Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wu-less

 Updated

Frank Wu, Chancellor and Dean of UC Hastings Law School, has written a column urging law schools to reduce class size. Dean Wu, admirably, acknowledges that "[o]nly about half of recent graduates       . . . are securing permanent, full-time employment in the legal profession," and "[t]here are simply too many lawyers and too many law students in the United States nowadays." Both excellent points that too many law deans and professors continue to deny.

But in the end, Wu and his colleagues are as clueless as deans and faculty elsewhere. Hastings cut its class size by 20% but, as Paul Caron and LawProf have pointed out, it increased tuition to support the reduction in class size. Tuition and fees for in-state residents jumped 15% in a single year, to $48,806. And that's on top of more than a decade of hefty tuition increases: Just eight years ago, in-state tuition at Hastings was $20,900.   

Update (LP):  Ten years ago annual in-state tuition at Hastings was $11,409. Twenty years ago it was $3,161.  Twenty-five years ago it was $1,222.  Here are these figures in inflation-adjusted 2012 dollars:  2004: $25,489; 2002: $14,610; 1992: $5,910; 1987: $2,478.

So what has Hastings accomplished for its graduates and the job market? In 2011, when Hastings graduated 411 JDs, only 238 of them had found full-time work of any kind nine months after graduation.  The other 173 were working part-time on Hastings money (39 grads); working part-time for other employers (43 graduates); obtaining another degree (2 graduates); unemployed and desperately seeking work (74 graduates); unemployed but not seeking (5 graduates); or lost somewhere on the streets of San Francisco (aka "unknown," 10 graduates).

By reducing its entering class to 317, Hastings is avoiding workplace misery for 94 would-have-been students. But reducing class size won't increase jobs. The marketplace seems to support only 238 full-time jobs for Hastings grads. That will leave 79 graduates of the class of 2015--or one quarter of the class--without any full-time work nine months after graduation. And those graduates will have paid significantly more for their un- and underemployment than the 2011 class did.

Speaking of underemployment, lots of those 238 full-time jobs for Hastings graduates were short-term and/or didn't require bar-admission. Only 191 members of the class of 2011 found full-time, "long-term" (lasting for a year or more) jobs that required bar admission. If we apply that figure to the newly admitted, svelte class of 2015, only 60% of them will end up with jobs in the full-time, long-term lawyer category. The other 126--two-fifths of the class--will be just as underemployed as the class of 2011, but with much higher debtloads.

And what about the lucky three-fifths, the ones who may get full-time jobs that require bar admission? Dean Wu is remarkably candid in describing those jobs as "document review and legal research in an environment that is an exquisite combination of the very boring and very stressful." But he doesn't mention the fact that, for many of Hastings' graduates, this boring, stressful environment will carry low wages and few benefits.

Where are Hastings graduates doing their document review and legal research? Not at large law firms: Only 29 graduates of the class of 2011 went to firms of more than 500 lawyers; another 7 went to firms of 251-500 lawyers. That's a total of just 36 BigLaw jobs--enough for 8.8% of the class of 2011 and, potentially, for 11.4% of the slimmed down class of 2015. Prosecutors, public defenders, and small firm lawyers don't do all that much document review or legal research. Dean Wu may be out of touch with what his graduates actually do in the workplace but, if they're doing lots of document review or legal research, I suspect they're doing it for document review companies, research staffing firms, and other out-sourcing companies. 

For this students should pay $46,806 per year? The chance to be unemployed, under-employed, or a contract worker? Class size is a problem, but tuition is an even bigger issue. Hiking tuition to cut class size is like raising taxes on the middle class: the elite (top 10% of the class) keep what they've always had, the poor (bottom of the class) are just as poor, and the middle (most of the class) are paying more for the same bad outcomes.

169 comments:

  1. Also the effect on the c/o 2014 and 2015, who will pay the extra premium in tuition without seeing the benefit of (however slight) decreased competition for jobs.

    I also wonder what Hastings transfer numbers are going to look like next year. Might we see an influx in transfers large enough to make up for the revenue decrease?

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  2. What I found interesting about Dean Wu's comment (I read the original) was that he seemed to think that less attention today than in the past was currently being paid to important things like rule of law, the preservation of civil society, etc. - things he found vital and needed in today's society. He seemed to lament the fact that today's generation didn't place as much importance on such topics as he seemed to think should be placed.

    What's ironic is that it's not today's generation of law grads who don't stress the importance of such issues! It's the law schools themselves who don't value them, as evinced by their charging such high tuition that they are preventing a whole generation of future attorneys from being able to dedicate themselves to such lofty concerns!

    What I find puzzling is the tendency of law school administrators to honestly lament the fact that so much emphasis today is placed on the economics of attending law school, while completely ignoring the role that their decisions to continually escalate tuition play in making such a focus a necessity for anyone who foolishly takes the risk to attend law school today.

    This is particularly poignant to me, as an individual who went to law school with ideals of working on the very issues Dean Wu declared so important, but who, just barely 2 years after graduating, now realizes that the realities of unemployment and massive debt common to almost all law grads today will forever prevent me and most of my generation from even thinking about such lofty ideals. Truly remarkable that Dean Wu never gave much introspective thought as to how his decisions as a dean to continually raise tuition so high that law school is now an impractical decision for those of modest means hurts those very ideals that he deplores don't seem to be given their due attention. When students are put in such dire financial straits in order to obtain a legal education, Mr. Wu, they have less luxury to think about the lofty ideals you hold so high. Living off food stamps, the toll of unemployment, massive student loans that continually gain more in interest in a year than what one earns, and working in retail to make ends meet because there never was a chance of landing a legal job tends to distract one's mind from the lofty concepts that you have the luxury to prize, Mr. Wu.

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    1. JD = Ju$t Dolla$

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    2. If your salary depended on ignorance of the economics of law school, you also might lament emphasis being placed on the economics of law school.

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    3. He is so clueless. He has no ability to self-reflect at all. I don't know him but this sounds like a smokescreen being put up to obfuscate what he is really doing. Like the minister who sleeps around while decrying adultery.

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  3. I really liked the last paragraph DJM. I am glad that Wu wrote what he wrote, he is saying some of what needs to be said but actions speak louder than words:

    Tuition going from 20k to 48k in 8 years is reprehensible.

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    1. Does anyone know if these are inflation adjusted dollars?

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    2. The actual rise in tuition at Hastings has been far steeper than an eight-year window suggests. See the update for how Hastings' tuition has risen over the past 25 years in both nominal and inflation-adjusted dollars.

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  4. does the Wu have control over tuition?

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  5. part of those tuition increase are not just from greed. I have sneaking suspicion that California's tax structure is so out of wack that it fails to fund the Public College system.

    Best Buy Tax Structure in an Amazon.com world.

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    1. yeah bro, cuz everyone know its takes $50 grand a year per student to keep a law school running.

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    2. How much funding could a law school need?

      At a typical law school, payroll accounts for about 90% of the budget (87% at my law school). Merely slashing salaries and benefits (which include sabbaticals that are not at all necessary—why should anyone be paid for doing nothing?) or requiring more teaching and less "scholarship" would reduce tuition greatly. That's a change that could be made with a stroke of a pen. And if the answer be that "great scholars" would leave in droves, I say that law schools would have no trouble replacing them.

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    3. What school is this? (From what I've seen of law school budgets that's a far higher percentage than average).

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  6. Why do you assume that the Class of 2015 will have the same employment outcomes as the Class of 2011?

    What role did loss of state support play in tuition increases at Hastings over the last 8 years?

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    1. Because the BLS assumes that roughly half of the next decade's projected legal graduates will get jobs anywhere in the law. Not great jobs, not jobs which will comfortably allow repayment of one's loans plus a typical middle-class existence; just jobs in the law, period.

      Also, in this most recent fiscal year, UC Hastings College of the Law received $7.84M, which UC Hastings notes as a $865,000 increase in state funding in the same year that it raised tuition by 15%.

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    2. Those answers are not responsive.

      Hastings is not an average law school, it is in the top third of U.S. law schools. The question is why the Class of 2011, coming out during what was still the depths of the recession in the legal market, is the relevant benchmark for 2015? Generic BLS statistics are not a reason.

      Tuition went up 15% this year to compensate for the lower enrollment pretty obviously. But I asked about the claim about tuition increases over the 8-year period highlighted by DJM. How does that compare to teh decline in state support?

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    3. The top third is not a salient category. We need to stop talking about the "top third", the "top fifty", and the like. Realistically, every law school outside the top twenty or so is in the fourth tier.

      Lower enrollment should also mean lower expenses. Why didn't it?

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    4. You have to get rid of the idea that ranking outside of HYS matters. Your ranking of your school might make you feel good about yourself but it isn't getting you a job from Hastings.

      Take a look at the top law school forums for this past OCI at Hadtings. There are people who based on grades, personality and experience, should have a job. But, jobs arent open just because you should be qualified for them. There simply aren't enough jobs.

      Hastings and their lack of concern for their welfare of the current classes of students by upping their tuition ( in the face of obviously declining demand) is one of the worst offenders out there.

      You have to look behind the rankings. There are plenty of schools ranked in the 20s that are no where worth the cost of tuition.

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    5. The assertions that job prospects from Hastings, in the top third of US law schools, are the same as from a fourth-tier school are false and not factual. Even the LST data bears this out. Think before posting.

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    6. You got it all figured out kid, that "top third" degree is going to be like catnip to legal employers, and you definitely won't be crushed by the weight of debt you will incur going to this elite lawyer academy. Don't let any practicing lawyers, evidence or common sense tell you differently.

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    7. I didn't say that the fourth tier (which I define as all law schools outside the top two dozen) is uniformly lousy. Hastings offers better prospects than Touro. If Hastings cost $10k per year, it just might be worth considering. (Whereas Touro wouldn't be worth considering at any price.) But Hastings charges as much as Harvard—for fourth-tier job prospects.

      Also, the very term "top third" points to mediocrity. Harvard would never refer to itself as being in the "top third". For that matter, it wouldn't even say that it's in the first tier. Only the mediocre ones bore everyone's tits off with constant repetition of their "top-third" ranking.

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    8. There are some very serious reading comprehension problems here. If you can't follow a simple set of questions and arguments, there may be a reason you're unemployed, quite apart from the economic depression in the legal industry. Seriously, do you guys have any idea how stupid and irrelevant your posts are to the simple questions asked?

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    9. Follow the bouncing ball, OP/6:13 p.m.

      However dismal, the employment prospects for the class of 2011 followed a bell curve. About 160 of 200 law schools' graduates were employed at a rate of somewhere between 45% and 60% in full-time, JD-required jobs in 2011, meaning that the national average employment rate was an excellent predictor of any given school's employment rate in 2011. If the BLS is correct, then the national average employment rate for law graduates in full-time, JD-required positions will continue to be around 55%, if law schools graduate almost twice as many students as there are new full-time, JD-required job openings for them to fill (and these new graduates are exclusively the ones to fill them, which is not necessarily true). Non-average schools may do better or worse than the average, but it seems that UC Hastings is pretty undistinguished when it comes to placement, their "top third"-ness notwithstanding. UC Hastings' full-time, JD-required employment rate discounting sole practitioners was 46.5% in 2011, a few tenths of a percent less than Case Western Reserve University (ranked somewhere in the high-70s or low-80s, per US News) and Widener University (a Tier 4). If UC Hastings is average, the national average employment rate for lawyers is 55%, and 2015 is an average year in terms of the graduate-to-job-opening ratio projected as typical for the coming decade, UC Hastings' employment prospects are unlikely to be substantially different in 2015.

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  7. The quote the Wu: C.R.E.A.M.

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    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjZRAvsZf1g

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  8. Wu didn't do anything to help those poor lost souls who graduated from Wayne staTTTe in Detroit when he was dean there.

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  9. Probably not PosnerOctober 5, 2012 at 5:48 AM

    I appreciate Wu's efforts. Babysteps are still steps.

    Looks like dropping enrollment is the norm in MBA programs now, too. Australia anyone?

    http://www.economist.com/node/21564203

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    1. When the fukushima reactor 4 spent fuel rod containment unit collapses, we're all going to have to go to Australia.

      Fukushima Reactor 4 Release Would Doom Western USA

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    2. Probably Not PosnerOctober 5, 2012 at 6:14 AM

      More on Wu: Ultimately, we need law deans to make changes. If we alienate those who start trying by complaining they have not done enough, we push them away. Reducing class size to the optimal level cannot be done over night. In the meantime, it's a far better strategy to praise than criticize Wu.

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    3. Wu is just another rip-off artist. Just three years ago, he published in You Ass News an article entitled "Why Law School Is for Everyone":

      http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/applying/articles/2009/04/22/why-law-school-is-for-everyone

      Now he's posing as a valiant innovator. He's just trying to shore up his fourth-tier institution.

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    4. 7:20 is absolutely correct.

      This guy didn't find religion. He's trying to plug the leaks before the levee breaks.

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    5. Probably not PosnerOctober 5, 2012 at 8:14 AM

      Let's assume that Wu did this entirely for self-interest and is a fraud. Nevertheless, if people on this site insist on vilifying deans who move in the right direction and blame them for their past histories, deans will be that much more reluctant to change in the future because they know they will be called frauds and their efforts will be unappreciated.

      If we want change, we might need to forgive and embrace even opportunistic allies.

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    6. I don't go so far as to call him a fraud, but I do say that he is an opportunist. He is passing off this piece of self-interest as magnanimity. Far from being an ally, he's a bureaucrat who is trying to perpetuate his featherbedded institution without fundamental change. That's why he raised tuition so monstrously (someone has to pay for all those professors that teach for only a few hours a week) while reducing the class size.

      As I said below, he could not opt for the usual fourth-tier strategy (not unknown in the third tier, perhaps even the second) of lowering standards for admission, because that would likely have thrown his school's ranking out of the top fifty (absurdly styled the "first tier"). He had no realistic choice but to cut the class substantially. He's posing as an avuncular advocate of law students, but he's actually a snake in the grass.

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  10. Question to ScamProfs: Why not open an "online" law school and eliminate tuition altogether?

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  11. How can you call Dean Wu "as clueless as deans and faculty elsewhere"? He cut the class by 20%! Haven't you heard of institutional restraints? Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good!

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    1. Don't praise him for cutting the class. He had two options:

      1) Cut the class substantially.
      2) Lower standards by admitting large numbers of inferior applicants.

      Many other fourth-tier law schools, and even some in higher tiers, have opted for the second option. Wu went for the first while burnishing his halo—and monstrously raising tuition. This strategy allows him to come across as honest and concerned about students' welfare. It's a fucking ruse.

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    2. It's not a ruse, it's the right thing to do. The problem is jobs, part of the solution is cutting class size. Wu did that, most schools did not.

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    3. Wu was forced to do it. He goes around calling his fourth-tier dump a first-tier law school just because of a ranking in the mid-forties (the "first tier" evidently being the top fifty in some benighted circles). Had he opted to lower standards in order to fill seats, he would have jeopardized that "first-tier" ranking. He simply could not afford to do that.

      Closing law schools down is also the right thing to do, but you won't find me praising the dean of Cooley Bumblefuck Southeastern Law Skule | Boston for shutting up shop when the law-school business ceases to be viable.

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    4. Gotta make that paper, though, right Small Town Boy? It's all about getting PAID, isn't it?

      Well maybe law school faculty and administration (and money lenders) are making too much $$$ off naive students and unwitting taxpayers. Maybe they could get by on $100,000/yr instead of $150,000/yr.

      Our religion of money-worshiping and credit bubbles is bankrupting the nation.

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    5. Well, I think we are seeing here a split in the scam movement that exists between the haters ("h8ers") and the reformers. You're a hater, I'm a reformer. You hate Wu, I support his decision to cut class size.

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    6. I'm a reformer who doesn't see Wu as one. Wu is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

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    7. Probably not PosnerOctober 5, 2012 at 9:02 AM

      "Well, I think we are seeing here a split in the scam movement that exists between the haters ("h8ers") and the reformers."

      This is correct.

      LawProf, DJM: A blog cannot be both about seeking reform and about hating. As someone who has been around when a lot of good blogs have died, I'd recommend that you consider what the goals of this blog should be.

      At risk of sounding preachy, I hope that the goal of this blog is reforming. You have done so much work to make the issues facing law schools credible. You are some of the few people who have both a place in the law school establishment and the support of law school graduates. Throwing that credibility away by alienating legal educators seeking change, even if not as much as we want or for reasons we like, would be a mistake. It could set back all the work you've done.

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    8. I don't count myself among the haters; nor do I count Wu among the reformers. His hand was forced. Given his overriding commitment to perpetuating his fourth-tier institution, he had no realistic option: he had to reduce the class. Rather than admitting that, he presented the fait accompli as a shrewd decision taken in the public interest. What crap!

      If he wants to be a reformer, let him carry out reform. Cut the faculty, not just the class. Cut back on administration. Require professors to teach six courses per year, not just three. Or just close the whole goddamn place down. As he said, there are too many law schools. So why not reduce the number by one?

      Wu's forced "reform" deserves no more praise than a filing for bankruptcy.

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    9. He's not a reformer, he's simply responding to market forces in a different way than some other actors, and to a larger degree than others. The deans of other schools that have decreased class size by double-digits are not taking nor are they getting credit for being "reformers."

      Note that he decided to raise tuition by 15% in the year he made the class size cut, and another 5% in the years after, when he should be decreasing tuition. He did cut low-paid admin positions, but from what we know he did little to reduce faculty salaries or perks or increase teaching loads. Had he done so, I would reconsider. But it seems like Hastings is still a status quo school, they've just shifted around the burden some.

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    10. Who does Wu care about? Follow the money. Who carries the financial burden? Wu's peers, or students and taxpayers?

      If he cared about students, he would be willing to make salary cuts on their behalf (or cut bloated university expenditures). In the end, the incomes of the law school, Wu, and his peers were protected.

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    11. Also, you know that he wouldn't have had to cut class sizes if the truth about employment had remained hidden.

      I know law prof posted the staggering increase in teh amount of tuition over the past 25 years. I would love to see Hastings employment stats for the past 25 years ( or as far back as they go.)

      I'm betting they were on the obfuscation train like everyone else. If they train hadn't left the station, they wouldn't have bothered to cut the class.

      I guess schools were rightly smart to lie about employment stats. They knew if the truth was told, enrollment would drop.

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  12. I don't see why you people are always acting all self-righteous. The reason you can't get jobs is that there are already too many lawyers, and the skills you have acquired through the course of your lives aren't going to lead to jobs.

    Why should anyone hire you? What makes you think anyone has any obligation towards you? Ok, you fucked up and spent all this money on law school. That does suck. But really you had three years of law school to change your mind, plus all the time to investigate it before you set foot in law school, and you did nothing. Now you want to go after the law schools based on some statistics webpage buried in their promotional materials? Give me a fucking break.

    By the way, overall law school admissions are down by what, 10 percent? That means even with all the negative publicity law schools have been getting, 90 percent of you whiners would very likely have gone to law school anyhow. Scammed? I think NOT.

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    1. Welcome back, Low Information Poster. How we have missed you.

      However, you seem to have forgotten how unemployed JDs just don't want to work in the jobs that are available to them. You might want to expand on that a little. Don't worry if you can't provide a solid factual basis for your claims. Just add an extra "fuck" here and there for authority.

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    2. Jack Marshall FTW!

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    3. Do you honestly believe that law schools have no moral or ethical obligation to be honest to their students?

      If students lie about anything they get in serious trouble. If they committed the massive fraud and numbers manipulation on their GPA and accomplishments as law schools did with employment data, they would never pass a character and fitness test.

      Law schools should be held to a higher moral standard of conduct. (even Amazon and Ebay seek to curb people who misrepresent what they are selling)

      Deans should embrace and exemplify ethical behavior at the highest level of integrity - both personally and at their schools.

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  13. Fifty or sixty thousand a year for law school is simply obscene. For less money than that, one could take private lessons from law professors. If the profession weren't a whore for prestige, we could allow people to hire their own professors, as did students at the U of Bologna (the world's first degree-granting university) in the eleventh century.

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    1. I think you may have a point. Three classes a term (each for an hour three times a week) for two terms x $100 per hour for a private tutor (the law prof), should come out at about half the cost of a year's tuition.

      But then, why should a law prof work for so little money?

      -- Porsenna

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    2. The big lie there is that law profs would be raking it in if they were in practice. We all know that isn't true.

      Few law profs would give up their cushy, low demand jobs for the competitive and exhausting world of actual legal practice.

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    3. If you don't want to pay $50k/yr in tuition then don't pay it.

      If you think there is a market for a law school that charges lower tuition, then start one yourself and see how you do.

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    4. There isn't a market for any new law school. The job market is based on prestige. Harvard, Yale, and Stanford permanently dominate. There is nothing that a Hastings, never mind a Cooley, could do to propel itself to the top ranks. The idea that a new law school could achieve respectable employment figures is utter, utter folly.

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  14. Lawprof,

    Please address IBR and its impact on the scam. Many here believe that it ends up screwing future taxpayers and leading to tuition inflation. Do administrators view IBR as a boon? Do they view it as a bailout? I view it as a screwjob to taxpayers.

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  15. A warning to any 1L or 0L reading this: I graduated from a "first-tier" undergrad and law school in 2006, during what is now regarded as a "boom" period for legal employment, with, thanks to partial scholarships, "only" around 130K in total education debt. I got a job right out of law school for 50K per year, enough to service my loans and still have my own apartment. When the crash of 2008 hit, I was laid and unemployed for nearly two years, then got an attorney job in 2010, and I now make 10K less per year than when I was 28 and fresh out of law school. I got my two jobs through "networking," but here's the rub: I didn't get the jobs by networking harder or better than everyone else; it was purely a case of being in exactly the right place at exactly the right time, in other words, pure blind luck. And here's the punchline: I'm one of the law school "success stories." 1Ls and 0Ls, you have been warned.

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    1. Errrr..."laid OFF and unemployed," not "laid and unemployed." That may not have been so bad...

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    2. Keep in mind too, that a success story is getting a biglaw job, BUT most people can't keep these jobs for more than 2-3 year (and most hate their lives when they work there).

      Biglaw is a pyramid scam: for every person who makes partner, 30 or more never do.

      So what do all of these success stories do after they fail out of biglaw? I can tell you they aren't making $160k.

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    3. They go to the sad lawyer scrapheap where they slowly sink into the abyss of irrelevance?

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    4. Most of them go to smaller firms where they make less and the pay doesn't increase as sharply as Biglaw but they have a better quality of life (50-60 hours a week instead of 70-90). A handful go in-house.

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    5. "Most of them go to smaller firms where they make less and the pay doesn't increase as sharply as Biglaw but they have a better quality of life (50-60 hours a week instead of 70-90). A handful go in-house."

      Let me correct that for you:

      Some of them go to smaller firms where they make a fifth of their prior incomes and the pay doesn't ever increase and they have a shitty quality of life (69-89 hours a week instead of 70-90). One is rumored to have gone in-house. But most are fucked and ultimately leave the profession and do something else.

      You're welcome.

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    6. In smaller firms, the pay is a fraction of before, and never increases. And the hours are just as long.

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    7. Some fail out of BigLaw and into fed govt positions. It's not happening much these days, but I feel fortunate to have made the switch to the SEC a few years back. The salaries don't compete with BigLaw but I can't imagine a more fun and interesting law job.

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  16. Hastings Student here: Hastings should be given some credit here. They have one of the most generous financial aid policies that I know of, compared to other schools, in that they do not require students to report parental income when applying for financial aid.

    Based purely on my financial status (with little income and savings), I was able to get 20k in grants. Thats money I don't have to pay back. My tuition sets me back 26K, which is still not awesome, but a lot better to handle. (this is completely separate from the merit based scholarships also available to students)

    Given that students are "banned" from working their 1L year due to ABA regs, most students, even if they don't qualify for financial aid their first year, will certainly qualify thereafter. (Unless they are married or own property).

    If there is one thing law students can be sure of, its that they'll be poor while they are in law school, so its nice that Hastings doesn't shy away from need-based aid that is pure grant money. I know very few people who are paying the full 46k a year. It's not a perfect system, and tuition is still way too much, but I applaud Hastings for having a financial system that doesn't seem to play games with its students.

    I don't think Dean Wu isn't perfect, but he does seem to at least acknowledge the realities of our new legal economic structure, at least compared to the idiot Deans that we usually hear about here.

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    1. Lol,

      still wearing the 1l "beer goggles" I see.

      Come back after you strike out at 1l OCI.

      Then see if you still "praise" Dean Wu

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    2. What were your numbers?

      I went through the same thing at my school for "need based" finaid. It was all numbers based in the end.

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    3. Isn't the idea with these "scholarships" is that they aren't covered by a fund, but are covered by the tuition your classmates have to pay? So you get less, but your classmates paying full freight are subsidizing your cost of attendance?

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    4. They shouldn't be called scholarships at all. Law schools work like airlines: people in adjacent seats may be paying strikingly different fares. The difference is that the airline doesn't claim to offer "scholarships" against a fixed price.

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    5. OP here. I had a 165 SAT, sub 3.0 GPA, and am not a URM, nor do I have a tech background. Call me crazy, but I don't think this was "merit" financial aid.

      Hastings was the only school that didn't ask for parental income/savings. My parents don't make much, but they do own their home CA. Given the inflated property values here, I was automatically disqualified for need-based aid everywhere else. I wasn't about to ask my parents to take a 2nd mortgage on their home to pay for law school.

      I appreciated that Hastings doesn't buy into the fiction that all parents can and will pay for law school, and should be included in the financial aid calculation.

      I hate the merit based scholarship system that a lot of schools use, because it is subsidizing top students by charging lower students full freight. I just don't think the Hastings Grant is like that though, since its available to all students who meet the income requirements. Because you are looking at just the students economic situation, and not their parents, I think a larger percentage of Hastings students qualify for need based aid than would at other schools. All of my friends, except the ones who were married or had property, qualified for 10-15K Hastings grants. And this year, with tuition going up, my need based aid increased as well.

      All I was trying to do was show that while the tuition at Hastings is frighteningly high, I do think they do better job of allocating financial aid to students than other schools with their emphasis on need based aid.

      As for my 1L goggles, I'm a 2L. I had a paying job this past summer, and will be going to work for a biglaw firm this summer, so maybe that helps me not hate Dean Wu. But I have been treated the same financially before I got good 1L grades, and have been treated the same since getting good grades, which leads me to believe that my financial aid situation is really based on my financial need, and not playing "merit-based" games.

      I know I'm one of the lucky few, and that my employment outcome isn't the norm for Hasting students. Even with the need based aid, I knew coming to Hastings was a huge risk. Thanks to sites like these, I was able to come to 1L year eyes wide open knowing that if I did badly during my first year, I would drop out. I just think its also important to not vilify a school which has one of the better financial aid systems, and an administration which isn't nearly as tonedeaf about the economy as other law schools.

      Delete
  17. The haters v reformers issue is important. History has shown in the scam blogging sphere that the haters get 5 minutes of fame and accomplish nothing (Nando, Painter, and all the other vacant and defunct scam blogs that litter the movement), while the reformers maintain their credibility, get results, and stay the course (LST, ITLSS hopefully).

    It is worth making that choice. Scam blogging gets a headline or two, but the high wears off quickly and boredom sets in (indicating the readers are there only to watch another law grad slow motion train wreck, after which they move on to the next one). You have managed to avoid that here for the large part, so don't ruin it by feeding off the braying of hungry scam blog commenters, many of whom are encouraging personal attacks on establishment figures because they want to stir up another train wreck - yours - rather than reforming the system.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why is my opinion that Wu screwed over his current students in his race to raise tuition hateful?

      As other have mentioned, he isn't a reformer. He just admitted fewer students to retain his medians while maximizing income.

      You know that when he says "50% of grads don't get jobs", he isn't including the grads of his own school. He means all the school lower than his.

      Delete
  18. "Tuition and fees for in-state residents jumped 15% in a single year, to $48,806. And that's on top of more than a decade of hefty tuition increases: Just eight years ago, in-state tuition at Hastings was $20,900."

    http://www.law.harvard.edu/prospective/jd/apply/the-application-process/jdfaq.html#tuition

    In comparison, full-time tuition at Harvard Law School - for 2012-2013 - is $49,950. Due to the federally-backed student loan $y$tem, middling, trifling law schools can charge whatever they want. You don't see Toyota and GM charging Mercedes prices for standard passenger cars, because they know that they need to appeal to the average buyer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anyone who is able and willing to pay the price for a Mercedes can buy one. Not so for law schools.

      Someone who can't get into Harvard goes to Penn—and pays the same $50k. Unless she can't get into Penn either; then she goes to UCLA—and pays the same $50k. Unless she can't get in there either; then it's Fordham, or else Hastings, or else Cardozo, and so on, right down to Touro and Cooley and soon enough the Indiana Institute of Technology. So they all end up costing $50k, or not much less.

      Why not admit that law school for that price doesn't make sense except at a handful of élite schools? Because I'm a special snowflake, and I just have to be a lawyer coûte que coûte.

      Delete
  19. @9:30,

    Check out Tamanaha's book. See who he credits with inspiring him to come out stronger against the law school scam. Then get back to me, child. Historically, reformers clearly benefit from the roughnecks. Don't pretend that "reformers" have done everything. Hell, the US government decided to work with MLK, because they did not want to do so with badasses such as Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You prove the point. If you and Painter were still relevant, you would both be busy working on your own blogs instead of trolling for attention here. Neither you nor Painter have done anything original or useful for at least a year, maybe far longer, and have comments sections on your blogs that are embarrassingly devoid of participation.

      All the readers are here now. Why? Because you're just not interesting or useful anymore. It's a rough world out there, and you need to innovate (like Campos) to succeed, not just trot out the same old tired material once every two weeks.

      Sorry to disappoint you, but the facts are clear. This blog is the center of attention now, not yours. How many comments does your blog get? Two? Awesome!

      Delete
    2. You see yourself as the Malcolm X of law school reform?

      What extraordinary arrogance!

      Delete
    3. Malcolm X never once displayed photos of shit-covered toilets.

      Delete
    4. Tamanaha does not credit you with getting him to write about this topic. You're deluded, as well as sick in the head.

      Delete
    5. I was surprised that Tamanaha even wasted space in his book on this Nando wisenheimer. I halfway expected to find overleaf a revolting photo of a toilet covered with shit.

      Delete
    6. I saw your new post Nando.

      It looks like the same thing you posted last time.

      And the time before.

      And the time before.

      And the time before.

      And the time before.

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      Delete
  20. Scambloggers grabbed the attention of mainstream news sources. Perhaps, you prefer the soft method of LST.

    http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/applying/articles/2009/04/22/why-law-school-is-for-everyone

    By the way, Frank Wu's April 19, 2009 article "Why Law School Is for Everyone" was my first foray into this mess.

    Here is one foul excerpt, from that TTTT piece:

    "Lawyers must be more than merely lawyers. More than ever before, they need to blend analysis of legal doctrines with skills from accounting or physics or foreign languages. Hence, the trend toward lawyer-doctors, lawyer-engineers, lawyer-businesspeople, and so on.

    Students have been ahead of their teachers for some time. They have long been coming to law school planning to adapt their training to myriad pursuits. They benefit from their ability to interpret a statute, even if they end up opening a restaurant."

    If you have the capital and business acumen to open a restaurant, then why piss away three years of your life - and incur an additional $100K+ in non-dischargeable debt - for a law degree?!?! With your funds, you can hire attorneys for far less. You don't need to get pounded over a coffee table, so that you can understand a statute. This is acadmic myopia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nando, don't get all butt-hurt because people are wise to how little your BS pictures and rants accomplish.

      You're flailing in the wind, little one.

      Delete
    2. An article from the golden days of 2009?

      You're the scamblog equivalent of parachute pants, Nando.

      Delete
    3. Just keep that Painter idiot off this blog. Seriously, I am just so sick and tired of reading his self-serving, self-deprecating, desperate, meandering, tangential comments.

      Delete
  21. "Hiking tuition to cut class size is like raising taxes on the middle class: the elite (top 10% of the class) keep what they've always had, the poor (bottom of the class) are just as poor, and the middle (most of the class) are paying more for the same bad outcomes."

    Even if the tuition was LOWERED and class size was reduced, you'd have these same outcomes, so your comparison doesn't make much sense. Well, okay, the "poor" would be a little "less poor" and the "middle" would be paying less for a shitty job outcome...but still too much if it is a good chance of obtaining a shitty outcome.

    Way to give in to the scam bloggers like the idiot that posted above me.

    ReplyDelete
  22. One problem with law school is that faculty and administrators alike tend to cater to the top students and neglect those students in the middle or near the bottom.

    Despite the fact that top students need less help padding their resumes with externships and extracurricular activities relative to middling students, the entire legal educational system is geared to helping those at the top at the expense of those at the bottom.

    I know law schools want to present their "best and brightest" to the legal community. But if the law schools really want to help more of their graduates find "real" legal employment then the schools should spend more time developing students who find themselves in the middle or near the bottom.



    ReplyDelete
  23. It remains to be seen whether the haters or the reformers will accomplish much. That said, I think its established that Campos, Tamanaha, etc took notice of the problem exactly because of the existing scambloggers like Nando. I think they would each admit to that. The torch now passed, Nando's blog probably won't have much more influence, but it did play a big role is starting this thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. They took notice of scam bloggers like Nando.

      Which is not the same as Nando's self-serving insistence that they took notice solely because of Nando.

      Sadly, Nando puts more effort into rewriting history to exclude all of his co-bloggers rather than furthering the movement. Looking backward does move us forward.

      Delete
  24. DJM, are you a tea-bagger? I mean tea-party republican?

    I ask because you are behaving like one. "Just because someone doesn't agree with our extremist view of things, they are the enemy!"

    Keep in mind, the fact that an admission was made about class sizes are too large is what is important. NOT what he did to make up for lost revenue.

    They are separate issues in this "fight," so don't lose sight of that. Sure, you might think it is despicable to make up the revenue, but you should be applauding his statement and not alienating someone who you feel just didn't go to the extreme you would like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't care so much about raising tuition on the incoming students who had warning of what their costs will be.

      Raising tuition on current students who have no recourse but to pay it, is a shady move.

      Even Wu knows that. Their big announcement of cutting class size did not mention they were about to screw over their existing students. (as far as I can remember anyway.)

      There is no reason that they needed to increase tuition by such a huge amount when the demand is down.

      Delete
    2. In not a single press release or HuffPo article has Dean Wu mentioned the tuition increase. Not one.

      It's not extremism- that would imply we're all part of the same group. Dean Wu is not a reformer in the same way that Bank of America aren't reformers for bowing to consumer pressure not to raise fees. Period.

      Delete
  25. I appreciated Wu's article when I first read it--the first half contains suprisingly strong and clear language, though the second half lapsed somewhat into equivocal deanspeak. Of course, when I read it, I knew nothing of the tuition increase that Wu has inflicted on his students. I also didn't know that Hastings has slid from 39 to 44 in the US News rankings since 2009.

    As comments above have noted, Wu's 2009 article for US News ("Why Law School is For Everyone") was so relentlessly scammy that the only appropriate response to Wu's seeming reformist turn is the very "cynicism" that Wu finds so regrettable.

    That article contains so many little scam phrases that it reminds me of those old magnetic poetry kits. Based on that 2009 article, Wu could market a scam kit to law school admissions offices composed of handy, upbeat, empty little phrases, the cumulative effect of which is to destroy the lives of bright but naive kids.

    *"legal reasoning demonstrates the power of rational thought."
    *"law encompasses all conceivable issues."
    *"the practice of law is crucial to our lives together."
    *"a diverse society flourishes."
    *"mutual commitments to public discourse for resolving disputes."
    *"complexities of our global economy."
    *"essential interpreters who transform the messy stories of their clients lives."
    *"Lawyers must be more than merely lawyers."
    *"adapt their training to myriad pursuits."
    *"They benefit from their ability to interpret a statute, even if they end up opening a restaurant."
    *"cultivate multiple intelligences."
    *"well-rounded liberal arts curiculum."
    *"array of intellectual challenges."
    *"determined to right the wrongs they have witnessed."
    *"well served by learning how to stand up and speak out."
    *"inspired by a sense of civil rights as well as civic responsibilities."
    *"They are ready to become leaders."

    dybbuk


    ReplyDelete
  26. state cutting subsidy is NOT the reason tutions have increased.. yes if the subsidy had gone up tution would have stayed down but the main reason for the tution is this goverment quarantee loan pipeline.. Those did NOT exist until president Johnson instituted the monstrous loan guarantee system in 1965.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Is this blog going the same way as TTR, where anything that doesn't meet our (unrealistic) demands is treated with disgust?

    Any steps in the right direction should be congratulated, not ridiculed. This is one such step. Sorry it wasn't news that the dean closed the law school down, but perhaps this post suggests that this blog needs a reality check.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. You know, I was very happy when Hastings said they were cutting class size. Being naive I didn't understand that meant they were doing it at a cost of a huge jump in tuition for current students.

      I don't think taking fewer students but charging more is a step in the right direction. It is at best treading water.

      Delete
    3. To the extent that this blog has economic goals, they should be:

      (1) Reducing the total number of law students graduating each year until that number actually bears some resemblance to the demand for actual lawyers; and

      (2) Reducing law school tuition so that it bears some resemblance to the median starting and early years of legal employment such that law school loans can actually be repaid in a reasonable amount of time.

      I suspect that goal (1) is going to be much easier to accomplish than goal (2).

      Delete
    4. I'm not sure how much schools will drop their classes if they can't increase tuition.

      If schools hold on to their medians then we may see progress as the top scorers go into other fields. If schools drop their medians, it seems there is an unlimited supply of people willing to borrow sticker for a shot at law.

      An I wrong?

      Delete
    5. I'd add:

      (3) Accept only capable students, not the hordes of ninnies that in fact populate law schools.

      But to some extent (3) is a consequence of (1): if the Touros and Cooleys—and even the Cardozos—were shut down, there wouldn't be so many idiots in law school and in the profession.

      As for (2), start by sacking a bunch of uncommitted law professors. No doubt they'll be snapped up as senior partners of white-shoe law firms, as they've been maintaining all these years by way of justifying their outlandish salaries.

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

    ReplyDelete
  29. Many law schools are reducing enrollment. However it has NOTHING to do with being "reformers" but everything to do with simple economic reality. Due to all the scamblogs and MSM articles, demand is down. Any school that has a pretense of being somewhat selective has no choice unless they want to admit lowly qualified students and thereby descend into Cooley-esque status.

    So when I hear that XYZ school is reducing enrollment, I'm not exactly going to "praise" them for being reformers. That doesn't mean I am "hating" them either for not doing enough BTW. It simply means I am calling it like it really is.

    It is fine to take it as good news that enrollment is dropping. But I see no reason to give undue credit that is all.

    ReplyDelete
  30. The fact that Hastings reduced class sizes but increased tuition tells me everything I need to know. They are doing this to avoid admitting 0Ls with low stats but making up for it by charging more to maintain the same revenue. In the final analysis the students who end up going to Hastings are actually screwed just as much if as I think the higher tuition outweighs the "benefits" of reduced class sizes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. Wu is just shoring his institution up. By reducing the class size, it will appear more "selective" than higher-ranking institutions that have been ushering in students with ever-lower LSAT scores. And of course the smaller cohort will have to carry the non-negotiable cost of running this bloated institution. But praises be to our savior Wu, who maketh us to lie down in green pastures and leadeth us beside the still waters.

      Again, Wu is a fucking snake in the grass.

      Delete
    2. "Wu is a fucking snake in the grass."

      Just like that asshole former dean from GW who spent $x million to make the campus more alluring, increasing tuition to give the IMPRESSION of a highly valued product.

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

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

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

      Meanwhile, more and more applicants were choosing George Washington over its rivals, which realized that they, too, had to telegraph value to attract top students. The result was a tuition arms race.

      Delete
  31. I understand the point made that we shouldn't be:

    "Throwing that credibility away by alienating legal educators seeking change, even if not as much as we want or for reasons we like, would be a mistake."

    But let's get real here. Do you think Wu "sought change" based on scamblog critics and therefore if he doesn't get the "praise" for reducing class sizes he's going to change his mind and become an open-admission school instead to spite his critics?

    He did what he needed to do based on current circumstances. While it doesn't merit scorn, per se, it does merit cynicism. More importantly, it doesn't merit praise because as I said, he did what he needed to do. Furthermore his increasing tuition largely blunts whatever positive effect might result from reduced class sizes for his students!

    ReplyDelete
  32. It's important to look at what Frank Wu and Hastings didn't do. They didn't reduce the number of tenure track faculty. They didn't reduce faculty pay. The didn't increase faculty workload. Sacrifice free reform. William Ockham

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least not a sacrifice from anyone that matters.

      Delete
  33. Professor Campos:

    Can I add that apparently when Hastings announced the cut in students and the increase in tuition, it also announced that it was still going to be able to add to faculty (I think it was 3 positions) - I read that and head-slapped!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK I'm replying to myself

      From the National Law Journal article

      "No faculty positions were eliminated — and the school plans to add faculty members next year, Wu said."

      http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202550750392&rss=nlj&slreturn=20120905161451

      WTF - less students - MORE FACULTY!!!!!!

      Delete
    2. Why, of course! You can't expect Hastings to do without a second specialist in the vital field of law and underwater basketweaving.

      Delete
    3. Hastings did in fact add three new tenure-track faculty this fall.

      Delete
    4. Why would they do that? What is the point? Is to massage their faculty:student ratios for US News?

      Delete
    5. Thanks for finding that reference, MacK. I recalled that Hastings also added faculty as part of this strategic plan, but couldn't find the reference. Notably, Hastings took down from the web the very detailed strategic plan (with all the figures) that LawProf and others discussed over the summer. This is a "reform" to try to boost US News rank, while keeping faculty very happy; not one to help students or graduates.

      Delete
    6. I'm willing to bet that Hastings will also wage an aggressive campaign of offering to waive application fees so that it can enjoy a large pool of applicants to reject, thereby bolstering its yield for the purposes of U.S. News. The U of Virginia has a reputation for this sleazy tactic.

      Delete
    7. Right now, Hastings is not granting fee waivers. I guess they might if you are approved as being really poor by LSDAS. Not sure.

      There might always be changes down the road though.

      I think they will benefit in US News by increasing their student/faculty ratio from reducing the class and increasing faculty.

      We have to come up with a better ranking system. I think LST is on it.

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

      Delete
  34. If Dean Wu had simply cut class sizes and did nothing else, I think that perhaps the scorn he is getting isn't justified. True it could be seen as self-serving but its still a good move IF TAKEN IN ISOLATION.

    HOWEVER since he is coupling reduced class sizes WHILE increasing tuition (and according to MacK INCREASING faculty???) his move needs to be seen for what it is.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Are you with me (Juris) Doctor Wu?
    Are you really just a shadow
    Of the man that I once knew?
    Are you crazy, are you high,
    Or just an ordinary guy?
    Have you done all you can do -
    Are you with me Doctor?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Cutting class size is a good thing. Anyone who goes to law school today has had ample opportunity to know where things stand. I do not get the handwringing about this. They have added 3 faculty. And?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cutting class sizes is a good thing. Cutting class sizes combined with increased tuition and adding faculty is not.

      And guess where part of that tuition increase is going towards? Are those faculty going to help the students in any way? Would the students have decided on their own to increase their own tuition to pay for those faculty because of their "awesomeness" or whatever?

      Faculty needs to be trimmed not added to!

      Delete
    2. How doe you know that people have had ample opportunity? What do you consider ample? Plenty of law schools are still doing their sleazy marketing while pre-law advisers are as clueless as ever.

      Delete
    3. Whatever the schools are saying, the Internet and news outlets have been inundated with information about the current state of the legal market. You are positing an unreal world where applicants to law school only look at school websites. That was probably never the case, but there is even less reason to believe it now. There is no reason to assume that people applying to Hastings, now with 3 extra profs, are doing this blindly. They are doing something you or I might not do. You can't say that people who do not make the same decision you would make must not know things you know.

      Delete
    4. "How doe you know that people have had ample opportunity? What do you consider ample? Plenty of law schools are still doing their sleazy marketing while pre-law advisers are as clueless as ever."

      Bullshit.

      Anyone who went to law school since 2010 KNOWS that it is a fucking scam. There is no more of the 2005-2010 hiding behind the "I didn't know it was a scam" excuse. Not anymore.

      This is not news. Anyone who doesn't know that the system is screwed at this point in time deserves their misfortune.

      Like people who take up smoking. Like people who drive with no seatbelts, or who drive drunk, or who do any one of the stupid things that people still do.

      Delete
    5. I disagree. You think pre-law advisors and parents are telling kids not to go to law school? Most undergrads I know barely know there is an election or any of the issues. They certainly don't realize what is happening with law schools.

      Delete
    6. I know different people. Young people ask me about problems in law school all the time now. Sure, there are some people who do not know who the first president was. But many people are making this choice knowing the situation. You cannot assume that everyone sees things as you do, And if they do not, they lack information.

      Delete
    7. Why do you assume that everyone has all the information when there is ample evidence that they don't and that there is still more work to do to get data disclosed?

      Delete
    8. You do not have to assume that everyone has all the information. Having ALL the information is not necessary. Requiring that sets a totally unrealistic standard. Everyone will never know "all" of anything. The question is do they have enough information? There is nothing to be done about people who do not read the newspaper or pay attention to what is happening in a place where they plan to spend three years and thousands of dollars. There is enough out there now to make a decision about whether to do that.

      Why do you assume people applying to Hastings do not have information about the school or about the general state of legal education; that you know all about this, but others do not, that if they knew what you knew, they would all make the same decision you would make? The law-applicant-as-totally-unwitting-babe-in-the-woods notion is a litigation strategy or a trope (yes, I said trope) for internet blogs. Whatever was true in the past about the state of knowledge about law schools and the profession is not true now-- in part, because of this blog and other outfits. College and high school students are all over the Internet for hours daily. "Law school is a disaster" stories are everywhere now, and they were not in even the recent past. The profession has been heavily scrutinized of late. People who have not the slightest connection to the legal profession themselves mention the lawsuits to me and know the basis of them. Why would a person applying now be ignorant of this? The world has changed. The conversation around law schools is very different.

      Delete
    9. I'm sorry, but this is just short-sighted. If the information is still out there, and people are still making dumb decisions, then it affects all of us. It's our tax money and our profession that is taking the reputation hit. It's not as simple as letting individuals ruin their lives- remember the mortgage crisis? Not everyone who lost their job or their home equity/retirement took on loans they couldn't repay.

      Why do you want to let the profession slide just so law professors and deans can keep their gravy train? All because of some mad loyalty to an outmoded economic system?

      Delete
    10. I think it's odd to spend so much energy on what we may take to be other people's bad decisions-- other people we do not know, and whose motivations we cannot know. People make bad decisions every day of the week, and only people who have a desire to control other people's lives get all absorbed in second guessing those decisions and hand wring over it. The "taxpayer" argument is an excuse to pay excessive attention to other people's decisions. It is a fact of life that out tax dollars go for things that we do not want to pay for. On the list of things I don't want my tax dollars to pay for, student loans would not appear or, if they did, would be so far down the list as to be nearly out of sight.

      I don't know what your last paragraph means. I don't want the profession to slide. I was talking about Hastings, and the trashing of the dean because he cut class size, raised tuition, and hired three professors. My only point is that the dean has been vocal enough about the situation, other media outlets have been trumpeting the travails of law schools and the profession at high volume for the past two years. Students who want to go to law school now can make that decision with information that students did not have in years past. If they still want to go in the face of all that is known, that is their decision. I do not object as a taxpayer. There are other things that bother me far more.

      Delete
    11. Just because there are other things we shouldn't be spending taxpayer money on doesn't mean you shouldn't care about the student loan problem. I care about things that affect me. Drunk driving affects me. People taking out shitty home mortgages affects me. And people taking out 200K for law school affects me. I'm not going to ignore the drunk driving, the guy who can't afford the home mortgage he's taking out, or the kid who wants to borrow 250K to attend NYLS. You shouldn't either. They wouldn't have that choice if it wasn't for the taxpayer, so I see nothing wrong with taking that choice away.

      The profession is going to take a huge reputation hit because of this bubble. Already you're seeing applications plummet among high LSAT scorers (who are disproportionately from top undergrads). What this means is that "cream of the crop" students who once chose law school over other options are now choosing the other options over law school- amazingly at a time when those other options were much lower than in, say, 2005-06 when people flocked to law school. In their minds, law school is the sucker's bet. And so what does that say about the judgment of people who attend law school? That judgment that those same people are going to be selling to clients?

      20, 30 years from now (as the people graduating now are going to become the leaders of the profession) this is going to translate into less social capital for the profession. Ultimately, what keeps the lawyer cartel going is that social capital. The same capital that professors and deans are spending on our behalf to keep their salaries and perks.

      Delete
    12. I get It, "no man is an island". And you are perfectly entitled to your hierarchy of concerns, as am I. I would never insist that you or others "should" have the same items on the list, or have them in the same order. This is a matter of personality. There are those who have controlling personalities, and those who do not.

      The profession has never enjoyed a high reputation, except when people need us. I do not think leadership abilities are measured by LSAT scores. We will have good and talented people 30 years from now.

      Delete
    13. No, the profession has never enjoyed a good reputation. But it has always enjoyed a "competent" reputation, which is what really matters to keeping lawyers employed. People may challenge the morals or values of lawyers, but nobody seriously challenges their intelligence or competence. This is the first time that reputation is threatened, which we can see from the behavior of the applicant pool.

      Yes, we will have good and talented people. But what matters is the reputation of the whole. That same idea that all lawyers are rich professionals that made parents and teachers advise students to attend TTTs (since all lawyers are super-rich right?) can be turned against us.

      I'm sure there are good and competent people who attend Cornell's Hotel Management Program. But when you think of "hotel manager" generally, you don't think of those people.
      Similarly, when people think of "lawyer" in 30 years, they aren't going to think of the few people who made a good decision. They are going to think of the many people they knew who went because they were too dumb to get another job, didn't comprehend the debt, had too many undergrad loans and no way to pay them back immediately, were risk-takers, etc. It's not where we want the profession to be heading.

      It's sad I even have to explain this to you. You say "screw you" to kids borrowing 150K to attend TTTs and then turn around and say the profession will be just fine. Please.

      Delete
    14. That is your self-righteous characterization of what I am saying. You are not "explaining" anything to me, by the way. There are many competent and excellent lawyers who did not go to top schools and did not graduate at the top of their classes. You are equating high LSATs with eventual competence in lawyering, suggesting that the lower average scores will be felt 30 years from now because lawyers will be worse. I am not as convinced as you are on that point. People have been going to lower-tiered schools for decades now, and the profession has survived, as it will survive these times. It will be very different, but it will go on in some form, with people differentiating lawyers by the schools they went to and the jobs they hold-- jus as they do now, and always have.

      Actually, while we are predicting the future (which neither of us can do, of course) I predict we will have bigger problems 30 years from now when GDP in the US falls relative to that of other countries and American business, to which many lawyers are joined at the hip, will face even more competition. High LSATs will not solve that problem.


      Delete
    15. I am not saying people with low LSAT scores are dumb, or will make bad lawyers. You are reflexively reacting to a point I never made. The PERCEPTION changes with a decrease in desirable applicants. That PERCEPTION is all important when you have a cartel profession like law. Are our "best and brightest" going into law? Or are they choosing to go into other fields because law is now a suckers bet?

      Whether the best and the brightest are correctly measured by LSAT scores, or SAT's, or undergraduate universities, is irrelevant. People believe those things denote a smart kid and those kids will generally have wider options out of undergrad. That they are now choosing those other options, at a time when the other options are at an all-time low, says something about the PERCEPTION of the value of a law degree relative to other careers in the eyes of the public. This perception is unprecedented. There is no period where law school applications have declined during an economic downturn, never mind by this magnitude and among applicants of high caliber.

      Again, the general perception has always been that lawyers make a lot of money wherever they went to school. A very small percentage of the population is "in the know" w/r/t employment options coming out of top schools v. TTTs. A small proportion of the population will continue to be "in the know" only they will now assume that job opportunities suck across the board, not just at TTTs.

      Look, law schools have engaged in the same conduct as beauty, culinary, and for-profit scam schools. If you think that won't have an impact on the reputation of the profession, keep dreaming.

      Delete
    16. We will just have to agree to disagree, and because neither of us can predict the future (and that is an incontrovertible fact) it's kind of a useless argument. I will say that while it is true that the public is aware of the problems that exist in law schools and the legal profession today, the notion that this understanding will remain static for 30 years, and over time, affect "perceptions" of the profession negatively seems highly unlikely to me. The public has long recognized tiers within the legal profession, separating high status lawyers from those who are, for example, pejoratively called "ambulance chasers". There will always be HYS graduates operating very visibly at the highest levels in this country and abroad-- in private practice, government, business, finance, you name it. There will also be successful graduates of other schools who will be the face of the profession as they are now, and always have been. They will be recognized as lawyers, and no one will assume they are incompetent. The notion that the public will collapse the tiers that lawyers have existed in for centuries, and come to see the entire profession as incompetent by the year 2042, because of a drop off in LSAT scores in 2012, strikes me as untenable. You are assuming that the scores will continue to drop, and the news will get worse and worse. Surely, the drops we've seen this year won't do the trick for fundamentally changing public perceptions of the overall competence of lawyers. We don't yet know what the "drops" will mean because we don't know what adjustments law schools will make to class size and their pools over the years. If some schools close, the picture will be different still. One could imagine a narrative of smaller schools with LSAT that remain within a "normal" range. Who knows? One thing I do know, I don't "dream" about this.

      Delete
  37. "And then there was this guy you know? he was a pole vaulter. I used to do quite a bit of it in High School myself. Anyway this guy was a pole vaulter on some track team somewhere.......I don't even think he was any very good but he was um.....I'm not even sure if this story is true.....I might have dreamed it or somethin, I don't know but this guy was pole vaulting and he went up....he went up in the air like this.....he was doing a vault that was way too high for his skill level...probably a world record or something that he was trying for and the pole--you know how they flex?---well the pole snapped...."

    "Whoa!" I gasped.

    "Yeah the poles are fiberglass and they are supposed to bend you kinow but this guy used an antique pole made of wood and he must have been doing it all wrong and the pole snaps in two while he was still up in the air. You know, in the middle of this jump and then when he came down he got skewered right onto a half of the pole."

    "Impaled?" I said. "You mean like a....like a..."

    "Yeah, exactly, speared like a....like a...."

    "Like a shish-kabab!" I exclaimed.

    "Yeah!" He said. "Like a shish-kabab."

    And we both laughed.


    There is a meaning to this parable somewhere. You just gotta figure it out for yourself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. You need to take up pole vaulting!

      Idiot!

      Delete
    2. Painter's latest irrelevance:


      JD PainterguyOctober 5, 2012 3:05 PM

      "And then there was this guy you know? he was a pole vaulter. I used to do quite a bit of it in High School myself. Anyway this guy was a pole vaulter on some track team somewhere.......I don't even think he was any very good but he was um.....I'm not even sure if this story is true.....I might have dreamed it or somethin, I don't know but this guy was pole vaulting and he went up....he went up in the air like this.....he was doing a vault that was way too high for his skill level...probably a world record or something that he was trying for and the pole--you know how they flex?---well the pole snapped...."

      "Whoa!" I gasped.

      "Yeah the poles are fiberglass and they are supposed to bend you kinow but this guy used an antique pole made of wood and he must have been doing it all wrong and the pole snaps in two while he was still up in the air. You know, in the middle of this jump and then when he came down he got skewered right onto a half of the pole."

      "Impaled?" I said. "You mean like a....like a..."

      "Yeah, exactly, speared like a....like a...."

      "Like a shish-kabab!" I exclaimed.

      "Yeah!" He said. "Like a shish-kabab."

      And we both laughed.


      There is a meaning to this parable somewhere. You just gotta figure it out for yourself.

      Delete
    3. Is the meaning of this parable that it was obvious that an average student 15 years ago shouldn't go to law school, because then they would fail the bar multiple times and this would cause a bizarre effect on their brain that causes them to write really weird posts on the Internet that annoys people who read them?

      Delete
    4. Painter, we don't care about your stuuuuupid stories. Keep that crap on your own insignificant blog. LOSER!

      Delete
  38. And now it begins....

    ReplyDelete
  39. We all have read stories about passers-by who happen upon a crowd of people looking up at a would-be suicide on top of a building threatening to jump and people in the crowd start yelling for the guy to jump.

    I never could understand how people could be so callous, so cruel, so cold-hearted. Then I started reading JD Painterguys rants.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are a terrible person. Just scroll through his posts. If it gives him a little peace of mind or makes him feel less lonely to post here, then how does it harm you.

      The guy has nothing else and seems so self-destructive he can't even begin to build something else.

      He needs to find another identity.He is annoying but that doesn't mean he doesn't deserve some compassion.

      Delete
    2. Let him get [or attempt to get] his fucking "compassion" somewhere else.

      JD Pianter, go away.

      Delete
    3. @October 5, 2012 7:58 PM

      I'm not the person who wrote that and it was a little harsh, but JD Painterguy brings out the worst in people. Don't worry about him though, he is on ICR, so he clearly has a plan.

      Delete
  40. Another JD Painter post.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Other than lack of political will, why not set up a federal program where all these indentured servant attorneys with defaulted federally guaranteed student loans can work them off by representing people below the median income level who are facing foreclosure etc?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Somehow the federal government has no ability to get people to work, even for the benefits they are already getting.

      Ive never understood that. At least people could be productive and plant trees or clean parks.

      Delete
    2. It takes a hell of a lot of low-paid work to pay off $200k.

      Delete
    3. So give the defaulted attorneys $75 per hour credit for represention. Society gets something and the attorney gets something. Right now it's a negative on both ends.

      Delete
  42. Just noticed Lawprof and John Wu are both going to be at a conference together in November.

    Should be a little uncomfortable to say the least.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's the conference?

      Delete
  43. excellent!

    12 Faces Behind The Incredible Law School Underemployment Crisis


    http://www.businessinsider.com/law-school-unemployment-crisis-2012-9

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. there is a link at the bottom to see a slideshow of 12 suffering law grads with their photos. Great stuff!

      Delete
  44. Call me whatever you like.

    But I know that there is such a thing as an oath of office for people admitted to the bar.

    But I have also often read that a law professor need not be admitted to any state bar, and that many law professors are not, and have not even tried to take a bar exam.

    And so, does a law professor have to take any kind of an oath at all?

    But if some of the members of the anonymous menagerie around here are admitted to to a state bar, and have taken an oath of office, or at least some kind of an oath:

    .... does taking anon pot shots at someone like me, who is not anon, violate that oath somehow, and in any way?

    And for that matter, does the showing up here as anon, though nevertheless admitted to a respective state bar, and thereafter commenting- and possibly quite often - somehow amount to a violation of a respective state bar's oath of office?

    For I am not anon, and everyone knows who I am, and yet I am being attacked by anon people that may well be active law professors or judges or admitted lawyers who are violating their oath of office by the very fact of their being anon?

    Possibly?





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Er, no. Blaming "professors" for your unpopularity is a bit of sad conspiracy theory. You are not that important!

      Delete
    2. JD PainterguyOctober 6, 2012 12:15 PM
      Call me whatever you like.

      But I know that there is such a thing as an oath of office for people admitted to the bar.

      But I have also often read that a law professor need not be admitted to any state bar, and that many law professors are not, and have not even tried to take a bar exam.

      And so, does a law professor have to take any kind of an oath at all?

      But if some of the members of the anonymous menagerie around here are admitted to to a state bar, and have taken an oath of office, or at least some kind of an oath:

      .... does taking anon pot shots at someone like me, who is not anon, violate that oath somehow, and in any way?

      And for that matter, does the showing up here as anon, though nevertheless admitted to a respective state bar, and thereafter commenting- and possibly quite often - somehow amount to a violation of a respective state bar's oath of office?

      For I am not anon, and everyone knows who I am, and yet I am being attacked by anon people that may well be active law professors or judges or admitted lawyers who are violating their oath of office by the very fact of their being anon?

      Possibly?

      Delete
    3. "And so, does a law professor have to take any kind of an oath at all?"

      No

      "But if some of the members of the anonymous menagerie around here are admitted to to a state bar, and have taken an oath of office, or at least some kind of an oath:

      .... does taking anon pot shots at someone like me, who is not anon, violate that oath somehow, and in any way?"

      No

      "And for that matter, does the showing up here as anon, though nevertheless admitted to a respective state bar, and thereafter commenting- and possibly quite often - somehow amount to a violation of a respective state bar's oath of office?"

      No

      "For I am not anon, and everyone knows who I am, and yet I am being attacked by anon people that may well be active law professors or judges or admitted lawyers who are violating their oath of office by the very fact of their being anon?"

      No

      So it is settled.

      Besides, all of your statements rely on the fact that those who comment here as Anonymous are admitted to the state bar and are lawyers. I am not admitted to the state bar, I am not a lawyer, I am not a law professor, I have never been to law school, and I have no debt.

      Delete
    4. "For I am not anon, and everyone knows who I am"

      Just so that we are perfectly clear, nobody cares who you are. It doesn't make one bit of difference to us. None.

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have your own blog for your attention-seeking behavior. Please leave this one alone. You are ruining it. When you post, the discussion changes from the issues to you.

      Delete
  46. Correction, Prof Campos, nothing this man says is honest or brave. It's called spin - spin for exploitative, shameless special-interest monopoly. Wu is lying sack. That place and all its faculty are basically insufferable. He gets on his soap box as the contrite and reasonable dean, while, yes, he finances what he paints as "straight talk" - his gift of fewer grads to the job market in general - on a 15% year over year increase in tuition off my back. The staff unionized last year and had the balls to hassle students on the streets about how their 70k/year secretarial positions hadn't gotten a COLA in 5 years, and THIS was the burning social issue that required them to disrupt classes with bullhorns. And the admin bent over and gave them our money, because it was just a farce to fleece students again. WE are most fucked economic minority ever produced. I hope that place burns to the ground. They don't give two shits about their students as is attested to by every way the place runs. My hometown of 125k residents, complete with public k-12, water, garbage, electricity has an annual budget of about 65MM; Hastings, two buildings in the hood, with more than 50% of its class offerings being taught by disinterested adjuncts has a budget of 80MM. And it hocks itself to whom? To low-income kids with no resource whose lives will be destroyed. A good friend of mine had the misfortune to find herself with a severe, debilitating progressive genetic disease after 1L year there - with no family and no resources - they treated her like garbage. She wants to die all the time because she knows how fucked she is. I hope that place sinks to the 9th circle of hell and takes every self-proclaimed, social-justice loving huckster piece of poo it employs with it.

    ReplyDelete
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