Monday, October 22, 2012

Will it play in Peoria?

James Shadid, a federal judge in Peoria, IL has a dream: He wants to start a new law school at Bradley University (h/t LSTB).  Now the state of Illinois already has nine law schools, and indeed the University of Illinois itself is a mere 90 miles from Peoria.  So it's not as if kids who grow up on the shores of the Illinois River have to undertake a heroic quest to reach their long-cherished goal of attendance at an actual ABA-accredited law school: a fairly short drive down I-74 will do the trick.

But it's true that Peoria itself (pop. 115,007) doesn't have a law school yet.  This troubles Judge Shadid, who graduated from Bradley 33 years ago, and John Marshall Law School shortly after that, and who exhibits severe symptoms of Baby Boomer Delusion Syndrome.  It also troubles Gary Roberts, dean of Indiana University-Indianapolis's law school, and another Bradley alum:

 [Roberts] says the absence of a law school in Peoria means not just inconvenience for local would-be students, but added expense in that they have to pay room and board to study law. And whereas wage-earners in other, bigger cities can earn law degrees at night, that's impossible in Peoria.

"There's this large lacuna in the middle of Illinois where people can't afford law school," Roberts says.Roberts says the study showed that U of I law grads tend to head to Chicago or out of state, often to seek high-paying jobs, to better pay off massive tuition loans. But if tuition were kept relatively low at a Peoria law school, grads would be less beholden to big loans and more apt to seek work hereabouts, Roberts says.
This brings to mind a headline from America's most trusted news source.

There's a large lacuna in the middle of Dean Roberts' analysis, namely any evidence that there are people ready, willing, and able to pay for legal services "hereabouts" who are having difficulty securing such services because of a shortage of lawyers in the greater Peoria metropolitan area.  This hypothesis is implausible in the extreme.

Another gap in the data that needs filling is the answer to the question of how many people who live in or near Peoria aren't going to law school because, if there were a law school in Peoria, the savings produced by not having to pay for room and board would convince them to do so. Let's do a little math here.  Approximately .1% of the US population lives within a 45-minute drive of downtown Peoria. Assume this population contains an average number of potential law students.  This means about 45 people who live within commuting distance of our hypothetical law school enroll in all ABA law schools in America, combined, each year.

According to Roberts, the marginal value generated by Bradley's law school would be generated largely by the fact that it would allow people who live within a reasonable drive of Peoria, who currently aren't enrolling in law school because of cost considerations, to choose to enroll at a new law school in Peoria because they wouldn't have to pay room and board. (Of course these people still have to incur expenses for room and board -- what Roberts means is that they won't have to borrow money for these expenses because they will be gifted to them by long-suffering parents, or shorter-suffering domestic partners).

On average, how many people per year are going to fit this description?  Three.  (This is an estimate. It might be five). So the theory is that these three people per year who aren't going to law school now because of cost will go to this new law school where they won't have to pay living expenses, and will subsequently get jobs as lawyers in or near Peoria, thereby ameliorating the lawyer shortage in the Peoria area.

The other justification for starting yet another law school is that this school will burst the shackles of Langdellian pedagogy, by sending its third year class off into the world of legal practice:

Instead of taking classes during the third and last year, students would be placed in legal settings - with private attorneys, with county prosecutors and public defenders, or with corporations' legal teams - to assist on real cases.
I'm no expert but I suspect it's illegal for students to work for private attorneys or corporations for free, and that it violates ABA rules to give academic credit for paid work.  Beyond that, this innovative idea is of course merely a more elaborate version of the growing trend all across legal academia to turn the third year into an outsourced apprenticeship while still collecting another year of tuition.

Now for whatever reason I'm feeling optimistic this morning, and I doubt this proposed law school is actually going to come into being.  What's interesting to me are the motivations of people like Shadid and Roberts.  They don't appear to be in any position to profit from this school, at least in any pecuniary sense. (Indeed as a dean at competing law school Roberts' straightforward economic interest, however tenuous, would be to oppose this project).

Rather I suspect their motivations are more benign, which in a sense makes those motivations more dangerous.  What's going on here, I think, is that these Bradley alums want their alma mater to benefit from the "prestige" of having a law school.  The benefits they would get from this project are psychic, which makes it easier for them to interpret their own motivations as genuinely altruistic.  They really believe they would be doing their university and its surrounding community a service by starting a law school.

This idea, which to those of us who have passed over to the other side of this implicit debate is obviously insane on its face, seems to them eminently sensible.  After all, look how well things have worked out for them personally.  In other words, they really believe their own propaganda, which is the mark of a fully internalized ideology.  And people like that are way more dangerous than self-conscious scam artists, because they have moral righteousness on their side.





71 comments:

  1. Rochester NY is the biggest metro area in the USA without a law school. I know this not only because I live here, but because a few years back (2008-2009) one of the local colleges toyed with the idea of starting a law school.

    They asked for state support for it, but with Buffalo, Syracuse, and Cornell all reasonably close (90 miles or so), there was no real support for the school, and the state did not support it.

    Maybe Illinois will make the same decision.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not to mention several law schools in Ontario.

      Delete
    2. The credited response is FIRST, good sir.

      Delete
    3. "First" is soooo last week's fashion.

      Delete
    4. It's now called "foist" anyway.


      Delete
  2. I was just about to post this in the previous comments. Thanks for being on top of it, LP. It's a God-damned hydra!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Actually, the state did for a time come up with some funding for a Rochester area law school -- along with two others in New York at Stonybrook and Binghamton. These plans were put on hold after the 2008 market crash; but have they actually disappeared completely as an idea?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least in Rochester it's dead

      http://www.13wham.com/news/local/story/saint-john-fisher-law-school-idea-dead/f7jCxiuHV0eWlcBIAldNoA.cspx

      From the president of the college that was going to start the law school:

      "We had thought about it at one point but we just found that other programs and projects that (sic) frankly we believe were more important to the college and also more important to our students especially," Dr. Bain said.

      That reads like they actually did a real analysis of the program and decided that we don't need another law school.

      Delete
  4. Just to show that the scam has a long history, I read this in "Lucky Jim", set in the 1940's in Britain.....

    "....try to get someone turfed out merely because he's too stupid to pass his exams - it'd be easier to sack a prof. That's the trouble with [government] grants you see."

    "How do you mean ? The students have to get their money from somewhere."

    "Well, you know, You can see their point in a way. "We pay for John Smith to enter college here and now you tell us, after seven years, he'll never get a degree. You're wasting our money". If we institute an entrance exam to keep the ones out who can't read or write, the entry goes down by half, and half of us lose our jobs".

    I suppose back then, at least someone was complaining that someone was wasting government money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe half or more of law students can't read or write. They have no goddamn business attending law school.

      Indeed, courts have upbraided some lawyers for illiteracy. See, for example, In re Hawkins, 502 NW 2d 770 (Minn 1993).

      Delete
  5. As a sign of what this blog and David Segal have accomplished in a year, there is a reference in a non-niche media publication to NALP figures, specifically those showing less than 60% of the graduating class of 2011 got full-time jobs requiring a JD.

    It obviously won't end Boomer idiocy, but the message is getting out.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "On average, how many people per year are going to fit this description? Three. (This is an estimate. It might be five)."

    I really really really wish that I had learned to write like this while in Law School.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lawprof,

    This all ends with student lending reform. And by "reform," I mean stopping Uncle Sam from offering full cost loans to all who want them, no questions asked.

    Why don't you organize a policy reform movement to stop Grad PLUS loans? Everything else is akin to pissing into the wind.

    ReplyDelete
  8. If Romney wins and puts an end to IBR, I think we will see student loan reform in short order.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably not PosnerOctober 22, 2012 at 8:04 AM

      I doubt it. Both candidates seemed unwilling to change the student loan status in the last debate. It needs to be made a political issue before anyone is willing to expend political capital reforming student loans. For the time being, the status quo serves politicians pretty well. No one really loses but the diffuse group called taxpayers. And a lot of parties like schools and students more generally (though not necessarily those at law schools who have much higher debt) benefit.

      Delete
    2. The big firms love cheap lawyers; the schools love free money. When the interests of the elites and the masses clash, the elites tend to win.

      Doubly so, of course, under a GOP administration.

      Delete
  9. On the obliviousness of those currently inside law schools, I recently reconnected with a friend who is a tenured prof at a T30 school. He's not some cloistered pseudo-academic writing law review articles no one reads. He's actually written a well-reviewed book for a general audience; he's active on a number of faculty committees. Yet, amazingly, this guy had no clue about the employment situation of his students [less than 2/3's getting real legal jobs]. He had no clue that his school had hired about 5% of the last graduating class in fake jobs to game the employment stats. He had never even heard of the phrase "law school scam."

    We've come far, but have a long way to go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The psychology of people who are currently deciding to pursue careers as law professors is also interesting. Several of my friends have recently decided to make the switch from private practice to law prof. Almost always, they don't know the employment statistics at the schools to which they are applying/have accepted positions and complain that the salaries are too low.

      Like law prof, I think their motives are mostly benign. They had good law school experiences post-crash and don't realize that a) the law school experience has changed since their time and b) that the students no longer have their career options, esp. students at lower-ranked schools. I keep wondering if they will come to regret their decisions to escape private practice for academia.

      Delete
    2. Yes—when they lose their jobs.

      Delete
  10. It's funny, every time I've been in Peoria for court at least half the attorneys are from Chicago or its near suburbs. To the extent Peoria is able to keep its tremendous natural resource of local legal talent in town, that just means attorneys from other places will take a hit. Or maybe Judge Shadid is anticipating an absolute deluge of slip/fall accidents in the greater Peoria in years to come. That's the only way the area can support any more lawyers, because about 90% of the people who live there sure as shit don't have any spare income they can use to pay an attorney for legal work.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Does University of Phoenix have a physical campus near Peoria for sale?

    "When the University of Phoenix, the country's largest university, announced this week it's closing 115 campuses and satellite locations, it signaled more than a sudden availability of commercial real estate near highway interchanges, where for-profit colleges like to set up shop as a student convenience."

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow, just wow. Maybe my small town needs a second law school. I will be dean for $600K/year. I'll need a private jet for fundraising and recruiting trips.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is a great analysis. To me, the most stunning thing about the legal industry is how a realistically valueless notion of "prestige" drives just about everything -- every custom, every practice, every organization. With this "prestige" comes a price premium that raises costs to absurd levels, and yet it hardly supplies even a modicum of actual value. The problem is, lawyers within the current system have no incentive to be realistic or efficient. They benefit mightily off of this mis-assessed value. But it causes the entire legal system--from law school applications, to the legal curriculum, to law school exams, to legal hiring, to partner retention, to founding and managing schools--to operate in a highly superficial and inefficient fashion devoid of almost any real value. The problem is, over a generation of surviving on a billable hour model has turned inefficient practice into a profit center, and has trained lawyers never to be held accountable for inefficiency.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The one thing that threatens the current system the most is consumers of both legal education and legal services to be served with accurate information and to generate accurate perceptions over the value of legal education and work.

      Delete
    2. It supplies feelings of awesomeness.

      Never discount the euphoric feeling of awesomeness.

      I'm now trying to come to grips with the fact that spell check thinks that awesomeness is an actual word in the English language.

      Delete
    3. It is an actual word - I can sea it write their!October 22, 2012 at 2:15 PM

      Awesomeness is an awesomely real word, irregardless of what your spell check sez.


      (The really profound learning for me here was that spell check does not flag "irregardless", which ain't a word no matter which dictionary one consults.)

      Delete
  14. "Baby Boomer Delusion Syndrome"

    He is also suffering from brain entropy. The guy says that he is concerned that people can't afford law school. The starting annual tuition rate for new garbage law schools is about $28,500. Does this clown believe that is an affordable rate?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Myy namee is Simple Charliee and Ii will starrt a bloooog caleed forf teer realyty that will postt picttures of toiletss with pooopy and pepepepeeeee but wurse. Fuck you for drawing me into this bullshit Nando you dum cunt. Fuck you for not supporting my blog.

      Delete
  15. Problem is that any new law school will take away some jobs from existing lawyers and law grads. Even when a huge percentage of the grads of the new law school do not ever get legal jobs, those that do get jobs add to the ranks of the unemployed elsewhere.

    It is not as if Harvard or Northwestern do not compete with John Marshall Law School. They do. Graduates of John Marshall may hold jobs that Harvard grads cannot get,

    The ABA accrediting new law schools worsens the trend of unemployment in the legal profession. It affects all law schools.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not true.

      When a law school is created, it creates and entire ecology of law professors with law degrees.

      For the first two years of operation, a law school *creates* jobs and absorbs some of the excess legal capacity.

      It also generates economic growth since the newly issued debt is immediately spent, generating an economic boom in the surrounding locale.

      So, it works for two years.

      At some point after that things get worse.

      Delete
  16. Small update on the NY lawsuit against Cooly:

    http://abovethelaw.com/2012/10/law-school-litigation-update-will-new-yorks-chief-judge-be-able-to-fix-the-legal-academys-systemic-failure/

    ReplyDelete
  17. Illinois may have nine law schools, but a bare majority of them are clustered in Chicago. Two of them (U of C and Northwestern) are highly ranked national law schools that place graduates across the country. Chicago itself has probably more private law schools than it can sustain (Loyola, IIT, DePaul, and John Marshall) while at least one law school proximate to Chicagoland (Northern Illinois) shouldn't be open at all. That leaves U of I., which is quite selective even for in-state. Proximity isn't relevant here so much as overall numbers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Slight editing is required:

      "Chicago itself has more private law schools than it can sustain (Loyola, IIT, DePaul, and John Marshall) while" ... it draws graduates from at least five to ten top fifty programs that have no realistic hopes of ever placing all of their grads locally, like U-W, Iowa, Indiana, Notre Dame, Michigan, and so forth.

      If the jobs were there, would be more lawyers in Peoria.

      Delete
  18. This, btw, is not an argument for opening a law school at Bradley. But the "Champaign is only ninety miles from Peoria" argument is not reflective of the reality of law school admissions as currently constituted.

    ReplyDelete
  19. iii am goooing tooo starrrt myy owwn laww skuuulllee calleed thee Simmmple Charrrrlie llaw collegee and theee tuyttsshun will be fiffty thousand dollars each yearr.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Meow Meow says: We do not need one more law school...we need at least one hundred less.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Can we at least call it the "Abraham Lincoln School of Law and Tractor Repair"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We can, as soon as the first John Deere or CAT mechanic who quit his job to follow his "dream" of being a lawyer goes back to being a diesel mechanic after striking out on finding a law job.

      ... and chiming in to agree with the previous posters-- Chicago lawyers go down to Peoria all the time. I've had a couple cases in front of Judge Shadid. He's a very nice guy, but that still doesn't justify another law school.

      ... Also, don't forget, SIU has a law school as well. Although I suspect most of their grads go to St. Louis/ Madison County.

      Delete
  22. It's a form of Special Snowflake Syndrome. Peoria is a great town (because I live here), and my alma mater is a great university (because I attended), so ipso facto this great town and this great university need a law school.

    ReplyDelete
  23. 37th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Can someone explain why the Attorney General's offices, other federal agencies, and country DA's offices can have full-time "interns" or post-graduate "fellows" perform the work of previously paid entry-level lawyers? (Very few interns every get hired despite a year or more of work and the implicit promise of a future career).

    ReplyDelete
  25. I ask because LawProf implies that a corporation providing the same "internship" -- or taking advantage of the same slaves, depending on point of view -- would not be legal.

    ReplyDelete
  26. AdamB - I don't think it matters necessarily whether the organization is private sector or public. I think they do have to be able (if challenged) to colorably show that the internship is "primarily" for the educ/training benefit of the intern.

    In your example above - they're taking the place of what were paid positions - I'd think this would weigh heavily against the "primarily" for the bene of the intern argument.

    So you just need a couple of guys to do these jobs for a year, then come back and sue for pay and benefits. It's bound to happen fairly soon, I'd think...

    ReplyDelete
  27. This is bad. The comments are going way down in volume, tonal value, hue, sustain, vibrato, and quantity, and quality.

    Very bad.

    Zippity Dee! And Zippity Doo! Old Johnny Painter is a laughing on all of you :)

    And quite enjoyin' himself too :)

    Where would all of youze people be without me?

    BTW: One of the great all time mysteries of the world involves how to spell the Tristate Areazs corruption of the word "You".

    Some say it is spelled with an S as in "youse"

    And Professor henry Higgins, and some others, such as Liza Doolittle might say it is spelled with a Z as in "youze"

    Deep thoughts.

    Charlie



    ReplyDelete
  28. Here is a guaranteed fix to the LS problemOctober 22, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    America is graduating twice as many JDs as there are jobs for same.

    It's been doing so for a decade or more.

    Here's how you fix the problem.

    170 or more LSAT required to enter any ABA-approved law school. No keeping of "best score", either - you either get the 170 min the first time or average the 170 min.

    That's it.

    That's all.

    170 or greater, or you're not accepted.

    Problem fixes itself in a few years.

    Done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This solution is pointless because there is no way any LS would agree to such a thing nor could the ABA ever force any LS to agree to such a thing.

      There are far too many LS that would simply have to close shop. Even T14 would have to reduce enrollment substantially as 170+ represents like top 3% of all LSAT scores.

      The only realistic solution is to limit student loans to schools based on grad outcomes in terms of default or IBR rates, either by outright denying loans to low crendential admits OR clawing back money from LS if default or IBR rates are too high.

      Delete
    2. ....fix to the LS problemOctober 22, 2012 at 5:10 PM

      "There are far too many LS that would simply have to close shop. Even T14 would have to reduce enrollment substantially as 170+ represents like top 3% of all LSAT scores."


      We appear to be in agreement here.

      Delete
  29. Uh, assuming the propoenents of Bradley Law school are trying to place 3Ls in unpaid internships, it sounds like it's illegal.

    The proponents of Bradley law school state that:

    "Instead of taking classes during the third and last year, students would be placed in legal settings - with private attorneys, with county prosecutors and public defenders, or with corporations' legal teams - to assist on real cases."

    The Fair Labor Standards Act provisions that apply to unpaid internships can be found here:

    http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.pdf

    The most relevant provisions (and the most dfficult in application) are that (1) the employer can receive no advantage from the intern's labor and that employer's "operations may actually be impeded," (2)the employer has to provide instruction "similar to training that would be given in an educational environment", and (3)the unpaid trainee cannot displace regular employees.

    Therefore, the intern cannot actually "assist" the employer. There can be no advantage to the employer in the labor provided by the unpaid intern.

    What do you want to bet that that law schools marketing these internships to law firms and corporations are touting the advanatges of free labor? And if the intern performs any task that any terminated employee performed prior to termination, the law suit by the former employee will be a slam dunk.

    Here are some pertinent questions:

    1. What sort of tasks would a 3L unpaid trainee law student perform that would not be performed by a paid 2L summer associate? If the 3L unpaid trainee law student is performing the same tasks that a paid law clerk has performed, would this not be a prima facie violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act?

    2. There are currently 203 accredited law schools in the United States which graduate +/- 44,000 law students graduating every year. Of these law graduates, approximately half of the graduates obtain a job that requires a law degree and bar license. The proponents of opening a law school at Bradley state that one in required in part because Bradley is a metropolitan are over 100,000 and does not currently ahve a law school. A quick wikipedia search reveals that there are 285 incorporated places in the US with a population over 100,000. Now many of the places, like LA, San Francisco, New York, DC, have more thaan one law school. I haven't done the math, but it looks like easily 100 metropolitan areas over 100,000 do not have law schools. If we accept the proponents of Bradley Law School's logic, how many other law schools in similarly situated population areas should also be allowed to open?

    ReplyDelete
  30. EdWoof,

    Appreciate the information. I do have a question about this part, though. "And if the intern performs any task that any terminated employee performed prior to termination, the law suit by the former employee will be a slam dunk."

    Does the former employee have any standing granted under FLSA? I gather that the shafted intern can sue for wages s/he should have been paid. But the displaced former employee?

    (Not arguing; rather, I'm seeking information. Many of these laws don't fully think through the implications, so I'm wondering if any provision was made for displaced employees.)

    ReplyDelete
  31. EdWoof -

    Interesting point/good catch on your point 2. That part of their "justification" seems to shrivel and die when you shine a light on it like that. How impolite of you!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I grew up in Peoria. I did my undergrad at UIUC. I took my LSAT at Bradley. I went to law school in Chicago.

    I no longer live in Peoria, but I can say with total confidence that there is no need for a law school in Peoria. There isn't anything close to enough of a market for new attorneys to support the 100 grads that Bradley Law would pump out.

    In the time I was in law school in Chicago, I never met any other law students from Peoria. I have a hard time imagining that there is a critical mass of 0Ls in central Illinois who would go to law school but for the existence of a nearby law school. Bradley Law seems like a project that is designed to meet the demands for a law school that exist nowhere except in the minds of a few well-intentioned Bradley boosters.

    I give credit to Phil Luciano for writing this column in a reasonable and balanced manner. He's the best columnist the Journal Star has had, other than Rick Baker, who cannot be equalled. I hope he revisits this issue in the future if there is more movement toward actually opening a law school in Peoria.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Interesting point.

    Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy could have made a great old and classic movie about the law school scam in a general and telescopic and observational sense, if they had lived long enough.

    Unfortunately, student loan debt lasts for one human being lifetime (or rather lifespans) only.

    Spencer would have scored a 170 on the LSAT and gone to New Haven along with Nick Carraway, and Katie would have gone to school in Princeton, and then the two would have met up somehow in a very old classic movie to discuss how awful it is to be caught up inside the law school scam.

    Reruns and residuals etc. Nice.

    ReplyDelete
  34. To 'Hear is a Guaranteed Fix' @4:38

    The problem w/ your proposal is it assumes that the best way to measure the quality of a lawyer is how fast he or she can fill in bubbles on the LSAT. So we would end up graduating a bunch of people who were speed readers but who may not know how to write well, argue in front of a judge, or communicate well w/ clients.

    I'm all for your proposition only if the LSAT involved to include a written essay portion and required the test taker to defend a argument and be rated doing it. All of which, of course, make the test a little more complicated to administer. But if we are going to make the LSAT the sole indicator of who enters law school, it should at least have some relation to practicing law.

    My personal suggestion? Make all federally backed student loans only applicable to schools that show a LEGAL employment rate above a certain level and that show a default rate below a certain level, all determined by an independent body (not the law schools themselves.) As soon as federally backed loans were no longer available for poorly performing schools, the schools that didn't qualify would have to significantly reduce their tuition to compete or close down. And access to education would still be preserved because students would still have access to federally backed student loans - they would just have to use their student loan money a lot more wisely. And those who wished to attend those schools that did not qualify could still attend them - just on their own dime w/ no risk to the American taxpayer. Sounds like a good plan to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here is a guaranteed fix to the LS problemOctober 22, 2012 at 6:06 PM

      Hey, you misspelled my name.

      As for...
      "The problem w/ your proposal is it assumes that the best way to measure the quality of a lawyer is how fast he or she can fill in bubbles on the LSAT."
      - Two things. One is, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you weren't one of the rapid-enough bubble fillers. Or maybe you were (doesn't matter, I'm just poking here). But either way, isn't it a bit disingenuous to relegate 170+ LSAT scorers as people who quickly fill in bubbles?
      Two is - either the LSAT as an examination has intrinsic value in deciding who will do well in LS and do well as a lawyer, or it does not. If it does not, shouldn't you instead be railing against its use in all cases as a screening tool? (Not just the (admittedly) extreme case I put out there, which I do admit is an ad absurdam type of proposal, never to be accepted.)


      As for, "My personal suggestion? Make all federally backed student loans only applicable to schools that show a LEGAL employment rate above a ..."
      - I can't disagree with any of your personal suggestions which are very good ideas overall.
      - What about IBR rates in addition to rates-of-default? After all, if a school's graduate population doesn't necessarily have a high default rate, but 70+ per cent of them get jobs around $50K and thus are all (that 70%, I mean) on IBR, I'd say the school is also a failure.

      Delete
  35. Regarding the above comment. Ooops - meant to say 'To Here is a guaranteed fix'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here is a guaranteed fixOctober 22, 2012 at 6:09 PM

      Too funny. I'm too dumb to know how to make this thing refresh once I've started typing, or I'd have seen you posted this. Sorry.

      Delete
  36. Where are all the law firms, courts, and government agencies that are eager to take on as interns a couple of hundred ninnyhammers from Bumblefuck U? Quite ridiculous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aren't all those at the 140 or so Bumble-U-LS's ninnyhammers pretty much by definition?

      Delete
  37. Should THIS LS close, even ahead of the Cooley Chains???October 22, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Reading ATL ran into a blogwar spat between a crazed crim law prof and one of his (former) students.

    The prof's comments defending himself and attacking the former student made me wonder, just what the heck is this "Southern University" LS that I'd never even heard of?

    So I checked their 2011 outcomes. Feature this, folks. Out of 143 grads, only 28% got FT jobs requiring the JD (this after correcting for "full-time employed solo practitioners" - if anyone wants to insist they "count", then, okay, bump it aaaallll the way to 37%.

    Now, here's the real kicker. How many were employed in firms of >10 lawyers? LESS THAN 3 percent. Zowie.

    http://employmentsummary.abaquestionnaire.org/

    http://abovethelaw.com/2012/10/quote-of-the-day-a-toxic-law-school-environment/

    ReplyDelete
  38. My couple of years old USNews graduate school guide shows Southern University with 25%-75% LSATs of 143 and 149

    ReplyDelete
  39. An update on my comment above. The median LSAT at Southern University is now listed as 145.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm from downstate Illinois - the judge should get an award for obliviousness. As others have pointed out, much of the good work in Peoria (and elsewhere) is done by Chicago attorneys. The Chicago plaintiff's bar will travel when necessary, and many large corporate clients would rather pay their chosen Chicago guy to drive 3 hours than hire the Law Offices of Country Bumpkin.

    I'm sure there's a "need" for attorneys in the "wow, poor people are showing up pro se" department, but if we're going to indulge the fantasy that they'll ever pay anything or that legal aid jobs will fall out the sky, we can fill that sudden demand with scores of NIU and John Marshall grads.

    The state of Alaska did an in-depth report and found that the entire *state* (700k) did not need a law school. The intellectual honesty is refreshing.

    http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/Publications/lawschool.pdf

    Of course, people still pimp the idea:

    http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2009/03/julie-jones-a-contributing-editor-of-the-law-librarian-blog-has-created-and-posted-a-google-map-of-aba-approved-law-schools.html

    http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2011/01/alaska-needs-a-law-school.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mean the state of Alaska has not either become a brutal dictatorship or fallen into a state of anarchy, despite not having a school capable of producing 'warrior citizens' and 'scholarship? Impossible!

      Delete
    2. Heh, who needs "warrior citizens" when you have a former grizzly-hockey-momma-in-lipstick?

      Delete
  41. It's very simple: If nobody wants to go to law school in Peoria, then nobody will go and the law school will shut its doors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds "simple" enough, dudnit?

      Except you forget the power of slick advertising propagated (??"propaganded"??) by an institution (a lawl skule) supposedly ooozing with trust and forthrightness.

      The Dream (yes, capital Dee) that they're selling will suck in the suckers every time.

      Especially since it's no real skin off the nose of the suckers, given that Unca Sugar will be right there beside them all the way, footing the bill for their gullibility...

      So it ain't so simple as you think, Homer.

      Delete
  42. "It's very simple: If nobody wants to go to law school in Peoria, then nobody will go and the law school will shut its doors."

    Or we could save everyone the 5-10 years and ridiculous amount of money it would take for that process to unfold and nip it in the bud now.

    In any event, people wanting to go to law school in Peoria is no reason to build one or justify keeping one open.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Southern University has among the lowest LSAT scores in the nation, but it is a historically black college, so never a discouraging word will be heard.

    ReplyDelete
  44. "Or we could save everyone the 5-10 years and ridiculous amount of money it would take for that process to unfold and nip it in the bud now."

    Yes, a centrally managed economy is exactly what we need. It sure worked well for the Russians.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You seem to to be either confused about what a centrally-managed economy is, or confused about what kind of system we have.

      Delete

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