Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Welfare reform

Yesterday at lunch time an unknown but apparently quite large number of graduates of George Washington's 2012 class got this email:

From: Dean Paul Schiff Berman <>
Subject: Adjustments to P2P Program
Date: June 19, 2012 9:14:12 AM PDT

Dear P2P Fellows,

I know that most of you are deeply immersed in Bar prep right now, but I wanted to reach out to you to discuss your job search as well as some necessary adjustments to the Pathways to Practice (P2P) Program in which you are currently enrolled.

As you know, the purpose of the Program is to provide some financial support in those first crucial months out in the job market when you are still waiting to be admitted to a Bar and may need volunteer opportunities in order to build your networks and get your first paid law work.  To that end, I note that the support is only available to those who are actively working in P2P placements and who are regularly in contact with our Career Office to take the steps necessary to find paid work.  Such regular contact must, at a minimum, include a monthly meeting (by phone or in person) beginning in August.  You should know that I have recently hired a new head of our Career Office, Abe Pollack, and he is dynamic, energized, and laser-focused on getting each and every one of you some paying law job between now and December.  He and our career counselors are 100 percent committed to working with you, and if you encounter any difficulties in your work with your counselor, please contact Abe as soon as possible so we can make sure you remain on track.

Also, I have now heard several anecdotal reports of graduates turning down paying work so that they can remain in the Pathways Program and hopefully find more desirable work later.  This is not how the Program is intended to be used.  You should jump at any paying legal work opportunity, and if it's not your ideal position, then use it as a launchpad for your next search.  In order to make sure both that the incentives are properly aligned and that we can continue to fund the Program for the many students who have enrolled, we will be adjusting the payments from $15 per hour to $10 per hour beginning December 1.  The new funding amount will remain in place from December 1 until you have been in the Program for a full year, at which time your enrollment in the Program will end.  However, it is my sincere hope that all of you will have found employment by then (or, preferably, far earlier).  My advice is the same as always: follow every lead, get out in the world and meet as many people as you can at Bar events, trade association meetings, and so on, use any network you can find to make contacts, and follow up on any contacts you make.  And do twice as much as expected of you in your P2P placement so people will notice you and want to hire you permanently or recommend you to others.  I know it is an historically difficult job market, but we are here to help you navigate through this transition period. 

My very best to each of you.

Paul Schiff Berman
Dean and Robert Kramer Research Professor of Law
The George Washington University Law School


(1) This letter was written by someone who believes, or purports to believe, that GW grads aren't getting law jobs in significant part because they're not trying hard enough.  This person also believes that cutting the pay of otherwise unemployed GW grads from $15 to $10 an hour as they labor in the non-profit sector "jobs" they had to acquire in order to enroll in the Pathways to Practice program will cause those people to try harder to get real law jobs, which in turn will yield enough success stories to justify a 33% pay cut.

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his $400,000 per year salary depends on his not understanding it.  Nevertheless one can try.

GW students are not getting jobs -- 15% of the 2011 class was enrolled in a similar program in February 2012, and therefore were counted by NALP and the ABA as "employed full-time in a position requiring bar admission" -- because there aren't enough jobs.

In America, it is difficult to get a man to understand that sometimes people do everything they are supposed to do to get jobs, but do not get jobs, because there are more people doing everything they're supposed to do to get jobs than there are jobs for these people to get.  Traditionally, it has been particularly difficult to understand this when these people were poor and/or black, but now it is becoming difficult to understand even when they are professional class white people.

Now, even professional class white people are suspected of not working because they do not want to work.  Surely, if "those people" really wanted jobs they could get them.  Because if this were not true it might mean that all those years of study and preparation, and all that networking with a laser-like focus, and all those massive tuition payments, had turned out to be a waste of time and money (except of course for the inherent value of legal education itself, which is literally priceless).  And that simply cannot be true, because if it were true then that would be very disturbing.

New law graduates are not getting jobs because there aren't nearly enough entry-level jobs for new graduates, and in addition many entry-level jobs are going to increasingly desperate lawyers with several years of practice experience.  Memo to America's law school deans: Hiring a new head of OCS does not create any more jobs for your school's graduates.  Perhaps Abe Pollock is a paragon of industriousness and laser-like focus (as opposed to somebody's brother's second cousin by marriage), and as a result two or three or five more GW graduates will get law jobs than would have otherwise.  But this means that two or three or five fewer Georgetown and American and George Mason and Maryland graduates will get jobs than would have otherwise.  You can fire your OCS directors faster than Stalin used to execute his generals, but the math stays the same.

(2) "Several anecdotal reports of graduates turning down paying work" is not evidence. It's at best junior high school level gossip masquerading as data.  Here's some data: 17% of GW's 2011 class couldn't get any job at all, or had to take a law-school funded job.  How many of them were lazy idlers on the dole?  Anyway, how plausible is it that, in the six weeks since graduation, a bunch of GW grads have turned down real legal jobs of any description in order to make $15 per hour working in dead end positions?

What seems to be in play here is some characteristic fantasy of the comfortably entitled that law graduates are rejecting real legal jobs that are beneath them while holding out for glamorous positions that they believe will soon materialize.  In any case I have heard variations on this idiotic claim several times in recent months -- that the problem with Kids Today is that they don't understand that not everybody's first job is with Skadden or the DOJ, and that's why they're unemployed, instead of working for a small family law firm in Rockville or as an assistant DA  somewhere on the Great Plains.

(3)  This email is evidence that GW is feeling some genuine financial strain.  Surely as he composed it a voice somewhere in Dean's Berman's head was whispering that this little adjustment in employment terms (by the way, it would not surprise me if what GW was proposing here was a straightforward breach of contract, although one would have to see the letter participants signed to evaluate this) had the potential to generate a flotilla of bad publicity.  A back of the envelope calculation suggests this move was going to save the school perhaps $300,000 to $400,000 -- this at an institution that has an $80 million annual operating budget.

In addition GW is currently admitting people off its wait list and offering them 60% off list tuition, which must thrill the people with better credentials who were admitted six months ago and will be paying sticker.

Anyway, this story has an edifying if not altogether happy ending, which is that three and a half hours after the original email the recipients got another one:

From: Dean Paul Schiff Berman <>
Date: June 19, 2012 3:52:54 PM PDT

Subject: More on Pathways to Practice

Dear Pathway to Practice (P2P) participants: 

I have heard from many of you in the past 24 hours.  You have expressed disappointment about adjustments made to the P2P program by lowering P2P pay to $10 per hour beginning on December 1.  In hindsight,  I apologize for not doing a better job of explaining my rationale for this decision.  It was not made lightly, nor in a vacuum.
I designed this program to be the most generous it could possibly be, and indeed it is among the most, if not the most, generous program of its kind in the country.  And contrary to what some believe, this program does not impact GW's ABA placement statistics since those statistics specifically separate out positions funded by the University.  [In regard to this claim see this]. The purpose of the program is as I have always stated it to be: to do everything we possibly can to help every GW Law graduate get long-term paying legal work.  GW Law and the new Career Office are committed to working with you to make sure that you are supported in finding permanent positions and maximizing your experience in the P2P Program.  I am determined to personally support everyone concerned in this effort.

You will understand that supporting a program as generous as this one for a full year takes extraordinary financial resources, and I am trying to support the Program as best I can.  With limited resources, our priority has been to accommodate all graduates who would like to participate, and we calculated that this change would make it possible.  

Nevertheless, I am concerned that so many of you have already relied on the earlier funding level in making life choices.  Accordingly, I will redouble my efforts to make the funds available for the Program, and I hereby rescind my earlier e-mail and will return the funding to its previously announced level of $15 per hour.  

Please contact the Career Office as soon as practicable to ensure that we are supporting you to the maximum extent possible.  Again, I regret the anxiety caused by my earlier efforts to adjust the Program.  

All the best, 

Paul Schiff Berman
In the interim, Above the Law had published some thoughts on the issue, which it's fair to speculate may have had  a role in this sudden reversal of fortune.

So progress is happening.  Legal academia is still dominated by magical thinking about how properly crafted resumes and relentless networking will create jobs for lawyers, and the cultural imperative to blame the victims of structural economic forces for their plight remains as strong as ever, but the natives are getting increasingly restless.


  1. I don't even know what to say. What a motherfucking greedy, dishonest and opportunistic asshole. Fuck you to hell.

  2. "I hereby rescind my earlier e-mail and will return the funding to its previously announced level of $15 per hour."

    See? And you said a law degree wasn't worth it. He just gave you a 50% raise. Could you have gotten a 50% raise with another degree?

  3. Wasn't Berman the Dean who came out a few years ago with a speech claiming that schools should charge more for a J.D. in light of the increased earning power it provided? It was one of those D.C. area Deans and I think it was Berman.

  4. I think what they're doing is to be applauded. Most schools are simply letting their grads sit around and collect $0 or welfare.

    What the hell do you want the dean to do? You know as well as I do that he can't create legal jobs.

    Also, c'mon Paul--you're out of touch if you think that there aren't new law grads who are turning down low paying legal work because they think they're worth more. I'm not saying that the majority are, or that the pay is fair, but it is happening.

    Nobody wants to accept shit pay after spending a fortune on a law degree, and a lot of grads refuse to do so. That is understandable, but in this economy it might not be wise.

    And your mention of the dean's salary is nothing but an ad hominem attack. Very low-life of you and shows that you can't really attack what he's doing by suggesting something better.

    Oh wait...yeah, he should cut tuition by 1/3 and his class sizes by 1/2.

    And you should cut your salary by 1/3 and increase your workload by 2 as well.

    Sometimes people don't have the ability to do the things that you think they should do.

    You're out of touch in your own way, just as we all are. You need to remember that.

  5. 7:10:

    Right on.

    Also these kids screwed themselves by going to GWU. I have no sympathy

  6. "What the hell do you want the dean to do? "

    If you don't know the answer to this question, then you are either brand new to this blog, or you have an imbecile's reading comprehension. Wow.

  7. "his $400,000 per year salary"

    "I will redouble my efforts to make the funds available for the Program"

    I can't imagine where, in GW's budget, they could find the extra money to fund the program, and certainly not any possible way that would significantly motivate those in charge to find jobs for their graduates or decide to shrink their incoming class sizes.

    This is like a captain pushing the cargo off the ship instead of going down with it.

    This also highlights another problem with legal education. For all intents and purposes, a law degree is closer to a 4 year degree than a 3. After you have paid the price in blood for 3 years of law school and the associated living expenses, you get to dole out ~$1,000 for the privilege of taking the bar, ~$2,000-3,000 for prepping for it, and living expenses during that time. How many graduates don't start working (assuming they have jobs) until after the bar (August)? After they get their bar results (October or later for some)? This just drags out the time period that law school students are not productive and are living on loans (and watching interest compound on their loans).

  8. "And your mention of the dean's salary is nothing but an ad hominem attack. Very low-life of you . . ."

    Hi you know who, you scumbag low-life (which can't be an ad hominem attack, per your quote above).

  9. Although I don't believe that transparency is a complete answer to the problem of too many graduates and too much expense, this is a classic example of how even the smallest amount of negative publicity makes this industry jump in the right direction.

    The email goes out at 9:14 a.m., and at 3:35 p.m. Elie Mystal devotes three pages to shitting all over Berman personally for this. Within 15 minutes, Berman's mea culpa/rescinding of earlier attempt to chisel his graduates one last time is sent. This is of a piece with something that happened at my school two years ago, wherein pretty much the entire career services office was shown the door for an error that landed in AtL.

    The industry may be shameless, but that doesn't mean individual bad actors are. Call them out for everyone else's sake. Besides, it's fun.

  10. Dear Professor:

    Here's my own back of the envelope calculation: At $15/hr. assuming 40 hrs/week, that's $600 per week or $31,200 per year (I'm sure I'm wrong with some of my assumptions). According to the GWU Law website, the cost of living for students is about $30,000 per year.

    So even assuming you earned a full $31,200 you'll barely cover your costs (if you eat rice & beans and don't make any loan payments). With this in mind, a cut from $15/hr to $10/hr seems all the more draconian.

    One small bit of devils advocate, though not really applicable here: There's lots of research (see that unemployment insurance prolongs unemployment. Although I can't imagine any student in his or her right mind turning down any paying job to be a gopher for GWU.

  11. Lawprof should start moderating comments.

    7:10AM is so out of touch and mean spirited and will just continue to blame the victims without adding anything productive.

  12. In 1969, the minimum wage was $1.60/hr. Adjusted for inflation, that should equal $10/hr in today's terms.

    Berman was essentially bringing the salary down to minimum wage, when previously it had only been slightly above it....after $200k of debt, for a FIRST TIER (lol) Law School, in a program that basically is the equivalent of Accounting tricks used by Wall Street Banks.

  13. I wish my school would pay me $15, or even $10 per hour for a year.

    Shit on the dean all you want, he's better than most, regardless what his salary it--that has nothing to do with it.

    Some of you are being totally unrealistic to expect a dean to "go down with the ship." You have no idea what these grads are going to be doing 10 years from now--and the dean should sacrifice his career because there is a global recession now that may be greatly magnifying this whole issue?

    Uh, okay.

  14. I wonder how many academics, deans or otherwise, make $400k. I know a department head for major medical school that makes have that (and he has an MD).

  15. I think what happened is students basically emailed the cso that they would simply remain unemployed instead. I can feel an undercurrent of panic in the final email regarding "making life choices". Student need to speak up! Imagine as a means of protest if all law students at a top 50 law school refused to find employment. That would wreck havoc!

  16. 7:23 - Say what you really mean: 7:10 should be censored because he/she says something that I disagree with. 7:10 just isn't on the bandwagon, so does not belong here.

  17. 7:24

    The Dean's salary, for what amounts to fuck all of work, is on the backs of his, he should show some benevolence.

  18. "And contrary to what some believe, this program does not impact GW's ABA placement statistics since those statistics specifically separate out positions funded by the University."

    Actually, it does, because the school-funded positions are not excluded from any categories and cannot be excluded from them because the school-funded category does not fit neatly under the bar required category or any employer type categories.

    One thing we are presently considering for the next round of reforms is have these jobs, when they have a definite duration (with the duration not mattering), be excluded from the job and employer type categories. So if a school has 10 school-funded legal jobs at public interest organizations with a definite duration of one year, and there are otherwise 20 legal jobs and 20 public interest jobs, the data will reflect 10 legal jobs and 10 school-funded jobs, as well as 10 public interest jobs and 10 school-funded jobs, instead of 20 legal jobs, 20 public interest jobs, and 10 school-funded jobs as it is now.

    There are a few problems with this that should be debated. For example, it would exclude some legitimate one-year fellowships that some schools always provided that perhaps should be counted. Unless there's a meaningful way to distinguish them, my guess is that the lesser of two evils will be excluding them.

  19. @7:26

    That is retarded.

    Are you retarded?

    If so, you're excused.

  20. From the dean's blog re: 2011 admitted students:

    "This is an extraordinarily impressive group of students, and I thought you might want to know a few facts about them."

    "In short, this is a talented, diverse, exciting, and engaged group, and I am very much looking forward to getting to know each of these students better as we embark on this journey at GW Law together!"

    What exactly happens to those students on their "journey at GW Law" that turns them from hard-working overachieving potential leaders and Persons of Quality to entitled, lazy, self-serving people who have to be "incentivized" to start the career they paid $200K for? What does that say about the people GW admits to join their class? If I was a GW student or alum I would be insulted.

  21. @7:10 a.m.:

    "And your mention of the dean's salary is nothing but an ad hominem attack."

    GW's losing a fortune in tuition discounts, and its class is shrinking to ensure that GPA and LSAT standards remain high enough to stabilize its U.S News ranking. You're Dean Berman. You:

    (a) Voluntarily reduce your pay to only 7 or 8 times what the median American household makes, while asking others to do the same and looking for efficiencies that don't screw jobless graduates who might make your school the next one to be sued for misleading employment statistics.

    (b) Tell the kids who contributed to your salary for three years at devastating personal expense that you're going to reduce their pay while participating in a program whose reason for existence is to prop up your employment statistics; additionally, look like a giant asshole on Above the Law.

    PC&B is by far the largest expense in running a law school, and is the reason why GW's tuition has gone up several multiples of inflation in the last decade. How is it not relevant?

  22. @ 3rd 7:26

    Why does this not apply to the honorable Campos?

  23. 7:28, do you think the dean has the power to chop everyone's salary? do you think he dictated what he was to be paid?

    Have you ever voluntarily chopped your salary because the people who bought your service or the products that you contributed in bringing to market were hurting? Know anyone who has?

    This is all fun to talk about, but it isn't realistic.

  24. "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his $400,000 per year salary depends on his not understanding it."

    And this goes for many precincts of our diseased republic, not just the legal industry.
    Disenfranchised young people need to start aggressively confronting the privileged class. Otherwise they will continue to ignore you or blame you for your plight. The recovery pols keep preaching about is a sham, and the system as constructed will never voluntarily reform itself, because to do so will require folks like Mr. Berman to relinquish their wealth and privileges. Instead, they will try to brainwash you into believing it's your own fault. And no doubt many will take pleasure in your suffering (check out some of the comments from yesterday's post).

    Read the Orwell piece linked above. And he's not the only Englishman who understood this:

    My karma tells me
    You've been screwed again.
    If you let them do it to you
    You've got yourself to blame.
    It's you who feels the pain
    It's you that feels ashamed.

  25. 7:29

    It can apply to Campos. I don't see Campos as a fool, and I'll bet he could live on a 5 figure salary. It's not that hard. The thing is, it has to start from the top with the ABA and the Deans. If Campos was head of the ABA then yes, all pressure should be on him to make the symbolic gesture....along with eliminating 50% of law schools

  26. 7:32: It would be realistic if schools really were communities like they say, not essentially partnerships where the profits are distributed to the high-level employees, the deans and professors.

    What is realistic is that the more people see the hypocrisy, the less they are willing to trust the school. They become more cynical, less likely to apply or attend, more likely to demand scholarships and tuition discounts, less likely to donate money. All things that will hurt the school in the long run. But of course, the current crop of tenured profs and deans doesn't give two shits about the future of their institutions and this profession.

  27. I just want to echo the logical reasoning of all the really smart law professors/admins commenting above me in this thread, and ask again, how dare Paul Campos discuss the law school scam without voluntarily reducing his salary? In my addled, stupid little mind, then, it follows that since he has not taken a voluntary wage reduction all of the clear and evidence based criticisms he has leveled at the law school industry are invalid.
    Everybody happy now? I fixed the law school problem, and I didn't even have to get out of the comfy chair US taxpayers and naive OLs purchased for me.
    Also, it's the recession! Yeah, that's the ticket. It's the economy, as soon as that gets booming again (which will happen soon!), law school will be a GREAT investment at $60k/year.

  28. 7:36 - Exactly. Everyone is simply going to look out for their own best interest and say screw everyone else, for the most part.

    That is the American way...

    Don't we all have enough experience and information by now to know that schools are businesses, not communities? See with your eyes...why go by what they say?

  29. The highway is alive tonight
    Where its going everybody knows
    Sitting here in the campfire light
    Waiting on the ghost of tom joad.

  30. @7:32 a.m.:

    Law deans occupy a space in American employment where they can do things like recommending forgivable loans (that's right - "forgivable loans") from the non-profit associated with the law school, for himself and favored faculty members. I imagine that Berman's bargaining power is substantial, or else he wouldn't make over $400,000 simply to administer the law school. I would also imagine that he has at least enough pull to set salaries for the tenure-track professors, or to cancel or downsize other programs which seem less important in the context of their current problem.

    In any case, $300,000 to $400,000 is small change in an operating budget of $60M annually. Asking for their P2P students to come up with the entirety of it on a thin pretext is like grubbing your sofa for nickels in response to your mortgage being 90 days overdue.

  31. I know Law Prof was at PLANC last week (as I was)...I am wondering if he caught Paul Berman's lunchtime speech to pre-law professionals. In light of his emails to students, I am struck by the incredible hypocrisy he is displaying. The disconnect between his speech to pre-law professionals and his emails to students are really striking.
    And Law Prof...great job at PLANC. Many of us waited all week to see you, Brian Tamanaha, Jerry Organ, and Bill Henderson.

  32. What if the dean really believed that the students were turning down "foot in the door" legal jobs paying $30,000 because they were getting paid more than that to stay where they were?

    By reducing the school sponsored pay to below the (shitty) market rate for those foot-in-the-door jobs, that would give students incentive to take them rather than ride out their $15/hr job in the hopes that something better came along, wouldn't it?

    That does make sense. I know it isn't what people here want to hear because all law school deans are satan's disciples, but tell me why that isn't possible?

  33. What's funny is that as bad as Berman seems, he's a saint compared to Dean O'Brien.

  34. 7:53

    Show your evidence

  35. Rush Limbaugh and Hannity have their fingers on a mute button for people that disagree with them, all the time. So why can't LawProf do it?

  36. Why does 7:53 need evidence? He didn't make the decision but is simply saying it is a rational explanation for the dean's actions.

    You can't dispute it with any counter-evidence either.

  37. They also have call screeners.

  38. 8:00 - Yes, you have summed it up quite nicely.


  39. 8:01

    Ah but the Dean thought he had enough evidence to reduce wages to $10, no? So the burden should be on those offering the thesis that students are seeking to stay in the GW job.

  40. In response to those above, the Dean isn't doing favors for anyone but himself. Listing these students as employed does far more for GW than it does for these poor grads.

    Also, to 7:53, these grads couldn't possibly be turning down 30k foot-in-the-door jobs because there is no incentive for them to do so. They were only making 30k in the P2P program to begin with. If they were turning anything down, it's probably something like that 10K BC Symplicity posting. It's not about hoping something "better" comes along, it's about making enough to barely survive, which at least the P2P provides.

  41. 7:53: The question isn't what Berman believes. As the OP points out he may very well believe something like that. That's the problem. He believes something that (a) he has no evidence for and (b) makes no sense.

  42. "In addition GW is currently admitting people off its wait list and offering them 60% off list tuition, which must thrill the people with better credentials who were admitted six months ago and will be paying sticker."

    That is almost as jaw-dropping as Berman's disgraceful memo, and deserves a post of its own! I hope admitted GW students give some thought about what this desparation move signals for the direction of the school, reputation-wise.

    The nonwaitlisted applicants admitted a few months ago ought to approach the administration and ask for a 60 percent tuition break of their own. It is only fair, plus they have leverage, they can cancel their plans to enroll.


  43. Dean Berman,

    We know you're trolling these comments. You should probably burn the IBR fact sheets that are in your financial aid/admissions office before the pictures hit the interwebs.

    IBR is now part of GW's marketing strategy - used to assuage the fears of incoming law students and their parents.

    Shame on you GW!

  44. @7:53 a.m.:

    According to Glassdoor, the average hourly salary for a barista is somewhere around $10 an hour, with the majority making around $12 to $13.

    The rates for appointed work as a guardian ad literm in the State of Virginia are $55 an hour out of court, and $75 in court. It's $90 in or out of court for appointed counsel in felony cases.

    For that matter, why can't the dean simply consult his NALP findings to determine what the lower bound of his "successful" graduates' salary has been, and see if $15 an hour is less than that?

  45. 8:04: That's fine and supports my contention that he is not just some greedy dean looking to screw his students to make up for some shortfall somewhere. He very well may be greedy, but this just may not be evidence of it.

    Now whether or not what he believes (or may believe) in this case is correct, or whether he is stupid for doing so, that is another issue entirely.

    Either way, $15/hr or $10/hr is better than $0/hr, even if it happens to help GW.

    Do you think those grads filling the positions would like it better if the program got terminated entirely? Probably not.

  46. Those programs are so fucked up... let me take some money from current students and give it to recent grands. Sounds like ponzi scheme to me.

    Law schools have failed and they will go down as a big edu joke.

    That's what happens when unqualified fools get into positions of power.

  47. 10 or fifteen bucks an hour is not so bad.

    You might starve, but you will be able to play some nice xylophone tunes on your rib cage.

  48. @7:32

    Have you ever voluntarily chopped your salary because the people who bought your service or the products that you contributed in bringing to market were hurting? Know anyone who has?

    This is all fun to talk about, but it isn't realistic.

    Yes. As a GC (bonus cuts after layoffs) and recently to a couple of corporate clients I voluntarily discounted a 6-figure-bill and a 5-figure-bill because I knew they were in a tough place financially before I was asked - and yes I took the hit on that in my income. It is what law firm partners sometimes do. I seem to recall that law school deans and law school professors use law firm partners as part of their justification for what they demand in pay - and guess what, client is hurting partners do take a cut in income.

  49. Well, hiring a new CSO person will create one new job for a graduate, but only if the CSO is himself a graduate.

    Along the same lines, in a fit of boredom, I went through the list of Cooley's full-time faculty, and tallied the schools where they got their law degrees. No fewer than 32 of them were Cooley grads! (Harvard: 3; Yale: 1; Stanford 0). I suspect this is a non-trivial fraction of the all Cooley grads that have decent jobs.


  50. 8:23 - You're the exception to the rule, unfortunately.

  51. at 8:10, GW isn't the only school using IBR as a marketing strategy. Boston University's been doing that for a couple years now.

  52. GW's CSO doesn't have to solve the problems this blog is about. All he has to do is make sure that every single GW grad is placed before any single grad from AU or CUA can get a job.

    Still not attainable, but this is a much more manageable task than solving the legal oversupply/overcharge crises.

  53. 7:53: Let me give it a shot:

    Assuming a 50-week work year, the P2P program pays $26,250 per year before taxes. GW Law's own cost of living estimates place CoL in DC at about 23,000 (nine months, but sounds inflated for 12-months) without including health insurance. Now students on P2P will probably save a lot of money on room and board ($18,500 seems too high) so we might say they will be able to live in DC on this salary, albeit barely making the rent and without making any interest payments on their loans.

    Now a 33% pay cut leaves the GW grad at 17,500 per year. This is much lower than GW's own CoL estimates for DC. Very few of the students in the program will be able to live independently on this program.

    So many of them will probably move out of the big cities (NYC, DC, Chicago) and back with their parents. The problem is that most of the jobs they have to get to qualify for the program- non-profit jobs- are located in large cities. If graduates move back in with their parents in areas with fewer legal organizations with less capacity to absorb bodies, they may not be able to find organizations willing to sponsor them.

    With 15% of the class employed by the program, about 75 students, it is pretty easy to see that there will be more than a few graduates meet these criteria.

    This, of course, all done on "several anecdotal reports" which may indicate a few graduates turning down paid work. But I think the numbers of people forced to leave areas where there are a lot of 1) orgs willing to sponsor them, 2) places willing to hire them, will probably outnumber the freeloaders.

  54. Further to 8:37 -- and what would you do if you had that goal? Branding, networking, pushing students to be more aggressive . . .

  55. I can't believe he sent out the original email and rescinded it so quickly. Did he not think this through at all? Did he not realize how quickly ATL and Campos would be on this? It really makes him look like a weak willed fool.

  56. "In addition GW is currently admitting people off its wait list and offering them 60% off list tuition, which must thrill the people with better credentials who were admitted six months ago and will be paying sticker."

    If this is really the case, the people who signed up to pay sticker really need to renegotiate their tuition. I hope they get this message.

  57. Morse Code for J

    In any case, $300,000 to $400,000 is small change in an operating budget of $60M annually.

    Actually it is quite a lot of money in the GW Law budget. You need to remember the bulk of the budget is non-discretionary consisting of salaries to professors, deans and various administrators, librarians, etc. Then there is a hefty charge by GWU for overhead and services and overhead (their share of Trachtenberg's pension for example as well as heat and light). Before you know it the Dean may have only a million or two that he can make any decisions about - and given the discounted tuition, that number is falling like a rock.

    As for me, back to work.

  58. I agree with 8:44. To rescind the salary reduction so quickly smacks of panicked desperation - like they are making this up as they go along. GW is in trouble. The whole law school industry is in trouble.

  59. GW is what you would call a "job creator".

  60. Brilliant as always, Professor. You are everything a real scholar should be: tenacious, principled, and intolerant of BS. I want to thank you also for yesterday's post shining light on a (formerly) obscure area of the law school scam, i.e. the cost of living.

    BTW, as an outsider to this whole mess, I read your blog every day (though I seldom comment). I believe that lawyers' clients and the general public also have a real stake in what's going on here.

  61. Good work by Campos here:

  62. MacK-
    You are absolutely right. In fact voluntary reduction of fees is commonplace among practicing lawyers. Even smalltime lawyers practicing what many here call "shitlaw", often reduce their fees to reflect the value to the client instead of the effort on the part of the lawyer. Indeed when I went to law school in the middle of the last century we thought that was a ethically driven duty. We could not charge more a "reasonable" T and that often was determined by reference to the clients situation. I realize I am so last century that I even look at typos and documents that I prepare.

  63. And for some reason I could not go back and edit the previous comment. I apologize for typos and other errors i could not fix. Because of those errors I hereby reduce my bill to zero dollars.

    Piss Ant

  64. "In order to make sure both that the incentives are properly aligned and that we can continue to fund the Program for the many students who have enrolled"...that is fairly telling. Many students are enrolling...probably should give the Dean a hint that there are going to be issues with dropping their marginal pay by a 1/3.

    It is hilarious, infuriating, and confusing to see these comments call in to question mentioning the dean's salary and the validity of his reliance on anecdotal evidence. Here you have a man that is making, per month, what these students are making during their year on the program, that they themselves had paid for. A man who seems so incompetent that he sends this email not expecting much of a response, and includes a facially false component about whether this program helps their employment statistics. A man who prattles on with the most generic advice about how to get a job and how a new CSO is going to make a difference. A man callous enough to drop his formerly "brilliant, hard-working, exceptional" students pay by a 1/3 to working poor levels because of concerns provided by anecdotal evidence.

    The American illusion that people are in places of power because of a rational set of events I would hope, but very seriously doubt, end sometime soon. There is absolutely no evidence at all to assume a recent GW grad could not do the important work this man is doing. What unattainable barriers exist so that any intelligent person wouldn't be able to do his job satisfactorily after a couple weeks training?

    This is why the ever increasing income disparity issue has to come to a head. There can be no justification.

    I work for a Board of Regents, many of whom are obviously very well off, and some of whom have positions of power outside the Board. Almost none are impressive. The same goes for other people of power and prestige I have met. It is very difficult to see the average citizen's choice of what kind of person gets the benefit of the doubt.

  65. 9:51, I have also had the opportunity to come into contact with a decent sampling of folks in positions of power over my 20+ year career, and I completely agree with you. Some obtained their privileges through luck, birth or connections. Others were ruthlessly ambitious and opportunistic (and those are not compliments). And yes, some through hard work and the ability to network - but also luck.

    Like you I observed zero correlation between power and competence, or even between power and awareness of the larger environment that supports such power. That is why it is important to fearlessly confront privilege with the truth. Young people in particular must see through the mystique that surrounds privilege and power. All too often they will find the Emperor indeed has no clothes.

  66. Victoria Pynchon is back. Goddamit.

  67. At the risk of turning this into an IBR discussion, does anyone think that the reason why Law Schools are pimping IBR as a solution is to a) make their absurd tuition+COL prices seem more palatable, and b) to further the scam by which by the time the student is screwed on his taxes, it is 25 years later and he/she is far less likely to complain?

    Kick the can down the road.

  68. Jesus, every statement in that article was addressed in LawProf's first month or two of postings! Bad reasons to go to law school? Done. What else can you tell them at this point? That they have optimism bias? Already covered, too. What does it take to get them to see that they're not going to serve the poor and under-represented, trampled by injustices, as much as they're going to BE one?

  69. "I have recently hired a new head of our Career Office, Abe Pollack, and he is dynamic, energized, and laser-focused on getting each and every one of you some paying law job between now and December."

    Isn't that sort of his job? Why give him applause for that? Am I to infer that the previous head of career services was not committed to getting every student a paying legal job?

    "Now, even professional class white people are suspected of not working because they do not want to work. Surely, if "those people" really wanted jobs they could get them. Because if this were not true it might mean that all those years of study and preparation, and all that networking with a laser-like focus, and all those massive tuition payments, had turned out to be a waste of time and money (except of course for the inherent value of legal education itself, which is literally priceless). And that simply cannot be true, because if it were true then that would be very disturbing."

    I'm sorry to use such a big quote, but I think this is one of the most important things LP has written on this blog.

  70. IBR provides relief, but it merely kicks the can down the road.

    However, if the US dollar collapses as some say it will, it might be a whole new ballgame for the LS scam and Student Loan debt and most everything else.

    Only time will tell, and I have nothing but time. An adult lifetime, in fact, of debt.

    But somehow I just don't see a man made system that mocks countless thousands if not millions of educated people in preposterous debt as a system that can possibly last.

    How does the saying go? You can't fool all of the people all of the time? A scam is a scam is a scam.

  71. I'm surprised that no one else has said it yet, but:

    "The beatings will continue until morale improves."

  72. Berman knows that USNews will in the future not count law school funded jobs as "employed," but will continue to count all other paying jobs (eg, burger-flipping). The more generous the law school payments, the lower the likelihood that a graduate will be forced to accept a job, any job, to put food on the table, and the employed-at-9-months number will be lower.

  73. 11:06 is probably right, as f'd up as it is.

  74. I'll say it again.

    You're free to disagree with me, but I think world war 3 could be on the table for the mad men running our "society."

  75. Will there be sixty years of prosperity and economic growth following the Third World War?

  76. Germany bounced back after WWII. Can't say the same thing for WWI...

  77. Of course, after the First World War Germany was saddled with onerous reparations payments. After the Second World War, West Germany received generous support via the Marshall Plan.

  78. Let's assume that Berman is right in that people are turning down jobs due to the generous $15/hour P2P "Fellowship".

    For this to make sense, these other "jobs" that they are turning down would have to be worse than this $15/hour dead-end temp job in three possible ways:

    1) Their pay is at or even lower than $15/hour.
    2) Their length of employment is no better or even worse than the P2P fellowship.
    3) Regardless of 1 and 2, the other jobs will not enhance ones resume for future opportunities any more than the P2P "fellowship" (say like a legit intership)

    Therefore, according to Berman, some combination of 1-3, probably even all 3, are what is being turned down.

    Berman probably didn't think through what he was implying but by saying what he said about his grads "turning down" other opportunities, he has in fact admitted that this other opportunities are rubbish and that if you are a GW grad, this $15/hour "fellowship" is better than anything else you can get!

    In essence, Berman is making an unintentional but strong indictman of GW Law School!

  79. "I work for a Board of Regents.... Almost none [of them] are impressive. The same goes for other people of power and prestige I have met."

    Weird, wonder if it's just a case of differing "circles". You work for a Board of Regents, but I work in industry (an F100 company, then a (barely) F1000 company, followed by an F50 company). Nearly all upper management folks (i.e., people of power and prestige) that I have worked with actually are "impressive" people. Now, this is not so true of the average middle managers, but then they're not really people in power....


    This is why transparency alone will not solve the law school scam. Look at the comments, Campos' blog as well as TTR was mentioned.

  81. I’ve found that the higher you look in management the blander the people become. Like blank slates of nothingness. Look at the execs when the go before Congress for their crimes.

  82. "blank slates of nothingness. Look at the execs when the go before Congress."

    There's a good reason for that. They've been so lawyered up they're afraid to say anything for fear of getting hit with perjury charges later. If you've never been deposed (or otherwise had to speak, at length, under oath and at liability for perjury), you may not "get" this.

  83. @12:24 on the guest-post at Forbes by the 0L at NOVA who's looking for her Golden Ticket, I have this to say:

    Her dog is kinda cute.

  84. That was just one example... generally outside of the "creative" and start up industries execs are nothings who have exceled at being yes men.

    Blank and vague like corporate mission statements and logo designs

  85. I am amused by 7:10 a.m.'s comments. They miss the mark. The issue isn't whether the students should be grateful for a 10 dollar an hour job, or whether mention of the dean's salary is an ad hominem attack, no - the issue is whether the market participants have any sort of realistic grasp on the actual state of the marketplace. Criticize Campos if you will, but his view of the marketplace is a lot closer to reality than most, and his efforts to make the legal education market far less inefficient are to be applauded. The entire structure of legal education and the government sponsored and influenced regime must radically be restructured.

    Fifteen years or twenty years ago, GW Law School could be argued to have been a "good" value. I am not sure "how" good of a value it was, but an argument could have been made it was a worthwhile investment, with both direct and opportunity costs taken into account.

    But the notion of GW Law being a sound investment is not the case today. In fact, given the profile of students admitted to GW law and the opportunity costs, it likely is a poor investment even if tuition is entirely waived and the cost of attendance is zero. Most of the admitted students are talented, and could find work in other fields. Even if their starting salary is low in those "other" fields and mobility seems limited, bright people (i.e., the 165 plus LSAT'ers) generally do well, even in a moribund economy.

    I don't view Berman any differently than Joe Cassano of AIG, who pegged the probabilities of a credit swap meltdown at near zero a mere couple of months before the AIG's position resulted in 80 billion dollars of damage to AIG. When one is self interested and set in their ways, they cannot comprehend that the product they are selling or the institution for whom they are working which is selling the product is offering something that virtually has no value, and indeed, it may be toxic in terms of its future liabilities. As the CDS market was both inefficient and in tough times, illiquid, so is the legal education market.

    I don't know how the law schools should react, frankly. They have overheads and cost structures which are high, and it is difficult to act flexibly and quickly, except with respect to a total shutdown, which will happen when the main bodies of the universities to which they are attached will freak out at the prospect of their previous cash cows becoming liabilities to the universities. No one can soundly make the argument in the world of university finance that law schools should be a loss leader.

  86. I'll try the Flowers for Algernon analogy:

    I wheent tuu a luh schuul ahhhnd annnd I becaame reely smarhht and now I ohue thuh guhvurnment looots and loots of munney and that is behaucuse luh schuul made me reely smarht and vhaluable tuu the jhob markhut and that is reely whut hapnd.

    Ahnd now whurld whar 3 will happen and thaat is bad.

  87. This story isn't half as interesting as the fact that GW is now admitting students from its waitlist WITH A 60% DISCOUNT ON TUITION!!!!!

    Yes, the misstep with the $5 per hour paycut, which turned out not to be a paycut, is bad, but ADMITTING STUDENTS OFF THE WAITLIST AND GIVING THEM A 60% TUITION DISCOUNT?????

    How is that not the lead story?

    And how can anyone admitted to GW during regular season not be absolutely DISGUSTED that they are paying sticker? If I was a regular admit to GW, I would email the admissions office right now and rescind my acceptance unless given a similar 60% discount within 24 hours.

    (Actually, just rescinding the acceptance and never going to law school at all is an even better move...)

    Please don't bury this HUGE STORY.

  88. @12:45

    ^ The college for everyone plan. Hey, kid what to go to school and get some book learning. I know this great private college and I have some pretty loan papers for you to sign. The world is yours, take control of your future and enroll today.

  89. @12:47 PM


    U mad u not a special snoflake, bro?


    Is there any way to know how many people are really still paying sticker at places like GW?

  91. Once they lock you down with a price they have you.

    After that, you can transfer but that's a hassle and comes with costs of its own.

    The over eager beavers always get screwed in business. Should have held out.

  92. I wonder in the coming years whether 1L transfers will completely change the game. If I paid full sticker and then found out that most of my classmates didn't, I would be hellbent on transferring.

  93. "Once they lock you down with a price they have you."

    How so? Can't you just tell them you won't be attending if you don't get the 60% cut?

  94. @9:30AM

    You went to law school in the middle of the last century - like the 1950s! Oh holy crap, I'd better stop discounting client bills or I'll till be practicing into my 90s.....

  95. When does a rising 1L have to pay their tuition to GW? What is the point at which the 1L class statistics are set - if GW is trying to hard right now it must mean that the date has not passed - acceptances and drops can still impact the class data. It seems to be that an accepted applicant with a good LSAT and GPA is holding a lot of cards - suppose they asked Georgetown what their status is and if admitted went back to GW and said...60% ride please or I take GULC - what would GULC do to get them? UVa?

    Now may be a good time to bargain. If that person was my client I'd recommend it.

  96. It sure looks like even top schools are having trouble filling classes for the fall, based on the substantial discounts being offered to wait-listers. If law schools now have to routinely slash tuition by 60% just to fill their seats, surely this will impact their bottom line. How long before schools start routinely running into the red? Are we at the first stages of, dare I say it, the bubble bursting?

  97. That Forbes story has to be a parody.

    "This fall, Jessi will begin her first year at the Shepard Broad Law School at Nova Southeastern University."

    What the heck is a Nova Southeastern? Sounds like a cocktail.

  98. she is gamely responding to comments. but she is completely immune to common sense. this is why law school as we know it feels so comfortable with its position. there are always going to be jessis cropping up each year.

  99. Pynchon speaks in generalities. Every sentence is a cliche or a misguided anecdote. It's infuriating and almost like a troll.

    Back to business. Is there any way to get the word out to GW people who deposited before the latest tuition discounts? Waiting and reapplying next year could net them $90,000 or more in savings. That's got to make a few of them eat the deposit cost.

  100. Nova Law School Statistics has compiled the most relevant statistics for Nova Law School. Below, you will find important information about Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center. Admissions, including the median percentages of GPA and LSAT, the number of programs offered at Nova Law School., and information regarding scholarships. These numbers are meant to give you better insight into Nova Law School. and whether your application will be competitive.
    (2011 – 2012)
    (2011 – 2012)
    (Class of 2010)
    (2007 – 2008)
    Application Fee: $50 U.S. News (2012): T4 # Applications: 2794 Part Time J.D.: No
    Spring Deadline: Vault Top 25: Not Ranked # Admitted: 1099 LL.M. Program: No
    Summer Deadline:   # Matriculated: 368 J.S.D. Program: No
    Fall Deadline: 4/1   Acceptance Rate: 39% Joint Degrees: Yes
    Financial Aid Deadline: 4/15     Yield Rate: 33%  
    (2011 – 2012)
    (2011 – 2012)
    (Class of 2010)
    (Class of 2010)
    1L Section Size (FT): 65 Full Time Faculty: 114 75th GPA: 3.42 75th LSAT: 153
    1L Section Size (PT): 67 Part Time Faculty: 46 Median GPA: 3.16 Median LSAT: 151
    2L/3L Courses: – Student to Faculty Ratio: 9.9 25th GPA: 2.94 25th LSAT: 148
    (2011 – 2012)
    (2011 – 2012)
    (Class of 2010)
    (2007 – 2008)
    On-Campus Housing: No 1L Students: 395 1L Attrition: 9.9% Total Law Firms: 16
    Law School Dorm: No All FT Students: 894 Transfers In: 9 NY Law Firms: 1
    Other Grad Dorm: No All PT Students: 206 Transfers Out: 26 DC Law Firms: 0
        Total Students: 1100     CA Law Firms: 0
    (2011 – 2012)
    (2011 – 2012)
    (Class of 2010)
    Bar Passage
    (Class of 2010)
    Full Time Tuition: $32,607 % Receiving Grant Aid: 9.9% % Employed (Grad): n/a Primary Jurisdiction: FL
    Part Time Tuition: $24,579 Full Tuition & Stipend: 0.1% % Employed (9 mos.): 9.9% % Pass (First Time): 84%
    Living Expenses: $26,118 Full Tuition: 3.0%     State Average: 78%
    Total Cost (FT): $58,725 Half Tuition: 1.8%     Difference: 6%
    Total Cost (PT): $50,697        

  101. "There's a good reason for that. They've been so lawyered up they're afraid to say anything for fear of getting hit with perjury charges later. If you've never been deposed (or otherwise had to speak, at length, under oath and at liability for perjury), you may not "get" this."

    I don't think they're that afraid. Dimon, at his recent hearing, was speaking in front of a committee of whom he had provided "campaign contributions" to 9 of them.

    I'm sure he shat himself.

  102. "Also, c'mon Paul--you're out of touch if you think that there aren't new law grads who are turning down low paying legal work because they think they're worth more. I'm not saying that the majority are, or that the pay is fair, but it is happening."

    Name one asshole. I'm begging and pleading trying to find someone to give me a job, any legal job, that is not doc review.

  103. That Forbes article makes me so angry. I feel terrible for the Jessi Freud's of the world, as naive as they may be.

  104. Hey everybody, Victoria Pynchon said there's legal work out there! Good news, our problems are over!

  105. Here's a job. A mid-sized Orange County firm has an immediate vacancy for a securities litigator.

  106. I don't want to blame the students, but geez, I can't believe people were still enrolling in law school in 2008. There were more than enough blogs around at that time, and my own law school had a huge drop in enrollments in 2006-2007 or so.

    I know the enrollments are drastically down for this year and I believe last year, so it's finally happening. Little known fact, the medical profession actually had the same problem about 50-70 or so years ago, before they severely restricted the number of medical schools and doctors.

  107. "There were more than enough blogs around at that time.."

    Which ones?

  108. Loyola 2L was around for quite awhile.

  109. Loyola 2L, Big Debt, Small Law. There were others. Loyola2L was written up in the WSJ as Lawyer of the Year.

  110. I don't think any of those early blogs really went after the T14. People like Campos wrecking the likes of Columbia and NYU is a pretty recent phenomena.

  111. Loyola 2L still posts occasionally on autoadmit. I think he's lost his mind. Hopefully the recent advances the scam movement has made are making him feel better.

  112. Pinchon had a meltdown on Forbes. The comment section was one for the ages.

  113. "You can fire your OCS directors faster than Stalin used to execute his generals, but the math stays the same."

    Perfect. Perfectly written. People don't get this, because people don't like math and numbers... But this is the heart of the problem.

    And also, Mr. Berman is, at his core, a fucking terrible human being, and he will be judged accordingly, in this life or the next one.

  114. Wow, I enjoyed that meltdown. Thanks for pointing it out.

  115. LP,

    I would suggest an open letter from you to Jessi from the link as a post. Somebody in an authority position should give her the advice she needs to hear.

  116. @9:04p: Seconded.

  117. LawProf and/or Nando:

    Please, please, please do a take-down of the ridiculous Boomer nonsense by that clueless Victoria Pynchon woman in the WSJ article, and that crazy Jack Marshall "ethics" blog guy. Those two should get married and have really, really, clueless, insane children.

  118. Yes, please also do a take-down of Jack Marshall.

  119. Can someone please shut Pynchon down? She's now linking to UCLA's employment stats page and suggesting that it's not a bad bet.

  120. Oh my god, this section from a comment by Pynchon was particularly bad -

    "I know many young attorneys today who hung out shingles immediately after graduation. They found mentors (I’ve mentored young attorneys) and learned the way we all learn how to practice law – by failing. Sure, I had advice from my young attorney employers, but you go to court for the first time alone. The Judge asks you “can you give me an offer of proof?” and you flip the papers in your file thinking “what’s an offer of proof, what’s an offer of proof” until the Judge takes pity on you and asks your witness the necessary questions herself. You take deposition testimony for the first time alone. Opposing counsel roughs you up. Finally, they tell you what you’re doing wrong because they can’t waste their entire day while you re-formulate questions in response to their foundational objections that you don’t need to re-ask. You try your first case alone with butterflies in your stomach, your hands shaking and your armpits sweating. One old grizzled defense attorney told me that if you didn’t gag over your toothbrush the first day of trial, you shouldn’t be trying cases anymore; you’d lost your edge. You enroll at Solo Practice University. You join Bar associations. You stay up all night reading. You pick up the telephone and ask for help. You start with small cases. You’re not representing people in capital murder cases. There’s not that much you can screw up."

    Jesus. So basically she's telling law grads to tell their clients that they can do things which actually they don't know how to do because there's no way you can learn these things without doing them alongside someone who knows how. According to Pynchon, it's OK to risk malpractice 'cause "You’re not representing people in capital murder cases", you're only being entrusted with the money and liberty of people hard-up enough to want to employ a fresh grad with no experience.

  121. So, Paul, how do you feel that your sheep now think of you as their little pit bull, asking you to "take people down"

    How low you have fallen.

    The only thing that will make you sink even lower will be if you do as they say. Then the inmates will truly be running the asylum.

    Wow am I disappointed in where this blogger has gone. This, in and of itself, is a black mark on anyone going to UC.

    At least that may save a few law school applicants from the UC scam, so maybe that was your plan all along.

  122. @4:32 a.m.:

    One commenter out of several dozen asks for a "take-down" of hitherto-unknown Jack Marshall, and suddenly it's the blog's mission statement?

    If you want to read coverage of law schools that's unnecessarily kind to insiders who profit most from the current arrangement, there's always every mainstream publication in existence. But occasionally there's some value to be had from naming names, and this story would seem to be one of those moments. That is, unless you think that an article written about "some Tier 1 schools" reducing their programs to game the NALP and ABA employment reports at the graduates' expense would have produced the same result.

  123. You haven't been here long or don't read the comments if you think there's only been one "take down" request.

    Those are suitable for the likes of Fernando, but not for a "distinguished professor"

  124. @5:51 a.m.:

    So you're one of the OMG The Tone people, then.

    With just a little context provided by Campos, Berman's "take-down" consists of having his own words published to the Internet. Is that really so unreasonable for Berman or any number of Important Persons who make idiotic pronouncements about the worth of a law degree in general or their school's brand in particular? What commenters choose to make of it is their business.

  125. These shills are leading people to irrevocably ruin their lives and some commenters fret about the critics' tone?

  126. Well, you'll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

    Do you actually care about preventing people from making a major life mistake? I highly doubt it because if you did, you would present information in a way that doesn't insult your intended audience. If people are feeling defensive, they'll dismissive everything you say. But if you watch your tone, you could be truly persuasive.

  127. That is not what this is about...

  128. So, if I understand correctly, this isn't about preventing students from making a big mistake. Nor is about convincing the general public that law school is a losing bet. Instead, this is just about ranting and raving to let loose and feel better about yourself? I guess if that's the point, then tone doesn't matter at all.

  129. Sheesh, please, enough with the concern-trolling. If you want to stop someone from making a mistake, the first thing you do is tell them it's a mistake and that anyone who says otherwise may not have your best interests at heart - that's what Campos does.

  130. I love how LawProf just says nothing. I guess it's true. Gods don't answer letters.

  131. @7:11 a.m. (and maybe 7:27 a.m. too):

    I don't see why an audience of 0Ls would be insulted by any of what this blog has said, at any time.

    Now I can understand why law professors, deans, administrators or anyone else vacuum-sealed to the teat of the scam might be insulted by what goes on here. However, it's not clear that any amount of flattery or persuasion or appeal to their better angels would get them past the fact that they make more money for fewer hours worked, precisely because of the scam.

    If they want the scholarly unpacking, they can read Tamanaha's book and cross-reference that with NALP's recent efforts. What this offers is the authentic disgust of several current and former customers of law schools with what they received for the price they paid. If you don't think that stories like the 20th-ranked law school's dean trying to pay its graduates only $10 not to report themselves as unemployed for the NALP survey is persuasive to prospective students, I'd have to ask what you do for a living.

  132. I don't know if you guys have seen this, but LawProf blogs elsewhere. Its pretty good stuff and, I am ashamed to say, the comments aren't bad either.

  133. @7:50,

    I am a 0L and I don't feel offended by this site, rather I find myself frequently visiting in a morbid sort of way to:
    a. stay apprised of the newest lies
    b. place pressure on myself to perform highly in law school
    c. see if LawProf ever addresses STEM undergrad and patent law is a viable legal career

  134. @8:38 - "if LawProf ever addresses STEM undergrad and patent law is a viable legal career".

    Patent lawyer here. What is your UG, and/or are there advanced degrees, and/or do you have industry R&D experience?

    Very briefly, just what I get through grapevines: EE and CompE's are still in okay demand as patent agents/attorneys, even with just BS. ChE, not as much. Ditto ME, maybe a bit worse than ChE. Ditto math, physics. Chemists by and large MS/PhD is now the price of admission, and even if you've got the PhD, those slots are still hard to find. Unless maybe you already have proven R&D small molecule experience for a pharma practice. Biology - even with PhD, very difficult right now (always was). Outliers like CivE, IE have never had good prospects in patent law.

    A good source is at the two career's boards linked below, as these questions do come up a lot.,22.0.html,23.0.html

  135. @8:38 I am a patent lawyer with 20 years experience so I will address c) of your goals. There is a huge glut of patent lawyers now. The glut has occurred over the last 10 years. There was not a big glut in the 1990's. I know many highly experienced patent attorneys at all levels who are not presently working. If you are going to law school these days with the idea of having a long and stable career in patent law, you are deluding yourself.

  136. If you have STEM undergrad, why not go into that field? Why waste your time and money with law school?

  137. Good IP hard litigators are still in demand - the problem is that by definition a good IP litigator is someone with 5 or 6+ years experience - and the competition to get that experience is fierce plus things are getting so out of hand in the patent wars that legislative change is on its way sooner or later, and then demand will crater for the younguns....

  138. 8:38 - you refer to the "lies" on this site. I assume you are referring to some of the ridiculous or extreme comments made on this site, something which is to be expected in a discussion board of this nature.

    But the law school market has long been inefficient, replete with incomplete, false or inaccurate data. While you may disagree with Professor Campos' opinions, the data he has set forth is incredibly helpful in terms of helping people like you make an informed valuation of law school and a legal career. In particular, assessing the direct costs and debt involved against one's own opportunity costs has been made easier by blogs such as Professor Campos', and I would hope you take away more from the data than a smug attitude that it makes you study harder than I otherwise would.

    In my own experience (T10 in the 80's with no debt whatsover, a summa cum laude top 3% of the class achievement as a well as a law review editor), while some degree of hard work is necessary, I think some few have the "edge" for superlative performance, most have varying degrees of the "edge" but not all, with some also never getting "it", and one finds out pretty quickly where they will fit in law school, at least at the highly competitive ones. After about two weeks in law school, my own light bulb went on, and I realized that I was only "competing" with about 20% of the class for the top spots (maturity, focus, three years of work experience and an ability to avoid panic, a stable relationship with no dating or related relationship drama, no complications to please mommy and daddy, and so on made conclude this). Assess these personal factors honestly now, and juxtapose them against the very real economic data that is now surfacing. You may arrive at a different conclusion if you honestly do just this. Law school should be no different than any other endeavor - either it is a sound value play, or it is not. For many today, it is far from a sound value play, and there are other value plays available, although not necessarily packaged as neatly as the rote lockstep of LSAT's, law school applications, law success academic success, summer clerkships, full time job offer, and debt draw down if you are lucky and healthy in 20 years.

  139. ^^ "8:38 - you refer to the "lies" on this site."

    I may be mistaken, but I read that comment to mean, "the lies that LS industry apologists come up with from time to time".

  140. 838 here,
    Thanks for responses. Plain vanilla BSME from a big ten school. I've got little in the way of experience in engineering, having only done an internship at GE. I am also highly knowledgeable in EE/CS and have some work experience in it, however elected not to get a degree in this to diversify my skill set. Planning to go the east coast T30 school that still does well in the biglaw rankings. FWIW I'm planning to drop out after the the first year if I'm not in top 1/3.

    @8:59. I don't like ME much. I really want to go to law school. I've really enjoyed following patent litigation for about 15 years.

  141. @942:
    I was referring to law school industry lies and related shenanigans. Otherwise, thanks for the thoughtful response.

  142. "Do you actually care about preventing people from making a major life mistake? I highly doubt it because if you did, you would present information in a way that doesn't insult your intended audience."

    The way you do, saying nothing at all? How is that actually caring?

  143. I thought DJM delivered her message quite nicely and with a lot less vitriol. When a person sounds angry, I don't hear the message, I only hear the anger.

  144. LOL Campos is getting MAF. LOL at that shitty rape fantasist, bet he thinks $6 an hour is a lot of money. How's the food stamps treating ya?


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.