Thursday, February 14, 2013

An unsentimental education

There's an interesting thread on TLS about how GULC is going about distributing "merit aid" (cross-subsidized tuition discounts) this cycle.  Here's one poster's description of the process:

Some of us were contacted by email in early February and told that we were being considered for merit aid. We were asked to reply by 2/4 and give admissions an idea of "what level of funding" would make a difference in our decision. Over the last two days, some of this group got emails saying we are "finalists" for merit aid and have to submit a 150 [word] essay by this Friday morning. Others from the initial email group just got a response saying they were not being offered merit aid at this time.

The "us" in the first sentence refers to admitted applicants, although it's easy enough to project that the next step in this increasingly baroque process will be for law schools to start asking at least some applicants to make their first request for a tuition discount even before an admissions decision is made.  (This would be ideal for yield protection purposes, and no doubt some legal academic glibertarian is already busy at work on an article explaining why such a practice would be Pareto optimal).

What GULC is doing here is Game Theory 101: Force the other party in the negotiation make the first offer. A lot of applicants in the TLS thread are understandably upset by this whole process, which is making the putatively "holistic" admissions decision feel more like visiting a car dealership than applying to an Elite National Law School.

The request for a 150-word [!] "essay" is a particularly clever touch, as it's obviously a stalling tactic to buy more time for the admissions committee before they cut real as opposed to nominal tuition more than they absolutely have to.  Perhaps after tomorrow's deadline they'll ask a subgroup of this subgroup of what was already a subgroup of admitted applicants to submit a haiku regarding Why Georgetown?  (Update: A commenter notes that the essay is supposed to be about the applicant's "most interesting mistake," which under the circumstances strikes me as a rather sinister topic).

Or, if GULC really wants to ask people what they need to do to put them in a law school seat today, they could send applicants Philip Schrag's recent essay explaining to prospective law students that they're not going to actually have to pay the money they borrow back.  (An explanation of the new Pay As You [Hopefully] Earn plan is already featured prominently on the school's web site. GULC's calculator of the total cost of attendance for the school projects total debt at repayment of $273,000 for 2012 matriculants who are paying sticker).






150 comments:

  1. First!

    And this is an important story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 150 word essay is obviously a cover story for deciding who gets what aid because they are likely to take it.

      Why every single person didnt ask for a full ride is beyond me. The shocking thing is that the people who asked for theist are probably not getting it- even though they deserve it more.

      Delete
    2. Some sort of prisoner's dilemma? I would have said that I'd need the full amount of fees plus $10k.

      Delete

  2. Glibertarian, I love it.

    I am a staunch libertarian myself, but I'll be the first to admit that the Chicago-school law-and-economics crowd are a bunch of maroons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL @ Maroons, might be a school color in Chicago.....

      Delete
  3. This is the logical next step in the scam. Hey kids, it's fake money anyway. So tell us how much of your fake -- but our real -- money you are willing to give to us.

    Frankly, for a few schools, this might be a very lucrative scam for a few short years. I have little doubt but that there are a few hundred fools out there who would pledge half a million or more edu-bucks to Harvard or Stanford given PAYE to get in the door with the intention to go into low paying do-gooder law and sticking taxpayers with the bill. This will happen until it is forbidden.

    ReplyDelete
  4. They should demand a 10-year post-graduation employment contract in a school-funded position.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. in this case the players help make the rules of the game. so yeah, hate the player.

      Delete
  6. In Hong Kong, it is a cultural norm for employers to demand expected salaries.

    If you don't reveal the number first, you are not considered for the job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many employers here ask for expected salaries too.

      This is law school admissions. Merit aid is not just supposed to be used to balance out the medians of the class.

      Delete
    2. let's settle this once and for all. are law schools just businesses like any other? NO. they are subsidized by u.s. tax dollars at a level that would make even the most medicare-dependent hospital blush. they are also non-profits. they operate under the guise of social responsibility. they act as though they are public fiduciaries. but caveat fucking emptor for the students (i.e. the people who should be in fiduciary relationship with the law school, if anyone should).

      they aren't businesses, they don't get to behave like businesses and be on a permanent iv-drip of government cash. that's not how it works. screw georgetown. this is disgraceful

      Delete
  7. Why attend GULC?
    My options are limited
    I must roll the dice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it's supposed to be a haiku, drop the word "attend".

      Delete
  8. The "first offer" is a free ride, hands down.

    Two can play this game, bitchez. The lol skools can go consult with their resident professorial "ADR Experts" on the next offer. Looks like we've moved beyond "Getting to Yes" to "how much can we stand to loose?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I recognized that I was playing with Monopoly money in this exchange and asked for 6 figures. Some people with my numbers got low six figures in past cycles. They responded with $0.

      Withdrew last night.

      Delete
    2. Let them go down the toilet. In view of the sharp decline in applications, they should be offering bigger discounts, not none at all.

      Delete
  9. Scam scam scam scam scam scam scam scam. How can an applicant not realize it at this point?

    ReplyDelete
  10. In his Autobiography Benjamin Franklin desribed an employer of his named Keimer who "sold often without profit for ready money." Keimer eventually went broke.

    What is the end game for these law schools? If every year they give more and bigger discounts to lure in their share of a dwindling supply of applicants they will bring less and less cash into their organizations. Do they contemplate a future where the discounts will no longer be needed or is there some other plan? They certainly can't play this game forever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe it was a law dean who asked, "what else are they going to do?" That applies here as well. What are most law profs and deans going to do? Hang a shingle? Fax a resume over to Kirkland & Ellis?
      This is the best job 99% of these people will ever have. They are going to continue the hustle until it is no longer possible.

      Delete
    2. C makes a really good point, one that underscores a big issues in formal higher ed. Schools have been very good at staying around for a long time, and many professors and administrators base their career paths on this idea. These are great jobs, their thinking goes, so let's just hang onto them as long as possible.

      Also keep in mind that many academics probably have internalized the idea that any financial or applicant issues are temporary, and that "this too shall pass". It might not in a spectacular way, but that's the risk these folks are taking.

      Delete
    3. Let's not forget the entitlement mentality among lawprofs. It's quite amazing to behold when they actually open up about it.

      Delete
  11. Why not just cut to the chase and auction off the slots? The 550 highest bidders get admitted. They could do it on Ebay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL to the .01 bid. Hahahahhahahah, fantastic.

      Delete
    2. You would need a scaled system that changed as the composition of the numbers of the class changed. So that the most needed numbers would always get in with the amount they needed to accept the school.

      It would not be difficult to create this model. I'm sure most admission offices have this in place already.

      Delete
    3. They can't do it. Once all the unemployed graduates started posting negative feedback they'd be toast.

      Delete
    4. LOL.

      GULCebayacct: Item was not as described. Seller grossly misrepresented the actual worth of the item. -1

      GULCebayacct: Communication with seller was poor. Seller emailed randomly and was difficult to reach. Seller refused to explain issues relating to price of item. -1


      Delete
    5. What would a "buy it now" option be for the GULC admissions department? How much would it take for them to definitely give you a slot?

      Delete
    6. May I place a negative bid?

      Delete
  12. Was one of those who got denied merit aid after being told I was part of a select group of candidates who could apply for it. Gave them an honest answer of what it would take for me to enroll and included offers from other schools. Withdrew within an hour of receiving the email. I hope this comes back to bite them in the ass

    ReplyDelete
  13. Soon, employers at OCI will give less weight to GPA, and more weight to the price the student negotiated with the law school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, at this point, if you don't get a huge tuition discount:

      1) The law school doesn't think you are a very good prospect

      2) You are an idiot.

      Useful information for a potential employer to know...

      Delete
  14. I hope all the media pick up this story. No one who reads it will see it as anything more than an attempt to game the rankings by figuring out how much they have to pay to get certain numbers.

    After reading this, I feel like Lawprof did the other day when someone made a comment like" what else are they going to do become investment bankers?"

    I am truly starting to hate all the people involved in the admissions process. And here is another note that deans and professors should know: this tarnishing is going to affect the reputations of all law schools. Not just Georgetown.

    Merit aid and actual cost paid by students must become a focus of transparency. Remember the lie that Duke costs $33,000? That one isn't going to die either.

    Here is one applicant's statement from the thread:



    I wholeheartedly agree with this. Although I am still considering Georgetown without any inclination of merit aid the lack of transparency in the process is very unsettling. If I did not follow this forum I would have no idea whether merit aid was still on the table. GULC should aspire to have an informative application process and how merit aid is distributed is an important part of that.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Here is the actual email from Andy (remember this is in response to a request from the school to a selected- by the school- group of admitted students, about their interest in Georgetown and how much it merit aid they needed) it is important to note that only a few students were given the chance to explain why they needed aid, this wasn't an open process or a named scholarship only given to a few applicants):

    I am getting back to you regarding your interest in merit based aid at Georgetown. The Scholarship Committee has just finished the initial selection process for our limited amount of scholarship funding and we are unable to offer you merit based aid at this time.


    The key words here are “at this time.” There is still a possibility that some funding may become available over the course of the next few months. If you remain interested please let us know, and we will be happy to revisit your request for funding and be back in touch in late March.


    We remain hopeful that you will continue your interest in Georgetown and that you will ultimately choose to join us in the fall.


    Best,

    Andy


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A couple of other points:

      They haven't emailed other students to let them know that there is no more merit aid available now

      I would love to see the huge number of withdrawals Georgetown is getting now. And many of those are from students who were serious about Georgetown, but really need aid to attend. It won't just be people who were using Georgetown to negotiate with other schools.

      Delete
    2. No, the key words are "unable to offer you".

      Delete
    3. True.

      Georgetown made the selected admittees think they were starting a discussion. Instead they gave $0. Nothing more to discuss there.



      Delete
  16. Do the priests who operate Georgetown know what's going on at the law school?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL.

      Ever hear of "Jesuit logic"?

      Jesuits can rationalize anything.

      Of course, administrators at non-Jesuit law schools can rationalize anything too...

      Delete
    2. The Jebbies also run Boston College, Creighton, Marquette, three Loyolas - Chicago, New Orleans and Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Fordham, Gonzaga, Detroit-Mercy and Seattle.

      Whole lotta rationalization goin' on.

      Delete
    3. and St. Louis U!

      Delete
  17. Managing decline...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Silly question - Georgetown is a Jesuit school. Look at how the Jesuits run St. Louis.

    ReplyDelete
  19. LP, your posts usually feature at least a few gold-plated zingers, but you really out did yourself with this one:

    "ask people what they need to do to put them in a law school seat today"

    Love it. Keep bringing the Truth with a capital "T"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "'Cause only one thing counts in this world: get them to sign on the line which is dotted."

      Delete
  20. One final comment: This was also a way for Georgetown to get intelligence on what scholarships other schools were offering which students. The request asked for competing offers from other schools, which the admitted applicants voluntarily gave them.

    One more comment from TLS:

    Got the same email.... SERIOUSLY?? Huge PR fuck-up on their part IMO... Who tells you you're part of a select group considered for merit aid, asks you for info on what other schools have offered you, and then dings your request for aid completely?? Unprofessional, shocking, and disappointing. Leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Srsly, fuck these idiots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One more about how admitted students are now going to have to game Georgetown:

      This really is horrifically unprofessional. I can't withdraw from here yet because my family won't let me, but I really really REALLY want to send them a letter expressing how insulting it is to request an honest answer about funding, and then eliminate someone from consideration based on that answer. It leaves me with the worst taste in my mouth of any admissions office I've dealt with so far. Sorry you asked me how much it would take to go and I answered honestly, next time I'll lie to your face.

      Delete
    2. What do you mean your family won't let you? You are over the age of 18, are you not?

      What the heck country are we living in now?

      Delete
    3. This is worse than tacky. Couldn't they at least come up with a token discount of $10k or so?

      I wouldn't blame 7:23 one bit for writing that letter and telling them that they can shove their goddamned offer up their Jesuit ass.

      Their better applicants should all turn them down. Let them become a Cooleyesque institution.

      Delete
    4. Maybe his family has promised to pay his living expenses or some such if he goes to a T14 LS.

      Delete
    5. @9:44 His profile says he has a 174 LSAT and a 3.85 GPA. Most likely his family really likes the idea of Georgetown and is asking him to keep them in consideration, despite numbers that belong at Columbia or Harvard.

      Delete
  21. The legal education market continually needs information such as is posted here. The mindset of law school applicants ought to be quickly evolving quickly to the point where all a high LSAT score should buy is the right to be an educated and very skeptical potential consumer of legal education.

    GULC is not in many respects any different position than most of the T50 law schools. It have long enjoyed the benefit of being a federal Government sponsored oligopoly and has not, until recently, had to obtain any expertise in how to price their product. In other words, it now get to do what truly private actors do virtually every day - find the right price point for products and services, and substantiate the value add provided. This is not an easy thing to do for any of the top law schools. None of them are staffed with talented businessmen or people who are focused on delivering value, and the leftist progressives who dominate the culture will not buy into the new realities quickly, if at all.

    I do think GULC is in a particularly difficult bind, however.

    1. The high end LSAT scorers they seek are also likely far better consumers of legal market information. These high end people also are more inclined to have choices other than law school. Their matriculation rate may be low, lower than Georgetown can expect.

    2. Georgetown is a very large school. High overheads and large structures are far less susceptible to being nimble in market dislocations. They better figure out who they want to be, because the huge subsidies the law school has been sending to the main campus five miles away will no longer continue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The law school building would make a nice hotel. Great location.

      Delete
  22. The funny thing is that some of the people who did get asked to submit the 150 essay don't see what is happening here. They seem to assume that the people who were invited to apply for merit aid, and applied but got nothing, were never going to Georgetown anyway because they had better offers.

    That is a hell of an assumption to make. I am sure that given the right amount of money many of the people asked to apply for aid would have seriously considered Georgetown. Law school admissions is a tough balancing game between cost and placement power. Also there are concerns about staying near family, friends and significant others.

    There is no reason to assume that the people who weren't given a dime would not have gone to Georgetown.

    I think the people who did submit the 150 need to step back and see how the school is behaving here.

    It is unethical for a law school to be so closed about the "merit aid" available.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How is it unethical? It's their money and they're free to disburse it as they choose.

      Delete
    2. They're not "disbursing" money - they are merely figuring out who gets tuition discounts.

      If I buy an airplane ticket for $400, when the full fare is $1000, I don't have to endure a self-congratulatory letter from United Airlines explaining that they have given me a "grant" of $600, and that I should be very, very, grateful to them.

      Delete
    3. No they aren't. Schools need to have transparency about actual tuition to attend the school. They can't just give money to a random set of people determined with no reference to criteria available to all applicants.

      It isn't even "their money". The merit scholarships are funded by the tuition paid by the other students in the class. So people paying full freight are subsidizing their classmates. But these other students have no idea how these classmates were eligible for aid or what they might do to obtain aid.

      This is unethical because they are not giving any criteria for their decision.

      This is unethical because they are not communicating the lack of availability of merit aid to all their applicants.

      This is unethical because they are not attempting to inform students as the criteria for obtaining aid.

      This is unethical because they are not even giving students a chance to respond.

      This is unethical because they are collecting information about scholarships from other schools and then giving no aid. What is ethical about that process?

      This is unethical because of their total lack of transparency.

      Finally, for them to make a hugely important financial aid decision based on an essay about your most interesting mistake is ludicrous. That is so random that it is unethical in itself.

      Delete
    4. 8:22,
      It's their class, they're free to decide the composition of the class as they choose. There's a posted price, if you don't like it don't go. What makes you think you're entitled to know what other people pay?

      I agree it's a stupid process and I wouldn't go through it myself but

      Delete
  23. Another step on the road towards viewing law schools just like like used car dealers, only a hell of a lot more expensive.

    ReplyDelete
  24. There was a professor of law
    He asked me what issues I saw,
    I said I see none,
    And pulled out a gun,
    And shot the dumb fuck in the jaw.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bravo. This is the commenter-laureate.

      Delete
    2. excellent limerick.

      Delete
  25. To not have any standard other than do we think this person will attend Georgetown at a price we can afford is disingenuous at best.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Lawprof: you missed a crucial point.

    What do you think the 150 essay was to be on?

    Interest in law?

    Specific programs of interest at Georgetown?

    Explicit financial circumstances of why you need this amount of aid?

    ...

    Give up?
    [Describe your ]"most interesting mistake" in 150 words or less.

    Not joking

    What is your most interesting mistake?

    That is how we are going to decide who gets money and who doesn't?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be fair, it's not the subject that is relevant but rather whether these applicants are willing to jump through hoops for Georgetown. This 150 word "essay" on one's biggest mistake is nothing more than an effort to see who is comfortable getting jerked around by GULC.

      Some of the folks defending GULC on TLS are seemingly happy they're still in the running after submitting 6 figure offers. Can't wait to see the changes in attitude after G'town lowballs them with 20k scholarships (or, gives them nothing at all).

      Delete
    2. "From a negotiating perspective my most interesting mistake was telling a used car dealer how much I had to spend - later I learned the smart move would be to make the dealer negotiate against himself. What would be even more interesting would be to show that I had not learned from that mistake by telling GULC how much tuition assistance it needs to offer me to get me to go to GULC."

      Delete
    3. Humm, biggest mistake? Taking the LSAT!

      Delete
    4. 8:13, that is freaking unbelievable.

      Pics or it didn't happen.

      Forward that email to Lawprof so he can confirm truth.

      Delete
    5. But it's not that interesting!

      Delete
    6. I've seen little scholarships—real, endowed scholarships, not discounts off tuition—that require writing some dumb essay for a shot at $250 or so. Who the hell wastes time going for these things?

      Delete
    7. @9:43

      It is the truth - why would I make this up? Believe me or not, the Georgetown admits who got this email request and the Georgetown admissions people reading this, know that it is true.

      Delete
  27. "Describe your "most interesting mistake" in 150 words or less".

    Wasting money applying to Georgetown in 2013.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Perhaps Georgetown can use the scientology.inc format for its next essay exam.

    Instead of 150 words on your most interesting mistake, have prospective students answer "what's my crime".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You had me at "full ride"February 14, 2013 at 9:02 AM

      To paraphrase the words of one famous Scientology adherent, "Georgetown had better show me the money!"

      Delete
  29. I'm guessing they don't want to hear that your "most interesting mistake" was applying to GULC? That was mine.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Think of it as a reverse test. If a potential 1L is prepared to go to the trouble of writing a 150 word essay to GULC, crawling and grovelling - what does it say 'I REALLY REALLY WANT TO GO TO GULC!!!! SERIOUSLY, MOST IMPORTANT THING TO ME"

    Oh, then you'd pay full load anyway.....

    On the other hand - someone wrote:

    I might go to GULC instead of another school if GULC would .... will you

    using up 13 words plus a dollar amount - GULC needs to offer the money.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Once ordinary people start viewing young people that are going to law school as suckers the gig is up which is now happening due to Internet and MSM. This scam has been ongoing since the '80s so it's overdue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Conventional wisdom now has changed. It's now viewed as a risky bet for entrance into the middle class.

      Within 3 years it will be viewed as a sucker's bet.

      Delete
  32. The law school expects some students to borrow more to subsidize other students that will both borrow less and will, if the school's assessment is generally correct, have a better chance of getting employment. Should the federal government subsidize this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is this a trick question?

      Wait . . . Prof. Schrag says -- YES!

      Delete
  33. $273,000! That's absolutely ridiculous to be stuck with that amount of debt. Assuming interest at 7.5%, that's $20,475.00 a year, $1,706.25 a month, $393.75 a week or $56.10 a day just to pay the interest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I were an employer and I knew my newly-minted associate were on IBR/PAYE with that level of debt, I have every incentive to pay him as little as possible.

      Delete
  34. Back in the pre-dot-com era, I got called by Duke with an actual tuition discount offer number.

    My first instinct was to ask for more money, which got me more money.

    "We want your LSAT score and we are willing to pay" has been around for a long time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What about, "We want your LSAT but we're not willing to pay, nor are we even willing to make an attempt at getting you?"

      That's the mindset GULC approached this with, and it doesn't seem like a particularly good strategy for filling a class with high-caliber future lawyers.

      Delete
  35. I think that the proper response for any recipient of this "offer" is to call the admissions office, and tell them that *they* have to make the first offer and you are declining the offer to write an essay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. The answer is "I'll be happy to consider your best offer".

      I'm assuming here that the person is perfectly happy to turn the law skule down.

      Delete
    2. I had already decided to attend Duke, so I wasn't going to turn down their offer if they didn't offer more money.

      However, I wanted to see if I could shake any more money out of the first.

      The worst they could say is "no, that's our final offer".

      Same thing here. No harm in asking for what you want.

      Delete
  36. My essay: a girl named Jane

    "My most interesting mistake was sleeping with this girl named Jane. She was the girl in our friendship circle who used casual relationships as a substitute for emotional intimacy. It was my turn, so for a few weeks Jane came over, we'd put in a DVD, and proceed with pedestrian intercourse.

    The thing with Jane is that she just wouldn't leave afterwards. And with post-coital malaise, I actually listened to her. Jane kept telling me I was an "analysis expert" and had "the best argument skills of anyone she knew." She asked what I was doing after graduation. I said I didn't know. Every time, she encouraged me to go to law school, said I could make a "real difference to the world" instead of having some boring office job, while making loads of money.

    I found out later Jane was an operative for AALS. All my friends and I wound up in law school; she screwed us hard, and gave us the VD known as "special snowflake syndrome," the only cure of which is $400,000 paid after interest."

    Rats: 179 words. Guess I'm not getting that scholarship!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

      That'll be $150,000 please, and I won't plant a fire axe in your chest.

      Delete
  37. Hey everyone! Guess what? The ABA has opened its online journal for free advertising. (Well, it's good news if you are dean!) If you can pretend to write a story offering an objective analysis to whether law school is a good investment, you can get a free advertisement about your law school.

    Dean Katz has already tried it. See the link below. He's done great work - pretty clever. I suggest we all get in on the action. I am going to see if I can write some article about legal education and include info. on my business. It's a free advertising opportunity.

    http://www.abajournal.com/legalrebels/article/adding_value_managing_costs_and_participating_in_the_conversation

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! Even an old rebel can be suprised:

      From the above cited abajournal.com

      Is the current law school model sustainable?

      RESULTS
      No. Schools must adapt or they risk failure.
      1226 votes (90.28%)
      Yes. Just wait, things will turn around.
      132 votes (9.72%)
      Total Votes: 1358

      Delete
  38. In the ancient days when I applied to law school, I was offered a full merit scholarship (they liked my LSAT score). I wanted to defer for a year, and asked if the money would still be there. The admissions office said they redetermine aid every year, but, given my qualifications, there should be no issue. A year later, they started jerking me around on the aid decision and would not commit. I called the dean and said I needed to know if they were giving me the scholarship because if I did not get it, I was going to re-up my teaching job for another year and I had a hard deadline. I got the full scholarship offer in the mail three days later. I recommend this course to anyone getting jerked around by GULC or any other law school. It is a buyer's market, so ask for the moon (and don't settle for less).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wholeheartedly agree. The threat to walk away is a serious one.

      In light of all the shit going on, lol skule tuition will likely be lower next year.

      If no one will give you what you want, you can wait a year before committing to almost nondischargeable student loans. The T14s are not going anywhere.

      Delete
    2. You get the best deal when your counterparty believes that you are completely willing to walk away.

      Delete
    3. Even for free, the deal is not worth it for most people. You have to have those great sales skills or great social skills to succeed. Otherwise do not go. A free law degree will trap you in a line of work where you cannot get any type of paying job, either sooner or later, unless you really are that special salesperson or socially gifted snowflake.

      Delete
  39. Dean Katz even managed to call what he wrote on Sturm's website the other day - you know, the 5 myths that he cleverly contradicted w/, ahem, 'strong and objective facts,' ahem - an "analysis of students' investment in law school."



    ReplyDelete
  40. Ensure Yourself Success By Using Printable GED Practice Tests
    free printable ged practice tests

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tragically, wherever the spam link above leads to, it's almost certainly a better deal than going to law school.

      Delete
  41. This is an aside, but in reading WSJ articles about health care reform, it is apparent that the retail jobs that many JDs get stuck in are the bottom of the barrell. Aside from terrible pay, they often do not provide health care coverage or provide coverage that is so skeletal that the limits are run through in a single emergency room visit.

    Now with health care reform, many of these jobs will be reduced below 30 hours a week starting in 2014 so the employer does not have to provide health care coverage, which under the new law is required to be provided starting in 2014 and is quite comprehensive and very expensive. Just another way JDs are going to be screwed.

    The good news is that the government will pay a chunk of health care premiums for low income workers. Hopefully this coverage will be affordable because there is a tax penalty for employees who do not buy it.

    Just a cautionary tale. If many grads of a law school end up working in retail, you do not want to go to that law school. Try to find out before you enroll. Ask for access to the alumni directory and call people. Ask to walk around on your own and talk to students, especially third years.

    Retail is going to be forced underemployment for many people, likely worse than it is today, because of the health care law.

    If you think health care reform is going to increase legal work, think again. Employers who have to provide coverage are all going to go to individual policies purchased from health care exchanges set up by the government. The benefits business, law, accounting and consulting with respect to heatlh care has a nail in its coffin. Sort of like national health care, you know.

    Still another way the legal profession is gradually having the rug pulled out from under it - no lawyers needed here long term, or very few.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't need to ask to walk around and talk to people, you can just do it.

      Delete
  42. "And there is no such thing as a no sale application. A sale is made on every application you review. Either you sell the student on your school at sticker or he sells you a reason he can't. Either way a sale is made, the only question is who is gonna close? You or him? Now be relentless, that's it, I'm done."

    -Diploma Mill, (2000).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Always Be Closing

      - Some Movie

      Delete
    2. LAW DEAN: A-B-C. A-always, B-be, C-closing. Always be closing! Always be closing!! A-I-D-A. Attention, interest, decision, action. Attention -- do I have your attention? Interest -- are you interested? I know you are because it's **** or walk. You close or you hit the bricks! Decision -- have you made your decision for Christ?!! And action. A-I-D-A; get out there!! You got the prospects comin' in; you think they came in to get out of the rain? Guy doesn't sit for the LSAT unless he wants to enroll. Sitting out there waiting to give you their money! Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it? (to TIMID LAW SHILLER) What's the problem pal? You. Timid Law Shiller.

      TIMID LAW SHILLER: You're such a hero, you're so rich. Why you coming down here and waste your time on a bunch of bums?

      (DEAN sits and takes off his gold watch)
      LAW DEAN: You see this watch? You see this watch?
      TIMID SHILLER: Yeah.
      LAW DEAN: That watch cost more than your car. I made $970,000 last year. How much you make? You see, pal, that's who I am. And you're nothing. Nice guy? I don't give a ****. Good father? **** you -- go home and play with your kids!! (to everyone) You wanna work here? Close!! (to Aaronow) You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you **********? You can't take this -- how can you take the abuse you get on a sit?! You don't like it -- leave. I can go out there tonight with the materials you got, make myself fifteen thousand dollars! Tonight! In two hours! Can you? Can you? Go and do likewise! A-I-D-A!! Get mad! You sons of ******! Get mad!! You know what it takes to sell law degrees?

      (He pulls something out of his briefcase)
      LAW DEAN: It takes brass balls to sell law degrees.
      (He's holding two brass balls on string, over the appropriate "area"--he puts them away after a pause)
      Blake: Go and do likewise, gents...

      Delete
    3. It's a scene from the new Mamet play "GlenCooley Glen GULC."

      Delete
    4. "We don't admit women. I don't care who it is, we don't do it. Nancy Sinatra applies, you tell her you're sorry. They're a constant pain in the ass and you're never going to hear the end of it alright? They're going to call you every fucking day wanting to know why their application is still on hold and God forbid the admission page reads decision pending, you're going to hear from them every fucking 15 minutes. It's just not worth it, don't pitch the bitch."

      "I didn't want to be an innovator any more, i just wanted to make the quick and easy buck, i just wanted in. The Notorious BIG said it best: "Either you're slingin' crack-rock, or you've got a wicked jump-shot." Nobody wants to work for it anymore. There's no honor in taking that after school job at Mickey Dee's, honor's in the dollar, kid. So I went the white boy way of slinging crack-rock: I became a law school admissions dean.

      Delete
  43. Okay, I started that comment before I saw your post, WCL.

    Great minds think alike...and fall for law school, apparently.

    ReplyDelete
  44. GULC needs to drop the G and L, and replace with a N and a T.

    (No, not NUTC. Rearrange the letters.)

    What a fucking scam. At least five minutes out of every waking hour each day for the past decade have been spent wondering what a fucking waste of life my JD was. Crippling debt, wasted opportunities elsewhere.

    (5*16*7*52*10)/60

    A grand total (and a low estimate) of 4850 hours of deliberate, mind-rotting, almost suidical depression over that decade.

    About an entire year of waking life spent solely focused on thoughts of utter depression from my decision to attend law school.

    Not to mention the nagging misery that it has caused for at least half of my waking hours, the despression caused for all 10 hours per day I spend at work doing something I hate, the 20 hours each weekend seeing normal people who did not fuck their lives up etc.

    Nobody should be going to law school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unindicted Co-conspiratorFebruary 14, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent?

      Delete
  45. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/14/nyregion/falling-far-short-of-the-whole-truth.html?pagewanted=1&nl=nyregion&emc=edit_ur_20130214

    "Kneel before the might of Georgetown!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even the once vaunted top 14 schools are no immune to poor outcomes.

      Delete
    2. She graduated in 1998 and passed the New York bar in 2000. The best job she could get was to lie about being a lawyer and taking a paralegal job.

      Guess what? Lawyers aren't allowed to work as paralegals in the Manhattan DA's office. She got fired when they found out that she really was a lawyer.

      Delete
    3. Probably not the sharpest knife in the drawer with the gap between graduation and bar admission.

      Delete
    4. The women like her are the worst victims of the scam.

      For the DAs office, she removed her JD from her resume. A crime?

      In view of the horrific placement rates for lawyers, the ABA should insist that unemployed lawyers be considered on a par with non-lawyers for paralegal jobs.

      Wake up! What can one do with a JD if there are 3X as many JDs as legal jobs?

      Should an unemployed JD be disqualified from paralegal work and have to stock shelves? How fair is this? Why the penalty for the JD?

      Delete
    5. Why didn't she just forfeit her membership in the bar?

      Delete
    6. 431
      She's not a victim of anything so much as her own spectacularly bad judgment. If we start adopting babes like this as poster children for the scam, we are sunk.

      Delete
    7. She may have had bad judgment, but any legal organization refusing to allow JDs to work as lawyers adds insult to injury.

      What is a lawyer supposed to do with this degree if he/she is among the majority of law grads that has not found a legal job and if solo practice produces no inocme? Why is a lawyer automatically disqualified from paralegal work?

      There seem to be more open paralegal jobs than lawyer jobs right now. The open lawyer jobs mostly require very specific skills that most lawyers do not have and that a lawyer can only acquire by being hired to work as a lawyer in that specific area for years. Very limited numbers of lawyers meet the qualifications for most open legal jobs. Most lawyers do not have the necessary experience and cannot do anything to get the necessary experience to qualify for the vast bulk of non-entry level legal jobs.

      Not true for paralegal jobs. There is a much bigger group of people that meet the qualifications for a paralegal job because those jobs do not require that very specific experience.

      It would benefit the legal profession greatly to open all paralegal jobs to lawyers.

      Delete
    8. Sorry, meant paralegals in the first sentence.

      Delete
    9. 548 here.

      The bottom line is that employers are still permitted to hire and fire for any reason whatsoever, except when to do so would threaten a specifically protected group or offend a clearly defined legislative or judicial policy. It is ludicrous to think that any court is going to declare lawyers a protected class, and only slightly less so to think that Congress will. Asking either to do so would generate laughter that would echo for decades.

      Delete
  46. People on TLS don't understand how a class is constructed. The admissions office is checking their numbers and their medians all the time. A person way over what they need is not worth more to them. A person who is going to help them hold their median and is very likely to attend, may be worth more.

    It is much more complicated than just buying the highest numbers. It is buying the numbers they need to hold against decline. The numbers they need the most are worth the most. This process helps identify which admits out of the pool of people that could potentially help them and are most likely to attend.

    They probably have other class composition concerns they are addressing. But the medians are the most crucial for them to maintain their fading ranking and appeal.

    This is the a way for them to not leave money on the table. They can get the number they need at the amount they want the other students to subsidize. Also, they are pushing people to withdraw now, which may help them clarify their admission needs.

    I think that they don't expect people who got zero to hang around. Those people are not worth anything to the school. Maybe the people who got nothing could get some money at the end of admissions when panic mode sets in, like it did last year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, they need people above their 75th, but beyond that, you're entirely correct. For GULC, there's likely no difference between a 170 and a 179 in this class.

      For most TTTTs, there's no difference between a 163 and a 178 at this point.

      When I applied 5 years ago, my 168 got me more money at Minnesota (full ride) than at St. Thomas. I was simply worth more to the former in perverse law school economics.

      Delete
    2. Probably St. Thomas, wherever the hell it is, knew that you wouldn't attend anyway.

      Delete
    3. Lots of schools simply don't admit students way above their LSAT spectrum because doing so creates a lower yield, which doesn't look so good. No one in his right mind who gets into MN is going to go to St. Thomas, so why would St. Thomas bother?

      Delete
    4. 4:37 here. I was looking to go for free more than I was looking for prestige. And in the end, I wound up turning down Minnesota's free ride for a school ranked well down the list. It happens, especially when one buys the fraudulent BS that mid-tier schools were putting (are putting) out about solid job prospects. I never wanted a $160k high-stress BigLaw gig. I wanted a government attorney job or a JD-advantage business position. I figured I was a shoe-in to be near the top of the class and be first in line at the job fair to snag those pretty $75k gigs. I was sort-of right.

      So St. Thomas is a bad example, but consider that Loyola (Chicago) offered me only a 1/2 scholarship instead of the full thing. They were my number one choice in Chicago until I got that letter. I had no idea you could actually bargain with these clowns, and I had little incentive to do so since I had 5-10 other schools throw money at me, and I thought going to most of them would be a great career move.

      At least for me, law school was like a carnival game where the rules were not explicitly clear until you knew you had lost.

      Delete
  47. There were poor outcomes for a long time, even from Harvard and Yale, but mostly they came when people lost high level in house positions or partnerships or counsel positions at large law firms. At least in the last 20 years, the market at that level has been so saturated that it has been very difficult to recover from a job loss.

    By contrast, I see talented high level businessmen who are fired making a come back. Not right away unless they move. It usually takes 2-3 years.

    It is clear that GULC is not worth much as a degree today. Some people will do well. Most probably will find the degree useless and a financial burden for the rest of their lives. Lying to get a job as a paralegal? Shows how useless the degree is to a lot of people.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Today ABA Journal online published a piece by Katz today regarding changes and innovations in legal education--thinly disguised advertising. I guess the comments got out of hand and an ABA moderator erased most of them and put up a post to play nice.

    ReplyDelete
  49. THIS IS DISINTERESTED DEAN LEDUC OF COOLEY LAW SCHOOLEY. PLEASE SEE MY BLOG OVER AT THE COOLEY WEBSITE, WHERE YOU'LL LEARN THAT (1) EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS ARE IMPROVING, (2) THERE'S NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO APPLY TO LAW SCHOOL, AND (3) THE MICHIGAN BAR EXAM WAS TOO HARD LAST TIME BECAUSE TOO MANY OF MY GRADS FLUNKED IT.

    GOTTA RUN....JUST REMEMBER, "IF IT AIN'T COOLEY, IT AIN'T SCHOOLEY!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is too well-reasoned for Dean Leduc.

      Delete
  50. If you ever name a law school after me, my ghost will come back and smother you in your sleep.

    ReplyDelete
  51. CL > san diego > east SD county > all jobs > legal/paralegal jobs
    Reply cq4pj-3617838425@job.craigslist.org [?] flag [?] : miscategorized prohibited spam best of Posted: 2013-02-14, 3:04PM PST

    Law Professor (La Mesa)

    A registered, unaccredited law school in La Mesa seeks part time professors for its upcoming 12 week quarter starting April 4. Classes are held in the evenings and on Saturdays. Our small classes of ten students or less provide a unique learning environment. We seek licensed attorneys to teach Criminal Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law and other subjects. Prior teaching experience preferred but not required. For more details, please respond to this add by including your resume and a statement of interest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How much do they pay?

      Delete
    2. Welcome to hell, kid.

      Delete
    3. Actually, you pay them, to get real life experience with teaching. You learn at the feet of some of the finest, part-time adjunct faculty in eastern San Diego County.

      It's the latest employment model. No surprise this appeared on Craigslist.

      Delete
  52. Georgetown sucks big boobs
    playing lottery with lives
    You must be kidding me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One syllable too many in the last line.

      Delete
  53. It is not difficult to understand why JDs are not wanted for paralegal positions. Would you hire a doctor to fill a nurse's slot? Or would you hire a airplane pilot to be a stewardess?

    If you can't make a JD work for you as a lawyer, then why the fuck would you think you would make it in a lesser capacity?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That point was raised as a counter to the argument of law being versatile. It shows that the DA refuses to hire paralegals who are lawyers.

      I'm not saying it is a bad policy. I don't care one way or another and they are different jobs.

      Just that being a lawyer means you can't be a paralegal. Many people tell the unemployed lawyers that they should just get jobs as paralegals and stop complaining.

      Delete
    2. The problem is a glut of lawyers and no work for them. Some of these lawyers have top records and were pushed out of the legal profession on account of the up or out policies, and some are women who took time off with their kids and cannot get back in.

      This is a policy question that the ABA should come down hard on. Where is a 50 year old woman or minority lawyer from Michigan Law School going to work? There is almost no market for this person in today's legal profession.

      A lawyer several years out of law school who does not have the very specific expertise required for experienced legal jobs that are open will not be able to work. The field of entry level legal jobs is glutted and it will be difficult for that lawyer to compete. The problem is that the practice areas where the legal jobs are change over time, so the 50 year old may have been trained in a practice area where there is little demand today.

      Why have a blanket prohibition on lawyers in paraglegal jobs when the alternative for most of these lawyers is long-term unemployment?

      Delete
  54. Law students struggle
    Faculty drive BMWs
    IBR is cure

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my god, AGAIN?

      Today, >>>everyone<<< who attempted that most simple of verse, the Haiku, with its 5-7-5 structure, has FUCKED IT UP!

      Delete
    2. How is this one wrong?

      Delete
    3. 5
      10
      5
      = Haiku fail

      Delete
    4. BMWs is 3 syllables

      Faculty is 3 syllables

      drive is 1 syllable

      Where do you get 10 syllables from?

      Delete
  55. This is very interesting. Tells me Georgetown is growing desperate. They understand the stakes here.

    Georgetown's class size makes it a bit different. The ONLY thing that makes the top 14 the "T14" is consistency. And the only thing keeping a school like Vanderbilt, Texas or UCLA from having similar numbers is a school like Georgetown filling enough slots for two schools. If a significant number of those high LSATS go to say, Vanderbilt (which has a small class size and had seen LSATs rising for a number of years now) one year, then there is a possibility that G'town could fall out of the top 14. They would be the first and only school to ever fall out of that category, which is watched like a hawk by 0LS. A drop could be seen as weakness, and at the worst possible time as apps are plummeting.

    They're locked in the fight of their lives. With this ham-handed move, they may have just fumbled the opening kickoff inside of their own ten yard line.

    If I'm negotiating with them, I'm going to seize upon this and protect my future family. Who needs that 20,000 more? Myself and my family? Or the law faculty of Georgetown University?

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

    ReplyDelete

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