Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The limits of transparency

This post should be read in conjunction with DJM's post yesterday regarding employment outcomes at higher-ranked schools. It provides a glimpse of how bad things are getting in the lower tier.  The Florida bar association maintains a particularly useful attorney search engine, that enables all kinds of interesting sorting of data. (Update: A commenter suggests there may be problems with the search engine, and that it isn't listing some Barry graduates who are members of the Florida bar).  Here I'm going to look at what's happening to graduates of Barry University's law school, and what light this throws on the successes and limits of the law school reform movement.

Low-ranked law schools are intensely regional: if a Barry grad is going to get a job as a lawyer, it's almost certainly going to be in Florida.  The ABA statistics for the 209 graduates in the class of 2011 reflect this: of those Barry graduates who were employed, 114 had jobs -- not necessarily legal jobs of course -- in Florida, while three were employed in New Jersey, and two in Illinois.  This means there was no more than one 2011 Barry grad was employed in any other state.  Here's another bit of evidence of how local Barry is: there are a total of six Barry graduates currently barred in California.

144 Barry graduates took the July 2011 Florida bar exam, and 104 passed. An additional 31 took the February 2012 exam, with 24 passing.  Now we don't know how many of these people were class of 2011 graduates, but it's likely that the vast majority were.

Alarmingly, as of seventeen months after the class's graduation, only 70 out of 209 class of 2011 Barry grads -- 33.5% -- are currently members of the Florida bar.  Given that only a handful of the members of this class are likely barred outside Florida this suggests that, a year and half after graduation, less than half of the graduating class is even barred, let alone actually practicing law.

When we look more closely at what the third of the class that has a license to practice law in the state where the vast majority of Barry grads who ever practice law will do so, the picture becomes even more dire.  Here's what these 70 people are doing per their current bar registration:

2-5 lawyer firm: 21
Solo practice:  11

No business address: 5
51-100 lawyer firm: 5
State and local DA: 5
6-10 lawyer firm: 4
Two 2011 grads forming two-person firm: 4
Clerking for a solo: 3
100+ lawyer firm: 2
In-house: 2
21-50 lawyer firm: 2
11-20 lawyer firm: 1
Clerking for two-person firm: 1
Local government attorney: 1
Public Defender: 1
Guardian ad Litem: 1
Criminal Conflict Civil Regional counsel: 1

Note that the 90% of Barry 2011 grads who graduated with law school debt had an average reported debt of $137,680 (Barry was one of at least a half dozen schools that initially misreported their graduates' debt, reporting it originally as being less than a third of the actual number).  The $137,680 figure doesn't include accrued interest, which means that when 2011 Barry grads with law school debt took the Florida bar they were actually carrying around $155,000 in such debt. Nor does it include undergraduate debt, which means the average Barry 2011 grad probably had at least $175,000 in educational debt.

When you look at these numbers, it ought to be incredible that anyone is reckless enough to continue to enroll in a school where perhaps ten to fifteen out of 209 graduates were making as much as the (fictional) "median" salary for the national class of 2011 of $60,000 as reported by NALP, and where almost all the class was carrying well into six figures of educational debt.

And here we run up against the limits of transparency.  Barry's entering class this fall (296) is 42% larger than its graduating class of 2011, and 10% larger than its entering class last year.  The school achieved this deplorable feat by slashing it's already bottom of the barrel admissions requirements to something very close to an open enrollment policy: The entering class this fall has a median LSAT in the 33rd percentile for all test takers (a quarter of the class is below the 26th percentile, which is perilously close to a random score), while the class's median GPA of 2.92 is well below the average GPA of current college students, let alone prospective law students.

Now there may be practical limits to this strategy, even without serious federal educational loan reform (which would of course shut down the school almost instantly).  More than a quarter of Barry grads are currently failing the Florida bar, and the school's increasingly flexible admissions policy seems certain to drive that number quite a bit higher, to the point where even the somnolent ABA may bestir itself to do something about this disgraceful operation.

But let's not be unfair to Barry: after all, the school's statistics are not notably worse than that of dozens of other fully "ABA-accredited" institutions. And here's the real stinger, which ties in directly with DJM's post: Barry's wretched employment stats have far more in common with those of many a "top tier" school than the latter school's employment stats have with Harvard's or Penn's (which as DJM points out aren't so great any more either).

So yes, Barry should be shut down today if not sooner, but Barry is much more like the "average" law school than the average law school is like the tiny handful of schools which produce acceptable outcomes for an acceptable percentage of their current graduates.





114 comments:

  1. And. Boom. Goes. The. Dynamite.

    Can someone tell me why is it politically popular to give government money to individuals for whom their is no demand for their services? Not government grants, mind you, but government loans, which enrich schools and enslave graduates. Are we that hooked on the lottery that we're willing to damn thousands to an impecunious fate so that one lucky, ambitious youngster might rise from the cesspool and be a symbol of hope?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably not PosnerOctober 16, 2012 at 8:13 AM

      At risk of getting political, has any party made a serious proposal to deal with this problem this campaign cycle? Genuine question. I was quite disappointed that the topic has not yet come up in debates. Young workers seem surprisingly silent as parties propose policies that benefit seniors and boomers while not addressing the issues impacting them. I have some hope that the issue will start being addressed as boomer parents forced to support their adult kids (basements and internships for all!) start feeling the impact.

      Delete
    2. I agree. Like all big problems, politicians seem to take the "wait and see and ignore" approach to the student debt crisis.

      Delete
    3. That, and it would be political suicide to suggest the solution to our fucked up educational system is anything other than dumping more money into it -- remember, education is priceless and carries no risk of being abused, marginalized, outsourced, or profiteered from, because it's good, an expression of liberty, teaches us critical thinking, educated children are America's most valuable asset, etc.

      Delete
    4. There seems to be someone claiming that dynamite is going "Boom!" for many of these stories, yet the building still stands as if nothing more significant has happened than a bird flying into a window or a small twig falling onto the roof from a neaby tree.

      These stories are more like "snap goes the firecracker". They tend to make a little localized noise, but do no damage, and everyone nearby turns their head for half a second, sees nothing, and keeps walking.

      They are great stories. Hardly dynamite. Dynamite would be a law school dean at a prominent school quitting and spilling the beans on this blog or in a massive open letter to all applicants, not the rather obvious conclusion that Barry grads have shitty futures.

      Delete
    5. The refrain from Obama and the Democrats is still all about "access" and vague discussions of how the middle class is suffering from higher costs of college without making the obvious conclusion that if college costs too much tuition should be going down. Of course, the Democrats court academia among their supporters, so it is unlikely that any tuition or loan regulation will be enacted any time soon.

      Mitt Romney and the Republicans present a quite different puzzle. Here we have a government subsidy endorsed and benefiting liberals that is quite clearly driving up costs for both middle class families and the taxpayer. A perfect and very obvious demonstration of how government involvement in the free market leads to poor outcomes. Yet Romney supports the government loan program because of for-profit entities like Full Sail University (entities that would not exist without heavy government subsidy). While this seems odd considering his bashing of Obama for investment in clean energy, it is easy to reconcile with his lack of empathy for middle class people and the large donations coming to him from the for-profits.

      And a current running through all this is that university endowments are major clients of Wall Street- a transfer of government money to banks.

      Delete
    6. Well, now we have it. They both vaguely support more loan programs.

      Delete
  2. I don't think that we have hit the limits of transparency. More people still need to get the information. Just because we know it so well, it doesn't mean that everyone knows the numbers or where to look for them.

    We need to push for even more transparency and penalties for failure to be truthful. Barry should have been seriously punished for lying about the debt levels.

    This is true for all schools. Many people are going to say well, that is true for other people at other schools, but not true for me at my school.

    We need to keep getting the numbers out there. And to keep publicizing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately this is true, since there are so many morons out there who still don't get it. Just today the "Dear Prudence" column on Slate has a letter from a woman w/ 2 small kids, married to a fellow CPA who wants go to law school because it's "his dream."
      Maybe this bubble won't burst until someone makes a TV show that actually reflects some portion of what a real day in the life of a lawyer is like. It would also help to include some representations of what lawyers actually look like, which in most cases is about as far from "TV star" as you can get without being hideously deformed.

      Delete
    2. If your "dream" is to be a lawyer, you need to learn to dream bigger, baby.

      Delete
    3. Fortunately, Prudence had enough information about job prospects to give good advice.

      Delete
  3. Given how widely known the job situation is now, do you people still think that people entering Barry University Law School are being "scammed"? I would say that at this point, if someone enters Barry Law School now, stays the full three years, then his fate, whatever it may be, is entirely his or her fault and there is no reason to blame the system.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, remember that a quarter of the incoming class is indistinguishable from random guessing on their LSAT. It isn't hard to make a reasonable non compos mentis argument for much of their class.

      Delete
    2. The students entering Barry are still being scammed. Barry's business model depends on cognitive biases and information asymmetry.

      More importantly, the taxpayer and the profession are being scammed, as Barry's administration and faculty are using taxpayer money to fund their operations and the reputation of the profession as a whole to entice prospective students.

      Delete
  4. I think we can still blame the system. This is not a choice people should even be allowed to make. Not with public resources, anyway. The government should not be providing loans so that people can gamble.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anon 7:18,

    We may have no sympathy for that person, but the current system allows them to do it and still eke out a life on IBR. So ultimately the taxpayer is on the hook.

    ReplyDelete
  6. DJM landed a stiff jab to the law school industrial complex last night, and Campos follows up with a brutal uppercut this morning. Nice work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why is it that skinny IT types are so enamoured of pugilistic metaphor?

      Delete
    2. Are you the new Painter, Nando? You come here very regularly now. Times slow on TTT? Trying to relive the glory days?

      Delete
    3. Trollin' hard as shit, bro?

      Delete
  7. Probably not PosnerOctober 16, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    Interesting how many Barry graduates let their license go after passing the Bar. I can't blame them given the costs of bar dues and CLE.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Probably not PosnerOctober 16, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    "Barry's wretched employment stats have far more in common with those of many a "top tier" school than the latter school's employment stats have with Harvard's or Penn's (which as DJM points out aren't so great any more either)."

    Great point. Every school likes to say that they have little in common with the next rung down. But Harvard looks more like Penn, and Penn more like UCLA, and UCLA more like Richmond, and Richmond more like Barry than anyone would like to admit.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Is there any chance that the laws could be changed to prevent government-backed loans from being used excessively to attend law schools that don't meet a certain standard? Given how much information there is out there now, this might be a way of dealing with the problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Is there any chance that the laws could be changed to prevent"

      Yes.

      Delete
  10. While I agree that transparency has its limits when it comes to preventing terrible life decisions by 0Ls, I don't think that Barry qualifies as "transparent" except in terms of compliance with the minimalist ABA standard for law schools' disclosures of employment outcomes.

    Look at their CSO page, and its associated FAQ. Devoid of numbers. Bring up employment data, and you get the ABA-required form. What don't you see? Salary data, of any kind. If you navigate over to the Financial Services portion of the website, you'll see the 2012-2013 cost of education information, but nowhere does it say anything about average indebtedness, the average monthly payment for a typical employed graduate of Barry or the number of Barry grads on IBR.

    If the Surgeon General had been as hard on tobacco companies in 1965 as the ABA is on law schools now, your pack of Camels would come with a warning label that reads, "Some doctors think these won't help that cough, but they sure do taste great." We are nowhere close to correcting the information asymmetry here, and we should not pretend that we are.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yale or fail, baby.

    ReplyDelete
  12. and once again it is the goverment loan pipeline that is the main problem. you take that all of a suden this giant diploma mill will have EMPTY classrooms unless they lower the price dramatically.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'd love to know how the school got its name. "Social justice"-oriented nuns + ADM = greatness.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Bodges? Don need no steekin bar bodges!October 16, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    "Alarmingly... only 70 out of 209 are... members of the Florida bar. G....this suggests that... less than half of the graduating class is even barred, let alone actually practicing law."


    Hah! Assumes fact not in evidence.

    The rest may actually be practicing.

    Maybe Barry forgot to tell its grads they could not practice without passing bar.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow. Just wow. What explains the inability of the ABA th shut this place down?! Seriously, wouldn't 99% of lawyers applaud?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Even with the very poor employment prospects, there are 10% more entering than last year!

    ReplyDelete
  17. From the school's perspective, it might be better to admit likely bar failers - there is a justifiable reason they don't have jobs.

    While the ABA might be concerned, the current situation is so incredibly messed up that they will probably let this slide.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love that flordia bar site.

    Barry - founded 1999 ABA Accredited 2006

    Class of 2003 25 licensed 1 inactive
    Class of 2004 35 licensed 3 inactive
    Class of 2005 36 licensed 0 inactive
    Class of 2006 55 licensed 1 inactive
    Class of 2007 66 licensed 2 inactive
    Class of 2008 75 licensed 6 inactive
    Class of 2009 72 licensed 5 inactive
    Class of 2010 250 graduates 93 licensed 1 inactive

    I can't seem to find graduating class size before the ABA NALP data.

    ReplyDelete
  19. As LawProf notes, the increasingly open admissions policies at low-ranked law schools do pose a threat to bar pass rates. And at least in theory, low bar pass rates are grounds for loss of ABA approval.

    One way around this problem is to admit high numbers of poorly qualified students, collect their tuition for a year or two, then flunk them out in large numbers before they reach the bar exam. So you can combine open admissions with adequate bar pass rates.

    Would not be surprised if there is growing use of this strategy at low-ranked law schools.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's already Cooley's modus operandi.

      Delete
  20. Great point...they will admit, load up, take the money, flunk them out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Great point...they will admit, load up, take the money, flunk them out"

      I'm whip smart, but I don't have the sheer evil cleverness needed for, well - evil.

      It's a great idea, and a school with 70% of it's students as 1L's (most to flunk out) will still generate the same tuition dollars.

      Delete
    2. I think there's a U.S. news stat regarding % that graduate isn't there?

      Delete
    3. The kindest thing that Barry Law School could for its students is flunk them - you save on debt and time wasted.

      Delete
    4. 1. US News includes graduation rate in its general college & university rankings -- but not in its law school rankings. The law school rankings use bar pass rate instead.

      2. Perhaps it would be even kinder for Barry to not accept those with abysmal LSATs and GPAs at all. But that might be too much to expect.

      Delete
    5. If Barry didn't accept people with abysmal LSATs and GPAs, it would have to close down.

      Delete
    6. This evil goes way back to the 70s when lenders got the removal of bankruptcy and then later when student loan lenders were given access to unheard of level of intrusion into people's lives.

      Delete
  21. SmallTownBoy--the ABA accreditation committee and committee on legal education, by and large, ARE these schools. Their deans and admins pretty much control the education part of the ABA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right. But why is that stable? We need to rise up!

      Delete
  22. "flunk me? flunk him"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Flunk YOU, Buddy!October 16, 2012 at 5:38 PM

      Delete
    2. Columbia has similar outcomes to Harvard and Stanford when one includes large law firms. NYU and Chicago place 12% less of their class in BigLaw and federal clerkships. The CCN term on TLS predates Law School Transparency.

      Delete
  23. Does "barred" now mean the same as "admitted"? I always thought it meant exactly the opposite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's lawspeak; if we outsiders understood it, they'd have to change it.

      Delete
  24. Those other lawyers went on to be part of Barry's Choom Gang.

    ReplyDelete
  25. What, anybody, are the implications of this article?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That IBR is going to be difficult to politically defend in the long-term and even medium term. The problem with IBR is that you could have a household income of $200,000 and be collecting it. The difficulty is that IBR is a crude solution that will mean that even the "winners" will quite possibly be able to use it.

      Delete
  26. A dirty little open-secret about the state-bars, the ABA and all sorts of lawyers' committees of that sort of organisations - oh and the people who wangle their way onto panels about all sorts of legal topics. A vanishingly small proportion of these people are involved because they are in fact any good as lawyers or for the good of the profession. They are there to resumé polish - to be able to call themselves leaders of the profession or to con people into thinking that they are in fact experts in the subject that the panel is about (no they are not - which is why the panel discussions are often a shallow joke) - or they are looking out for the interests of their organisations.

    The ABA education committees are packed with deans and professors from lower ranked law schools. There is no way that they would ever push the ABA to toughen accreditation standards so that schools with poor outcomes would be penalised - and it is vanishingly unlikely that any serious reformer could get onto any of the committees.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The ABA education committees are packed with deans and professors from lower ranked law schools."

      Why is that?

      Delete
    2. Maybe if we convinced the U.S. News and World Report rankings people to increase a school's rank based on how much they supported toughening accreditation standards.

      That would be funny to watch.

      Delete
  27. 12:54 PM--I read the article and the author seems to assume that law school grads make high incomes. Clearly he's not familiar with the actual outcomes these days. They give an example of a graduate making 70K per year and getting a big windfall on six figure student debt. I think few law school grads make 70K these days.

    What makes the law school IBR situation different is not that new JD's are earning high incomes--it's the six figure debts they are carrying. IBR was not intended for these people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment is either irrelevant or you completely missed the point of the article. How did you get anything from the article that assumes that law grads make high incomes? The article is simply saying that people with high debt and high incomes get over on the system by using IBR.

      Delete
  28. Painter has not only jumped the shark, but has also now jumped ship and is siding with Brian Leiter and slamming Prof. Campos, DJM, and this blog!

    (And he admitted on his blog that he posted here to bring in traffic to his site. I guess he is now doing the same with Leiter.)

    He says, "My antics brought more traffic than you know :)"

    And also says, "Campos is kind of problematic in that he is making money from the very thing he denounces. As does DJM, and all from a safe, telescopic distance. And so, and out of "fairness" as you say, I cannot blame Brian Leiter for being critical, if he ever was or is."

    What a Koch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "He says, "My antics brought more traffic than you know :)"


      I don't know about all the other stuff you allege, but that one comment (the one I've posted above) I did see him make. But he was in that comment trying to take credit for driving comments traffic here at ITLSS, not driving traffic to his own sad little blog.

      Delete
    2. Who gives a flying fuck? Let him say what he will. Ignore his moronic ass.

      Delete
    3. I can confirm that Painter has turned to the dark side. So you don't have to go to his blog and give him the pleasure of a hit, here is the text:

      >>Yeah I have goofed on Leiter in the past, but his Youtube stuff is actually very interesting, and as I learned many years ago as an undergrad, Philosophy is not for the young so much.

      I somehow don't think that Professor Leiter would set up a blog, and then allow a lot of well paid peers, and colleagues, and fellow Professors etc. to all join in a kind of tasteless circus or menagerie of anon commenters to say whatever the hell they want.

      Just my opinion.<<

      (Note that this blog post has already been edited by Painter from its original, and the quote from the other anon poster above is correct and what I saw earlier today too. You have to be quick to catch Painter because he doesn't like to stand behind his words.)

      Delete
    4. "You have to be quick to catch Painter because he doesn't like to stand behind his words."

      Sounds like Romney.

      Delete
    5. So I guess you are now our next JD Painter. You keep on spamming this site with stuff from JD Painterguy's site.

      Delete
    6. He's not spamming. It's just that those of us who have endured this major league idiot for so long are now in a state of disbelief that we don't have to deal with him anymore. I agree though, let's move on from this village idiot. By doing so we don't fuel his attention-seeking ego. Let the fool suffer in silence on his own sorry blog. The village idiot finally got banished. Good riddance. Now let's move on.

      Delete
  29. LawProf,

    I have no affiliation with Barry, but I'm not sure how accurate this data is. I did a search in the Florida Bar's directory based on school using my own law school. My name did not come up on the list of bar admitted attorneys from my law school, although, when I type my name in directly, I do show up as a member in good standing with my school listed. I repeated this process for several attorneys I know and produced the same results.

    I'm not sure how pervasive this problem is with the Florida Bar's serach engine, but it appears to be at least enough of a problem to create potential inaccuracies in this data.

    Perhaps the discrepancies are not significant, but I would recommend investigating this before publishing statistics about a law school, particularly given your correct exhortations to law schools to provide complete and accurate data to potential and current students.

    ReplyDelete
  30. PC: these are excellent posts. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  31. No question Barry is a toxic waste dump but these stats seem fishy to me as well. It can't be that only 1/3 of the class of 2011 is admitted in Fla when the school had a 75% pass rate that year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unless there was a large exodus to Alabama.

      Never underestimate the popularity of Alabama to people looking to test drive their new law degree.

      Delete
    2. Abalama? Where`s Abalama?October 16, 2012 at 5:46 PM

      Delete
    3. Why so? Why would people go to Alabama?

      Delete
    4. Because it is not New Jersey?

      Delete
  32. I'm not sure about these stats either.

    We can't, on one hand, complain that law schools are manipulating the stats to attract students, then with the other hand manipulate (or fail to properly research) our own stats that suit our purposes.

    We either get the stats right, or we are as worthless as US News. None of this bullshit "well the mighty internet said..."

    We're better than that.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Prof. Campos, there's an error here. The twenty-sixth percentile (a score of 145) on the LSAT is not perilously close to a random score. Answering 26% of the questions correctly would be close to random (20%), but that would be a score of only 131, which is below the third percentile.

    Mind you, I'd never admit anyone with a score of 145 to law school; I'd draw the line at 160, or not far below. But 145 isn't quite so bad as you made it out to be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LSAT 170 minimum, or NO LAW SCHOOL SOUP FOR YOU!

      Delete
    2. What do you recommend instead: welcoming all comers? That's effectively what we do now. There may be law schools that would admit a goddamn chimpanzee.

      I don't think that I can properly be called a Nazi for insisting on standards.

      Delete
    3. "What do you recommend instead: welcoming all comers? "


      No, I meant what I said (and sorry, no, I wasn't calling you names; just wanted to get the "Seinfeld Soup" thing in there).

      170 minimum. If one can't jack a 170 on this test (or meet a 170 average of attempts - no using the "best" score), then one doesn't need to be a lawyer.

      Delete
  34. It's all going to be about location, location, location. As DJM noted in yesterday's blogpost, Biglaw has dramatically curtailed hiring and most students who find jobs, are now employed by small and medium-size law firms. Today, Lawprof points out that bottom-tier and top-tier law schools have a lot in common concerning employment.

    Boglaw has a very specific path to associatship, that is through their summer assocaite programs. Small and medium-size law firms simply hire law clerks as needed.Law clerks at these firms do not work in a structured 6 week summer program. They are expected to work the entire summer and then part time as needed throughout the school year. This puts such top-tier schools like Cornell (Ithaca metro population is +/ 100,000)and UVA (Charlottsville population is +/-43,000)at a distinct disadvantage as they are not located in dense urban areas with plenty of small and medium-size law firms where their students can work during the school year. Therefore, there is probably a closer comparison of top tier law schools in a bucolic settings and lower tier schools. Further, there will probably be a shift in the rankings favoring law schools in larger urban areas as the employment continues to migrate smaller firms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The FUN typographical error...October 16, 2012 at 5:53 PM

      "Boglaw has a very specific path ..."


      "Boglaw" - ** - snickers - **

      Loveit.

      Delete
    2. Cornell is at the top of Tier 3, and UVA is either at the top of Tier 3 or at the bottom of Tier 2. Neither of these is in a league with this Barry toilet (wherever it is), which is at the bottom of Tier 4. But I wouldn't be surprised if indeed their geographic situation turned into a distinct disadvantage.

      Delete
    3. Where do you get these tiers? Speak sense we can all understand.

      We have HYS
      T6 ( the TLS creation for HYC plus Columbia, Chicago and NYU based on employment by biglaw)
      T14
      and everyone else.

      Delete
    4. I think that the reason that Chicago, NYU, and Columbia send people to BigLaw than the rest of the T14 is the fact that they are in New York and Chicago.

      Delete
    5. That's pretty much what I mean by tiers.

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

      Delete
    6. No. Tier one is the schools from 14 - top 50? Tier 2 below that. These terms regarding tiers are derived from the us news rankings. You can't call Columbia a tier 2 school. People won't follow you. Use T6 and T14.H

      Delete
    7. Maybe location is the reason for better big law placement. I'm happy to say that out of HYS all hiring is local. But the Chicago market has been way down. And, despite yesterday's post - top students at Penn are inching up there.

      Delete
    8. The top fifty schools do not constitute a tier. It is absurd to group them together as "Tier 1". Likewise, "T14" is an artificial classification. Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but Yale and Georgetown are not in the same tier for the important purpose of finding employment.

      My classification is close to reality. I'm willing to entertain reasonable differences of opinion over the size and membership of the tiers (should Tier 1 include Columbia and NYU?) but not changes to the basic structure. After the first 25 or 30 schools, all are realistically in the bottom tier.

      Delete
    9. You can use whatever tier system you want. You don't seem to care whether people understand what you are talking about, nor do you seem to care to understand the standard nomenclature.

      One more time
      HYS
      CCN or T6
      T14
      tier one
      tier two
      tier three

      No one is including Yale and Georgetown as near each other in terms of employment. That isn't at all what people are saying when they refer to the T14. T14 is the bottom of the top schools employment-wise. They aren't in a straight line, they are in order from best to worst. We know it drops down very quickly from HYS to T6 on down through the T14.

      Some people feel that paying sticker at T14 may be justified (I don't) for a shot at biglaw. But the T14 is the limit for sticker.

      If you mention tier 2 schools, people will think you mean schools from 51-100 or so. No one is going to assume CCN.

      Maybe you don't care to understand what typical usage is, but at least be aware that no one is going to understand you.




      Delete
    10. Nobody's arguing that HYS are the T14.

      T14 excludes HYS. It means "I wasn't smart enough / hard working enough to get into HYS."

      T14 just means "National Law School With Good Chance to Become BigLaw Associate". For example, Duke Law grads tend to not stay in NC. I suspect that most UNC grads stay in NC.

      The rest of the schools (non-T14) are non-national (regional) which means their placement is local.

      The view for law students is that the tiers are real. The view for associates is that they need a $2,000,000 book of business or they are going on the street.

      Delete
    11. Not necessarily...October 17, 2012 at 5:58 AM

      "T14 excludes HYS. It means "I wasn't smart enough / hard working enough to get into HYS.""


      Not necessarily. It could also mean, "I applied to and got into HY, but decided to save some cash instead, and am very happy I did so..."

      Delete
    12. Did you guys get into HYS or attend there? Why do you always correlate admissions to hard work and smarts? I got a 178 on the LSAT. Does that make me smarter than those who got a 172? (answer:no, not in the least. I'm just really good at logic games and I've been an avid reader all my life. It has nothing to do with intelligence or hard work.)
      Seriously, admissions is all numbers based except that to get into Yale you generally have to be awesome in some way that convinces faculty to love you. I don't know about Stanford admissions.

      Delete
    13. I'm aware of the bogus terms used by U.S. News. My point is precisely that those terms are bogus. The arbitrary division of law schools into quarters labeled "Tier 1" and such is misleading. If there is a "Tier 1" at all, it is Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and at most one or two other schools.

      Delete
  35. Anyone else watching the debate? Unfortunately, President Obama is again basically just mucking through it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I disagree. I think he's mopping up the floor with Mittens.

      Delete
    2. Neither were any good re: student loans in response to the first question.

      Delete
  36. Probably not PosnerOctober 16, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    More government loans for everyone!!

    ReplyDelete
  37. How about a new statistic for for law schools, the ratio of long term career jobs to lives destroyed. Take Barry Law school: 2 jobs with law firms of 100+, 5 with 51-100 firms, 2 with 21-50, 5 DA's, 1 each with firms of 11-20, the PD and local government for a very generous total of 19 career jobs. 209 graduates in 2011 with an average law school debt of %150,000 for a ratio of 19/190. William Ockham

    ReplyDelete
  38. This post highlights why academia will not be able to clean up its act on its own. Even if reputable schools limit their enrollment, there always will be direputable outfits who will enroll students who cannot attend other schools.

    We are not dealing with a single actor here. As long as there is a demand for legal education, someone will show up to fill meet that demand.

    ReplyDelete
  39. The CCN term should not be used anymore because there is a massive gap in placement between Chicago and NYU on the one hand and Columbia on the other. Columbia is more similar to Harvard when it comes to private practice and federal clerkships combined than to Chicago and NYU. The CCN term predates the release of any real law school employment outcomes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't looked at this. I know some people argue that NYU people self-select more into public service.

      As a Columbia alum I am sorry to say that H will probably fall before Columbia makes it into the YS league.

      Delete
    2. The point was that the employment outcomes for Columbia are significantly better than for Chicago and NYU.

      Look at Law School Transparency. Columbia is up there with the top 3 in clerkships and BigLaw combined. NYU and Chicago have much lower outcomes.

      Delete
    3. I think that CCN should. . . and I know some people that argue that NYU . . . shut the fuck up. You both make me want to beat a baby panda to death.

      Can you go to some other site to talk about this prestige whore bullshit?

      Delete
    4. No. This was in regard to a person who created their own tier system. Sorry if you don't like it. But it is relevant to the topics from today and yesterday which deal with employment at various tiers.

      The point was made that Harvard had to hire a substantial number of grads. The point was made that the bottom of penn,s class is failling. Now law prof is comparing them to one of the lowest ranked schools.

      It isn't as if this discussion has no context.

      Delete
  40. "As long as there is demand for legal education, someone will show up to fill meet that demand"
    -Once again, this leads back to government loan dollars. In a normal market, high costs play a big role in limiting demand. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love to have a Ferrari parked in the driveway, but I don’t see many of them out on the road. If prospective law students had to face the true cost of attending law school up front, before beginning their first year, the demand for legal education would drop like a stone.

    ReplyDelete
  41. These policies do not benefit boomers. Most of the boomers I know have been booted from their jobs to make room for younger lawyers.

    One of the problems here is that 9 month employment statistics cover shorter term positions like BigLaw and clerkships, as opposed to career positions. The career positions to follow these jobs do not exist in sufficient numbers for most Harvard or Columbia grads to get $160,000 a year jobs when they age out of BigLaw.

    In essence, the top law schools are relying on a system that pushes their older grads out of work long before the 35 years that at least counts for Social Security eligibility.

    Columbia at least is selling short term employment under the guise of $160,000 a year jobs. Columbia's more experienced grads are mostly worth much less than $160,000 a year. There is not enough demand for their services to raise the ongoing salaries to that point.

    Another point is that legal job outside the government are very unstable. Many people get fired without cause just because the employer can do this with a huge lawyer surplus.

    When you combine these factors, from an economic standpoint, many experienced Columbia Law grads may be earning less than a similarly situated New York City public school teacher or policeman, counting the benefits as part of those jobs, with less stability than the government jobs. I would really like to see the economic comparisons here, taking the tuition today as a net from the earnings. Not sure that even Columbia, for a big percentage of the class comes out better than the New York City school teacher.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "many experienced Columbia Law grads may be earning less than a similarly situated New York City public school teacher or policeman"

      Oh, you again. Ug.

      Delete
    2. Here is a huge difference: boomers were able to easily get jobs un government as a default if they couldn't find anything else.

      Those jobs are now being filled by u paid volunteers hoping to get experience.

      Delete
    3. The longer-term employment statistics for graduates of top schools are dismal for a substantial and growing portion of the class. It is not different from Harvard as it is from Columbia, I can say that with certainty.

      You can say oh you again, but everyone ages or they die. If these degrees only confer value for a few years after law school for a substantial portion of the class at top law schools, and much of that value is offset by the cost of law school itself, you have a zero sum game.

      The legal profession is very troubled, but we have no idea of how bad it is. We just have first year employment statistics. The long-term statistics are much more key to whether the decision to go to law school makes any sense or is a mistake.

      Delete
    4. Anyone who thinks they can ignore long-term outcomes has their head in the sand. It is the worst type of denial - I don't care about this statistic. It is not going to affect me. It just affects old people. But it does affect a big percentage of the class. Maybe you will win the game of survivor in the legal profession, because with this legal job market, that is what it has become - a game of survivor with a very small percentage of people surviving in good jobs.

      Delete
  42. Edmund Wentworth Barrington IVOctober 17, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    "Yale or fail."

    ReplyDelete
  43. Ef u cannut g3t inta a guud lawl skewl, thAn u shuld n0t goe.

    Oh how I wish I had never ever ever ever went to a lower tier law school.

    JDPAINTERGUY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not even close to a good fake JDP.

      Delete
    2. The guy's gone. Give it a rest.

      Delete
  44. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444734804578062742016652154.html?mod=e2tw

    University of Phoenix closing down some locations...

    ReplyDelete
  45. Great post! I will be mindful of this on my next job hunt.

    ReplyDelete

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