Friday, October 26, 2012

Notes from all over

Email sent by professor at well-ranked law school to colleagues, regarding an impending vote on a lateral hire (Reprinted with permission, with redactions):



Dear Colleagues:

Forgive me for writing a very long email about an unhappy topic, but I think the situation justifies it. I also apologize for what might appear to be an untimely message, but I have only recently become firmly convinced of my position which is—due to the precarious, unprecedented state of legal education in the U.S., we should refrain from hiring permanent faculty unless and until it becomes more clear that [     ] will not in the future need to substantially reduce its size or cut tuition.  It is certainly bizarre for a business to rush to buy a long-lived asset (such as a tenured or tenure-track faculty member) immediately after its customer base has precipitously contracted.  Applications to law school were down 15 percent last year and, making matters worse, the biggest declines were among the precise students we hope to matriculate (e.g., 18.5% declines among LSATs between 160 and 169).  Furthermore, I think it’s safe to say that the most recent [  ] grads (e.g., classes of 2010, 2011, and 2012) and the next graduating class have faced or will face the worst employment prospects of any graduating class in the modern history of the law school and also have paid or will pay by far the most money (even in inflation-adjusted dollars) of any graduating class for those results.  I personally don’t think it’s a sustainable model when your customers pay more and more for worse and worse results.

Many of our peer schools are reconsidering their class sizes in reaction to the apocalyptic events of the last few years by substantially decreasing their first year classes (whether this is permanent or not is unclear).  Those that have decreased their classes have avoided reducing the credentials of their in-coming classes by as much as they otherwise would have.  Consider, for example, similarly situated schools like Texas (enrollment down 19%; LSATs down 1); Minnesota (enrollment down 11%; LSATs up 1); Indiana-Bloomington (enrollment down 16%; LSATs down 2); Iowa (enrollment down 14%; LSATs up 1); Georgia (enrollment down 16%; LSATs down 1); William & Mary (enrollment down 10%; LSATs down 1); Wisconsin (enrollment down 11%; LSATs down 1); Ohio State (enrollment down 18%; LSATs even); George Mason (enrollment down 20%; LSATs down 1); and Wake Forest (enrollment down 32%; LSATs even).  In short, about half of the schools ranked between 14 and 46 in the USNews cut their class by roughly 10% or more last year, as shown by this chart:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?key=0Agfr5qu6TB3AdHhoTEFrVThFa1hXWlh5Nkc1Q0ZnUnc

 The important question for us is whether we will, in the future, feel it necessary to at least consider substantially dropping our class size and/or tuition price to account for both the drop in acceptable applicants and also the reduction of satisfactory employment outcomes for our graduates (satisfactory after taking into account the cost of the education).  If we do feel it necessary to drop class size or cut tuition, having fewer tenured and tenure-track faculty will make the process less painful.  We would all presumably have to do more (perhaps for less pay) to pick up the slack, but that is something that nearly everyone else in the legal community (practitioners and students) have been doing for the past several years.

On the important question of whether will need to consider significant structural changes, there are two variables:  (i) whether the law school crisis is a permanent structural change or whether it is merely cyclical or even an anomaly; and (ii) whether, for various reasons (e.g., lower cost relative to peers or any unique strength of our regional market), [   ] is particularly well-suited to survive the crisis without significant and painful restructuring.  On (i), my strong belief is that this is the new normal.  On (ii), I am skeptical that we are in a sufficiently unique position to withstand these very strong economic forces that have appeared to already influence many of our similarly situation competitors.  But I am not sure, nor can anyone confidently predict what the future holds. 

In the face of substantial uncertainty, there is a significant option value to waiting.  Waiting would mean patching the roof rather than replacing it.  Patching the roof in this case might mean hiring visitors or paying people to temporarily teach overloads.  Or having everyone teach more until it becomes more clear that the storm has passed us by; we have asked our students to pay more and to suffer bleaker employment prospects (i.e., to do more with less), so it does not strike me as unreasonable to likewise ask the faculty to do more with less.  (For what it’s worth, I will be the first volunteer to teach more.)  The benefit of the “patch the roof” approach is that, should we decide that we need to move to a smaller house, it will be easier and less painful to do so.

I recognize that there may be costs to patching the roof.  Students and faculty could suffer by having less permanent faculty (though this could be mitigated somewhat by hiring visitors), and we could miss out on attractive candidates that end up going elsewhere.  However, in my view, these costs are much smaller than the benefit of waiting.  There will always be attractive candidates willing to come to  [  ]; there is no reason to suspect that this year’s candidates are any stronger than next year’s or any other year’s.  In fact, at least on the entry level, my opinion from having been to the meat market every year for the past 5 years (except the very latest one) is that the supply of candidates actually gets stronger every year.

If we wait and things turn around (or [  ] manages to evade the crisis), then we can make our long-term investments in new faculty.  If we wait and the law school crisis continues and affects [  ], we will be in a far better position to consider restructuring to adapt to the situation.

In short, I am proposing that [  ]behave like any business would in light of these facts and what our competitors are doing.  I believe that this is the time to rent, not to buy.  I remember having the same thought about the housing market in 2006.  I never did go on record with my bearish view (nor, unfortunately, did I get Goldman Sachs to help me create derivatives to allow me to bet against the housing market), though I did sell my house that year.  I am going on record now, though I suspect that many or most or even all of you will disagree with me.

Regards,
 Meanwhile at the other end of the law school hierarchy, the Job Creators who run the Phoenix School of Law (a for-profit venture that's owned by the same private equity firm that owns Charlotte and Florida Coastal) had to spend money on a market survey to figure out that the name they chose for their school would lead people to assume it was somehow associated with the University of Phoenix:


5. What initiated PhoenixLaw to look at changing the name of the school?
The feedback that was received from students, graduates, and those considering attending PhoenixLaw, was that the name of our school was often confused with University of Phoenix, which did not reflect positively on the professional nature of our program.
I'm tempted to hold a contest to help the good folks at Sterling Partners pick a new name for their increasingly wobbly venture (Among other things the "town hall" memo to students quoted above explains why they don't have access to two floors of the school's new building -- the entering class was smaller than anticipated so it hasn't been built out -- and reveals the school has decided to run its own bar review course, which will cost graduates $3000).

Of course re-naming a dubious product is a time-honored strategery in more respectable lines of work than using tax money to run bottom-feeding for-profit law schools.









 

120 comments:

  1. Phoenix Law can change its name to Dante's Law.

    "Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here"

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    1. That is awesome. Phoenix is definitely the sixth ring of hell.

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  2. At least a few intrepid souls are saying what needs to be said.

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  3. Surprisingly well said. You don't go out and build an extension on your home while the neighborhood is on fire. Now it remains to be seen whether the vote to hire new faculty passes by a 37-1 margin. Odds anyone?

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  4. Your influence and message are starting to spread, LawProf

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  5. Once again it is the federal goverment loan system that is the MAIN problem. Take the guarantee out tutions will collapse.

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    1. Absolutely not! How could you think to tinker with the current system! Changing the current system would deprive anyone who has ever had the dream of becoming a lawyer the opportunity to pursue his or his dream, even if this individual lacks the intellectual capacity to become a lawyer and even if there's no chance in hell this individual will ever have a legal job.

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    2. Yup, sort of like a $200,000 trip to Disneyland.

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    3. "Yup, sort of like a $200,000 trip to Disneyland"

      Where you get raped by the Dwarfs.

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  6. This is good news after yesterday's post.

    Things won't change in a day.

    But look at how much they've changed in a year.

    I still feel that incoming students are the ones who are the most receptive to this message.

    Professors either have lived in their ivory tower for so long that they believe that their school provides the best education or they just don't want to jeopardize their own futures.

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  7. I’m surprised to hear talk in law schools about actually cutting tuition. I doubt that is going to happen anytime soon.

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    1. The recipients of that email are going to give the sender what they gave Campos during the LLM meeting.

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  8. Where the debt-laden 25 year-olds at, DC area? Help a playa out!

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    Replies
    1. Ask STB--he's on his third wife.

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    2. They're not out at clubs and bars at night b/c not enough $$. So, I'd advise coffee-shop game during the day, but out in the burbs where their parents' basements are, not downtown DC. So, Rockville Starbucks, Vienna Starbucks, etc. "Day Bang" by Roosh V should be your bible.

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    3. The DC Metro is your friend.

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    4. Thanks for the tips guys. I bought the Roosh book online and I'll be riding the metro out to the burbs to suburban coffee-shops! Look out, debt-laden chicks!

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  9. it should be interesting to see how the use of nontenured faculty could affect (probably reduce) the "Peer assessment score" of the LS and its ranking...

    http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/articles/2012/03/12/methodology-law-school-rankings

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    1. Exactly. Percentage of faculty tenured matters for US News ranking; therefore the school will NOT be taking this professor's suggested path. Drop class size; increase tuition; ALL GOOD.

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    2. also the "Expenditures per student" ratio is affected.

      "Expenditures per student: The average expenditures per student for the 2010 and 2011 fiscal years. The average instruction, library, and supporting services (0.0975) are measured, as are all other items, including financial aid (0.015)."

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  10. It's heartening to see that other law profs are figuring this out and have the intestinal fortitude to say something.

    Thanks, and remember that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.

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  11. Couldn't one view the open spigot of government loan dollars as a kind of Keynesian demand-side solution to stimulating the economy? After all, these unnecessary law schools do hire people, and the tuition dollars eventually find their way into the local community...

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    1. And this is preferable to paying people to dig holes and then fill them back up why?

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    2. Most men would feel insulted if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now.

      ——Thoreau

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    3. Clearly, the difference would be the incredible value-creating potential that every JD graduate possesses, thanks to their ability to 'think like lawyers'. The ways in which this ability adds value and innovation to the economy are so numerous and obvious that there is no need to enumerate them.

      Can a ditch digger think like a lawyer and, thus, act as an supercharger for his or her local economy? Not unless they went to law school!

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    4. Most JDs couldn't think their way out of a wet paper bag.

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    5. @7:55 a.m.:

      That is solid work. Nice job.

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    6. Also, a ditch digger digs the community into a hole, whereas a lawyer "gives back" to the community. That difference alone is worth saddling impressionable young people with mortgage sized debts in order for a professorial class to live sumptuously. Any questions ? ( Sacarsm off)

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  12. it's a shame the first letter writer is trying to make an ethical argument to a group of cockroaches. it was a forceful, cogent, and praiseworthy argument. but cockroaches don't listen. they just endure, and skitter away when you turn the lights on them.

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  13. Got some bad news for you, LawProf and whiners... law student admissions are not going down after this year. This was the year of maximum hype, and it will most likely start rebounding next year. Probably not to where it was, but higher than now.

    This whole law school "scam" is rapidly becoming old news. Everyone and his mother now knows about the job market, and all that happened was law school admissions decreased what 15 percent? 25 percent from the peak? The system is intact, my friends, and in the long run the professors will win. They will still have their jobs, their salaries will go up and up, and you people will still have to be flipping burgers while venting on blogs.

    And I won't even go into what happens if Romney gets elected....

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    1. look at that, a cockroach can type.

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    2. I think you’re missing the big picture. Continued rising tuition is going to keep downward pressure on law school enrollment. Law school applications have been steadily moving lower since 2004. There is no reason think that will change.

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    3. Start an InTrade on that. I'll take a thousand or so worth of "No."

      In order to attract applicants of the same quality as before, schools have shrunk class sizes and expanded tuition breaks. Do you think that phenomenon is going to change suddenly? How much less profitable can a law school stand to be before it is forced to address its overhead, to accept matriculants of lesser GPA and LSAT numbers than previously, or both? How much more successful will the next several classes have to be to make future applicants forget the Crash?

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    4. Considering the Democrats nationalized the student loan system during Obama's first term, I fail to see how a Romney win will make the system worse. Heaven knows the Republicans have no love lost with the godawful scum faculty at most college campii and even less love for the parasitic lawyer class.

      Turn off the loans and the problem fixes itself painfully (for the schools/faculty) and quickly.

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    5. You think Romney is going to help you with paying back your loans or loan forgiveness? I think not.

      Indebted for life, bro.

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    6. Probably not PosnerOctober 26, 2012 at 7:59 AM

      I don't think the problem is that the government gives out the loans. Probably better for the gov to provide the loans directly than to privatize gains/socialize losses. The problem is that there is insufficient scrutiny of where loans can be used and how much.

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    7. "Considering the Democrats nationalized the student loan system during Obama's first term, I fail to see how a Romney win will make the system worse."

      1) Well, when you are in the pocket of the for-profit education industry and wholeheartedly support places like Full Sail University ("universities" that would not exist without the government providing their revenue stream), your views on the free market and government economic intervention are, charitably, "fluid." I LOL'd at Roms proclaiming GOVERNMENT DOESN'T CREATE JOBS! because of his support for the for-profit education sector.

      2) If your world view and personality seems to rejoice at the rich taking advantage of the poor through obviously bargained for exchange with equal information on both sides and no biases, then yes, you'll be a big supporter of the current system. You might also support getting rid of IBR because hey, fuck them.

      3) Romney's voting bloc are boomers, not young people. So if it serves him better to keep selling the myth that education debt is good debt, he'll do exactly that.

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    8. At some point, scores of thousands of un- or underemployed law grads unable to pay their debts, unable to finance a normal middle-class lifestyle is going to bring the whole edifice crashing down.

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    9. No, they're just lawyers, who are a drain on the economy to begin with. The "worst-case scenario" is that they go into IBR and get the menial jobs they deserve (since they have no useful skills to begin with).

      It does add to the problem of universities getting too much money, and that certainly is an edifice which can come crashing down. Hopefully this will be avoided, because then we'd have much bigger problems than miserable lawyers.

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  14. Baby boomers were handed the keys to the kingdom, and they burned it down.

    Those spoiled, selfish brats give a damn about no one else. Just wait until they turn 70 or 75. The great justice will occur when the younger generations say, "Fuck 'em" and let them die in poverty.

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    1. Unfortunately they are the largest and wealthiest voting cohort that will cheerfully vote themselves bread and circuses until they die off, leaving an unpayable debt to future generations.

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    2. We are rapidly reaching a point where the economic burden on the working age cohort (25-54, hardest hit during 2002 through 2012) means senior lobby "voting" won't matter.

      We are edging up on widespread tax evasion and outright civil rebellion.

      (We are Greece with a rapidly dying reserve currency)

      How many army divisions does AARP have?

      People have no faith in or loyalty to political/"justice" systems that ensure their ruin.

      What percentage of the 600,000 or so of "missing" lawyers (difference between BLS employment stats and ABA grad stats for last 40 yrs) do you think would be just as happy to burn the current system to the ground and start over - it not really damaging their current economic prospects much?

      And these (we) are the guardians of the "law" (as constructed by frauds and manipulative profiteers).

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  15. I feel like I'm taking crazy pills when I read that email and then the last sentence. All or most of his colleagues are going to read that and disagree? How? How!? I guess if they are anything like Campos' colleagues, they will disagree in shameful silence.

    I cannot wait to see these professors finally made to suffer. And I hope it's bad. These people are criminals.

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    1. "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills when I read that email and then the last sentence. All or most of his colleagues are going to read that and disagree? How? How!? I guess if they are anything like Campos' colleagues, they will disagree in shameful silence. "

      The joke is that it's in the professors' interest to limit the number of tenured faculty. Having adjuncts (or 'visitors') to teach the scut classes and take the layoffs is quite nice.

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    2. "Shameful Silence"

      I believe this is a team name in the law professor bowling league...another one is "Pyramid of Human Skulls" (Deans and Placement Center Personnel)

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  16. We invest in EDUCATION. Why? Because education is freedom in our increasingly global and dynamic society. The world has never been more in need of schools and services that deliver on their promise. Our companies have proven for over three decades that world-class student outcomes and value creation are not mutually exclusive.

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    1. Education is freedom. War is peace. Ignorance is strength.

      Not exactly how it goes, but close enough for Orwell's purposes given the context.

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    2. We haven't been investing in education for decades.

      The edukation we are in investing in is simply a wealth transfer mode from taxpayer to teachers, profs & admins.

      How is that? Look at "for profit" education, look at Law Skool, look at MBA programs...Then when you've ciphered that, look at primary education.

      Look at the amount of money thrown down a rathole in Detroit. 1/4 of the students graduate high school. I don't believe it is that high, but that is what the DPS claims.

      Detroit is the worst, but not unique. Many districts have 50/50 graduation rates.

      We are not talking about small sums of money either. We are talking bout hundreds of billions of dollars.

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    3. @8:46
      I would not group teachers with those groups making a killing in education right now.

      You should point to the businesses--- text book publishers such as McGraw-Hill (particularly those supplying "remedial" materials, which are necessarily purchased in bulk once schools start posting low test scores) and also assessment/testing companies such as ETS, Kaplan, CollegeBoard, etc.

      As far as Detroit is concerned, the socio-economic factors there trump all other variables. No matter how good your teaching methods are, or how much money you spend, you cannot educate kids who are malnourished, have no parental support, are inundated in a culture of crime, and who have been abandoned by the white establishment for generations.

      That and major corruption/embezzlement permeating DPS wasted millions of $$$.

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    4. "I would not group teachers with those groups making a killing in education right now. "

      I would.

      Of the 20 million or so people employed by all levels of government, various "teaching" personnel (at all grade levels and functions - including the army of pointless administrators and "aides", etc.) make up at least 40%.

      They are the voting/funding army of the profiteering political class.

      And almost without exception they receive a full year's salary for 70% of a year's work (by union negotiated contract).

      This means on a "per hour worked" basis they are making at least 40% more than the taxpaying public they allegedly serve.

      And this is before their crookedly inflated health care benefits (google "Wisconsin teachers' health insurance") and taxpayer guaranteed defined benefit pensions (starting in their 50's).

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    5. AM Warsaw:

      I would lump the textbook publishers in for sure too. Ditto for the test prep/review companies. I didn't mean for the list to be exhaustive, but thanks for pointing that out.

      See, what society & teachers don't understand, is that they have to have some accountability for their results. If 75% of the people DO NOT graduate, why even have public schools? Why not abolish compulsory education?

      That would SOLVE a lot of problems. Those who want an education GET ONE. IMPOSE STRICT DISCIPLINE, no more nonsense. Those who are troublemakers are OUT. If you come to school, you come to LEARN & BEHAVE. Have the schools provide breakfast & lunch. Have the schools provide moral guidance. In fact, let the Catholics take over. Let the Baptists start schools. Heck, if the Muslims want a go at it, let them try too.

      The days of spending billions and having 75% dropout and 1/2 the population be functionally illiterate have got to end.

      The white liberals sold the black youth of Detroit down the river. It has happened in other cities too. Throwing money at the problem is NO SOLUTION! The educational system is BROKEN, has been for generations!

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  17. Campos says that what is not sustainable cannot last forever. Can we take a minute to try to imagine a worst case scenario in which the law professors' scam is allowed to continue indefinitely with no one held accountable? How could this be possible?

    We know that there will always be enough 0Ls to fill the seats if the schools are willing to lower their GPA and LSAT standards. This will always be true no matter how widespread the message gets. There will always be dumb, poor, hopeless people who have nothing better to do and would be happy to gamble on law school if some school is willing to take them and the government is willing to loan the money. The smart people will stop applying to law school, yes, but the scam doesn't depend on the presence of smart applicants.

    We know that law schools will not voluntarily stop scamming. I very naively thought this might happen at one point, especially once the nature of the scam became well known among the professors, whom I did once believe to be innocent in their ignorance. This is clearly no longer true, the professors are active and willing participants in the scam.

    We know that the government is not going to stop making student loans. However, with IBR, the government will end up the biggest victim of the scam, so that gives some hope that they may eventually take action. But as others have pointed out, the government operates on such a huge scale that even the $$$$ to be lost as part of IBR forgiveness is a relatively small amount. Is it possible that the law school scam can simply fly under the radar indefinitely? I suppose at some point they must stop raising tuition so quickly, but they could probably maintain the scam at current levels for a very long time.

    I feel like we need a Campos within the Dept of Ed or the Congress. Somebody in a position of authority who takes a personal interest in this issue and finds it appalling. Some sort of good government crusader. We've heard a few stories about a couple of Senators who have shown interest, but that seems to have fizzled.

    I'm convinced that a government crackdown is the only way this will stop. And they aren't going to do that unless or until the problem becomes too big (for them) to ignore.

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    1. Probably not PosnerOctober 26, 2012 at 8:05 AM

      Good comments. I think we really need to see this issue taken up in a place that gets national attention, like the New York Times. Legislators tends to react to such articles/editorials. Surely some of you profs have the clout to publish there.

      The NYT stories on law school did a lot to make the fact of the scam more mainstream. Maybe drawing attention to the loan system could help correct it.

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    2. Not to sound paranoid, but I feel the NYT is in on the scam. Today they ran an editorial by one of Prof. Campos' peers. All the articles tend to be of the mend don't end the law school scam. Specialize, more practical training, etc. The NYT editorial page still believes in law school and in do-gooder nonsense and, to that end, are like-minded with LS faculty.

      They are among the most unwilling to see what the scam means or to criticize the public funding of the scam.

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    3. Probably not PosnerOctober 26, 2012 at 9:50 AM

      That's true. They did a good expose series of all the people graduating in debt, but the solutions they publish have all been window dressing.

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    4. "We know that the government is not going to stop making student loans. However, with IBR, the government will end up the biggest victim of the scam, so that gives some hope that they may eventually take action. But as others have pointed out, the government operates on such a huge scale that even the $$$$ to be lost as part of IBR forgiveness is a relatively small amount. Is it possible that the law school scam can simply fly under the radar indefinitely? I suppose at some point they must stop raising tuition so quickly, but they could probably maintain the scam at current levels for a very long time."

      That's the $64 billion dollar question. Do the financial elites feel that that spending is in their interest, or not?

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    5. Agree with author's hopes but much more pessimistic about "reform" being led by institutions/personnel profiting from the current corruption.

      Which means *almost* everyone in power.

      I think the fastest fix is to continue with the scam-blogging, greatly enhanced with the data that has been ripped from the morally diseased grasp of the schools.

      Publicize (by person-to-person emails, blogs, etc.) the crappy graduate outcome statistics, post and highlight the breathtakingly cynical court decisions in favor of the law schools to date, contribute (now) to Law School Transparency (which is on the verge of shutting down due to lack of funding).

      All of the detailed evidence of law school perfidy needs to be centralized in a number of well-known scam-blogs, that way applicant dissuasion is a hyperlink away.

      I have much more faith in the immediacy and efficacy of *that* then some Senator on a white horse.

      That which makes market correction easy - makes market correction fast.

      Too many have been financially destroyed over too many years to pine for *some else* to "someday" fix the problem.

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  18. Phoenix should change its name to a video of a gorilla eating its own excrement.

    Job Creators tm

    Ha.

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  19. You should increase the font on the paragraph beginning "Meanwhile at the other end of the law..." or at least adjust the indent because it's a little confusing whether or not that is part of the prof's e-mail.

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  20. Kind of off topic but did you all see the dateline episode about the Bengal Cheerleader/Teacher that was bonking her student. You know at first she denied she ever had sexual contact with the kid, disregarding the 8000 sexually related text messages they sent to each other. Anyway, she goes to work as a legal secretary for the guy who defending her. You know what she says at the end of the show (and I knew this was coming). She wants to go to Law School and is going to take the LSAT next spring. This girls whole life is a fantasy. Would the ABA even admit her, she plead guilty to a felony!

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    1. ABA schools have admitted murderers before. Passing C+F would be another issue entirely.

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    2. If that little green light goes on in the Financial Aid office when they run her student loan application through, she's in.

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    3. Imagine a dimwit like that talking about becoming a doctor. It would never occur to her that she could do so, but becoming a lawyer is entirely within her grasp. That's how well regarded lawyers are, every dumbf**k in America thinks they can do it, and from what I've seen, they're probably right. Now who wants to throw down $250k to join this esteemed profession! Kids, don't wait, prices will never be lower!

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    4. It serves us right for lowering standards to the goddamn vanishing point. Anyone with a pulse can get into a law school nowadays.

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  21. The next step will be (and should be) a major restructuring of law schools along the lines of MBA programs. The fact is that there is still a huge well of qualified potential students out there that can be tapped, but these students cannot take three years out of their professional lives in order to go to law school. MBA programs are stuctured so that working adults can obtain a degree either at night, on weeknds, or through a month of intensive course work every year to be followed by projects and papers which can be completed at home.

    In contrast, faculty at most law schools abhor the idea of night school, or any schedule that is outside the 9 to 5 norm. If the raison d'etre for state law schools is provide access to a legal education for the states' residents in order to serve the popoulation of the state, then these sorts of programs should be mandatory at state law schools. If working adults are accomodated with a flexible schedule, then law graduates would have significantly less debt and might be able to actually work for a non-profit or a small general civil litigation firm without trying to figure out how to eat too.

    Of course, this type of restructuring will require some amendments to the relevant ABA standards (see e.g., ABA Standards and Rules, Standard 304), which to date has exhibited the empathy of a cyborg for the current situation. Currently, the full time study of law is sancrosanct, but like most sacred things, it defies any rational explanation.

    I am not advocating that we need more law student; we obviously need to strongly encourage a significant reduction of the number of traditional law students. It would be far better, though if the students who did attend could graduate with less debt and absent a decrease in tuition, this can only happen if the alw student who attend have to take out fewer loans.


    In fact, the current law school crises actually may make law schools act more like the rest of academia and adopt a two-tiered faculty structure. There will be some tenured faculty but the rest will be on contract. This will save cost which, at least in part, can go to cutting tuition. Law faculties have long adopted the position that "we're in it but above it" with respect to the rest of academia. Perhaps it's time for law faculties to start resembling the rest of academia.


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  22. Probably not PosnerOctober 26, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    On a two-tiered faculty structure:

    Given that most of the people with qualifications high enough to teach can still find law jobs, I hypothesize that those you could find to adjunct at the pay-grade and demeaning treatment you find in PhD programs will be a) people who were bad students or b) practicing lawyers who only want to teach "short courses" that don't involve that much work so that they can look prestigious/build up qualifications for tenured jobs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know if this is true. I know my big law firm has no interest in hiring someone who hasn't practiced for years .

      I dont think a small law firm would be interested.

      Delete
    2. Probably not PosnerOctober 26, 2012 at 10:21 AM

      I'm not quite sure I follow what you are saying. I wasn't imply that law profs can still practice. I was saying that any law student looking at a choice between Big Law and adjuncting will pick Big Law. No one wants to be only an adjunct prof.

      Delete
    3. " I was saying that any law student looking at a choice between Big Law and adjuncting will pick Big Law. "

      As has been repeatedly pointed out, the percentage of students with the option to go into Big Law has been shrinking, even at the better schools.

      Delete
    4. I am a reader of this blog who has the traditional credentials required for a tenure-track job, apart from needing to publish at least one more paper before I would be competitive. I am not willing to transition into tenure-track academia, because I am not willing to have my salary paid by the student loans of graduates who are not able to secure jobs adequate to pay them back. To do so would be grossly immoral. I genuinely love teaching, I've guest lectured with great feedback (for free, apart from travel costs) at three law schools, and I would be interested in working as an adjunct (in addition to my full-time practice job), if I felt that I could really help students by teaching, mentoring, and preparing them for practice. Unfortunately, I have the same concern about a salaried adjunct job as I do about a tenure-track job: I don't want to enrich myself off of other people's student loan dollars if they can't easily pay down those loans. So for now, I haven't approached any of the local law schools.

      I do think your second point is inaccurate, though. I had looked into teaching before the law school scam/crisis became clear, and the advice I consistently received was that adjunct teaching does not make applicants more competitive for tenure-track jobs. Also, I'm not sure that adjunct teaching makes you look more prestigious to other practitioners. Certainly when I've discussed the possibility with my BigLaw and public sector friends, the response I've gotten has been essentially, "Really? That's how you'd want to use your free time?"

      Delete
    5. Probably not PosnerOctober 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM

      10:35--But the people we are willing to accept as law profs are the same people who still have good big law options.

      Delete
    6. Probably not PosnerOctober 26, 2012 at 12:09 PM


      11:35--I agree 100% with all of your thinking in paragraph one.

      Re: para 2: I actually do know several people who have been teaching adjunct courses in order to explore the academic waters. I agree with you that they might be delusional in thinking that this will help them get a tenure track job. But I don't think that stops them from holding out hope. You see much the same thing in traditional PhD programs--people will often adjunct for 3 years before realizing they will never get a tenure-track job. It's the same special snowflake syndrom that perpetuates much of the law school scam, just at the next step.

      My law school also has a number of practitioners at who courses now and then. I do think they do it out of a mix of genuine enjoyment and liking to list the school on their resume.

      Delete
    7. 11:35,
      Your story doesn't add up. Traditional tenure track faculty are hired after 1-3 years in Biglaw. Guest lecturers usually have a specific skill set or level of expertise in a certain area (otherwise what are you going to guest lecture about?) so I don't see how you can fit into both baskets.

      Delete
    8. The two-tiered full time faculty is not tenured/adjunct but tenure track/contract. In the B-school, for exmple, contract faculty are full time faculty with a base salary about two-thirds of full time faculty. I think you will find plenty of decent applicants for candidates including lots of mid-career practicing lawyers who are wanting a less stressful life and more control over their time.

      Delete
    9. Probably not PosnerOctober 26, 2012 at 12:20 PM

      To clarify the ultimate point I am trying to make: I don't think you will be able to find people willing to adjunct as a full-time job unless you accept people who can't get Big Law (or even Mid law since adjuncts aren't treated well). In general, people with BigLaw options will only be willing to teach special courses now and then or do a tenure-track job.

      Delete
    10. Probably not PosnerOctober 26, 2012 at 1:35 PM

      12:17: Okay, I didn't grasp the distinction between adjunct and contract. Could you explain more about what the difference are in terms of benefits, job security, responsibilities?

      Delete
    11. PnP- Contract faculty are usually employed year-by-year, have a 401K rather than a pension (if a pension is available) and have health care benefits. In most law schools, the clinic faculty and possibly the legal research and writing professors are contract faculty.

      Tenureed and tenure-track professors are highly paid because they are conisdered to be research faculty. Do we really need (and need to pay) the entire law faculty to continue to churn out self-grandizing and unreadable articles that are quality assessed by law students who have little idea of what they are reading?

      The idea that (1) law school has to be full time, and (2) the teaching faculty has to be all tenure/tenure track and conduct research, are two of the principal reasons that law school tuition is so high.



      Delete
    12. 2:16 post should read "self aggranding" rather than "self grandizing." Typing issues

      Delete
  23. I feel that my LLM provides good value for $$. I have had a couple of BigLaw interviewsand hope to work in NYC for a year or two before returning to Dubai. I will have a big leg up there thanks to my degree. I can earn back it's cost quickly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably not PosnerOctober 26, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      There are several law and med students from the Middle East living in my apartment building. I envy them. For us middle-class Americans living in such an apartment is something we aspire to as adults. For them, it's student housing.

      What's the legal market like in Dubai these days? I met an American working there pre-crash on construction contracts, and he thought there would be a lot of litigation when the place eventually crashed because the contracts were being so hastily made.

      Delete
    2. A few thoughts:
      1) keep in mind most middle-easterners are much poorer than most Americans-think of Egypt, Syria, etc. These places are way less-developed than Mexico.
      2) There are definitely bubble-like elements to Dubai's economy
      3) I was working in a "virtual Indian practice" for a British firm. India bans foreign firms, and most Indian firms are small and not very experienced. So, most Indian M&A, corporate, securities, etc. work gets done out of Dubai. This market has seen steady growth.

      Delete
    3. Occupy PNP!

      Delete
    4. Dear "Dubai guy,"

      I hope that LLM will include some grammar classes.

      ***"I can earn back it's cost quickly!"***

      That would be "its" cost, without an apostrophe.

      Never mind: that mistake is made here daily.

      Delete
    5. Deer Anoneemoose Gramer PoleeceOctober 27, 2012 at 10:03 AM

      Pleeze growe TF up.

      Delete
  24. And U.S. News continues to push its nonsense...

    http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/law-admissions-lowdown/2012/10/22/consider-career-interests-when-choosing-law-schools

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What would Robert Morse do?

      Delete
    2. US News is the only institution more wedded to the law school scam than the law schools. Newsweek just died. The only reason that anyone pays any attention to that outdated rag is that it publishes "rankings" which in the before times constituted the Social Registry for various institutions of higher learning.

      When the scam unravels, there will be: Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, good private regional law schools like Duke and Penn, big public law schools and no one else. No one will go to XYZ private college of law in ABC state, even if it is ranked in the "top 40." Oh, and no one will buy that magazine.

      Delete
    3. I think you understate the degree to which USNWR is wedded to the ratings issues. US News used to be actually a pretty good news magazine - more in depth than say Time and much more than Newsweek - it always had lower circulation and slowly died - the magazine stopped publishing a few years back.

      The college, graduate school, B-school and Law-school guides were a small effort to drive ratings that started in around 1988 - and instead of just being an annual ratings pusher took over the magazine - so when they started the ratings section was just another magazine section - no extra charge. All that is left now is the ratings published each year - sold as a stand-alone and hugely lucrative.

      Delete
  25. Probably not PosnerOctober 26, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    This article has some interesting points about the history and current financial challenges of the UC system:

    http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/from-master-plan-to-no-plan-the-slow-death-of-public-higher-education?src=longreads

    ReplyDelete
  26. Devil's advocate here. I buy almost everything on this blog. It's 99% wholesome scambusting goodness, with added great writing from Campos.

    But there's something about the "letter" that doesn't seem right. The way it's written. The language is uses. The arguments it makes.

    I'm calling BS on this one.

    Not saying that Campos is pulling the wool over our eyes, but I think whoever sent it to him isn't giving him the whole story.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Progress Report Update:

    Thuh teechurs ahht thuh luh skhuuls arrhe reeely owe miiie Goodt smarrdt ahhnd teeeched algernon tu rhun thuh rhaaa rahaccest, ! :) ?

    ahhnd thaat is ghuuud beecuuse ithtt is guuud tu gohh tuu uh fuuurth teear luh schuul ahhnd lhurn uhboudt witchcraffts ahhnd 6 the 6 rings uf hell not a guud place and hell is a bhad pppplace buutt bhyy the bhy thuh I meen by thuh thhhenennnurrreded facuhculty ahhdt thuh rheeely rhichhdst furttthth teeer luh schuuul phaayed four bhy thuh thaxxstpayhurrrs milliunnns ufff dullurrsssss ann luut ahhhnd luttts of oh my goood God muuuny ohhed tuu owwed 2 thuh guhvurrnmundt lhhatur bye thuuuuhh stdutuduteundts.

    Charly


    ReplyDelete
  28. Every time there is a good discussion going on, John Koch aka JD Painterguy has to fuck it up with his nonsense. Please ban this buffoon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure this assclown is a Painterguy copycat, but I agree his IP# should be banned.

      Delete
  29. Thomas Jefferson has posted a litigation update publicly responding to the allegations of fudging the employment stats:

    https://www.tjsl.edu/news-media/2012/7835

    They cite positibe reviews from both Law School Transparency and National Jurist for their transparency, which is of course total BS. Those organizations only base their reviews on the amount and detail of the data provided, they have no way of verifying whether it is just made up data.

    Also interesting, the update mentions that TJ is among 25 schools being sued. I had no idea the number was this high, anyone on here know the complete list?

    ReplyDelete
  30. The Frost is all over.

    @3:15PM. CaN YOU PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF A MERCIFUL gOD HELP ME IN MY anguish over my student loan debt and destroyed life. Please for the love of a merciful God I will meet you and please tell me how to overcome my debt. cANT WE LOOK AT EACH OTHER FACE TO FACE? My debt my debt oh sweet Jesus how can you condemn me when I owe so much money ogh dear sweet Jesus can you help me I am sdo deeep in debt for the rest of my natural life and I amm just AS MUCH A HUMAN BEING AS YOU ARE .

    And ban me for what? For owing student loan debt?

    Yeah my name. John Koch. Krotch, Cock, etc. and call me anything you want, and all my bullshit flowers from algernon stuff.

    "Notes From All Over" really goes:

    _______________________

    The Frost is All Over/Kitty Lie Over:


    "What will we do if the kettle boils over
    What will we do only fill it again
    What will we do if the cow eats the clover
    What will we do only set it again.

    The preaties are dug
    And the frost is all over
    Kitty lie over close to the wall
    How would you like to be married to a solider
    Kitty lie over close to the wall."

    ___________________________

    Enjoy the music and a rare and very early Paul Brady :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAYW5dwZJRA



    Where do we go from here with this much debt, except to destruction?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Campos, it is time to ban this idiot's IP address. There is nothing he can add that is of any value to this blog, except being a distraction from the core issues.

      Delete
    2. Please, Professor Campos, listen to us. This nonsensical, distracting, dare we say "crazy" ranting really distracts from the blog.

      It's extreme activity. Make the "extreme" response: ban it.

      Delete
  31. Probably not PosnerOctober 27, 2012 at 5:10 AM

    What slogan should this blog have?

    http://noncuratlex.com/?p=1031

    ReplyDelete
  32. It struck me that the first line of the email is an apology that he/she has to send an email that's "unhappy."

    It's as if the author knows he has to mentally prepare the perpetually out-to-lunch faculty that they'll be taking a detour into reality for a few minutes, so they better gear up for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, I thought exactly the same thing.

      Delete
  33. Ihr Kommentar wurde veröffentlicht.October 27, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Why is the blogspot website talking to me auf Deutsch?

    When I posted a comment, it tells me "Ihr Kommentar wurde veröffentlicht." ("Your comment has been posted")

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It thinks you are in a German speaking country - the message changes based on where you are, Dutch, French, German

      Delete
    2. Ihr Kommentar wurde veröffentlichtOctober 28, 2012 at 11:31 AM

      Yeah - was in Zurich but normally blogs etc. don't necessarily switch, which is what threw me.

      (I do find it irritating that google absotively refuses to connect as google.com, will only connect as google.ch, then makes me run the translator all the time. Yet back in the US, I can connect to google.com or google.ch or google.co.in, etc, with no issues.)

      Delete
  34. Hiring a full-time law prof, or opening a law school, now is like buying electric typewriters for an office in 1990.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Greetings from Painter:

    So I can't post here and Lawprof and DJM think it is OK for someone to post a comment that says I am a "cunt" and even DJM, who clerked for a US Supreme Court Justice will let that stand and not delete it.

    Great.

    _______________

    But here is a copy of something that I posted on Nando's blog:


    "There were also a lot of students at Touro from New Jersey and i wondered why that was.

    I later learned that they most likely had jobs that were set up in family owned firms, and could not get into an ABA accredited law school in New Jersey, or into a higher ranked law school in New York.

    But Touro fit the bill because after all it was ABA accredited, and if one had a job set up with a family firm, a law degree is a law degree is a law degree.

    In addition, at my law school graduation for Touro at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, NYCity, I remember quite a number of the grads being greeted on stage by a family member who was either a county or state politician, or a a partner of a law firm, or a judge.

    The name of the family member/Judge/Politician/Law Firm partner was read aloud and the graduate walked on stage and was greeted by the family member.

    And for the very first time I realized that some of my classmates had jobs waiting for them already upon graduation.

    In addition, the late Bernard Lander spoke at my Touro Law School graduation, and I have an old video tape of that.

    Elie Mystal had a post a while back about Lander.

    Oh, I don't know, I just think that kids ought to hear this kind of stuff. I wish I had heard stuff like this before I took the plunge and enrolled in a lower tier law school.

    And what harm does it do? Do my memoirs merit being called a pussy or a dick or a victim or a failure?

    If I can help someone to navigate the snake pit of law school in the lower tiers, or maybe even save them from going down a very long wrong turn or path, then maybe my stories serve some good, just as Nando's warnings do.

    Keep in mind that ILSS is from a source that is of a very different nature or position than TTR or me or a lot of the other scamblogs.

    Keep that in mind."


    ReplyDelete
  36. OK guys-there is a silver lining to the scam. Hit some coffeeshops in Rockville this afternoon. I carried a law book as a prop. Met a thoroughly Bernankified Catholic U. grad, we're getting drinks Tue. at the 4 Seasons (figured I'd go classy for maximum contrast). Recession-game, baby!

    ReplyDelete
  37. And if I have to spell it out:

    My notes from Charly are part of a larger work of fiction and a spoof which parallel the Flowers From Algernon story by Daniel Keyes in an opposite way.

    The diaries start out intelligently enough and are by a successful and intelligent College grad with a high GPA, and then the writer goes thru the law school process and is subject to the humiliation of the bullying Socratic method of teaching and the vicious grading curve, and then the former top of the class college grad becomes more and more mentally deficient and eventually the whole self image collapses in the face of the debt and job market etc.

    Hence the diaries.

    And in the end a perfectly good mind and life deteriorates and is wasted.



    ReplyDelete
  38. @Koch/PainterGuy,

    I see that you have shut down both of your previous blogs. Why don't you just go back to blogging, instead of trying to recreate a blog on here through your incessant posting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I see that you have shut down both of your previous blogs. Why don't you just go back to blogging, instead of trying to recreate a blog on here through your incessant posting."

      The answer to that of course is that no one wants to look at those blogs, that is why he comes here even though he promised he wouldn't.

      I always thought that this one described his situation:
      http://www.despair.com/mis24x30prin.html

      This one too.
      http://www.despair.com/blogging.html

      Delete
  39. @6:57PM

    Yeah yeah, and when I make a promise it is because I did not make a promise because I am not, not, not making a promise.

    And my posting is actually pretty light and does not rise to any level of incessancy that a reasonable person would object to.

    Maybe it seems incessant to you because the truth disturbs your moral complacency and your position in the world as what you seem to feel is good?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Saturday Night Live already did a bunch of sketches about a situation like JD Painterguy's.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaoM0FyLmGY

      "My name is Matt Foley and I am a motivational speaker and I live in a van down by the river."

      Delete
  40. Yeah and the comedian that did that bit of fluff is awfully posted for all time on the internet from a drug overdose and absolutely dead.

    But that is the price of upward social mobility and "success" in American Democracy I guess, and as Alexis DeTocqueville might have well predicted, and I also suppose a part of the lower tier law school and American rip off pipe dream being sold these days.

    With the help of a lot of guaranteed government backed money and usury and without basic and simple human rights bankruptcy protections.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder if JD Painterguy watched Matt Foley back in 1993 and realized that someday, that would be him. Remember, Matt Foley didn't have a way out of his situation either, being divorced three times with child support payments.

      Delete
    2. Here is another good Matt Foley one.

      http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6g8ny_matt-foley-halloween-special_fun

      Delete
  41. Outstanding information, i must say this site is really cool.
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