough jobs for 45,000+ lawyers per year.

    The only solution is that about half of the law schools need to shut down or overall the number of seats per law school needs to drop proportionally.

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  31. Enrollment is down a bit everywhere. In 2010 Phoenix had somewhere around 270 1Ls, in 2011 it was around 380 1Ls, and they were projecting about 500 for this year, which was the ultimate goal for the ramp up, and capacity of the new building, but only about 350 1Ls at this years orientation. These numbers include full time day, part time day, and evening enrollees.

    I was one of those deluded 270 in 2010, but only found out about the statistics scam during my 2L year. At which point I was all in. Ce la vie. At least I am in the top ten percent, so there is some chance of employment after graduation, even if it is likely to be pretty slim pickings. At this point that seems to be better than the alternative.

    :>>--

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  32. Something else I'd like to throw out there that I have observed to be true (but which others have disagreed with):

    Your law school grades now *stay* with you for longer. The old CW is that nobody cares how you did after a couple of years of practice, but lateral hires now look for things that your initial employer may never have brought up, like 1L performance and gaps in the resume (even for periods after which time you were able to secure employment).

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    1. Sad, but true. Which is why I am not relenting in the fight for the good grades on the curve. If I am stuck with the scarlet JD, I at least want the grades to be good. In case the scam gets enough publicity, and employers will eventually hire JDs for non-legal positions you want to show it was the scam, and not your performance that kept you from a job. Also, if I ever want to pursue academic degree in another field I will need a decent GPA. So the grinds goes on.

      :>>--

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  33. Also Phoenix has a curve that is rather vicious. It isn't just your standard C curve, but like all the Infinilaw schools it is forced distribution, so that only 15% can get A and A-, 25% gets B+ and B, with 40% getting B-, C+, and C, so that the last 15% is forced to fail with C-, D+, D, and F. Of course C or better has to be maintained to stay in. Bottom 15% is thus lost. Classes under 20 are exempt, but that is a recent change, since it used to be classes under 12 until this year.

    This is compounded by section stacking. We had one several section, which showed this nicely. We had same classes, and professors, and a same numerical grade gave you C- in the scholarship section, while the other section the same numerical grade resulted in a B. Quite the difference. For example the median in one section was 50% higher than in the other.

    Had I been in the non-stacked section that first year I would have likely been top 5% or better instead of just top 10%, and I would have had more As than Bs, and not the other way around. Still, at least I hadn't gotten a C yet.

    :>>--

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  34. Phoenix also has some buy-in from the local legal community. Several former judges are professors, and several more are adjuncts. Also a ex-judge, and now ex-professor is now Arizona solicitor-general. This at least means that local employers do not have a stigma about hiring Phoenix grads, although that is no help, if one is not staying in Phoenix, since nationally Phoenix is just another fourth tier school. Still given the outcome of students for summer jobs, and OCI only top part of the class has any chance at real legal work. (Of course we have many people with family connection, who already have the job waiting for them, and they just need any law degree, so they do not worry.)

    The school tries to do some practical stuff in every class, so that even a class like Contracts has a period or two of some drafting, and negotiating exercises after all the doctrinal stuff is covered earlier. Most professors try to do at least some of that, and some have actually practiced in the area that they do teach. Not just token stuff, but decent amount of experience. Also General Practice Class is offered as 3L option, which covers many different aspects of various practices, which is taught by a collection of practicing adjuncts. This does a bit of preparation, as do the clinics that the school runs. I am not sure this is enough to overcome the fourth tier badge of dishonor, but it makes the graduates not entirely clueless. Local employers seem to appreciate this, although it still isn't enough to be able to go solo without some on the job training the hard way.

    Even given all of this, I am not convinced I would have gone to law school, this or any other, had I known the actual employment statistics back when I was taking the LSAT in 2009, and applying to law schools in 2009 and 2010.

    :>>--

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    Replies
    1. @1:22PM "...local employers do not have a stigma about hiring Phoenix grads."

      Hahahahaha. That is so cute. Have you been drinking the Kool-Aid supplied by the career placement office over at Phoenix School of Law? Half of the 55% employed in the 2011 graduating class went SOLO. Do you really think they all did that by choice?

      BTW: Don't say "ex-judge" or "ex-professor." It indicates the person was fired, thrown off the bench, and/or disbarred. Say "former." Phoenix School of Law has had enough bad press lately. We don't need more.

      Delete
    2. These are two different problems. One is reputation, and other is sheer numbers. Even employers that will hire Phoenix graduates can only take one for each opening, and with the current production that is not enough. Between Phoenix and ASU there will well over 400 new graduates each year, and even with some going elsewhere, and some not passing the bar there will still be too many for the local market to absorb. the local reputation does precisely dick for the graduates in other markets, and this is a nationwide problem. Once again the reputation will only help the top of the class.

      I am sure Phoenix can handle all the bad press it gets, which is really no more than any other fourth tier school of equivalent "caliber."

      Heck who knows if it will stay Phoenix at all. Administration is still contemplating a name change, but as yet they haven't decided after two years of vacillating. Hope that one gets hashed out soon, so we can get bad reputation under the new name. :)

      :>>--

      Delete
  35. And yes, if I had to do it all over again I would not go to fourth tier school, if I went to law school at all. I would probably retake the LSAT until I got into tier one, or even the T14. I had gotten into 5 schools, and got waitlisted by couple others, but I choose to go to the school which suited me geographically, which was a consideration given my fiancee. I didn't realize how prestige, and ranking obsessed the field was until I was already in law school. I certainly could have gone to a higher ranked school, since I was admitted to a few, but didn't realize the importance of that till too late. I also should not have gone with my cold LSAT score. If I had just taken a prep class I would have been able to get into a much better school. I had 158 with no study, and having to drive two plus hours to the test center. With study it would have been a lot better, and I could have been deciding between higher ranked school, or lower ranked school for free. Still not sure I would go at all, now that I know the actual student outcomes, but at least it would be an informed choice. (I had compared the statistics back in 2010, and there didn't seem much difference between the various tiers of schools, so I was convinced I was making the right choice, but it turns out that the statistics I was comparing were all fiction. Which is why they were so similar. Seems obvious in retrospect.)

    :>>--

    ReplyDelete
  36. This is really great, but the author seems to get it most right right at the end when he writes:

    " If I was a law professor genuinely interested in my students learning ... "

    ReplyDelete
  37. I will graduate and take the bar next summer, so it is too late to get out now. All that is left is to give it my best. Keep the grades up. Keep the top 10% rank. Pass the bar on first try. And see if I am one of those 55% that gets a legal job. I will certainly try. However, my eyes are open now, and I am exploring plan B and plan C options. If there is an opportunity I will take it, but being in my 30s with a fiancee does have its demands too. Going back to my former job is not an option, as it is a diminishing dead end one, which will be gone soon. It was the reason I went to law school in the first place. I always wanted to go, but needing a new path was the final push I need to make it happen. :) Perhaps I should have explored other options, but the statistics seemed to indicate that this was a fine choice, and I had always regretted not going after college, so it seemed like the natural choice to make. It could still turn out that way, but now it is sort of a lottery, or gamble, instead of a sure thing. Only time will tell.

    :>>--

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  38. I'm not sure if it has any bearing on this discussion about grades and all, but I put my law school transcript up on my blog once more in time for the new academic year.

    I was going to do it anyway.

    I hope young kids can see it and be warned that there really are people that end up at the bottom of the class and at lower tier law schools.


    www.jdpainterguy.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. They'll just look at your grades and figure you for a fuck-up.

      It won't teach anyone anything.

      But you'll keep putting it up there for who knows what reason anyway...

      Delete
  39. Just for the hater out there: I never expected a six figure starting salary given my choice of a school, but I did expect a legal job at the end of it. It certainly wasn't a side effect. I went, since all law schools published 97% or better employed stats, and thus a legal job seemed pretty much a certainty, and not just a happy, possible side effect. Certainly mid five figures was what I expected, and all the schools promised all that and more. This would be the case had those statistics been actually based in reality, instead of cherry picked fantasy of the administration. It does make me angry just thinking of it. Hopefully all this negative publicity will mean that at least now people can make an informed choice that I couldn't. (Although I thought I did, given the data I had then.)

    :>>--

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    1. How did you expect to repay your loans without a six figure salary?

      Delete
    2. Sadly the answer was IBR. That was the line even then, when it just got approved. During the info days they covered it, and I looked into it myself. Seemed like a safe fallback. the promise was either great job that pays the loans, or one where IBR will make it doable even for a job in the 50s or 60s. Without that safety cushion I would have never went, since I could see that standard repayment would not have been an option with those kinds of jobs. In fact that was my biggest reason against going, but they managed to sell us all. This was the official line at all the schools I got in, and not just at Phoenix. Some raised it by themselves, but they all sold the line once someone raised the issue as a question. Definitely they were all marching in lockstep. Didn't matter if I talked to T1, T2, T3, or T4 requiters at various events, since if asked about the loans that is what they all said in unison, and I asked them all. Eventually I was convinced. :(

      :>>--

      Delete
    3. In 2009, and 2010 that was the line: "By the time you enroll you will be eligible for IBR, so the ultimate salary will not matter as you will always be able to afford the payments, which could be as low as zero." Definitely something in the water at the admissions' water coolers. I am sure if any of the lawsuits make it to discovery they will show this was part of the admissions/recruiting training, because that is the only way I would have gotten such a consistent answer across the board from all the schools. Looking back it does make one feel like a schmuck that fell for the line at used car dealer. And at least that clunker can be sold, and those loans discharged in bankruptcy. Hook, line, and sinker as they say. They were practicing ABC, and we were the marks, and until recently it worked like a charm for them. Maybe at least it is a bit harder to close people, and they haggle over the terms. We didn't.

      :>>--

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    4. TL;DR answer: Foolishly deluded, and convinced by others that it will all work out courtesy of the magic of IBR.

      :>>--

      Delete
  40. Hi jdpainter,

    I was wondering when you were going to do that again.

    All 0Ls take a note. This is your nightmare. Just awake, and alive.

    Not sure what I would do in jdpainters place, but I know it can't be a happy state of mind.

    I do feel for you. Really. I hope you find some peace eventually. And learn to live with that debt for the rest of your life, since that is what you will have to do. Many people live in the cash only economy, and do just fine. And they usually got into trouble by much stupider reason than going to grad school.

    Eventually the bubble will burst. You will be vindicated. The banks and schools will be bailed out, but the generation will be left ruined. Personal responsibility, and all that. There will be no debt forgiveness, although there might be reform for the future generation. Certainly many schools will close. It might take a while, but it will happen. We will have to find our own way out though, and all under the weight of all that debt. It will not be easy. It will break many. I hope I am not one of them.

    In any case, it could be worse. At least now we know.

    Sincerely,

    :>>--

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  41. @2:07PM

    Life isn't so bad at the bottom of the sea.

    As I bury myself in the silt of the bay bottom I can look up and see happy scallops swimming in Chardonnay (something my ex-wife made up and she was a good writer and poet :)

    But thanks.

    And yes to all the oL's and all who stubbornly decided to enroll for a first semester trial:

    "A winner never quits and a quitter never wins" or vice versa, but when student loans are involved, if you are not doing well academically, it is time to seriously think about cutting your losses and getting out.

    Especially when student loans are involved and with the need for much greater borrowing due to a much greater tuition cost for law school today.

    Pride and borrowing one's way into disaster are two different animals, and may the twain never get confused.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Pride is the downfall of those personalities that are likely to get into law school in the first place. This part of the dynamic should not be underestimated.

      The other part most people do not see is the family pressure. We have some people who are there only because of their parents. Those parents that have a law practice I can understand, since the progeny has a guaranteed job. Those parents that are non-lawyers present a different case.

      In a recent class one of my classmates answered a question of what law he wants to practice by saying he will not practice law, but that he is only in law school because his parents wanted that. (And I do not think they are paying for it, so it is even worse.) The choice is often, loose family support, and be unemployed on the street, with no unemployment coverage as a recent graduate, or go to law school, live on your own with parental support, and family harmony. For many this is an easy choice of law school, even if they are not so inclined, and do not want to practice law after.

      Even worse an acquaintance of mine has a son that just went to law school, at least it was T14, so hopefully he is not lost. What is ironic is that he is a surgeon at a highly regarded hospital, but he actively discouraged his son from pursuing medical school, since law school promised better quality of life then getting started as doctor in residency, and provided the same renumeration. Until the movement reaches these kinds of parents there will be a steady supply of eager 0Ls for the school to exploit. And you can bet that the son will not drop out, even if he will not want to be lawyer, or has less than stellar grade, because then he would be a failure at home. He will stay the course. I did my best to show the reality to both of them, but in vain. I guess they will learn the hard way.

      I know this is anecdotal, but these are the sort of things that we are up against. It will take a lot more press, and convincing. A friend of mine that just finished accounting masters, and is on the way to be a CPA has read the law scam articles in several of the national papers, and he asked me some questions, but even he isn't convinced. So the scam sadly has some steam left in it. It will be a long haul, although the drop in enrollment numbers was a welcome news. Maybe the tide is turning, but if so, then we have just crested, and it will be a while before things normalize.

      :>>--

      Delete
    2. Feel Like A NumberAugust 28, 2012 at 7:07 PM

      "...better quality of life then getting started as doctor in residency, and provided the same renumeration. "

      Delete
    3. It has just been drilled into people's head for so long they take it as gospel. That is why the fight will take a while to reach not just the potential students, but also the influencers, like parents, etc.

      :>>--

      Delete
  42. I'll always remember my Civil Procedure class. I remember spending significant amounts of class time on ancient doctrines. How excited my professor would get when we were ready to start Pennoyer v. Neff, and she got to lead us lost puppies around the woods for 80 minutes while we desperately tried to decipher not only the logic of the case, but what exactly that 19th C. judge was trying to say.

    And I remember being so damn pissed off when I found out the next week that what we'd done the class before was completely obliterated and we wouldn't be tested on it at all. I remember spending the same amount of time on these archaic cases as we did on discovery.

    That professor gave us short assignments, I believe we had to draft a complaint and a MSJ. Those were extremely helpful. Perhaps a better way to teach the class would have been to throw out the casebook, give us the doctrine BARBRI style (or require us to do research on Westlaw or Lexis to determine the correct rule), and then assign a series of long legal research memos and client files, culminating in a brief at the end of the semester. The "think like a lawyer" could have been taught while still teaching us how to BE lawyers. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

    Of course that would require a crapload more time grading and thinking up legal problems, which would detract from "scholarship."

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    1. It is really a form of hazing. Part of the rite of passage into the law fraternity. This is what we had to go through, so that is how we are going to teach it to you. Tradition is a very powerful force after all. I thing that is the main reasons things are done this way. The second of course is that if it is good enough for Harvard that is how we are going to do it.

      And of course there is the fact that that is the only way they know how. It might not be the extra time, but the fear of looking foolish, which the current way protects them from. These people are not really educators, or academics, but survivors of the same system. Just paying the pain forward.

      :>>--

      Delete
    2. Tuition Dollars ByeAugust 28, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      When I got to bar review, I realized why they "lead you around the woods." Its because an entire semester of that dung can be taught in about four hours.

      How much money will a law school make if it teaches entire subjects in only four hours? Better justification for charging you $500 per sem./hr.

      Delete
    3. I agree with you there. Listening to those lecture before the semester starts means that they can't hide the ball from you. I did it for all my classes the first two years, and all my classmates, and professor though I was brilliant. Some were even reluctant to call on me, because they feared I would know the answer, and thus ruin the socratic game of hide the ball. Knowing the black law ahead of time makes the whole process so much smoother, and enjoyable. Plus it avoids confusion, so it is easier to prep for the exams, and get the top grades.

      :>>--

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    4. I don't know whether to be happy for you, or kick you in the shins.

      /snark.

      Delete
    5. Heck, you can do both. I am not repeating the mistakes of undergrad. Having managed people for years I know what makes them tick, so I now know what is what. Certainly the K-JD are on an entirely different level from the people switching career mid life. Even without seeing them you could pick them out. I will never go into a situation unprepared. Real life taught me that, if nothing else. I just wish it had taught me not to fall for the scam. Still I was gullible enough to assume that the exalted Universities would not lie to me. The fool me. I will make the best of it. Don't see a reason why I should play a rigged game, when I do not have to.

      :>>--

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    6. And actually I have learned to love the curve. In large classes of 50 to 90 people it isn't that hard to beat the mean and median, so good grades are not hard to get. I know the school is scamming me with the large class, but I make it work as well. Symbiosis. :) Still I managed to get As even in classes small enough for the curve to not apply, but curve doe make it easier. Not to get an A per e, but to get a better than the curve grade in any case.

      :>>--

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    7. Also, given the money i will owe for all of this, at least I will have decent grades. That much I am in control of. Not willing to accept below average grades, if there is an easy way to avoid it. And there is. :) I do have my pride if nothing else. :) Of course if I didn't I might have settled for a crummy job, and would not have strived to better myself, and avoided the law school scam. But that is the 20/20 of hindsight.

      :>>--

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    8. Sorry about figuring out how to win the game, and beat the ball-hiding-profs at their own game. With the vicious curve I felt I had no other choice.

      :>>--

      Delete
  43. FWIW, I had three 1L profs who did things that I thought were especially effective:

    1. After we got our fall-semester grades, the prof who had taught my fall civ-pro class offered to meet one-on-one with any student to discuss what we did right and what we did wrong on the exam (a traditional issue-spotter). Her advice to me on what I did wrong and how to fix it was extremely practical and helped me do much better in the spring semester.

    2. My crim-law prof (spring semester) gave the class a short practice issue-spotter in the middle of the semester. He then had a 3L teaching assistant comment on our work, based on the prof's model answer. This was great because the comments helped you see what you're supposed to do on an issue-spotting exam.

    3. My torts prof (again, spring semester) spent the first week of class giving an overview of the entire subject in straight lectures (these are intentional torts, this is what negligence is about, etc.). Then we spend the rest of the semester getting into the nuances of what he covered in the first week. IMO, that is an ideal way to teach a standard doctrinal course.

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    1. Horse crap! If these professors really cared about you doing well, they would have told you how to take a damn law exam on day 1. But instead, they made us guess, only to be told afterwards? lol.

      I was also often amused by how prof's would give softball advice, which was nearly always a severe understatement of the intensity required on an exam. "Oh, be sure you talk about Subject Matter Jurisdiction.....then, lets see...you will want to address Personal Jurisdiction....see if you have time to address Erie...."

      LOL what a joke.

      Delete
    2. My experience has been similar. Despite, or perhaps because, Phoenix School of Law is a fourth tier school we have midterms and finals. Midterms are 15 to 20 percent of the grade, and finals are 70 to 80 percent of the grade in most classes, with rest in short assignments, and participation. Where this helps is that the blind graded midterms, and finals can be reviewed after, and the professors will comment on what could be improved. The graded exams also have notes, which can be helpful. If the professor uses some kind of rubric that is included as well. Being able to do such review of one's performance is very helpful, and can improve the final performance, or when taking another class with the same professor. It certainly is something I take opportunity of after every exam. Not all of my classmates do though, even though it is available. Then again I am in the top 10%, and they aren't.

      :>>--

      Delete
    3. There are TA's now in law school?

      Delete
    4. Yep. TAs and RAs...wouldn't want the law profs working too hard. Although they often do it for pittance hourly wage, while still paying full fare tuition by loans, or entirely for free for academic credit. One of many joys of law school.

      :>>--

      Delete
  44. I always got pissed at how professors didn't teach jack s$#$% and tried to hide the ball with every concept.

    All three years of law school I just wanted to scream out in class: "JUST TELL US THE F^%$&*N RULES!" In the schools of real professions, the professors actually tell you what you need to know (even if its not vocational).

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Well at least some of our professors know. The ones that practiced for a while always related how the doctrinal stuff is related to actual practice of law. Also having professor that had their own practice, and then were judges on the state bench for twenty years before retiring to teach law is very helpful. They definitely know their stuff, and teach what is important, and what the practitioners and judges need you to know. All law schools should consider having law profs with such qualifications, and not just ivy league academics, although having both perspectives is nice. So perhaps that is advantage at being school so lowly ranked it does not worry that employing such people will lower its ranking. Perverse, if it is so. Still such approach will not help to get a job, when there is almost double the graduates, than jobs, but everything else being equal it is useful.

      :>>--

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    2. @4:00PM Has it occurred to you that some of the "professors" at Phoenix School of Law are there because they could not handle working in the real world? If they were so good at practicing law, why did they leave it?

      And...if they failed in their practices, what the hell are they doing teaching law students how to be practice ready?

      ><><><

      Delete
    3. The adjuncts are currently practicing lawyers or judges. Usually very talented people. Some I would say do it more for the prestige of the title, than the adjunct minimal pay. Some of the full professors had practices for years, and semi retired to be professors. Ten years of private practice followed by twenty years as state judge would be definition of success for most people. No reason not to ease into retirement by being a law professor for a few years. Of course we have some standard academics as well. But after practicing law for thirty years they are hardly failures, and they do teach "actual practice of law" unlike many profs elsewhere.

      :>>--

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    4. Still no help with overproduction of lawyers of course, but that is separate problem. Even if we weren't overproducing graduates egregiously there would still be a problem of the current curricula. At least these professors attempt to address this part of the problem.

      :>>--

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    5. The ADJUNCTS at PhoenixLaw are currently practicing attorneys, and many of them do not have great reputations locally. Sorry, but it's true.

      What about the full-time faculty? I can name at least two that I wouldn't even hire to mow my front lawn, much less advise me on an important decision.

      A number of the fulltime faculty crashed and burned in the real world, so they had to go back to law school as profs at a fourth-tier toilet. It's a fact. This unchecked practice-ready angle is simply another gimmick for law schools to reel in more fools.

      ><><><

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    6. I believe you. Some certainly aren't that great. I think I know which ones you mean. You get wheat with the chaff.

      At least the school is trying with the practice ready angle. Only time will tell if this will make any practical difference. At the moment nothing much will given the sheer overproduction.

      And isn't it the old saying: "Those who can do, and those who can't teach..." So you have generally two kinds of teachers, those that are passionate about teaching, and those who can't do anything else. You get those two types starting in elementary school, and I do not see why law school would be any difference, since it was true for any school in between.

      As a 3L I wish I had more of the good ones, but not always my choice. I take the ones that are good, and avoid the other kind that I know Phoenix has in spades, which I know from experience, or from their reputation.

      :>>--

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  45. I would generally try to move your class into a more vocational style to address the real interests and goals of your students.

    That would be nice, but the vast majority of law profs couldn't comply even if they wanted to, because they know zip about practicing law.

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    Replies
    1. This helps in the local market, where the employers know that these retired judges are the law profs, and that they do teach some practical, and hands on stuff along with the classical doctrine. That is perhaps the reason that locally the employment outcomes for the graduates of Phoenix are a bit better than the fourth tier status would indicate, but that only applies to the local market, which is unfortunate too small to absorb all the graduates the school is now producing. And unfortunately in any other market we are just a fourth tier school, so one better be the top, and on journal, and all that. Even then I shudder to think of the outcomes for most of the bottom 60% of the class.

      :>>--

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  46. This helps in the local market, where the employers know that these retired judges are the law profs, and that they do teach some practical, and hands on stuff along with the classical doctrine.

    Yes. The TTTT down the road does a better job of teaching practical stuff that the Ivy League school I attended because (among other reasons) the TTTT uses more adjuncts, and the faculty knows that most of the students (if they get jobs at all) will be practicing in this state -- so it's worth spending time teaching procedural details that would be wasted on students who would scatter all over the country.

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    1. ITE I am shocked that not all the schools do that. Really all but few need to do that. Perhaps HYSCC can avoid it, but even their students would benefit from it. Having adjuncts teach some classes is a plus, and even better having retired judges, and long time practitioners.

      Had an adjunct from the local PD's office teach Evidence, so that for every rule we got demo of how and if it is actually used in practice. For anyone going to some sort of trial practice that class was worth its price in gold, unlike many others.

      Of course for profit schools love adjuncts, since they pay them fraction, and charge the students the same, so the profit margin is even higher. Order of magnitude saving there. Perversely these can be the classes that most justify their cost.

      If ABA rules allowed it a school only staffed with adjuncts could charge 10% the tuition of any other, and provide better practical education, which is what everyone not going to teach at ivy league school needs. But that will take ABA ages, if ever to approve. Of course danger is that some for profit schools would go to all adjunct model with current pricing, and as long as the loans remain as they are, why wouldn't they, since they are maximizing the shareholder, and not students, value. So obviously any reform will be complicated issue. State schools could go that route, but central administration is as greedy as investors are to get the law school tuition cut, so downward pressure on tuition is not in the cards anytime soon.

      Still another way is possible, even if no one will take it.

      :>>--

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  47. I also agree with the poster. Law professors could give a crap about effective teaching. I went to Catholic Law school in the mid 90's. My Torts Professor, Harvey Zuckman would I kid you not spend 30 minutes every Friday giving us a movie review. His reason was that he was doing the class a favor since we would not have time to watch a movie. I went to this law school, because of the Communcations Law Institute this idiot founded. I never got a job in the field of Communications Law. Also, Catholic had a policy of allowing a professor to plus or minus your grade by 5 points after your exam was graded.


    My best advice other than skip law school is to check out the YouTube videos by bsmsphd web site

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hush Bradboy; you lived for my movie reviews and you know it.

      Delete
  48. Dear god. "Communications Law?"

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  49. As we debate changes to the law school curriculum, it seems that it would be helpful if the ABA tailored rules so that law schools could function differently based on where their graduates go. Unlike med school, for example, that produces grads who will work on patients with similar problems whether they are rich or poor, law schools produce students who will work in very different kinds of settings. Schools perhaps shouldn't offer one generic JD "product." Maybe they should offer different types of degrees that reflect the different kind of work their students will engage in.

    For example, having more vocational training is a big thread running through this conversation. But it seems that the utility of taking vocational classes depends a lot on where you will be practicing post-graduation. If you are planning to be a solo practitioner or work in a small firm where you will receive little training, it seems highly valuable. If you will be working for a large firm that will retrain you, it seems less so. Students going to work for big firms might be better off with a two-year, doctrinally focused degree and then receive their vocational training on the job.

    ReplyDelete
  50. At least med school is two years didactic, and two years clinical, with rotations in all the practices, so graduates are ready to do any kind of medicine with some kind of practical experience. Also before they get a license they have a paid internship and fellowship of three to five years depending on speciality, so they are not committing malpractice right out of the gate, unlike people going solo straight out of law school. It should be something of that sort for law as well. And of course med schools do not admit more students than there are intern slots, so everyone gets training. Not, necessarily in the speciality they desire, but it keeps the number of graduates lower than demand, so unlike freshly minted lawyers, the freshly minted doctors all have jobs.

    :>>--

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  51. John, this is God calling...August 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Hi JD Painter - I looked at your recently reposted Touro grades.

    It seems to me that God was talking to you when He granted to you your only "A" in the course titled:

    - "Rights of the Poor".

    :-)

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    Replies
    1. Well irony can be a bitch.

      In retrospect it is just so tasty.

      :>>--

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  52. I got a call today from a potential client. He said he is a 1L at Widener U Sch of Law. I said "have you read the blogspots?" "do you know of insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com?" He replied "Yes, I am a contrarian." I answered "I am sorry. I thought people would know better by now."

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    1. potential client for what?

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  53. I dont know why people are just fighting for this scam . Just want to share a link

    For more info visit School Management System

    ReplyDelete
  54. @6:51PM - Aug. 28

    If life is "motion"
    towards knowledge,
    and God is all knowledge,
    then God is non-motion, or death.

    Therefore, God is dead.



    All The Kings Men
    Robert Penn Warren

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  55. Since Contracts, Torts, Civil Pro, Criminal Law, and Property Law are on every bar exam, I'm shocked some law schools out there don't have students take these courses last, to help with bar passage rates.

    After all, the way pretty much every class is taught, I don't think it would matter whether you started or ended with the standard six courses. I mean, law school could just as easily start out with Bankruptcy or Insurance Law.

    Law schools just cling to tradition.

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  56. Q&A with Dean Michael Moffitt: Why law students shouldn’t be worried about law school
    http://dailyemerald.com/2012/08/27/qa-with-dean-michael-moffitt-why-law-students-shouldnt-be-worried-about-law-school/

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  57. My civ pro prof assigned "A Civil Action.". Best thing I read in law school.

    - former big law, still "winning" at law, and desperately want to GTFO

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