Thursday, September 27, 2012

No further comment

From the Arizona Republic:
As Arizona State University considers moving its law school from Tempe to downtown Phoenix, ASU officials say that for the plan to be financially feasible they would have to significantly increase law-school enrollment, raise tuition, enhance quality and launch a series of master's-degree programs.

ASU President Michael Crow said officials are weighing whether a new, downtown Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law would make financial sense. Crow said the university will move forward only if officials have a "high confidence" the project will succeed. "Otherwise, we're not going to do it," Crow said Wednesday.
As ASU contemplates raising law-school enrollment, many schools are moving in the opposite direction, shrinking incoming classes as the economy has made it difficult for law-school graduates to get jobs and repay student loans.

As a planning step, ASU officials today will ask the Arizona Board of Regents to approve a three-year capital-improvement plan that includes $129 million toward construction of a 294,000-square-foot law school in downtown Phoenix. The complex would be built on a parking lot that formerly was the site of a Ramada Inn, at Taylor and First streets.

"This is essentially one step in a multistep review-and-approval process," said Lorenzo Martinez, the regents' associate vice president for finance and administration.

No timetable has been set, although the plan presented to regents outlines five proposed ASU projects for fiscal 2014, including the law school. Other projects include renovating Hayden Library, upgrading labs and other improvements.

Even if the regents OK the plan, university officials could decide to postpone or cancel the project. Once construction began on the law school, it would likely take 30 months to complete, said Rich Stanley, ASU senior vice president and university planner. The move would put the law school in the heart of the legal community, because federal and county courts and many big law firms are downtown.

"There are a lot of benefits to our students being nearer that action," Stanley said.

In documents being presented to regents, ASU said the goal is to increase law-school enrollment and degrees by 50 percent. The Tempe campus cannot accommodate that growth, the report says. The law school's current enrollment is between 650 and 700 students and its space on the Tempe campus is about 165,000 square feet.

Proposed plans for the school include classrooms, an auditorium, offices, a 230-space parking structure, a law library and retail space. ASU also wants to host more continuing-education programs for attorneys.
In an e-mail to The Arizona Republic, law-school Dean Douglas Sylvester said the college has "no current plans to grow our J.D. (Juris Doctor) class beyond its historical size and beyond the capacity of the college to continue to find productive employment for all of our graduates."

In recent years, ASU's law school has raised its national profile, climbing in annual college rankings such as U.S. News & World Report. A few years ago, the school was in the 55th spot among law schools nationwide. The most recent list ranks ASU 26th, which is 14 spots higher than the previous year. Among public law schools, ASU is ranked eighth in the annual survey.

ASU also is moving to make the law school financially self-sufficient so that it doesn't rely on state funding, a shift that has led to higher tuition. The idea is that state money previously spent on the law school will go to other university programs.

A handful of business and law schools at other public universities have already gone this route. The move has been controversial at ASU, with some students complaining about tuition costs rising each year.
Total number of ASU graduates in the Class of 2011: 201
Total who obtained jobs with firms of more than ten attorneys: 21.

73 comments:

  1. Financially feasible for whom? Not their future alumni base of permanently unemployed J.D.s, that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What the hell fuck?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Did I read this article correctly?

    What kind of palace is ASU contemplating on building? One with gold plated fax machines? Gold plated toilets?

    Why do I ask this? The cost per square foot is $439!!!!!

    Here in Houston, you can build an exceptionally nice house for UNDER $100/sq. ft. Perhaps commercial construction and the location would merit a higher cost, maybe $150 sq./ft. BUT $440 a square foot? What the hell is going on?

    Maybe somebody is getting a pay off?

    These numbers just don't sound right!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Commercial construction is vastly more expensive than home construction. Think about it, the HVAC unit has to be a lot more powerful, the building itself due to it's sheer size has to be a lot sturdier, etc.

      Delete
    2. "vastly", maybe, depending on what you mean. You might push $200/foot^2 in the Phoenix area for some pretty nice facilities, multi-story. But without the suggested gold plated commodes and bidets, you ain't gonna hit $430/ft^2 without some serious waste or graft going on.

      Maybe it's the land costs pumping it up?

      Delete
    3. http://evstudio.info/cost-per-square-foot-of-commercial-construction-by-region/

      Phoenix is listed at $143/sf

      Even without the gold-plating, we can assume this building is built better than most, but more than $250/sf would be outrageous. Hopefully they are including the land costs.

      Delete
  4. This process is extremely easy to understand and predictable.

    The current group psychology of higher education is to competitively expand whenever money is available because they only thing they remember are the boom times.

    These are essentially vanity projects that are funded by massive government subsidies.

    The only two things that really matter here are as follows:

    (1) Law school applications are dropping.

    (2) Median LSAT for law students are dropping.

    This is just the last gasp of the entire law school party.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True. And university presidents are hired on the basis of their perceived ability to "grow" the institution and increase its profile.

      In other words, they are really CEOs, not educators.

      John Silber, the former president of Boston University who passed away yesterday, was a pioneer of this trend.

      Delete
    2. Exactly. Universities have become businesses. The idea that they're serving a Higher Calling is romantic folly.

      Delete
    3. Higher Ed expansion riding the credit bubble economy. How much else in America is funded on credit bubbles (foreign wars, the housing boom, the stock market, consumer spending, many law prof's retirement funds...)?

      The "law school party" isn't the only sector on its last gasp.

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. At least they're considering this now instead of 5 years ago. That way, there's time for someone with some rationality and a hand on the purse strings to tell them NO.

    Numerous law schools across the country were pumping cash into new facilities back when those "in the know" knew what was going on, but the financial people might not have seen the writing on the wall. In fact, most of the dumps I can think of either have new campuses or have pumped money into their existing one (TJLS comes to mind).

    And then there's Indiana Tech - who didn't just build a building, but built a whole new law school into this mess. Talk about contrarian investing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMYoDo4Yncw

    this is speech from a conservative economist as to why tution is so expensive and how to bring it down.. I recomend to all(watch all 5 parts), including professor Campos. Just found it, he seems sincere not a fake Liberal/conservative washington establishement type..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zman, I am amazed at one point that he made. We are flushing so much money down the drain for schools that could be used more productively . . .

      To create jobs!!!!!

      It's so bloody simple that I can't believe I haven't thought of it before.

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you need a hug, bro?

      Delete
    2. 5:29, please don't feed the Attention Troll.

      Delete
    3. See you tomorrow.

      Delete
  9. Another Taj Mahal which will defy the old adage that you only get what you pay for.

    ReplyDelete
  10. "Total number of ASU graduates in the Class of 2011: 201
    Total who obtained jobs with firms of more than ten attorneys: 21"

    Yeah but if they're closer to the large firms then more of their students and grads will get jobs with those firms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah Tempe is a good five miles from downtown Phoenix. No wonder the Phoenix School of Law is beating out ASU for big law placement in the city.

      Delete
    2. ASU can put a satellite campus in Scottsdale and another up in Glendale. They'll be so close to firms they'll be shoving law grads down their hungry gullets.

      Delete
    3. "Yeah but if they're closer to the large firms then more of their students and grads will get jobs with those firms."

      You are kidding, right? Since when does close proximity equal a job?

      Delete
  11. The move would put the law school in the heart of the legal community, because federal and county courts and many big law firms are downtown.

    "There are a lot of benefits to our students being nearer that action," Stanley said.

    This piece of pablum is particularly infuriating. A law school being located near to or far from courts has little to do with the benefits a law school provides. John Marshall law school is close to courts and firms in Chicago. I think it is the law school closest to the 7th Circuit. Northwestern and Chicago are also close to courts and law firms. The outcomes for graduates could not be any more dissimilar.

    NYLS is close to all kinds of major law firms and courts. Yale is not. If the proximity premise was true, Yale would have NYLS' outcomes for students and NYLS would have Yale's outcomes.

    Maybe ASU wants to be able to put a line in its recruiting materials like, "With easy access to courts and major law firms, ASU is now located in a living laboratory for learning and practicing the law."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Chicago, there's an inverse relationship to quality the further you get from Diersken (federal courthouse where 7th Cir./ND Ill sit).

      U of Chicago is far to the south. NU and Loyola are in the Gold Coast/River North area on the other side of the river. Kent is in the West Loop like 10 blocks away. Depaul is a block away to the southeast. JMLS is directly across the street.

      Delete
    2. Yes, of course it's stupid. But let's assume arguendo that it is true that greater proximity to the courts of Phoenix would bring a lot of benefits. How much are those benefits worth? Nothing like $129M.

      Delete
  12. "Crow said the university will move forward only if officials have a "high confidence" the project will succeed."

    =

    We've already decided to spend the money

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nero didna fiddle, but...September 27, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    I simply can not believe this post has been up over two hours, and here I wander by and...

    ...no one has yet mentioned dear Nero?

    ReplyDelete
  14. RELEASE THE LEMMINGS!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lemming Meringue WrasslerSeptember 27, 2012 at 6:18 PM

      Shoot! Sorry I'm late. Thanks for the nudge.

      Done - released.

      Delete
  15. The "close to courts and law firms" line must be as field tested as "operators are standing by."

    It's the type of pitch that sounds so inside and savvy when you're 23.

    ReplyDelete
  16. The University of Kentucky just canceled plans to build a new law school building. Not the best use of school funds.

    ReplyDelete
  17. "ASU said the goal is to increase law-school enrollment and degrees by 50 percent."

    I wonder if any law school deans actually care about their students. These deans make Bernie Madoff look like a class act.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Start with an unsafe car...then add more horsepower and charge more for it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. so is this the new trend for the 4th tier shitholes? i.e. drop all admission standards and bring more students in b/c the rankings dont matter and the economy is also in the shitter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Might want to recheck your tiers, neighborSeptember 27, 2012 at 8:24 PM

      ...

      Delete
    2. yes, we are all aware of the tiers, but former 4th tiers refer to the shittiest LSs of the current 2nd tiered LSs (e.g. Cooley, Nova, Ave Maria, Thomas Jefferson, etc)

      Delete
    3. Might want to recheck your tiers, neighborSeptember 27, 2012 at 9:53 PM

      Incomprehensible much?

      In any event, ASU is solidly in the 1st tier.

      Delete
    4. Solidly in the first tier? It won't be for long if it blows an eight-figure sum on this vanity project.

      Delete
    5. Are you kidding? This "vanity project" = more spending per student = HIGHER US NEW RANKING!

      Delete
    6. If tiers actually existed beyond the imaginations of law school deans and 0Ls, these comments would make more sense.

      Delete
  20. It's too bad that tuition at schools like this is so high. In a sane system, success of law school grads would not be measured by how many of them get biglaw jobs. Biglaw is not for everyone--the hours are brutal, the politics and ass kissing are dehumanizing, and the work is both boring and stressful (a combination not usually found in nature). But with the outrageous tuition these places are charging, it is for many graduates the only way to pay off student loans.

    There is a whole world of law out there outside of biglaw--small firms, government jobs where one can actually contribute something to society, pro bono law agencies, etc. Unfortunately those settings are not doable unless one has few or no student loans to pay off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unless you ignore the fact that you have loans.

      You are free to ignore them as if they don't exist.

      Delete
  21. GSU COL is still (relatively) affordable at just under $13K per year...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoops! Missed the fees. Jack that to ~ $15K/year at GSU. Also SUI (S.ILL) COL is around $15K/year.

      Delete
    2. GSU COL's "designing a new home" for just under $100 million in a fancy-pants building adjacent to a park some homeless use as a latrine.

      Delete
  22. When a law school is named after a Supreme Court judge, it's never a good sign.

    ReplyDelete
  23. ASU really ought to think this one through. Their obvious and probably only goal is to make their law school more prominent and give it more prestige. Whatever we think of those goals, not much I imagine, the question is whether they can acheive them. Not likely I think. Several thoughts. If they add 50% to their class size, they will only be able to do so by substancially reducing the quality of their entering classes. That means lower, probably much lower LSAT scores and GPA's. Which lowers their ranking, reducing the number of future applicants. This in turn makes their next class even lower quality. How can you ever win this game? How can it raise your prominence or prestige? Will your higher tuition cause in state students to opt for your in state competitor the University of Arizona. And where will the 50% increase in students come from. ASU is a good school but not good enough that at $45,000/year it will draw highly credentialed law students from other states. In state your only source of additional students is from Phoenix School of Law and the University of Arizona. Phoenix's students are so far at the bottom that you will ever accept any of them no matter how desperate. To get a 50% increase in entering class size from the University Arizona you'd have to take half of the students from their entering class. You're a little higher rated and more desireable than they are but with substancially higher tuition what's the chance that you'll peal off more than a handful? And then the existential problem. What if you don't get a lot more students and you're stuck with a $200,000,000 half filled white elephant. Also don't forget that a law school, particularly for 1,000 students, is a single use building. It can't be used for offices or a store or pretty much anything other than a warehouse. If it doesn't work out you can't go slinking back to you campus in Tempe. And the other existential question. What if overall law school enrollments contract from the current 45,000 a class to 22,000? Then rather than your current entering class of 200 or your desired class of 300, you have a class of 100. William Ockham

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paragraph breaks are your friend.

      Delete
  24. Arizona State's entering class this year is 152, which is down from 168 the year before, and 191 the year before that. 650-700 students right now? Really? And you want 1,000? Good luck with that.

    And as for this little piece of the article:

    "...many schools are moving in the opposite direction, shrinking incoming classes as the economy has made it difficult for law-school graduates to get jobs and repay student loans."

    Goddammit. I guess we don't have to wait for law schools to start TAKING CREDIT for decreasing class size -- we're just gonna go ahead and give them the benefit of the doubt, and beat them to the punch.

    Decreasing enrollment this year has absolutely zero to do with admissions offices being altruistic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Taking credit for decreasing class size? That has already happened:

      http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202550750392&Hastings_College_cutbacks_a_response_to_legal_educations_crisis&slreturn=20120828092948

      The dean of the U of California Hastings College of Law cheerfully reported urbi et orbi that he had responsibly reduced the size of the entering class. "The critics of legal education are right ... There are too many law schools and too many law students, and we're going to fix that. We would easily be able to fill 425 seats [the size of the this year's incoming class], but to do so would be irresponsible."

      My take on that: "We can't keep the ruse up any longer. We could easily fill 425 seats à la New England Law School, but to do so would be disastrous to our U.S. News ranking."

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303444204577458411514818378.html

      Here Hastings is described as "a top-tier school". I had never even heard of it. I took the trouble to look it up on the bullshit U.S. News rankings: it's in 44th place. How does that count as "top-tier"? Presumably the person who fed this tripe to the journalist thinks that the top tier includes at least fifty law schools. Sorry, but here's reality:

      Tier 1: Harvard, Yale, Stanford
      Tier 2: the next half-dozen or so
      Tier 3: the next twenty
      Tier 4: all the rest

      By this realistic standard (which roughly reflects the utility of the degree for obtaining a job in law), Hastings is in the bottom tier.

      Delete
    2. Arthur Wilberforce Grantham IVSeptember 28, 2012 at 6:59 AM

      "Yale or fail."

      Delete
  25. Why would a lawschool building be a single use structure? ASU already has a downtown campus with nursing and journalism schools, among others, being located downtown. Not that I agree with the plans for the move but saying the new building could not be used for other uses by ASU seems incorrect.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Don't know if you've all heard but the University of Baltimore Law School is in the middle of building its own new law building monstrosity. Oh Dear God...

    It just seems like a way of attracting unsuspecting students who think shiny new buildings = jobs = success. I just hope people actually look into employment statistics and don't make decisions based on how super awesome and cute the new building is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Building anything in Baltimore is a bad idea. Instead, take a wrecking ball to the whole city.

      Delete
    2. Except for when Johnny Hopkins does it.

      Delete
    3. I smoked pot with Johnny Hopkins.

      Delete
  27. What a joke! I bet Toll Brothers had plans for some massive McMansion developments in late 2007 as well.

    ReplyDelete
  28. “Looks like Heaven is easier to get into than Arizona State."

    - Ned Flanders

    ReplyDelete
  29. Lawprof,

    Your problem is that you're a freethinker and a nice guy. Like naive law students, you value freethinking and altruism. The legal academy, on the other hand, is inhabited by ignorant conformists and it is run by sharks.

    Reform must start with the dollars. Limit Grad PLUS, and the house of cards falls. Push for this reform.

    Is it possible? Yes. Obama's on an IBR improvement push. That means there will be fights over the whole enchilada of student funding. If Republicans weren't so damn stupid, they might get on board.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. reform starts with spreading the word. Spreading the word means building a lexicon of readily handy words and phrases that drive home the point. You need evidence to support this lexicon. We have these words and phrases and we have much numerical evidence to support our lexicon. This is why we have been successful to the degree that we have been successful.

      People who read a lot will have their mindspace inhabited by this lexicon if we get it out there. And we have gotten our lexicon and its evidence out there.

      This process must overcome a lot of lexicon inertia. The law school industry already has its own lexicon out there.

      But the media has already picked up on this 'man bites dog' law school scam story. But there is a lot of idea-inertia out there to overcome.

      Once that inertia is overcome, we will be on the downhill side. We will win when the younger folks whose minds received our lexicon when young grow older.

      Once our ideas have attracted more attention, politicians will enact reforms in order to get the media coverage such reforms would attract.

      Delete
  30. Thanks for your grateful informations, this blogs will be really help for college admission.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Arizona State is where HBD blogger and notorious prestige whore Half Sigma attended law school, to his everlasting shame and frustration.

    ReplyDelete
  32. There should be a push to allow for some classes to be taken online, to lower the cost. We do not need fancy looking buildings. However, some states will not allow you to sit for the bar if you have taken online classes.

    In all honesty law school is poorly taught. With all of the research into how people learn one would think that a prestigious profession would implement new teaching methods. Instead we are stuck with an out dated model because other attorneys had to suffer through it.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I did undergrad at ASU (class of 2004). I can't believe Michael Crow is still there. He had the same scheme for the rest of the university -- increase already-bloated enrollment by reducing already-laughable admissions criteria. I have to admit he knows how to play the US News & World Report game because even though he has flushed the school down the toilet, the rankings somehow keep improving.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I've heard a lot of people say that law school is a scam and that only 60% of law school grads find jobs. Is this true?I want to be a lawyer but my reading speed is not exceptional.I want to know if lawyers read rather fast compared to the rest of us, and if reading speed is taught during law school or during certain undergraduate programs.Please, if possible, cite sources.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hey There. I discovered your blog the usage of msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I'll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thank you for the post. I'll definitely return.
    hvac trade school

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.