Sunday, January 20, 2013

What's American's strategy?

 Updated below

American University is an interesting test case for how law schools are going to handle the ongoing collapse of applicants.  Last year AU managed to reel in its normal nearly-500 member class by slashing the median LSAT of matrics from 162 (86th percentile) to 159 (77th).

American is the kind of school that no rational person who isn't either a member of idle rich, or already exceptionally well connected in the legal world, or both, would consider attending with anything less than a full tuition scholarship.  (A commenter makes the plausible suggestion that, given the cost of living in DC, the opportunity cost incurred, and the abysmal employment prospects, AU would not at present be a good decision for the typical applicant even with a full tuition scholarship.)   It currently combines an astronomical cost of attendance -- $70K per year, leading to an estimated $250K in debt if fully debt-financed -- with appalling employment numbers: 65% of the 2011 class didn't have a legal job nine months after graduation, and less than one in ten grads gets either a well-paying job or a federal clerkship.

So what's the school doing to deal with this unpleasant combination of factors? Apparently, the answer isn't "reduce real tuition by giving out lots of 'scholarships.'"  Instead the school seems to be banking on a combination of the sunk cost fallacy and slashing admissions standards even further.

TLS features threads for applicants and admits to individual schools, and the one for AU reveals that the school is offering modest one-year non-renewable "scholarships" for people who have what are quite good admissions numbers relative to AU's current standards.

For example one admit was offered $20K toward the first year cost of attendance (and nothing else) despite having an LSAT far above the school's 75th percentile, and a GPA above the 25th percentile.  In other words, he's being offered a reduction in COA from about $220K (assuming COL increases in tuition which is optimistic) to $200K, despite having what are on balance better numbers than last year's average matric.

Another admit was offered just $10K for one year despite being above the 75th percentile for last year's admits in terms of both LSAT score and GPA.  These outcomes seem to be typical, given what information can be garnered from the thread.

What's going on here?  The logic behind offering one-year "scholarships" is pretty self-evident: once people have spent a year in law school they tend to find it very difficult to quit, even when quitting is obviously the smart move, because a combination of the sunk cost fallacy and the (related) social pressure not to be a "quitter."  (I've seen some anecdotal evidence that this may be changing, with 3Ls and 2Ls encouraging 1Ls to drop out if their grades aren't at at least X percent of the class after the first year, or even the first semester. It will be interesting to see how many non-academic dropouts schools endure this year).

But the sunk cost fallacy can only take an institution of higher learning so far. Given the evident unwillingness of American to actually cut real tuition in any serious way for well-qualified applicants, it seems probable that the school plans to cut admissions standards as much as it needs to in order to ensure that a larger percentage of this coming fall's 500 new 1Ls will be paying the sticker COA.  How deep those cuts will have to be this year remains to be seen, but I expect we'll be looking at some pretty startling LSAT and GPA medians for the entering class of 2013, at American and quite a few other places as well.

Update:

A current 3L at American writes:

AU rides the US NEWS rankings scam and tricks many good people who are interested in human rights. So if you are a person who wants to go to a t1 school and be in DC but can't get into GW or Georgetown you go to AU. If you are interested in human rights, the school makes you believe there is actual opportunity there. Remember debt is all relative to 22 year old 0Ls, and the school fraudulently boast great employment stats. People go into AU as I'm assuming most schools believing they are going to get a job and be able to manage more then fine.
In reality, the employment prospects from American are just abysmal, as everyone here knows. Most members of the law review don't have jobs lined up. It is the most depressing place on earth to be at and I can not wait to get away from it. Literally almost every 3L is depressed, and walking around in shame at having been swindled so badly. There is tension in the air at AU, make no mistake, the students are pissed. You can't scam people so badly and not expect them to be livid.

To further drive the "international law scam" the schools Dean is not even a JD. He can also barely speak English and is also barely at the school.

Also as Law Prof knows, the school is running as fast as it can into a new huge facility. The school claims it will not add more students, but we all know that is a lie. ECONOMY AND STUDENTS BE DAMNED. The fact the school is even considering a new facility shows you where its priorities really are, the professoriate class.



137 comments:

  1. "Cooley's my dream school, but I applied to American as my safety."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here you go Paul:

    "But I really want to be in Washington, and even if I don't go to join a big law firm, which I really don't want to do anyway, I can always go work for Congress, or the White House, or a really good nonprofit. As a fallback I'll become a bureaucrat. I mean, the DoD has 800,000 civilian employees so how hard can it be to get one of those jobs?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this kid is selling himself sort. With that AU JD, why not shoot for President?

      Delete
  3. "For example one admit was offered $20K toward the first year cost of attendance (and nothing else) despite having an LSAT far above the school's 75th percentile, and an LSAT above the 25th percentile."

    What?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. edit needed. think it should be GPA somewhere in there...

      Delete
    2. Looks like he took care of it now.

      Delete
  4. There was a girl last year with a stellar GPA who refused to retake. She is paying full sticker at American. She was one of those people who refuse advice and insisted she had to go this year, would do well because she is a good student, etc.

    A month or so after starting school, the lightbulb must have gone off and she posted asking about withdrawing or transferring.

    She was the person who made me realize that you can't save everyone

    ReplyDelete
  5. No one should be attending this school.

    Those tiny fake scholarships aren't fooling anyone who has good numbers.

    Although admissions probably understands that the people with high numbers aren't going to attend, so they are making a pretense of an effort . Maybe they will fool a few people, after all people do fall for the Nigerian prince needing money scheme.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't understand the rationale behind this scheme, except to pluck the lowest of the low-hanging fruit on the idiocy tree. How is giving someone $10,000 off a $220,000 bill [less than 5%] going to entice anyone with half a brain to go to American? They could save more money by going to a different school and paying sticker. Assuming full financing, 10-year amortization and, depending on the mix of interest rates, this "scholarship" will knock maybe 100 bucks a month off a $2600 monthly nut.

    As my uncle used to say, if you can't swim, once you're in over your head, you're gonna drown no matter how deep.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What schools fail to realize is that education is a commodity. And with all commodities when the cost goes up demand goes down. This is true for all commodities. There's not a special exception for law degrees. As long of COA law school goes up enrollment will continue to go down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "And with all commodities when the cost goes up demand goes down."

      This is inaccurate with respect to law schools.

      The price has gone up-up-up for the last decade. But demand has only decreased very recently.

      This is because students have been relatively price-insensitive due to the corrupting dual effects of federal loans, availability unquestioned, and the misinformation regarding outcomes, which not coincidentally also only very recently began to be corrected.

      The demand has only decreased with the availability of information, not based on price triggers.

      So, now, I don't know whether you are merely a foolish poster or a law school shill, but I'm hoping you are merely a foolish poster.

      Delete
  8. Serious question: what the hell happened to American? Not so very long ago it was regarded as a fairly solid mid-market school. Hardly Georgetown, but hardly Widener either. Now it appears to be a way station to a quarter million in debt and a job requiring an apron and a nametag.

    RPL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who are you trying to kid? American was a shitty school 20 years ago too. The only difference is that now it is an overly expensive shitty school.

      Delete
    2. AU reminds me a lot like Boston University, which I thankfully had the common sense to transfer out of as an undergrad to a much cheaper state school. Like BU, American caters to the rich, foreigner class, which gives it that "international" aura. Save your money and go elsewhere. I would never consider this crap hole.

      Delete
  9. Say hello to 'Constructive Open Admissions':

    http://american.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not really. Most of the low-cred students on that chart are urms.

      Delete
    2. Compare it with last year's is my point. Just look at the drop in the graphs from 2011 to 2012 to this year...

      Delete
  10. Lawprof:

    I don't think people should attend this school even on a full scholarship. The cost of living is high, most people will take on debt to finance it. The chances of a job are abysmally low.

    Why is it smart to go to school for free tuition if it won't get you a job? Even if your family pays living expenses, a degree from this school will not get you a job.

    I think you should delete your suggestion that a full scholarship is a reason to go.

    If your family is rich and you don't need a job, then I guess a person could just waste that money going to this terrible school. Or if you have a job lined up outside of what school you attend and you can go for no cost, then I guess possibly it might be worth it.

    But outside of a rich family, I don't see why anyone should be recommended to go here. Honestly, retake the LSAT wait a year when applications drop even more and then go to a better school.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The opportunity cost is also high. Indeed, even a full "scholarship" is not good enough. I'd want to see free tuition and a payment of $50k or more.


      Delete
  11. Here's a good reason to attend:

    "Needless to say, I am dying for them to accept me again because I have very specific reasons for wanting to attend - their dual international j.d program that allows me to earn a j.d here and in france (well their equivalent) and essentially practice in both countries!! Very few law schools have such a degree program."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure that probably will help the few French citizens in the applicant pool. But they will never repay the debt- though they can't get student loans as a non-citizen, so if they attend they probably have rich families.

      Delete
    2. French students just buy an LLM and bam, they can practice on both sides of the pond.

      Delete
    3. How many of these connards speak French well enough to be lawyers in France? Probably they think that their half-baked English will serve them well. Or else they just have images of themselves at a café with a view of the Eiffel Tower.

      Delete
    4. Lawyers in France are not exactly overloaded with work, either.

      Delete
  12. American's strategy is to rake in the money, alpha style. What part of law schools are alpha and you're beta losers do you people not understand?

    Things they did:
    1. IBR, basically a blank check from taxpayers.
    2. DOMINATED you losers in court. Rapage.
    3. Huge huge salaries, close to a million in the case of Dean O'Brien.

    Things you did:
    1. Whine like raped bitches on some blog, "waah waah they took my money waah." They took your money because they're WINNERS. You're not. What part of that don't you understand?

    So PLEASE do not express this faux "I don't understand what law schools are doing" bullshit again. You know exactly what they did to you, just like you know exactly what the cool kids did to you in highschool, just like you know what the playground alpha did to you in elementary school.

    In this world, there are winners, and there are losers. There are alphas and there are betas. Law schools are alpha, you're beta.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's this guy's deal? He's a double agent, law school shill with three personalities?

      Delete
    2. Say that to the alphas currently burning in Hell for eternity...

      Delete
    3. "they're WINNERS"

      Right up until the point when they are shot in the head in a parking lot somewhere.

      As you will learn.

      Delete
  13. Visualize this comic:

    A loser nerd gets his ass beat on the playground and has his lunch money taken. He responds with "I don't understand what that alpha bro's strategy was."

    LOL. YOU PEOPLE ARE SUCH LOSERS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not going to delete these comments (for now anyway) because, assuming the poster is WTL/EFLSD, he's a very interesting case of a sort of Stockholm Syndrome -- a 3L with massive debt and no job prospects who is taking the side of his victimizers. I would appreciate it if the poster would contact me, as I would like to interview him (anonymously of course).

      Delete
    2. That's one huge assumption on your part, LawProf. He probably just wants attention. So an "interview" isn't really what the doctor ordered here.

      Delete
    3. You should not remove his or hers comments, although I doubt they are posted by WTLS. (They have a different style than the comments of WTLS.)

      Firstly, s/he is continuously admitting that the law skools are scaming the students. Which is the best evidence one can get. Always use in your brief the evidence submitted by the opposite party.

      Secondly, no one in 2013 can claim s/he has been scamed by a law skool. The information about perils of getting a law degree and entering the law "profession" is all over the Internet. Students with poly "science", English literature, history, anthropology and other useless degrees are by definition losers with no abilities and/or talents of any kind. If they purchase yet another degree in humanities for $250,000.00 they have no one to blame but themselves.

      Losers and fools who willingly disregard the information you are transmitting in this blog day in and day out must be separated from their money for life.

      Delete
    4. Ahhhh ... the World Traveling Law Student. I remember that idiot. He used to brag about attending Western New England School of Law on Nando's site.

      Delete
    5. There's a Western New England School of Law? I've never even thought of New England in terms of east and west, only in terms of north and south.

      Next thing you know there will be an East-by-East-Southeastern New England Law School. With a vertical bar in its name.

      Delete
    6. LawProf,

      I wouldn't contact or interview this guy. He/she is a troll. The motivation is just to get a rise out of people. The best course is to ignore or delete these comments. They add nothing to the conversation. An analogy would be if we were discussing income inequality and I responded "Poor losers...you've been punked by rich guys who own the world and control the capital and taxation!"

      Delete
  14. When I applied to law schools over 20 years ago, AU was considered to be a very solid school. Seems it has gone down hill. 500 people in a class is far too many when you are the 3rd or 4th best school in town.

    ReplyDelete
  15. There really are only two strategies that law schools can adopt over the next few years, while they adjust to the new environment and pray for a rise in applicants that hopefully never materializes:

    1. Lower admissions standards to virtual zero, and justify themselves with contemptible PC-tinged prattle about how they are diversifying and democratizing the academy and the profession. (American, Santa Clara)

    2. Try to maintain their standards and their elite self-image by reducing class size and ramping up their merit scholarship programs. (UC Hastings)

    From a big picture perspective, it is hard to say which is better. #2 is obviously more honorable. Yet the schools that pick #2 might ultimately hurt more bright kids by indefinitely maintaining their trappy characteristics, whereas those that choose #1 will have helpfully signaled their true nature to college kids and influencers, in essence erecting giant flashing neon signs that say: SCAM!

    dybbuk

    ReplyDelete
  16. The bar exam is the only thing that would stop most law schools from an open admissions type policy. Here ABA Standards help in that a school with a bar pass rate below the state average for three years is in serious accreditation trouble.

    Of course, US News also weighs bar pass percentage heavily in rankings, so a school with an open admissions policy can almost be certain to drop there, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree state bars can and should do a lot to prevent brain drain in the profession, but most pass rates are increasing.

      http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files/Statistics/2011Statistics.pdf

      Delete
    2. I'm willing to bet that a consortium of toilet-deans will force the ABA, the bar associations, or both to lower their standards in very short order.

      Delete
  17. current WCL 3L.

    AU rides the US NEWS rankings scam and tricks many good people who are interested in human rights. So if you are a person who wants to go to a t1 school and be in DC but can't get into GW or Georgetown you go to AU. If you are interested in human rights, the school makes you believe there is actual opportunity there. Remember debt is all relative to 22 year old 0Ls, and the school fraudulently boast great employment stats. People go into AU as I'm assuming most schools believing they are going to get a job and be able to manage more then fine.

    In reality, the employment prospects from American are just abysmal, as everyone here knows. Most members of the law review don't have jobs lined up. It is the most depressing place on earth to be at and I can not wait to get away from it. Literally almost every 3L is depressed, and walking around in shame at having been swindled so badly. There is tension in the air at AU, make no mistake, the students are pissed. You can't scam people so badly and not expect them to be livid.

    To further drive the "international law scam" the schools Dean is not even a JD. He can also barely speak English and is also barely at the school.

    Also as Law Prof knows, the school is running as fast as it can into a new huge facility. The school claims it will not add more students, but we all know that is a lie. ECONOMY AND STUDENTS BE DAMNED. The fact the school is even considering a new facility shows you where its priorities really are, the professorate class.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I wonder if they are getting burned by transfers, and instead of making renewable scholarships are then going to use that money for retention scholarships in a year. That is, after a year, the students at greatest risk of being poached by Georgetown are not those with the best undergrad GPA or LSAT score, but those who have the best law school GPA.

    ReplyDelete
  19. O hell yea they. Nail on the head. I know for fact that more then 10 rising 2L law review members transferred to Georgetown.

    ReplyDelete
  20. How fast does the ABA take action?

    If this trouble takes affect only (say) 10 years from now, long after it's clear that the miserable bar pass rate won't improve, then the choice is clear - drop standards, fill seat, raise professor/dean salaries, and scam while the scamming is good.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "I expect we'll be looking at some pretty startling LSAT and GPA medians for the entering class of 2013, at American and quite a few other places as well."

    LawProf, you are waaaaaay too optimistic. You are assuming that for once law schools are going to be honest in reporting their LSAT and GPA medians. Haven't the last few years taught you anything?

    I wouldn't be surprised if the data reported resembles the data of years past, with no change whatsoever. And when people bring this to the public's attention, the argument will be, "but the grads/students should have known that such data was false - after all, it's been reported for quite some time that we are not the most honest record keepers!"



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How correlated are GPA/LSAT scores with bar passage rates?

      Delete
    2. There is a very strong correlation.

      Delete
    3. If there's a strong correlation then BL1Y (or somebody) can do a statistical analysis and track this for everybody in the past and going forward.

      We should be able to measure the bezzle and see what happens.

      I'm not sure what I think of denninger, but I like this explanation:

      "In short The Bezzle is "the lie" that is always present in business of "the bezzle".

      The truth is always some degree of lying in business transactions - always has been, always will be. And so long as The Bezzle doesn't become the underlying theme in business, it simply bankrupts the people who try to run it when they get discovered.

      But when The Bezzle becomes the underlying premise and basis for business transactions that entire segment of the market is doomed.

      Eventually the embezzled discover the fraud, and they get angry that the embezzlers stole their money. They revolt in whatever way they are able - if there is no law that gives them recourse and no government support for outing the bad actors they either turn to lawless actions or simply withdraw from the marketplace, refusing to continue to be a victim of someone else's grand scheme of theft."

      http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=2137943

      Delete
  22. AUs strategy is just to get while the getting is good. Nando has a great break down of what the school pays the professorate, and its just insane. The Dean makes an ungodly amount too. The school literally does not give a damn about the students. How do we know this? well it takes 4 times as many students then can get jobs, that says it all. This school exist so some IVY league profs can write nonsense and make bank.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Occam's Razor. The conclusion that requires the fewest assumptions is usually correct. Thus in my opinion AU staff comes in two varieties: 1. Deluded themselves, by Anchoring, Confirmation Bias and Group Think. 2. Deluding others, staff and students. These are the "Winners" we see all over the US economy, from vastly over compensated CEOs; "Heads I win, Tails you lose" Too Big To Fail Bankers, sucking the taxpayers dry; Rating Agencies slapping AAA on BS mortgage backed "Securities"; etc. One feels more sympathy for high school graduates wading thru the propaganda; but college grads, applying to law school, should know better, if not, that's a sad commentary on the learning underlying the undergrad degree.

    ReplyDelete
  24. When I applied 20 years ago, AU seemed like an expensive place to get a JD, without any real benefit versus George Mason, where I ultimately went. Mason's tuition was $5,000/year; AU's was 3x that. Mason was tougher to get into, smaller, and was on the ascent.

    Today, AU makes even less sense at $45,000 a year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The important thing is that you can tell your parents that you are "going to law school" and thereby excuse yourself from working for another three years.

      Delete
  25. AU's Strategy:

    1. Enroll Students. Get Money.
    2. See #1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 3. If students graduate and complain about not getting jobs, ignore unemployed alumni.

      Delete
    2. I don't think they get to 3.

      It probably just confuses them since it has nothing to do with 1.

      What does law school have to do with employment, after all? It's of value in and of itself!

      Delete
    3. A lot of other law schools probably have a similar strategy.

      Delete
  26. Upthread someone suggests, "If more experienced/older attorneys joined the discussion, there would be enhanced credibility .... I think sometimes the movement is perceived as a bunch of "entitled" whippersnappers whining ....."


    I think you get few older/experienced attorney comments on here because when one of us has the temerity to post, even in support, most of the young whining whippersnappers on here say "F-off, boomer, you had your chance, now go crawl in a hole and die".

    Thus, many of us who might have something to say/contribute, decide not too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 11:52,

      Most older practitioners should have seen this coming. A lot of them complain about younger attorneys undercutting them, stealing clients, fucking up their cases, etc.

      If more older practitioners wrote a letter to the state bar, the ABA or done just a little bit to rectify the situation, then we might have seen change a long time ago. But it's easier to instead blame the recent grads and say such clever talking points like "You're entitled" or "You should have done your due diligence".

      And while the generational fight continues, the client suffers because they do not get low cost legal services.

      It's not too late. Perhaps if the veterans (particularly the more outspoken ones) would help solve the problem instead of blaming the students and putting their heads in the sand, we can one day stop this bullshit from continuing.



      Delete
    2. Agree, with qualification.

      NYU Law, mid 1970s, age 61. Mediocre grades back then, but have done well enough, as a solo, with a highly specialized practice in which I am well-regarded.

      I hold back from time-travel comment because I did not face what law grads are facing these days. I've had plenty of my own challenges in life; it has been far from a gravy train, financially or personally. We all deal with what's put in front of us.

      Nonetheless, I am genuinely sorry that the profession has gotten as screwed up as it has. In the mid 70s, getting mediocre grades from a top school still got me interviews, albeit not with BigLaw. I went from there to in house with what was then a Fortune 10 company and did well until let go in 1990 (cf. those pesky personal challenges.)

      And: student loan could be discharged in BK. Not that anyone really needed it: tuition was, very roughly, less than $4,000 per year. People made by with grants, or limited loans, and generally paid them off within a few years of graduation.

      What's been an enormous eye-opener for me was coming on the scamblogs a year or two ago and realizing that--even for me--the law schools were selling a bill of goods.

      I mean: in the 80s, and the 90s, and the 2000s, while I was building my own practice and reputation, I heard anecdotally how NYU (and other schools supposedly less prestigious than it) had 99.9% employment, and average/median salaries of gazillions, and thought that if I'd only come along a couple decades later, I'd be in Fat City.

      On balance, I'm pretty happy with the way things turned out in the law for me-not ecstatic, not arrogant, but happy enough. I got as much as I reasonably could have hoped for, as far as money and intellectual stimulation. I think far fewer law grads today can look forward to the same result.

      Delete
    3. 1248 still here.

      In my penultimate paragraph, I mentioned the employment rates and salaries bandied around by law schools. Did I try to dig hard into them, to see if I was getting the straight story?

      Of course not. It had no direct bearing on my life. But the critical thing is this: even if it had, I wouldn't have thought to question those numbers. Because law schools, and deans, and professors, had a quasi-fiduciary obligation to their students, in my mind. They wouldn't lie, would they? They wouldn't engage in selective disclosure so as to dramatically mislead people, would they?

      I guess they would, and did. And it's only through the work of LST and PC and others that this gross misconception of how many law schools and administrators relate to their students--not as charges to mentor and look out for, but as those to whom they owe no greater duty than to refrain from actual, provable fraud.

      Delete
    4. 12:48,

      I understand that we grew up in different times and have different expectations. I sometimes wonder how your generation put up with having to research case law without the internet.

      Until recently, getting an NYU law degree MEANT something. It opened doors for a lot of people who were fortunate enough to attend. In your day, an NYU Law degree was as prestigious as Yale or Harvard. As an NYU grad do you not find it offensive that a large number of recent grads are unemployed but are too ashamed or proud to admit it? If the current trend continues, NYU's reputation will take a huge hit.

      As an older practitioner, your involvement (and those of your colleagues) is vitally important to reform. Your careers have been established and publicly voicing the law school scam will not affect your future career prospects. Also, as established and respected attorney, your voices will be heard. But this will require leadership and unfortunately, most are too busy with their lives to bother with this.

      Delete
    5. Once again boomers blame the younger generation for their own inaction.

      You're right, you shouldn't comment if your feelings get hurt when someone strongly disagrees with you. You should just use that disagreement as an excuse not to take part.

      For me,the comments made about women don't hurt my feelings, they just make me want to explain my viewpoint. I'm not going to avoid posting my opinion because someone strongly disagrees.

      But I guess the boomers who don't post can now blame the rest of us instead if sharing.

      So kudos to the rest of the boomers who are willing to share their experience despite the resistance they might get.

      Delete
    6. "Most older practitioners should have seen this coming."


      Gee, sounds not too dissimilar to the "F-off, boomer, you had your chance, now go crawl in a hole and die" that I predicted in my 11:52 comment.

      Delete
    7. Disingenuous strawmenJanuary 20, 2013 at 1:36 PM

      "you shouldn't comment if your feelings get hurt when someone strongly disagrees with you. You should just use that disagreement as an excuse not to take part."


      Please, stop with the strawmen.

      It's not strong disagreement that drives older lawyers away. Do you seriously, for one second, truly believe that someone who's spent a professional lifetime arguing is afraid of a little strong disagreement? Grow up just a little bit and try to at least argue logically.

      No- it's being told "we don't want to listen to what you have to say" that drives older lawyers, who would otherwise be sympathetic, away.

      Delete
    8. One commenter made the point about boomers - you have done one thing your whole life and all of a sudden no one will hire you to do it. What do you do? Even if you see it coming, the practicality is that lawyers are rarely going to get hired to do something other than law, especially if they are older. Maybe a young lawyer can get an entry level BA job and start over in a non-legal field. That would be hard to do in one's 40s or 50s. I think the scam hit older lawyers when they hit an age where they were vulnerable, and there were not a whole lot of exits available. Unless you are an entrepreneur or one of the very few who makes it through in the legal profession, you are not going to escape the scam as an older lawyer. Seeing it coming is not a help. The Jews in Hilter-occupied countries saw it coming too. What were they going to do if they could not get visas to other non-occupied countries. Inevitable death is the answer, there and here.

      Delete
    9. Lol. How does being told we don't want to hear what you have to say drive anyone away from commenting on the Internet? If that is due to anything more than hurt feelings at not being valued, then I guess we do have a big generation gap. Just take responsibility for your own failure to comment, don't blame the lack of applause you get as a reason to not share your opinion.

      It is true boomers had decades to sort out their lives, how can you not expect that to be pointed out to you?

      I still think that if you have a valuable contribution to make, you should make it. No one is going to solve this scam on their own. I appreciate all the informative comments on this blog, even if we have different experiences.

      For example, telling me- a fully employed professional corporate attorney and a debt fee T6 grad - to grow up neither hurts my feelings nor dissuades me. That is just your opinion.

      Delete
    10. I want to add one more thing. YouTube have read comments by the 50 year old unemployed woman. Now I strongly disagree that she has been scammed in the same way students have been scammed the past decade or two.

      That doesn't mean I don't take to heart her experiences. I'm now, in part because of her, fairly sure that il make a career in law for at most 15 years- not 30.

      I have decided i will have to come up with a back up plan, make sure to save and not accrue debt and make sure any potential spouse understands that for me and I will have to do the same for him.

      Delete
    11. Damn my phone!! I meant you have, not YouTube

      Sorry.

      And thank you to that woman for her past posts even if we don't agree.

      Delete
    12. "a fully employed professional corporate attorney and a debt fee T6 grad -"

      That's this month.

      Wait until summer.

      Delete
    13. Ah, I'm not in a bad situation because I have no debt. My family lives in New York so I won't have to move to Alabama if I lose my job and need to live at home.

      I feel like the combination of my strong debt aversion and my chase of prestige helped me avoid a bad outcome. I don't need to be a lawyer to survive.

      I'm already spending time figuring out plan b.

      Delete
    14. 11:52, exactly. I've posted a few times and have been accused of being a "boomer" most of those times. I'm 36 years old. Also, the rampant sexism and woman-blaming that seems to arise over and over in these comments is a turn off to me, and I'm sure to others.

      Delete
  27. Once a 1L, students are spoon-fed lies and anecdotes of success by professors and the administration to keep them signing promissory notes for years 2 and 3. I can't tell you how many times professors would say lines reminding students not to "forget these lessons when they're high-paid lawyers," or the proverbial "A students become professors, B students become judges, C students make millions."

    When students start to express concern that they won't get a job, the school holds some "panel discussion" of "legal entrepreneurs" or something of the like so that students can hear the stories of the very few who were successful despite bumps on the road early on in their careers.

    As a 3L, I worked doing non-legal work at a law firm for a low hourly wage (others in my position only had a high school diploma or GED). A local law school talked the firm into hosting an even for prospective students where they drink wine and eat finger food while listening to very successful alumna who are now partners at the firm. Little did those students know that the person re-filling their ice and cleaning up their trash was a 3L at a different (more highly ranked) local law school.

    This sort of manipulation is especially effective now, given the added transparency requirements, for two main reasons:
    1) Rich successful attorneys love to talk about themselves and how they are self-made, worked in the trenches, etc., before achieving great success. Even if the attorneys know about the scam, they will still likely take up the chance to brag about themselves in the guise of "giving advice."
    2) The fraud spouted at these "panel discussions" and mandatory events do not have the kind of paper trail or visibility as do the illegally inflated career statistics on schools' websites.

    These sorts of tactics stop students from getting the hell out of dodge before tuition hikes and added debt for 2L and 3L years (not to mention bar study expenses).

    This was a long post, the point being: I think American knows that if they hook students for their first year (even if they come in with the intention of dropping out if they are outside the top 5%) - they will be able to manipulate them for the remainder of the scam.
    LawProf - THANK YOU for all that you do.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Lawprof, there is no need to interview the delusional 8:09.

    The poster is most likely associated with a law school. If that is the case, please invite him/her to guest post on your blog with his real feelings and perhaps start a dialogue (or have an internet fist fight). I don't care if he chooses to be anon, I just want confirmation that he is a dean or a faculty member.

    The poster can also be a recent law school grad who has a large law school debt, is chronically unemployed and wants others to share in his misery. For him, his only validation for his shitty outcome would be to see future students be in a worse situation. People like him would scream "unfair!" and cry like a little child if the law schools reformed their ways by reducing tuition or making it easier for future law grads to obtain jobs.

    ReplyDelete
  29. WCL 2010 here
    barred in MD, VA and DC
    1.5 years litigation experience (part time gig of sorts-barely 10+k a year).

    live with parents

    have argued before Court of Appeals of DC and been on brief in the MD Court of Special Appeals. published. interned for judge.

    yeah-still looking for job

    took time off after 1L first semester to think about leaving-perhaps should have.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'll echo above. 2010 graduate. Barred in MD. Can't afford the $750 to get barred in DC, although I could waiver in without having to take the bar.

    2 years mediation experience (in English and in a foreign language.) 1 year experience interning for the DA's office. Also interned for a federal judge and also overseas for US government. Speak 4 languages. Have about 13 years prior, non-legal employment experience. Currently unemployed, living on $600 a month unemployment benefits (thank God for that!) Living with parents.

    Law school was the first and only time I took on debt - had lived debt free before going. Like above poster, considered dropping out, but I did not want to be seen as a quitter. Despite graduating, passing the bar, internships, etc., couldn't get a paid legal job and am now still considered a quitter because I am leaving the profession so that I can begin to look for jobs where I will get paid. No longer care if everyone thinks I am a quitter - getting paid for an honest day's work has become more important.

    Good luck to everyone else in the profession. I am happy I am leaving (this 'profession' is nothing but disguised exploitation) and wish I had left it sooner. Just ripped up my law license and am in the process of removing the 'Esq.' from my resume. Definitely not worth the time spent, lost income, and gargantuan debt I had to go into to attend. Not worth it at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm the above poster-

      just a suggestion-if you are living with parents id strongly recommend using some unemployment money or money from some min wage job to get into DC and maybe even consider taking VA. if one of those languages is spanish and you have all three bars and litigation experience you can probably make it. i just got my third bar (VA) back in Oct so im still hopefully having all three in the DC area will help along with my exp

      Delete
  31. There are certain schools that you should just cross of your list unless you get a full, guaranteed scholarship. On my list would be Boston University, American University, George Washington University, USC, Pepperdine, Fordham and others. These schools are only interested in one thing: MONEY! That could care less about you as a student. Tell these schools to pound salt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unemployed NortheasternJanuary 20, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      Given that BU Law is about to embark on a $175 million renovation (not even a new building!), I would expect their craven ways to become even more avaricious in the future...

      Delete
    2. Jesus, a sixth of a billion for renovations. That's well over $200k per current student.

      Delete
    3. I'm a BU 2L and I think it's a terrible school with terrible placement. But let's be honest about the renovations: there's both a renovation and a new building and both are being paid for by a private donation.

      Delete
    4. Unemployed NortheasternJanuary 20, 2013 at 5:28 PM

      @4:54,

      Erm, no. From http://www.bu.edu/today/2011/school-of-law-to-get-major-face-lift/

      "The University has agreed to underwrite the bulk of the renovation and construction project—$141 million—but is asking donors to contribute $20 million to fund the rest by May 2012, when officials hope that groundbreaking on the new wing will start."

      Or http://www.boston.com/yourcampus/news/bu/2012/10/city_oks_172m_expansion_renovation_of_boston_university_school_of_law.html

      "Media mogul Sumner Redstone recently donated $18 million to help fund the project."

      So, nearly 90% of it will be financed by the University, which means financed by future generations of students.

      Delete
    5. I went to BU as an undergrad and finally came to my senses and transferred to a state school after two years. BU put me up in what is called Warren Towers, a large high-rise designed by a guy who was best known for designing prisons - all at a whopping tuition price. Then they had the gall to ding me for alleged damage to my dorm room, when there was absolutely none. I never paid their blood money, but it was a lesson learned. Boston University sucks; is a school that caters to a bunch of rich brats, national and international. The academics are nothing to write home about . I received a much better education at a large state school, e.g., not Michigan, but along the same lines. When my mother went to discuss finances with the financial aid people, she was rudely told that there were plenty of other people that would be willing to pay the sticker price. Seriously, BU sucks. If you have money to burn, then by all means, go for it, but just know what you're up against.

      Delete
  32. American current students and graduates,

    Make your own petition modeled on the Duke Law Tuition Petition:

    http://dukelawpetition.blogspot.com/

    Send it to faculty, students, alumni, and of course the Dean of your school. Flex your collective muscles and show your anger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am the current WCL 3L that posted earlier, thank you Law Prof for posting my comment, it made me very proud.

      The Duke petition was great and it certainly made waves at WCL where the students are more indebted and have far fewer opportunities. What was the reception at Duke to the petition and what has its effects been?

      I've talked to other 3Ls at WCL about doing something similar and we have almost universally concluded that it would be pointless at WCL. At Duke, a elite institution, the petition is a punch in the gut exposing the nakedness of the cash grab. But at WCL, well it may make some profs and admins uncomfortable, but lets be real here, WCL ain't Duke. As Lawprof said, WCL will just keep slashing admissions standards to keep a full class, I seriously doubt Duke would do that.

      But why would WCL do this? Well, as I said before, the whole point of WCL is to provide these profs and adims with a cushy job in a nice facility. This requires the high tuition, it can't proceed normally otherwise. WCL is also in a mad dash to get into this new building, and all else be damned. There is just no way WCL will lower tuition or cut class size before getting into that new facility.

      I think the best way to effect change to WCL is to hit them where it hurts, and that's in the 0L market. Targeting 0L events at schools like WCL is the best way to effect change. So the approach I have been looking at is what some 3Ls did at UVa, wearing shirts lamenting the Scam, to 0L events.

      Delete
    2. What the hell is WCL? Very few law schools deserve an acronym.

      Delete
    3. sorry, your right, jeez now I know I've been brainwashed. Everyone at American calls it WCL, for Washington College of Law. If very few schools deserve an acronym, American certainty isn't one of them.

      Delete
    4. Thanks for the reply, 3L. You might be right that the situation is fundamentally different at American. Among the T14 there is a wall of silence - tuition is the elephant in the room but no one wants to talk about it, and the profs rationalize it by arguing that impending changes to legal education will affect the lower schools but not touch the precious T14 (ha!).

      It's impossible to know what the ultimate effect of the Duke petition will be. It certainly got people talking, though! So it accomplished the immediate goal of tearing down the wall of silence. It's great that it made a stir at other schools as well.

      What a publicly published petition does is put all of the horrific facts in one place. Then, it can be handed out to OLs at accepted students day, and given to current students who still exhibit denial. However, it's also crucial that the practicing bar and WCL alumni get the information as well. Local practitioners and alumni have far more power than current students, alumni especially since they donate to the school. So, I guess the object of the petition effort would be to get the attention of those three groups - prospective students, practitioners and alumni.

      Out of curiosity, how openly are students at American talking about this problem? Have they confronted the administration/faculty openly yet?

      Delete
    5. Students have been confronting administrators and the Dean. I was in an Ethics Class where a student confronted this Dean Jaffe admin when he said he was worried that too many students were depressed and dealing with it with alcohol. The student said people are depressed because of the debt, and being defrauded. He had the nerve to reference those cases dismissing complaints against the law schools. When the Dean does address anything near a open forum to take questions from students he comes with career services people who are prepped and ready to spew garbage stats.

      Students are fairly open now at least among the 2ls and 3ls, I have no interaction with 1Ls. Though that may change, I really want to go up to a 1L table and tell them to RUN and get out while they still can.

      It didn't use to be this way though, at least not 2L year early on. There used to be a wall of silence around employment, but now people are quite open about whether they have a job or not. Really no one has jobs so there's nothing to be ashamed about, in fact I think the ones who do have jobs are a little embarrassed. In classes like trial ad or any other where your dealing with adjuncts there is quite open discussion about the terrible situation. The adjuncts have actually been devoting a lot of class time to discussing how to get in the door and . . . how screwed we are. In my civil trial ad class, literally the other day, the Adjunct prof asked the 3ls, 6 of us, which of us had jobs lined up, only 1 did.

      Delete
    6. Wow. It's such a horrible situation you all are going through. How do the profs sleep at night?? It's truly commendable that so many of you are brave enough to speak the truth to their faces. It's strange to admit, but even those of us from top schools who are aware of the scam are still living in a bubble, far from the bloodbath at schools like American.

      What you say about the students who have jobs being "embarrassed" is also very telling. That is yet another terrible aspect of the scam, the fact that the system is a zero sum game so that "winners" obtain their success at others' expense. Anyone with a soul knows this and carries the weight of guilt if they are "successful" (in quotes because really, almost no one is actually successful in this profession). Instead, too many of the successful become morally tainted or even sociopathic rather than acknowledge the truth. Perhaps this explains the behavior of law professors and Deans - their consciences have been stripped by years of rationalizing their sense of entitlement even as the rest of America is economically decimated.

      Please keep telling your story, there are many people who need to hear it.

      Delete
    7. I have no idea how the profs at American can look the students in the face. But, almost every class I've had at American had a minimum of 50 students in it, so whats that saying, "its just a statistic." Of course at US NEWS they boast a 11:1 student to Prof ratio, just more bullshit for the lemmings. They also say that 69.2% are employed at graduation, I have no idea where that number comes from but it is clearly feces.

      Only two Profs have cared to learn every students name and a little background in these mill classes, Prof. Robbins and Prof. Snyder.

      The Profs at American are almost universally from Ivy league schools, and their main concern is the rankings game. The fact that American is not ranked higher is a source of great pain for them as they are prestige chasers by nature. I remember 1L year one professor said to my section that his job was to help further the issues he was researching and writing on, and that was the great value of the academy. If I had any balls I would have told him his job was to train the future generation of lawyers.

      I just don't get it, does the school not understand how bad it looks to not have Americans own graduates teaching the students? Are there no great American graduates who can further scholarship in Con Law and simultaneously train students to be lawyers? The students can't relate and get any sort of game plan from Prof Ivy who clerked for Federal Judge Whoever and then went straight into the academy. That's the real value of the adjuncts, not only can they give us a realistic idea of how to move forward, but their day jobs, at small firms for the most part, is realistically what most of us are praying to land in at this point.

      Delete
    8. I think you have nothing to lose by starting a similar petition. It will look very poorly on American if they just ignite you.

      Please don't be defeated before you even begin. At the least, you will get some information out to 0Ls and the larger community.

      I say go for it. You may be feeling like it is pointless because you know the facts and you are there in that negative environment.

      Please don't give up without a fight.

      Delete
  33. The very name "American" probably draws in many a star-spangled jingoist.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Please just stop speaking of "scholarships" in reference to law schools. A scholarship is an award of real money from a foundation, an endowment, or similar; it is not a discount.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent point. Add that to the list of how law schools manipulate everything they touch.

      Delete
  35. The saying at American undergrad used to be foreigners came to the US and got in a cab and said they wanted to go to an American University, so they were dropped off there.

    ReplyDelete
  36. "Say hello to 'Constructive Open Admissions':

    http://american.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats"

    A 142 LSAT, seriously? And people can retake now, so that was probably the best score out of three.

    I'm so proud to be part of this noble profession.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 142 was both a reject and a URM, dumbass.

      Delete
  37. "French students just buy an LLM and bam, they can practice on both sides of the pond."

    And they can buy it at a much better school than American. LLM's at even the top schools have pretty lax admissions (and no LSAT or other test is required)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Good post, Lawprof.

    Detailed analyses of individual schools provide a valuable service, as they take on the surplus school problem one at a time.

    Applicants (and potential applicants) can find these analyses via Google (and linking via the Damned...alumni) and individualized discussions (in some detail) contain a persuasive power far in excessive of blanket condemnations.

    A slow (but sure) way of addressing the law school scandal is to take the worst offenders among the schools out one at a time - and publicly shoot them in the head (metaphorically speaking, of course).

    ReplyDelete
  39. >>I can't tell you how many times professors would say lines reminding students not to "forget these lessons when they're high-paid lawyers," or the proverbial "A students become professors, B students become judges, C students make millions."

    My favorite: Half of all lawyers graduated in the bottom of the class. Even at Yale that one is a lie.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I stumbled upon this thread on linkedin where a 47 year old 0L asks whether she is too old to attend law school:

    http://www.linkedin.com/answers/law-legal/employment-labor-law/LAW_ELW/829799-24801572

    The first few responses confirm a societal bias that lawyers do well regardless of sex and age. It's not until Michael P. (a 3L) who sets the 0L in straight about legal employment until he suggests there is maybe a career for her as a law librarian.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the pre-digital age, many reviewing courts, public sector agencies, and big firms maintained extensive law libraries, and some of them hired law librarians. Many of those that did actually preferred to hire JDs-- it was a real live JD Advantage job.

      Now, of course, Westlaw Next has all the reporters, statute books, brief bank, administrative agency decisions, law reviews, and everything else you need. Bye bye JD Librarians, except, of course, at law schools.

      Delete
  41. See Michigan State University's "Statement on Educational Loan Indebtedness" at the link below. The statement that gets me: "The Michigan State University College of Law Financial Aid Office recognizes that our students choose to enroll at the Law College with the expectation that their investment of effort, time, and money will provide the foundation for meaningful and rewarding employment for decades to come." But less than 50% of the 2011 class had full time legal jobs after 9 months. So they "recognize" that students expect that "effort, time and money" (but especially money) will lead to "meaningful and rewarding employment." Do they tell incoming students that there is a more than 50% that their expectations are unrealistic, unless "meaningful and rewarding employment" means employment that is not in the legal field and at a salary that can't support their debt? I would guess not. There is a cause of action in Michigan for silent fraud--as I am sure there is in most states. Suits have been filed on less. But I suppose if the suits alleging affirmative fraud (a la Cooley suits) via fudged employment statistics get kicked, this sort of thing would have no chance. I only MSU, but I am sure nearly every school has similar nonsense posted online.


    Link: http://www.law.msu.edu/admissions/finaid/indebtedness.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. **I only mention MSU...(typo, sorry).

      Delete
  42. If you think a 10% employment rate in well paying jobs is bad, try the employment rate for higher ranked schools for lawyers over age 50. Break it down further for women and minorities. Unless people went to the government, you are going to have very few in well paying jobs. You can criticize American, but a lot of other law schools are likely to have equally horrible emmployment statistics several years down the raod.

    ReplyDelete
  43. LawProf, you should do a post on another scam called "SuperLawyer." Basically Superlawyers is a marketing gimmick where you pay a publisher for a profile to be featured on a rag publication. You can get your buddies to write you in to be included as a Superlawyer, and voila you are in. According to this page, Suffolk Law produces the most Superlawyers on the Northeast:

    http://www.superlawyers.com/lawschool/Suffolk-University-Law-School/fad6d02e-84c4-102c-aca4-000e0c6dcf76.html

    Look at the faces of these Superlawyers. It almost makes me ask what the hell I was thinking about in not even considering Suffolk as a law school. I feel less super about myself now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only 1155 of them from the unknown Suffolk University Law School. How very selective.

      Delete
    2. lol just like those stupid plaques

      Delete
  44. http://bostonglobe.com/editorial/2013/01/20/law-dean-outrageous-pay-should-draw-outside-scrutiny/B6kHXSe5o0uqeWv2pvGTKM/story.html

    The above is a boston global editorial slamming the dean of New England Law for his high salary. Makes me wonder if the globe is not squeezing NESL for some more ad buys--a form of extortion wherein the paper writes anti-NESL editorials until the law school buy some ads.

    ReplyDelete
  45. The real problem is the whoever is lending $150k+ for people to attend this toilet (Sallie Mae I think). It seems they'll also lend these fantastic amount to any law student, regardless of where they are attending, without question.

    The only way you could justify lending this much is if the student was assured of a biglaw job on graduation. Do these finance companies really think most lawyers automatically get biglaw jobs on graduation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The banks don't care. This is a risk free loan for them since the taxpayers pay in the event of a default. At this point, Sallie Mae could lend $300K for someone to attend culinary school and the grad can work at McDonalds flipping burgers everyday for the rest of his life and not pay the loan under IBR. WE, the taxpaying schmucks are on the hook.

      Delete
    2. BINGO..

      it's the federal government/tax payer that is guarantying the debt. that's why it's risk free.. just like housing prices kept rising because it insured by the tax payer. take the government out of the equation, money will not be lent and schools will be forced to lower tuitions.

      Delete
  46. http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/crime_and_courts/alleged-robber-with-bucky-badger-hat-needed-money-for-debt/article_90e71ea0-61ab-11e2-9390-001a4bcf887a.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Law grad from UW has to rob a bank to pay student loans.

      Delete
    2. The article indicates he owes $250K in student loans. How the fuck can someone incur that kind of debt attending a STATE school? A T20 grad robbing banks? Well I have read about T14 grads going to jail for embezzling but this guy gets extra points for wearing a bucky badger hat during the robbery. I wonder if his alma mater will utilize one of its clinics to help defend this poor sap. The irony is if he defends himself pro se, his school will count him as employed.

      Delete
    3. I wonder if he wore the UW hat on purpose.

      Delete
  47. I am an admissions officer at American and can tell you that Professor Campos' post sets a new low for him. We continue to have many more qualified applicants than we have spaces for. Of course if we were really a scam we would just admit everyone to maximize our profits. But care about our students. So we routinely have had to turn away many great applicants simply because we know increasing class size would hurt the quality of education. Today, we are able to admit more of the great students who may have had a problem during college (perhaps their grades suffered because they had to take care of a sick relative) or who just aren't that talented at taking multiple choice tests. I for one welcome this development, I certainly don't enjoy rejecting applicants who have the potential to be great lawyers. And, I think many commentators on this board would agree that one's ability to fill in bubbles on a multiple choice test has little to do with one's potential as an attorney. As for the idea that American is in any trouble, this is ridiculous. We continue to receive many more great applicants than we can possibly admit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why has American decided to lower its admission standards? It can't really be altruism. Why does American take so many students when it knows that only 1/3 of class of 2011 found jobs as lawyers 9 months after graduation? Do you not believe that students at American are struggling to find work?

      Delete
    2. You must have problems reading, Professor Campos did not say you would have trouble filling your classroom seats. Instead he said you would just cut admissions standards to continue to fill your seats. Is that not true? It sure seems like that's the game plan.

      Delete
    3. define "many" and define "great applicants" and then please compare to the the soon to graduate class of 2013s entering numbers.

      Delete
    4. If you are an admissions officer with AU, what is your name?

      Delete
    5. Yes and how much are you paid? And how many of your students are employed full-time 9 months after graduation?

      Delete
    6. Save it for the NYT or WaPo. People here are generally better informed than that. They are going to call bullshit on statements like "we would just admit everyone to maximize our profits" and "Today, we are able to admit more of the great students who may have had a problem during college (perhaps their grades suffered because they had to take care of a sick relative) or who just aren't that talented at taking multiple choice tests." Also, LOL at "potential to be a great lawyer" when only 35.8% of your graduates are working in FT legal jobs.

      Why should the taxpayer subsidize your job if students are graduating 200K in debt with no job?

      Delete
    7. Sweetie, I don't doubt you think your admits have the potential to be good lawyers. But what you don't understand is that most of them will never get that chance. They will never be hired as attorneys or work as attorneys.

      Does it bother you to set so many people on a path of a lifetime of debt? Do you sleep wellat night because they can pay it off in 25 years and then face the tax consequences? I'm sure you see IBR as a great marketing ploy.

      Do you realize that you are ruining their lives? Do you care about what happens to them after they leave your doors?

      Delete
    8. Professor Campos has posted the lament of a current American 3L, do you disagree with it, why would this student lie? No doubt you must see the depression around your institution? Prove your producing great lawyers, publish your NALP (which you don't) and how many of your 3Ls have jobs lined up before graduation. I bet it is less then 20%.

      Delete
    9. From what I can tell you and the rest of AU should have been pleased with Professor Campos as he went soft on American. He could completely demolish the school, it literally has the worst employment rate of any T1 and the highest debt. If we were to say compare American to Cooley or some other Toilet I bet people would be surprised at the similarities. Please Professor Campos demonstrate how much of a toilet American is.

      Delete
  48. Prof. Campos, please do a post on the SuperLawyers scam. Here is some good research materials, including an ATL article which highlights Superlawyers' attempt to rank the law schools in accordance with how many alums are Superlawyers:

    http://badlawyernyc.blogspot.com/2009/12/super-lawyers.html

    http://pm.typepad.com/professional_marketing_bl/2006/09/marketers_laugh.html

    http://abovethelaw.com/2009/11/super-law-school-rankings/

    http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/stories/2006/08/07/story2.html

    http://blog.simplejustice.us/2007/09/23/superlawyers-with-cheese-please.aspx

    http://desperateexes.com/2010/02/04/super-lawyers-meet-asswipes/

    The law school scam benefits from the Superlawyers scam since it validates marginal law graduates who graduated from deplorable schools such as Suffolk or Cooley into thinking that they are "special" when all Superlawyers represents is a money making marketing scheme, which has counted dead and disbarred lawyers among its members.

    ReplyDelete
  49. When I was a 0L, I met a guy who had just graduated from American. With some melancholy, he congratulated me on my decision to go to a T14 -- "at least out of there, you'll get a job." He had just gotten a job doing something or other (political/policy, I think) for about $70K and was not happy about it.

    This was 2005.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Bravo to this article exposing AU. I graduated 3 years ago and have struggled paying my loans with my present job (and I was hired as a lawyer at a boutique practice, no thanks to AU).

    I was angered when Dean Grossman wrote to major newspapers about how law school was a wise investment, well the school certainly is not doing its part by reducing numbers. What the hell is it continuing the meat churn at 500 students per year? It has no place to add to the problem, yet AU does not care whether it is ranked 30, 40, 50, or 90. It cares that it is collecting to its bottom line.

    Shame on AU, as I'm happy this article exposes my law school's actions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. current 3L. Dean Grossman got lucky. The only reason that oped he wrote was not torn to shreds by anyone but a few WCL students was cause that biatch Mitchell wrote some law porn in the Times. The thing I realized, that I think most WCL students come to realize, is that the school just doesn't care about us. So long as they can paint our outcomes in a way that will induce others to enroll then its a win. Your situation to them is a win, a great victory in the scam.

      WCL students and alums need to be more vocal. Its pathetic that Duke Students and not WCL wrote that petition. Dean Grossman and the other Profs live a great life and make a lot of money off our financial ruin.

      Delete
  51. 2011 American (WCL) grad here. The job numbers are only one part of the problem. It is not the school's responsibility to find their each of students a job; it is the school's responsibility to find and open up opportunities for their students to find a job. However, the little told secret here is that the administration and career services office at American actively prevent some students from getting a job. For example, I, along with others, did not receive the school's "recommendation" for a PMF position as a 3L. The career services officer told me it was solely because I didn't have government experience -- even though it is not a prerequisite to apply for the program. (Mind you, my GPA was top 40% and I was on law review.)

    The first step to any solution has to be cutting off the source: free government money. One more example, and keep in mind I don't make the rules I just play by them. I have 4 years of law school loans (helloooo LLM), and as previously mentioned I went to American, one of the most expensive schools in the country. My total loan balance now eclipses $300,000. But because of the new IBR programs, my current monthly payment is $22, adjusted annually, balance forgiven in 20 years (we can discuss the tax time bomb another day). There are no zeros missing there; monthly payment of $22 on a $300,000 loan.

    As long as Uncle Sam is willing to take a hit on providing student loans for any area of study (whether it be law, "public policy" to be a lifelong government drone, or a PhD in Latin) schools will be happy to take their money. Trying to convince 0Ls not to go to law school is like talking to a wall; most simply refuse to believe things are really that bad. It’s no secret law schools are a cash cow. You want to get their attention, simply cut off the free money.

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  52. You guys are drinking the cum of a tenured "law prof" who is afraid to reveal his name. Cool. No wonder you went to a low-rate law school. You're all morons.

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  53. Hint to AU students: Consider whether the school needs new life in the Deans office. I believe the head of your school has been their for around 20 years. If you think it is time for new life, then demand it. If you people were smart enough, you would realize who runs law schools -- the deans, along with university presidents and provosts. As alums and students you have a lot of power. Use it and stop whining online. Too bad Paul Campos, ooops -- Law Prof -- only bitches and moans rather than offering you concrete solutions. Demand leadership changes and accountability. Who launched the idea for a new building? What was the university's position? Do your homework on these decisions. Examine budgets. Get involved. Mobilize alums. If you don't do that, then you will keep getting shafted.

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    1. I think your mostly right, and I wish WCL students would make more of a fuss. The problem is:

      (a) 1Ls are still in wonderland

      (b) 2Ls are still scrambling before the summer and are only beginning to understand the Scam and that they were fucked when they entered the law school 1L year.

      (c) 3Ls are depressed, battered, or drunk. Manny are all three.

      So it's hard to get any solidarity.

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  54. I think law students at a lot of schools are getting a bad deal. But I also believe that Paul Campos is not your savior. A lot of professors react to him with disdain, but I appreciate that he is raising very important and critical issues. My main problem with him is that his approach is very unbalanced. Anyone who takes issue with a point he has made is instantly bashed. And then students run and cheer him. He never offers solutions to the problems, and when others do, he calls them half-hearted.

    Students, you need a new leader. You need someone who understands the pain, but who offers constructive advice as well. Campos simply offers a pit of despair.

    I would organize students to confront the deans at law schools. AU shouldn't be constructing a new building right now. Did the faculty vote for this or was it forced upon them by the Dean and the University? You need to investigate that.

    The faculty does not control the admissions process. They do at other schools. If this were the case, I imagine the school would admit fewer students.

    Also, consider the amount of money the school spends on conferences, food, wine, and other things. It is enormous. Your tuition pays for a lot of stuff that isn't related to learning.

    Finally, will the law school ever get a new Dean? The school has been locked in the lower-first tier forever. It's academic reputation is not improving. There are a lot of smart kids at the school, but some do not belong in law school. AU needs new leadership. Demand it. Start a petition. The employment numbers are abysmal. The course offerings for students who want to do domestic work are startlingly few. This is unconscionable. The school doesn't even have a database of alums so that students can get direct notices about job opportunities or at least contact folks for advice.

    Look on the webpage of the school. What do you see everyday - the Dean. He's a narcissist. He refuses to showcase the good things about the school. He only cares about himself. He makes nearly 500,000 a year. That's why he won't leave his job. You need to know this!

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