Now if you should happen to be a member of cynical lazy Generation Y, that is, somebody who has an Entitlement Mentality, you may be prone to ask cynical lazy questions such as "is going to the Stetson College of Law a good idea?" If so, you're probably not the kind of person they're looking for. No, Stetson is looking for people who want to "effectively seek justice in the world," not people obsessed with crass questions of that nature. For example, if you want to know what the chances are that you'll get a job as a lawyer if you go to Stetson you won't find a single piece of information anywhere on the school's web site that will give you the slightest hint as to what the odds are that you'll achieve that goal after going to this law school.
The cynical lazy entitled compilers of the Law School Transparency Index ask 18 questions regarding the employment and salary data each of the nation's ABA-accredited law schools provide to prospective students. Some schools actually provide prospective students with most of the answers -- for example Michigan State's web site allows 0Ls to learn the answers to 15 of the 18 questions. Stetson answers none of the questions. That's right, Stetson wants you to apply for admission without knowing literally anything about employment outcomes for its graduates, other than that 84% of its 2010 graduates were "employed" nine months after graduation. Now cynical lazy entitled etc. G-Yers might note that this (un)employment rate is actually double the current national unemployment rate -- a rate which is calculated using a denominator that includes graduates of genuine ABA-accredited Colleges of Law, but also includes high school dropouts, certifiably crazy people, Rick Santorum, etc.
One thing our cynical lazy potential applicant can figure out without filing a class action law suit first is how much it costs to go to Stetson, and how much debt its recent graduates have incurred. Stetson is charging $36,168 for full-time attendance this fall, which is actually about 11% less than average tuition was at the average private ABA law school last fall. It's telling, however, that this "bargain" price still managed to leave the school's class of 2011 with an average of $133,082 in high-interest, non-dischargeable law school debt. (This figure doesn't include undergraduate or other educational debt, or consumer debt).
A lot of progress has been made in the last couple of years in regard to raising consciousness about the extent to which law schools are trying to get away with behavior that wouldn't be tolerated if they were ordinary businesses as opposed to centers of higher learning. Something like this is a reminder of how far we still have to go. In all candor, if you're on the Stetson faculty, does this seem like an acceptable situation to you? Do you think it's OK to represent to your students that it's a wise decision for them to incur six figures of (high interest non-dischargeable) debt to go to your school? If so, what's your basis for that belief? Because that is in fact what you are representing to your students, implicitly if not explicitly, every single day that you "do your job." Are you comfortable making that representation? If you're not, maybe you should do something about that.
Update: It's worth emphasizing that Stetson is not a "bad" law school, in the sense of being significantly below average. First, it's more or less in the middle of the USNWR rankings (41st percentile). More significantly, as a commenter notes, in the context of Florida law schools in particular it's actually one of the better law schools in the state, ranking behind UF, Miami, and FSU, but ahead of a half dozen other ABA schools. In terms of expected return on investment it's also "average" -- which is to say the modal student there can anticipate a fairly catastrophic outcome. It is, in other words, a typical American law school in 2012.
LawProf blogging straight fire today.ReplyDelete
Have you thought about compiling all of your blogs into a single word doc and then publishing it on the Amazon store for like $0.99?
I've read them all and I would still buy a copy.
Given that Stetson Law School is listed as a tier 3 law school according to US News, many are surprised to learn that the school’s Legal Writing program has been ranked sixth in the country and its Trial Advocacy program has been ranked first, according to the USNews specialty rankings. Undoubtedly, these programs help to prepare Stetson’s pool of future lawyers for the rigorous career that lies aheadDelete
a rate which is calculated using a denominator that includes graduates of genuine ABA-accredited Colleges of Law, but also includes high school dropouts, certifiably crazy people, Rick Santorum, etc.ReplyDelete
Technically, Rick Santorum is no longer actively seeking employment, so he's not unemployed, just out of the workforce.
I enjoy my Stetson. It looks quite handsome in a rugged way. I highly endorse their quality hats.ReplyDelete
Oh wait, we're talking about law schools? Never mind.
Wow, looks like a beautiful campus. I like the picture of the girl in the orange dress who is apparently reading a casebook on the beach.ReplyDelete
Just have to tell you, I attend Stetson, and yes, many of us do go read our casebooks on the beach. And it is a hothouse campus. I love my school and don't agree with the cynical blogger above.Delete
Lawprof is going Nando TTT today. Actually picking a TTT and using that same tone. The only thing missing is the picture with the poop.ReplyDelete
@7:28 Yup, that's about it.ReplyDelete
you are a wickedly good blogger. Best scamblogger EVAR!ReplyDelete
Unperson, of "exposing the law school scam"
Can't believe you linked to Nando. Scamblogs are not credible. Don't be one -- you haven't been to date.ReplyDelete
law prof is throwing 100 mph heat today.ReplyDelete
On the bright side there's a chance it prevents people dumb enough to go to Stetson from breeding.ReplyDelete
I hope Lawprof starts picking a TTT (on a weekly basis) to put in the spotlight.ReplyDelete
He clearly had an impact on the Univ of Michigan in embarrassing them into making a full disclosure. Other schools have also clearly felt the need to go into spin mode also. Didn't NYU or Columbia also respond with spin when Prof Campos challenged their numbers?
So clearly they understand that Campos has the attention of the media. Nobody wants to be the poster child for the scam. So this blog clearly has the power to affect a modest amount of change via the "spotlight".
is why students will keep applying to law school. If a 2L and 3L, who are already in school, tell you this, they must be telling the truth!
The tone of this blog has gone done in recent weeks. Part of its initial authority was the seriousness and respectable voice... I encourage you to go back to a more restrained voice. It bolsters your credibility. There is an academic way to mock things, and a crass way to mock things...ReplyDelete
I'm with 9:57. You have credibility on this issue as a member of the academy that you squander when you link to an incoherent scamblogger as a source and choose to adopt his same tone. No quarrel with your substantive points in this post - I'd just prefer not to have to pick through lots of sarcasm about cynical entitled Gen Yers to get to them.ReplyDelete
And to think this dump is still a "better" law school than at least 6 other ones in a state with an already crappy set of law schools.ReplyDelete
Yeah, I agree. Stetson is certainly a TTT law school. But there are a few others in Florida that are even worse.
@9:57 AM and @10:11 AM,
I find it refreshing that Prof Campos is willing to put certain practices of law schools in the spotlight. Pointing out the scam in an entertaining manner is the best way to expose the scam.
Prof Campos made the decision to use direct language when he named this blog with the word "scam" in the title. That was a big step for a law professor at a T1 law school.
I applaud him 100% for his willingness to name names and go directly after the core of the problems.
9:57 - I disagree. Stetson's constant stream of advertisements in the Tampa area and this unprecedented and publicly announced delay in application deadlines merits a different tone than a scholarly one. After all, how many ways are there to intellectualize these kinds of desperate acts, well, other than to speak plainly as well as caustically about them. Surely you have no trouble with a professor adopting a caustic or sarcastic tone when discussing the meltdown of the subprime mortgage market, a business built on selling flawed and unconscionable financial interests to people who could not understand them or in most cases, properly service them, all being driven by flawed and disastrous Government policy? Everyone of those elements is present in the law school problem.ReplyDelete
I wouldn't even hire a Stetson law grad to milk the cows at my Uncle Jesse's farm in Wyoming. What kind of a fucking name is Stetson for a law school? Do they give 1Ls a starter kit which includes a Stetson hat, Stetson cologne, cowboy boots, stirrups and chaps? The dean of this school should just take a picture in a tattered suit, with a sad and disheveled look holding out an upside down Stetson hat. The byline of the picture should say: "Help this man by enrolling at Stetson Law School. His AMG Mercedes is depending on you."ReplyDelete
If a TTT school like Stetson (not the worst law school in the country) is having trouble filling all of their seats, imagine the crisis at the TTTT level.ReplyDelete
There are at least 80+ law schools ranked lower than Stetson.
Does Stetson have a Joan King figure that hands out glossy career brochures to the naive 0L's at the pre-admission receptions, and then turns around and is "too busy" to consult with the 3L's, claiming that they should have "networked harder" after slamming the door in their faces?ReplyDelete
More important than the tone of Campos' posts is his need to expand his audience. The internet can capture the attention of the kids, but television probably is where their parents will learn of the law school scam. So the more he can get on television (Easier said than done, I know) the quicker the law school industrial complex crumbles.ReplyDelete
How dare Stetson advertise and how dare it extend its application deadline.ReplyDelete
Does anybody have any advice for a 3L that is about to graduate from Stetson with around $145K debt and no significant job prospects?ReplyDelete
b)flee country, and never come back.
c)watch the last ten minutes of 25th hour , and use it as a guide for moving off the grid.
With b & c, the key is you never come back, or they'll find you.
You will soon be a lawyer. Read about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. When your creditors start harassing you about your student loans, file a lawsuit against them for violations of the FDCPA and FCRA.
Then you negotiate with them to get everything negative removed from your credit files. In the settlement agreement you get some boilerplate language inserted.
1) all parties to release all claims. Then your student debt is gone 100%.
2) non-disclosure, non-dissparragement, so they cannot report anything back to the credit reporting agencies ever again.
How is that for thinking outside of the box?
@9:57 a.m./10:11 a.m.:ReplyDelete
You folks have a lot of emotional investment in "tone," don't you?
The defenders of the non-T14 return time and again to how there are no such thing is a bad JD, provided that the graduate himself is not a lazy, entitled failure as you know so many kids these days are. When this particular torrent of bullshit thins to a trickle, then maybe I'll feel worse about Campos' tone.
@ Anonymous APRIL 12, 2012 9:20 AM:ReplyDelete
OMFG. I read the two articles you linked. The first includes this gem: "Upon graduation, a legal education will open a wide variety of proverbial doors."
Proverbial doors? As in things that resemble a door, but are not really actual doors?
Is this a Freudian slip?
You nailed it with "going off the grid and never coming home."
I know a kid who fled from his student loans back in 2009. I visited him in Costa Rica and they man is making good coin as a professor and he even married a hot Tica. He told me the first few months were the hardest to fight off the urge to come back home to the States. He is now a Costa Rican lawful resident and says he will never come back to the U.S. His family has visited him for the holidays so it's not like he will never see his family again. Personally, if I owed $250K in student loans and got suckered in for one of these law diplomas, I would go off the grid, no cellphone, go south of the border and let Sallie Mae hire all the bounty hunters they can to collect the loan. Eventually, the tax payer will be on the hook while I live off in some tropical or exotic paradise.
But you're about to graduate from the 4th best LS in Florida! Sure, it's no "national" school, but Stetson probably provides great opportunities in its own vibrant legal market (lol)......Right? Isn't that part of the spiel given by these "regional" schools? (I do believe they're regional, not from a geographical perspective but rather as a parallel to the region of the body the spews the same $%@#)
Could be worse, if you don't believe me read JD Painter's blog.
12:57: I have absolutely no investment in defending schools outside the T14. I was actually one of the supporters in that thread the other day of thinning the ranks to the T14 + one public LS per state. I just think Campos owes it to his constituency of unemployed graduates to maintain a professional, non-scamblogging tone that will ensure that he is taken seriously by the people who need to take him seriously - certainly, prospective students and their parents, but possibly also legislators, law enforcement, etc., given the clear need for regulation of law schools and their misrepresentations.ReplyDelete
Sorry, I meant to sign the comment at 1:44 as being from the person who wrote 10:11.ReplyDelete
Filled out my taxes today. Paid the feds $11,500 last year. Feels good knowing that it's going to take me and 30 other taxpayers similarly situated just to bail out one TTT grad who will default on his/her loans.ReplyDelete
It takes a village to bail out a TTT grad.
Get rid of your student loans via ADR.ReplyDelete
Sue your creditors. Use that law degree.
Just think, your taxes paid for the bad law school loan, that paid for the leather interior on Joan Wexler's Benz.
The FDCPA/FCRA strategy won't work. Federal Courts are ruling that you can only bring one FDCPA/FCRA claim at a time. They (Federal Bench) are tired of seeing their dockets clogged with these cases. $1,000 per lawsuit? Good luck spinning your wheels.
There is no need to file in federal court. Include some claims from your state laws which often are similar to the FCRA and FDCPA.ReplyDelete
It does work. I did it and got rid of all my debts with ADR. None of them want to spend $20,000+ to fight that type of lawsuit, espeically since I am more than willing to resolve the matter out of court with a release of all claims and a non-disparagement clause.
The point is not the $1,000 for the FDCPA/FCRA violations. The primary goal is to get the underlying debts released via the settlement agreement.ReplyDelete
Per the Transparency Index...Gooooooo Sooners!!!ReplyDelete
Actually, most of the FDCPA/FCRA lawsuits I filed never even got in front of a judge with any significant motions. The other side typically tries to get the case resolved without even hiring local counsel or answering.ReplyDelete
Only two times (out of eight) did they actually answer the lawsuit. And both of those also settled in mediation.
Since I'm always saying that the US could learn something from the UK, let me possibly shock you by saying that UK law schools don't (in my experience) carry any details about employment prospects for graduates. The law society used to point out that there were twice as many wannabe solicitors as openings, but I'm not sure if they still do.ReplyDelete
I've never been to Stetson's Law School in Tampa. However, I've been to their undergraduate campus in DeLand. It's a lovely place, as is the town. I must say, though, that the students looked like they came out of one of those cologne ads. It's hard to imagine them getting too worked up about the job market.ReplyDelete
I have wondered about that myself. Why do law schools make such silly claims about salaries and employment outcomes. Other graduate schools dont seem to make such detailed claims.
I doubt there would be so much outrage if law schools stay quiet like other programs. I dont think dental schools or medical schools making such detailed claims about employment and salaries. Why do law schools do it and put themselves in this situation?
The difference between me and most of youse all armchairz peoples is that I am the one really with the DEBT!ReplyDelete
I wake up with the debt, and go to sleep with it.
During a regular day, and in my mind, I go through the whole thought sequence of 1. Debtor's Suicide and how to do it 2. Fleeing the country and how to do it 3. How I am going to be picked up by Homeland Security (who looks at my blog as well as the US Dept of Justice) and incarcerated--the equivalent of debtor's prison.
I live in constant fear.
My debt is terrifying and if anyone want's to trade my debt for their smug world view I am willing.
And I missed being a baby boomer by one or two years. And glad.
And I ain't no anonymous shill either.
My story is my story,and I take all the blame for where I went wrong.
But still.....there has to to be a cap on how much interest can be piled on a Student Loan by either a Private Co. like Sallie Mae, or by the Federal Gov't.
Once, the United Nations had a look at my blog.
Not too long ago neither :)
@JD Painter - please, less self-importance. Everyone from MI6 to Langley has had a look at my blog, and it's no great shakes.ReplyDelete
"Since I'm always saying that the US could learn something from the UK"
Nope. As an American JD with a UK Oxbridge postgraduate degree in law (Oxford BCL/Cambridge LLM) ... nope. Studying law in the UK is in so many ways a total trainwreck. Worst mistake of my life. My JD program was better in every single way.
One of the chief defenses of law schools that you hear (from people with every reason to know the truth and ample reason to lie about it) is that nothing has really changed. It's just this little recession, one like others that previous generations of law students have faced, but it's that uniquely Gen Y sense of entitlement that's undone this latest group. It wasn't clear to me that you were part of this group, and I should have made it clear that I wasn't referring to you as part of it.
I think Campos' signal-to-noise ratio is fine here. If you find sarcasm offputting, then I have to ask: how have you read this much of the blog already?
I want nothing to do with you.
My problems are American Domestic, and besides, what the hell are you doing hanging around Inside the law school scam anyway?
I had an American ex-pat guy from Australia that now works in China that used to tell me to move to Australia and even told me that he could find work for me in China.
I finally told him that he ran away from his American Student loan debt from a 1st tier law school, and that all of his new Australian and Chinese friends probably know that deep down and have no respect for him.
It pissed him off, but the truth hurts.
I was born here and have roots in the USA.
Fleeing the USA because of Sl debt is a last resort, and I still have faith in America, somewhere deep down.
Who the hell are you?
and this guy ^ keeps showing up.........ReplyDelete
11:44 - you don't get it, do you? Your comment is one a lawyer would make, i.e., one who fails to understand the economics of the situation and the situation Stetson Law Schools finds itself.ReplyDelete
Most law schools are a failing, and they have a rapidly crushing business model. And in this sense I disagree with Professor Campos about Stetson. Yes, in terms of ranking, quality, and so on, it is a typical law school. And yes, it has the typically high overhead (especially salaries) of so many law schools, which have specialized in overpaying for arcane research that virtually no one reads and supporting an inefficient teaching delivery model. But Stetson's local demographics are terrible, and as such, they are the canary in the coal mine when it comes to the transition from a failing business model to a failed one. The education level in the Tampa Bay area is relatively low. There are few high value add employers in the area because they cannot retain talent in the area. 168 LSAT scorers in Northern Virginia, Westchester County, the North Shore of Chicago? They abound in these areas, even with lower numbers taking the test. Good luck finding that kind of score in any numbers in Tampa Saint Pete. The great students in Florida often leave, and they sure don't go in numbers to USF. The fact that Stetson is out trolling locally for students at the last minute just blows my mind. It is like culling for a needle in a haystack. Just as with the failed subprime lenders, they know they are facing a shortage of customers willing to pay their tuition with borrowed money. And they also know exactly what is in store. Lower standards (as they will have to do)? Great, the slide down the rankings will be painful, and precipitate even more pressures. Keep lowering them? They know darn well what kind of grades and scores augur for bar passage three years later, and know exactly what will happen if the passage rates plummet (one of the advantages of affirmative action is they have data on the casualties of the legal market - I know my T14 law school keeps them). It is a death spiral, and a number of these law schools will really begin to feel it. It is not personal - just a totally failed business model.
"For 2010 graduates whose status is known, 84.9% were employed or enrolled as a full-time student as of February 15, 2011."ReplyDelete
This sentence constitutes the sum total of placement data that Stetson is willing to share with prospective students and the public. And here we are in 2012, when even law school reactionaries, such as the ABA, concede that placement stats are totally inadequate, even as they defend other aspects of the scam. Congratulations, Stetson, on a truly impressive display of contempt for your students and the profession!
Moreover, the sentence conveys absolutely no information. What kind of jobs? What percentage of grads are "status known"? I believe that that exact sentence could be used by the scammiest of cosmetology schools.
I note that Stetson provides a telephone hotline to try to lure some marks into enrollment:
For a bit of scamblog-activism, readers should consider calling the number, proclaiming their interest in applying to Stetson, and politely asking for some placement data on how many graduates actually get jobs in the legal profession.
Stetson doesn't post employment numbers, but they are available from the US News premium site. Here's the grim news:ReplyDelete
The bar passage rate (for Florida takers) is just 75.9%, lower than the state-wide average of 77.6%. That alone should give one pause.
Only 56.9% of the class of 2010 were known to be employed nine months after graduation in full-time jobs that required bar admission. I calculate that number by starting with percent of grads whose employment status is known (96.1%), multiplying by percent employed (78.3%), multiplying again by percent in jobs requiring bar admission (76.4%), and multiplying again by the percent of the latter in full-time positions (99%).
Many people--maybe most readers--don't realize that these are nested statistics. I.e., they'll see that 76.4% had jobs requiring bar admission and think, "well, that's not so bad. Some of the others probably didn't want legal jobs and surely I can finish in the top three quarters of the class." But the "percentage of jobs requiring bar admission" is a percentage of those who are employed--which, in turn, is a percentage of those for whom the school has information. Crazy, corrupt system.
I think the OP reflects a very important sign: There are going to be very serious pressures on many schools to find enough 1Ls this fall. The impact may be quite uneven, depending on region and tuition as well as rank, but it almost certainly will be there.
The bar statistics in my previous comment were from 2010 (the year that US News reports for employment outcomes). I just looked at Stetson's site and note that they give higher stats for 2011: 87.7% in July and 87% in February. Big jump! Not sure what accounts for that, but I want to be fair to Stetson in posting facts. Of course, they're not being quite as forthcoming to 0Ls in posting employment statistics...ReplyDelete
Hilarious post, LawProf. Well, I guess it would be hilarious if it weren't so darned true.ReplyDelete
I've been warning LawProf that he was going down the road to "just another scamblogger" for a while now...ReplyDelete
As I think he must be at least semi-intelligent, he must have a reason for ruining his credibility and blog. I'm guessing it is because he wants to hang it up, so he is self sabotaging it.
If that's the case...good job, Campos. You've succeeded.
This is old data but the latest available -ReplyDelete
Wow, the median salary out of this TT is 55K - and it is based on a whopping 15% of the class.
Since the Federal Government is not minding the store, I suspect Stetson and other law schools will get away with cutting admissions standards until their bar pass rates go into the toilet and stay there for at least three years. Perhaps in 2018 and 2019 the ABA will finally notice the problem and demand, what else, more government aid.ReplyDelete
You will soon be a attorney. Study about the Reasonable Financial debt Selection Methods Act.ReplyDelete
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@ 3:40am: "Waaaah scamblogger, non-professional language, bawwww"ReplyDelete
Give it a rest. In case you haven't been following since its inception, Lawprof has been writing professionally and continuously in this blog for nine months. God forbid writing that long about a cynical topic tempts him into making a sardonic post every now and then.
Every now and then might be fine, but that is not the case here.ReplyDelete
These complaints about "tone" say a lot. They probably come from one person. I would love to know the identity of this author (I have my own short list of likely suspects).ReplyDelete
Complaints about "tone" say that the anonymous shill author, most likely a legal "academic," has no substantive rebuttal to the flames of truth that LawProf brings each and every day.
There's also probably a bit of envy that a single blog post by LawProf gets exponentially more readership than a Law Review article by ToneProf.
@ April 12 9:20 - I went to the KU blog you cited and attempted to post a response but wasn't permitted to do so.ReplyDelete
Nice scam for the author to put up this crap there and not allow any criticism/rebuttal/response.
If you pay attention to these three factors you will be in great shape and well on your way to starting your career as a lawyer. Good luck!ReplyDelete
Now if you should happen to be a member of cynical lazy Generation Y, that is, somebody who has an Entitlement Mentality, you may be prone to ask cynical lazy questions such as "is going to the Stetson College of Law a good idea?"ReplyDelete
Have you taken a look around? Who isn't apart of "Generation Y"? They aren't making high school and college graduates like they used to. You're discouraging people who are pretty darn stupid already. I suggest a title change - ALL of higher education is a scam.
I went to this trash pit but was one of the lucky few to come out the gate making 6 figures, at least I have hope of paying off the 145k in loans I took onReplyDelete
Stetson is no better or worse than any other decent law school. Do you really think the professors at Harvard teach their law students anything worthwhile? Obama graduated from Harvard and he's an idiot.ReplyDelete
I've recently moved right down the street from stetson and had the idea to go over there and find a place to flyer for a chinese speaking qui tam attorney then I remembered why its harder to find a good lawyer than it is a doctor. The search continues.ReplyDelete
I called Setson to hire one of their recent grads for my Son who is in jail. I was told a new attorney right out of law school would cost less then a veteran attorney. They were very nice at Stetson, but of no help for me. They do not have records of their recent graduates they could furnish to me.ReplyDelete