Friday, September 28, 2012

Toxic assets

Three months ago George Washington Law School suffered something of a PR embarrassment when the school attempted to unilaterally alter the terms of its "Pathways to Practice" program.  Like many higher-ranked law schools, GW has over the last few years started paying a modest post-graduation stipend to new graduates who acquire volunteer positions with non-profit employers.  In GW's program, the graduates are required to touch base with the school's CSO once per month, either in person or by phone, until they either get a paying job or their enrollment in the program expires after one year.  The graduates are paid $15 per hour for up to 40 hours per week of work.

GW attempted to lower this to $10 beginning in December 2012 as an "incentive" to malingerers who were supposedly turning down paid work because they preferred to stay in temporary volunteer positions in exchange for the $15 per hour stipend.  This action raised enough of an outcry that in less than 24 hours the school dropped the prospective change to the program.

These programs have two purposes.  The benign one is to give otherwise unemployed graduates some minimal financial support and a bit of resume burnishing while they look for jobs (Ideally of course a volunteer position may turn into paid work, although the increasingly stiff competition for scarce non-profit work, which makes those who get it eligible for PSLF's ten-year loan forgiveness, makes this an unlikely outcome). 

The less benign purpose, naturally, is that it allows schools to massage the employment stats they report to NALP and the ABA (Note that a graduate who stays in a program of this sort for a full year is counted as someone employed in a full-time long-term position requiring bar admission. In what seems to me a mistake, LST is currently counting such positions as part of its core employment rate.).

At the time that GW's attempted revision of its program came to light, I speculated that the number of 2012 graduates enrolled in it must be quite large, given the school's eagerness to start saving five dollars per hour in December.  Yesterday those GW graduates currently enrolled in the program -- this group does not include graduates who were enrolled in the program and subsequently got jobs -- received an email reminding them to turn in their timesheets.  Through an oversight whoever sent the email failed to bcc the addresses of the recipients, meaning that it was possible for everyone who got the email to see who else is currently enrolled in the program.

It turns out that, as of yesterday, 114 people -- 21% of the total graduating class -- were enrolled.  My source remarks that "some of the email addresses that I recognize were those of quite good students: honors (maybe even top 15%, if my memory of the commencement handouts serves me right) and law review."  

A few notes:

(1)  This number does not include unemployed GW graduates who either refused to enroll in the program or were unable to find volunteer positions that made them eligible for the stipend (My source does not know how many graduates, if any, are in either category, but it seems conservative to estimate that, as of nearly five months after graduation, fully a quarter of the graduating class of the nation's 20th ranked law school remains essentially unemployed).

(2) It will be interesting to see how this number changes between today and February 15th (the nine-month NALP reporting deadline).  In February 2011 GW reported 26 graduates were being paid by the school, while this past February the reported number to NALP was 81. Schools with similar programs report radically different results in this regard.  For example, last year Michigan was employing 75 of its 2011 graduates in the fall, but only eight were still employed by the school as of this February (54 had gotten jobs of some sort while 13 others were neither employed by the school nor anyone else).  By contrast, all 38 of Columbia's 2011 grads who were employed by the school post-graduation were still employed by the school in February, and indeed 34 of the 38 were still employed by the school in May.

(3) George Washington took in 97 transfer students in the fall of 2010, and 104 in the fall of 2011.

All of the above information emphasizes the need for longer-term employment data than that which schools currently collect per NALP and ABA requirements, and which is gradually being extracted from them for public consumption.  These sorts of post-graduate employment programs are of course beneficial in a short-term way to graduates, but they, along with other forms of statistical legerdemain, allow schools to treat un- and underemployed new graduates as the equivalent of toxic assets on a corporation's balance sheet, to be unloaded as quickly and expeditiously as possible.  (BTW it's important to emphasize that corporations and law schools that behave in this way are merely behaving in exactly the way one would predict they would behave, given the rules of the economic and professional games which the corporations and schools are structurally required to play. Thus rather than focusing on condemning individual institutional actors for their behavior, it's more useful to focus on changing the structural rules of those games).

What we really need to know is, where will these 114 people (and the 20,000-25,000 or so similarly precariously positioned graduates of the national law school class of 2012) be two and three years from now, when no one -- as of now -- will be paying any further attention to the state of their putative legal careers?






172 comments:

  1. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-09-28/student-loan-bubble-19-simple-charts

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Sorry. You can delete that comment. Probably sort of inappropriate to direct readers elsewhere as the first comment on a new post. Just thought you might be interested in the numbers.

      Delete
    2. Yes, the first comment should always note that it is the first comment!

      Delete
    3. Yes, of course it should. I stand corrected!

      Delete
    4. Don't "stand" corrected...

      Delete
  2. If faculty cared about students, they would be outraged.

    Hypothesis: The amount of interest that a teacher has in his or her students is inversely related to the age of the student.

    Kindergarten and primary school teachers are good people. They really care about their kids. Middle school and high school less so. College profs are indifferent. Law school: "screw you kid, pay me!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Full of SUMPIN', I saySeptember 28, 2012 at 6:07 PM

      You're way off base. People (and teachers/professors) are individuals. They are. Grow up a bit.

      Delete
    2. Sorry, 6:07. I agree with Anonymous.

      Delete
  3. Yes, but according to "Deal Professor" Davidoff, all these people will be just fine because of the Georgetown study showing that the median income of practicing lawyers and judges in 2009 was $91,000, so over 40 years everyone who went to law school will earn $4 million! The reality of course is that many will earn less than if they had not gone to law school, while incurring crippling debt.

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    1. Versatility RULES, dude.September 28, 2012 at 6:08 PM

      Jess don' you ferget, them theres laws degrees is veeer-seee-TILE.

      Verseeeetyle.

      Don't choo ferget it.

      Delete
  4. Let's get that list public.

    We've got the *perfect* social science experiment.

    We have 114 data points.

    We can tract them longitudinally over their careers. In many cases, we will be able to track salary and net worth.

    This is great!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "Let's get that list public. "

      If you mean the list of GW students on the dole, no, I hope that LP does not publish it. It may become public via other means, but Paul shouldn't be the one to do it.

      Delete
  5. And they say we're in a recovery!

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  6. Very interesting. Key term that was implicit but left out: U.S. News. Only reason schools are doing this.

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  7. The BCC list might not actually be an accurate measure of how many graduates are on the dole.

    I know of countless times that I've remained on mailing lists after I no longer was a part of various groups.

    That doesn't mean that the 114 is MUCH too high, but there is a high probability that it is higher than those that are actually part of the program as of the date of the email.

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    1. There's a thing called "money," which has to be "budgeted." Those who do so have to know how much money they're supposed to be paying out this week. This is a list of 2012 grads currently employed by the school, not some student group that you quit and keeps sending you emails anyway. If somebody doesn't need to get paid any more they're off this list.

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    2. I agree with 9:10. This is one e-mail list likely to be highly accurate.

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    3. You act as if this email list was a deposit list or a payroll list, and it simply is not.

      Payroll is one thing, this email is another. What makes you think that the lists are one and the same?

      It is perfectly feasible that payroll has an up to date list and that the person responsible for sending out shit to the employees doesn't get their lists updated as frequently. Unless you have no idea how inter-office communication works, you should understand this.

      Delete
    4. Well all this nitpicking about the precise number changes everything, doesn't it 9:03/10:05? If it was only 94 GW grads working fake jobs instead of 114, then hey everybody, LET THE SCAM CONTINUE.

      Delete
    5. 9:03 is some 1L trying to make him/herself feel better.

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    6. What about the half-dozen folks who were inadvertently left off the list? (In the same manner as the sender inadvertently forgot the "B" in BCC. 114 may be low.

      Delete
    7. Is the number of people 114? Or are there a few strays on the list? Maybe it's 110. Or 105. Or 100. But it's probably pretty damn accurate, since it's sent out monthly, and one would imagine that if it were sent to you in the past and you were no longer on the list, you'd let them know.

      It's close enough for GW work.

      Delete
    8. That there are more than a handful of people on this list is a crime. These fellowships are theoretically to help people in public interest get work with organizations who can't afford them. It was never meant to be an unemployment stop gap for a large percentage of the class.

      I actually loathe GW now.

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    9. Go and chop down their cherry tree.

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  8. Bad enough that Pathways To Practice participants are counted as "employed." Even worse that the ones who stay for a year are numbered among those doing work that requires bar passage.

    Oh, the things one can do with statistics!

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  9. They are "employed."

    They are on the payroll, they are doing work, and they are collecting a paycheck.

    Last time I checked, that was employment.

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    1. It's not "long term," though.

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    2. And a one-year gig—if it can be arranged—doing "volunteer" work for $15/h is not what people expect to get when they sign up for law school (and the accompanying bills/debt).

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    3. Last time I checked, people aren't paying several hundred thousands dollars so that they can obtain this type of "employment" that lasts less than a year, doesn't pay much, and is only exists for law schools to game the ratings.

      Delete
    4. Thanks Brian, well we do indeed always appreciate your inputs to our lively discussions!

      Delete
  10. it's interesting to see how Columbia games the system for it's bottom 5% or whatever, and then see how the gaming snowballs into more egregious shit at lower ranked LSs. GW is ranked number #20, and at least a quarter of it's class is unemployed.

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  11. This isn't new information.

    We already have the employment score for GW plus it's school funded for 2011. It's 80.7 - 15.6 = 65.1 . Unless people lost their Employment-Score eligible, non-school funded jobs and then went into the P2P program, the 6% increase in P2P enrollment probably cuts into GW's under-employment score (8.3).

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    1. This is class of 2012 info not 2011.

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    2. That makes it more concerning.

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    3. My apologies. I got the classes mixed-up. Your post is re: c/o 2012; the most recent data is c/o 2011. That makes the data more concerning. But it is still incomplete. The increase in school funded at GW from 2010 to 2011 was 10.5 points, up from 5.1%; the decrease in under-employed at GW over the same two years was 7.3 points, down to 8.3%. We need 2012's under-employed to know to what extent the market for GW grades worsened from 2011 or the participation rate in the school-funded program increased among the otherwise under-employed. But the presumption is that the market worsened, unless the school can tell us otherwise. Dean Berman talks about P2P a lot, so it is also possible participation rates have increased. I would encourage the school to release more information.

      Delete
  12. "George Washington took in 97 transfer students in the fall of 2010, and 104 in the fall of 2011."

    not that it really matters, but we need to know the entire 2L class size to get some context

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    1. It's about 1/5 of the total class size. Some of those transfers come from area schools, others from outside the market.

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    2. That large number of transfer students reflects George Washington's position as a third-tier (by the classification that I posted earlier today) law school. George Washington is low enough to lose a lot of people to the Columbias and the Michigans but high enough to have no trouble filling the vacated spaces.

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    3. See law profs definition of trap schools. He explains GW perfectly.

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  13. At my T1 school, many class of 2011 people who were volunteer clerks in gov for over a year finally got permanent jobs.

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    1. The fact that the number 5 months post-graduation in 2012 is lower than the number 9 months post-graduation in 2011 could mean the P2P program actually works for some.

      Delete
    2. The 2012 number is 114 five months after graduation.

      The 2011 number was 80 nine months after graduation.

      Math is hard!

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    3. You're not being smart enough. What if the numbers start high after graduation and then trend down. You'd see just this pattern.

      Delete
  14. Teh feds should not! be funding this crap. Only T14 schools should get fed-gt'eed loans.

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  15. At one time, graduating from GW law was like finding a golden ticket in a Willy Wonka bar...What has happened?

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  16. . . . and now, graduating from GW and going straight into a law job that pays enough to service your loans is like finding that golden ticket

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  17. To the asshole that said I will be back today:

    My 1986 interview, and as a college student, with a survivor of the Nazi Death Camp, Sachsenhausen.

    Part 1 is on my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. how did you do so bad in law school?

      Delete
    2. Looks like the asshole who said you'd be back today was right. And he doesn't care about your blog. I'll go out on a limb and opine that no one else cares, either.

      You are boring. Go away.

      Delete
    3. You still don't have the entire trolling thing down, do you?

      Delete
    4. Well you said you wouldn't be back until after the election. I said you would be back today. Looks like I won.

      Delete
    5. 11:31: It's nice that you get a kick out of tormenting mentally ill people. You're a real class act.

      Delete
    6. I am not sure if simply pointing out a statistically likely fact counts as tormenting, since we've all heard this before with him. The other thing is that I am not sure that having a high student loan debt counts as a mental illness in DSM V. Hoarding can be considered a mental illness. That was one of the things added.

      Delete
    7. 11:47 AM: He is the one that called me an asshole for simply pointing out the truth.

      Delete
    8. Painter, fuck you for using that Survivor on your blog.

      And fuck you in advance for not being able to see what an asshole that makes you.

      Just go. Now. Don't come back. You just don't get it. You will now do anything for attention, and it is sad.

      Delete
    9. And I will preserve your shameful post for you, because I expect you to delete it when you sober up.

      ....................

      To the asshole that said I will be back today:

      My 1986 interview, and as a college student, with a survivor of the Nazi Death Camp, Sachsenhausen.

      Part 1 is on my blog.

      Delete
    10. His interview with a survivor of a Nazi death camp??

      JD Painterguy is officially a loser AND a douchebag.

      Delete
    11. I don't even go to his blog. He tracks IP addresses, which sounds like extreme paranoia to me.

      Delete
  18. @LawProf:

    Come on, you can't blame the law school, they come by it naturally. Look at the recently departed GWU Pres, profiled in National Journal under the headline "Stephen Trachtenberg Is Not Sorry."

    A link and an excerpt are below (this also serves as Exhibit A as to why legal ed is simply the canary in the coal mine for all of higher ed):

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/features/restoration-calls/stephen-trachtenberg-is-not-sorry-20120927?page=1

    "The way Trachtenberg saw it, selling George Washington over the other schools was like selling one brand of vodka over another. Vodka, he points out, is a colorless, odorless liquid that varies little by maker. He realized the same was true among national private universities: It was as simple as raising the price and upgrading the packaging to create the illusion of quality. Trachtenberg gambled that prospective students would see costly tuition as a sign of quality, and he was right. “People equate price with the value of their education,” he says.

    Trachtenberg was hardly the first to reach this conclusion, but under his leadership, George Washington was peerless in following its logic. He didn’t spend the tuition windfall to shift the professor-to-student ratio or overhaul the curriculum. Instead, he covered the campus in cafés, beautiful study spaces, and nicer dorms. Trachtenberg thought that construction on campus gave the appearance that the school was financially sound and was progressing toward a goal, so his policy was, “Never stop building.” If he wanted to erect or renovate two buildings, he would stagger the projects so that jackhammers could be heard constantly around campus. He also introduced a three-day orientation, known as Colonial Inauguration, that featured ice-cream socials, casino nights, and a laser show that cost $2,500 per minute.

    Meanwhile, more and more applicants were choosing George Washington over its rivals, which realized that they, too, had to telegraph value to attract top students. The result was a tuition arms race. Between 1988 and 2008, private schools’ spending on noneducational assets outstripped their outlays for research, academic support, and instruction. (Class size remained the same at GW and its competitors during Trachtenberg’s 19-year tenure, and the nationwide percentage of full-time faculty fell from 80 percent to just over 50 percent between 1970 and 2007, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.) Those buying sprees cost money: Many registrars, at both large universities and small liberal-arts colleges, have raced to cross the $40,000—then $50,000—tuition threshold in the last decade. George Washington now costs more than $56,000, and still there are 20 schools more expensive.

    This wasn’t pure class warfare. Along with spending on campus amenities, private colleges also focused on merit scholarships, diverse student bodies, and even, at the richer schools, need-blind admissions. GW was the nation’s most expensive school, but it still had one of the most economically diverse student bodies, Trachtenberg says. (At least that’s what he remembers telling his board of directors to say if its members felt self-conscious about the rising cost of matriculation.) Private schools across the nation discount their tuitions by an average of 42.8 percent today, up from 26.7 percent in 1990."



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    1. There's another factor that wasn't mentioned and it creates a self-perpetuating cycle to boost its rankings: the higher he raises tuition, the more leeway (i.e. power in choosing attractive LSAT scorers) he has in cross-subsidization of tuition.

      Delete
  19. Sad, bt timely:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012/09/28/college-students-defaulting-at-record-rate/57851078/1

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    1. From the article. "Experts credited the combination of skyrocketing student debt, the poor economy and a lack of borrower education for the increase."

      Of course. It could have nothing to do with sociopathic lenders or lenders who would prefer to collect fees and a higher interest rate.

      Delete
    2. You must mean the government, because it is by far the biggest lender.

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    3. Of course the borrowers are not at all blameworthy.

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  20. If a GW student on law review didn't get a job, there's something wrong with him. I think this is fair to say, anyone disagree? Why TLS just recently had a Columbia grad with top grades striking out at OCI. There is such a thing as "I just don't want to hire that guy..."

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    1. Yes I strongly disagree. Anyone who bid exclusively on DC coming from GW could easily strike out at OCI. DC is a crazy tough market.GW doesnt have aregional market and it isn't the best school in its city. Plus it is huge. 3L hiring is non-existent.

      Why blame the students when there aren't enough jobs?

      Delete
    2. I blame the student described above that bids exclusively on DC for that exact reason.

      Delete
    3. An error in bidding probably influences by OCS advice is not at ll the same thing ad having something "wrong" with you or being the guy that" no one wants to hire.

      GW is a trap school living on some old reputation.

      There are Columbia grads who strike out from poor bidding and also because there aren't enough jobs.

      That does not mean the people not getting hired have some terrible personal flaw.

      Delete
    4. I know a few GW law review members who had nothing lined up post-3L...

      Delete
    5. Let me correct my phone post from above

      An error in bidding probably influenced by OCS advice is not at all the same thing as having something "wrong" with you or being the "guy that no one wants to hire."


      Also I want to add:
      There aren't enough jobs. Blaming a student because they have what a boomer would consider a lock on a job is no longer acceptable or appropriate. The emphasis needs to be on the schools who mislead these students into thinking that if they do everything right they will land a biglaw or other job.


      I think only YHS can claim that their grads will get jobs with any certainty.

      Also, students need to know that, unlike getting accepted to a school, having credentials will not get you into a job that doesn't exist.

      Delete
    6. Everybody knows DC is mad tough. Why would you bid on DC-only? Hello. There's a place called NYC. GW student, meet NYC.

      Delete
    7. You only get so many bids. GW students have no better shot in NYC than in DC.

      Delete
    8. A GW student on law review absolutely has a better shot in NYC.

      Any why would you take your bidding advice from the morons in OCS?

      Delete
    9. GW has a problem - it is a primarily regional school in the quintessential national legal market, Washington DC. Moreover it is depending on how you look at this the number 2 or number 4-5 school - by which I mean after Georgetown (very much a national school) UVa (whose main market is DC) and outside GW's strong suit even Catholic and perhaps American.

      GW's main strength is in intellectual property - hard IP at that, and a lot of its graduates in IP have clerking jobs up and down K street in IP departments in top firms while students, which gives them an inside track on associate positions in very selective IP departments (who all want EE, Chem, bioChem, Physics undergrads.) Move out of IP though and GW is weaker or about the same as the surrounding schools.

      Moreover, the DC market is a key target market for H, Y, S, Chicago etc. which means that GW students are in competition not only with Georgetown and the other three DC schools plus George Mason, UVa and Baltimore/Maryland, but against multiple higher ranked schools.

      The DC market is tougher than New York with much more competition. GW is the No. 2 regional school in a national market - big problem. And it is very very expensive with a high cost of living.

      Delete
    10. I wasn't saying for certain the GW student only bid DC.

      I was simply giving one response to the idiot who said that the only reason a top student at GW didn't get a job was because there was something wrong with them.

      Delete
    11. "Moreover it is depending on how you look at this the number 2 or number 4-5 school - by which I mean after Georgetown (very much a national school) UVa (whose main market is DC) and outside GW's strong suit even Catholic and perhaps American."

      I have worked in the DC legal market for years and never seen any evidence that GW is held below Catholic or American, regardless of field. With the exception of canon law.

      Delete
    12. Catholic has a reputation for producing very competent junior associates, more ready to practice than GW or Georgetown - not smarter, but more ready

      Delete
    13. I've heard the same - a lot of CUA graduates can do the work from Day 1 but some are dumb, AU really cannot, GW depends, ditto Georgetown. Georgetown are smarter (and yes....)

      CUA does have a good rep, in many respects better than the other DC schools for producing graduates ready to do the job. It seems to have a lot of paralegals, other quasi-legal jobs getting JDs. GW has a lot of patent types and paralegals, George Mason a lot of USPTO examiners, Georgetown a lot of Hill types and older students, GW and Georgetown a fair few US Government getting a JD.

      None of these are conventional law students.

      Delete
    14. RE: a couple of things. Is GW's "main strength" IP? I think we are forgetting self-selection. I doubt any school has a "strength" in a practice area.

      Is it true that a top grad at GW should be getting good jobs if he interviews well? Yes. Hello?

      Is it true that GW is at a disadvantage for being in DC? If you bid on DC schools, yes. The idea that bidding on NYC isn't any better an idea than bidding on DC is...stupid on its face.

      Delete
    15. ""Moreover it is depending on how you look at this the number 2 or number 4-5 school - by which I mean after Georgetown (very much a national school) UVa (whose main market is DC) and outside GW's strong suit even Catholic and perhaps American."

      I have worked in the DC legal market for years and never seen any evidence that GW is held below Catholic or American, regardless of field. With the exception of canon law."

      Oh thank you nameless annon for the laugh.

      Delete
  21. Law prof- please address the concept that going to law school depends on how risk-averse you are. That phrasing makes it see like to are a cool person if you are willing to gamble your future. The decision should be based on a consideration of what the worst outcome will be, not solely a consideration that you have a 50% shot of repaying your debt.

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  22. Tuition pricing at the undergraduate and graduate level reminds me of the prostitution service that was involved in Eliot Spitzer's downfall. The service supposedly had one group of attractive girls for a fairly high price. Then they had the really exotic Euro-maidens and Asian-maidens available for a very high price. The kicker was the girls were really all from the same group. They just sent them out with different names and fantasy stories depending on how much the rich dude wanted to pay.

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  23. How will these precariously situated graduates be doing into a few years time as they manage Himalayan debtloads, while trying to break into a super-saturated and contracting profession with no skills to speak of in spite of their alleged doctorate?

    They will be doing "quite well." So says Dean David Yellen of Loyola (of Chicago) Law School.

    “The thing that these statistics and these law suits don’t look at is how people are doing not one year after graduation, but five and ten years after graduation, and the studies that have been done show that lawyers tend to be doing quite well after a longer period of time.”

    –Dean David Yellen, of Loyola of Chicago (see video link below, at 10:32-10:48)

    http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2012/02/07/chicago-law-schools-sued

    I have noticed that pro-scam faculty and pests such as Shawn O'Connor (below), following Yellen, have asserted approximately the same thing, scamishly misconstruing a Georgetown study of lawyer salaries.

    "Thus over a 40 year career, a lawyer will earn nearly double the lifetime earnings of (or $2 million more than) a person with only a bachelor’s degree...[and] [i]t is also important to note that in many ways this analysis is a worst-case scenario."

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/shawnoconnor/2012/04/05/grad-school-still-worth-the-money/2/

    I think that law schools can vindicate that position very simply. Let them charge whatever they want, and enroll as many students as they want. HOWEVER, require them to offer a one-time option to graduates five-years-out. Each graduate would have the option to return his or her law degree in exchange for a refund of all tuition paid and interest accrued on student loans.

    What a triumph it will be for law schools when only a handful of grads accept the offer.

    dybbuk

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    1. All of these statistics on what "lawyers" earn make the assumption or imply that a "JD grad" is the same thing as a "lawyer". Decades after gradutation, the only people that are going to count as "lawyers" are the one that succeeded in practice. The other JD grads who washed out are conveniently not counted because they obviously didn't succeed in becoming a "lawyer".

      What these studies instead need to focus on is how well LAW GRADS do five, ten, twenty years out regardless of whether they became "lawyers" or not.

      Delete
    2. I'm not sure that's the right approach either although I'd be more comfortable with an all grads from X school approach.

      Delete
    3. Exactly (5:45). Of course those that reach the acme of the profession—whatever it be—tend to do well relative to the general public. We didn't need that platitude.

      Typical of Forbes ("Capitalist [F]ool") to compare a tiny, successful group (lawyers at the end of a forty-year career) with a large, diffuse, undistinguished group (people with a bachelor's degree)—and further conclude that law school makes sense today for everyone because some of its graduates forty or more years ago had long careers as lawyers.

      Delete
  24. Great Zerohedge article with 19 charts on the Student Loan Bubble

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-09-28/student-loan-bubble-19-simple-charts

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    1. You should look at this one too: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-09-28/next-subprime-crisis-here-over-120-billion-federal-student-loans-default

      Delete
    2. I stopped looking at Zero Cred a long time ago.

      I'm not sure exactly what they are good for, but I would put together my own data and do my own analysis.

      It's not a true bubble and it's not the next subprime crisis.

      Didn't they do away with the SLABS system?

      Delete
  25. The Fauxployment BureauSeptember 28, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    In the words of an old tennis player, I CANNOT BELIEVE no one has yet mentioned, "fauxployment".

    That's what these jobs are, after all.

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  26. Last Friday LawProf listed the decreased size of a number of law school's entering classes this fall, citing data from TLS. Have there been any further updates by TLS?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You really have to keep looking at the thread. People keep updating as information becomes available.

      Delete
  27. Can the students collect unemployment after they are done with this program? Are taxes withheld?

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  28. I notice that none of the P2P grads are listed on the next page of GWs employment statistics page. This despite the fact they know exactly what those salaries are. I also wonder how many GW students working biglaw had their salaries filled in by GW on the survey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, yea. That is a good point. It seems like they're not listed...or else the 25th %tile would be different.

      But why punish the school for providing assistance to the under-employed?

      Delete
    2. I'm not sure it's punishing them so much as not letting them have it both ways. If they're counting them as full-time employed then salary should be included. If they don't want to count them in the full-time employed group then sure, exclude the salary.

      Delete
    3. For c/o 2011, there were 30 salaries reported in government and 6 in Public Interest. If there were 80 graduates in P2P that year (give or take a few) and half were working in government and half in PI, that would move the MEDIAN salaries in those categories to roughly $24,000.

      Now I know a couple dedicated public servants who chose lower government/PI salaries over 160K biglaw, but even they would not have attended law school if they thought their most likely outcome coming out was $24K.

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

    ReplyDelete
  30. @Sept. 28th 12:47PM

    Oh yeah! Well you sound like a law school shill, and do you know what? Better heads than yours emerge from behind zippers every day!

    And if the "half ass job" were a political movement, you and the ABA and all of your other negligent colleagues would be starting a Revolution!

    By the way, the budweiser cans I picked up today have a nice NY Mets 50th anniversary rendition, with an orange and blue label with the Manhattan skyline :)


    ReplyDelete

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JD PainterguySeptember 29, 2012 9:00 AM

      @Sept. 28th 12:47PM

      Oh yeah! Well you sound like a law school shill, and do you know what? Better heads than yours emerge from behind zippers every day!

      And if the "half ass job" were a political movement, you and the ABA and all of your other negligent colleagues would be starting a Revolution!

      By the way, the budweiser cans I picked up today have a nice NY Mets 50th anniversary rendition, with an orange and blue label with the Manhattan skyline :)

      Delete
  31. JD Painterguy. You got a 1.9 GPA at Turo law. Explain yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Toruo Reccomended me to take the NY Bar and I ave a graduation video to prove it.

    Oh crap the comments are way down and even the 3rd phase of the scamblog movement seems to be slowly snuffed by huge waves of anon commenters.


    Said Anon commenters, who have, within a relatively short span of tme learned how to withold their custom, and have turned a more polite face towards the public that that they need very much, and whom will be pouring in the taxpayer backed tuition dollars.


    Tickly dee!

    And Tickley Doo!

    It ain't no one around here but old Johnny.

    And you

    And Johnny is a laughin' on YOU.

    And enjoyin' himeself too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Should they have recommended after you graduate that you not take the bar? Why did you not pass the bar?

      Delete
    2. JD PainterguySeptember 29, 2012 1:10 PM
      Toruo Reccomended me to take the NY Bar and I ave a graduation video to prove it.

      Oh crap the comments are way down and even the 3rd phase of the scamblog movement seems to be slowly snuffed by huge waves of anon commenters.


      Said Anon commenters, who have, within a relatively short span of tme learned how to withold their custom, and have turned a more polite face towards the public that that they need very much, and whom will be pouring in the taxpayer backed tuition dollars.


      Tickly dee!

      And Tickley Doo!

      It ain't no one around here but old Johnny.

      And you

      And Johnny is a laughin' on YOU.

      And enjoyin' himeself too :)

      Delete
    3. JD Painterflop, I think the paint fumes have destroyed your brain.

      Delete
  33. I guess the law schools think it's pretty neat
    to gobble on the lending teat;
    and to ride the lending gravy train

    on tracks
    laid across poor debtor's backs;

    to know that half the student body
    n'er will buy a pissin' potty.

    So clip, clip, clop clop
    clippity clop.

    Get off your high horse!

    and deal with all the plop.

    Then pack your bags,
    and put em' in the cellar
    and go hang out
    with Rockerfeller!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not following. But good luck to you. The market is indeed awful. It's not your fault.

      Delete
    2. Yesterday you accused us of violating your human rights somehow, and today you post this. I am wondering what is it that you want us to do about your situation?

      You said that before that you have spoken to 3 bankruptcy lawyers and apparently quit. Maybe you should try 300. Remember if you have a 1% chance of success, and assuming a uniform distribution, after 300 tries you have a 95% chance of success of succeeding at least once. Now yours probably isn't a uniform distribution but this example does illustrate how to turn 1% into 95%.

      What other steps have you taken to deal with this? Have you written your representation in Congress about the matter? Have you written the President? How about the Secretary of the United Nations (They are based in NYC).

      And before you were wondering why the FBI, DOD was looking at your blog. Have you ever thought that when you post about suicide and violence it would show up in Search Engines and attract FBI interest as a potential threat to society?

      And yes, I was the one that said that you'll be back today.

      Delete
    3. JD PainterguySeptember 29, 2012 1:16 PM
      I guess the law schools think it's pretty neat
      to gobble on the lending teat;
      and to ride the lending gravy train

      on tracks
      laid across poor debtor's backs;

      to know that half the student body
      n'er will buy a pissin' potty.

      So clip, clip, clop clop
      clippity clop.

      Get off your high horse!

      and deal with all the plop.

      Then pack your bags,
      and put em' in the cellar
      and go hang out
      with Rockerfeller!

      Delete
    4. Thank you for preserving this idiot's posts. It seems that he is ashamed of what he writes sometimes, which is why he comes back and deletes everything later.

      Perhaps he will now understand that he cannot come here, act like an asshole, then erase all memory of what he did.

      Delete
  34. ScamProf is so noble and so hypocritical -- he gets so worked up about all this shadiness but yet he is a card-carrying member of the system he loathes so much

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not this again.

      Do you think that the readers of this blog don't know that law prof and DJM are professors at T1 law schools?

      If so, thanks for pointing this out!

      Delete
    2. 2:12. Your criticism of LawProf is flat out of line. He is a member of the system. And the scholarship he produces is WORTH the salary he is paid. Get it? Of all the members of the system who benefit from it, we would want LawProf to benefit THE MOST!

      Delete
    3. Please don't give Leiter the attention he so pathetically craves.

      Delete
    4. In American society, you are presumed to have an intelligence/wisdom that is directly related to your profession and your specific job.

      Meaning that if LawProf was not a law professior, and was instead an unemployed lawyer, people would just assume that he was incompetent and ignore him.

      It's a really annoying feature of American culture.

      Delete
  35. PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT - Dealing With Painter.

    IF YOU SEE Painter on this blog, repost his exact text as a reply to his posts. Cut and paste it. This will hopefully stop him. He comes here, makes shitty comments, then deletes them later when he realizes his foolishness. The only way to keep him out is to make sure everything he writes here is kept for posterity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is probably more effort than I'm up to.

      Delete
    2. He's performance art.

      Have you never dealt with internet performance art before?

      I enjoy him much more than Hypertiger.

      This blog could have...this....

      http://hypertiger.blogspot.com/

      Delete
    3. Performance shart.

      Delete
    4. Query: how does JD Painter type with his head so far up his backside?

      Might he be "circus-worthy?"

      Delete
  36. "Note that a graduate who stays in a program of this sort for a full year is counted as someone employed in a full-time long-term position requiring bar admission. In what seems to me a mistake, LST is currently counting such positions as part of its core employment rate."

    Not a mistake.

    When we figure out a school's Employment Score, we start by looking at the number of Long Term, Full Time, Bar Passage Required Jobs.

    We also have data on the number of school funded jobs and if they're Long/Short Term and Full/Part Time. But, schools do not report if the school funded jobs are also Bar Passage Required.

    We can't subtract them from the Employment Score because we don't know that they were included in the first place. If a school had 100 graduates in LT FT BPR jobs and another 15 in LT FT JDA jobs, it'd be silly to report them as only having 85 graduates in LT FT BPR jobs. It'd also be false, and LST doesn't really like reporting false employment statistics.

    Even if we did know, there is still a question of whether we ought to subtract them.

    When schools want to fluff their stats, they tend to create temporary positions that happen to coincide with the 9 month mark. Those jobs are already excluded from the Employment Score because they're short term. I suspect that very few full time, year-long positions are created to fluff employment stats.

    Finally, there is the question of what incentives the Employment Score creates. USN's rankings created the incentive to give students illusory jobs; obviously a bad consequence. If the Employment Score gives schools the incentive to create year-long jobs practicing law ...well, I can think of much worse things for a law school to do.

    ReplyDelete
  37. "We also have data on the number of school funded jobs and if they're Long/Short Term and Full/Part Time. But, schools do not report if the school funded jobs are also Bar Passage Required."

    Here's the percentage of such jobs that are classified as Bar Passage Required: 100%

    GW is spending three million bucks this year (do the math) to game its employment stats. Volunteering for a legal organization is going to be counted by the school as a BPR "job." Just as UVA counted the one in six of its 2011 grads who got fake law-school "jobs" as FT/LT/BPR, which you can tell simply by looking at their overall employment stats, which LST characterizes as featuring a 95% FT/LT/BPR employment rate, when the real percentage is 78% (at best).

    "If the Employment Score gives schools the incentive to create year-long jobs practicing law ...well, I can think of much worse things for a law school to do."

    These "jobs" don't involve practicing law. They involve doing office scut work traditionally performed by unpaid law student interns. It's true that not many schools go so far as to fund this kind of fakery out for an entire year, but those that do shouldn't be rewarded with a phony core employment rate by LST.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Here's the percentage of such jobs that are classified as Bar Passage Required: 100%"

      Is there a source for this, or is it just speculation?

      GW has 15.4% of its class in LT FT school funded jobs. 6.8% of the class were in LT FT JDA jobs, and 2.1% in LT FT Other Professional jobs. I'm not aware of any data showing that none of the JDA or Other Pro jobs were school funded.

      What we can conclude based on known data is that a minimum of 5.6% of the class is in LT FT BPR jobs funded by the school.

      Should LST deduct 5.6 from GW's Employment Score? Knowing that the job is school funded is not the end of the inquiry.

      Are some school funded jobs "office scut work"? Almost certainly. Are 100% of them? Almost certainly not. I'm guessing that a 2-year fellowship with the Brennan Center for Justice involves more than fetching coffee and collating documents.

      It'd be great if schools disclosed how many of the jobs involve real legal work and how many are just illusory positions, but they don't. Rather than playing a guessing game about it though, LST just provides prospective students with all the relevant data, the Employment Score, total school funded jobs, and the number of school funded jobs that might be part of the Employment Score.

      Delete
    2. Progress.

      http://newyork.newsday.com/news/nation/student-loan-default-rates-rise-as-federal-scrutiny-grows-1.4055191

      Delete
    3. Imagine the ignominy of doing clerical scutwork (juggling files in the admissions office) at the very law school from which one just graduated.

      What do students think when they see large numbers of last year's graduates still hanging around as temporary employees?

      Delete
    4. You don't see large numbers of last year's graduates hanging around. They're locked in the basement where no one can see them.

      Really though, we don't know how many school funded jobs are like that because school funded includes both grads hired to work for the school and grads working elsewhere with funding for the position provided by the school.

      If schools are counting clerical work in the admissions office as BPR, then we're looking at fraud and we need to see sanctions.

      It was good that the ABA required schools to disclose the number of school funded jobs, and if they're LT and FT, but given the potential for fraud, it'd make sense to require schools to disclose all the organizations and job titles they're funding. Requires absolutely no additional data collection.

      Delete
    5. It's an open secret that some law schools do hire people at $10/hr to shovel papers at the admissions office for a couple of months—around February, which is a busy time for admissions offices but also coincidentally happens to be nine months after graduation, so that these graduates count as "employed full time" in the statistics that are compiled nine months out.

      Fraudulent? Probably not. Deceptive? Hell, yes.

      Delete
    6. @12:23

      I feel bad, but I'm really rooting this thing on.

      Delete
    7. @1:34PM: Those people wouldn't be counted in the LST Employment Score, and in fact would be counted in the Under-Employment Score.

      The fraud issue is if they were counted as Bar Passage Required.

      Delete
  38. The state bar associations could make reporting your employment status to your school a condition of admission for first time bar passers, or even for the first 5 years after graduation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not a fan of using regulatory bodies to accomplish something completely unrelated to their mission. Reporting your employment to your school has nothing to do with being qualified to practice law.

      Delete
    2. Fuck that. The state bar already requires me to report my employment status and address to them in a publicly searchable directory. Why should I have to jump through another hoop to send it to my school?

      Delete
  39. Does GW Law still extol having former alums such has J. Edgar Hoover and his gay paramour/deputy at orientation? How long are they going to play that tune? And when will students realize that no one worthy in the legal profession has graduated from this "trap school" in the last 25 year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to disagree. I have dealt with good lawyers who were GW graduates - it does produce good alumni. It is just that the number who make it in the profession is small for the CoA of the law school.

      And for the most part that applies to all Tier 1 schools - good outcomes only happen for a minority, and most of those with good outcomes could have been predicted as 0Ls or 1Ls

      Delete
  40. I wish it was all as simple as my law School Industry hiding and cowardly anon shills for the law school cartel critics say it is.

    My life is ruined by Student Loan debt, and I have tried to express that in so many ways and from so many different angles.

    Oh dear God I have tried and I tried very hard.

    Dear God in Heaven I wish I never threw my entire American adult damned, indebted adult life at a 4th tier law school, and there are no basic human rights bankruptcy protections against American student loan predatory lenders, which criminally attact the American famiy unit as well, and it must all, by now, be a part of some agenda to break the American family apart. What else can it be?

    There are no basic human rights protections against the monsters that run the law school industry in this day and age, and that is because the student loan taxpayer backed money is absoulutely mind blowing unfair and huge andkeeps pouring in and with no end in sight and in favor of the law schools, and that if consumer bankruptcy rights were restored, it would mean the end, if not the impoverishment of complete criminals and monsters and cowardly, hiding anon and creepy under the rock creepy crawling human rights criminals and assholes such as Sept. 29th 5:02PM

    And just a question: would the Sept. 29th @5:02PM creep even bother to respond to a completely impoverished and worthless and ruined person like me, unless he or she felt threatened by me?

    I know that DJM and LawProf are linked into the highest US Supreme Court sources, and this is my last pathetic plea against the very powerful likes of my enemies such as the aforementioned.

    I threw my entire adult life away by going to a 4th tier law school, and I will carry my student loan debt into retirement and death.

    Please kids, and Dear God help my damned soul and PLEASE kids, if you are reading this now, and I beg you as one who has had his life absolutely destroyed by the law school cartel and by student loan debt:

    Never, never take out a student loan.

    I am done blogging and that is that, and will crawl off to old age very, very poor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So same time next week, eh Painter?

      Delete
    2. Just a copy of JDP's comment so there'll be a record when he sobers up and removes the original:

      JD PainterguySeptember 30, 2012 3:14 PM
      I wish it was all as simple as my law School Industry hiding and cowardly anon shills for the law school cartel critics say it is.

      My life is ruined by Student Loan debt, and I have tried to express that in so many ways and from so many different angles.

      Oh dear God I have tried and I tried very hard.

      Dear God in Heaven I wish I never threw my entire American adult damned, indebted adult life at a 4th tier law school, and there are no basic human rights bankruptcy protections against American student loan predatory lenders, which criminally attact the American famiy unit as well, and it must all, by now, be a part of some agenda to break the American family apart. What else can it be?

      There are no basic human rights protections against the monsters that run the law school industry in this day and age, and that is because the student loan taxpayer backed money is absoulutely mind blowing unfair and huge andkeeps pouring in and with no end in sight and in favor of the law schools, and that if consumer bankruptcy rights were restored, it would mean the end, if not the impoverishment of complete criminals and monsters and cowardly, hiding anon and creepy under the rock creepy crawling human rights criminals and assholes such as Sept. 29th 5:02PM

      And just a question: would the Sept. 29th @5:02PM creep even bother to respond to a completely impoverished and worthless and ruined person like me, unless he or she felt threatened by me?

      I know that DJM and LawProf are linked into the highest US Supreme Court sources, and this is my last pathetic plea against the very powerful likes of my enemies such as the aforementioned.

      I threw my entire adult life away by going to a 4th tier law school, and I will carry my student loan debt into retirement and death.

      Please kids, and Dear God help my damned soul and PLEASE kids, if you are reading this now, and I beg you as one who has had his life absolutely destroyed by the law school cartel and by student loan debt:

      Never, never take out a student loan.

      I am done blogging and that is that, and will crawl off to old age very, very poor.

      Delete
    3. Sept. 29th 5:02PM Here.

      No I do not feel threatened by you and my post didn't contain anything of that nature. I gave you several possible avenues to consider to change your situation. Plus there is always employment in the Oil fields of North Dakota.

      For some reason, you must feel threatened by me, because you keep on referencing my posts above all the other anonymous posts. And then you are projecting that I feel threatened by you.

      I don't see how anybody can feel threatened by you, mostly just annoyed because it is the same thing over and over again and you tend to hijack the message board. And honestly I really wish you could resolve your situation. But honestly it is out of my or anyone elses hands on this message board. That it why I recommended in the post that you cited to write to your representation in Congress as well as the President about this matter.

      Delete
    4. Painter feels "threatened" by everything, and he will post on his blog about how he's sent all of your responses to the FBI to investigate (despite fearing the FBI is spying on him), and then he'll make up some BS about you calling his parents and threatening them and how they fear for their lives and how he is involving the police.

      The guy is fucking insane.

      Delete
    5. I thought that he was also behind the Mr. Infinity blog for a while. Have we ever established that he wasn't?

      Delete
  41. JD PainterguySeptember 30, 2012 3:14 PM

    I wish it was all as simple as my law School Industry hiding and cowardly anon shills for the law school cartel critics say it is.

    My life is ruined by Student Loan debt, and I have tried to express that in so many ways and from so many different angles.

    Oh dear God I have tried and I tried very hard.

    Dear God in Heaven I wish I never threw my entire American adult damned, indebted adult life at a 4th tier law school, and there are no basic human rights bankruptcy protections against American student loan predatory lenders, which criminally attact the American famiy unit as well, and it must all, by now, be a part of some agenda to break the American family apart. What else can it be?

    There are no basic human rights protections against the monsters that run the law school industry in this day and age, and that is because the student loan taxpayer backed money is absoulutely mind blowing unfair and huge andkeeps pouring in and with no end in sight and in favor of the law schools, and that if consumer bankruptcy rights were restored, it would mean the end, if not the impoverishment of complete criminals and monsters and cowardly, hiding anon and creepy under the rock creepy crawling human rights criminals and assholes such as Sept. 29th 5:02PM

    And just a question: would the Sept. 29th @5:02PM creep even bother to respond to a completely impoverished and worthless and ruined person like me, unless he or she felt threatened by me?

    I know that DJM and LawProf are linked into the highest US Supreme Court sources, and this is my last pathetic plea against the very powerful likes of my enemies such as the aforementioned.

    I threw my entire adult life away by going to a 4th tier law school, and I will carry my student loan debt into retirement and death.

    Please kids, and Dear God help my damned soul and PLEASE kids, if you are reading this now, and I beg you as one who has had his life absolutely destroyed by the law school cartel and by student loan debt:

    Never, never take out a student loan.

    I am done blogging and that is that, and will crawl off to old age very, very poor.

    ReplyDelete
  42. From Painter's Blog:

    Sunday, September 30, 2012

    Random Harvest.

    Final Scene

    And so may all of us have happy endings: in life, in fortune, in love.

    My last Post.

    Sincerely,

    Painterguy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm taking bets. When will Painter come back? (This must be his fifth or sixth "disappearance" now, and his second this month.)

      I bet he will be back in one week.

      And I also bet that he will take down his blog, start up a fresh blog, post the same old stuff (transcript, "novel" posts, that retarded Allstate Insurance Story, etc) and he will pretend that he never quit blogging, just that he quit that one blog. Or there will be some momentous occurrence that will bring him out of retirement to set the record straight.

      You know the playbook.

      One week.

      Any other takers?

      Delete
    2. He's mad as a March hare...a sorry sod indeed...

      Delete
    3. Attention JD Paitner - I am with the Domestic & International Metaphysical Worldwide Investigative Tracking [aka DIMWIT] program administered by the one world government. We constantly track the web sites of morons so inconsequential that there is only one we are currently tracking and that is you.

      Notice that although I am with DIMWIT I post comments anonymously. This enhances the menacing affect of our surveillance on the aforementioned moron causing him to post endlessly about how the government is visiting his sites and how suspicious anonymous commentary really is.

      We are after you JD Painter and we insist that you continue with your astonishingly mindless blog and truly ridiculous comments. We know you are pushing 50 and that you gave up trying to pass the bar exam over 15 years ago. This makes you the perfect law school scam victim and ideal spokesperson for the cause. That is why DIMWIT is sparing no effort in trying to silence you.

      Make no mistake JD Painter. We are coming for you. And whatever you do, do not stop drinking as your drunken stupor is the only remotely interesting aspect of your sorry excuse for the waste you've made of the one life you were given.

      Delete
    4. He just needs to get a job on the oil fields of North Dakota. He definitely has the drinking part down.

      Delete
    5. You're not funny, 4:36 PM.

      Delete
    6. 4:36 PM I wish I could kiss you right now.

      Delete
    7. 4:36 PM, I couldn't stop laughing.

      Delete
    8. Don't worry JD Painter guy, we here at the Department Of Low Test Scorers (DOLTS), have been tracking the tracking the organization know as DIMWIT for some time. In order to attenuate their tracking abilities, you must wear a head covering of 0.6 mm aluminium foil as well as cover your computer in such. It would also help the cover the room in which you sleep in aluminium foil as well. While not completely effective, this does scramble the signal, thereby rendering their tracking of you a lot more difficult.

      Delete
    9. Jack Marshall!

      Delete
  43. Law school is a place for people who aren't good at anything <\hyperbole>

    ReplyDelete
  44. It just occurred to me that the profession of "law professor" is, for the most part, a government-sponsored make-work job.

    They give otherwise unemployed graduates extremely lucrative financial support and a significant amount of resume burnishing while they wait for retirement.

    I'm joking of course.

    Well, I'm joking for the half of law professors we actually need.

    ReplyDelete
  45. "Toxic assets" may have one t too many.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Leave J D Painter alone. Try empathy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yea, seriously. come on guys.

      Delete
  47. Try this on for size LawProf (and everybody else...): If you are a big law firm with a lot of money and great jobs to give out--jobs that cost tons of cash...how would YOU feel if someone...a school, a student, whomever...just expected you to give out your jobs...commit your cash...because some guy went to some school. If the firms hiring committee partner was on the school's admissions committee? Maybe. But he still would like to pick the winners from the looser, grade-wise, from ANY school. Sure, law school costs to much. But no school should have a 100% (or even 50%) big firm employment rate. We should accept that premise first, and then proceed to discuss the proper cost of law school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think anyone has ever said such a thing (that there should be a 100% big firm employment rate). For one thing not everyone even wants to get a big firm job.

      The issue isn't "biglaw jobs" but just ANY job that requires bar passage and pays enough to justify the cost of the degree.

      Lots of law grads would be happy to get non biglaw jobs as long as these jobs were available and paid enough to make the JD worthwhile.

      Delete
  48. 11:58, there's actually an exceedingly simple way to get around that. Produce fewer JDs. A lot fewer. Big firms demand more, offer more, threaten more, but simply need more people. At that point, career services at a school may be a cardboard cutout but you WILL hire their students because the work needs to be done and you're shorthanded. Dentists do this. Vets do this. Accountants do this. Why don't those super smart lawyers wake the f up and realize that the key to survival in modern America is to be part of the equivalent of a union that engineers a shortage of members?

    ReplyDelete
  49. 11:58, your point is a non-point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "engineers a shortage of members." I think that makes my point for me.

      Delete
  50. GW law class of '07 here - pls excuse the shorthand form.

    Briefly about me: University of California graduate; tech background + severals years WE in a internationally-recognized research lab - journal + moot court in LS; started career as a biglaw patent litigator in NYC.

    Lost my job in May. Not performance related (client departure); strong letters of rec. Have since pursued all viable angles: direct applies (local & national), recruiters (local & national), chased down all personal contacts, in-house apps, fed clerkship apps (Dist. Ct. and CAFC).

    Results thus far: a few law firm interviews, 0 offers. Lost out the other day at a small no-name law firm to very impressive patent guy from Stanford law. Huh?

    Otherwise, silence seems to be the new status quo (that includes clerkship apps). It appears that the days of courtesy "ding" emails must be over. What a world.

    Had a lunch today with an '07 Michigan Law grad (patent lit as well). He also experienced a lay off - went 11 months before finally finding a new legal job. It is brutal out there. His advice to me: do what it takes to survive. This includes document coding.

    I will say this: I have a biochem background. My resume is now inexorably tied to the pharma / biotech industries. With the patent cliff rapidly approaching, this is not a good thing. Prospects are significantly better for engineering types.

    All the same, highly disenchanted / dismayed by all of this. I worked very hard in NYC developing my motion practice skills, depo techniques, etc. etc. Now, at 32, I am unemployed and appear to unemployable.

    I no longer sleep well - hence this late night post :)

    The point? There isn't one, really. Just relating my personal experiences. By any metric, I did things right: tech background from UC, worked very hard at NYC biglaw, etc. - there.just.aren't.any.jobs.

    Personal observation: I get that people are scared, etc. but the baby boomers out there are acting unnecessarily greedy - they will do literally anything to perserve that 1.3 mil a year salary at the big firms, including terminating paycheck-to-paycheck secretaries, paralegals, marketing people, and of, course, young lawyers trying to get their careers off the ground. Nothing is sacred. It's difficult for the profession to move on when the old guard at the top isn't giving others a shot. Take a look around, you'll see it - recruiters call it the "death of mid-levels, junior partners," and the like. I recognize that it's easy for me to say, but it would be nice if some of the more senior lawyers would take (slightly) less so that the rest of the profession may survive (I'm not holding my breath).

    Luckily for me, my loans have been paid, and I have some savings (though rapidly diminishing at this point). So I suppose it could be worse. Then again, I'm a 32 y/o lawyer w/ what appear to be 0 career prospects. Not sure what to do next.









    ReplyDelete
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