Saturday, January 12, 2013

She's just not that into you

From TLS (h/t manofjustice):

So a certain TTT that I've never even considered applying to or shown any interest in CALLED me today. On my phone. Just to ask if I'd be interested in applying to their law school. Fee wavers over email and whatnot are nice, but I can't imagine if all 203 ABA accredited law schools actually called me and awkwardly tried to talk me into considering them for five minutes. On the other hand, I certainly wasn't considering them before and am now mildly intrigued, if only because of annoyance.

Did this happen to anyone else today?


OK I know what you're thinking . . . it's probably Cooley. Or maybe New England Law.  Yes, they're getting desperate down in Hamsterdam . . . but out here in the suburbs, things are still OK, sort of.  Well . . .

I got one from Michigan State in Nov.

Uh oh.

Then we hear from Hawkeye Girl:

I got a call, voicemail and follow-up email from some girl at Indiana today... I was realllly glad I missed that call. Talk about awk.

Edit: Other weird part was that she emailed me from her gmail not from her school email....



Indiana is the 26th-ranked law school in the USN hierarchy.

Another poster reports that a random school left a 75% off tuition "scholarship" offer on his voice mail (Remember, none of these people have even applied to any of these places. Does LSAC ask for your cellphone number these days? And why would you give it to them? So you don't miss Bob Post's call, personally offering you admission?)

Pretty soon kids are going to have to start getting restraining orders

Speaking of which, yesterday I went through the process of getting kicked off a jury that was going to hear what seemed to be, from the questions asked by the lawyers during the voir dire, the trial of a misdemeanor DV harassment charge.

It was in city court.  The defendant was a 35ish woman whose lawyer was about ten years younger, and who by the level of his apparent nervousness may well have been handling the first trial of his life.

The prosecutor was a sad-eyed middle-aged man in an ill-fitting diversity suit, who had a cartoon thought bubble over his head that said, "What am I doing trying misdemeanor harassment cases in city court at 8:30 AM for $53,000 a year?"  This being Colorado, he probably went to law school to study environmental law, so he could write Brandeis briefs about polar bears for the Sierra Club.

At least they actually had jobs.










141 comments:

  1. FIRST!!!

    I win!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. congrats, dood(ie)January 12, 2013 at 9:15 AM

      Confabulations to you. You may view several 4-color images of your award prize at Fernando's `site.

      Delete
    2. @915,

      Haha, haters gonna hate.

      Methinks I detect a green-eyed monster!

      Delete
    3. Do you have anything substantive to say idiot?

      Delete
    4. 11:43 is just pissed that he was not first. That prolly explains a lot about why he is an unemployed law grad.

      Delete
  2. "What am I doing trying misdemeanor harassment cases in city court at 8:30 AM for $53,000 a year?"

    Actually, that sounds more fun than drafting patent applications, which is like eating sawdust.

    Small law like that is kind of fun because you really don't have to *care* like you do in BigLaw (meaning the billables and stress of the major book of business). It doesn't really matter how well you do if you defendant is guilty.

    If he loses, justice is served. If he wins, he did a good job of forcing the prosecution to make it's case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Small law like that is kind of fun because you really don't have to *care* like you do in BigLaw"

      Really depends on the area of law.

      Delete
    2. What if the defendant is innocent but still loses?

      Delete
    3. yeah, but eatin' sawdust pays 4X what trying those misdemeanor harassment cases does.

      Delete
  3. General Petya SamanovJanuary 12, 2013 at 5:41 AM

    When you lose and fail, it is understandable. When you win and fail, that brings madness.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This illustrates the level of panic the law schools have.

    This is going to be a boring post – and I may need to break it into two, but I think there needs to be a better understanding of the economics of law schools.

    1. Law schools have a very high fixed cost and a very low variable cost – that is to say that the vast bulk of a law school’s cost is faculty payroll and benefits, buildings and physical plant come second. A lot of administration is effectively directed towards marketing – for example the people making the calls referenced above, financial aid, financial management (law schools are big businesses), etc.

    2. AALS tenure guidelines which are the usual basis for University and law school tenure arrangements, and those tenure arrangements amount to an effective contract between the tenured faculty (and those with quasi-tenure, like 3-5 term contracts), while letters of appointment and the usual correspondence telling a faculty member what his/her pay will be next year can usually be claimed to amount to a contract. In addition even a pre-tenure academic might be able to argue that they were persuaded to go to school C and not school G because of representations of greater security.

    3. One effect of this is to make salary and benefits something that forms part of the faculty member’s contract with the school – and there are cases where any substantial reduction in that package, or removal of say secretarial support was a breach of contract – and even has been held to be “constructive dismissal” in one US case (a term more familiar in the UK, Ireland, Australia and Canada.) Any lawyer who has worked with businesses where there was a choice between pay-cuts and layoffs will tell you, senior employees with better job security always “regretfully” prefer layoffs.

    4. AALS guidelines then also provide that only in financial exigency can a college department layoff faculty – but how severe this exigency must be is not clear, the issue varies state to state.

    5. Finally in the AALS guidelines as well as some publications and in the formal rules of a number of law schools there are formal rules that require layoffs to run in accordance with seniority – newest and most junior (and cheapest and hardest working) first, most senior and highest paid (and laziest?) last.

    6. However, there is one little exception almost always present that “short circuits” the entire issue of layoffs or cutting faculty pay – closing the department. Do that and none of the pesky rules about layoffs or the “you can’t cut my pay” problems exist.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You are clearly one of the best commenters here, being that you are clear, logical, and use common business sense.

      You should start your own blog with some of your comments.

      Delete
    2. So it sounds like the most senior and highest paid (and laziest) profs at Colorado are safe.

      Delete
    3. Your not taking into account there is very little reason for a school to remain a member of the AALS. AALS is really just a union for law professors. I wouldn't be surprised if schools start deciding they don't want to be an AALS member. Than schools can basically fire any law professor at will.

      Delete
    4. Most schools have used the AALS and AAUP tenure rules (I should have mentioned AAUP) as a skeleton on which to build their own tenure rules. As a result, even if they withdraw from AALS (they were never in AAUP, that is a faculty organisation) the tenure rules persist as a contract ... i.e., withdrawing does not unilaterally change the contract (you were listening in contracts, or your professor did cover this?)

      Think of the AALS and AAUP tenure rules as a bit like the UCC - each college has its own version but the general themes remain.

      Delete
    5. Of course, so it really just depends on how the contract is written. I know more than one law professor from my school that had tenure and was fired. It would be a mistake to think contracts at most schools are not written in a way that is in the best interest of the school.

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    6. Yes, but they fired the professor "for cause," or he/she was pre-tenure or a VAP and did not get 'the nod' ... layoffs are under different rules.

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    7. "layoffs are under different rules."

      What percentage of tenured profs do you think qualify for the layoffs you outlined? and I'm assuming that percentage changes a lot the lower the ranking of the school??

      Delete
    8. See:

      http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/misc/legal_education/Standards/chapter_4_2012_2013_aba_standards_and_rules.authcheckdam.pdf

      ABA rules pretty well require 80% plus of the faculty to be tenured - and treat adjuncts and legal reseach and writing instructors as fractional professors. Plus ABA rule press a 20:1 student/faculty ratio.

      The ABA has proposed dropping or lowering the tenure requirement - law professors have gone nuts at the idea:

      http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202484184734&Faculty_mobilize_against_ABAs_proposal_to_drop_tenure_requirement&slreturn=20130013064705

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    9. Recently I pointed this out to my professor of legal writing and research—and told her that it reminds me of the Three-Fifths Compromise.

      Delete
  5. These calls are probably made by 2012 grads in law school funded positions.

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  6. Was the girl sure that "Indiana" was not actually "Indiana Tech?" That might make more sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are no students at Indiana Tech; it hasn't yet opened.

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    2. I don't thin she specified it was a student who called. Indiana Tech is admitting students for next fall's class

      Delete
    3. Perhaps Indiana Tech is really training paralegals who only think they are being trained as attorneys.

      Whatever - at least paralegals get jobs and livable salaries!

      Delete

  7. 7. Returning to the economic problem for a minute. Faculty pay is the high fixed cost – they get paid regardless of how many students the school brings in (like paralegals, secretaries and associates, before the partner whether the business shows up or the clients pay their bills). Students by contrast only add per student a few hundred dollars in expense. If you give a student a 50% discount on say $48k tuition, that student now represents maybe $23k in net revenue instead of $47k – but it is still net revenue. A part filled 1L section is like flying an airliners with empty seats – or running a train – most of the cost has been incurred by departure and selling a seat at any number above variable cost is net revenue.

    8. That is what is going on now – law schools are looking at 2-5 1L sections and asking – how do I put some paying bums on seats. This is not inter alia “how much will I subsidize this student,” it is selling off overstock, it’s a clearance sale.

    9. If colleges and universities are a business, they have treated law schools as their shiny profit centers for quite a while. ABA rules limit how much money the parent school can soak the law school for to 20% of tuition – but numerous reports tell us that this has been routinely broken, with parent institutions taking up to 40% Now we are beginning to see a situation where many law schools are not going to sending money to the parent institution, but rather looking for subsidies. Parent schools though will take a hard look at the law schools and ask “is this a temporary embarrassment.” If the answer is no … then the parent college is quite likely to shut the law department. I think in a lot of instances the answer will be no.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, any extra ass that can be brought in to warm a seat is almost pure gravy. Beyond a certain point, the marginal cost of an extra student isn't much greater than the administrative cost of record-keeping and such.

      Law schools traditionally have thrown off big profits because they can charge high—monstrous—fees but can be operated cheaply. These days the problem is on the renevue side.

      Delete

  8. 10. There are a number of additional reasons that may make closing a law school attractive:

    a. The law school is contiguous to a main campus – which means that its facilities can be repurposed to other departments (and those nice faculty and deans offices to other faculty); or
    b. The law school has nice shiny down-town facilities worth real money, or possibly usable for graduate courses (business, etc.);
    c. The law school is lower ranked than the parent school (it drags down the colleges overall reputation);
    d. There are other law-schools in the same metropolitan area who could accept current students as transfers;
    e. The school has recently been involved in some scandals (UNSNWR false reporting, scam-suits (even if they were dismissed);
    f. It is a state school in a system with multiple state schools (transfers plus state government will find it easier to close one of plural state law schools.)


    There are over 200 ABA accredited law schools. I find it very unlikely that none will close (or at least announce their end) in the next 12 months. There are a number of ways they could do this:

    A. Simply state that the class of 2016 will be their last class;
    B. Say that they will close after commencement of May 2014/15 - giving students a year or two to transfer or graduate;
    C. Announce that school W is merging with cross town school Y - with Y being the surviving institution (in reality W is closing and transferring en block its students.
    D. Announce by say February/March that they will close as of commencement 2013.

    The last is pretty unlikely except perhaps for a for profit school or a stand alone school that goes into bankruptcy. I do think A and B are pretty likely - and possibly C especially if there are large and small institutions in the same city that are near each other in ranking.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Another possibility is a variation on B: close early but give the students a chance to graduate (rather than being dumped out on their ass) by taking courses in the summer.

      C could even be done over a great distance: dipshit school W in Arizona merges with dipshit school Y in Pennsylvania, and W's students either move or leave. This is easiest to do if W is a for-profit school.

      Delete
  9. This is the most important thing and pretty much says it all:

    " If colleges and universities are a business, they have treated law schools as their shiny profit centers for quite a while [OH, THEY HAVE. LAW SCHOOL = GOBS AND GOBS OF FED FAST CASH + PRESTIGE - WIN/WIN/WINNING!]. ABA rules limit how much money the parent school can soak the law school for to 20% of tuition – but numerous reports tell us that this has been routinely broken, with parent institutions taking up to 40% Now we are beginning to see a situation where many law schools are not going to sending money to the parent institution, but rather looking for subsidies. Parent schools though will take a hard look at the law schools and ask “is this a temporary embarrassment.” If the answer is no … then the parent college is quite likely to shut the law department. I think in a lot of instances the answer will be no."

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Does anyone have links to numbers on the contributions from law schools to parent institutions? Or any other stats? I am just curious. Not saying I disbelieve it, but I can't find numbers anywhere.

      Delete
  10. Don't overestimate how much Deans themselves have taken a long, deep sip of the Kool-Aid on the "prestige of law" front. Deans of Universities are not somehow immune to the same cognitive biases as the rest of us. I'd be willing to bet that University administrators are more than willing to hang on far longer than they "rationally" should.

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  11. JP wrote: "It doesn't really matter how well you do if you defendant is guilty. If he loses, justice is served. If he wins, he did a good job of forcing the prosecution to make it's case."

    This is very dangerous thinking and is faulty on many levels. Law -- at least criminal defense -- just isn't for you, JP.

    ReplyDelete
  12. As the original poster of that thread on TLS, Cicero76, I feel unreasonably proud of getting mentioned on ITLSSS. Since I didn't mention it in my post, the school that cold-called me was Mercer University. No idea how they have my cell phone number--maybe from my LSAT registration?

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  13. Glengarry Glen Ross.

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  14. "This is very dangerous thinking and is faulty on many levels. Law -- at least criminal defense -- just isn't for you, JP."

    The only thing I really care about is whether the right result was obtained.

    I don't really have much respect for the legal system overall.

    I also don't really like the "duty to the client" aspect of the law.

    Really? I have a duty to the truth or what I perceive to be the truth. That I can understand. But some sort of a duty to a system or people that I don't even really respect?

    I'd be much happier doing something else than practicing law, that's for sure.

    Half of the system is grounded in things that don't even make any sense to me and are likely objectively/empirically wrong.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "I'd be much happier doing something else than practicing law, that's for sure."

      So, quit.

      What's holding you back?

      Delete
    2. What's holding me back is the possibility that the "something else" is "not working at all".

      If my problem is that I hate work in general and just have no interest in being productive, quitting law doesn't really solve much of anything.

      Delete
    3. Well, there is that and it resonates. I ran from one line of work to engineering because I thought I'd like it better.

      After a few years of engineering/scientist route, I was dissatisfied and ran to the law.

      I've stuck with law for about 13 years, but within just the first few years started longing for "something else".

      So it is entirely possible that it is just work (any work) that is my problem.

      Maybe I'm just effin' lazy.

      Delete
    4. Hard to quit because so much is already invested. Its like paying $15 to see a really crappy movie. You don't want to see any more, but you've already paid the price.

      However, unlike law schools, some movie theaters *might* give you a refund if you complain loud enough.

      Delete
    5. I don't really have anything emotionally invested in the practice of law.

      It's not like I put any effort in when I was in law school.

      The aspect of the job that I do like i helping people with severe mental disorders (schizophrenia, biopolar, etc.) because they really are in major trouble in today's economy.

      We really haven't come up with a really good way to help people like that because half the time, their impairments means that *they don't know they have a problem*.

      However, I suspect that I would be better suited to a Ph.D. in mathematics or something of that nature. Maybe chaos theory.

      However, if I just get bored and wander off like 9:59 above...well, then I just have less cash and I've made my position worse.

      I'm saving about 50% of my gross income (family of 4) and I don't have debt, so my issue isn't finances, per se.

      The moral of the story is do well in college and apply yourself so that you don't end up going to law school and being a lawyer.

      Delete
  15. LawProf,

    Just curious - why did you get kicked off the jury panel? I have a jury summons coming up in a few weeks and I REALLY want to be on the panel. I think it would be insightful to observe and participate in a jury deliberation.

    I am hoping I can get on the panel and I figure that I can even though I am a licensed attorney because I am unemployed and have never worked as an attorney (although I have done numerous internships, including one for the DA's office.) I have seen a few jury selections where lawyers were chosen to be on the panel, so I am not expecting to be disqualified. Just wondered why you were. Did you not want to be on the panel?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Half of the pool of 12 were removed by preemptory challenge. I was one of four potential jurors who gave the US criminal justice a grade of less than 7 on a scale of 10 in regard to fairness so that probably did it.

      I actually would have liked to have been on it, as I no doubt would have learned a thing or two.

      Delete
    2. Good for you for calling out the unfairness of the US's criminal-injustice system.

      Delete
    3. I've been seated (IIRC) 3 times in will-call panels of 36 (state court) who go through voir dire.

      It seemed surprising to me, but in each case there were several attorneys in the overall group. I've never been selected nor were any of the other lawyers who worked as lawyers. I got the impression they didn't really want lawyers on the final panel.

      However, in two of those times 1 lawyer each was selected who were not really practicing lawyers. One was a SAHM who had only about 1 year experience (several years prior), and the other lady was barred but had never worked as a lawyer, instead she did some kind of research writing for Westlaw.

      Delete
  16. What is personally frightening for me is that I just received a mailer from my alma mater (Michigan State) asking for money. Apart from being hilarious (I am a 2011 grad who just last week finally got a legal job), the mailer boasted the school's accomplishment of the highest application class EVER at MSU. So they are doing something right. Or wrong I guess.

    It literally made me sick to my stomach to see that. Looking at my school's numbers, only 44% of my class had full time legal jobs after 9 months (125/283). Of these 125 grads, 12 were in solo practice. And one of the 12 was me, and I can tell you that I barely scraped by--would have made more at Starbucks. Another 48 were at firms of 2-10 attorneys. And, though I am speculating, a fair portion of these were likely just two or more new grads in a "shared shingle" arrangement; the rest who got into established firms of 2-10 were unlikely to be making more than 50k per year (not that this is terrible, but still). If you remove the solo's and 2-10'ers, you get 65 out of 283 (about 23%) students that (might) be making a salary big enough to justify their loans, IF we assume that bigger firms equal bigger pay(not sure about this assumption, if someone has stats, by all means prove me wrong). This analysis is a little rough, but my bet is that it would hold up.

    And 32 grads were employed by the school (24 of which were part time, short term); the 24 were likely making the phone calls referenced above. I am not sure how the school classifies the 32 position (i.e. JD required, preferred, etc.). Really, from the breakdown, it is impossible to tell.

    While the 2012 numbers are not out, I have seen no evidence that they will be any better than the 2011 numbers. And for entering students (class of 2016), their futures are equally as bleak (if we give any credence to the BLS job statistics/projected law grad ratio for this decade). I am sure the school knows this. And it is simply incomprehensible to me how they can do this and sleep at night--maybe they can't.

    I am so ashamed of my school. I am embarrassed to have been stupid enough to go. And I am horrified that they are proud to have so many applicants. How many of these kids are going to ruin their lives? On the bright side, WE ARE MOVING UP IN THE RANKINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...! THIRTEEN SPOTS IN ONE YEAR!!!!!!!! I hope BIGLAW is ready for me!

    Employment Stats:
    http://www.law.msu.edu/career/ABA%20EmploymentSummary-2012-5.pdf


    Rankings:
    http://www.top-law-schools.com/rankings.html

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

      Delete
    2. Oh and to touch on the BIGLAW comment, if we define BIGLAW as firms of 50 or more attorneys, then only 13/283 of my class got BIGLAW jobs.

      And I think even those numbers might be misleading. The job I took is at a nationwide disability firm that, I believe, employs about 75-85 attorneys. And I am very happy about this job, I think it fits me well, but I will NOT be making BIGLAW money. I will have a middle class job--which is really all I ever realistically hoped for. I feel incredibly lucky to have it. Anecdotal? Yes, but just saying, this whole thing is messed up.

      Delete
    3. "The job I took is at a nationwide disability firm that, I believe, employs about 75-85 attorneys."

      You mean Social Security disability?

      Delete
    4. You can just hang out at the local major ODAR and pick up non-reps. They have upcoming hearings and generally the ALJs like to have them represented by somebody.

      I would also recommend working for someone like Charlie Hall if you are intelligent and organized. He's got a solid system, however you will need to really, really work and travel, but his system is solid.

      Note: I don't work for him, nor would I work for him because his style isn't mine; I just have a significant amount of respect for him and the way in which he does things. You either like him or don't like him.

      Delete
    5. 8:26, congratulations on (finally) getting that real law job. And thank you for your useful and interesting post.

      Delete
    6. You should make a petition like the Duke Law one and send it to all the students and alumni at your school:

      http://dukelawpetition.blogspot.com/2013/01/duke-law-tuition-petition.html

      Delete
  17. As Rawls would say on The Wire "Fuck your falling chips." The LSs are doing just that.

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  18. Lawprof,

    I suspect we're seeing the Herbalife/Avon/Tupperware business model creep into law schools. Where it's done legally, this is known as "multitier marketing." Where it is not done legally, it is known as a Ponzi scheme. "Students, you'll get a large 75% 'scholarship' off our outrageously expensive tuition if you successfully recruit 3 new students to dear Alma Mater. They too can qualify for this benefit."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is such a good idea that I'm tempted to delete your comment.

      Delete
    2. Ha! Thanks. That's when we'll know LS is a scam. When it fully embraces the well-trodden scams.

      Maybe the bait and switch will be second. Students, if you come, we will make it possible for you to get an MA in Law and an MBA. The fine print requiring additional money, time, and independent admission to other schools won't be disclosed until after they enroll in the JD.

      Delete
    3. A successful example already exists.

      From wikipedia:

      Nouveau Riche is a multi-level marketing company and a non-accredited[1] vocational school specializing in real estate investing. Class topics range from introductory real estate investing to advanced techniques such as creative real estate investing techniques including wholesaling, multi-units, and short sales; examples of course titles are "Fix & Flip" and "Creative Financing."[2]

      ---

      I don't know what the current deal is, but the deal a few years ago was that after you signed up two people to attend the school, with the third and each succeeding person, you got 50% of that person's tuition refunded to you.

      Delete
    4. Again, law school is just another business. Shady practices from other domains are applicable to the law-school racket as well.

      Before long we'll have Carbolic Law School. "Buy a seat in our class and use it as directed for three years. If you don't get a job, we'll pay you £100."

      Delete
    5. This was an interesting report I read a while ago, about the similarities between Amway and Organized Crime.

      www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Amway/blakey_report.pdf

      Delete
  19. Cold calling?! Are they throwing in encyclopedias or Cutco knives with that?

    Christ, the mid-90s called. They want their shameless desperate business tactic back.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This guy really effed the pooch...January 12, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    Gotta love this one on TLS from the poster named TripTrip:

    "I got a call from someone who said her name was Jessica Sovahn who wanted to interview me right there, on the spot. I hung up before she could tell me what school though."

    Ahem. Jessica Soban is dean of admissions for HLS.

    Ooops.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was trolling you.

      Delete
    2. you dun goof'd

      Delete
  21. Relevant materials on tenure and layoffs - cost cutting:

    http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/policydocs/contents/1940statement.htm

    http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/files/aaup1958statementonproceduralstandardsinfacultydismissalproceedings.pdf

    http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/files/aauprecommendedinstitutionalrules.pdf

    http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/files/aaupstatementonproceduralstandardsintherenewalornonrenewaloffacultyappointments.pdf

    http://www.nea.org/assets/img/PubAlmanac/ALM_08_05.pdf

    Karr v. Board of Trustees of Michigan State University, 119 Mich. App. 1, 325 N.W.2d 605 (Mich. Ct. App. 1982)

    http://www.ccc-aaup.org/union_docs/contract/article08.htm

    From IOWA a sample of a LIFO type set of rules

    http://www.uni.edu/vpaa/99-01facultycontract/five/index.html

    California State

    http://www.calstate.edu/laborrel/contracts_html/cfa_contract/article38.shtml


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tenure means nothing.

      6th Circuit Rules Tenure Didn’t Protect Fired Cooley Law Prof, Cites One-Year Contract Term

      "While Branham may have had 'tenure' in the sense that she had academic freedom, and that she and Cooley generally expected that they would enter into a new employment contact in subsequent years, nothing in her employment contract, or the documents incorporated by reference therein, provides for a term of employment greater than one year," the appeals court said in its opinion (PDF).

      http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/6th_circuit_rules_tenure_didnt_protect_fired_cooley_law_prof_cites_one-year/

      Delete
    2. Different circumstances - Cooley explicitly hires year-to-year

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    3. All circumstances are different in the sense that professors from different schools have different contracts.

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    4. Most schools follow AAUP or AALS - Cooley is unusual

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  22. We were just out test driving a car for my wife and the salesman wanted a "good number to follow up with you". We politely declined.

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    Replies
    1. What kind of car were you looking for?

      Delete
  23. This is not legal advice, but some information on private causes of action available to you that may apply in circumstances where calls are unsolicited - you have not applied, but your name is on some list, and some school calls you. Note that schools may have gotten the right to call via consent given when you applied for some third-party product, such as the LSAT.

    You might want to consult a lawyer.

    Probably the easiest way pursue illegal telemarketers is to sue them in small claims court. Many states have similar statutes.

    The relevant Federal statute is 47 U.S.C. 227 and the regulations in 47 CFR 64.1200, both of which you can find at http://www.tcpalaw.com/

    That law makes automated telephone soliciations illegal, and gives citizens a private right to action to sue for statutory damages. Each violation of the statute entitles you to $500, which can be trebled at the judge's discretion if the violation can be shown to be "willful and/or knowing," which it almost always is. A single call can contain multiple violations--e.g., 1) the call itself, 2) the failure for the caller to properly identify itself, 3) the blocking of caller ID information. Thus, it is sometimes possible to sue for a single call for $4,500 or more.

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    Replies
    1. I would be curious where the schools get the phone numbers. Do the LSAT folks actually give this info out to all the schools? Does maybe an LSAT prep course do it? Do they let people opt out of gving the info to third parties?

      Delete
    2. Most people check the box that allows LSAC to share their information with schools.

      Delete
    3. Law schools pay LSAC for names of students who checked the box. Schools pay a base fee plus a per name fee.

      Delete
    4. Funny to think that Columbia paid for the privilege of offering me a fee waiver.

      Delete
  24. Did any of you see that Prof Diamond had a recent posting were he laments the danger of changing the current system, that is the danger of changing to Professors. He just sums up soooo perfect the gist of the scam. I understand we need academia in the law, but do we need it at Santa Clara? Or at Cooley? These schools should not exist.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Professor Newton has a new law review that is up on the scam.

    "The Ninety-Five Theses: Systemic Reforms of American Legal Education and Licensure"

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1994189

    Professor Newton taught my crim pro class and I must say he just exemplifies for me the ideal of what a defense attorney should be. He is an intellectual that has fought in the trenches for years for his clients rights. Those of us inside the scam should be very pleased to have such a talented attorney taking our fight to the throat of the Professorate class.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And so humble! Names his SSRN upload after Luther's little work in Wittenberg.

      Delete
    2. if you read the paper youll see why the name is good.

      Delete
    3. I like this line: "Every major decision made by a law school should reflect a genuine fiduciary commitment to their students..."

      The law schools don't want their relationship with students to be even remotely characterized as fiduciary. If it were, they wouldn't be able to lie to them.

      Delete
    4. its hard for schools to adopt that fiduciary relationship with the students because it inherently conflicts with the fiduciary relationship with the profs and admins.

      Delete
    5. The relationship with professors and administrators is one of employment; it's not a fiduciary relationship.

      Delete
    6. you sure about that? sure seems like everything is meant to benefit law profs.

      Delete
  26. I'm curious LawProf what's so demeaning about trying cases in court? I mean, isn't this what lawyers do? Plumbers go to trade school to crawl under sinks and repair pipes. Mechanics go to trade school to put cars on lifts and fix them. And lawyers go to school to try cases.

    What exactly is so pathetic about the scene you witnessed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where did he label trying cases in court generally demeaning or pathetic?

      Did I miss something in his post?

      Delete
    2. Agree with 11:12.

      Sounds unglamorous but not pathetic.

      I can only imagine biglaw associates going through the same drivel. But in nicer offices.

      Delete
    3. Legitimate question, if I am registered on the "Do Not Call Registry" and I get a solicitation call from a law school, can I file a complaint with the FTC? Will the FTC have jurisdiction over the law schools? For consumer rights lawyers out there, do I have any legal recourse for receiving these harassing phone calls which are as just as annoying as the Obama robo calls I was getting 5x a day in the days prior to the general elections?

      Delete
    4. There are exceptions for political, religious, and charitable organizations. I think that there shouldn't be, and I'd never give my vote/soul/money to any organization that had the fucking gall to invade my home with a telephonic solicitation.

      Delete
    5. "Legitimate question, if I am registered on the "Do Not Call Registry" and I get a solicitation call from a law school, can I file a complaint with the FTC? "

      Legitimate answer, no. Legitimate question, how effin' stupid are you, seriously?

      You're a lawyer and are unable to learn for yourself the most fundamental of information in this regard?

      Grow the Eff Up.

      Take charge of your own life.

      Delete
    6. "I'm curious LawProf what's so demeaning about trying cases in court?"

      Nothing demeaning in general about trying cases in court. There's something demeaning about being middle-aged, not making a lot of money, and trying a misdemeanor DV Harassment case that literally NOBODY cares about except maybe the alleged "victim."

      When I read this I thought it was such a GREAT example of our noble "profession." Even if you "win" the law school lottery by getting something like a DA job, you still lose.

      Delete
  27. what is a diversity suit? I'm familiar with it as a civ pro term, but not as a fashion term

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably means nonmatching jacket and pants. Think dark slacks and light sport jacket. Profs are notorious for this. haha

      Delete
    2. A suit, by definition, consists of garments cut from the same cloth.

      Delete
  28. How long before the commodes toss in some free Red Lobster coupons or a set of Chicago Cutlery steak knives, just to get some interest from people who have not applied to law school?!

    Hell, perhaps the law school sewer rats will eventually rely on boiler room scammers, to make their sales pitches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 2nd prize is a set of steak knives. 3rd prize is, you're fired.

      Oh, do I have your attention now?

      Delete
  29. 11:06,

    With regards to plumbers and mechanics:

    Yes they go to school to fix sinks and fix cars, respectively of course. But trade schools teach people how to fix sinks, and cars. What they DON'T teach--I am assuming here--is WHY one should fix a sink or car; nor do they try to educe from students their thoughts on metaphysics or philosophy or a million other things that have little or no bearing on actually practicing the craft. AND, one does not have to take on life-altering debt to go to plumber/mechanic school. AND, last I checked, trade schools don't last three years. And, teachers at trade schools don't get paid six figure salaries.

    AND, the employment outlook is much better for plumbers: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/plumbers-pipefitters-and-steamfitters.htm

    AND, the employment outlook is much better for mechanics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/plumbers-pipefitters-and-steamfitters.htm


    And did I mention that both of these education routes cost slightly less? Other than that, the analogy holds up. And, Lawprof states: "At least they have jobs," Implying that these people are likely doing better than many (most?) other law grads.

    I don't want to speak on Lawprof's behalf, but I don't think he was saying that either attorney was pathetic. The focus of this whole movement is more on law schools--not the profession. Certainly, the profession has many problems, but many of these are attributable to the glut of new attorneys in the market, poorly trained attorneys generally, and too much debt of practitioners--all of which are attributable to law schools primarily.

    The problem with this picture is that, if the defense attorney is the average new law grad, underneath hisnew JCPenny suit is 6 figures of non-dischargeable, high interest rate debt. If the client was court-appointed, he is lucky to make $250-$300 for the ENTIRE case (including trial). Been there, most Michigan district courts (misdemeanor trial courts) cap at $250 for misdemeanor court-appointed cases. Even if he was retained, still not making much. And if he is the average new grad, he has NO idea how to try a case to a jury (or to a judge). Nor does he have any idea how to prepare to do this. THIS is what is pathetic. The attorney is brave, probably still idealistic, and is scared shitless, likely because he cares about his client.

    And the prosecutor is probably a very good attorney. But he probably has kids, wife, etc., trying to make a living on 55k a year.

    The POINT? (1) law school does a terrible job training attorneys and (2) is unnecessarily expensive.

    "Lawyers go to law school to try cases." Really, you're right. Most want to be Atticus Finch. But they aren't taught how to try cases--and that is the law school's fault. And right now, because of the dearth of legal jobs, most never will try a case, or even be lawyers for that matter. The point is that these people are the "winners" of new law grads, and this is not rosy picture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 11:06 anon here. Agree mostly with what you said. Also amazed that court appointed lawyers make as much as they do in Michigan. I did the math on a new system in my state that pays lawyers to handle misdemeanors for indigent clients in bulk, and it averages at $85 a case. This is almost certainly unconstitutional, but that's for another blog...

      I know many PDs in my area who have taken on second jobs - waiters, bartenders, etc. - to make ends meet. These are grads of our flagship top 30 state school.

      Delete
    2. That's rough. Some courts here have contract attorneys that do all of the misdemeanors for a certain district court judge. It seems like the pay is always 1k/month. Not sure how many cases they take on, but I have to assume that it is more than 10 a month (likely a LOT more). So it might come out about the same. And the funny thing: these contracts are FOUGHT over by the local bar. Scary. I guess if you have the contract, it can pretty much cover your operating expenses every month--at least if you are a solo.

      Delete
  30. "The prosecutor was a sad-eyed middle-aged man in an ill-fitting diversity suit, who had a cartoon thought bubble over his head that said, "What am I doing trying misdemeanor harassment cases in city court at 8:30 AM for $53,000 a year?" This being Colorado, he probably went to law school to study environmental law, so he could write Brandeis briefs about polar bears for the Sierra Club."

    Professor Campos, I've been meaning to write this for a while. Some of your posts take on a very condescending, almost insulting tone at times, an example of which is above.

    I for one am very glad that you are involved in exposing the law school scam. But can you try not to insult the victims of the scam as you do so? It's fine for us to insult ourselves, but you as a professor and actually part of the scam (whether you like it or not) insulting the very people whose misfortune probably paid your mortgage doesn't come off very well.

    As a black male, I'm also able to give you the following example. I can call my friends (if I so choose) the N word, and it's acceptable because we're all black. White people can't come in from the outside and start calling us Ns, because they aren't black.

    Likewise, we can call each other losers here in the comments of this blog and elsewhere and throw around insults about shitlaw jobs and other failures because we're all victims of this massive scam. You, being a professor, should probably refrain from tossing around insults directed towards failed lawyers because you're not one of us. You're on our side, but you're not a victim of this scam.

    I don't know if that makes much sense. To put it as simply as possible, you sound like a typical law professor when you insult the victims of the scam. You're better than that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's the N word?

      Delete
    2. Point taken.

      I didn't intend to come across as condescending or insulting. I admire people who work in public law. I think it's a disgrace that DAs and PDs all over the country (and certainly in Colorado) are expected to handle absurdly high case loads while often being paid salaries that leave them struggling to maintain a middle class lifestyle, especially given the crushing debt so many recent graduates incur.

      And it's also a disgrace, as 11:59 points out, that we expect our graduates, whether in public law or small law, to handle trials without giving them anything like the tools they need to do so (What percentage of tenure track law professors, I wonder, have ever actually been primarily responsible for a piece of litigation all the way through a jury trial? My guess is that the percentage would be pretty shocking).

      Anyway tone counts, and I appreciate the reminder.

      Delete
    3. I worry that PC's use of the term "diversity suit" was a backhanded slap at equal opportunity, too. But then, I worry about a lot of pointless stuff.

      Delete
    4. LawProf - Thanks. I appreciate that. Anon 11:06 am - especially as someone who routinely tries misdemeanor DV cases all the way up to robberies and sex offenses. It's pathetic how poorly I've been trained, and how much I paid for the privilege.

      Delete
    5. It's me, 12:26. LawProf, just the fact that you responded shows that you're a stand up dude. And responsed in a civil manner shows that you're even more of a stand up dude than that. Maybe some other comment addicts can show the same civility once in a while. It makes us all look good.

      Keep doing what you're doing. 99.9% of the time, you're on the money.

      Delete
    6. @12:26, good points, all. Including your follow-up response, too.

      Delete
    7. I really don’t think LawProf was being condescending or insulting at all. He was merely pointing out the reality of the situation. Many students attend law schools with delusions of practicing environmental law, sports law, corporate law, or even space law, but chances are it will never happen. Rather, if they’re lucky, they’ll be end up dealing with the dregs of society, the people most other people try their hardest to avoid, on a daily basis. Then, one day, they’ll sit back and ask themselves, “why.”

      Delete
    8. I agree with 7:38pm.

      Delete
    9. Hey 12:26

      They are not niggars they are mondays.

      Delete
    10. "I really don’t think LawProf was being condescending or insulting at all. He was merely pointing out the reality of the situation." Agree totally.

      Come to law school boys and girls! For the low low cost of attendance of $200,000; you can work as a city prosecutor making $53k per year. Plus Benefits!!! You can put on a JC Penny's suit, get to court at 8 a.m., and try a pointless case (MM DV Harrassment) all day long!!! And if you bring back a conviction, you'll win the grand prize of returning phone calls from 30 crazy victims and police officers who called you while you were in trial! Note: You still win the grand prize if you lose the trial.

      The vast majority of "winners" from law school who get a legal job at graduation still lose. This story needs to be told, and I'm glad LawProf is doing it.

      Delete
  31. I went to jury duty and sat all morning talking to a cynical old man who had "done it all before" and we watched a bunch of other people get called.

    The rest of us were dismissed for lunch and afer we came back we were all dismissed and given a paper that said we had served and were good for 6 years.

    Once outside, and as I was crossing the polar windswept, massive parking lot to my car, a man pulled up in his car and rolled down his window and asked, with an accent, if he was all done with Jury Duty.

    I laffed. Oh how did I laff. A laugh and a half hour and a half laff. And I told him:

    "Yes! You are done! I am done! We are ALL done!"

    To which he smiled with a bit of uncertainty, and then drove slowly away probably in search of someone else to ask if he was all done with jury duty.

    Later I got a check in the mail for 40 bucks and cashed it at a check cashing place.

    As I was entering and leaving the check cashing place, i squinched up my face so that no one would recognize me.

    I think it worked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Johnny, please stop drinking.

      It's what everyone wants for you.

      Delete
    2. You "squinched up your face so that no one would recognize" you?

      You, sir, are an ANON COWARD. A real manly man would have shown his identification to every living creature within a ten-block radius of that place.

      Did you at least put that $40 toward your student loan debt?

      LOL

      Delete
    3. ^^ Agreed. You sir John Cock Koch are an absolute coward by hiding your idiot stories behind the ANON moniker. Show your face you pussy, and provide your telephone number. If you had any self respect, you would post under your name. In the alternative, please leave this blog. You are not welcome and people do not appreciate your attention-seeking stories that lack any redeeming qualities. You are a horrible writer. Give it up and sniff some paint ... Painter.

      Delete
  32. The problem here is the lack of information 0Ls have about the reality of the legal profession. If you are a public defender in an area where it is not so expensive to live and your salary is modest, you are okay. On the other hand, if you have to live on whole trials that you take for $250 each in New York City, that is not fair. Lawyers can do a few of those as a public service, but cannot live on that amount in New York City. The whole premise of going to law school, if you are paid something less than minimum wage for your services does not work.

    These schools deserve to be cold calling. Honestly, that is what their grads and even grads of the top law schools need to do to survive.

    Problem is that when you are in business and have a few lawyers cold calling you, you are going to listen, maybe even trying to help. When the oversupply of lawyers becomes so great that their calls become as frequent as telemarketers, lawyers are going to be shut out from getting business by cold calling. That is clearly the case today in the New York City area in my practice area. No one will take a cold call. Since it is unethical for a lawyer to cold call a client, I am talking about cold calling other lawyers for work in the area in which I practice. It does not work because everyone in a position to give out business is getting cold called.

    These schools deserve what they get. They are in the same position as the lawyers they turn out now - no customers because there is an oversupply of the product they are selling.

    I hope and hope after having cold called myself when I really needed work and not getting any success that these law schools have as little success as I did in my cold calls.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "On the other hand, if you have to live on whole trials that you take for $250 each in New York City, that is not fair."

      Fair? Someone points a gun at your head and makes you live in New York City?

      Delete
    2. "Fair? Someone points a gun at your head and makes you live in New York City?"

      They have a very tough welcome to the city committee.

      Delete
    3. Given how hard jobs are to come by today, believe it or not, a married couple where one person has a steady job may not want to move to another area of the country.

      Yes in the New York area, it is very expensive to live. It is a big area, however, going into Long Island, New Jersey, Westchester Country and Connecticut.

      There should be a job in this wide area for lawyers who have expertise and are trained in large law firms if the profession had a balance of supply and demand. The balance is not there because there is oversupply right out of law school and because of up or out policies and similar policies in a high number of in house positions, creating a huge pool of unemployed post-Biglaw attorneys in each practice area.

      It is not feasible for one spouse to commute to another city if the other works in NY City. People may have assistance with child care and other matters in New York, if it is their hometown, like parents or relatives that you do not have if you move clear across the country or even to Philadephia.

      The practicality is that it is very hard for a married couple in this economy to both find jobs in another city. If your spouse works in New York City and your family network is in New York City, the idea of the lawyer spouse taking a job in Nebraska and the other spouse giving up a paying job for the lawyer spouse may not be a good one. Given how short a time many legal jobs last today, moving to Nebraska or whatever part of the country the lawyer spouse can get any legal job in, may be a downright bad idea.

      If you are 25 and single you can move. If you are 40, have an underwater house, a spouse with a job and family to help with child care, it is not practical to move out of NY City.

      Delete
  33. it's time for those in hiring positions to say NO F***ing way to these Foreign LLM students. Let's say I wanted to work in good 'ole Paris (assuming my French was decent, which it is not). Do you really think I, as an American attorney, would be given such carte blanche to just traipse into the French legal system? Screw these Internationalists. And do not, under any circumstances hire any foreigners. The ABA is not on your side. It's looking out for (i) academia (getting rich pumping out an oversupply of students using federal dollars), (ii) big law firms (a steady supply of labor that is increasingly willing to accept lower wages, more hours and never ending litany of more bullshit), and (iii) bankers. Enough of this bullshit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to statistics published by the French Ministry of Justice, foreign-admitted lawyers made up roughly 3.5% of lawyers practicing in France. There are no solid statistics for foreign lawyers practicing in the US, but the figure has been estimated at around 2% in studies dealing with overall lawyer demographics.

      Basically, you're just hating on foreigners for no reason.

      Delete
  34. 108th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  35. $53K is beyond rich to this attorney. In my practice in 2012, I netted a mere $28K after expenses, taxes.

    I would never admit this to a single soul besides my wife though. A lot of my friends in the community think I am rich - if they only knew :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know one attorney who netted $3k last year after modest expenses (no staff). His wife is a deputy court clerk making $65k. Wife has BA in social work.

      Delete
    2. finished near the top of my class in 2008. Never even got an interview, despite my patent agent experience. Went solo for 2 years in my large metro area in the Sun Belt. Net for both years, total, was about $12,000.

      Delete
  36. Lawprof: maybe you could post explaining to people that the huge drop in high scorers going to law school is NOT a reason to celebrate your improved chances.

    I have yet to see anyone say: hmmm huge drop in applicants and test takers, maybe I should not go either .
    There are people who actually are afraid applications will go back up next year.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=201994

      Delete
  37. General Education Development (GED) tests are given to individuals who were not able to complete high school but would like to get a diploma that is equivalent to a high school diploma. Passing GED will give them a better chance of employment, as well as give them the opportunity to continue their college education without having to take high school. Test-takers may take advantage of free GED practice tests to help them prepare for the actual examination.

    ged books 2011

    ReplyDelete
  38. pretty well written front page article on the pig that is john o'brien at new england law. some quotes from campos and tamanaha. the word is slowly getting out...

    ReplyDelete
  39. sorry, forgot url

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2013/01/12/law-school-dean-salary-may-nation-highest/L1pjKel7hGWgPKtT21CfSO/story.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of the defences are pretty silly. O'Brien is earning 3 times the median for law school deans and more than any other dean by a substantial margin. NESL is a low ranked school - why should O'Brien make more than any other law school dean - why not the same amount as say the dean of Harvard - or Yale - or Chicago? Even if he is a great dean - is any other school going to offer more for his services? Can he really be that much better than the deans of the T-14 all of whom make less than him (if still eye-popping sums.) Moreover, O'Brien's remuneration has been raising eyebrows for several years - this is not a one off.

      The real suspicion is that this is the sort of senior management looting of an organisation you see just before it goes bust.

      Delete
    2. Top positions in large corporations—and quasi-corporate entities such as universities—are not competitive; they're filled through cronyism. Accordingly, the associated salaries and benefits typically run unnecessarily high.

      It would be a simple matter to find someone more capable than O'Brien to take that job for a tenth of the salary. So why doesn't that happen? Because, again, that job was going to O'Brien coûte que coûte.

      Delete
  40. I think that these law school deans just agree with this new study that money does buy happiness:

    Economists in recent decades have turned their attention to data that asks people how happy or satisfied they are with their lives. Much of the early research concluded that the role of income in determining well-being was limited, and that only income relative to others was related to well-being. In this paper, we review the evidence to assess the importance of absolute and relative income in determining well-being. Our research suggests that absolute income plays a major role in determining well-being and that national comparisons offer little evidence to support theories of relative income. We find that well-being rises with income, whether we compare people in a single country and year, whether we look across countries, or whether we look at economic growth for a given country. Through these comparisons we show that richer people report higher well-being than poorer people; that people in richer countries, on average, experience greater well-being than people in poorer countries; and that economic growth and growth in well-being are clearly related. Moreover, the data show no evidence for a satiation point above which income and well-being are no longer related.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23231724

    ReplyDelete
  41. "So You Want To Go To Law School?"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMvARy0lBLE

    ReplyDelete
  42. Pay for state/local prosecutors and public defenders varies, of course, but most start in the mid five figures and top out at upper five figures. Not much compared to biglaw salaries. On the other hand the hours are usually much better, the benefits (esp retirement) are good, and one is eligible for IBR 10 year plan. There is no pressure to bring in business because you have all the cases you can handle. Also do not have to deal with firm politics--if you show up and do your job and get along with people that is enough. And there is the fact that you are doing something tangible to help people.

    It is not a bad deal if your student loans are not too high, and you don't have kids to support. Given the low turnover rates in these jobs most of the people holding them must be somewhat satisfied.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Also [you] do not have to deal with firm politics."

      Are you kidding? Office politics is the worst part of a DA job. Turnover rates are high in most offices. Of course there are exceptions...

      Delete
  43. The most disturbing thing is that a person who would say "talk about awk" was even considered worthy to attend any law school.

    Truly, law schools are in deep trouble.

    ReplyDelete
  44. "The prosecutor was a sad-eyed middle-aged man in an ill-fitting diversity suit, who had a cartoon thought bubble over his head that said, "What am I doing trying misdemeanor harassment cases in city court at 8:30 AM for $53,000 a year?""

    And this guy has a job most lawyers would kill for.

    ReplyDelete
  45. That job sounds entertaining.

    It's looks like it would be kind of fun once you figure out the clientelle and actually know what's going on.

    ReplyDelete
  46. How do law schools define "application?" Is there a chance these schools consider some or all of these phone calls "applications" to inflate their reporting?

    ReplyDelete

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