Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review of the literature

Four years ago Bill Henderson pointed out that starting salaries for law school graduates had fallen into a strongly bi-modal distribution, and that this fact had considerable significance for the future of legal education and the legal profession.  A year later he highlighted how the latest data meant that major changes were in store for the standard legal academic business model.

Since then American legal academics have published approximately 38,873 law review articles. (This is an actual estimate based on a review of the literature, not a heavy-handed joke).  Henderson's observation has been mentioned in precisely seven of these texts.  Five of the references are cursory.  Actual discussion of the bi-modal distribution in starting salaries for law school graduates is found here:



 More fun facts:

1,002 law review articles contain the phrase "Affordable Care Act."

Ten of the articles referencing the Affordable Care Act also mention the writings of Michel Foucault.

The phrase "law school transparency" appears in 12 articles.

The phrase "law school scam" appears in eight articles.

The phrases "document review" and "click monkey" do not appear together in any law review articles.

The latter lacuna in the scholarly literature will be remedied by my forthcoming article "The Crisis of the American Law School," which will appear in print in October. (Updated draft version available here).


  1. 97th!!!!! ________

    ________ WoooHOOOYIE!

    ________ ________ ___________ BooYAAAHH, BooYAAAHH, BooYAAAHH, yah losers!!

    ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ______________ muuuwahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

  2. Lawprof,

    At the Top Law Schools blog, misguided 0Ls continue to inquire about the best law school to attend for "X" (i.e., environmental law, or entertainment law, or sports law, or diversity, or women's issues, or careers in the public interest, etc.).

    Please shed light on this alternative rankings scam perpetuated by faculty at TTTs. "Our school may suck, but it sucks less in environmental law."

  3. Why is a discussion of the market for lawyer jobs or law schools considered legal scholarship at all? Maybe it is business school scholarship or something.

  4. Dammit, I'm not the first commentor.

  5. It would be interesting to track the career outcomes for the authors of the articles discussing Foucault and the Affordable Care Act. The real joke is I'm willing to bet they've done much better than their more grounded colleagues in getting jobs in biglaw...(me, I wrote about Rawls--much more practical)

  6. Sorry Prof. Campos, but the bi-modal distribution of salaries had been pointed out long before 4 years ago.

    Are you trying to give a pass to all of your commenters who enrolled in law school prior to 2008 and were supposedly "in the dark" about the perils of borrowing for their education?

    Nobody is doubting that there is more information out there now, but law school was hardly a safe bet for much longer than 4 years.

    Sorry, scambloggers, you really do have to accept a modicum of responsibility for your decisions even if they pre-dated 2008.

  7. 1) Jack Heinz at Northwestern wrote about that bimodal trend long ago.
    2) In your article, I implore you, as a wise man once said, to "kick 'em in the grill, B." Take no prisoners.

  8. I hope your forthcoming article has more impact that the work of the other Tall Paul from Michigan.

    This is a very powerful and important post! Congratulations.

  9. @8:06AM

    Prof Campos and DJM can easily deal with you by deleting your comments.

    If they have Statcounter or GetClicky, they know your IP address, as well as the IP addresses of everyone else.

    They can also get a good idea of the source as in what University, or Law Firm, Government agency etc.

  10. Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading it LawProf! You are a hero to many.

  11. I don't understand 8:06's reference.

  12. Great point Lawprof and thanks for once again backing it up with data. Hopefully this will be read by some of those people who like to say that you're just latching onto the latest fad, or that this topic is old news. While some people have written about this topic before you, nobody has elicited a response from law schools about this topic as you have. Everybody who came before was simply ignored. You, however, are impossible to ignore and you've had a major impact. Thank you.

  13. Claim: "Potential students need not believe any of the nonsensical attacks on the case method, nor pay any heed to the false claim that law professors are writing useless articles..." Professor Neil H. Buchanan, George Washington Univ. School of Law.


    Fact: A search of Westlaw Next (All States & Federal) reveals that not a single one of Buchanan's 18 learned journal articles has ever been cited in a published reviewing court decision anywhere in the nation. The picture does not exactly brighten when you click on the "administrative decisions and guidance" tab--exactly one of his 18 articles was cited, once, in a footnote in a GAO report.

    Is there any other profession whose academics produce "scholarship" that is so thoroughly disregarded by practitioners? Is there any other field whose academics get to blithely discard the practice of peer review? Is there any other sort of professional school where extensive practical experience is regarded as a negative in selecting faculty?


  14. October is a long time to wait for the article. And Failing Law Schools took a long time to appear on my Kindle--months after insiders like LP had read the manuscript. I suppose those of us who follow this blog will already know most of what's in the article, but it still seems a bit out of step for those of us who impatiently come here at about 5 p.m. (Central European Time) for each day's new posting.

    The delays of paper publishing are probably pretty benign for most scholarly legal writing--most of it is of exceedingly limited interest. It seems more of a burden here--there are people being hurt by the delay in coming to grips with the meltdown in legal education.


  15. "you really do have to accept a modicum of responsibility for your decisions even if they pre-dated 2008."

    Please find me one complainant who hasn't accepted a modicum of responsibility for choosing to go to law school.

    I'll hang up and wait for the answer.

  16. @ 8:50, not sure what your point is, particularly in view of the multiple 8:06 posts you address indiscriminately.

    Are you somehow upset that someone managed to post "First!", or upset at the next poster ("97th!") who posts to gently mock those who post "First!"?


  17. Publius: If you want a copy of the current draft send me an email.

  18. Regarding the dearth of mentions for Bill Henderson's bimodal findings - I don't know quite how the law review system works.

    If they are reviewed or vetted prior to publication by some "board" within a given LS, is it possible that an author who thought to make mention of Henderson's bimodal distribution was dissuaded by the fellows on such a board?

    Or if not vetted internally, I'd guess it's a case of "no one else wanting to stick her/his neck out"....

  19. "Is there any other profession whose academics produce "scholarship" that is so thoroughly disregarded by practitioners? Is there any other field whose academics get to blithely discard the practice of peer review? Is there any other sort of professional school where extensive practical experience is regarded as a negative in selecting faculty? "

    I had a discussion about these topics with my Dean about 15 years ago. He was shocked. Then as an exercise I wrote five Law Review articles in the next 18 months just to prove what a worthless endeavor it was. Every one of them was published in a "good" law review. I am announced publicly to my colleagues that I was done with long review articles and I have not

  20. ^^^For the life of me I cannot figure out why I can't edit these comments so that if I have a typo or two I can't fix them. I take back any criticism that I have entered here in regard to typographical errors and misspellings. If you can't edit you can't fix it.


  21. The reason the bi-modal distribution hasn't been mentioned is that no one in legal academia cares about salaries or employment of graduates.

    It isn't a dangerous subject; it is just one that legal academics feel isn't worthy of address.

  22. You can only edit if you are logged in and comment with an ID.

  23. 8:59/dybbuk, Not surprised at all. Though I've occasionally found useful information in notes by law students, usually in summarizing the basics on a particular issue, I've never found anything remotely helpful in journal articles by law professors. Most of it is too generalized or too arcane, some is flat-out wrong, and in any case you risk being laughed out of court if you actually cited to a journal article in a pleading.

    In defense of law professors, much of what passes for scholarship in other fields of the humanities is dreary, obscure, useless drivel, written by and strictly for other academics.

  24. In the "learn sumpin' new ever day" category - I had no clue what a "click monkey" was until today and had to google it.

    After googling it, I still do not understand LP's comment that the "...phrases "document review" and "click monkey" do not appear together".

    Is this an inside joke?

    Thanks, any.

  25. Prof. Campos has earned his keep today - a couple Westlaw searches (for free, made possible by his law school's relationship with Westlaw) and a law review article that, he's proud to say, addresses a Real World Subject that eggheads blithely ignore.

    I know, I know, articles with a Real World Significance are better than academicky articles about Foucault. This automatically justifies whistleblowing about a scam while continuing to profit from it?

    Tell us, Professor Campos, where on this chart can we find your salary? I see the names are obscured.


  26. Can you post a draft on SSRN?

  27. 9:21
    Law Review articles are typically not subject to peer review or vetting prior to submission to the Law Review. There, they are usually only reviewed and edited by student Law Review editors. One can argue about the way that peer-review ought to occur and the method by which peer-review should be implemented, but it is hard to argue the notion that anything that carries the label "scholarship" is should subject to traditional peer-review. The failure of Law Review articles to be subject to peer review is perhaps one of the reasons that so many  in the field consider them to be worthless. I know. I wrote a whole bunch of them.


  28. Huey Lewis
    You are so right about citing a journal article in a pleading. I did that about twenty years ago thinking I would look scholarly. The judge laughed and said, "Why, that's just one man's opinion and not even a real lawyer at that!". I learned my lesson.

  29. 9:44
    I see Paul stabbed you in the heart! You must be one of the clowns who cited Foucaut. So trendy! So French! So typically law academic-like. You are an embarassment to law professors everywhere. 30-40K articles in three years! What a load of crap!!


  30. Prof Campos:
    I second; please post to SSRN. I would love to read your article.
    Pre-Law at Large, Public University

  31. In the end, it feels good knowing that a typical scamblog receives more views than those 38,873 law review articles combined. Plus, we are not taking a sabbatical in order to provide the info.

  32. It will be beyond amusing if people like 9:44 ever get outted, although many of us have pretty good ideas who it might be. Eh, "tokyorose"?

  33. @9:44, interesting chart. I was frankly surprised to see that a number of B-school and engineering profs make more than the LS profs.

    Also, interesting that one associate law prof makes more than seven of the other full LS profs. Must have been a good negotiator.

    You can see the level of importance placed on the clinical program, since (amongst instructors) that professor makes less than all but one associate prof and the one "senior instructor".

    Finally - I'm a bit surprise at how low overall the prof salaries are (on the order of $140k on average). I mean, $140k is nothing to sneeze at, but from all the ranting and raving here and at other sites, I'd have thought LP was dragging down 300 large or more...

  34. @Pissant and @9:28, thank you for the responses to my question about prior review or vetting of law review articles. To Pissant - I wasn't thinking so much about "peer review" as "institutional review". That is, the idea that the LS may have a board set up for prior review to protect it's own interests (censor articles that it might not like).

    Anyway, thanks again.

  35. I third! Please post your draft to SSRN so we can all peer review. This could be an absolutely wonderful experiment!


  36. If anyone would just google the title of the law review article there is a link fairly close to the top where you can download it.

    Research much?

  37. Law Prof:
    I hope you don't take to heart 9:44. It's a guilty dog that barks the loudest.

    I too look forward to your article. When it appears, I intend, with your permission of course, to copy it and distribute it at the following Chattanooga Trial Lawyers meeting. While the oversupply of lawyers has not devastated the trial and small firm practitioner on the same level as young law school grads of the last decade, it is an assault on our practices. The fact that you are a law professor at a flagship university, I think, in this case, will help crystallize the issue in my fellow small practitioners' mind (probably couldn't say that if it were an article on evidence or civil procedure, sorry). It's a small contribution, I know, but "brick by brick my citizens, brick by brick".

  38. http://works.bepress.com/paul_campos/1/

    click the download button.

  39. @9:17AM -Enquiringminds (AKA Anon)

    All I am saying is that Anon is not really Anon, and the same old silly troll is pretty obvious after a while.

    Nothing on the internet is ever really Anonymous, and people should remember that.

  40. Hey, LP, Texas Weslayan (TTTT) is selling out to Texas A&M:

    I wonder if Tex Wes looked into their crystal ball and foresaw what awaits them in this glorious summer of law grad discontent....Git while the gettin' is good!

  41. 10:46 - Just being devil's advocate, but so what?

    First off, IP tracking is very vague unless you have government resources behind you. What are you going to find? A city? Possibly a wifi network at a university, which could indicate any student or staff or possibly guest?

    Second, let's assume that there are government resources involved AND that the poster mistakenly posts from somewhere where they can be specifically identified. Again I say, so what?

    Third, I think there is more than one so-called "troll" (i.e. someone who just doesn't agree with the blogger)posting on here.

  42. There are, undoubtedly, many trolls trolling. That's what they do. It's the inevitable downside of a popular comment section.

  43. Skimmed the article - good work. Brave though - I suspect there were sharp inhalations of breath in the faculty lounge when they read part four (and less than scholarly references to "that **** Campos." The problem for those readers is that they think you are advocating when you are actually telling them what the future holds for law schools and their faculty and administration.

  44. With a rather dim witted expression the little Troll ambled lazily and waveringly on his way through the wood. He then paused, and rested his heavy jug of dark ale on an old tree stump before scratching his green pointed ears, and stroking his long, white beard as he thought for a while.

    Then suddenly, and in a flash of inspiration the Troll said:

    "So what!"

  45. MacK:

    I read the article, too and agree section four may give some pause to some law professors. On the other hand, I suspect many law professors believe they can secure a big law or mid law job at essentially the same salary (if not at the same hourly rate) anytime they wish. So what, they may think, if the whole , rotten edifice comes tumbling down---Skadden will want me or Regional Big Law Firm will hire me as a partner simply because of the prestige I bring and that law review article I wrote on alternative dispute resolution in 2002.

    I dunno.

  46. @ 9:44am

    LawProf has been very vocal in the huge risks of going to law school. Therefore he cannot be said to be part of the scam in the sense of inducing people to go to law school via misleading statements or downplaying or outright denying the risks of attending.

    There is nothing intrinsically wrong with being a lawprof or with law schools per se. The problem is the cost of law schools relative to incomes of JD grads and the number of law school grads vs amount of jobs available. A secondary problem is the law school curriculum.

    But there IS something wrong with being a law prof or dean when you lie or obfuscate the risks of going to law school and induce 0Ls to take risks they were not prepared to take.

    The thing is this: If EVERY single dean and law prof were as outspoken about the risks of going to law school as Campos. THEN THERE WOULD BE NO SCAM. Anyone who goes anyway with the full knowledge of everything in this blog goes at their own risk knowing the dangers.

  47. A common wry observation is that scientific journal articles exist not to be read, but to be written--by the time they're published, anyone who's really at the research front already knows what's in them. They're written to claim priority for the authors.

    Law reviews take this one step further. Law review articles exist not to be read or even written, but to be edited. Law schools need enough "editor" positions so that any suitably ambitious student can claim to be a law review editor. The result is that there is a truly appalling oversupply of them. Law professors don't know how good they have it--in many fields, it's actually hard to get published.


  48. 9:44
    It is shocking that you want to cover up and therefore continue the scam. What on earth could lead you to question the moral validity of posting information regarding the employability, or lack thereof, of recent law graduates? The issue is now beyond clear. When it's on the front page of the Wall Street Journal there can't be any doubt of the basic truth. Or do you dispute that also? What kind of a jerk are you? And I ask that as a law professor who has become educated about the economic numbers over the last year. They are no longer subject to any kind of plausible deny ability.

  49. When this blog launched, Brian Leiter attempted to popularize "scamprof" as a nickname for Campos. His reasoning seemed to be that a law professor is only scamming his students if he believes law school to be a scam. Since Leiter does not, he is not scamming anybody. Since Campos does, he is.

    Our troll friend here seems to have a similar philosophy.

  50. Does anyone else picture Brian Leiter reading this blog daily and trying to rack his tiny Nietzsche-filled head on ways to strike back?

    I picture him stroking a cat like Ernst Blofeld while a team of obedient toady grad students stand behind him waiting for his dictates. "New plan! You will go and make anonymous posts on the blog accusing LawProf of hypocrisy and profiteering. That'll show 'em!"

  51. On my school's law review, most "editors" did nothing but edit footnotes and the occasional grammatical error. 3Ls generally did nothing but supervisor this activity, or do nothing at all. I can count the number of student editors who actually contributed to "editing" the articles on one hand with a finger or three left over.

  52. 12:46, "And I ask that as a law professor ... ... plausible deny ability."


  53. C'mon people, you are seriously out of touch with reality if you think the likes of Leiter are trolling here and/or putting others up to do so.

    This blog simply does not have enough impact to worry any of those people. I'm glad Campos is doing it, although I don't think there's enough grist for the daily postings, but I just don't think many people really care all that much.

    The situation will change, but only when it becomes economically forced. Fortunately, it looks like that day is at least on the horizon, but it's still probably several graduation cycles away and it's going to be a slow, slow grind.

    I had really hoped that there'd be more than a half-handful of law professors speaking out by now, but things are going pretty slow. Oh well, as long as there are embittered debtors I'm sure the message won't die away completely.

    By the way, whatever happened to Barbara Boxer bringing up this mess? Did that go anywhere or did that die?

  54. tdennis239 writes, "...suspect many law professors believe they can secure a ...job at essentially the same salary (if not at the same hourly rate)".

    Hey, hadn't thought of it in terms of hourly rate. Let's see, $250K (includes the "summer research stipend" that LP mentions in his paper) divided by, wot, maybe 1040 hours. Pushing about $240/hr there.

    Using a firm billing model, that'd put the professor in need of being billed around 750/hr. Who in their right mind would pay that for someone with little or no experience?

  55. 12:46--
    Could not edit the error in Blogger. My aologies. Forget I said it, true though it may be.

  56. ^^@1:15--
    I meant you,

  57. "'C'mon people, you are seriously out of touch with reality if you think the likes of Leiter are trolling here and/or putting others up to do so."

    But we know for a fact that Leiter has trolled here, Leiter.

  58. @12:46 / 1:26 / 1:29, okay, we'll take your word for being a law prof. It looks like you're having a bad enough day as it is! :-)

    So, where (seeking only generality) do you teach?

  59. A Magician Named GOBJune 26, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Prof. Campos,

    I believe you have a typo on page 23. "In its latest projections, the BLS predicts that there will be approximately 801,800 jobs for lawyers in America in 2010, up from 728,200 in 2010"

  60. Leiter may have trolled here when Campos first started. I doubt he is posting under an anonymous tag now and/or putting others up to doing it.

    Why would he? He has nothing to fear from Paul or DJM. I guess maybe if he just wanted to have fun messing with the defensive commenters here he might do so, but I find that harder to believe than him ignoring what, to him, is a law professor simply venting in order to assuage his guilt.

    Then again, maybe I'm wrong and Leiter spends eight hours per day on here commenting.

    Think what you want.

  61. 1:33 T1 west coast

  62. ^^^ I haven't gotten to p. 23, but there's a lot of typos (to be expected in a draft, especially as it looks like he hasn't picked it up in several months).

    But what you mention isn't a typo- BLS projects about 10% growth rate, which gets you to the 801.8K number.

    Then again, note BLS also uncritically posts an unemployment figure for lawyers of something like 2%

  63. Sorry, I should have noted above 1:38 is directed to poster at 1:34.

  64. 1:38
    You are probably quite right. Certainly that is part of the problem though, isn't it?

  65. ARRG. Okay let me re-phrase. "Sorry, I should have noted above that 1:38, second iteration, is directed to poster at 1:34."

    As for 1:38, first iteration, thanks for the reply again. I think I've just proved YOUR point about issues with typos... Don't say I never gave ya nuthin.

  66. 1:41--
    Shoulda' seen me before electric typewriters! Spplin was awfl.

  67. @1:48 - yah, my first term paper was hammered out on a "Hermes Rocket". And I do mean "hammered" - ribbon was about dry but that's what I could afford....

  68. I admit I find it a little hard to believe that Brian Leiter or any law professor would actually spend time trolling this board.  I wish Lawprof would call these people out. He can see the IP addresses, he knows if they all come from the same place in Chicago or not.  Leiter was threatening to do the same to him.  

    I do think that any law professor trying to discredit Campos or the message of this blog should be identified by name.

  69. Here is an article some of you may enjoy in connection with the main post: Norman Otto Stockmeyer, an emeritus professor at Cooley Law School, has written an article on "How to Maximize Your Article's Impact." http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2064756. The article advises professors on how to "spin" an article into three, four, or more articles--including versions published in bar journals. I guess you have to omit the Foucault references for that.

    To be fair, I think Stockmeyer wrote this short article to help professors who teach legal writing and other skills courses: They often benefit from mentoring on how to move up in the ranks by publishing. But it's a pretty cynical look at what professors do--especially since it comes from a Cooley professor.

    Be forewarned that if you follow the link and download Stockmeyer's article, you will be increasing the impact of his scholarship! Deans and professors now often count downloads on SSRN as a measure of a professor's impact. If a professor wants to use RAs for devilish purposes, I suspect the RAs are busy downloading copies (and yet more copies) of the professor's articles--not commenting on blogs.

  70. To demonstrate the mind of Leiter, here is a youtube clip of Leiter discussing Nietzsche:


    And to quote Leiter:

    "More precisely I aim to show that the image of the sovereign individual is in fact consistent with the readings of Nietzsche as a kind of fatalist, which I have defended at length elsewhere.

    On the fatalist reading, Nietzsche teaches that persons of certain psychological and physiological traits over which they have no autonomous control, and which together perhaps with enviornmental influences like values, cause and determine their life trajectories........"

  71. 1:38, I don't really care if it's Leiter, or another law professor, or some hack like Jack Marshall. But someone spends a lot of time trolling this blog and other sites, making the same moronic arguments about Campos being a hypocrite, a poor scholar, etc. And if anyone affected by this issue has the time to troll the internet eight hours each day, it's a law professor. And if any law professor is notorious for trolling the internet..

    I agree that Leiter has little to fear from lawprof or DJM. But it's clear that Leiter took Campos' response to his threat personally. That could explain him obsessively "messing" with the "defensive" commenters here, rather than just ignoring a law professor who feels some sort of guilt that he does not share.

  72. @2:14, who urges " I wish Lawprof would call these people out. He can see the IP addresses... Leiter was threatening to do the same to him."

    I always say, Two Wongs maybe make great egg rolls but two wrongs don't make a right.

    If LP "outs" any posters, then no one with even mild criticisms will bother posting and you'll end up with nothing here but a sychophantic's echo chamber.

    Maybe you'd like that, but I would no longer trouble myself to read the comments.

  73. Yes and I encourage people to read that legendary Leiter smack down again. Campos really humiliated him.

  74. @ DJM: "If a professor wants to use RAs for devilish purposes, I suspect the RAs are busy downloading copies (and yet more copies) of the professor's articles--not commenting on blogs."

    Well, hey, you gotta have an individual copy downloaded for each of your friends and colleagues, right?

    Reminds me of the old laywers joke:

    (Old in-house to his paralegal) "Yes, all of these documents are past their retention period and may be destroyed. But be sure to make a copy of them first."

  75. Frankly, the quality of the dissent around here is pretty poor, I think the blog would lose nothing if it disappeared, at least in its current form.  We never see any legitimate criticism of Campos' arguments or facts.  Instead, we see allegations that Campos is a hypocrite, that his fans are sycophants, that he's not a real scholar, etc.  And we see a lot of trolling designed specifically to get a rise out of people.  None of that is productive.

  76. And by deliberate trolling, I mean calling people names, I don't mean making arguments. I mean calling people losers, deadbeats, sycophants, scumbags, etc. There are trolls who come here just to do that and Campos should take action against them if he can. Ban or "out" or whatever.

  77. 2:52-
    I disagree with your comment. I think the people who post disagreement with ad hominem attacks simply reveal the kind of person that continues to seek benefit from the law school scam after the scam has been revealed. Let them have at it.


  78. What a bunch of losers, deadbeats, sycophants, scumbags, etc.

  79. For what it's worth (probably nothing), I am terminating my "volunteer" gig today. I cannot continue on this path. My wife has accepted a job, in law, in another city. We are moving. I'm a year out of school, JD and bar card in hand. Still looking for a job. Be warned, young 0L's, this is a pretty stupid path to walk down. Trust me. I'm not sure I care about being a lawyer anymore. Fuck it. I'm going to go pick up my kids at day care.

  80. @2:37PM

    Dear God I wish I lived in your bubble--a hypocritically "proper" and inhumane and scam enabled world-- and in the black.

  81. Frankly, I enjoy the trolling. It is evidence of the vapidity of the other side's counter arguments.

  82. Crux, I cruised your blog. Sorry you got ate up in the machine. Being a good dad and a good husband is what counts, and you know it's what really counts. It doesn't matter whether you're practicing law, doing web design or selling all manner of widgets. Best of luck to you and your family, man.

  83. Cte, sgabmucs, stnahpocys, staebdaed, sresol fo hcnub a tahw.

  84. Law's not always that great anyway 3:37.

    Here's another reason why. When we graduated in early 2000s from DePaul Law, my personal injury associate friend remarked often how his clients were blue collar guys making $70k or$ 80k or so and had no idea that the lawyer they were talking to who wore a suit made much less than them.

    Wonder who has more financial security now 10 years later?

  85. ^^^^ Hard to say who has more financial security now (10 years later).

    Plenty of blue collar guys were laid off as their companies went under, or were merged with other companies and their jobs were "synergized", and meanwhile their former employers managed to default on the pension plans (which were chronically underfunded anyway), dumping that burden on the PBGC at 50% or whatever it pays out, so they're hosed again...

    ...what I'm sayin' is, things are tough all over.

    You may well be right that those blue collar guys are still doing well.

    Then again, maybe they're not.

    (Mostly I posted not so much to argue about your post, which I found interesting and informative, but rather to try to preempt a certain frequent commenter who spams us with his fantasies about how cops all make 200K and we should all just be cops.)

  86. Here is a link about Leiter from 2005:

  87. 6:44: That is some fucked up shit. How did that pathetic gimp get hired by Chicago? I probably don't want to know.

  88. Interesting piece. Seems a little late, given that these points have been made before, by you and others. It would be better to have more discussion of solutions, like the idea of having schools for people like many on this site who have no use for theory and "law and" courses, and schools for people who want the traditional elite education. You seem to endorse that, in the article and on this site, but appear reluctant to go all out and champion the concept--unless I have missed your discussion of this here. If so, sorry.

  89. Good Post. The Henderson article is pretty interesting. Thanks for the link to it.

  90. A few points:

    Crux - I skimmed your blog - it is well written and articulate. Any person who suggests that students ripped off by the law school scam do not accept some culpability for their situation should read it and recognise that they are very very wrong. It also, at least to me demonstrates a number of things: first, that there are students at bottom tier for profit law schools who are sufficiently articulate and on its face smart enough tho have done well without the JD. Second, although going by your blog you have at least some of the nous and analytical skills to do well as a lawyer the law school, in the legal business environment that has prevailed since the 90s, should never have admitted you - a 38 year old with 3 children. For most lawyers, even those who are doing well, the first 5-10 years of legal practice are very tough and very unstable - Professor Richard Gordon once described employment at will as "employment at whim" and for junior and mid level associates that is doubly accurate. Indeed, no lawyer can really enjoy security until and unless they acquire a skill set that means that clients cannot chose between them an a competitor on a mere "whim" - personally I would describe the first 8 years or so of legal practice as personally hellish, only redeemed by the actual practice of law (my first managing partner is widely regarded in DC as a total shit - and later firms have had to fire him because of ultimatums from partners and associates.)

    For someone with kids - and pushing 40, and going to a low ranked law school to enter a status conscious and credentialist hiring environment - and borrowing to do this - law school is simply a bad choice. Your blog makes it apparent that you recognise this - but the law school should have too - or the student loan system. In any event, good luck with the move, I hope it works out for you and yours.

    Tdennis - re your posting at 12:15 - my name is on two books, a huge international-organisation report that is widely cited, a cluster of articles - not to mention a pile of "ghost writing" as an associate and law clerk (two more books, 5-10 articles on antitrust and international law.) Not once did any ever get asked about at an interview - maybe one book helps with clients (but we were already selected as the firm) while the other one apparently was 'big-publishers' most stolen book at relevant legal conventions for a while (it is a practice guide.) The thieves never hired me, but then I suppose that as well as being thieves they were competitors. So if any professor is harboring the delusion that an article will get you hired - even if it was practice orientated, sorry but no. Certainly my publications seem now to be essentially vanity projects and a way to deal with chronic jet-lag.

  91. MacK:
    That's what I thought. I suppose I was being a bit tongue in cheek. And your right, the first 8 to ten years of practice are hellish and unstable. I've noted that there are many that fall by the wayside---not that they lack the intellectual capacity---they are just not temperamentally suited for the tough slog. This applies to those in big and boutique firms, not just small and solo firms.

  92. @Crux

    I read your Feb. 19th Post and found your experiences at a 4th tier Law school similar to my own.

    I started at a 4th tier LS age 27, struggled academically until the 3rd semester, and with the help of three or four easy elective clases was able to pull my gpa above passing for graduation.

    Some of the students I came to know transferred out after the first year, and some failed out or lost interest.

    Some of the critical 1st year classes were so poorly taught I had to almost learn them for the very first time in a bar review course, which was overwhelming.

    The school offered a "take your first year over option" and I recall one student doing that.

    Student loans were a major, though not the sole reason for the break up of my marriage later on.

    My ex wife was terrified of having her wages garnished, her pension and social security garnished someday, her tax returns taken, and was fearful of a lien being placed on the home.

    Back in the day, everyone said that a law degree from most any tier school would open more doors for any kind of employment, and that student loan debt was "good debt"

    In hindsight I should have dropped out after the first semester. But I didn't have all of my first semester grades until two weeks into the second semester, so I didn't know where I stood. And I could not attend the secpond semester classes without being paid in full with, in my case, almost all in federally backed stafford loans.

    Knowing what I know now, I should have dropped out after the first year. Some have remarked that the school should have kicked me out, and others have said that the school was benevolent in having given me a "chance" to pull my GPA up.

    I expressed my then chagrin over my grades once to the dean of the school in his office who told me (sort of jokingly and lightly)that: "The A students end up teaching and that the B students end up working for the C students"

    Armed with that little jingle in my head I went on to graduate.

  93. All:
    I appreciate the kinds words regarding my current situation & the "crux of law" blog. I haven't touched that blog in months. I have many stories yet untold from my law school years. Perhaps I'll get some of them written out in the future.

    I'm going to make it, by hook or by crook. Things could be far worse. I had lunch with a friend of mine today. He is dying of cancer.

    I cannot complain after visiting with him.

  94. Hey there is a TLS thread by a guy who got admitted to Rutgers without even applying:


    And got a $18,000 scholarship as well.


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