Thursday, February 7, 2013

Trust

Practicing lawyers will tell you that trust is one of their greatest assets. If you shade the truth when talking to a judge, that judge will never rely upon your word again. If you mislead opposing counsel, whether through outright lies or too-clever omissions, you lose your colleagues' confidence. That loss hurts both the lawyer and all of her future clients. Every day, lawyers walk a fine line between representing their clients aggressively and damaging the trust they need to function in the profession.

Law schools also need trust--and, until recently, we've had it. Students trust us to teach them accurately and grade them fairly. Alumni trust us to use their donations for worthy purposes. When people read our scholarship, they trust us to be fair, to cite our sources, and to characterize those sources accurately. Applicants trust us to talk honestly about our institutions and what we have to offer.

We're about to lose that trust, if we haven't already. LawProf has already exposed some of the most egregious sleights in Dean Martin Katz's extraordinary plea for applicants. But I want to say something more about the opening paragraphs of that very misleading document.

Katz opens by appealing to authority. He tells potential applicants:

Last year, Forbes magazine – a respected source on value investing – touted the value of a legal education, referring to law school as a “relatively low-risk investment that will have an impact on your future and can pay exceptional dividends over a lifetime.”

This advice seems to fly in the face of the chorus of critics of legal education who would have you believe that going to law school today would be a terrible investment. So who is right? Forbes or the critics?

Though popular perceptions might lead you to follow the critics, the smart money should follow Forbes’ advice.

Trust Forbes, not the critics! It's a good line, except that Forbes did not endorse legal education in the way that Katz implies. The column cited by Katz was not written by “Forbes” or by any member of its editorial staff. It was written by a Forbes "contributor" named Shawn O'Connor. O'Connor is the CEO of StratusPrep, a company that offers LSAT test prep classes and law school admissions coaching.

Stratus will happily charge you $1,599 for its basic LSAT prep course. If you want more, you can pay for plenty of other services--all the way up to $7,180 for the "Diamond, All-in-One Package" that includes the LSAT class, 10 hours of LSAT tutoring, law school admissions counseling, and a law school "boot camp." Do you think O'Connor has a financial self interest in urging people to consider law school? Do you think his recommendation carries different weight than one from "Forbes"?

A sidebar to O'Connor's post explicitly states that "[t]he opinions expressed are those of the writer," not those of Forbes. That's a distinction that Dean Katz doesn't bother to make in telling prospective students that Forbes, "a respected source on value investing," has "touted the value of a legal education." If Dean Katz wants to tell applicants that the CEO of a company that makes lots of money selling LSAT prep courses has "touted the value of a legal education," that's fine. But he should be honest about his sources.

Forbes has published numerous columns about law schools and the legal job market. Contributor Peter Cohan, a management consultant and venture capitalist, asked just last week: Does America Need 202 Law Schools? Cohan suggested that "law schools are highly profitable for the professors and administrators," that "radical changes in the way law is practiced means that the high tuitions imposed on aspiring lawyers to get that law degree are less likely to pay off," and that "law schools do not want to teach students the nuts and bolts of lawyering." 

And then there was J. Maureen Henderson's column headlined Why Attending Law School Is the Worst Career Decision You'll Ever Make. Henderson, another Forbes contributor, described the "misleading stats" disseminated by law schools, the "scant 8% of 2011 grads [who] are working at firms that employ 250 or more attorneys," and the "dismal" starting salaries for lawyers in small towns or rural areas.

There was even a column by my law school classmate, Deborah Jacobs (who is actually on the Forbes staff as a Senior Editor) detailing The Case Against Law School. In that column, updated just last week, Jacobs discusses the high debt incurred by law students, the "abysmal job market," and the ways in which technology, outsourcing, and other practices continue to squeeze that market.

I'm not going to catalogue all of the posts about law school published by Forbes. There may be other contributors, like O'Connor, who think law school is a good investment. That's not the point. The point is that "Forbes" has not "touted the value of legal education" and Dean Katz should know that. 

Good lawyers don't misstate their sources. They don't tell the court or opposing counsel that a precedent "holds X," when X appears only in a non-binding concurrence. Nor do good scholars misstate their sources. We don't say that "Forbes" has endorsed a position when the viewpoint comes from a single contributor with a financial interest in the position he advocates.

Trust. It's an asset that matters even more than tuition dollars, and it's declining fast.

Update [LP]:  The text below seems increasingly relevant to both this incident and several other recent public pronouncements by law schools deans:

ABA Accreditation Standards

Standard 509. CONSUMER INFORMATION

(a) All consumer information that a law school reports, publicizes or distributes shall be complete, accurate and not misleading to a reasonable law school student or applicant. Schools shall use due diligence in obtaining and verifying consumer information. Violations of these obligations may result in sanctions under Rule 16 of the Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools.

149 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It appears u jumped the gun

      Delete
  2. I am in the process of applying to law schools. My brother wend wusl and turned down a generous scholarship based on lies told by a Wash U cls officer. I know that you can never trust anything that comes out of the mouth of anyone associated with a law school. these bastards have the ethics of a pimp

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Um, stop applying.

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    2. Do not go. It's a flat fraud to take your tuition money. Jobs barely exist, except the few at big firms. Lawyers at mid-sized and small law firms are barely scraping by on meager salaries of $30k / year.

      It's time to blow the lid on this racket.

      Delete
  3. With applications being way down it is quite apparent that there is little, if any, "trust" in law school rhetoric.

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  4. Law schools' employment statistics have about as much weight as Chinese government economic data, perhaps less.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd liken it more to a North Korean press release about agricultural surpluses, nationwide feasting, and cloning Superman.

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    2. "as much weight as Chinese government economic data, perhaps less."

      Much less.

      The Chinese are surely gilding the lily but there is no lie about the astronomically surge in worldwide exports from China over the last 20 years.

      In contrast, the overwhelming majority of law schools have been lying like crack-addled syphilitic wh*res for over two decades.

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  5. The law-school touts are just glorified snake-oil vendors. Katz is one of the worst. His piece of calculated deception works not through reason but through cajolery, flattery ("the smart money"), prestige (a mass-market right-wing rag enjoys more of this than a diffuse "chorus" of faceless "critics"), caginess, and outright lying.

    I (Old Guy) am embarrassed to be associated with the so-called legal profession. Even if I somehow get a job as a lawyer, I won't be able to live down the ignominy of even remote association with despicable swine such as those that are scheming to con more warm bodies into giving Katz & Cie another boatload of "smart money".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Old Guy,
      Can you please opine as to long-term career prospects for experienced attorneys? I am very interested in learning more on this subject.

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    2. Old Guy, ignore this cock. Age discrimination is rampant here too.

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    3. Old Guy,
      Please ignore 2:49 who is clearly trying to suppress discussion on age discrimination. Please tell us more about how you have been impacted by age discrimination.

      Delete
  6. "When people read our scholarship..."

    DJM, you really believe that anyone reads law professor "scholarship"?

    If so, you need to get your coat and leave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am 100% for exposing the law school scam, including the fact that nobody seriously reads that horrible scholarshit drivel that so many resources get dumped into (sabbaticals, etc.).

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    2. Just days ago, some people running for editor-in-chief of the law review that I edit asked me for my opinions of what the publication should do. I said that it should shut down or at least cut back to a single issue per year. At least three-quarters of what gets published in our law review—which, incidentally, is one of the most highly regarded—is scholarshit.

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  7. RE: Forbes - I don't know other areas, but I do know that Shawn Rein and Gordon Chang have been doing a roaring trade posing as experts on China on Forbes when both have massive question marks over their expert status. I've long ago given up treating Forbes editorials as much more than blog post infomercials.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My comments keep being eaten. I am going to have to figure out what is happening before I post here again. I am sure it is on my part.

    But I just tried to post a long comment about how no Dean is to be trusted. The list of proven liars is long. I include Dean Z's lying debacle of employed students in that list, no matter how passionately she tries to explain that she didn't know information that was going to be posted in a day or two. She is a liar hiding behind incompetence. And then there is GW, the famous taking away money from employed students because he heard they were turning down jobs? And Illinois the liar who created numbers.

    But the main point: they are all complicit. Asha at Yale and JS and KB at Harvard are complicit. When have they ever spoken out denouncing the practices of the lying liars who lie throughout their profession? They have allowed students to be led like lambs to the slaughter and done nothing.

    Did they do anything to protect students or maintain the integrity of their profession as Deans of law schools in charge of admissions? Or any other Deans speaking out?

    Not a single one is worth trusting.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Is the LSAT Diamond all in one package named after a Professor?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lets make a list of all the lies told by Deans. Lets make a second list calling out the Deans that have been known to lie.

    Lies Deans tell:

    No more scholarship money
    We look at all your LSAT scores
    Admissions are holistic
    We don't section stack
    All you have to do is keep a 3.2 to keep your scholarship, don't you expect you will do that well?
    The JD is versatile
    People who speak out about the lies in law school numbers are just bitter losers
    "What are they going to do, become investment bankers?"
    IBR makes your degree worth it
    Our grads make [fill in number]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Holistic" means flexible enough to take in the undeserving scions of the great and the good. And that's true in spades of the élite undergraduate institutions.

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    2. What is section stacking? The term is new to me.

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    3. Section stacking is when a school puts a majority of the students on scholarship in one section of the class. Because they will be competing directly against each other for grades on a mandatory curve, a percentage of those students are guaranteed to be below the stipulated grades required to keep their scholarship.

      By section stacking, they know that students will lose their scholarships befor school even starts.

      Delete
    4. That's devious.

      Delete
  11. Deans known to be liars:
    Marvin Katz, DU
    Dean Z, Michigan
    [fired dean for lying], Illinois
    Duke's Dean in his recent message to alumni who complained

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also that shitheel at Vertical Bar Law School (whatever that study-the-Supreme-Court-in-Malta toilet is called).

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    2. Uh, all of them?

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    3. True, but a list is a good place to start. I want people to know that it isn't just low tier schools whose deans are lying liars who lie.

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  12. The reason why lawyers are careful not to violate trust is that there are severe professional consequences for breaches of that trust. However, as we have seen from the last five years, no dean or law school administrator will ever face a similar level of discipline merely for lying to an incoming student population. It is far more likely that a dean will lose his job for failing to attract a sufficiently large student population willing to pay an aggregate amount that makes the law school profitable to operate for that academic year.

    So why not lie, if the risks are nil and the benefit is normally greater than being honest?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting. The (mis)conduct of LS deans could be seen as a natural experiment showing one of the dangers of doing away with the rule against fee-sharing with non-lawyers.

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  13. "Diamond, All-in-One Package" that includes the LSAT class, 10 hours of LSAT tutoring, law school admissions counseling, and a law school "boot camp."

    This is how the rich get into YHS. They like to think that they are just smarter, but they really are not.

    It's all a game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, and before someone points out GPAs, let's just remember that grade inflation is rampant at places like Harvard College.

      One wonders what kind of grades Harvard kids would get if they were graded on a true curve.

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    2. I was a whore to LSAT prep companies in the past, 5:24, and I will vouch that it is a complete lie to say that if you throw enough money at the problem you will get into Harvard.

      Some rich kids marginally improve. But it is not an epidemic. Further, a lot of the kids taking these classes are quite poor, throwing away what little money they do have on these classes. It's the Law School-industrial complex.

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    3. Even a single point, though statistically insignificant even by the LSAT's own admission, can make a decisive difference in a person's application to law school. Thousands (even tens of thousands) spent on training and "boot camp" won't get a 130 dumb bunny into Harvard, but they do make a big difference to people's outcomes. Almost any rich kid below, say, 170 should be able to score a few points better after a costly course of tutoring.

      The rich can also spend thousands on "admissions consultants" in order to improve their chances.

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    4. But, you know, all of law is a scam right now. Why do you care if having more money makes it easier to get accepted? I'm not following this logic.

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    5. If you're smart, you can get everything you would get out of these ripoff prep courses from some concentrated studying and practicing in a prep book. I improved my score on practice tests by at least 5 points doing that, no extra spending required. It's not rocket science, just do the logic games over and over until you get good at them. (If you don't start out being good at reading ocmprehension, I can't help you and you probably shouldn't go to law school anyway.)

      Delete
  14. Why are Dean LeDuc's recent postings getting a pass? Without naming Campos and Tamanaha, he says law school critics are misleading people, that the employment picture is much brighter, that now's the time to apply.

    HE runs the biggest law school in the country, which US News lists at the bottom every year. Our collective "guns" should be trained on this guy's propaganda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nobody walks up to the carnival barker and holds him to a higher standard of truth-telling. Sadly, those in a position to squash LeDuc know he's full of it. Katz is a better target.

      Delete
  15. http://www.cooley.edu/commentary/admissions_chances_improve_employment_outlook_brightens.html

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  16. If a law student were caught misrepresenting a source like Dean Katz did, the student's grade should suffer big time.

    No DU law student should pay Dean Katz any further credence, and the dean should resign for disgracing his law school.

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  17. Rumors say the Valvoline Dean's new mercedes amg does not run on fossil fuel. Rather it is powered by the indebted souls of the lemmings who attended his ttt. You can see him speeding to and from the Mall at short hills nj. His engine sounds like it has a slight rattle, but that is merely the sound of the engine lemmings' chains.

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  18. Finally, once trust has been lost it is very difficult, at times impossible, to ever regain it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that is why I divorced my husband.

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  19. "All consumer information that a law school reports, publicizes or distributes shall be complete, accurate and not misleading to a reasonable law school student or applicant."

    The whole system has lost trust. I think of one of the BigLaw firms I worked at "we don't hire back alums". Even at the top, the BigLaw system is training 9 lawyers for at best 1 long term job in BigLaw. In a profession that is not growing, and where there is no evidence that large numbers of people are voluntarily retiring, how do you call presenting solelyentry level employment figures which at best have a 1 in 9 chance of resulting in long term employment at that particular employer "not misleading"?

    On the contrary, there is evidence that many BigLaw associates are training to be the "future unemployed of America" precisely because of this horrible 1 to 9 or worse ratio and because the legal profession is not growing in any meaningful way.

    Trust? It looks more like distrust should be the motto for any sophisticated purchaser of law school education.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a lawyer you have a responsibility not to say things that make people dumber for having read them. This falls into that bucket.

      Delete
    2. Law schools using as a come on high paying jobs that they know or should know do not last? Not mentioning in their employment data or on their employment websites that the high paying jobs do not last at the particular firms that hired maybe a quarter of the first years who graduated last year? You think people are dumber if they want to know what happens next?

      Delete
  20. All these deans making these knowingly untrue statements intended to defraud potential law students are members of the Bar.

    Can't you bring professional discipline against them - by filing a complaint with the Colorado State Bar against Katz, for example?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can, but no disciplinary board will do anything about it.

      Delete
  21. Peter Reilly of Forbes also had a series on student loan debt a while back that discussed the perils and pitfalls of taking it on. We all know student loans are fueling this mess.

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  22. So, how do we get Dean Katz's school sanction under standard 509? Do I need to file a complaint w/ the ABA? I am serious. This shit needs. to. stop. now.

    I am not going to let another Dean get away w/ this crap. I can't do this in a courtroom. I can't do this in my own profession. I couldn't get away w/ this while in law school. We are letting these guys ruin the profession.

    So my question to the savvy out there: how can I get standard 509 enforced? Anyone I can talk to? This guy will not be allowed to lie w/ impunity like he is. If we let it happen, we are just as responsible for the lies he is telling as he is.

    They have destroyed the integrity of the profession. They have destroyed the lives of so many students who trusted them to tell the truth about employment prospects. But they will not be allowed to at least walk into the sunset without so much as a scratch.

    So for anyone reading, please tell me what I need to do to at least get the process started...

    I am ready to go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Call the ABA on Monday. Let us know what you find out.

      Delete
  23. "Standard 509. CONSUMER INFORMATION

    (a) All consumer information that a law school reports, publicizes or distributes shall be complete, accurate and not misleading to a reasonable law school student or applicant."

    Unfortunately, it has pretty much become already-settled law to overdefine what consitutes "a reasonable law school student or applicant." One of the great challenge the law school reform movement currently faces is that it has so successfully raised the spectre of imminent career death for most law school matriculants that, by this point, no prospective law student can be said to be behaving reasonably when they make the decision to enroll (unless they get fully funded or HYS). Outside of these two distinct and rarefied categories, you're dealing with people in the throes of something largely similar to this:

    http://www.scientificpsychic.com/workbook/gambling.html

    The challenge now is to demonstrate to the shills, hacks, and (for the most part) structurally insulated pedagogues of the legal academy the economic consequence of maintaining the status quo at all costs. We cannot do this for them, only the market can. And the market for law school is collapsing almost as quickly as the market for lawyers ha (if now several years behind the curve).

    ReplyDelete
  24. Meanwhile, Lawprof and DJM are planning where to go for spring break - paid for by student loans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's it? That's all you've got?

      Give it a rest, Leiter.

      Delete
    2. OMG those hypocrites. Disregard all they say.

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    3. Wen did Leiter and his fellow shills take on a vow of poverty?

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    4. Everything that DJM and LawProf are saying: IT'S NOT SCHOLARSHIP.

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    5. Leiter meanwhile plans to spend his spring break outing homosexuals.

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    6. Okay. Enough. I am not Brian Leiter but you are sorely mistaken if you think that Leiter cares to waste his time visiting this site. Im fact he has probably long forgotten about this blog. Sure his colleagues might constantly email him about whatever is written here, but he has much more important things going on to actually pay any attention to what LawProf has to say. For example there is this one failed philosophy professor, who also happens to have had a partner of the same sex (NOT THAT IT MATTERS, just sayin') that criticized Leiter, so Leiter had to respond to that. Point being, that is the kind of thing that constitutes the vast majority of Leiter's cyber hobbies. This blog? LOL. No.

      Delete
    7. Leiter is a god among men. He is not long for the mortal realm.

      Soon he will begin his new essence, converging into the realm of pure energy.

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    8. At least once Leiter the chinless wunderkind becomes a noncorporeal energy being, he won't have to contend with baser things like sex, or in his case, the lack of it.

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    9. He is Leiter Livingston Seagull.

      Delete
    10. Yes, Leiter outed an openly gay man. That's right up there with the story about the girl who passed out in a guy's apartment, only to find that one of her kidneys was removed during the night and sold to someone else.

      Delete
  25. Katz should have said that the New York Times also thinks law school is a good investment with a link to Larry Mitchell's piece.

    ReplyDelete
  26. DJM,

    Your self-righteousness is getting out of hand. Denver should be sanctioned because its Dean refers to an op-ed in Forbes as "Forbes"? Katz provided a link to the article. Clicking on said link reveals the author of the article and his profession.

    Throwing around claims of unethical misconduct willy-nilly is also something that lawyers should try to avoid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tend to agree. For better or worse I think a lot of people will refer to articles on blogs (WSJ, Forbes, etc.) as articles of those publications. Being sloppy isn't always unethical.

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    2. Yeah definitely he was just being sloppy.

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    3. I know yous kids like 'em sloppy.

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    4. As a practicing lawyer - not a law professor - Katz was presenting a wholly false impression and doing it knowingly, for the benefit of the institution of which he is the head. He is over the line ethically here - and had he done this in court he probably would have been sanctioned.

      If you want an example of some Skadden lawyers getting a total ass-ripping for something like this read:

      http://abovethelaw.com/2013/01/benchslap-of-the-day-skadden-smacked-eats-crow/

      Delete
    5. 9:22 am's comment is why this blog is worth reading.

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    6. Except, you know, he didn't do it in court...

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    7. Well then I guess he can lie all he wants. Or, I'm sorry, be as sloppy as he wants.

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    8. Did you read the entire Katz posting? It's intentional "oops" after intentional "oops," where "oops" = lie, half-truth, misrepresentation, intellectually-dishonest use of statistics, etc.

      Again, if this racket isn't committing per se fraud on a widespread level, we need to change our definition of fraud. These people - Katz, Mitchell, Leduc, Valvoline, etc. - are shameless hucksters who should be treated like shameless hucksters.

      Delete
    9. ^ But they didn't lie IN COURT.

      Delete
    10. ^You don't have to lie IN COURT to be sanctioned, professionally shunned, and lose a massive fraud suit. Most importantly, ethics don't change whether you're IN COURT or out in the hallway.

      All lying IN COURT does is open up a fun new can of worms called "fraud on the court."

      As an attorney, if I lie to a client in my office, it's unethical. If I lie in advertising, it's unethical. If I call opposing counsel and make up something to get them to continue so I can have more time to write a brief, it's unethical. If I lie to a witness who asks what side I'm working for, it's unethical. If I lie to the state bar while they're investigating me, it's unethical.

      Who gives a poo if it's "IN COURT"?

      Delete
    11. Er, lawyers regularly lie and it's not unethical.

      "No, we can't close today. My client is out of town unexpectedly." (Reality - client needs another day to finalize the financing.)

      "My client will not accept that offer." (Reality - client will accept it, but is holding out for more.)

      Get the idea? Not unethical, not fraud.

      I'm not saying that the dean's overstatements are not outright lies, because they are and he knows it too. Just saying that we don't need legal analysis from law students and law grads who have never done anything but doc review.

      Delete
    12. "Er, lawyers regularly lie and it's not unethical."

      The first is a silly lie, and yes, it is unethical, but no one's going to cavil about it since there's almost no reason for the lie.

      The second is not a lie at all.

      These are not what we're talking about, and not even close to the level of misrepresentation we're talking about. A more similar analogy would be a lawyer claiming they've tried multiple million-dollar verdicts when they did some minor paperwork on big commercial litigation cases when they never stepped foot in court.

      Delete
  27. Do any of you idiots know what an Op-Ed is?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was meant for 9:01 and 9:07.

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    2. Yes, it's something where when somebody's caught lying or bullsh*tting, they say 'Do any of you idiots know what an Op-Ed is?' and expect people to excuse them for it.

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    3. "Do any of you idiots know what an Op-Ed is?"

      BTW, you might want to have a friend read and explain the original post above, and explain why the title was the single word 'Trust'.

      Delete
    4. "Do any of you idiots know what an Op-Ed is?" Th answer to that is the Daniel Patrick Moynihan observation that you are entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts. William Ockham

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  28. It is fair to say that a lawyer can withstand being called anything, asshole, jerk, son-of-a-bitch - but not a liar. Get caught lying by a court, your peers or opposing counsel and your career is serious trouble - the word gets around.

    Lawyer jokes aside, lying is a very bad career move.

    ReplyDelete
  29. A couple things:

    (1) Institutional Trust We expect our leaders at public institutions to be honest. For profit institutions, or schools on the margins are somewhat more understandable. That trust is erroding.

    (2) Reputation Counts This is why an article from an institution like DU that seems borderline is more of an issue than a press release from Cooley. Expect the law schools to start positioning themselves more agressively against each other, identifying which schools are section stacking, which schools are a worse bargain, etc., etc.

    All Leiter bashing aside, that's always been his position-- the second and third tier schools don't belong at the same table at the T14 or T6.

    (3) Outright Lying Illinois is just the tip of the iceberg. There will be more outright lying, and not of the of the Dean Mitchell variety.

    (4) Context Finally, why is there such anger at the law schools? Yes, the classes of 2010 through 2012 are more or less lost causes, but the sound and fury isn't coming from just those classes (which are shell-shocked an on IBR). It's coming from the earlier generation of lawyers who slogged through winner-take-all, Hunger Games type competition in law school and then in practice. This is one of the "original sins" of law school-- that it only serves the top 30% or 50% of its graduates, and always has. This will haunt the law schools in the years to come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. " Expect the law schools to start positioning themselves more agressively against each other, identifying which schools are section stacking, which schools are a worse bargain, etc., etc."


      I don't think so. Somebody pointed out that when there's an airplane crash, the other airlines do *not* use that crash in their advertising.

      Delete
    2. Airlines: An integrated network of cooperating companies that codeshare, carry each other's cargo, lend equipment and parts and technical services, generally work together to get people where they need to be for a reasonable price, and who need each other for shared resources to make the entire system run fairly efficiently, even on an international level. They take a long-term view.

      Law schools: A shitpit of asshole law professors and greedy career "administrators" who lie, cheat, steal, and financially fuck their customers, and who would rip another school to shreds like wolf-rapists if it meant that they would enjoy another year of loading their own bank accounts. They take a short-term view.

      So no, I disagree, Barry. I think that law schools would gleefully point the finger at other schools as the offenders.

      Delete
    3. That is *Dean* Wolf-Rapist, to you!

      I didn't spend 3 years in law school and 30 years lying like a syphilitic wh*re not to be properly recognized!

      I'm an important Rapist in this profession!

      Delete
  30. Sure, all law school information will be "complete, accurate and not misleading," but guess who sits on the law school accrediting committee? Well, for one, we have the $900K a year earning carnival barking, charlatan dean John F. O'Brien. So, I wouldn't give the ABA regulation much credence, as it is nothing more than a paper tiger. Sort of like how Article 35 of the Chinese Constitution proclaims that "citizens of the People's Republic of China shall enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly."

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  31. Here’s my take on what’s going on here:

    Katz most likely is clueless about many of the details in his own “puff” piece. Obviously, that’s no excuse. DU, like most law schools, now has a multi-person “communications” staff, a ridiculous extravagance in what should be an age of law school austerity. My guess is that applications are down and one of the staff “flacks” thought it would be a good idea to put together a piece about what a fine investment law school is – hiring is improving, blah blah blah, a law degree is versatile, blah blah blah, relative to other careers, law is still the way to go, blah blah blah, a sort of “get ‘em while their hot” piece, long on salesmanship, short on facts. That’s what PR types do, they sell stuff, in this case a law degree.

    I bet Katz spent about two minutes looking at this before signing off on it, because that’s what executives do. They trust their PR folks, too often at their own peril.

    I would guess that Katz now regrets the whole thing, assuming what is becoming something of a national rant gets back to him. And, the really weird thing is that among the universe of law schools, DU seems to be doing many of the right things – cutting class size dramatically, increasing scholarship grants, even getting the parent university to kick in for many extra full-tuition scholarships. Also, compared to other large cities (Washington, New York, Boston, among others) where there are so many schools that graduates of all but the top one or two have little or no hope of finding meaningful employment (read, with enough “grease” to pay their loans), DU (and CU) don’t face other home-grown competition and, even in this hideous job market, do better than similarly-situated schools in other big cities. (Unlike other large cities, the greater Denver-Boulder area also is experiencing significant economic and population growth, both of which over time will improve the market for legal services.)

    In sum, short of closing its doors (and only the most crazed would suggest that it should do that) DU and Katz seem to be in the group that “gets it.” As LawProf said, Katz seems to recognize the nature of the law school crisis. Given all of this, Katz is (or should be) lamenting the circus barker nature of this poorly timed missive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your scenario may be right - but, a lawyer should always read everything that goes out with his name on it. My publicist cooked it up is not an excuse.

      Delete
    2. Exactly. Katz's name is on it, so he is responsible for the content.

      Delete
  32. I agree completely with 10:19...I think between fancy lunches, needing to talk to people around the school, and keeping hours between 10 and 3, the Dean has no time for this type of research and writing. If I had to guess which person within the administration ("career services") people came up with this, I would go with the man they call "Trey" who's description includes "Trey considers himself a versatile renaissance man and, thus, has myriad interests outside of work including dj’ing, writing, and shopping for bowties." Such a level of jackassery could reasonably assumed to create a blowhard piece such as the one the Dean has signed. The Dean probably has more money in his savings/retirement than I will receive in income during my lifetime. If the price to pay is to continue to manipulate young people that have in their view so many "outs", such as IBR, non-legal work, document review, etc. then so be it. Worth it for the lifestyle the lies provide. I would love to get a clear answer whether the Dean actually wrote this piece.

    ReplyDelete
  33. This alum already wrote a very pointed email about trust to Dean Katz after Campos' first post yesterday.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'd love to see that e-mail. I don't care about his reply, because it'll be boilerplate and BS.

    ReplyDelete
  35. FYI, here is a question I was asked over at faculty lounge. I just thought you all might have fun with this one as well.

    I believe what he/she is trying to assert is that the ABA accredited schools of California a drawing students because of their reputed "scholarship."

    "Stop the madness:

    Why do thousands of students demand entry into California's ABA accredited law schools with those "overpaid" law professors when there are many lower cost alternatives available?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't there a baby bar you have to take if you don't go to an ABA accredited school?

      Delete
  36. I think that the ABA standards need to be amended with respect to law schools to provide that law schools shall treat their students as if they were a lawyers clients - that they have a fiduciary duty at all times to act in the best interests of their students, that they have a duty of candor towards their students.

    I cannot describe the nausea that the defences that law schools have presented in some of the scam cases has led me to feel - that students being "informed consumers" presenting false information by the law school was harmless. No lawyer would get away with the arguments that law schools have presented before a state licensing board - law schools should not either.

    We need to reform the accreditation standards to impose a brutally severe ethical regime on law schools relations with their students, including their status through financial aid offices as loan originators/agents - and we need to impose the same sort of professional death on deans and professors that is imposed on lawyers - breaches of the ethics rules will result in a bar on any ABA Accredited school employing someone in any capacity as well as a loss of any right to a law license.

    I think law schools deans need to see the situation - they stand disgraced at this point. It is time for steps to be taken to make it clear - ethics rules do apply to law schools and their administrations and faculty. That is the biggest change the accreditation rules needs. That is the most important thing to restore confidence.

    ReplyDelete
  37. George Washington is reporting 81% of its students employed full time . But a large percentage of that number are employed by the school making $15 an hour. There are 109 people in the program which works out to be 15% of the graduating class. And, the number of people in the program has increased from the debacle last summer where the dean arbitrarily decided to cut all the salaries of these students so they would be motivated to find work.

    That determination was overturned and the dean was kicked out of that job, but this is a perfect example of why not to trust any law school dean.

    ReplyDelete
  38. http://abovethelaw.com/2013/02/more-graduates-take-school-funded-jobs-at-one-top-law-school/

    Link to above the law article on this topic which also links to law school transparency.

    ReplyDelete
  39. http://minnlawyer.com/2013/02/08/why-are-numbers-down-at-law-schools/

    ReplyDelete
  40. Two scenarios to consider:

    1. One of us nobodys files a complaint with the ABA. Minor news story that is forgotten about in five minutes and comes to nothing.

    2. DJM files the complaint with the ABA. Massive news story that is followed diligently by major outlets, and supported by everyone here. Might actually make a difference.

    (Chance of #2? 0.0001%)

    ReplyDelete
  41. I think DJM and Lawprof have their necks out quite far enough already, don't you?

    How about the ABA do something on its own?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they've done better than most by sticking their heads out of their Cinderella-like windows high up in the safety of their ivory towers.

      It's not like they've just put their heads through the "head hole" of the guillotine.

      I think that DJM is doing the bare minimum, just enough to think that we'll catch her when the tower crumbles instead of letting her plunge to her demise like the rest of the useless law professors who have raped us for twenty five years (yes, that's how long she's made a career of this fraud, along with many others, some I know who have milked us for close to forty years).

      For me to put out my arms to save her, I'll need to see more than just words.

      Delete
    2. No one cares. DJM is successful on her own. She doesn't need your help to catch her.

      Get over yourself.

      Delete
  42. So Sturm Law claims Forbes' endorsement based on a self-interested and specifically non-endorsed article by a "contributor" to Forbes' magazine or website.

    Following that logic, Sturm can take a more amibitious approach. They can have one of their administrative flunkies post an anonymous comment on this blog praising Sturm as a great value and a shining exception to all the problems plaguing the other law schools. Then Sturm can circulate promotional material asserting that it is such a great school that it is even endorsed by "Inside the Law School Scam"!

    dybbuk

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

    ReplyDelete
  44. (a) A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services. A communication is false or misleading if it:
    (1) Contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading; or
    (2) Contains an assertion about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services that cannot be substantiated.

    Comment


    [1] This rule governs all communications about a lawyer’s services, including advertising. It is especially important that statements about a lawyer or the lawyer’s services be accurate, since many members of the public lack detailed knowledge of legal matters. Certain advertisements such as those that describe the amount of a damage award, the lawyer’s record in obtaining favorable verdicts, or those containing client endorsements, unless suitably qualified, have a capacity to mislead by creating an unjustified expectation that similar results can be obtained for others. Advertisements comparing the lawyer’s services with those of other lawyers are false or misleading if the claims made cannot be substantiated.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Is desperation for work causing the unethical actions of copyright trolls?

    See today's news in california federal court http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/2013/02/08/judge-otis-write-is-fed-up-with-brett-gibbss-and-prendas-frauds-hints-at-incarceration/

    ReplyDelete
  46. LAW SCHOOL IS A FLAT SCAM!!! I've been out for two years with no employment. The law schools' employment numbers are STILL fake and inflated.

    ...And of those employed, they are in low wage, low paying jobs. What a waste of $100k.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If there really are opportunities going begging (but law grads are just being too picky or not creative enough about their job search), as these deans imply, why aren't we seeing stories about law firms hungry for qualified applicants and salaries skyrocketing?

      Granted, we don't see many stories like that for any industry nowadays, except maybe for the oil fields of North Dakota or specialized fields of medicine or IT, but I never see that for law firms (or DA positions, legal aid, etc.)

      Those stories are not scientific surveys, but they're usually decent proxies for employment conditions.

      Delete
  47. All this and TLS still has threads on people wondering if they should pay sticker at a T14 school.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Check this thread out and ask yourself how fubar'd the legal market really is:

    http://www.jdunderground.com/all/thread.php?threadId=40719

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Check this out and ask yourself how fubar'd the legal education system really is:

      www.tnhonline.com/law-school-adds-new-sports-and-entertainment-institute-1.2980955#.URkecPIf-vM

      Yes, U New Hampshire will have a Sports Law center, just like Vermont ... as if New England, and this isn't even Boston, needs TWO sports law centers. NH will also offer courses in publishing and videogame law ... New Hampshire being such a center for the entertainment industry.

      Delete
  49. Katz has now edited the piece in response to DJM.

    Previously it read:

    "Last year, Forbes magazine – a respected source on value investing – touted the value of a legal education, referring to law school as a “relatively low-risk investment that will have an impact on your future and can pay exceptional dividends over a lifetime.”"

    The new and improved version on his school's website now reads:

    "Last year, contributing writer Shawn O’Connor wrote an article for Forbes magazine – a respected source on value investing – touted [sic] the value of a legal education . . .”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Profs. All that time on their hands and they still need someone else to proofread a document before it reads like english.

      Delete
    2. Wow. Awesome scambusting. You got someone to "correct" an inconsequential sidefact about authorship, while the meat of the article remains unchanged.

      I guess we can all go home now, seeing as we're all clear that Shawn O'Connor wrote the article as a contributor to Forbes, and not Forbes itself. Scam busted, nice work, nothing else to see here, move along.

      Delete
    3. Do you want DJM to go to Denver and waterboard Dean Katz until he agrees to rewrite the whole article? What the hell do you expect? Nitwit.

      Delete
    4. Grow up, Lois. Too much drink, perhaps?

      The point I was making is that the issue of authorship and attribution is a non-issue when it comes to the scam. It's a distraction. It's irrelevant. Who cares?

      Nobody wants the article rewritten. We just want the discussion to be about the article itself and the lies it contains, rather than spending our time arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, or whether a blogger writing for Forbes is actually the same as Forbes employee writing.

      Your post should not have been about the success of having the dean rework that minor point in his article. Your post should have been about the failure of the dean to rework anything other than that minor point, leaving all four of his major lies standing.

      Delete
    5. Right - Katz is still using bogus pseduo-scholarship to support his warped hucksterism. Getting him to correct the citation technicalities is a little too academic-minded. What would really be a success is Dean Katz rewriting the piece to be entirely honest with students about law being a losing proposition for most.

      Delete
  50. Reading TLS makes me think we have to address the desperation of the kids who are the prey of these Vulture Deans.

    They feel they have to go to law school for a chance at a better life.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I gather that hemorrhoids are a common problem for law professors. Comes from sitting around all day, I suppose.

      Delete
    2. Fuck off, Diamond.

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  52. Business Insider ran an article about members of Congress that still have student loans.

    These Members Of Congress Are Still Up To Their Ears In Student Loan Debt
    http://www.businessinsider.com/congress-student-loans-2013-2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also another law school applicant. This one is attending Cardozo.

      Former Child Actor Isn't Scared Of The Law School Bubble
      http://www.businessinsider.com/elise-on-attending-cardozo-law-school-2013-1

      Delete
    2. "Plus, Elise believes the risks of going to law school outweigh the risks of not going.

      'If I was governed by fear in all of my choices," she says, "I'd still be waiting tables.'"

      And she might be in 3 years!

      To be fair, if she's a former child actor (tho not one who wants to be named?), she has a serious "in" for the sprawling field of entertainment law. And employers/clients will love it that she used to be on _________.

      Delete
    3. Given how glutted and competitive entertainment law must be (judging by how glutted and competitive less glamorous areas are) I doubt if being a C-grade former child star will give her the edge she will need.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  54. Do U.S. Law Schools That
    Report False or Misleading
    Employment Statistics Violate
    Consumer Protection Laws?

    http://www.jtexconsumerlaw.com/V15N3/V15N3_Professional.pdf

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1854709


    Professional Dishonesty: Do U.S. Law Schools That Report False or Misleading Employment Statistics Violate Consumer Protection Laws?

    Joel F. Murray

    University of California, Davis - School of Law; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); University of Washington; Georgetown University Law Center

    June 1, 2012

    University of Houston Law Center, Journal of Consumer & Commercial Law, Vol. 15, No. 3, Summer 2012

    ReplyDelete
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  56. Dean Katz has now made quite a few edits to the piece, clarifying the source of the Forbes article. Well done, DJM!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Yes, well done! Gold medals for scambusting all around! DJM has once again managed to f**k things up by missing the point. She has focused on the wrong thing yet again, changed the conversation from the actual scam to something less scammy, and as a result has watered-down the whole idea that law school is a bad idea. Just like on that misguided Law School Cafe site, which pretends that law schools just need minor changes to put everything right.

    "Look at that naughty dean. He slightly mischaracterized a source!" Conversation then moves on to whether the source was characterized properly, dean makes a minor change, idiots claim victory, failing to understand that for two more days, the conversation has now been about something other than the scam. (This tends to be the MO for DJM, unfortunately. Change the subject, ignore the core scam, point at something inconsequential in a different direction and cry "look over there!" so as to not offend any of her law professor friends. Not sure if she's doing it deliberately, or whether she just doesn't get it. I suspect it's probably the latter.)

    Here's what should have happened.

    "Look at that naughty dean. He slightly mischaracterized a source! But who cares, because he's lying about four major aspects of the scam, and who gives a damn where he's getting his info. He's lying. Here's why. Unemployment rates for lawyers are high, no matter what he says. There are not enough law jobs, no matter what he says. Salaries for new lawyers are too low to justify the cost, no matter what he says. And law schools do not prepare grads for practicing law, no matter what he says."

    That's how LawProf would have handled this. To the point, hard-hitting, and accurate; not diversionary, academic (professorial, in fact), and blind.

    ReplyDelete
  58. hold on, hoss. LP himself trashed the article on its substance and DJM came in for a coup de grace on the attribution error. it was a one-two combo. no need for DJM to repeat what LP had already done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was not a "one-two" combo. It was a punch from Campos, then DJM leaped into the fight and started giving first aid to the dean who Campos had just whacked, and telling Campos to leave him alone. That was the effect of her distracting us from the real debate. A citation mistake? How about next time she comes into the fight with a knife instead of a first aid kit.

      Seriouly, DJM, if this is your "A" game, then please leave us alone. Your loyalites are becoming ever more clear, and they lie with your faculty friends. You are boosting you own career by weakening the main scamblog, and winning points with your own faculty by failing to land any blows. And I think you're smart enough to know what you're doing too. You're not a Cooley professor who needs help wiping her own ass and feeding herself.

      Stop "helping". It's as if you're only here to diminish the effect of Campos.

      Delete
    2. I think when it comes to issues of trust, we know that law Deans will lie to us. That's not news.

      The main trust issue in this post is whether DJM is on our side or not. Do we trust her?

      Delete
  59. The real reason for decline in law schools "It's LP's fault."

    http://www.businessinsider.com/stephen-sheppard-paul-campos-brian-tamanaha-law-school-bubble-2013-2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Written by Steve Sheppard, associate dean for research and faculty development at University of Arkansas School of Law.

      I don't know what an "associate dean for research and faculty development" does, but in the coming age of law school frugality its doubtful if a low ranked school like Arkansas can afford it for too much longer.

      Delete
    2. Associate dean for research and faculty development! Jesus H Christ!

      In the main, law professors do very little meaningful "research"—certainly not enough to justify an associate dean to take charge of it.

      Delete
  60. There's a pretty big collective action problem here. Law professors and law school administrators who do the right thing WON'T BE REWARDED FOR IT (and could be punished for it) and the those who continue to do the wrong thing, even dial up the intensity, WILL BE REWARDED FOR IT (at least in the short term.

    The attrition in applicants and the demand for tuition discounts will occur more or less uniformly in line with US News rankings and student employment reports. Schools won't be rewarded for their candor.

    The forced reforms, when they come, won't single out the virtuous from the venal. Limitations on federal loans will doubtless follow some formula for regional distributions and protection of black and Hispanic enrollment. If forced reforms hit class size, the schools that cut class size voluntarily will probably be downscaled even further.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Um, I've had one beer and you're making no sense. And I don't think it's the fact that I've had one beer that is the problem.

      Delete
    2. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/us/lawyers-call-for-drastic-change-in-educating-new-lawyers.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130211

      Delete
    3. Law school has lost trust factor. We're past the tipping point. They don't realize they're going the way of welding schools. It'll take generations to regain the credibility.

      Delete

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