Friday, February 1, 2013

Wall Street Journal story implies we may not need more law schools

The Wall Street Journal has a story today on new law schools that are opening in Indiana and Texas, despite a cratering job market, skyrocketing debt, and a rapidly shrinking applicant pool.

Members of the law-school class of 2011 had little better than a 50-50 shot at landing a job as a lawyer within nine months of receiving their degree, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis last year. At the same time, some law graduates are saddled with as much as $150,000 in student-loan debt, in part because tuition is rising faster than the rate of inflation.

The statistics do give some educators pause. "It seems like the worst possible time to open a new law school," said Brian Z. Tamanaha, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis and frequent law-school critic who last year published a book titled "Failing Law Schools."
It's worth noting that, rather than representing anything like a worst-case scenario, $150,000 probably represents the average law school debt carried by 2012 graduates of private law schools at graduation.  (The average amount borrowed during law school by 2011 graduates of such schools was $125,000, which doesn't include accrued interest.  The average amount borrowed has been going up by about 5% per year, and accrued interest adds more than 15% to the principal at these debt levels.  These figures don't include other educational debt).

One feature of this subject that doesn't get much attention is the rate at which law school expansion has been accelerating.  The number of ABA law schools increased by four over the course of the 1980s and by seven during the 1990s.  Between 2000 and and 2009 the ABA accredited 18 new law schools, even as the evidence of a hyper-saturated market for lawyers became increasingly compelling.

BTW one myth purveyed by denialists -- Steve Diamond, who makes the claim in the WSJ story that "the financial backing [these new schools] have is presumably looking down the road beyond the downturn," is particularly fond of it -- is that the market for new attorneys was basically fine until it suddenly collapsed in the wake of the financial crisis of 2007.  In fact a full third of all law graduates weren't getting legal jobs in the "golden years" prior to 2007.  Here are the percentages from NALP of graduates whose employment status was known who had full-time jobs requiring bar admission nine months after graduation:

2001: 68.3
2002: 67.0
2003: 65.5
2004: 65.1
2005: 66.7
2006: 68.3

This is an average for all schools.  For the bottom 100, and especially for schools in the tier to which Indiana Tech and UT-North Dallas aspire, the percentage of graduates getting jobs was more on the order of 50%, even in the "best" of times.

The 2007 financial crisis hit BigLaw hiring hard, and by extension the employment figures for elite and semi-elite schools, but of course the vast majority of law schools have never sent more than a small percentage of their graduates to large law firms. The crisis had only a marginal effect on the already-bad employment numbers of about 170 of the 200-odd ABA schools. 

As for the justifications for opening yet more law schools in the even more dire post-2007 environment, the WSJ story quotes the usual nonsense about access and affordability and practice-ready hands-on graduates:

Ellen S. Pryor, associate dean for academic affairs at UNT Dallas College of Law, said her school aims to serve local college students seeking an affordable, hands-on legal education, and will draw a different pool of applicants than other north Texas law schools.

"I know applications are down," Ms. Pryor said, but "the fact that nationwide numbers are down doesn't dishearten us from thinking we'll get really good students and fulfill our mission."
UNT Dallas hasn't revealed yet what it plans to charge in tuition for its entering class of 2014, but Indiana Tech, which is putting forth precisely the same babble about why it's opening a law school, will charge nearly $30,000 per year to this fall's entering class, assuming there is one (andre douglas pond cummings, his resplendent moniker brutally subjected to abbreviation and capitalization by the capitalist capitalizers of the WSJ editorial staff, reveals that Indiana Tech is having quite a bit of trouble rounding up 100 intrepid souls for its entering class, so jah willing perhaps this particular farcical enterprise won't even get off the ground).



212 comments:

  1. Thank you again professor.

    ReplyDelete
  2. LOL @ andre douglas pond cummings getting abbreviated to Andre D. P. Cummings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL.

      ProTip: do not google "D.P. Cummings" without safesearch on.

      Delete
    2. Regarding Andre Douglas Pond Cummings, I served an LDS mission with that douche in the late eighties (Phoenix, AZ) and he talked about hip hop and demanded that everyone refer to him as "Dougie Fresh." Also, he claimed to be from Redondo Beach, CA and yapped about surfing when off the topic of hip hop. He used to bleach his hair and he'd wear several woven friendship bracelets. Back then he was a younger version of what he is now--a 5' tall chubbawubba.

      The fact that this idiot is a law prof, and now law administrator speaks volumes for how f'd up legal education has become.

      Delete
    3. ^ you know it's bad when the Mormons are calling you a douche.

      Delete
    4. Eh, I think a person can capitalize their name the way they want.

      Delete
    5. 106: you are absolutely right. He is entitled to pick whatever stupid, pointless affectation he wishes.

      Thank you for your bold defense of personal liberty.

      Delete
  3. andre douglas pond cummings.

    Hip hop and the law.

    I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

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    Replies
    1. Even though I'm not a fan of youtube video links in comments, this was actually pretty hilarious!

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  4. I read down to the bottom of the article, their is Campos being quoted: "The notion that we need to open more law schools is absolutely crazy" GO LAWPROF

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323926104578276301888284108.html

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  5. Oh great, I was hoping to double down on my worthless J.D. by getting an LL.M in Hip Hop Law at Indiana Tech and getting schooled by the world renowned andre dougie pond scumming. I hope the school does open. Haven't taxpayers in Indiana helped fund the $100 million construction of this school?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indiana Tech is private, so the funds to build that useless piece of trash did not come directly from the state's coffers. That said, local government will lose property tax revenues because of its alleged nonprofit status.

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    2. These so called "private" schools get tax exempt status as non-profits so essentially they do exist due to the taxpayers. Look at NYU and Columbia for example. They own a sizeable stake in NYC real estate but don't pay equal taxes. Instead, people in Brooklyn and Queens get taxed to the max to make up the tax shortcomings of these schools not having to pay much in property taxes.

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    3. Do you think that Indiana Tech will admit me if I write my name all in lower-case letters?

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    4. why not give it a try? request application materials from:

      admissions office
      indiana institute of technology school of law

      fort wayne, indiana 46802

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    5. 8:43, I think Indiana Tech will take you if you have a pulse.

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    6. Whadyamean that I have to have a pulse? If dead people can vote, why can't I or my corpse be admitted to Law skule ?

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    7. After all corpses, too, need "access" to legal education, as they are an under represented demographic.

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    8. Yes, and dead people can add a lot of diversity to the class. Of course, all depends on their eligibility for guaranteed loans in an arbitrarily large amount.

      Delete
    9. Making fun of dead people=racism

      Delete
  6. Fun fast facts about the new Indiana Tech law school: http://www.indianatech.edu/Academics/law/Pages/admission.aspx

    1: Number of law schools in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

    60,000: Projected number of volumes in the law library.

    Awesome!!!! Can I go BACK to law school to get a degree from there?!?!?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, the number of law schools in Fort Wayne, Indiana, should be reported as zero. Indiana Tech shouldn't count.

      Delete
  7. There is also the phemomenon of law schools that once served a useful function but no longer do, yet live on. Rutgers-Camden is a good example. It once trained South Jersey residents to serve that region, a largely rural area of a largely urban-industrial state, as lawyers in its small towns and suburbs. Changes in the demographics, politics and economics of NJ rendered that mission obsolete decades ago and R-C became one of the bottom feeders of the five (now six) law schools in the Philadelphia area. Yet it lives on, zombie like, devouring more and more of the hopes of its students and the taxpayers' dollars. Dickenson(now Penn State),which served the same function in Central PA, is another example. Since being acquired by PSU it has been groping for a mission and trying to lure students with programs in "internationl relations law" (in Carlisle PA, I'm not making this up) and sports law. I'm sure there are many others.

    RPL

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    Replies

    1. Hmm, how about sports and child protection law?

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    2. Go back to Camden in its heyday you would have seen a lot smaller and more modest institution. Decades ago America probably supported dozens of small regional law schools, but they pretty much all allowed their size and spending to grow out of control.

      Perhaps partly because students have grown to expect law schools to be large and sumptious. There's no going back to that earlier model of small regional schools, most of the existing law schools ideally should close.

      Delete
  8. Indiana Tech law school accreditation status:


    Accreditation

    The Dean is fully informed as to the Standards and Rules of Procedure for the Approval of Law Schools by the American Bar Association. The Administration and the Dean are determined to devote all necessary resources and in other respects to take all necessary steps to present a program of legal education that will qualify for approval by the American Bar Association. The Law School makes no representation to any applicant that it will be approved by the American Bar Association prior to the graduation of any matriculating student.

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  9. We've moved on from the fiction that the law schools are run "for the students." Now people argue that getting rid of the law school will hurt the general economic welfare of the region, see the debate over whether to close one of Penn State's campuses.

    Or you have folks arguing that even if law school produces no return on the student's investment it's still worth it, because the ability of law professors to have academic and professional freedom is a social good that should be subsidized regardless of what they actually produce.

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    1. I know. It's let's throw a bunch of bullshit at the wall and see what sticks. Perhaps law professors would be better lawyers than I thought.

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    2. The law students are the sacrificial lambs on the alter of supporting the local economy.

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    3. "Now people argue that getting rid of the law school will hurt the general economic welfare of the region, see the debate over whether to close one of Penn State's campuses."

      The Dickinson - Penn State dispute is driven entirely by internal Pennsylvania politics and relates to the fact that Penn State attempted to pull Dickinson out of Carlisle and failed, resulting in two campuses.

      It really has nothing to do with the oversupply of law schools and law students.

      Nobody ever really wanted two campuses in the first place and there was never any actual intention on the part of Penn State to maintain two campuses.

      Dickinson wanted to stay in Carlisle and Penn State wanted everybody in State College, resulting in a schism.

      There are tons of Dickinson alumni who really want nothing to do with Penn State and want the school to stay in Carlisle.

      Economics has nothing to do with this and everybody knows that.

      Delete
  10. It's amazing. I wonder what tuition would do if the government stopped of subsidies or if people could discharge their student debts. When I graduated -- in the late 1990s -- it was difficult to find work but it wasn't anywhere near how it is today. I mean, we moaned about having to take a job in a company's compliance department or at a tiny real estate firm or whatever. But my colleagues/classmates have jobs and are fine for now (though our salaries have remained unchanged since the crisis).

    Now? Now I work for a large company and when a counsel 1 job opens up -- you know, the kind where we're looking for someone with one to three years of experience -- we get 500 resumes in a week. Most are from senior lawyers who have been out of work for a year or two or who have small practices that they've had for decades. The counsel 1 job, which pays in the $75K range, is a substantial pay raise for many of our applicants.

    It's crazy. We don't need more law schools. We need fewer law schools. We need lower tuition. We need much, much better disclosure/understanding between what you are giving to get a law degree and what you are getting from your law degree. And we need fewer lawyers.

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  11. We 'need' approximately 15,000 lawyers per year going forward. (About 20,000 new lawyers will be needed per year, and there is about a 10 year surplus inventory that needs to work its way through the system).

    There is no good reason why taxpayers should enable an output of 45,000 annually, which is two or three times the need.

    There are far, far too many lawyers and law schools.

    Why are law schools immune from market forces? Why should the public, in a time of budget crises and outrageous deficits, be called upon to subsidize the law schools and law students?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because

      1) Law schools are a conduit for federal loan money to college campuses and surrounding areas, like military bases.

      2) Law professors produce important stuff. Well, we don't know that. It's offensive to the constitutional right of academic freedom even ask them to justify their work on a practical basis. But they are such smart people, and went to Yale and Harvard, and could have made partner at SullCrom, so whatever they are doing must be really important for society. Just trust that these geniuses are putting your money to good use and don't ask too many questions.

      Delete
  12. "Straight Outta Fort Wayne, Dawg!"

    http://www.indianatech.edu/Academics/Law/Pages/default.aspx

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    Replies
    1. Ice Cube rapped: "...I'ma keep on stompin' comin' straight outta Compton."

      dre cummings could likewise rap: "I'ma keep sippin' on cappuccino at my symposium in Lugano."

      "Franklin College, Switzerland, Invited Panelist, “Thug Life: Hip Hop’s Curious Relationship With Criminal Justice,” Panel Presentation “Pop Culture and the Law,” Intersections of Law and Culture Conference 2009, Lugano, Switzerland, October 4, 2009 (With Akilah Folami and David Oppenheimer)"

      http://law.wvu.edu/r/download/119900

      Delete
  13. Tell the ABA what you think of the job they are doing:

    http://www.americanbar.org/groups/professional_responsibility/taskforceonthefuturelegaleducation/comments.html

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  14. Many of the more serious reforms aren't likely to happen at existing schools. It's hard to get rid of tenured faculty, or to cut the pay and increase the workload of the people you invite to your holiday parties, or to be the grinch who eliminates the sweet but useless support staff.

    It's going to make the problem worse for a while, but the only way to see real reform may be to open schools operating under a better model which can out-compete existing schools and drive them out of business.

    Of course, we've all seen what really happens. A lot of talk about access and affordability and practical skills, and then a $40,000+ pricetag and faculty focused mainly on scholarship. But what if UNT-Dallas opened its doors with a $15-25k sticker price and a mission of claiming the turf of SMU Dedman? I'd at least like to see how that plays out.

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    1. The current regulatory scheme makes a truly cheap school nearly impossible without a funding from outside sources. The regulations have enshrined this "quality model" of legal education as the only acceptable model. You need faculty with shiny pedigrees who clerked for federal circuit courts. You need a large career and admissions staff. You need a big print library. You need a modern building. Anything else is unfair and racist.

      It's all built on faulty assumptions, but it's how legal education is run.

      Delete
    2. I don't know if any school has faced accreditation problems because their faculty's credentials were not shiny enough. You could greatly reduce your costs by having your tenured professors paid closer to $100,000 than $150,000, and having 2/2 caseloads for all professors absent some extraordinary circumstances (and "I'm studying ancient Mesopotamian inheritance law" isn't extraordinary). Simply converting 2/1 teaching loads to 2/2 means you can operate with 25% fewer faculty. If you're paying that faculty 30% less, you've almost reduced your faculty costs by half.

      The standards don't prohibit this, and you should still be able to get within the faculty:student ratio range that gives you a presumption of compliance with the rules.

      And I think you'd be able to attract sufficiently shiny applicants even offering just $100k and a comparatively heavy teaching load. It's still such a huge step up from BigLaw that while you won't be anyone's first choice, you'll certainly not be below their cutoff.

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    3. Cancel all sabbaticals. Require at least three courses per semester. Pay nothing for the summer unless the professors work then. Stop requiring scholarshit. Assign administrative duties to the professors so as to reduce the support staff. Cut salaries dramatically.

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    4. Just about any law school could cut faculty salaries to $50k and be fine.

      What would the professors do? Walk?

      Sure, some might, but there are plenty of well-qualified, eager beavers out there who could the teach courses well.

      Heck, even law professors admit that *teaching* isn't valued in law schools.

      That's what needs to be said now load and clear: law professors aren't worth $200-300k. They are overpriced and the quickest way to cutting law school costs is to dramatically cut their salaries.

      Delete
    5. I'll work for 50k, 3-3 classes, and tenure at any law school, even Cooley.

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    6. I have a decade of teaching experience, and graduated with Order of the Coif and all that fancy crap. And I'd gladly teach 3/3 for 50k a year, tenure, and my summers off.

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    7. BL - they are going to HAVE to reform though if enrollments continue to crash. their budgets will simply not survive without any drastic cuts.

      Delete
    8. Reform isn't the only end game. The alternative is that schools simply fail.

      If 20 schools were to close, the remaining schools at the bottom of the heap will see an increase in enrollment due to less competition, and might be able to go on surviving without any substantial reforms.

      And if you're at a school looking at collapse, rather than upping your workload and cutting your salary, you might try to raid the coffers and get you and your buddies some comfortable buyouts.

      Delete
  15. "Babble" is the appropriate word for what law school administrators have to offer at this point. It's all just so much nonsense, hard to even respond to because these people aren't even talking about anything real.
    UNTDCL (sounds elite!) will draw a "different pool of applicants than other North Texas law schools?" Jesus Christ, just say that you're going to let homeless people enroll to take their federal loan money, it would be a more honest statement regarding of the future of this toilet.
    And I'm still chuckling about Leiter's projection that "about 10" law schools are going to close over the next decade. The employment situation is (and will remain) so dire, the cost such an unconscionable ripoff, and the people in charge of law schools so utterly incapable of fixing the problems they have created that when the governmental leviathan finally gets around to noticing this catastrophe, the result is not going to be a haircut for law schools, it's going to be a beheading. I can think of four schools just in Illinois that have no real reason to exist anymore (Kent, DePaul, Loyola, John Marshall). SIU and NIU might not place people in jobs any better than those dumps but at least they don't rip off their students quite as badly.

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  16. Indiana Tech hires a 73 year old retired bankruptcy judge for its full time faculty:

    http://www.indianatech.edu/News/Pages/Law-School-Judge.aspx

    So read that as: full federal pension plus law professor salary. Personally, I think retired judges should have to forgo their pensions while they are pulling in another salary, or else keep the pension and work for the law school for free.

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    Replies
    1. At least she worked in bankruptcy. That should come in handy when the school closes two years from now.

      Delete
    2. And in all fairness, he has practice experience. Now he just needs to ramp-up his law review pubs!

      Delete
  17. Law. LOL. What a joke "profession."

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  18. "'I know applications are down,' Ms. Pryor said, but 'the fact that nationwide numbers are down doesn't dishearten us from thinking we'll get really good students and fulfill our mission.'"

    That's the spirit Pollyanna! There's no way that light at the end of the tunnel could be an oncomming train.

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    Replies
    1. Institutional SSS

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    2. The sad thing is that if law is important to a civilized society law schools have made it into a joke and tragedy. I'm not sure that bodes well for society.

      Delete
  19. University of North Texas is not the same thing as UT-Dallas (not that it really makes any difference).

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  20. There has got to be somebody manning the educational sluice gates at the federal level who is watching the taxpayer dollars pour through In a raging torrent and who knows it will never be recovered. Don 't they answer to anybody? Doesn't anybody in the whole chain answer to anyone?

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    Replies
    1. That is what is wrong with the whole bloody country!!! The gubmint just keeps passing out bazillions for idiotic reasons. I live in a suburban Connecticut town that still has a lot of open land. Our last real working farm shut down last year because it was no longer profitable. That family has farmed here since 1685 (no, that's not a typo) and owned their land free and clear, and even they couldn't make it happen anymore.

      So what are the feds doing? They gave the town a $450,000 grant for an agricultural center to "incubate new farmers." That's not enough money to buy enough land for one viable farm, and no farm would be viable in any event. No one is watching where that money went and for what. But our representatives can say they brought home the bacon, our local leaders can boast about how much grant money they got and most of the public just says "look at all this wonderful free money we got." Multiply that stupid waste of money by every small town in America.

      Delete
    2. Was it stimulus money?

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    3. I didn't ask because I really dislike it when I vomit.

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  21. Affordable, my ass! I'll believe it when I see it.

    Even if this toilet-to-be of a law school is "affordable", it's still a horribly bad choice. For anyone.


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  22. Why does anyone even talk to Steve Diamond?

    He's basically Baghdad Bob at this point: regurgitating the same debunked garbage in the vain hope that someone will take it as official gospel.

    He's more of a joke than Brian Leiter, IMO. At least Leiter stays with his beloved Nietzsche instead of trying to argue against facts.

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  23. Replies
    1. It's time to start referring to Diamond as Baghdad Bob more generally. Make the name stick.

      Delete
    2. Yes, Diamond is Baghdad Bob and Lawrence Mitchell is Irwin Mainway.

      Delete
    3. Personally, I prefer "Rocketman" as Steve Diamond's nickname, but Baghdad Bob and Irwin Mainway are great! May have to swipe them for the future.

      Delete
    4. Or Steve "Similar Opportunities" Diamond.

      Delete
  24. Ellen S. Pryor, associate dean for academic affairs at UNT Dallas College of Law....

    How hard up do you have to be to take one of these jobs? I can sort of understand someone who already has a job running or teaching at a doomed LS sticking around to the bitter end, given the likely alternatives. But what state of mind causes someone to leave what she's already doing to join up with a place that has TTTT written all over it right from the start?

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    Replies
    1. State of mind or economic situation...

      Delete
  25. DP Cummings discusses his book. He uses big words as if he's saying something, but there's no there there. Empty syllables, empty sentences, empty head. Can you imagine going $125,000 into debt for the privilege of learning from him?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF6wLBWFY8Y

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    Replies
    1. I tried to force myself to watch the whole thing but I couldn't--it just made me too angry.

      I wonder what people would think if they realized how much tax money is going to producing this type of useless, mindless "scholarship."

      Delete
    2. hilarious. his co-editor refers to him as "Dre Cummings." he has a JD, so, unless i'm missing something, the good professor should be called "Dr. Dre."

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pboBB4TOxc

      Delete
    3. He says he "interrogates issues." Anyone who uses word-play like that (thank you very much lefty-1990s postmodern yap) is entirely full of it.

      For a good laugh, see: Pomobabble: Postmodern Newspeak and Constitutional "Meaning" for the Uninitiated in the Michigan Law Rev.

      Delete
    4. the general consensus among academics is that, if you don't understand the complexity of what i'm saying, that's YOUR fault for being too stupid to get it. the general consensus of actual lawyers, or real people in the real world, is that, if you don't understand what i'm saying, I'M at fault for failing to communicate my ideas clearly.

      Delete
    5. Yes. The emperor has no clothes.

      Delete
    6. There is an article of ADPC where he talks about going into the 'hood while working at BigFirm and getting pulled over and harassed by the po's. That's street cred, homies

      Delete
    7. Dear God... I made all of :26 seconds into that video. I am paraphrasing as I cannot imagine attempting to replay that drivel to get the quote exact, but he said something about "we tackle issues in sports law that most people would prefer we left uninterrogated..." The eye roll and sneer are just too much to ever view again. And, to really hit it home, this guys take home pay is probably in the ball park of mine multiplied by a factor of six. Too early to start drinking?

      Delete
    8. Don't forget that many people in the academy probably think he is courageous for tackling such a difficult subject area.

      Hold me, I think I'm going to faint!

      Delete
  26. Please let me know how I can subscribe to the Indiana Tech Journal of the Law of Hip-Hop.

    (What is hip-hop, anyway? I can't distinguish it from the other varieties of noise that are broadcast everywhere at 120 dB or so.)

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  27. One of the things that no one ever seems to talk about is something that warrants serious attention. As one of those people with $200,000 of educational debt, the biggest concern is this: The Income Based Repayment plan making loan payments painful but possible if living like a pauper, and at the end of 25 years of payments, the remaining balance will be forgiven. Since my required payments don't even cover the interest, my balance increases every single month. So by the time 25 years are over, my balance will likely be around $500,000.

    That remaining amount will be forgiven. Great! Not so fast. Under current regulations, the amount forgiven is treated as taxable income in the year of forgiveness. So in return for making my payments on time for 25 years, I'm burdened with a tax debt in a single year that I have no possibility of being able to pay. THAT is a travesty, and it is going to be ugly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. is the interest accrued but not deductible in prior years income if forgiven under the tax benefit rule?

      if a taxpayer recovers an amount that was deducted or credited against tax in a previous year, the recovery must be included in income to the extent that the deduction or credit reduced the tax liability in the earlier year. If no tax benefit was derived from a prioryear deduction or credit, the recovery does not have to be included in income.

      Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/tax-benefit-rule#ixzz2JgTcXhSb

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    2. Taxman: I know that answer made sense to you. But could you rephrase it?

      Delete
    3. the interest forgiven, that was not deducted from income, would not be taxable under the tax benefit rule.

      Delete
  28. Chemerinsky's UC Irvine Law School is the most egregious recent example of a complete boondoggle of a new school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspect that UC Irvine will no longer be a school by 2020.

      Delete
    2. UC-I Law is a vanity project for the benefit of elites and yet we hear it described (by Chemerinsky) as a way to help the disenfranchised in society.

      At the same time, Chemerinsky says the only way to promote equality is to force wealthy parents to send their kids to poorly performing public schools.

      Elitism for me, but not for thee!

      Delete
  29. This is so egregious, because there is no way for theseindividuals once they graduate to get paying work as lawyers.

    I am sitting in NY City, unemployed with a Harvard-Yale or Princeton undergrad degree with honors and a T6 law degree. I cannot get any work as a lawyer - NONE. I have years of experience in one field and less experience but surely some in another area of the law. I would happily volunteer in my areas of expertise or work for minimum wage. I want to work.

    I have applied to job after job for months now. Not even a real interview.

    I cannot get paid a dime. NOTHING. There is no use for my T6 degree and years of experience because the legal profession is so glutted.

    If these administrators think they are doing anyone a favor by opening these schools - sure just like Hitler did Jews (my grandparents included) a favor by exterminating them.

    This is worse than a disaster. It is horrible to end up in a situation where you cannot work, no matter what. That will be the fate of most grads of these new law schools.

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    Replies
    1. I attended a "Small Ivy" and also foolishly decided to attend law school. My job offer evaporated just before I graduated in 2008. I haven't worked as an attorney since although I received several offers for unpaid internships from judges, non-profits and state agencies. Hang in there. I can't believe that I tarnished the prestige of my undergrad degree. All my friends from undergrad are making high 5-figures (some even 6-figures), have homes and are married.

      Delete
    2. So it's finally come to this.

      "Yale *and* fail."

      Delete
    3. Have you tried moving to a place that isn't NYC?

      Delete
    4. Moving is great for those who do not have families, homes, etc. I think the issue of moving has been covered many times on this blog, and it works for some and not for others.

      The problem is that if there is no market for one's services because the practice area is in decline, there is not going to be a market in New York City or Des Moines or Denver. The work that I have done the most of, which was once a hot area, is not in demand anywhere in the United States for experienced lawyers absent a book of business.

      What do you do at that point? Start all over in a new area as a solo with no experience in the area? Earn $20,000 the first year if you are lucky with your T6 degree, trying to branch out into an area that is more in demand? Get sued because you are a solo and have no experience in the new hotter area?

      Delete
    5. "What do you do at that point? Start all over in a new area as a solo with no experience in the area? Earn $20,000 the first year if you are lucky with your T6 degree, trying to branch out into an area that is more in demand?"

      Yes.

      Perhaps a solo with business who could use some help.

      Alternately, switch professions.

      Sitting there doing nothing is not really a good idea.

      Look at your options and make a decision.

      I already switched practice areas once, along with a 40% pay cut.

      And I was not making six figures when I did that.

      Delete
    6. "What do you do at that point? Start all over in a new area as a solo with no experience in the area? Earn $20,000 the first year if you are lucky with your T6 degree, trying to branch out into an area that is more in demand?"

      Yes.

      Perhaps a solo with business who could use some help.

      Alternately, switch professions.

      Sitting there doing nothing is not really a good idea.

      Look at your options and make a decision.

      I already switched practice areas once, along with a 40% pay cut.

      And I was not making six figures when I did that.

      Delete
    7. I tried to switch practice areas once, worked in the second practice area for almost no money to get experience in it, and the second practice area is also glutted. My colleagues with top top records and substantial experience in the second practice araa are in not insubstantial numbers unemployed now.

      The whole profession suffers from oversupply. I cannot get a job in my main area of expertise, and cannot get a job in the second area where I worked for a few years. The first area has very very few jobs due to structural changes in the economy, and the second area has a bigger supply of than demand for lawyers who have more experience than I do. When the jobs come up, they want 2 to 5 years of experience in the second practice area. That means 2 to 5 years out of law school. If you had several years in a second practice area, you are not competitive. This is the phenomenon of the glut. If you try to go in with a solo, good luck making $30,000 a year.

      The whole legal profession is glutted.

      Try moving to a non-legal job? Not until the economy improved. I have applied to maybe a hundred, not even getting interviews, and I have the expertise and relevant experience to do many of these non legal jobs from my major practice area in the law.

      My close relative, who studied the Great Depression (also at my alma mater Harvard Yale Princeton undergrad) had a very comforting thought. He said that in the depression, people thought that their skills were outmoded due to change in the economy and for that reason many could not get jobs. All of that changed after World War II when the economy became prosperous. Everyone, or just about everyone got jobs. (He saw my job problems and ran the other way from being a lawyer.)

      I guess all of us may have to wait for the new prosperity to arrive before we can work at anything useful. Problem is that some of us will have wasted our lives until then.

      Delete
    8. "I guess all of us may have to wait for the new prosperity to arrive before we can work at anything useful. Problem is that some of us will have wasted our lives until then."

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      That's the rub, isn't it? As Jack Nicholson's misanthropic writer character wondered out loud, "What if this is as good as it gets?"

      Delete
    9. "All of that changed after World War II when the economy became prosperous."


      ..............................................................................................
      So should we be hoping for World War III.

      Delete
    10. @12:22 PM, yes after WW2 there was an extraordinary economic turnaround from the prior depression.

      Unfortunately, the cost of this turnaround was WW2. And to save the careers of a few hundred thousand lawyers (and perhaps millions of other workers), I'm not prepared to sacrifice 60 million people (2.5% of the world's population at the time.) In today's terms, 2.5% of the world's population would be 175 million people, and that's if we can keep the fighting as "survivable" as it was back then (few WMDs, etc.) We've got a lot better at killing people since 1945.

      Not worth it. Hopefully something will turn this ship around, but unfortunately, we might just have to come to terms with the fact that we're the only casualties in this battle.

      And to be honest, I'd rather be alive and struggling financially than dead.

      Delete
    11. "You can't make an omelet without breaking a few (hundred million) eggs."

      Delete
    12. "unfortunately, we might just have to come to terms with the fact that we're the only casualties in this battle"

      I think you have a very good point. The rest of the economy is getting better. The legal profession is still in severe trouble. The problem relates to the glut of lawyers, which is not being contained but rather getting worse with each year's graduating class.

      There are 641,000 graduates of U.S. medical schools licensed as doctors in the U.S. and about 690,000 jobs for doctors. The supply exceeds the demand it seems if you count foreign med school grads.

      The point is that if U.S. lawyer production had stayed at the level of U.S. medical doctor production, we would not be having these problems.

      Some people drop out of the labor force or go into business. With 640,000 or even 690,000 lawyers, you would likely have a balance given that their are 500,000 legal jobs.

      Lawyers are going to suffer greatly with high levels of unemployment, sky high job losses, exclusions of women, minority groups and older lawyers from the best jobs or even most legal jobs because of the lawyer glut.

      It is not getting better any time soon. That is unless and until there are other skilled jobs created that will absorb these law graduates.

      Delete
    13. @1020,

      Nice trolling, bro. You don't fool me. This is the Age of Obama, and we are now entering the FOURTH YEAR of the roaring Obama recovery.

      Let me tell you, every time that sweet black booty of his makes contact with the chair in the Oval Office, a sketchy electro-chemical-magical reaction starts happening: lead turns to gold, everyone earns at least six figures, and men sprout wings and fly. Why didn't we think of this sooner?

      Don't think you can poison the recovery with your filthy lies. In the Age of Obama, if you don't have a high-paying job, you clearly don't WANT one.

      [Sarcasm off. Those are some impressive schools. No offense, but are you an URM? Maybe employers are discounting your credentials?]

      Delete
    14. I am not an underepresented minority. If I were, the situation would be worse. I would not have worked as long as I did in Biglaw.

      Make no mistake. It is almost impossible for underrepresented minorities to remain in BigLaw after a few years. Lop off everyone with less than 10 years of experience. Everyone else is white.

      I do not know why this is allowed to exist, but it has gone on for years. Law firms are able to make the "customers prefer whites" argument through the back door by reviewing out most minorities or failing that throwing them out because they cannot produce the required business.

      The only minorities in my law school class that I know of who made it outside government made it by forming their own firms. They had the advantage of a hot growing practice area. I do not know of anyone else in my class who is a minority and in fact has any type of responsible job in the private sector.

      Why the cover is not blown on the horrid minority situation for experienced law school classes is beyond me.

      Delete
    15. The one exception to the horrid minority situation is in the large multinational law firms that offices around the world, especially in Asia. There lawyers who are natives of the relevant country or have ancestry in the foreign (e.g. Asian or Latin American) country are welcome. Does not help much for the vast majority of minorities who are not working in these multinational law firms or do not have ancestry related to the matters they are working on.

      Delete
    16. @728,

      Now I find THAT hard to believe. Any law firm that fired all its minority attorneys after ten years would CONSTANTLY be dragged into court. Even if it won each case, the legal fees alone would soon bankrupt them. Firing all minority attorneys at a law firm? Ha! It's the perfect storm for an endless stream of expensive lawsuits - which on the plus side would at least create many JD-required jobs.

      It's an open secret in every law firm - without so much as a single exception - that beneficiaries of affirmative action are less competent than their peers. The firms have to either put up with that deficiency or be shut down in court. If your firm is actually able to fire them without getting destroyed by the courts, they must have about a thousand OUTSTANDING reasons. The awesome might of affirmative action in admissions - and the corresponding magnitude of incompetence by its beneficiaries in the workplace - must be far greater than anyone even realizes.

      Delete
  30. Unfortunately, these top Ivy League schools provided no guidance to their students on the advisability of any career path. I see now that even back when I applied to law school before the internet, the number of law schools had increased over the last several years. I did not know that. My undergrad may have sent at least a quarter of the class to law school year after year.

    Worst decision of my life to attend a T6 law school.

    My Harvard Yale Princeton honors degree is useless. I cannot earn a dime at any job other than maybe babysitting, dog walking, waiting on tables.

    What is also useless is years of experience as a lawyer in BigLaw. Again there is a glut of former BigLaw attorneys and few jobs for them.

    Being a solo? If no one is hiring in my area of expertise, how glutted do you think trying to be a solo in that area would be?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you're talented, bright, energetic, and charming, you'll make a decent living as a solo. If you're none of the above, what the hell made you think you'd make a good lawyer in the first place?

      Delete
    2. Those traits also come in handy if you want to drive a cab. Cab driver JD. Makes for compelling drama.

      Delete
    3. No one can make a living as a lawyer in a field where there is no legal work. The problem here is that there has been structural change. The legal work is just not there any more for many practices. There is no need for lawyers. The industries have evolved into a do it yourself thing because all of the products are designed not to need lawyers.

      When I started, there actually were jobs where lawyers could work and get paid. No one thought, if I cannot develop my own business, I cannnot make a living as a lawyer. It was not "eat what you kill is the only way to work as a lawyer" before the legal profession became this glutted. Most lawyers worked for a salary and did very well, thank you.

      This glutted market has spawned the huge number of solos who cannot make a living and an even huger number of people with law degrees who have given up working as lawyers entirely because they cannot get any legal work to do.

      Delete
    4. Learn Spanish and do immigration. You'll make a killing. Trust me, I'm a JD.

      Delete
    5. Assuming the legal market does not deteriorate further, the most you can expect to earn is $50,000 per year. Since the law profession is a caste system, do not hope to earn more or move into a large firm. Therefore, I advise you to start following a false dream. Law sucks anyway.

      You have an Ivy League undergrad degree, so reconnect with your old roommate and other college friends. Your friends have worked their ways up the corporate ranks, so they are in a position to influence hiring.

      Delete
    6. If an experienced T6 law grad with undergrad at Harvard Yale or Princeton would max out at $50,000 income, then going to law school decreased that person's income by leaps and bounds. Absent the T6 law school, he or she could expect to earn over $100,000 (see links below). The T6 law degree more than halved that person's earnings potential.

      http://247wallst.com/2011/10/11/the-colleges-that-guarantee-the-highest-salaries/3/

      Delete
  31. anonymous @8:32 AM--the ones manning the federal loan sluice gate know the loans won't be repaid, and they don't care. They are just giving away other people's money to show they care about providing opportunities to underserved/minority folks, they are "investing" in the future, they are making higher education more "accessible" etc etc. It's not like they will be held accountable when the whole house of cards collapses (has anyone in the fed. govt. lost their job due to the housing collapse and Freddie/Fannie Mae?)

    Not to mention Obama himself is a former law school instructor, lots of his friends are law professors, and we have Elizabeth (Pochahontas) Warren in the Senate now.

    Just more of the usual 1% stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  32. The whole point is that these law schools should not be allowed to open. They cannot provide a reasonable career path in a glutted profession. They need to be shut down to protect the public and the unwitting students who might enroll. People who do enroll in these new schools will wind up severely injured.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Ms. Pryor was in private practice for 4 years...longer than most. Doesn't give the impression she enjoyed the work however. Just another layer to add to the mysticism. "I didn't like the work, but you will!" "I've made out well financially, so will you!"

    ReplyDelete
  34. Perhaps people don't want to attend a law school that others will confuse with ITT Technical Institute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How long before ITT Tech opens their own school of law talking and shoe repair?

      Delete
    2. IIT has a law school, not sure if it's any better than ITT.

      Delete
  35. With the Oscars coming up, we will hear about the Razzie Awards.

    Should we have our own awards? Construct a poll and publicize the results?

    The nominees for the Baghdad Bob Award currently are Lawrence Mitchell, Stephen Diamond, Jonathan Glater, and Gillian Hadfield.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What about the infamous chinless wonder Brian Leiter?

      Delete
  36. ^ yeah, make more nominations

    ReplyDelete
  37. "Indiana Tech is having quite a bit of trouble rounding up 100 intrepid souls for its entering class"

    You would have to be intrepid indeed to join that group - or flat out crazy. I'd sooner volunteer for a one way mission to Mars then enroll at Indiana Tech.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha.
      But do you think Indiana Tech would have dreamed that they would have trouble finding enough applicants when they first planned this school? The law school industry has been a growth industry for so long the end of growth has most people in it stunned.

      But the employment situation for new and unemployed lawyers is so absolutely dire, judging by other posts here, the ABA should be taking emergency measures and shutting schools. But they won't, because they don't really have the authority. Nobody does, because theres never been the need for it, law schools have known nothing but growth for so long.

      Delete
  38. http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/02/the-downsizing-of-legal-education.html#comments

    Loyola Chicago Dean David Yellen explaining why the only reason school's are down sizing their classes is fear of a drop in US News ranking. Great Stuff!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought it was a pretty fair and candid presentation of the issues. Not Lawprof style, but for the most part balanced.

      Delete
  39. Mitchell, Diamond, Glater, Rudy Hasl (dean of Thomas Jefferson), Camille Andrews (who wrote the Camden email), and Bernie "don't use the word crisis" Burk all deserve nominations. It would be so difficult to choose between Mitchell and Diamond, but Mitchell has been in the mainstream media so I would give him the Oscar.

    Leiter is an elitist who does not care that students have been scammed but at least he has recognized that law schools have been gaming stats.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Camille Andrews gets my vote for Best Supporting Scamster; here's a reminder as to a few of her hijinks:

      Camille!

      Delete
  40. Random tangent: The Economist posted an article the other day about how NYU convened a panel to discuss whether law schools should switch to a two year program with a one year apprenticeship afterwards. Thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would one have to pay 50,000$ for the privilege to be an apprentice?

      Delete
    2. One year didactic program with a year apprenticeship would be better at a fraction of the cost. Really, The year apprenticeship + research and writing alone would churn out better-trained attorneys than the average new grad at 3 year institutions.

      For those that want to be eggheads and "think like lawyers" without actually being lawyers, they can feel free to willingly subject themselves to three years of school if they want. Just don't make it a requirement to practice.

      Delete
    3. Would they raise tuition to $75,000 per year?

      Delete
    4. So is this a way for biglaw to get a crop of first years for a year for free? If so, I can see a lot of support for instituting this change.

      Delete
    5. This only works if there is a severe restriction on the number of law school spots and/ or apprentices. If this is a way of spewing out the same number of lawyers faster, does not solve the glut of lawyers problem.

      Delete
  41. There is a bright side to all of this. All the Vermont Law staff can move to Indiana Tech and UNT.

    ReplyDelete
  42. These last few days have been a mainstream media avalanche exposing the scam. I'm sure the proffessoriate and the leach administrators are stumbling around dizzy. But they aren't down for the count. Students currently enrolled at these toilets need to delivery the final blow, it's only right for us to do so. We can do it by protesting 0L events and telling 1Ls in toilets to drop out if their stats spell doom. I know me and my buddies, all 3Ls at a well known toilet, are going to go to 1L events and encourage them to drop out. We have already been telling any 0L we see to run for the hills.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Why are you still at the school? Big mistake for most people. If I had known what we all know now, would NEVER have gone to law school and would have cut my losses. Even for free, the law degree is not worth it. Most people cannot get any responsible job with the degree and especially any job that is worth more than the BA they already have.

    ReplyDelete
  44. "Mr. Currier said no ABA-approved school that he knows of has shut down in the past four decades."

    ReplyDelete
  45. LawProf, many of the posters in this thread have raised an interesting question which remains unanswered: obviously some student loan reform must happen in the mid to long term but in the meantime what happens to all of the recent graduates who will never be able to find a job in the legal profession? Students who graduated a year ago have six figures of debt and no options. As I understand it, their debt is only discharged if their schools shut down. Is that what we should be rooting for at this point? The most probable fatalities will be the lower tier, and the HYS grads aren't in as much trouble - so the kids in the midrange schools will be out of luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think anyone really cares about losers. System will get fixed sooner or later, losers are just the casualties of market correction.

      Delete
    2. Is that true? If a school closes its grads loans are discharged? Just like that, no taxes or anything?

      Delete
    3. That makes no sense. Where is the support for that?

      The causality of market correction point is spot on. Just like the millions of homeowners who were foreclosed on. No body cares except the people who lost their homes.

      Delete
    4. Sorry, folks.

      Closed School Discharge
      You may be eligible for discharge of your Direct Loans and FFEL Program loans under either of these circumstances:

      Your school closes while you're enrolled, and you do not complete your program because of the closure. Any federal student loan obtained to pay your cost of attendance at that school could be discharged. If you were on an approved leave of absence, you are considered to have been enrolled at the school.
      Your school closes within 90 days after you withdraw.
      You are not eligible for discharge of your Direct Loans or FFEL Program loans if your school closes and any of the following is true:

      You withdraw more than 90 days before the school closes.
      You are completing a comparable educational program at another school. If you complete such a program at another school after your loan is discharged, you might have to pay back the amount of the discharge.
      You have completed all the coursework for the program, but you have not received a diploma or certificate.

      http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation#closed-school

      Delete
  46. My roommates "suicide" didn't get me a 4.0, so I don't think my law school's bankruptcy will get my loans discharged.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Paul Campos won't go after the real problem which is the federal government.. as long as the loans are federally insured tuitions will continue to go up because students have an UNLIMITED amount of money to pay them..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that issue has been discussed on this blog frequently.

      Delete
  48. "as long as the loans are federally insured tuitions will continue to go up because students have an UNLIMITED amount of money to pay them.."

    If we could loosen the restrictions on bankruptcy for student loans (maybe remove them entirely for private loans) and reduce the total amount of loans that a person could take on, most of the problem would be cleared up pretty quickly.

    ReplyDelete
  49. The scam goes away in two years with two minor changes that will dramatically help students:

    1. Federal Student Loans for professional school are capped at 25,000 per year total.

    2. Student loans, including federal loans, are dischargeable in bankruptcy at any point after 8 years after leaving school.

    The first reform dramatically reduces spigot flow from students to law schools via the federal government.

    The second reform dramatically reduces spigot flow from students to law schools via private lenders. It also dramatically reduces the consequence of the scam by allowing students who struggle, but fail, under the crushing burden of their debt, to have the burden released after a sufficiently long period of time to prevent abuse.

    ReplyDelete
  50. andre douglas pond cummings: the kid who arrived at the kegger a minute after the keg ran dry and a minute before the squad car pulled in the driveway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ^^^^^^^^ Well put !!!!!!

      Delete
  51. KBR, the oil services firm in Houston, is hiring a JD with 0 to 3 years experience.

    Also the IRS is hiring agents. It would be a dismal job but it gets you in the door and eligible for transfer elsewhere in the federal government.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "...is hiring a JD..."

      You see the problem with that? "A" means "one".

      (And KBR is that repulsive warmongering company that raped the US in so many ways for a decade after the Iraq war. Anyone whose moral standards are low enough to spend their career working for that kind of organization should commit suicide.)

      And your info about the IRS is just wrong. Speaking as an IRS employee...

      Delete
    2. Well if the IRS is not hiring agents why are they advertising that they are hiring agents? Perhaps you are disgruntled that you have not managed to escape yet?

      If you don't like KBR how about Hess Oil, they are also hiring an attorney in Houston? If you go to the employment listings for the Houston area they are quite a few legal jobs listed even factoring out the placement firm ads. Why would an oil company or a legal firm in Houston advertise if, in fact, there was no job available?

      Maybe there is an attorney in Houston who reads this blog hat can shed more light on the employment situation there?

      I find it beyond weird that you comment on KBR when you work for a "company" that happily drops bombs on children from drones.

      Delete
    3. Ok you got me good with that "zinger"!

      Idiot.

      Go and look at USAJobs, the site where all hiring is done, even IRS hiring. Show me the "agent" jobs. (There aren't any).

      And as someone who is working as an attorney for the IRS, I can tell you that you are also wrong about these jobs allowing you to "transfer" elsewhere in the government. There is no transferring. If you put in a few years in some positions, you acquire a status that allows you get preferential treatment in hiring for some other jobs, but it's hardly akin to the "transfer" that you implied, where you could start as a fictional IRS agent and then lateral easily into an attorney job or wherever else you wanted to go. You still need to be qualified, and you still need to apply. And there are still hundreds of thousands of military applicants whose veteran points and disability points push you to the bottom of the pile.

      The only thing that is "beyond weird" is the fact that you equate the widespread activities of KBR, a company that encouraged and prospered from a decade of the most misguided war in our history, to a fictional government whose sole aim is to "drop bombs on children from drones."

      Yes, that's all the government does. Drops bombs on children from drones, deliberately, all the time, and nothing else.

      Killing kids (accidentally) is perhaps 0.00000001% of what the government spends its money on. Killing human beings in general is what made KBR very rich over the past decade.

      And you're making the same mistake with the attorney jobs thing again: you mention that Hess is also hiring "an" attorney. FYI, "an" also means one. Hardly a hotbed of legal opportunity, huh?

      Now STFU before I smack you down even more.

      Delete
    4. I can see why you are still with the IRS. FWIW I have worked for 20 years with people from the FAA and NTSB and have frequently come across people whom have transferred in to those agencies from other departments in the federal government. It is not rare at all. Perhaps you are a marginal IRS employee who has difficulty keeping your present job?

      As far as the IRS hiring, I came across their ad while researching jobs on the 'simply hired' web site. I did not look at it closely as I would rather live under a bridge with my dog than work there.

      So far I have reference three different attorney jobs posted by the firms themselves, not a staffing agency. The three were well-paying jobs with good benefits and one was for 0 years experience.

      There was also a good job listed that stated that a JD was 'useful but not required' which is an exception to the rule that a JD is the kiss of death for any type of job not requiring a JD.

      You must be related the HYS undergraduate in NYC who can't find a job walking a dog because his law school was second-tier?





      Delete
    5. Ok dumkunt, you couldn't drop it.

      I am a GS15 with the IRS, earning more coin than you ever will. You are looking at "Simple Hired" as a source of jobs. Did you bother to go to USAJobs like I asked you to? No, of course not, because you're lazy and you know I'm right.

      Nobody "transfers" in to the FAA or NTSB. They are being polite to you, because you - as someone who "works with" fed employees - are a temp contractor who can't get a foot in the door. They are telling you they "transferred" because it makes it easier than telling you that they applied and got the job instead of you because they are better than you.

      Sorry you're unsuccessful and trolling Simply Hired for jobs (which are 99% bullshit recruiter ads disguised as jobs.)

      Smackdown complete. Anything else?

      Bitch.

      Delete
    6. Perhaps you lack of reading comprehension is why you haven't really done well at the IRS? I never said I worked for the FAA or the NTSB. I worked WITH the FAA and the NTSB investigating small aircraft accidents. I worked FOR an aircraft engine manufacturer and FOR an aircraft manufacturer as a full-time employee, in both instances with a generous salary, benefits and retirement benefits. I also have worked the aviation authorities in most of Europe and a good part of South America as well as some parts of Africa.

      As for meeting people in both agencies who have transferred in to the FAA and NTSB from other government agencies that is absolutely correct.

      Currently aim retired and working part-time for several law firms and was considering becoming an attorney myself, but I this blog saved me a lot of grief.

      Enjoy your GS-15 salary.

      Delete
    7. You dumb fucking baby boomer spastic. Did you not read my post?

      Enjoy your retirement. You're far closer to the grave than I am. I'll be enjoying my retirement while the worms are enjoying you.

      And sorry that your pathetic retirement package means you have to work for several law firms. Cleaning toilets, perhaps?

      And yes, I'm enjoying my GS-15. You're paying for it!

      Delete
    8. Actually I don't HAVE to work at all I just enjoy it. You probably don't know what it is to enjoy your work, being with the IRS and all. Also, I have seen the world and am still doing so, whereas you probably have a very nice cubical to work in.

      Since I jog four miles a day and come from a line of people who live well into their 90s I am not really concerned with checking out any time soon. You, however, with your hate issues, are prime for a stroke or heart attack any time now. Have you considered seeing a mental health care professional? You really should.

      And thank you for the SS portion of my retirement. You are paying for that. I'm sure your government retirement will be there for you as well. Or maybe not.

      Delete
  52. Just to keep you on your toes, there are people on TLS still spewing the idea that median at a T 14 means you've got a 10 year, 1.6 million career in front of you. So loans are meaningless.
    :

    [quote="JO 14"][quote="MrHairyLegs"] I've come to see my T-14 acceptances as worthless. I'd be paying full sticker at these schools. . . .[/quote]
    T-14 Arithmetic. You pay $150K (tuition) to earn $1.6M over the next ten years. After taxes you wind up netting a $125K a month to pay a $20K monthly debt. All this and you do not even have to be a superstar. Just do not drop too far below median (even then you might net $70K, leaving you $50K a year after debt).[/quote]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe that professor from Brooklyn was right about salaries being too high. The only thing this Jo14 person is doing is adding up the salary for a 10 year career.

      I find it hard to believe a person this stupid will last long in Biglaw.

      Here is the thread where that post appeared. Title " should I be proud of my T14/ T10 acceptance?" It is kindof a hoot.


      http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=203278

      Delete
    2. I see too that JO14 is only considering tuition, not opportunity costs or cost of living expenses , or tuition increases or interest.

      Delete
    3. And does tuition cover textbooks, software, study notes, etc.

      Delete
    4. And the cost of being a person paid six figures.

      If you work in a big firm, you'll feel pressured to live closer to the big firm than in the affordable suburbs. In many places, you'll be expected to have a decent car. And if you're working in firms of a certain "culture," it's mandatory to have enough suits so that no one notices you wear the same one over and over again. And if you want to make partner, I suggest avoiding the JC Penney sewn-by-drunk-Vietnamese women suits. You need Italian or English quality brands, which are $750/pop minimum, and you'll be constantly running these things to the dry cleaner to erase the smell of working 75-hour weeks while wearing a goddamned suit.

      Delete
  53. [quote="JO 14"]To keep believing what you are saying. . .whatever you do, do not watch Suits or Good Wife, silly Hollywood people make it seem like attorneys live in mansions, have cool cars, go on exotic vacations, dine at 4 star restaurants, join country clubs, have platinum credit cards . . .

    Try and start up a business with only $250K. Said simplistically, go get a retail job or else man up.[/quote]

    ReplyDelete
  54. Law Prof is wrong about why people won't pay for legal services. It's not because of a lack of money. It's because people do not value the service.

    A few years ago, I offered $500 uncontested divorces. Even though I have a fair amount of experience in doing low cost divorces, these cases would require, on the average 13 hours of work. If you do the math, I was not even making $50.00 per hour on these cases. It's hard to imagine working for less.

    Unfortunately, the fees I earned doing these cases did not even match the money I was paying to advertise this service. Needless to say, I stopped offering low cost divorces.

    I have always been struck by couples who will spend tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding -- couples who cannot afford a big expensive wedding. After all, a wedding is nothing but a big party where the bride gets to play Queen for a day.

    Yet these same couples balk at paying a fraction of that on a divorce lawyer. A bride is willing to spend more on a wedding dress than on a divorce.

    This is because the lawyers services are not valued. If you think about it, divorce is a luxury item. No one NEEDS a divorce. And no one is going to die if they don't get one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Products are valued over services. They are tangible and confer status.

      Correct point on the pricing though. All you can sell is time and time cost includes overhead.

      How are Westlaw and Martindale holding up?

      Delete
    2. I agree. People don't value legal services at all. There is no price where people say "oh lookie here a divorce for $250! I want me one of those!" Or a price where people say "cool! Legal fees are only $30 per hour! I'm gonna get me a corporate merger!"

      The biggest myth of the legal profession is that people actually need any legal assistance at all. 9 times out of 10 (or 99 times out of 100) the legal "issues" are legal non-issues that most sensible people can deal with on their own. Divorce could be form-driven and simple were it not for lawyers. Buying a house could be form-driven and simple were it not for lawyers. Many things would just be so simple were lawyers not trying to skim something from every facet of human existance.

      If there were no lawyers, life would go on just as it is. We might need a few for those who get into trouble in the criminal justice system, but for many other things, lawyers really are a luxury that tells people it's an essential.

      People hate lawyers. People hate paying for legal work that is irrelevant and unnecessary. Legal work is like a fucking tax on the ordinary things in life. There is no point at which people will want to pay for lawyers.

      Most people would not even want to get PAID to go and see a lawyer and deal with the shitmess that lawyers fabricate.

      So I agree that there is just no price point at which people will flock through the doors of a law firm. There is no need for these services. Just "being alive" doesn't mean "needing legal services", as some deans like to believe. We don't all have this huge laundry list of shit we need a lawyer for, if only we could afford one.

      It's not like we'd all be successful lawyers if only we could reduce the costs of becoming a lawyer and then pass this onto the client through very low fees. Our offices would still be empty.

      Delete
    3. Excellemt post.

      Delete
    4. I've somehow managed to live for more than forty years without ever once hiring a lawyer. The idea that everyone needs legal services is simply incorrect.

      Delete
    5. I would agree that as a general rule, nice people don't need lawyers.

      However, there is Corporate America -- they are not nice people. They are liars, cheats and crooks who learned their ethics in business school. Corporate America needs lawyers and is willing to pay for them.

      That's where big law comes in. Big law lawyers ARE paid well, for doing the soul crushing work of stomping on people who work for a living. While law schools tout the benefits of big law, the neglect to tell students that it comes at the cost of hurting people who should not be hurt.

      Someone had to dream up things like universal default, exploiting the National Bank Act to subvert state usury laws, and recission of health insurance policies to avoid paying out on claims.

      So nice people do need lawyers to help protect them from the predations of big law. That does not mean these services are appreciated.

      Delete
    6. Nor does it mean that those services can realistically be used. Even a rock-solid claim may not be worth pursuing through a lawyer unless it is in the six figures.

      Delete
  55. MacK is destroying some anon prof over at faculty lounge. The anon prof is just victim bashing. The contempt he has for his students and his inflated boomer mentality is just startling. He is right to hide his identity though, lest a student at his toilet school spit in his face.

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  56. Of course, the ABA has long believed that for "antitrust reasons" they need to accredit any law school that satisfies minimal educational standards. Their accreditation standard has nothing to do with need for lawyers or the ability of graduates of the law school to get legal jobs.

    Furthermore, federal loans are available to graduates of unaccredited law schools. So who cares if the law school gets accredited or not. The law school still gets the tuition dollars even if it is not accredited.

    The only thing stopping this scam is for students to walk with their feet or for the federal government to regulate the scam.

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  57. there are many posters on the ABA site that seem to think that the gravy train can continue to run for a while longer. I just don't see it happening. With the current trends, next year (if not this year) is going to absolutely demolish law schools.

    For last year’s entering class, LSAC reports that 78,500 applied, 55,800 were admitted and 48,700 matriculated. So there’s a ~ 12% drop-off between admitted and matriculated that law schools are somewhat unable to influence.

    Even if law schools admit 100% of those that apply this year (estimated to be around 54,000) there will only be 47,000 new 1Ls nation-wide once you account for people who get in but opt out of actually attending. that is flat with last year's attendance.

    100% admission is a huge assumption to make as it includes plenty of people who will absolutely crush the LSAT/GPA stats at non T14 schools.

    Alternatively, if Law schools continue to instead admit only 70-80% of those that apply, we’re looking at a ~20-30% drop in matriculants. That's a lot of lost revenue.

    So these schools are in between a rock and a hard place. Admit crappy applicants who will drop out at higher numbers, bring down their stats and subsequently rankings and be unable to pass the bar in three years. Or, cut class sizes up 20-30% to maintain admissions standards and deal with enormous budgetary cuts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i suppose schools could start doing things like waiving all application fees, offering larger condition-free scholarships, convincing the ABA to waive the LSAT requirement, marketing to non-traditional applicants, etc. to me those tactics don't seem to have the promise to increase application volume substantially though.

      beyond these things, the only way the application numbers do not crash is if tuition decreases significantly. some money is better than no money, right?

      Delete
    2. Free toasters? $150,000 toasters?

      Delete
    3. free toasters are taxable

      Delete
    4. They're already whoring after students in community colleges and people who are applying to business schools. Soon they'll go after the lower primates.

      Delete
  58. MacK, you are on fire over at the Faculty Lounge. The level of the profs' denial of reality over there is really amazing. Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably this:

      http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/02/the-downsizing-of-legal-education.html

      Delete
    2. Checkmate .... MacK!

      Delete
  59. http://d24w6bsrhbeh9d.cloudfront.net/photo/6482617_460s.jpg

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  60. "As long as it’s something I’m committed to, I think I can find a way to make it work." - Megan Marks, Indiana Tech Law School’s first admitted student, commenting in a school-sponsored press release on what it’s like to be part of the school’s first class.

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    1. One born every minute....

      Delete
    2. Suckers or law schools?

      Delete
    3. Oh, yes, commitment is all that is necessary, since of course you have full control.

      Three and a half years from now, when she finally understands that law school—especially at Indiana Tech—was a terrible mistake, no one in the administration of Indiana Tech will give her the time of day. Not even if she changes her name to mégan douglas pond marks.

      Delete
    4. Don't mock. The poor girl looks like she has Down's Syndrome:

      http://abovethelaw.com/tag/megan-marks/



      Delete
    5. Not a fair comment. She is niave and about to ruin her life. She is representative of all the young people who buy into the dream instead of the reality. Maybe the posts will will help her to reconsider her decision. Probably not but who knows.

      Delete
    6. It would be even more ignominious (though still sensible) to back down after her name has been spread all over the Internet.

      Delete
    7. With a name like Marks, as in plural for a mark - a victim of a con - what do you expect ? She is unwittingly doing her best to live up to her name.

      Delete
    8. Is she paying tuition at this school?

      Delete
  61. Lawprof : care to do a post on whether a T14 is worth sticker?
    I put most of them until I got bored:

    Penn law: $ 74,530

    Northwestern: $76,000 something ( 2 grand for a computer and 2800 for insurance)

    Georgetown: $70,500 ( includes about 700 for insurance)

    Cornell: $74,110 ( includes 2 grand for insurance)

    Michigan $ 66,950 instate and $69,950 out of state

    Virginia: $66,800 and $69,800 out of state

    Duke: $72,621

    Chicago: $75,504

    Columbia: $79,950

    Harvard: $ 75,800

    Stanford: $77,529

    Yale: $73,680 (2012)



    ReplyDelete
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    1. See my two posts below about employment of older lawyers and today's NY Times article. Whether these schools are worth going to at all, let alone for sticker, depends on the long term employment rates for these law schools. My observation is that the risk of unemployment or underemployment at any of these schools as one grows older. Honestly if you knew you would be struggling to work after age 53, say, would you decide to go to Harvard, Yale or Columbia Law? I think the answer for most people is no, they do not want to buy into 13 years of struggling to work, even if they can get some kine of okay job before then. I think more people are going to take chances in their own business, go into health care or teaching, any area where one has a better chance of a long term career without years of struggle, especially after age 50.

      Delete
    2. Why the hell do they charge $2000 for a computer? Mine, bought less than a year ago, was about $600.

      Delete
    3. Looking at these numbers makes me understand the push for two years of law school. It helps with the debt problem but worsens the oversupply problem.

      Delete
  62. This just in in the Sunday NY Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/business/americans-closest-to-retirement-were-hardest-hit-by-recession.html?hp

    Try the legal profession. Huge oversupply of lawyers. Up or out policies in most law firms. Age pyramids in most law firms and legal departments with few older workers. Experience caps on most jobs so most openings are for lawyers under the age of 40.

    You want to be unemployed after age 50? It is almost guaranteed if you are a lawyer.

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  63. The unemployment and underemployment rate for lawyers over age 50? Probably about 80%, or maybe higher. The law schools do not want you to know. They like the status quo where a giant proportion of the legal jobs are taken by younger lawyers, because their new grads are employed at a 55% rate. Much of that 555 will not be able to work later on as lawyers, but that is someone else's problem, not the law schools.

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  64. ^ I do mind. Go find yourself a creative writing blog.

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  65. Hey JDP - buh bye....

    ReplyDelete

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