Friday, September 14, 2012

Sunday papers

Updated below

In one of those remarkably smooth mental transitions that people whose salaries depend on not understanding something are adept at performing, the law school scam has been transformed almost overnight from something that didn't even exist, into something that was so obvious that those who fell for it should be blamed for their willful blindness (the key phrase here is "personal responsibility.").

This being legal academia, such claims tend to be made without the benefit of supporting evidence of any kind.   Therefore I did a Nexis search of the ALLNEWS database, to try to get a little data regarding the question of how much discussion there's been in the mainstream media of law school graduates facing employment difficulties.  I used a query designed to call up stories exploring the issue of whether law school was worth its cost, with the following results:

Stories in the English language mainstream media pulled up by this search making any mention of the possibility that law school might cost too much, given employment prospects for graduates:

2001: 0
2002: 0
2003: 0
2004: 0
2005: 0
2006: 1 
2007: 0
2008: 1
2009: 2
2010: 3
2011: 12
2012: 14  (so far)

At no time in the last decade have any less than three out of ten law graduates failed to get a legal job within nine months after graduation, meaning, of course, that at perhaps half of all law schools the ratio between graduates who got legal jobs and those who didn't was more in the neighborhood of one to one, even in the "best" of times:



Here are the percentages of graduates of ABA-accredited law schools who, according to the annual NALP survey, were employed in full-time positions requiring a law degree nine months after graduation in each year since 2001:

2001: 68.3 percent
2002: 67.0 percent
2003: 65.5 percent
2004: 65.1 percent
2005: 66.7 percent
2006: 68.3 percent
2007: 70.7 percent
2008: 67.2 percent
2009: 62.5 percent
2010: 59.9 percent
2011: 57.9 percent

Note that these percentages include temporary positions, including temporary positions created by law schools for their otherwise unemployed graduates.  They also exclude from the denominator the roughly six percent of each national class whose status was unknown.  In other words, even using an extremely generous definition of what constitutes obtaining a legal job, fully one-third of ABA law school graduates were not obtaining such jobs prior to the recent recession.

Of course it's true that law school tuition has increased fairly drastically over this decade, so a bad situation has become much worse.  But it also couldn't be more obvious that, to the extent prospective law students are somewhat better informed of the risks they're undertaking than they would have been even two (let alone five) years ago, this is a product of information regarding employment and salary prospects being made public, in the wake of media/political pressure that has required "the ABA" (again, in this context "the ABA" means the deans of low-ranked law schools who control the Section of Legal Education) and individual law schools to reveal data that simply wasn't available to the public until the last year or so.

Anyway it's striking how quickly the narrative inside legal academia has moved from "it's outrageous to call law school a scam" to "it's not our fault you believed our lies, because in retrospect they were so obvious."

Update:  This comment sums up the entire division of responsibility issue very well:


Enough with the binary thinking about which side is responsible. It should be obvious to anybody that both the law schools and the law students share responsibility. I don't know any law school graduate, including myself, who doesn't agree that we should have known better, should have done more research, should not have been so confident, should not have developed special snowflake syndrome, etc. These were hard lessons learned, but they were learned.

Now there are two types of taking responsibility in this world. There's saying that you take responsibility, and then there's actually paying the price for something. Right now, even though the blame should be shared between the law students and the law schools, the law students are the only ones paying the price. The students ARE taking responsibility, in the literal sense (as will the taxpayers eventually). The schools are not.

That's why the focus on this blog and in these comments is so heavily focused on the law school's culpability and what can/should be done about it. Not because they are the only ones to blame, but because they the ones who have yet to take any responsibility for their role in this. The students sure as hell have, and pay the price for their mistake every month.
 


210 comments:

  1. I just keep winning the "first" game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you win anything else?

      Grow up.

      Delete
    2. Lighten up....and I won a Biglaw job if that counts for anything. We're all miserable, be us Biglaw slags or unemployed grads. We commiserate enough as it is, a little light heartedness keeps us sane and off suicide watch.

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    3. Congrats on winning more than the first post of the day. Have fun at Biglaw. People on here are so funny. They complain that they incurred so much debt for a thin chance at winning the opportunity to work 2000 to 2500 billable hours a year. Sounds like a shitty life, win or lose.

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  2. I saw no comments so I thought I would be first! Sadly I am now fourth.

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  3. LawProf, I find this quote in the second-to-last paragraph particularly interesting:

    "again, in this context "the ABA" means the deans of low-ranked law schools who control the Section of Legal Education."

    Perhaps in an upcoming post you could do a profile of what types/backgrounds of people run the ABA. I know that the Dean of my TTTT law school is a high-ranking member of the ABA, and last year when I interviewed him and I asked him about how the legal economy was he told me "he didn't know" and that "it depended on the region."

    God help us if the ABA is full of types like that. And he makes $280,000.

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    1. It's simple. There are way more low ranked law schools than high ranked schools, so the interests of lower ranked schools get represented. HYS would keep making the exact same amount of money if half the law schools closed down and federal loans were eliminated (private lenders would be much more willing to invest in them than other law students). It's a numbers game, same way the UN passes resolutions only beneficial to totalitarian regimes occasionally.

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  4. Then you have Yale sending out invitations to apply to their law school just so the applicant can be rejected. That way Yale can keep their acceptance percentage low and demonstrate how really special Yale is.

    Ethics anyone?

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    Replies
    1. Collect application fees...it's free money!

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  5. Good Point on this one concerning how the narrative can just change like that

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    Replies
    1. Good point too on how the change in attitude is a direct result of the truth being told by these schools.

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. BTW, lawprof, I read some of your Salon columns. Great stuff there, too. I particularly liked your column on SCOTUS justice Roberts on the obamacare decision, the column where you asked the question about how it is that this one man, John Roberts, came to be the one person in america who gets to decide what sort of healthcare we get. You went on to attack the entire structure of judicial review. I loved it. I have been saying the same sort of things for years now. I find it amazing how little we question the structure of our government. The supposedly educated americans who write in the mass media, who write on blogs and who comment on blogs etc see themselves as well-educated people who can see the inner workings of the world etc. But in reality all they do for the most part is chew over the same tired old talking points. I noticed that very few of the people commenting on that salon column really got your point.

    There is an old journalism adage that goes like this: never go more than one inch ahead of the public because if you go two inches ahead, they cannot hear you.

    It will take years more before much of the public can hear us on the law school scam, on the undemocratic nature of our federal governmental structure, etc.
    But we just gotta keep on keepin' on....

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  8. You could also read the history of news articles to cast doubt on the assertion that prospective law students really focused on employment data from their particular school in deciding to go to school there. This is a recent phenomenon, despite plaintiffs in their generic class action complaints claiming that it was the first and foremost factor they considered. Prospective students looked at the school's overall ranking in, say, 2003 or 2006, and pretty much ignored the employment data. There may be an occasional exception to this, but most students preferred the number 66 school in US News to the number 81 school and never looked at employment data at all.

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    1. I read something similar, but I can't immediately recall what it was. It said that something like 80% of 0L's relied on rankings, and 50% 3L/s or recent graduates looking back wished they had looked at cost/employment rates instead of school rank.

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    2. Aha, it's inside this ATL article. http://abovethelaw.com/2012/09/if-law-graduates-had-it-to-do-over-again-they-wouldnt-be-so-stupid/

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    3. Although I fully agree that the conduct of the law schools in general (and many of them in particular) is reprehensible and contemptible, I do insist that the people who matriculated at Bumblefuck are not innocent little lambs who lost their way. It should have been obvious that borrowing $200k to attend Bumblefuck, which cost just about the same as Harvard, was a bad idea. No one should lightly sign up for that much debt.

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    4. I really wish that the rankings by U.S. News ceased to exist.

      As it is, law firms cherish the damn things (advertisements solicit a graduate of a "Top 5" or "Top 25" law school), and law schools plainly whore after an all-important point or two. So it's unsurprising that prospective law students set great store by them. The whole profession elevates prestige over substance.

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    5. The fact that applicants might have cared more about rankings than employment data does not mean that applicants never cared about employment data at all.

      Applicants were likely examining employment data at schools they were considering, noting that the data showed amazing employment trends at each of these schools, and and then choosing the highest-ranked school because a higher ranking meant a greater chance of working in international law, entertainment law, or any other nonexistent practice area that some TTT law school dreamt up.

      Employment data mattered far less than rankings because the employment data was, across the board, complete bullshit. But would it have meant as little to applicants had it been honest and accurate?

      Delete
  9. Yes it's fascinating how the characterization of the scam has changed. What's also changing is the characterization of law schools themselves--from esteemed institutions of higher learning to businesses whose mission is to make a profit (this includes the "non profit" and public law schools as well--when deans, admins, and profs can make mid-six-figure salaries any institution can become corrupt).

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  10. Prof. Campos, I am not trying to play devil's advocate here but law school employment statistics have always been suspect. I remember in 2002, a colleague and I were discussing an article that came out in the NY Law Journal. The article contained average starting salaries for grads of local law schools. One number was particularly startling. I believe in the article, Seton Hall Law School released that their grads were earning $110K per year on average. My colleague and I both knew this was a lie.

    These inflated salary numbers should have raised a few red flags among the most impressionable college grad. I do have a problem with prospective law students not doing their due diligence. If the law school you are contemplating attending says that their average graduate earns $160K, ask the school to provide you with the names of a dozen grads making that kind of money. Go on Martindale-Hubbell and look up these recent grads. If you are going to invest 3 years and $200K on a venture, you cannot be relieved of your duty to conduct your own independent due diligence. The law schools have always lied as far back as I remember. Personally, I was not motivated by USNWR's rankings (which did not exist in 1986) or employment stats (money wasn't a motivating factor in my life). I can't say I was duped into going to law school as I wanted to be a lawyer for personal reasons that have nothing to do with money or prestige.

    I think you are brushing off the concept of personal responsibility. College students (although not particularly brighter than say 25 years ago) are still sophisticated enough to ask questions and perform research before mortgaging their futures. Yes, the law schools lie. No, they will not be punished by the Courts. This should by now be common knowledge.

    Law school is a gamble. If you are in enrolled in law school, you are rolling the dice and using taxpayer money to cover your bet. So no, I have no sympathy for law students and I believe they should face up to their responsibility for being so reckless in the first place.

    A.E.S.

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    Replies
    1. U R a douche.

      That is the only appropriate response to your screed.

      That said, any person who lacks sympathy for a person in permanent debt servitude, whether or not they individually bear some portion, or even the totality of the blame, is, well, a douche.

      Delete
    2. And that kind of response - insulting anyone and anything that calls into question the "scam" - is what makes people just give up even debating this issue. I have personally worked with two journalists in the past year about my own experiences, but no articles ever appeared. I believe that when editors look at this stuff, and when they see the "quality" of the debate and debators, they toss the articles and go back to publishing generic pieces about rising college tuition. Got to have good sources to make the mainstream, not Internet clowns.

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    3. 7:41 AM (A.E.S.)

      I hope at some point in your life you're exploited by others for their own personal gain. And when that happens, I hope out of touch bystanders tell you that despite the fact that you made your poor decision in very different times, when in fact it wasn't a poorly made decision, you should cop to your mistake now, since so much more information has come to light that you really didn't have the benefit of. And when that happens, I hope someone then comes by and shoves your face into your own shit and laughs at you.

      And when you ask for the basic human right that everyone since the time of Charles Dickens has recognized is an unmitigated benefit to an economy and society in general - and which has NOTHING at all to do with whether the decisions that led you to your desperation were well informed or completely irresponsible - I hope someone tells you to go fuck and hangs the worst, most cynical, most prejudiced labels on you.

      And I hope all of that causes you health problems. You'll deserve every one of them. A douche? No, you're barely a human being.

      Let that all be done to you.

      Delete
    4. Boo hoo. Everyone gather round and acknowledge my victimhood! Life has wronged me, I am not to blame, and I demand fairness! Now please commence showering me with compensation for the unspeakable harm that has befallen me and for which I am not to blame. How dare everyone stand by while my obvious merit goes unrewarded - don't you understand? I'm a victim and hence entitled to the property of others.

      Delete
    5. You're a troll, but I don't believe I pleaded for compensation or acknowledgement of my merit. I believe I wished you poor health.

      Delete
    6. 7:58 is a conman apparently entitled to the property of others.

      Delete
  11. The so-called "scam" has been common knowledge for many years now.

    For example, here is a blog post from 2004:

    http://www.calicocat.com/2004/08/law-school-big-lie.html

    Information like this has been easy to find using something called the "internet" for years.

    It's been common knowledge for years that attending a low-ranked school undermines your job prospects.

    But for some reason, Cooley graduates are shocked! shocked! to discover that they won't have a corner office with a mahogany desk.

    GMAB.

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    1. Yes professor, I remember the heady days of 2004, when "calicocat.com" was taking the legal world by storm. I was a 3L then, and everywhere I went some gunner was ranting and raving about the latest "calicocat.com" post. I got so sick of it!
      Seriously, one reason for OLs to avoid enrolling is that you will incur a truckload of debt over the next 3 years for the privilege of being taught by some of the dumbest f***ing people you will ever come across in your life.
      If you need proof, spend a few hours reading Ann Althouse's blog, although to the extent you aren't wine-drunk and/or you possess any critical thinking ability at all you might not be able to last that long.

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    2. Does she even teach? I'm surprised she can fit in any classes, let alone "research", with her all-day blogging activities. She is a prime example of (1) law professors not doing any real work, (2) law professors and their baby-boomer entitlement attitudes, and (3) just how badly law professors actually write! How has the school not fired her yet? She literally does no work! Oh, I forgot - that special tenure that professors argue that they need...

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    3. So let me try to understand your position - it that a law student faced with the very slickly produced USNWR report - a proper and respected news magazine - and the ABA statistics - and indeed the statistics the law school itlsef published - should instead have found an obscure website called "Calico Cat" which deals in subjects like:

      Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Express: is it really...
      Battlestar Galactica: 1970s TV at its best
      Jessica Cutler & Ana Marie Cox are "skankettes"
      Digital cameras & marketing: black, silver or red?...

      And said "whoaa, this is sooo much more credible than US News and World Report, the ABA and the law school?"

      The mind boggles

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  12. In other words, Caveat emptor uber alles.

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    Replies
    1. The language police should have your a$$.

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  13. Keep in mind that temporary positions are included. So the magic number of "nine months after graduation" has elevated employment percentages. What if that number is changed to 12, 16, 24, 36 or anywhere in between or beyond? For what law schools cost, it should be a career?

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  14. There should be a MANDATORY notification sent to all 1L students after rankings are released during the summer at EVERY LAW SCHOOL. It should say: "If you are not at least in the top 30% of your class, preferably top 25% (if not higher), you need to seriously consider dropping out and cutting your losses NOW. There are simply not enough jobs for all of you. Do yourself a favor and walk away."

    This in conjunction with serious efforts made to notify 0L's, honestly, as to the current, dismal state of the economy, and what they stand to lose if they do not end up at the top of their class, BEFORE CLASSES EVEN START!!!

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    1. I feel that people at the bottom of first semester are unlikely to pull themselves high enough by the end of the year. Maybe the bottom 10% should drop out after one semester. The people in the bottom 30% should drop after second semester. People at median or above who don't get the 2l job they want by the end of the fall 2L semester should drop then and not complete their second year.


      But I see on TLS a tremendous pressure on these kids to stay and finish. I'm sure that just reflects what they are experiencing from friends and families.


      Sometimes people feel that they are better off with a completed credential than dropping out, despite anecdotal evidence to the contrary.

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    2. What could be more useless than mandatory notifications? The lemmings will pursue law degrees in spite of the evidence and odds. People are free to choose poorly.

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    3. Professor,

      Then why have more honest stats and disclosures from law schools led to a decrease in law school applicants?

      I know you don't want to be honest, but don't pretend that mandated honesty on your part doesn't have any effect on the number or quality of lemmings that buy into your scam. You guys are hurting pretty badly after only one year of real pressure.

      Delete
    4. 10:00PM Your comment makes little to no sense.

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    5. As others have noted, people whose salaries depend on not understanding something usually don't understand that something.

      Let me break down the comment for you:

      You are a law professor trolling this site.

      Increased transparency on the part of law schools has led to a decrease in law school applications.

      As law professor trolling this site, you are a dishonest piece of shit.

      Increased law school transparency has decreased not only the number of law school applications, but the overall quality of law school applicants as well.

      The scam you depend on (law school) is now facing a serious crisis after only one year of outside pressure. You're seriously fucked.

      Delete
    6. How do you know the poster is a law professor?

      And assuming the poster is a law professor, why not also presume he/she has been bringing home the big coin for a couple of decades and is set for life?

      Doesn't exactly sound like he/she is "seriously f***d" to me.

      But keep flailing if you so desire.

      Delete
    7. How do I know you're a law professor? It's hard to imagine anyone that doesn't have a direct interest in this scam, arguing so obsessively against traditional notions of fraud and fair dealing, in direct support of a scheme that benefits no one but the legal academy and which negatively affects everyone else.

      I'm sure some law professors have set enough aside to be comfortable for life. I'm sure that others have not. But considering that many law professors appear to be complete idiots ([citation missing], “calicocat.com covered this issue in 2004!”), I have a feeling that many will be caught off guard when the gravy train that they thought would last forever, comes to a sudden stop.

      But how much wealth you have hoarded to last out the remainder of your sad lives does not matter. What matters is that your scam will end. You will be unable to find a place anywhere else, and you will be remembered as those who stole everything from others while producing/contributing absolutely nothing. You will define the word “flailing,” which you've already started to do with your sudden shift from “there is no law school scam” to “everyone has always known that law school is a scam!”

      Delete
  15. Even obvious charlatans like astrologers and psychics are often made to add the disclaimer "for amusement purposes only" to their forecasts. However, the kids who enrolled in law school in the pre-scamblog and pre-improved ABA reporting requirement era had no such warning. They were expected to know, without even the benefit of a disclaimer, that their law schools had no more credibility than scamming astrologers and psychics, the main difference being that law school scamming was and is a lot more destructive.

    Yesterday's grim circuit court order dismissing the fraud lawsuit against DePaul contained the following line:

    “Plaintiffs have also failed to allege the existence of any special or confidential relationship with DePaul. As prospective students, Plaintiffs had no relationship with DePaul, must less a special relationship which would give rise to any duty. Nor have Plaintiffs alleged any facts. . . showing that a special relationship existed after they became DePaul students." (Slip Op. at 5)

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/105758874/DePaul-Ruling-by-Neil-Cohen-Dismissing-Case#fullscreen

    That is the quotation they should read to assembled graduates and their parents during commencement day speeches in lieu of soft words about honor, pride, community, and service.

    dybbuk

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    1. Does the Honor Code not establish a special relationship?

      Delete
    2. Apparently, Honor Code prohibitions on lying, cheating, and stealing are binding only on students, not the schools.

      Interestingly, in the context of the fraudulent concealment claim, the DePaul plaintiffs tried to argue that a special relationship could be inferred from the Illinois Code of Professional Responsibility, giving rise to fiduciary duties towards students on the part of the school. The court wasn't interested:

      “Plaintiffs suggest that DePaul owed a duty to Plaintiffs arising out of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct applicable to lawyers. Plaintiffs fail, however, to identify any rule that imposes duties on a law school towards its students or prospective students. Nor do Plaintiffs cite to any authority holding that law schools have heightened duties based on the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct.”

      (Phillips v. DePaul, Slip Op. at 5)

      dybbuk

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    3. I skimmed the DePaul honor code (college, could not find law) - and as far as I could tell it applies ONLY to students - not faculty or administration. In fact it seems to have been carefully crafted with the issue of this case in mind - and it is odd in that respect. Most honor codes talk about the "academic community."

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    4. Dybbuk:

      Inter alia yesterday I was discussing with a former AUSA and head of the criminal division for a large district, no in private practice what law schools were doing. We both agreed that if these were not law school deans - but just every day lawyers, criminal charges and disbarral would have been likely in many instances. Specific law T14 and 1st-tier law schools names came up. One line I remember "I would not even dream of pulling some of this shit, I'd be in trouble so fast..."

      Delete
  16. @8:19AM

    So you mean to say that when the law school dean or professor said I was a "special" snowflake, no special relationship existed? You just shattered my world.

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  17. It is true that the law schools have been lying about employment and salary info for years, but when tuition was cheap and good jobs were plentiful, few people were badly harmed. Now of course it is different.

    I entered law school in the late 90's (2nd tier state school). The school's literature boasted an "average" salary of just under 100K for new graduates, but there were enough qualifiers and weasel words that I knew the salary info was meaningless BS. I enrolled anyway, with no delusions about making six figures after graduation. It worked out OK, I graduated with about 25K in student loans and got a decent if not fantastic job.

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  18. I remember when I was applying for law schools I was obsessed with all the statistics listed on LSAC. All the schools I was applying for ranked 100-50 were saying the medium salary was really high, and employment numbers were really high (I can't remember now). However, the school that eventually gave me a scholarship, University of Idaho which was a huge bargain without the scholarship, had the lowest medium salary and salary range. I think the medium was 40k, compared to 77-90K+ at schools like University of Houston and Temple. I remember thinking, "how can the salaries be that different?" I read every article, blog, conventional piece of logic and they all said, "you go to the highest ranked school, no matter what". There was nothing in the collective readings that said, "Hey future law kids, this debt is real and is gonna be a bitch to pay back, so why don't you consider a bargain education if you can get it". I had been a school bus driver while I put myself through school and then worked as an English Teacher for 3 years in other words, I was a poor lady, also I was 29, and had been raised by frugal parents. So, I went against the grain, and went to the cheapest school. I still had 85k in debt at graduation, but this would have been 150k at least if I had gone to Temple. My point is, I was on the search in 2007/2008 for any piece of writing that even hinted that this degree might not be worth it/I should question the statistics given by the schools/going to a lower ranked school might be better (if you were in the middle like me), and those pieces weren't there, and if they were they were few and far between.

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    Replies
    1. How the hell did you miss that entry on calicocat.com?

      Delete
  19. dybbuk,

    So does this mean that I am not special in the eyes of my law school?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Professor,
    Out of curiosity, what were the queries you used on Lexis? If you are planning on using these statistics in another published article it might be worth having a few people double check your methodology. If you missed one story in 2007, cherry picking critics are going to jump all over what remains a very valid point.

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  21. Enough with the binary thinking about which side is responsible. It should be obvious to anybody that both the law schools and the law students share responsibility. I don't know any law school graduate, including myself, who doesn't agree that we should have known better, should have done more research, should not have been so confident, should not have developed special snowflake syndrome, etc. These were hard lessons learned, but they were learned.

    Now there are two types of taking responsibility in this world. There's saying that you take responsibility, and then there's actually paying the price for something. Right now, even though the blame should be shared between the law students and the law schools, the law students are the only ones paying the price. The students ARE taking responsibility, in the literal sense (as will the taxpayers eventually). The schools are not.

    That's why the focus on this blog and in these comments is so heavily focused on the law school's culpability and what can/should be done about it. Not because they are the only ones to blame, but because they the ones who have yet to take any responsibility for their role in this. The students sure as hell have, and pay the price for their mistake every month.

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    1. +1000. Excellent points

      Delete
    2. This is the best, concise explanation of the scam blog movement, and how/why we all feel this way towards the law schools and ABA. Thank you so much and BRAVO.

      Delete
    3. As the first one of us to get their comment included in an "Update," I have to offer a sincere congratulations.

      Epic.

      Delete
    4. I don't think anyone could have said it any better. Congratulations!

      Delete
  22. So in the Stanford law school OCI thread on TLS someone is posting about getting nothing from OCI and nothing from mass mailing large firms. Interestingly, some SLS students are denying this is true or telling the poster he is a loser of some kind because everyone gets a job.

    The poster says of he can't get proof that there is hope of getting a job from career services, along with statistics as to the people who have gotten employment outside of OCI in the past, he is leaving.

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    1. "Interestingly, some SLS students are denying this is true or telling the poster he is a loser of some kind because everyone gets a job."

      Five years ago t20 students were talking like this. I assume in a few years (or maybe less) SLS students will also start to realize what's actually going on in this "profession."

      What I don't remember five years ago is people saying "But law school is a scam and there just aren't jobs for many law students - EVERYONE knows this."

      Delete
    2. You may choose not to remember but that is exactly what people were saying and everyone who wanted to know did know.

      Delete
    3. (Citation missing).

      Go ahead and show me some of these conversations. TLS, autoadmit, whatever you like. Since everyone knew, you should be able to find some great examples.

      Delete
    4. So, any examples at all? This is exactly what people were saying, right?

      Delete
  23. "Hey, baby, don't blame me. You knew I was a cheater. You shouldn't have believed all those things I said."

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  24. This type of search is actually quite tricky. I ran a quick search on the ALLNEWS lexis database. There are plenty of stories from 2007, e.g., "Stingier job market awaits new attorneys," Associated Press Financial Wire September 24, 2007 Monday 4:34 PM GMT. Here is a quote from the story: "The law degree that Scott Bullock gained in 2005 from Seton Hall University where he says he ranked in the top third of his class is a "waste," he says. Some former high-school friends are earning considerably more as plumbers and electricians than the $50,000-a-year Mr. Bullock is making as a personal-injury attorney in Manhattan. To boot, he is paying off $118,000 in law-school debt."

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    1. http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB119040786780835602.html

      The Wall Street Journal

      "Hard Case: Job Market Wanes for U.S. Lawyers"

      Growth of Legal Sector Lags Broader Economy; Law Schools Proliferate

      By AMIR EFRATI

      A law degree isn't necessarily a license to print money these days.

      For graduates of elite law schools, prospects have never been better. Big law firms this year boosted their starting salaries to as high as $160,000. But the majority of law-school graduates are suffering from a supply-and-demand imbalance that's suppressing pay and job growth. The result: Graduates who don't score at the top of their class are struggling to find well-paying jobs to make payments on law-school debts that can exceed $100,000. Some are taking temporary contract work, reviewing documents for as little as $20 an hour, without benefits. And many are blaming their law schools for failing to warn them about the dark side of the job market....

      Delete
    2. http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB119040786780835602.html

      The Wall Street Journal

      September 24, 2007

      "Hard Case: Job Market Wanes for U.S. Lawyers"

      Growth of Legal Sector Lags Broader Economy; Law Schools Proliferate

      By AMIR EFRATI

      A law degree isn't necessarily a license to print money these days.

      For graduates of elite law schools, prospects have never been better. Big law firms this year boosted their starting salaries to as high as $160,000. But the majority of law-school graduates are suffering from a supply-and-demand imbalance that's suppressing pay and job growth. The result: Graduates who don't score at the top of their class are struggling to find well-paying jobs to make payments on law-school debts that can exceed $100,000. Some are taking temporary contract work, reviewing documents for as little as $20 an hour, without benefits. And many are blaming their law schools for failing to warn them about the dark side of the job market....

      Delete
    3. Professor,

      You're citing the article that pretty much ignited the scamblog movement as we now know it. It was written in 2007.

      Putting aside whether this one article constitutes "plenty of stories from 2007," I will ask again - anything from the early 2000s?

      Delete
  25. I know that everyone is upset that the schools aren't "taking responsibility," but what do you expect?

    Either a scam was or was not perpetrated (and continues to be) and if so, it was done knowingly or innocently. No matter which is the case, what would you have the schools do other than adamantly deny that any such "scam" exists?

    Then people complain because the schools aren't taking it upon themselves to make drastic changes, but why would they do so if future law students could then point back to these "remedial measures" that could be used against them?

    If any of you were representing the schools, you would be telling them the same thing, "Deny, deny, deflect, deny." That's what they're doing, and of course that is what they will continue to do.

    It is absurd thinking to expect the law schools to step forward and accept even one iota of responsibility.

    Let the plaintiff's prove their case, which, because of the interests and ramifications involved, is going to be one hell of an uphill battle (which you've already seen).

    You all know, sometimes "justice" gives way to a bigger policy picture. I see this as one of those cases (through the judges' eyes, that is).

    ReplyDelete
  26. 10:17 AM--Of course the schools will not take any responsibility, or make any voluntary changes. Why should they?

    What I and others would like to see is an end to the no-questions-asked shoveling of unlimited student loan money to these places. Put a cap on the amount people can borrow for schools (law school and otherwise), do some basic risk underwriting, and allow student loans to be discharged in BK if after 7 years or so it is obvious they will never be repaid. If these measures are taken, I would think half or more of law schools would eventually close down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The dems had the chance to allow student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy when they had majorities in both houses of congress from 2009-2010. They chose to do nothing and with Repubs in control of house of reps nothing will happen.

      Delete
    2. Buddy, they didn't have fillibuster proof number of senators especially when kennedy got sick and passed on. plus, boehner and pelosi are getting good money from the for-profit industry. they won't rock the boat there.

      Delete
    3. They had 60 votes in the Senate and chose to do nothing.

      Delete
    4. The filibuster hurdle of sixty votes is the biggest political obstacle to making student loan debt dischargeable.

      The Dems aren't likely to have sixty votes in the senate in the foreseeable future.

      Oh well, at least I'm debt free...

      Delete
    5. Obama and the dems decided not to even fight for bankruptcy reform - ironically, they owed political debts to their banking pals.

      Delete
  27. Lawprof,

    All truth passes through 3 stages—
    First, it is ridiculed,
    Second, it is violently opposed,
    And third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

    --Arthur Schopenhauer, 19th Century German philosopher

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looks like we're in the process of moving from stage one to stage two.

      Delete
    2. No I think we're moving into stage three. Law professors are now admitting that law school is a scam (they're just in the death throes of their arguing with: "yes it's a scam but everyone has always known that it's a scam").

      Delete
  28. The law school apologists would have made great tobacco executives in the 1950s & 1960s.

    According to the tobacco executives, "everyone" should have known cigarettes caused cancer in the 1950s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Smoke Lucky Strike and beat back the Red Menace! LSMFT! Luckies are good for your lungs! Nine out of ten doctors recommend Lucky Strike brand cigarettes!"

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt77M4D0PiM

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdnoFG4G9nQ

      Delete
  29. In 2005, Democrat leaders such as Joe Biden, Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton jointed G.W.Bush in amending the bankruptcy code so that Americans can take more personal responsibility over their finances. Why should an exception be carved out for law students who recklessly gambled on law school?

    Instead of doing research, these kids were seduced by the Hollywood glamorization of the legal profession in shows such as "Boston Legal," "The Practice," "The Firm," "LA LAW," "Lincoln Lawyer," etc. Why should I feel sympathy for kids who missed the forest for the trees?

    Law deans and professors are a dispicable group. However, it is well known that these people have the ethics of a used car salesman. Are you really that naive to trust an "educator" because he sports a disgusting beard, wears a moth eaten sports jacket and horn rimmed glasses? Accept the fact that you were dumb enough to be hoodwinked and step up to the plate and live up to YOUR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss8LDBNcsWc

      Delete
    2. Again, personal responsibility of prospective has nothing to do with the ethical obligations that law school administrators as lawyers are subject to, that law school should be subject to as, yes, educators, or with the public policy on which the entire concept of bankruptcy is based. This is patently obvious to anyone whose self-interest isn't best served by shoving his head up his own ass.

      Delete
    3. *prospective students

      Delete
  30. I'm so sick of hearing that disgruntled law students were wilfully blind and "should have known" that employment statistics were elevated before they chose to attend.

    Do any law schools OPENLY admit and explain to prospective students that they hire their own graduates to elevate the employment stats? Do any laws schools OPENLY admit and explain that they fund temporary "fellowship" placements for grads (using student tuition dollars to pay these grads) to elevate the employment stats?

    My school didn't say a damn thing about massaging the numbers, and the two issues I raise above where not "obvious" to me or anyone else in my class until we graduated in 2011. In what world is this not deceptive and misleading on the part of the school? Lying by ommission is still lying. Didn't we all learn that at age five?

    Yet, I must take some personal responsibility or else look like a whiny brat. Fine. I accept responsibility for being unaware that my law school was run by a group of manipulative, greedy dirtbags...because they were adept at hiding it. My bad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Help, help everyone - I'm a victim! I'm a victim! Everyone else should pay for my failure! After all, I'm a victim!

      Delete
    2. 5:41 PM: Are you foolish enough to beleive you won't pay? Everyone will pay. Just wait and see. The collapse is coming and it will be uglier than the housing market crash.

      Although, you could always move to China to avoid all the "victims" and failures in this country. I doubt anyone would miss you.


      Delete
    3. I don't want anyone to pay for my failure. I want to see law schools shut down and the "professors" that run them out on the streets (or better, doing doc review).

      Delete
    4. "Everyone else should pay for my failure!"

      Professor,

      Not "everyone else" should pay - though they certainly will if things work out your way and students keep borrowing money to enter the legal "profession" and defaulting on their loans/entering IBR because this "profession" is a collapsing joke.

      The legal academy should pay. And they will.

      Delete
    5. Yes, we'll show them...maybe...eventually.

      In the meantime, they are socking away millions of dollars every year.

      Delete
    6. "maybe...eventually"

      Law schools are faced with a serious crisis, despite that only a year ago any notion of law school being a bad bet was tossed aside as asinine. It's will only get worse, especially as these scam institutions continue to churn out more and more unemployed grads into a collapsing "profession."

      Con artists will always create golden parachutes for themselves. That shouldn't stop us from exposing them and seeing that they are forever remembered as con artists. Enjoy living out the rest of your days as unemployed "academics."

      Delete
  31. Prof. Campos, you should do a post that summarizes the judicial findings of the "esteemed" judges that were involved in dismissing the lawsuits against Cooley, BLS, NYLS and DePaul. Here are a few that stand out:

    1) Law school is a BUSINESS.
    2) This is the worst time in the history of the legal profession to attend law school.
    3) Cooley is one of, if not, the most deplorable law schools in the nation.
    4) Law students do not have a special relationship with their law school notwithstaning the exorbitant tuition that is charged per year.
    5) Caveat emptor.
    6) College students are sophisticated consumers.
    7) College graduates who presumably know the easter bunny is fiction, should also know that law schools massage figures and stats.
    8) College graduates are charged with the duty of independent research and due diligence before accepting to attend law school.
    9) Law schools are exempt from consumer fraud statutes so college grad must be extra careful when taking representations in glossy brochures as gospel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Easter Bunny is fiction? Really? I'm so sad to hear that!

      Delete
  32. I compare law students to reckless gamblers who don't even bother to know the rules of such card games such as Texas Hold 'em Poker. If a college graduate is too lazy to learn on his/her own how law school and this profession works (e.g., lying, cheating, misrepresenation), then they shouldn't be playing the game. The proceed at their own risk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @12:17 Did you attend law school? If so, when?

      Delete
    2. 12:17 PM wrote:

      "If a college graduate is too lazy to learn on his/her own how law school and this profession works (e.g., lying, cheating, misrepresenation) . . . ."

      Fraud is now a subordinate clause. How much longer do you give the levee before it breaks?

      Delete
    3. This is honestly one of the dumbest statements I've ever read on the internet. And I didn't go to law school and did do pretty well playing online poker.

      Put it this way: Is it possible to play poker and THINK you know the rules when you in fact don't? And if this does happen (and it doesn't), how long would it take you to realize you don't know the rules? You bet out of position once and it cost you a few blinds?

      Now compare how long you can go to law school and think you know how the "game" is played before you actually do.

      Delete
    4. Edit: You "bet out of turn once" instead of "bet out of position once" for any nits in this thread

      Delete
    5. "This is honestly one of the dumbest statements I've ever read on the internet."

      Agreed.

      Also, wow. One of the dumbest statements.

      On the internet.

      That's one dumb statement.

      Delete
  33. Decades ago when I was growing up people in the law, medicine, teaching, and the ministry really did put service to their clients, patients, students, and congregations first. There are still some good people in the professions but the amount of corruption in each profession seems to be growing exponentially.

    All this bobbing and weaving by the law schools claiming to not know what the job situation is and the mechanizations to increase their status on some list is beyond sordid.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Also needed is a graphical representation of the flow of job/employment data--where the form originates, where it goes, and how the law schools are involved. Once we see that, we can figger out at what points the law schools are able to manipulate that information.

    ReplyDelete
  35. For that matter, the mainstream media has hardly covered the topic of American student loan debt until fairly recently.

    Perhaps that was due to powerful lobbying of the mainstream media by the financial industry.

    In past years, there was the early pioneering efforts of Alan Collinge, who was even on 60 minutes, and I recommend his site:

    www.studentloanjustice.org

    Collinge, who is an engineer, is perhaps a bit sore that the legal people (nobody around here of course) do not make enough effort towards trying to remedy what he would call the "student loan scam."

    In any event, I just called, and my pay off amount with Direct Loans (The William D. Ford Federal Program) is now:

    $331, 577.98

    Like I say, two thousand dollars of interest is added on every month, and default in 2009 added a 40K plus collection cost or penalty that put the debt hopelessly out of reach for me, barring some windfall or miracle.

    Now, should I look for my checkbook, or a rope with which to hang myself?

    All I want is a settlement. I am willing to spend the rest of my life paying off the original amount borrowed, plus a reasonable amount of interest.

    If the credit card companies can settle, why can't the student lenders?

    If the law schools want to put tacit skin in the game, why can;t they help many of thier hapless grads to at the very least settle their student loan debts, and stop the interest charges?





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What percentage of your debt will be discharged under ICR?

      Delete
    2. If it makes you feel any better, your loan is only 55.2058 dB$ on a logarithmic scale.

      The US national debt is only 132.05486 dB$ on the same scale.

      Delete
  36. @2:19PM

    I can answer that. But first I want to share a youtube video that demonstrates a horrible reality.

    Warning: Some of you may find this video offensive, and so you can simply opt out and not watch it.

    More commentary for this video is available on my blog.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lcmPiqcsZRA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What?

      I mean, if they'll all get wiped away by Uncle Sam, then you're in a much better position than I am. Your balance is so high, you'll never have a monthly payment, and you have no private loans that are actually permanent?

      Delete
  37. I don't know why, but I seem to bring all comments to a dead halt for quite a while afer I leave a comment.

    Byt as for the loan getting wiped away as yu call it, that does not really happen, and please think thryu the following lines carefully and in light of what I have posted previously.

    As it all stands now, and after another 20 years I will be handed an IRS tax bill on perhaps 1.9 million dollars due to compounded interest.

    I will be 70 years old or so and owing maybe 400 to 500 K to the IRS on a discharged loan under IBR/ICR, which will be discharged of course when I die.

    As for private loans I do not know why I was able to avoid them.

    When I was at Touro Law School, I was always able to get all the federal loans I needed.

    Maybe that is because the late Bernard Lander was so influential with the US Government and somehow made federal funds available to matriculated Touro Law School students?

    Ellie Mystal did a number on Touro not too long ago and lamented about how Bernard Lander was one of the highest paid University Presidents in the US and made more money than the President of Harvard or something like that.

    Mr. Lander spoke at my Law School Graduation too.

    If you google Bernard Lander Touro, you will see pictures of him shaking hands with George Bush the late President.


    It is wishful thinking I guess to think that all of the ABA law schools march to the beat of the same drum, and align themselves with a tier structure etc. but I fear that it is much more complicated than all that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JDPGuy: Just a thought about why you bring comments to a dead halt after you post. It could be that you have a tendency to ramble incoherently, and, as a result, no one knows what the f**k it is you're trying to say. Hence, the crickets.

      P.S. It's Elie Mystal, not Ellie.


      Delete
    2. $1.9 million = 62.7875 dB$

      Delete
  38. And here is the link to the old Ellie Mystal post:

    http://abovethelaw.com/2010/11/turns-out-touro-is-even-crappier-than-we-thought/

    ReplyDelete
  39. Are you sure about that IRS thing? Why has no one looked into this?

    If you're wrong about the tax aspect of ICR, then your balance with the federal government is quite high, but otherwise, you're not nearly as bad off as a lot of people here who might owe 50K-100K in private loans which you can do fuck all about.

    I'm sympathetic. You've had it incredibly hard, but do you not think you're a bit of a distraction? We should be talking about bankruptcy reform here because that's what is really needed. Not only is the federal government going to realize massive losses on the discharge debt we're all giving them, but people are going to be your age relatively soon with the same balance, but all of it is going to be private loans. They're social security will be garnished, if it still exists by then. Whatever you say, yours will not. But instead, you know, we're talking about fucking Travelocity gnomes on gas stoves.

    Perhaps you could spend some time actually doing some useful research rather than posting ridiculous crap about how awful your future is. The way I see it, people do have it worse. Worse than you for sure and worse than me, even though, as you probably suspect, I do carry a very heavy private loan burden.

    ReplyDelete
  40. *Their and the other typo corrections.

    ReplyDelete
  41. "You've had it incredibly hard, but do you not think you're a bit of a distraction?"

    That sounded more harsh than I meant it. I meant your posts are diverting attention from a more helpful discussion of the problem.

    ReplyDelete
  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  43. ^^ Too many typos.

    At six o'clock Adam came in. He was pretty gray and stony in the face. The Boss got to his feet and stood there looking at Adam, but neither he nor Lucy uttered a sound.

    Then Adam said, "He will live."

    "Thank God," Lucy breathed, but the Boss still stared into Adam's face.

    Adam stared back. Then Adam said, "The cord was crushed."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha. I thought you'd say that! :)

      Delete
    2. OMG. Where is your medication?

      Delete
  44. There should be a new category in the US News ranking system for law schools.

    # of times school sued by former students :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, of course, because every law suit is valid.

      Delete
    2. They're certainly more valid than the numbers reported to USNWR by law schools.

      Delete
  45. JD Painterguy isn't a distraction on this blog.

    Rather, he's the living public embodiment of what happens when you engorge yourself with too much federally originated and sanctioned non-dischargable debt.

    He stands ever vigilant on the highways and byways of Internet as a warning to others like the Colossus of Rhodes once stood as a warning to the ancient mariners of its day.

    Sadly, many students, including many from Touro, will meet the same fate as JD Painterguy, larded up with massive amounts of unpayable student loans, some seeking final refuge in the farm-shored environs of BigLaw, eking out a sad and forlorn existence in Wheeling West Virginia, forever wandering down the Boulevard of Broken Dreams and building their own Fortress of (JD) Regrets.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Here is another TLS story for the day. An 0L thinking of going to Regent which I gather is a religious school in Virginia, says he can't believe that any lawyer is making only $40,000 when they graduate.

    The idea that going to law school is the path to a high income is not going to be easy to dislodge from the public consciousness.

    ReplyDelete
  47. It was the same way with the housing melt down. The homeowners should have known better; the lenders made money off the fees and the bail out and the foreclosures.

    The political push needs to be for economic justice.

    By the way, the law schools lying about employment statistics and starting salaries is nothing new. It's been going on for decades now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nobody cares if law students/lawyers were swindled.

      The general public is ok with it.

      Delete
    2. 7:09 Based on your faulty logic, I take it you didn't go to law school. It is probably true that the general public doesn't care, but if "nobody" cared, this blog wouldn't exist.

      The thing is, when you screw with people who: 1) are educated; 2)are severely pissed off; and 3) actually know how to fight back, there is trouble on the horizon.

      So, the uncaring general public ought to brace itself.

      Delete
    3. Plus the general public hates being swindled, hates lawyers, and hates being swindled by lawyers most of all. So law professors (lawyers swindling the general public) seriously ought to brace themselves.

      Delete
  48. Well, Regent is wired to the DOJ after all. Remember Monica Goodling?

    ReplyDelete
  49. With the housing bubble, the borrowers got something tangible as opposed to a worthless degree. They also got a place to live for free during the lengthy foreclosure process. And when all was said and done, they got to walk away from the whole mess. Banks don't waste their time seeking deficiency judgments against people with no money. I don't see those mortgagors as being victims.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They also got a transferable asset - as opposed to a highly personal totally-non-transferable asset.

      Delete
  50. Ramble, ramble ramble. And sorry Elie for the typo.

    The passage from All The Kings Men is from the scene where Dr. Adam Stanton tells Wille Stark that his son has had his neck broken in a football game and will be paralyzed for life.

    And that is what Sl debt figuratively is: a from of paralysis.

    Here again is how one can be handicapped by Sl debt.

    1. Ruined credit due to a high debt to income ratio. (No small business loan for you)

    2. Wage garnishment.

    3. Disability payment garnishment.

    4. Tax return seizure.

    5. Pension garnishment.

    6. A strong deterrent to marriage or the success of a marriage (which I lived through)

    My ex wife was so afraid that numbers 1 thru 5 would happen to her as well because she was married to me.

    7. Enormous default penalties.

    8. Prospective employers do look at the credit score in many cases, and so one cannot get a job to pay back the student loans because of the student loans. A vicious cycle.

    In short, federal student loans affect so many aspects of life and simply ruin it overall.

    As for private loans I don't know. I took out very little in private loans.

    I lived at home while in law school, or else I would have had to borrow a lot more I suppose and in private loans to cover my living expenses.

    So it's the oil field of North Dakota or bust. I have always wanted to see Mount Rushmore anyway, which is in Ohio I think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep posting. Don't listen to them.

      Delete
    2. Yes, by all means, do not stop the madness.

      Delete
    3. I'm not sure sure what's crazier, JDP's posts, or the posts of legal academics suddenly admitting that law school is a scam.

      Delete
  51. Also higher car insurance payments because auto insurance companies look at a credit score when setting premiums.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Paraguay, Uruguay?Teach English if nothing else; marry a local cupcake and get dual citizenship. Why sit there like a deer frozen in the headlights?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @6:59 You are a sexist pig.

      Delete
  53. I was in La Paz, Bolivia, on a business trip when the visiting Columbian soccer team arrived at my hotel - with their wives and girlfriends. On a scale of 1 to 10, they all were about a 30. Unreal, absolutely unreal.

    And you want to compare yourself to a tragic quadriplegic because you owe money?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @7:23 Thanks to your poor writing skills, it's unclear whether you are a sexist pig or a horny gay guy.

      In either case, please go away and find yourself an appropriate porn website. We don't need your pea-sized brain disrupting the intelligent commentary here.

      Delete
  54. An RSA talk on honest which is particularly interesting in view of what it says about people on the inside of a scam:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBmJay_qdNc&feature=player_embedded

    ReplyDelete
  55. Bad analogy I guess.

    But come to think of it, the only way to pass the Brunner test is to be paralyzed from the neck down.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I have found "THE ISSUE." "THE PROBLEM."

    In fact, I am absolutely certain that I Hit The Target. I don't know how to SOLVE the problem, but now I can see it. I know when I have hit the target. I never know how I know, it's just something that I do. Something that I am.

    I can't help anyone here think about it, because I haven't really thought about it.

    I just know that the answer lies within the logic of this particular post on another website to which I am directing you.

    The answer is in here. I know it. I can FEEL it. It's there.

    I don't have time to deal with this problem. I have a number of other problems that I have to deal with. But somewhere in this post is a tool that can be used against the "Law School Scam". It just has to be forged.

    I just put some of the text here, but one of the key underlying problems is that:

    "OLs THINK THEY CAN VALUE THE RISKS OF GETTING A LAW DEGREE"

    And we all know that they can't. They prove it every year after placid year.

    "The Nanny State Didn't Show Up, You Hired It"

    From The Last Psychiatrist:

    "The vast majority of the people complaining about the Big Soda ban don't buy big sodas, and those most enraged about the Buckyballs ban either already have them or would never want them. So the reaction has nothing to do with the products themselves, the rage is on a theoretical level, "I don't want government intruding in my private choices." But they already do this in a gazillion different ways, bigger, more important intrusions. The difference is that those are invisible. You know you can't value the risks in airplane safety or radiation leaks so you trust them to do it, but you think you can value the risks of a soda and hate that they try to do it for you.

    I know you are thinking, "but I can resist soda; I understand the risks"-- never mind you don't even know the ingredients of soda, the point here is you are starting from you and multiplying by 6 billion.

    When you say, "personal responsibility!" you are really saying "this is safe enough for it to be a question of personal responsibility." But you must ask yourself the question: how do you know Buckyballs and soda are safe enough for them to be about personal responsibility? Because "some other omnipotent entity" allowed them to exist. How do you know that Entity can be trusted? Because it even tries to ban silly things like Buckyballs and soda. The system is sound.

    What is the final common pathway of all of this? If the system is sound, there's no reason to obstruct the pressures of marketing. That's what's at stake, not your safety or your personal freedoms. The point of consumer protection is not protecting the consumer from the market, but protecting the consumer for the market."

    http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2012/09/the_nanny_state_didnt_show_up.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This post makes JD Painter look sane.

      No mean feat.

      Delete
    2. I love The Last Psychiatrist.

      It's a fun read.

      Delete
  57. My credit score is 573 as of today.

    I did one of those free credit report.com things, and paid about 60 bucks for all three credit reports, and all show my student loan default with Sallie Mae, and the wording on two of the credit reports is:

    "Claim filed with Government, balance paid by insurance company."

    So the insurance company referred to must be the US Treasury right?

    Anyway, a new post will by DJM is probably forthcoming for the weekend, and so I will save all this for a future comment string if the topic is remotely related.

    If not related I will stretch and somehow make whatever the topic is seem related :) without sounding like a troll with a merry twinkle :)

    ReplyDelete
  58. People pushing the PR argument want us to think there's no difference between people who believed the law schools' employment stats and people who didn't bother to review them at all.

    Researching the stats as provided by the schools WAS THE EXERCISE OF PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Do these people really think the school had no responsibility to the consumer???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that is what we really think.

      Enjoy your degree.

      Delete
    2. Lol "we."

      Troll.

      Delete
  59. I went to law school over 20 years ago and I never trusted the law school dean, administrators and professors. I saw it was a scam then as it is now (although the greed has accelerated by the recent skyrocketing tuition increases since the law school scam has its years numbered). I knowingly entered law school knowing the employment numbers were cooked. I was not interested in Biglaw or making $80K a year as my alma mater advertised as an average starting salary for its grads. I knew it was bullshit but I had a free ride so the worst that could happen was I wasted three years of my life.

    In the end, if it sounds too good to be true (i.e., employment numbers), it probably isn't. What good is it if you can ace the games section on the LSAT when you can't figure out that you are part of a game yourself in which you are an easy mark. Do you believe propecia cures baldness? Do you think you can grow an extra 3" on your manhood by eating extract from some African bark tree? If you were too dumb to not figure it out, don't go whine about a bailout.

    This JDPainter fellow is hurting your cause. He comes off as a loony case who was easy pickings for the law school scam.

    Lastly, I don't but these lawsuits against the schools for fraud. First, the college grads don't really care about the stats when they apply. All they care about is the rankings (which are a joke). I am sure many students will go to a school ranked 25 and pay sticker while passing up a school ranked 39 that offered a free ride. That is just plain stupidity as there is hardly any difference between the school ranked 25 and 39. Anyone who believes there is, deserves to be ripped off.

    You would think college grads would approach attorneys about law school but no that is rarely the case. They would rather go on websites such as TLS and engage in a circle jerk of "we are the chosen ones, we have won the golden ticket!" Those people will get what's coming to them too. In the end, you can't cure stupidity. Do the law schools deserve blame? Sure they do, but if the snake oil salesman has been exposed and people still rush up to him to buy his product, it is difficult to feel sympathy for the duped class.

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    1. Here here!

      Well said.

      Delete
    2. By any chance did you represent the crooks who cooked the books for Enron? That argument didn't wash so well for Ken Lay, Skilling or Fastow. But I guess it would be your view that the Enron story was too good to be true so the public should have known better and these frauds should still be walking the streets working their next schemes.

      Thanks, this is the line of reasoning that gives lawyers a bad name. Hair splitting arguments are annoying, but part of what we do. But when member of the bar defend blatent misrepresentation on the grounds that it was so fraudulent you should have known better, that casts a pall upon the profession that won't soon be lifted.

      Delete
    3. The misreps were so blatant that no one has been able to prove a thing. But best of luck on appeal.

      Delete
    4. >>>"I went to law school over 20 years ago and I never trusted the law school dean, administrators and professors. I saw it was a scam then as it is now (although the greed has accelerated by the recent skyrocketing tuition increases since the law school scam has its years numbered). I knowingly entered law school knowing the employment numbers were cooked."<<<

      I fully agree. Most people here are in denial, and crying "show me a citation" doesn't alter the fact that everyone had their suspicions, yet still decided to roll the dice.

      But in order to get any scrap of agreement from the militant "I wuz robbed!" crowd, you'll need to back your post up with a citation to an article in the New York Times that was written about you and how you felt, back in 199whatever, with actual quotes from you where you said you could not trust the schools, along with hard, verifiable data showing the same!

      It reminds me of that scene in Austin Powers - the penis enlarger scene - where despite the frickin' evidence that it's his enlarger, he doesn't admit it until he's presented with the book with him on the cover, proclaiming that enlargers "are his bag, baby", written by him.

      Not every common sense conclusion needs a string of citations. It's not a fucking law review article. It's real life.

      And it doesn't actually weaken the argument to accept some fraction of personal responsibility. It actually adds to the strength, as it shows that you're not insane and so far removed from reality that you're unable to take a rational position.

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    5. It's hard to prove anything when your case is inappropriately dismissed as a matter of law, rather than proceeding to a trial on the facts.

      But maybe the key to winning one of these class actions is to take the approach 6:00p suggests. Claim fraudulent inducement. Offer absolutely no proof whatsoever, and when the judge asks for some shred of proof for your assertion (that petty asshole), tell him you don't need no fucking loser string of cites because it's a common sense conclusion.

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    6. Oh and that scene in Austin Powers is an excellent example of proof. We didn't hear "I swear that's not mine, baby!" and then laugh hysterically because we just knew (common sense!) that the Swedish Penis Enlarger belonged to Austin Powers. We laughed because we were offered proof after proof that it belonged to Powers.

      With your very sudden assertion that the law school scam has been well-known for years, on the other hand, we have yet to be offered a single shred of evidence aside from calicocat.com.

      Delete
    7. "And it doesn't actually weaken the argument to accept some fraction of personal responsibility."

      Lastly, at least read the blog post if you're going to comment on it. The notion of accepting personal responsibility was blatantly discussed here.

      Delete
    8. "But in order to get any scrap of agreement from the militant "I wuz robbed!" crowd, you'll need to back your post up with a citation to an article in the New York Times that was written about you and how you felt, back in 199whatever, with actual quotes from you where you said you could not trust the schools, along with hard, verifiable data showing the same!"

      Lastly-lastly,

      Or maybe just a cite to something demonstrating that it was obvious that law schools manipulated their employment numbers.

      It's one thing to say that someone, somewhere has talked about these issues over the last decade. It's another thing to assert that the law school scam was so blatantly obvious that everyone knew. The latter, if true, should be easy to demonstrate. But you don't, because..

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    9. It's just so obvious that it doesn't need proof, lIke that scene in Austin Powers!

      Right?

      Delete
    10. No, the Powers story fits well:

      "Scammed" Student (SS): It's a scam, baby!
      Realist (R): But you did research other than looking at employment data, right?
      SS: Yeah, it's a scam. I didn't know!
      R: You listened to all the lawyers who told you not to go to law school?
      SS: Yeah, but I was scammed!
      R: And you looked at the job market in your area and saw that the jobs weren't there?
      SS: And how real life lawyers we're in your town, the law offices you drove past in the way to work were run down, ugly, and had a Camry parked outside? And that lawyers were so desperate for business that there was a race to the bottom when it came up advertising? And how only TV lawyers were successful?
      SS: No baby, the school scammed me.
      R: And you saw that the rankings were overrated and vitally important for attracting students, and that they clearly could be manipulated by schools?
      SS: That's not my bag baby. It's a scam!
      R: And that the stats were so generic that you drew the wrong conclusions? You paid attention to stats class in college?
      SS: I don't know. All I know is I was scammed. Not my fault!
      R: And then you got to law school and saw that students were unemployed and desperate for work, that the system was a sham, the professors liars, careers staff were useless, and you kept going?
      SS: It was 2008 baby! Things were different then. We didn't look at things like 'facts'.
      R: And how US News was in the rankings business because their news value was minimal and they needed to make money?
      Etc.

      The scene goes on and on, but you get the idea. Look, I'm as scammed as the next person, with $100K in debt from LS a decade later, and a string of useless legal jobs. The law school lied to me to. But I take my share of the blame for ignoring the warnings.

      Maybe you, and everyone else here, only researched law school by looking at US News. If that really is the case, then you did not do your due diligence, or any diligence at all, and are partially at fault in that respect. Or like me, you did the research, discovered that all was not as great as schools said it was, but thought you were different, harder working, or special, and in that respect you are partially to blame, just like me, and I wake every day regretting my decision to go to law school, at least eight years before you claim "evidence" started to appear, which is odd because I went to school faced with a mountain of circumstantial and common-sense "evidence" that the stats were puffed. Note the word "partially" - it's important.

      I am as annoyed as you that these cases aren't even getting heard. It's now starting to look like a cover up, or clueless judges just not knowing any unemployed lawyers. Who knows. But acting blameless makes us look like childish whiners to outsiders, like the judges, juries, journalists, etc.

      We need to grow up as a movement, accept our faults rather than covering them up with insults and outlandish claims of innocence, and move forward as best we can.

      Delete
    11. This is the point. The Powers story fits well only when evidence/proof is being offered, as you are doing here. The Powers story does not fit when someone tries to say: "the law school scam has been well known for decades but it's just so obvious that I don't need to provide any proof. Actually, here's a 2004 article on calicocat.com. Nevermind, I don't need to offer any proof because it's just so obvious."

      As for the proof you're offering, it could easily be flipped around. Lawyers encouraging prospective students to attend law school because they attended 30 years earlier and have no idea what the competition amongst recent law grads is like now (still happening). Job data for every area being incomplete and not showing how many attorneys actually have no work, thus making it look like most attorneys were doing fine. Plenty of well-seasoned, solo practitioners getting by just fine, many of whom had nice offices and vehicles. TV lawyers looking like bottom-of-the-barrel types, but apparently still doing well. Prospective students (unlike, say, law professors, who were obsessed with this crap) having no idea just how important the rankings were to law school enrollment and funding. Prospective students assuming that US News provided accurate information because they had no idea (and no reason) to look into the financial state of the magazine. The silence amongst law school classes that pervaded law schools in the best of times when many students found law jobs but others did not. The sad fact that most people think that lawyers will always find work and make a lot of money. Etc.

      I do think both sides need to take responsibility. I fucked up huge attending law school, and I actually didn't start to find any success in life until after I accepted responsibility for my part in that major fuck up. But if either side in this matter is NOT taking responsibility, it is the law schools. They've been completely dodging any responsibility because the law school scam is a "myth"; now apparently they're not responsible because their scam was so incredibly obvious that people could have easily avoided it. Sure, maybe law grads need to accept that they didn't adequately examine the profits and losses of USNWR, but the complete and utter lack of acceptance of any responsibility by law schools is a much larger problem here. They have a shit ton of growing up to do.

      Delete
  60. Or, um, better yet: hear, hear!

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  61. The primary problems with the law school system are as follows:

    (1) The government originates and encourages this massive debt. It needs to stop doing this.

    (2) The debt cannot simply be discharged in bankruptcy. This needs to be permitted so that the morons who originate the debt are the ones who take the bath.

    Personally, those are my two goals in this entire law school affair.

    I received a T14 Golden Ticket during the dot-com days. It worked for me. Really, financially, I'm fine. No debt at all (rather, I buy debt with my cash flow), two cars, a house, savings, healthy children.

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    1. Those "morons" include many law students. Again, I won't be found shedding crocodile tears for someone that borrowed $200k to go to Cooley and graduated with a D+.

      Delete
    2. I'm talking about the financial institutions who are originating the debt. If they are stupid enough to lend to $200k for someone to go to Cooley who gets a D+ then they need to take a bath on that loan in bankruptcy court.

      Poor lending standards don't help anybody.

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    3. What about lending someone $70,000 to go to Touro and they get a D+?

      Delete
    4. I'm with 5:23. Anyone who attends Cooley is a moron who deserves no sympathy. Therefore we should all shut the fuck up about every other law school committing fraud.

      Delete
    5. A little bit of rationality would greatly improve the discussion here. I (5:23) never said that we should shut up about the fraud perpetrated by law schools. Far from it, I have consistently condemned the law schools for the shit that they are pulling.

      And it's true that the financial institutions should have to take on some of the risk for their loans. If they did, Cooley and Touro would be boarded up in a trice. And that too would be a good thing.

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    6. Then please stop being so schizo with your posts. It's almost impossible to determine what your actual position is.

      Delete
    7. My writing is perfectly clear. If you can't read it, I can only recommend that you cancel those plans to matriculate at Bumblefuck U.

      Delete
    8. Your writing is fine. In fact it is perfectly clear. It's the inconsistency in your comments that make your position incredibly unclear.

      Law schools are to be condemned for committing fraud. Law grads are whiney bitches. Law grads need to take responsibility for not religiously examining USNWR rankings and the financial situation of the magazine. Law grads need to do more to stick it to the legal academy, like staging extended, mock anal-rape sessions. Law grads need to stop blogging about this issue because law professors are laughing at us. Etc.

      Delete
    9. I haven't said all that. You may be confusing me with someone else.

      Delete
    10. Oh okay. Seems to be a timing-of-posts mistake on my part. My apologies.

      Delete
  62. @11:00AM articulates two recurrent themes:

    1. The personal responsibility argument.

    2. The notion that it is OK to scam people if they are stupid or crazy or mentally incompetent or whatever the hell he is saying.

    I say he is a man because he alludes to having woes with the size of something.

    Anyway 11:00AM Keep chewing that tree bark.

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  63. Maybe those of us upset about the scam are waging battle in the wrong place. Now that the "realists" have admitted that this was a scam so obvious that any moron could understand it, I wonder is it time to take this battle to the bar complaint committee. Clearly the ABA rule 8.4 prohibits lawyers from making misrepresentations. Now that we all agree that there was a misrepresentation, the bar should act. That is unless the "realists" want to argue that there is some exception to this rule for blatently obvious misrepresentations.

    For your reading pleasure, here's rule 8.4:

    Maintaining The Integrity Of The Profession
    Rule 8.4 Misconduct
    It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

    (a) violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;

    (b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;

    (c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;

    (d) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice;

    (e) state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law; or

    (f) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law.

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    Replies
    1. Black and white again! Realists don't claim that it was so obvious that the "morons" are fully to blame. They claim that there were enough flags to make most applicants at least suspicious, even if not to the point that they didn't go down another path in life. That is, the risks were not unknown, just the magnitude of the risks.

      But yes, bar complaints might be a damn good way to proceed. Painter? You have time to play with. Do something useful and file as a test case.

      Delete
    2. So we agree that there was a misrepresentation. Now, never mind what prospective applicants should have done with all of these "flags". Tell me what the bar should do with respect to Rule 8.4 in light of the fact that there has been a misrepresentation???

      Delete
    3. They should suspend or disbar the offending deans, professors, or anyone who had knowledge of the misrepresentations.

      But that action would not somehow prove that law students in the early 2000s had no idea. And anyone going to law school after 2008 cannot claim whatsoever that they were like lambs to the slaughter. To put the shoe on the other foot, Nando and many of the scamboosters run more of a risk of being disciplined for bringing the profession into disrepute than law professors, such are the unprofessional, increasingly-caustic and aggressive attacks on the legal profession from those crying "scam". Be careful what you wish for.

      But good luck getting a bar disciplinary committee to sanction a law professor! The problem, once again, lies with the system being run by those who benefit from the status quo.

      Delete
    4. Agreed - disbar them. Common sense.

      "But that action would not somehow prove that law students in the early 2000s had no idea."

      Much like offering no proof that law students in the early 2000s had any idea - or rounding up a bunch of insignificant and unrealistic "should haves," in order to show that law students in the early 2000s should have looked deeper - does not prove anything.

      The problem you refer to is serious. This "profession" is happy to let its members lie and scheme and steal, but any member who challenges this "profession" (aka bringing it into disrepute) might be sanctioned. That's how fucked up it gets. And that's why very few of us give a shit about the future of this "profession." Let it burn.

      Delete
  64. Kids these days expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter.

    Believe it or not, even Baby Boomers had to work and struggle.

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    Replies
    1. "Believe it or not, even Baby Boomers had to work and struggle."

      100% grade A flame.

      Only a boomer would view not being an indentured servant to the federal government for 25 years, as a silver platter.

      Delete
  65. OK. I have concluded that it is ridiculous for me to try to debate with law professors and some of the other high and mighty legal minds around here.

    I have had page views from Harvard and Yale in the past, and how the hell am I supposed to go head to head with people like that?

    Besides, there is an old maxim that says: "You can't argue with a point of view"

    And also and besides, I was a terrible student of law, even though I worked very hard.

    I should have never gone into law, and should have become an English teacher or a journalist or something like that.

    But if my creative writing skills can somehow be effective in this whole swirl of ideas about the law school scam, I have my novel, and parts of it are on my blog and on the front page now.

    And that is my fall project.

    * One last thing: It is pretty obvious that lawsuits are not going to work, and I doubt going to the ABA will either.

    Better off trying bankruptcy reform (another long shot) or continuing to spread the word about the scam to the youngsters, and that is where media comes into play.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Painter, you have finally made sense!

      10000% agree that bankruptcy reform is the only viable track, as it will do exactly what we want: relief for grads, and reform for higher education as a whole (and not just law schools).

      Delete
  66. The idea to file disciplinary charges against law school deans and professors is just as ludicrous as the lawsuits themselves. First, many professors are not even practicing lawyers. Most are in "inactive" status. You forget, a law professor doesn't need a bar license to teach. Secondly, the rules apply in how lawyers treat their clients, adversaries and the courts. As Judge Cohen correctly states, there is no "special relationship" between law schools/professors and the law students. I am sure the law professors are quaking in their boots over the impending deluge of disciplinary complaints.

    Look, you want to hit the professors where it hurts? Be more proactive. Stop bitching on this blog. Go to your alma mater on orientation and wear tattered clothes with a sign that reads "Class of 2012 Grad, will give back JD for student loan debt discharge." Or stage a protest at the schools. Go to the LSAT testing centers on test day and reenact a scene where you are a student getting bent over while law professors, deans and administrators are taking their turns buggering you without lubrication.

    I suspect none of you will do these things. No, you will continue to say "We wuz scammed/robbed" or "Where is my piece of the pie?" Quit your fucking crying. You made a reckless bet and you lost. You know how many people have it worse? The vets coming back from Afghanistan with no limbs. Go to hell with your student loan problems. No one pointed a gun to your head and told you to go to law school. Stand up like a man and take personal responsibility!

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    Replies
    1. Hey, injured Afghanistan vet, quit your crying. No one pointed a gun at your head and told you to go into the Army. You made a reckless bet and you lost. Take personal responsibility!

      Not that I agree with the above sentiment, but see, your logic works both ways.

      Delete
    2. Wuz,

      No one will do those those things because they are really fucking stupid ideas. Stupid fucking ideas that law professors would love - no one discussing the issues, just law grads making asses of themselves.

      Delete
    3. As opposed to here where...

      Oh yeah, grads making asses of themselves.

      Delete
    4. What is the point of the law school scam movement? To educate the lemmings right?

      What do you think "discussing the issues" has gotten? Most of the lemmings think you are crazy losers anyway. Why not act the part and protest on the law school campuses?

      Take the fight to the law schools, and quit thinking you will achieve anything by hiding behind a computer keyboard. Do you really think the law professors love confrontation? They love having hegemony and control over the classroom because they know the students will kiss their ass for a grade. However, what do law grads have to lose by confronting these cocksuckers? Take the fight to the law schools. People who talk about war don't understand it because they have never been there on the front lines. The campuses need to become the front lines in your fight. Dig up the foxholes and take residence in the trenches. Discussing these issues in an "intelligent debate" will only delay the war and produce more casualties (e.g., more graduating classes of grads with insurmountable debt and no quality legal jobs).

      Delete
    5. I actually enjoy watching both anonymous law grads and anonymous law professors make complete asses of themselves on this forum. But at least here the issues get discussed. The last thing I"m going to advocate is law grads making one-sided asses of themselves so that the legal academy can "prove" that scambloggers are extremist nuts. It would be a Brian Leiter wet-dream.

      Delete
    6. Also, your movement has lost several times in the Courts. Congress has only passed legislation to make law grads' plight even worse (e.g., 2005 Amendments to the Bankruptcy Code, no more subsidized interest payment programs while in grad school, etc.). You have no friends on either aisle of the political arena. The president doesn't give a fuck about students when he says "education is the key" or "your education is an investment that will payoff in the long-term."

      So when all else fails,take the battle to the law schools. Go over to profsblawg. The law school professors are making fun of you because they realize that year after year a class of dumb lemmings will continue to take the plunge. The lemmings need to learn the hard way but the lot of you are a bunch of cowards who are afraid to take the fight to the law schools. You say you are afraid to make asses of yourselves. Newsflash: THE LAW PROFESSORS AND LEMMINGS THING YOU ARE ASSES NOW ANYWAY.

      Delete
    7. Actually I think some UVA kids did what you're talking about by wearing t-shirts about not having jobs. Not sure whether it was effective or not but it has been done.

      Delete
    8. Oh, yeah, PLEASE! No one use the most effective instrument of mass communication ever invented to get your message out. That's just pointless bitching. Haha. Do you transparent much?

      Delete
    9. And it's clear that all of this "pointless bitching" is having an effect. The number of mindless lemmings enrolling at law schools is decreasing. More and more often I run into people who mention a law school/student loan crisis (just happened again last night) - they almost always say that they heard about the issue on the internet.

      Most of the lemmings who think we're assess will be joining our ranks soon anyway. As for law professors thinking we're asses, who gives a shit? I'd try to "go over to profsblawg" and pretend I care that law professors are making fun of us, but it's a rather busy site and I have no idea what exactly the above poster is referring to. On the other hand I follow quite a few blogs by law professors that make it quite clear that law schools and law professors understand that they are facing a serious crisis. Us "hiding behind a keyboard" and discussing these issues has done a lot.

      But on further thought, I do think the above rant contains a decent point in regard to doing more than only discussing these issues online. Maybe it would be worthwhile to expand our actions and take it to the streets. The UVA example mentioned above is worth considering. Who knows, it's certainly worth a shot, and it might be time for something like that.

      My main concern is that we don't give up on blogging and continuing to get the word out online. From day one the law school apologists have been insisting that "blogging doesn't work/no one reads your whining" and telling us to do something else that does work, which usually involves us discrediting ourselves in one way or another. As long as we keep making arguments that the legal academy can't refute while they run in circles, I'm open to other ideas as well.

      Delete
  67. Misrepresentations occur everyday. However, it is the risk of acting upon them. When I went to law school the misrepresentations weren't revealed like they are now with the advent of the internet. Anyone pursuing law school now has to bear at least some, if not most, of the responsibility.

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  68. I would love your comment, 10:33, if it included something about how law schools have a responsibility, as gatekeepers to the profession, to tell the truth. It seems the legal profession thinks it is exceptional in that it is those who were ripped off who have all the responsibility while those who do the ripping off - well, let's just say we don't say much about them, do we?

    Even when Bernie Madoff ripped off a bunch of individuals - most who were experienced investors - at least the financial field had the decency to come out and say lying, cheating, and stealing was wrong and would not be tolerated. At least as a country, we punished those who would do such things.

    It says a lot about the legal field that hardly anything is said about the wrongdoers in the mainstream legal profession. I guess we're too far gone in the ethics department to give a hoot about honesty and integrity in this profession, huh?

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  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

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