The phone rings in my office. A stranger’s voice is on the other end of the line. Soon I’m listening to a story with which I’m all too familiar when it’s presented in terms of abstract statistics, but which at this moment is rendered painfully unique by its humanizing details, about graduating from law school, and passing the bar, and applying for the kind of legal work the caller went to law school in order to be able to do, then for any legal work, then for any legally-related work, and finally, after several months and hundreds of applications, for any work at all.
It’s a story that includes $165,000 in debt, and constant daily harassment from creditors, including threats to the caller’s father (who co-signed one loan) to garnish his social security payments, and working stocking shelves in the middle of the night at a supermarket for nine dollars an hour, and then stringing together a Dickensian existence by grading papers written by convicts for $17 an hour, and working another 20 hours a week at Starbucks for the health benefits, all the while hoping to somehow get to a point where the caller will be able to one day marry her fiancé, also a college graduate, who is also doing low-paid temp work with zero benefits or job security in these United States.
I listen. I try to understand, and to empathize and encourage -- but I’m not a counselor or a priest, let alone someone who can give this person what she really needs (which is a real job, along with a federal law that will allow her to file for bankruptcy). I am only, at this moment, someone who will listen to her story, which shakes me, or rather her voice shakes me, as there is a note in it -- of desperation and despair mixed together with longing for another life that doesn’t look like this one --which gets under my skin, even more than the grim details it conveys of her circumstances: circumstances, which I assure her she shares with tens and even hundreds of thousands of recent law graduates. (This observation represents my pathetic attempt to do something to salve the sense of unmerited shame and humiliation which our wretched profession continues to heap on her every morning and night of her 31-year-old life).
After having done what I could, which was nothing, for a stranger whose voice will stay with me, I open my email to find this:
I'm a 2011 unemployed law grad who has been reading your blog when I can stomach it! My therapist is very familiar with your work. I had to go to my law school's career site to find information to fill out yet another job application. While I was there, I noticed the law school's employment statistics page, linked here: http://law.umn.edu/careers/career-facts-and-statistics.html
“My therapist is very familiar with your work.” Perhaps I’ll quote this email in my annual Faculty Report of Professional Activities, to help explain to my administrative superiors what I did on my summer vacation, in lieu of writing yet another law review article on the subject of what Nietzsche’s theory of eternal recurrence tells us about the subject matter of law review articles.
Then I click on the link.
The University of Minnesota is a “top 20” law school, which is to say it's in the 91st percentile of ABA-accredited law schools. It's therefore a very difficult school to get into: this year's entering class has an average GPA of 3.8 and an LSAT score in the 95th percentile. It's also very expensive. Nearly three quarters of this year's entering class is paying more than $43,000 in tuition (Minnesota residents are paying just under $35,000). That’s a lot of money, especially multiplied times three, and then subjected to a 7.5% interest rate – the average going rate for law school loans – and given that in-state and out of state tuition were hiked by 21% and 24% respectively just this year, current Minnesota students are certain to graduate with much higher debt loads than the $91,000 incurred by the average 2010 graduate.
Still, the school’s web site seems to assure prospective students that it will all be worth it. The “Career Facts and Statistics” page has the figure “98.8%” in emboldened in large print at the very top. This represents the average percentage of Minnesota students employed nine months after graduation over the past five years (the average for the class of 2010 was 98.9%). And the page informs viewers that the “average salary” of 2010 graduates was more than $88,000, and more than $109,000 among those graduates in private practice.
The problem, from a practical point of view, is that this web page needs to be read not like a report of facts and statistics issued by a prestigious institution of higher learning, but like a credit card agreement disclosure statement. In other words, you have to read the footnotes and the fine print.
If you do, and if you happen to already be a sophisticated reader of the kinds of “facts and statistics” reported by law school Career Services Offices, you’ll notice that that these numbers are, to use the technical academic phrase for the methodological techniques deployed to collect them, a pile of crap. The 98.9% employment figure for the Class of 2010 includes part-time work, temporary work, and non-legal work (and indeed part-time, temporary, non-legal work). How many of the class's 284 graduates are in these categories? It’s impossible to tell.
The “average salary” numbers are even more preposterous, given that they’re based on the “approximately one-third” [!] of the class’s graduates for whom the school managed to gather salary information. What jobs does this subset of graduates have? Again, it’s impossible to tell.
But it’s quite possible to guess. Note that only 34 of the 284 graduates (11.97%) in the 2010 class got jobs with AM Law 250 firms. My guess is that the CSO recorded approximately 34 salaries in that particular cohort. Meanwhile, 35 2010 grads were “employed” by firms of two to ten attorneys. How many salaries were recorded within that group? My guess would be “very few.” How many of those 35 “jobs” were temporary contract positions, or law clerk gigs, or eat what you kill arrangements (in which a new lawyer is given office space in return for a percentage cut of whatever business he or she can manage to actually bill and collect)?
What percentage of this class of 284 with a 99% employment rate and the advertised “average” salary of $88,000 is making anything remotely close to that “average? “ Does even half the class have a real legal job today? What’s the real median salary for the University of Minnesota Law School class of 2010? I would love to hear from more members of this particular 99%. For what it’s worth (which is a lot more than what the pack of not-quite lies on the school’s web page are worth) my unemployed correspondent tells me she “knows some people in the top 25% of the 2010 class who are [as of January 3, 2012!] having trouble finding work.”
Professor, you are doing very important work. Keep it up. Thank you for being an outspoken voice for our generation.ReplyDelete
The 7.5% interest rate (or higher) is the other thing about all of this - the European debt is considered unsustainable if the interest rate to roll over the debt is over 6% or so.ReplyDelete
But, from the sound of things, the interest rate is high for a very good reason - it's a very risky investment.
Thank you for sticking your neck out, on this venture. I remember how the vultures - such as Michael Olivas and Brian Leiter - came after you, with vigor and invective. (Apparently, they were not able to provide a cogent argument, on the facts.)ReplyDelete
I wish that more professors would come out, in support of the students. (I know that there are others, many of whom seem to be adjunct professors.) After all, the students and graduates will be the ones to bear the (non-dischargeable) debt - for the next 20-30 years.
Now, it is no longer unusual to see grads from "top 20" law schools end up with pathetic to non-existent job prospects. My brother-in-law told me about his friend, who graduated from UCLA Law in 2009. The friend, unable to land anything law-related, returned to teaching grade school.
The "professors" and administrators are CLEARLY aware of the situation. Yet, they choose to "address" it with meaningless platitudes, placing the entire blame on the students, and half-hearted calls for weak-ass "reform." In sum, they want to make sure that the gravy train continues. If they must defend the indefensible, then they will gladly do so.
My law school came "clean" with its employment numbers as well, or so a casual reader would think if they just glanced at them....upon closer examination, it is clear that they are hiding the ball and trying to bury the truth in the numbers while still looking transparent. In other words, the stats at my school suffer from the same problem that is mentioned here...all in the name of transparency.ReplyDelete
When the Senate hearings begin, I think these topics should be discussed.....
Another hard-hitting post.ReplyDelete
BTW, looks like you won the ATL Lawyer of the Year popularity contest. Congrats!
Leiter gets a lot of flack here, and probably for good reason, and the attacks at the beginning of the blog were wrong, but if you look at the sorts of things he links to on his blog - a lot of them these days are in the same vein as things that are being discussed here.ReplyDelete
Leiter may not ever apologize for his Campos attacks, but I for one think that he's a convert and now realizes that there's a big problem.
Truth is Leiter was calling out the fake employment data schools report years ago, back when Campos was still writing books and articles on obesity.ReplyDelete
You may not be able to give the person a job. But you could organize a group to lobby to make debts dischargeable in bankruptcy.ReplyDelete
Yeah, Leiter is a real humanitarian...ReplyDelete
Did the 9:19 comment come from a certain IP address at the University of Chicago?ReplyDelete
Not calling him a humanitarian. He seems like a real twat who cares about a bunch of pointless shit. But I still think he sees that there's a big problem.ReplyDelete
Here's a great scam that I suffered under at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.ReplyDelete
Private loan funds would be disbursed to the university. Students were not allowed to access those funds until after the add-drop period ended. This meant that at the beginning of every semester we had to wait three weeks to get our book and housing money. When I complained the school told me that "We expect you will use your credit card to fund yourself during that period of time." Many students didn't have the room on their credit card to fund their housing, food, and books. So they just didn't buy their books for the first few weeks of school. The administration knew about these problems (because dozens of us complained) but they didn't give a damn. When we demanded an explanation one administrator said privately "Well if we disburse the funds and then you decide to drop out we won't be able to recoup the lost funds!" (After add-drop you were only entitled to a 75% refund) One secretary said privately "Add up all of the loans that are held for 3 weeks in a University bank account, and you'll realize that the University is making interest off of your loan money while you are running up credit card debt."
We thought of suing, but we didn't learn how to do that in law school. I bet if you called the school they haven't changed their policies and if you ask a Case student they'll tell you how they are floating housing expenses every August and January because of a University scam.
Leiter will eventually see the light. Campos will ultimately be vindicated. It's a simple matter of the math not working. Tuition cannot keep increasing 3x faster than inflation (even with the gov't doing the financing), journals that are never cited cannot keep spawning off indefinitely, administrative staff that serve no useful purpose cannot continue to be hired. It will all fall apart.ReplyDelete
"upon closer examination, it is clear that they are hiding the ball and trying to bury the truth in the numbers while still looking transparent. In other words, the stats at my school suffer from the same problem that is mentioned here...all in the name of transparency."ReplyDelete
Exactly right....numbers will always be fudged. Create regs to address this? The numbers will just be fudged another way.
Speaking of which, I just got linked to this post from Leiter's blog...ReplyDelete
I usually don't comment anonymously, but that sense of shame and worthlessness makes me not want to append even my usual pseudonym to the confession that I am a Biglaw alum more than a decade out of law school and am now applying for cleaning-lady and nanny jobs in addition to the many law apps that go out every day. Which should not be shameful, because doing whatever you have to do in order to support your family is the Right Thing To Do. Right?ReplyDelete
9:58: Right. I'd appreciate it if you would email me (confidentially of course).ReplyDelete
The fact that U of M puts that specious "98.8% employed" number in big bold letters, while putting the important "Approximately one-third of those employed typically report a salary." in tiny font at the bottom speaks volumes about the fraudulent "scam" nature of these schools. Their entire business model is to lie about job placement to get your tuition money, and they don't care how much pain it causes you.ReplyDelete
This is really awful. Consumer protection laws, or something, should protect poor and naive 1Ls from this sort of predatory lending.
Hold the presses, you ain't seen nothing yet, check out this "top 55" school's garbage:
And this is the same school with the professor on the payroll than has been preaching that kids should choose his school over Vanderbilt if they want to become biglaw partners in Los Angeles...Note the number of graduates in the 10 Attorneys or less category. Sickening!
DEAR LORD WHY DID YOU GET FAMILY TO CO-SIGN THE LOAN?ReplyDelete
OK, we may not have the power to reform loans, or even to enact transparency, but DO NOT HAVE FAMKILY CO-SIGN YOUR LOANS. That completely destroys the subsidy of IBR. It completely destroys your ability to tell the lender (US Taxpayers) to f*ck off by filling out a form and attacking your tax return showing your low income.
There are some really basic "survival tools" that every 0L must know:
1. Never get a cosigner.
2. Look at the percentage of salaries reported number above all other statistics.
I think Loyola hit a new low. Not only do they not tell you the percentage of graduates who reported salaries (at least Minnesota told you it was only one-third of the class). But they added text implying that their salary figures are representative of the class. Specifically see, "excludes comparatively high or low anomalous figures." By saying that they exclude "anomalous" figures they are saying that the figures you see are representative.
That's the worst example of salary data reporting I've seen to date. It's even worse than NYLS's.
Thanks for taking time out of your day to listen to these poor souls. You might be the only law professor in the country who does this (Although that's pure speculation on my part. Maybe there are more.)
It's a fact that Leiter was speaking about fraudulent statistics long ago, and that his school has set the bar on transparency as far as I'm concerned. Who knows, maybe he had something to do with that. Let's give credit where credit is due.ReplyDelete
I think the comparison to credit card marketing is spot on. It's a message that needs to be repeated.ReplyDelete
Law schools are institutions of higher education. They are staffed with professors, teaching law to students who will go on to become members of the legal and business communities, professors themselves, and occasionally a politician or other Leader of Society.
They should conduct themselves with the utmost integrity, not in a fast-food, slick-ass Persian Bazaar manner.
"Thanks for taking time out of your day to listen to these poor souls."ReplyDelete
Im all for lawprof...but his salary is drawn from these poor souls. Its the least he can do....just because hardly anyone else does in his amazing profession doesn't mean he deserves thanks. A bit more respect? Yes. Thanks? No. The collective lot of them should be thanking us every day of their benighted lives.
Chicago's stats aren't nearly as good as those put up by the various schools that have revealed their NALP data in full. For example they don't distinguish temporary or part-time work from permanent and full-time, and they don't reveal how many "jobs" were funded by the law school.ReplyDelete
These numbers don't "look transparent" in any way, except to someone who is completely clueless (and sadly many 0Ls are exactly that.)
Someone who knows how to read job placement data would have zeroed in on the one-third salary reporting rate and known that University of Minnesota is about as transparent as Cardozo or Seton Hall (both of whom have similar salary reporting rates).
"Chicago's stats aren't nearly as good as those put up by the various schools that have revealed their NALP data in full."ReplyDelete
I haven't seen a school with better data yet. Reporting part-time and school-created positions is helpful and those items should be included, but I wouldn't say they're more important than salary data. I also don't think they're relevant to U of C. But all that being said, yes someone should make that slight improvement to U of Chicago's data to make them close to perfect.
"Im all for lawprof...but his salary is drawn from these poor souls. Its the least he can do"ReplyDelete
Have you ever said this to any other law professor, ever? Or is your preaching reserved for anonymous comments to the one professor willing to listen to you?
I think you're right, but at the end of the day credit cards are so much more benign and less harmful than law school.
1. Dischargeable debt.
2. With credit cards you got what you paid for. If you purchased an IPOD you got that and enjoyed it. Law school is like buying an IPOD and getting a plastic shell with nothing inside of it.
I just realized that as of this date I have gotten more joy and value from my $300 I-Pod than I've gotten from my law degree. Hopefully one day the degree will pay off, but right now the I-Pod is way ahead.ReplyDelete
I would also like to see Chicago present more detail on the salaries. They give you the 25%/median/75% rates, all three of which are solid salaries, but how do we know that a large portion of those under the 25% percentile aren't making close to nothing?ReplyDelete
"Have you ever said this to any other law professor, ever?"ReplyDelete
All the time (Im one of two people that went after Lawrence Lessig on Reddit a few weeks ago).....if they are online they get attacked. Why wouldn't I? And if I didn't, how would that change the validity of what I said? Logic fail.
And what do you do? Other than whine online about comments....
Well OK then 10:46.ReplyDelete
The emotional and mental health toll of the law school scam breaks my heart. You have to understand that every one of these kids was a bright, responsible, hard working, motivated person whose sole hope was to get a job and contribute to society. Now they're depressed, in debt, experiencing family discord . . .ReplyDelete
Some less bright than others to be sure.ReplyDelete
10:55, Even someone who could only get into Cooley was probably in the top 20% of the country academically. Remember that only 25% of the population even has a college degree, and that a 150 LSAT is still better than half of the people who took the LSAT. I think that if they were steered into a proper vocational program they would be working, earning decent money and happy.ReplyDelete
10:55: Yeah, I can't exactly look back over the last 3 1/2 years and think "Boy, I sure am smart." At least not in any way that anyone will or should give a damn about.ReplyDelete
It is somewhat paradoxical, however, that being significantly dumber would have left me with smarter life choices.
9:58 "I am a Biglaw alum more than a decade out of law school and am now applying for cleaning-lady and nanny jobs in addition to the many law apps that go out every day. Which should not be shameful, because doing whatever you have to do in order to support your family is the Right Thing To Do. Right?"ReplyDelete
There are multiple tens of thousands and likely hundreds of thousands like you. You certainly need not feel ashamed. I know many unemployed alumni of biglaw. That part of the story rarely gets told. There is the focus on first job out of law school data, and there is almost no information that realistically depicts what happens to lawyers in the long run. Unfortunately, a large percentage wind up in the exact same situation as you because lawyers are a dime a dozen. You could "hang out your own shingle," call yourself a solo practitioner, and respond to a US government or ABA survey as such. Then, you would be counted among the working attorneys in the US for government or ABA records. You could either remain silent to any inquiry reqarding income as a solo practitioner or make up a number that will remain unverified by the US government or the ABA because it cannot be verified, say, for instance 129K. You and I know that your income from the practice of law is zero, and we both know many other "solo practitioners" whose income is zero or very close to zero. In spite of this common knowledge, the average salary of lawyers in the US continues to be reported according to the US government statistics as 129K per year. This is also untrue just like the employment statistics represented by law schools are untrue.
11:11, Your point is fair but I think a law school can't be expected to do much more than place you in your first job. If an employer hires you, they are taking a risk to make an investment in you, and giving you every opportunity to succeed. Barring unusual circumstances (like the current economy) your success at the firm will be based mostly on your performance, and that's not within a law school's control.ReplyDelete
Hundreds of thousands of law grads applying for jobs as maids and nannies...ReplyDelete
I assume this woman graduated pre-IBR. Bankruptcy discharge will never happen, but there's no reason why we can't extend IBR to pre-2009 loans. It's ridiculous that one set of graduates gets to IBR their debt while another does not, solely based on when they graduated.ReplyDelete
Sadly, the pre-IBR constituency is probably too small to have any political power and so they're simply screwed.
You can go on IBR for pre-2009 federal loans.ReplyDelete
For whatever it's worth (perhaps nothing), when I was applying for law schools in 2007 as a 38 year old male who you'd think would have friggin' known better, I believed the employment statistics I was reading. Now, I perhaps didn't fully believe a 97% meant literally 97 out of 100 students... I expected a little fudging of the numbers. Hey, I've worked in sales. (They call it "puffery" I'm told.) But, I most certainly did not ever expect that a claimed 97% actually translated into a true 35%. Or, 25%. The gross downward revision in my employment prospects, earnings potential, career options, etc., is still shocking to me. It is so beyond anything even the ballsiest salesman would employ - it is an outright dishonest statement, a lie through and through. That sort of behavior in sales will typically come back to burn you. Customers don't appreciate it, and neither do employers. And this from a group that utilizes self-administered ethical oversight. Go figure. Who knew that wouldn't work?ReplyDelete
Man, I was a sucker. Just a damn sucker.
Cruz....your customers weren't given loans to buy your products. Makes all the difference in the world.ReplyDelete
I am a 2L with decent grades (B+ average at a school with C curve), and like Crux I am in my thirties. I would not have gone to law school, but for the stats, which now turn out to be less then real. Finding out about the actual stats was a real downer. Well at least there is IBR, if nothing works out after graduation, and the prospects seem grimmer and grimmer the more one researches them. Well, we were all played for suckers. Maybe the class of 2015 or 2016 will have the actual data to make the decision on. Had I known what the actual statistics were I would not only have not gone, but I wouldn't have even applied. Oh, well. Committed now. :( On positive note no signs of depression yet, but I suppose there is still time for that.ReplyDelete
I am a lot like Crux @ 11:41. I graduated in the class of 2010, having entered in my late thirties and with an extensive background in sales. I guess you can say I'm a damn sucker too because I should have known better then to rely on the employment stats at my school, and I'm feeling it now.ReplyDelete
I was lucky enough to find employment outside of law, but my prospects for a long-term, secure and happy career in the law - something I wanted since I was in high school - seems remote at best. I have no immediate prospects, and even if I did, I wouldn't be able to pay my mortgage and support my family on the kinds of salaries being offered to those lucky few that manage to get work and are not in the top 15% of their class.
I am trying not to panic, constantly "reassured" by my career placement office that I am very employable, and that my sales and management skills are transferable to legal work. But what I'm actually finding is that although I have those transferable skills, there aren't many legal employers that are interested enough in them. In fact, in many ways I'm starting to believe my age and skill set are hindering my prospects more than helping.
I hope this gets better, but based on what I've been reading here and elsewhere, I'm not so sure.
And IBR, if it even is around after next year, is no picnic. With the amount of debt JDs have and the high interest rates, we'll often be accruing interest faster than the payments under IBR. And if you do manage to work your way up to make a decent salary where you don't qualify for IBR, you'll now owe everything including that accrued interest.ReplyDelete
Either way, you'll be living like a student for the next 10-20 years. How will people be able to start families, businesses, and buy homes with this kind of debt?
"Cruz....your customers weren't given loans to buy your products. Makes all the difference in the world."ReplyDelete
Yeah, because the only loans available are those for law school. There are some morons on this blog.
"I guess you can say I'm a damn sucker too because I should have known better then to rely on the employment stats at my school, and I'm feeling it now."ReplyDelete
I think you should be allowed to trust a law school, the school designed to teach justice!
Legal job prospects are bleak. The only reason I went to law school was because they had IBR. I figured I didn't have a job before law school (with no real prospects due to having a liberal arts degree), so there wasn't any real opportunity costs with going to law school. Then, with IBR, if I don't get a job, I don't have to pay my loans back (and it gets forgiven after 25 years). So, there's really nothing to lose (it's the government's money--if they're willing to pay for it and have loan terms that allow me to pay zero on my debt, i'm taking them up on the offer.ReplyDelete
12:27, Did you investigate any other graduate programs?ReplyDelete
12:14 here again. I realize that IBR is no picnic, but sometimes that might be the only choice. Being in the top 20%, or top 15% (I shall soon see after this semester, but I did good on the finals, so grades are good, and I might get a bump in rank) gives me some chance at landing some legal work. Not a great chance at a great job, but the local market is not as saturated as some, so at least there is a some hope. IBR either way I suppose, only difference would be the amount. Outside of biglaw no chance to make enough to escape IBR anyway. Hoping to get rid of it under the 10 year public service plan. We shall see.ReplyDelete
I have not looked this blog for a while, but after catching up a bit this morning I have the following comments:ReplyDelete
1. Thank you, LawProf, for keeping all of this going and thereby bringing these problems to the attention of a lot more people. I have not looked at the Above the Law "Professor of the Year" article yet, but it is both wonderful, and very telling, that you appear to have won. Law students - the people who are the real victims here - are cheering you on, LawProf. Thank you, congratulations, and keep it up.
2. The commenter yesterday who lost a son to a suicide that was related to these issues breaks my heart. I am so, so sorry for your loss. I am sure your son was, in the words a commenter today used, a bright, hard working guy who wanted to make a decent living and contribute to society. I am so very sorry.
3. The email from the unemployed recent law grad that LawProf refers to in his post today mentions that this person's therapist is very familiar with LawProf's blog. That is.....very depressing but I guess not surprising.
4. When I went to law school, the concern was to help students not feel stressed out too much by the law school experience. My law school actually responded really well to those concerns.
5. How could a law school today respond to utter despair that many of its students/recent grads are experiencing?
Thank you again, LawProf.
Could someone provide a link to support the claim that Leiter wrote about false employment stats years ago? I'm happy to get on the Leiter bandwagon if such a thing is true.ReplyDelete
In response to 12:27. This is 12:14 again. I investigated other programs, but always wanted to be in law, and the statistics seemed to say it was more than possible economically, so law school won out. Not sure that was the best choice in retrospect knowing the actual stats. My options employment-wise weren't great, but I was at least employed, although I can go back to the dead end job if all else fails, since they truly do not care who they hire, but it wasn't enough to live on then, and won't be in the future. However, if I knew the real stats I wouldn't have went to law school, even though I always wanted to do it, and went with my other grad school options, which have better outcomes, but which don't publish statistics of a misleading variety, so they lost in the comparison, before I knew all the school, lsac, and aba were worse than lies. My school still advertises 97% employment rate, but they do count jobs that merely prefer JDs, and also once that don't. To top it off there is plenty recent graduates working in school after graduation, and even worse some people with their part time student position stay on in the same after graduation, so what does that tell you about the 97% employment figure. I shudder to think what the actual figure is for JD required jobs.ReplyDelete
Yeah. Although it's strange that other programs haven't figured out the "make up stats; get applicants" racket.ReplyDelete
12:34 pm: here's what I thought of,ReplyDelete
I've read similar stuff on his blog, but don't have the time to track it down.
He's been saying that for a long time. And, as we've seen, his school's reporting is very good. Even if it's not perfect, it's better than how LawProf described Colorado's reporting, if I remember correctly.ReplyDelete
In response to 12:50: This is 12:14 again. I suppose other programs might be worried they would get sued, or it might impact their loans. However, law schools know no one is suing them, since their graduates are incapable of that right out of school, and ABA makes sure the money keeps flowing. Only programs I have heard of having truly fraudulent are some bottom barrel private vocational schools, and culinary schools. Counting people working as a short order cook as employed after culinary school in a job they could have had without that school is just as fraudulent as counting people working at Starbucks as employed lawyers. But culinary schools don't have the same lobbying power as law school lobby (aka ABA), so the department of education can and has pulled the student loans away from them, which is why they do not put out the false statistics these days. Some still do, but only use private loans parents co-sign, which is an entirely different scam altogether. Friend of a friend fell for that one, which is the only reason I know. Still that could be the future for some of the TTTs and TTTTs. Although ABA might pull their accreditation for that, to keep the federal money flowing to the rest. In any case I have become a bit jaded on the subject over the past six months as I learned more and more of the underbelly of the law education beast/machine.ReplyDelete
Oh right culinary schools. They're also notorious for it.ReplyDelete
Why are graduates incapable of suing right out of school?ReplyDelete
Yep. Top graduates get the jobs, and the rest get the debt, and not much more. They can cook well, but don't get paid for it, so it becomes a very expensively acquired skill to impress potential mates. Likely not worth it. They also have a very high drop out rate after the first semester as people figure this out. No such thing in law school. Of course even at the top culinary schools the people outside of top graduates get squad. I was going to say "unlike law", but with Harvard grads now struggling we are getting there as well.ReplyDelete
BTW this is 12:14 again.
Not a skill taught at law schools, but acquired at one's first job. So no job, no skill. One would need to find someone to take such case, which is not as easy, since it would be a long shot on contingency basis.ReplyDelete
Everyone struggles more in a recession/depression.ReplyDelete
Culinary schools got into this trouble, and reputation in the boom years. I shudder to think how their graduates are doing now. If their marker was like law market is now during the good times, what exactly are the graduate outcomes at this point. As 1:23 points out someone always has it worse. All we ask is that we haven't been bamboozled into our situation by lies.ReplyDelete
Why would anyone even pay their student loans?ReplyDelete
I graduated in 2010 and do not plan on paying 1 dime back.
I haven't even looked at my student loans. I am sure they are in default or something. Like I give a shit?
I own nothing, so good luck seizing any assets. I am self employed, so you can't garnish my wages. I won't use any bank accounts, so your ugly little gov't hands can't empty it.
Do I have a car? Sure I do. But the title isn't in my name. It is in a parent's name. Same with a house and anything else. It will be in my SO's name
So you see, you CAN evade student loans, just like you can evade any other creditor action.
We are all attorneys here. We should know how the system works (even though law school didn't teach me) and use that to our advantage.
DO NOT PAY YOUR STUDENT LOANS.
Just ignore them. They are just a number on a government computer. That's all. Do not let it change your life. Ignore it. They can't do anything to you.
They can seize your accounts receivables and they can intercept your tax return, among other things...ReplyDelete
Principal: Mr. AtheistATLLawyer, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.ReplyDelete
(from billy madison)
I do not file income taxes and I do not have accounts receivables.ReplyDelete
If a client wants me to do legal work, I obtain the money, all upfront, in cash.
So yeah, so much for that theory.
And yes, I still advocate not paying your student loans. What are they gonna do?
Last time I checked, there are no debtors prison. Peace.
nice work 1:45. lol.ReplyDelete
Ignore Terry Malloy. He is a loser who trolls this site with 4 commenter personalities.ReplyDelete
"With about 400 students in the crowd of approximately 1,300, Obama tailored some of his remarks on the recess appointment of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to the post of United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to his audience:ReplyDelete
So if you’re a student — I see some young people out here — his job will be to protect you from dishonest lending practices and to make sure that you’ve got the information you need on student loans. He has already started up an initiative called “Know Before You Owe.” That’s a good slogan — “Know Before You Owe.” You don’t want to owe and then know."
Exactly, Mr. Obama. WE WANT TO KNOW BEFORE WE OWE. We want to know clearly what our loan terms are and have a realistic picture of post-graduate career prospects BEFORE WE OWE. The ABA is failing at this and your Dept of Education and Arnie "the Dunce" Duncan are too stupid to do anything about it.
Can someone explain to me why I should even care about my student loan? Okay, I won't be able to collect on social security. (Won't exist anyway by the time I'm ready for it).ReplyDelete
I won't be eligible for welfare, like food stamps. (Wow $100 dollars a month for food stamps, I'm living large).
I won't be able to secure federal employment. (Already can't secure employment, duh)
So why, exactly, should I pay my student loans? Why should I pay my unsecured credit card bills? My credit score? Could care less about it.
Why wouldn't you? If you're taking cash from clients for your work right now, you're probably not earning a whole lot (I'm assuming it's mostly low margin one off appearances otherwise you'd have a retainer and a client trust account) so most of it will be exempt under IBR.ReplyDelete
2:35, That's amazing news. Thank you for finding and linking it. Any idea what "KNOW BEFORE YOU OWE" means? Is it mundane and inane stuff like "know your interest rate" or real stuff like "know the job prospects of the programming you're borrowing for?"ReplyDelete
12:21 - the only moron here is you, transparency boy, and your spam comments. Im sorry you're too fucking stupid to understand basic economics.ReplyDelete
ATL, you can lose your license for non-payment of taxes.ReplyDelete
Especially if you're intentionally evading, as you seem to be.
I owe no taxes because I dont make any money. Welcome to the law school scamReplyDelete
A few semi-favorable comments about Leiter on this thread. He doesn't deserve them.ReplyDelete
As an expert in academic politics, Leiter uses weasel words to semi-acknowledge the transparency problem, while attacking anybody who even slightly deflates his big clumsy ego and undeserved status with the cruel word "scam." In this, he is a run-of-the-mill academic coward.
Leiter crosses the line between academic coward and scammer where he argues that young lawyers benefit from his philosophy courses. Law is a learn-by-doing profession, and what law students really need--after first year doctrine and writing courses--is a structured series of clinics and externships to train them to try a case, write an appeal, and represent clients in several different practice areas.
In the world we are sailing into, half or more of young lawyers will need to function as solos if they are to get any return at all on their law school investment. I wish it were not so, but law school needs to be about basic professional skills training, not head-in-the-clouds stuff. Moreover, the persons best situated to provide training are actual practitioners, not professors who haven't seen the inside of a courtroom in 15 years, if ever.
U of C people are doing well, Leiter and all.ReplyDelete
Here is an interesting item he alluded to
Much of the current disenchantment stems from the enormous economic downturn and attendant layoffs and failure-to-hires of recent law school graduates. This produces a demand for both better information about placement (and, perhaps, bar passage), as well as heartfelt but unfocused requests for training that will enable graduates to function as lawyers. If and when the economy improves, these feelings will not disappear, but will become less intense. To the extent that we take the latter request seriously, it will not lead, by and large, to doing a lot more public interest work. Although that work may produce some generalized skills training (e.g. how to draft a complaint), there is precious little paid work in public interest. Rather, taking the demand for skill seriously leads down a path to law schools having a law firm (just as medical schools have hospitals) where students start to learn how to practice under lawyer-professors, who both provide training and who charge clients for their services. We would need to work hard to make the position of lawyer-professor prestigious, so that we could attract the best and the brightest. Law school might become 4 years instead of 3. And there will be negotiations between the lawyer-professors and the Deans of law schools about how to split fees. Deans of law schools will need new sets of skills, akin to managing partner at a large law firm.
"And there will be negotiations between the lawyer-professors and the Deans of law schools about how to split fees."ReplyDelete
" If and when the economy improves, these feelings will not disappear, but will become less intense."ReplyDelete
This isn't true for a number of reasons. The law school scam movement actually started during the economic boom of the 2005 era. Google Temporary Attorney, Loyola 2L and others. I think the reason it started was that tuitions grew completely out of proportion to starting salaries, even in good times. When you charge someone $40k per year, their expectations naturally rise.
I think LawProf is onto something here.ReplyDelete
The truth is, we just don't know what those other 2/3 of Minnesota alums are up to. Their failure to report could be explained by any combination of things.
But, a few years ago, a school could get away with representing that a 1/3 response rate provided an acceptably accurate means of measuring alumni employment. To suggest to the contrary was - I'm guessing, I wasn't involved - pedantic and annoying, and flew in the face of the presumption that most grads get decent jobs and just don't bother reporting their income because they have better things to do.
Now, the onus has shifted. Schools really have an incentive to discover what their alums are doing, so they can improve their own reporting statistics.
I will be curious to see two things this year:
(1) Law school admission statistics. Number of applicants, % admitted, and yield, specifically.
(2) Whether law schools gather and disclose far more data for the 2012-13 admissions cycle. As much as we'd like data, (1) may motivate better gathering and (2) it may take time to gather.
Interesting article in the Chicago Tribune. It looks like the jackass head of the ABA thinks he is absolutely powerless in making law school more affordable and improving educational quality, therefore the problem is just not worth his attention. Oh well, his organization is just the accrediting body whose metrics are established by law school deans that have a personal financial interest in seeing that any sort of tuition and education reform doesn't happen.ReplyDelete
I wonder what William Robinson would say to this young lady in Professor Campos' story????? Hmmmmm....you should have researched more, you should have studied harder, you should have just gone to a state school, networked more, tough luck. Seeing Robinson's comments leads me to believe that the legal profession, whatever it may have been decades ago is a slimy, infected "profession"...errr business that is beyond reform. The political will is just not there and those that gain the most from the way the system is currently set up are calling all the shots and are not going to go against their self interest in the name of the greater good.
Just look at this little nugget:
"I should take the lead in telling these schools that they should reduce their tuition to $25,000 a year? No, I don't think I should do that. I don't think it would be purposeful. I don't think it would be meaningful. I don't think it would accomplish anything for me to do that," Robinson said.
He said "it's a complex question as to whether the cost is higher than it should be or is justified."
12:29--yep, checked out mba and med school/physician assistant.ReplyDelete
mba required work experience to get in (i have none)
med school required science prereqs (i have none)
law school required an lsat and a ba and nothing else
"it's a complex question."ReplyDelete
i.e. "define evil."
what a fucking asshole scumbag.
that article damn near made me throw up. how much does that motherfucker Robinson make per year to act as the advocate for law schools?ReplyDelete
I sent UM Law a fucking email, calling them out on there false statistics, shameful..ReplyDelete
Why would anyone pay their student loans? I just completey ignore them. As far as I'm concerned, they do not exist. Much like the "jobs" all the 2010 graduates supposedly got.ReplyDelete