In recent weeks we've made a couple of visits to our friends at Rutgers-Camden, where we found them struggling to fill even half their normal incoming class, offering to admit people who had never applied, and soliciting applications from people who had never considered going to law school.
Here's a question an enterprising journalist somewhere in the vicinity of the Garden State might wish to pursue: Why do graduates of Rutgers-Camden's law school purportedly have such extraordinarily low levels of law school debt?
How low? Well for its class of 2011 Rutgers-C reported a mean debt of $27,423. And this was no one-year anomaly: the school reported mean debt of $28K and $32K for its graduating classes of 2009 and 2010.
While Rutgers-Camden is a fairly inexpensive law school, it still charges more than $25K per year in resident tuition and $37K for non-residents. And while scenic Camden is not nearly as expensive as some East Coast enclaves, it's not nearly as cheap as going to school in the middle of flyover country. Per LST, the non-discounted debt-financed cost of attending the school for the class of 2015 (assuming there is one) will be $151K for residents and $192K for non-residents.
Could it be that Rutgers-Camden gives out extraordinary amounts of scholarship aid? To the contrary, according to the ABA Rutgers-Camden only gave scholarship money to 28.3% of its students in 2011 (a much lower percentage than the average law school), and most of those grants were quite small: the median amount was only $5000.
Compare the school's reported graduate debt load to that of neighboring Temple Law School. Temple has a significantly cheaper sticker price -- less than $20K resident and $32K non-resident tuition -- and much more generous scholarship numbers: 46.2% of 2011 students got scholarship money, with a median amount 50% higher than that of students at Rutgers-Camden. Yet Temple's far lower cost structure produced an average law school debt for its 2011 graduating class of $80,871. (This is a typical average debt load for schools in this cost of attendance range. For example: Ohio State has in-state tuition of $26K and average graduate debt of $87K. Rutgers-Newark's numbers are $25K and $83K.. Texas charges $30K for in-state tuition but only 13% of students there pay sticker. Average graduating debt: $84K).
In theory it's possible that Rutgers-Camden is attended almost exclusively by children of wealthy families, who are generous enough to pay almost the entire cost of attendance. In practice that theory is preposterous on its face, especially given that Rutgers-Camden reports that 98% of its 2011 class graduated with law school debt (the national average for all law schools was 87%).
So what's going on at Rutgers-Camden? Perhaps Congressman Rob Andrews could launch an investigation. By, for example, asking his wife.
Update: Speaking of which.
Update II: One striking aspect of all this is that Rutgers-Camden fails to mention on its website that the members of the school's 2011 graduating class had 74% less debt than those of the average law school, and 67% less debt than those of its in-state public competitor, Rutgers-Newark. Indeed, if the numbers reported by Rutgers-Camden are correct, its graduates had less than half as much debt as the graduates of every other school in the top 100, with just two exceptions. You would think this is the sort of information the school would want prospective students to know.
Another striking aspect of the matter is that apparently no one on the Rutgers-Camden faculty has noticed these literally incredible figures -- or if they have, they haven't either corrected them or, if they're actually correct, insisted that the school broadcast them to the world.
Update III: Mystery solved. Compare this and this with this. So for at least the last three years Rutgers Camden has reported only one year's worth of average student debt to USNWR and the ABA, when it was supposed to be reporting three years total debt at graduation. This means the school has under-reported the debt of its graduates by a factor of three, which has led to a bunch of phony stories in the media about what a "great value" it is -- stories that the school hasn't bothered to correct, despite being aware of this error for at least four months now, if not longer. It hasn't even corrected its own press releases promoting these stories.
And the USNWR website -- which is the only public source for school-specific debt information -- still has the wrong numbers up. Awesome work Bob Morse & Co!
What a joke of a business.
Update IV: Georgia State appears to have made the same "mistake" for the past three years: it has reported average debt at graduation as $19K, $22K, and $19K from 2009 to 2011. Georgia State gives out very little in the way of scholarship money: only 23% of students are paying less than sticker, and the median grant is just $2500. The school has what counts these days as very low in-state tuition ($14K) and comparatively low out of state tuition ($32K), but given its cost structure and financial aid packages it seems almost certain that the school has under-reported the debt of its students at graduation by two-thirds.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Mysteries of Rutgers
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oh my. this is a barn-burner.ReplyDelete
What do you think it is, Law Prof? No hiding the ball.ReplyDelete
what the hell is the queen state?ReplyDelete
Old Queens= Rutgers Central Administration (like the White House)
One thing that might help is kids living at home with their parents. I have a friend there now who lives with his parents in a fairly affluent New Jersey Suburb.ReplyDelete
LP, can you give a link where this mean debt of $27,423 was actually reported. Thank you.ReplyDelete
One part of the explanation is likely that a significant portion of Rutgers-Camden's student body is part-time -- from the Official Guide, it looks like 25% overall, but over half of the most recent matriculated class. Those folks are working full-time and therefore likely borrowing significantly less than their FT peers.ReplyDelete
The percentage of part-time students at Temple is very similar to that at Rutgers-Camden.ReplyDelete
Again, tell us what you think is going on. If you do not have any idea, that's okay.ReplyDelete
Temple is 80/20 overall and in their most recent class, according to the Official Guide. I'm wondering if Rutgers has made a decision to increase their % of part-timers, given the unexplained discrepancy between their overall percentage and that of their most recent matriculated class.ReplyDelete
My experience as a pre-law advisor (anecdote alert!) is that Camden is more likely to attract older applicants than is Temple -- folks who may have some additional resources from prior employment. But I can't find any data to support or refute that sense.
What I think is going on is I think Rutgers-Camden is seriously misreporting the debt loads of its graduates. Take a look at the debt for graduates of not just Temple but Rutgers-Newark, Ohio State, Texas, etc. These are schools with similar cost structures and in most cases much more generous scholarship programs than Rutgers-Camden. Yet their graduates all have average law school debt loads of about three times those Rutgers is reporting.ReplyDelete
damn LP that's a big accusation to make. hope you shepardized that or whateverReplyDelete
What's going on at Rutgers?ReplyDelete
What's going on at Rutgers are the numbers are bogus. Just like the bogus Liebor numbers and the bogus BLS unemployment rates and all the other bogus statements of the government and institutions of this bogus country in this bogus world.
Any other questions?
7:33: The unusually high ratio of part-time to full-time students in their most recent entering class has no apparent relevance to the debt load of the class that graduated a year ago.ReplyDelete
7:47, it's ok that you didn't get the joke. Telling a "lie" i.e. "LIBOR" isn't actually manipulated by 24 year old punks sitting in Brooks Brothers suits = "Liebor."ReplyDelete
Why lie about that number though? Do entering students even look at that? I would think they would look at tuition, cost of living in that area and the likelihood of getting shot leaving the building. Connect the dots for me please. :)ReplyDelete
@7:47-- too funny! A real knee slapper...ReplyDelete
I doubt there is fraud going on here. Rutgers doesn't have much to gain by misrepresenting these figures.ReplyDelete
It doesn't take much more than elementary school math to figure that if tuition is $30K for 3 years, then if you borrow, even interest free, that you're going to have $90,000 in debt.
There is something else behind these numbers.
It might not be a lie. It might be gross administrative incompetence (imagine that). Or the number might actually be accurate although I can't imagine how.ReplyDelete
"bogus Liebor", redundant.ReplyDelete
If the argument that there's a lot of rich kids that go there is true then it's plausible that kids took out subsidized stafford loans and invested them. It's also plausible that mommy and daddy will pay for school but not provide beer money or spring vacation money.ReplyDelete
This is huge freaking deal. A prospective applicant looking at the average debt of under 30k would think to himself "oh that's not bad", but if they publish the REAL figure (which is probably about 75k) then that starts to look like a lot of money, EITE (especially in this economy)ReplyDelete
How plausible is it that a lot more rich kids with generous parents go to Rutgers-Camden than, say, Harvard? Even if you assume that 100% of the tuition difference between HLS and Rutgers-Camden is debt-financed by graduates of the respective schools, the relative average debt out of HLS is still much higher.ReplyDelete
Sorry, but it looks like the congressman will be a little distracted over the next few months:ReplyDelete
Note the claim in the last paragraph about illegally funneling donations to his wife's employer....
In the securities world, falsifying the mean debt load would be a misrepresentation of a material fact that would significantly alter the total mix of information available to a reasonable investor when he or she made the decision to purchase.ReplyDelete
Not saying this figure is false. But if it is, that is a huge deal.
When the debt ranking originally came out, someone mentioned that a few schools had accidentally (?) reported the one-year debt total rather than the three-year total. $27K sounds about right for a one-year average at Rutgers, given the stated cost of attendance and assuming some tuition discounting.ReplyDelete
Good point, LP. I somehow missed that the debt load was for the most recent graduating class. Any sense about whether the proportion of FT/PT has fluctuated much in the past, or is this most recent class an anomaly?
In any case, from the perspective of potential applicants, I think that any of the median debt load numbers put out by the law schools are meaningless (regardless of whether they're fraudulent). Prospective applicants should base their decisions on their own circumstances -- what are the likely costs based on your own resources, the cost of attendance, etc. The median or average indebtedness really doesn't address those individual factors much at all.
That is probably what happened. The school inadvertently (cough, cough) included a one year debt load number, just like Brooklyn Law School inadvertently (cough, cough) included part-time students in their full-time number. Law schools seem to have been making a lot of "inadvertent" mistakes in recent years.ReplyDelete
My innocent self would say that many upper middle class south jersey residents are working part time and takin out less debt to attend RU-C, living at home in Maple Shadebor Voorhees with mom and dad, as the Gov. Chrispy Chreme may want us all to believe. My real world experience and "thinking like a lawyer" brain tells me that they are full on lying, but have some numbers to make them bend the truth, for example maybe only using part time students' debt - whichw will e significantly lower - towards the total. Because most full time youg students probably live in Phila and would have comparative numbers to Temple in terms of borrowed amounts.ReplyDelete
Fair point. I think Harvard is about $22K more per year with average debt of $125K. So yeah, it's off by about $37K if the difference in tuition is totally debt financed.
Agreed. I can't believe people could be that stupid that they can't look at how much it costs to go there, review their available resources and then figure it out what it will cost them to go there. Average debt is a pretty meaningless stat because it only matters what it costs you to go there.
The problem with the one-year "mistake" theory is that the school reported similarly implausible numbers the previous two years as well.ReplyDelete
Rutgers-Newark serves as an almost perfect control; same state, not too far from each other, very similar locations, and very similar rankings. We're inevitably going to hear angry denials from Camden, followed by more muted denials accompanied by promises to investigate, followed by admission of some "inadvertent" clerical error.ReplyDelete
How many "mistakes" can one make before it starts to look like intentional fraud?ReplyDelete
Maybe it is one year of debt "mistakenly" reported as three. Or maybe the graduates are asked in a survey what their debt is, and most do not respond, which skews the average for those who do (like the "average salary figues").
Er that's "average salary figures." Need more coffeeReplyDelete
BamBam: Schools are required to report debt figures to the feds, and they don't rely on graduate self-reporting, since all federal loans and almost all private loans (to the very limited extent that law students now take such loans) go through the schools before being distributed to the students.ReplyDelete
If Rutgers-Camden is misreporting debt figures to the federal government that is going to be a problem for them beyond some more bad publicity. Maybe they're just giving bad numbers to USNWR though.
Or maybe it's all magically true that it costs $8000 per year in loans to go to a school with a COA of $150K-$190K.
Perhaps law school career services will start listing "marrying a corrupt congressperson" as one of those lucrative nontraditional nonlaw careers facilitated by a JD.ReplyDelete
And, since career services are actually adding staff to assist students in obtaining these nonlaw positions (See Law Prof's post, "Law school creates first-year course on how to get a job," July 16), perhaps there we can look forward to having assistant deans assigned to providing the young debt-ridden students with dating tips on how to land a rich old person.
I think the school's average debt makes a difference to OLs. Everyone should calculate their own prospective debt, but that's hard to do (compound interest, rising tuition...). The average debt may comfort students that the school is a good deal and that its graduates don't struggle under too much debt.ReplyDelete
In addition, US News did a separate feature on schools with the most and least average debt. Rutgers-Camden appeared as the school with the third lowest amount of debt nationally--quite a coup for them as a selling point to 0Ls. http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/the-short-list-grad-school/articles/2012/03/22/10-law-schools-that-lead-to-the-least-debt.
If the number is real, then kudos to the hard-working, thrifty (or wealthy) students at R-C. But if the figure is false (and the evidence cited here makes the figure look quite suspicious), then R-C definitely gained an advantage from the false figure.
All true DJM, but no sophisticated consumer of educational products could be fooled. I know that much.ReplyDelete
"Everyone should calculate their own prospective debt, but that's hard to do (compound interest, rising tuition...)."ReplyDelete
Nonetheless, it's the relevant calculation (and honestly, I hope no one is suggesting that it's okay for prospective applicants to shy away from doing it because it's "hard"). I'm not saying that the law schools shouldn't be held accountable for producing false and/or misleading information -- they should. But I would also continue to advise prospective applicants to crunch their own numbers.
BU Law has come up with a flawed but nonetheless pretty useful online calculator to that end, which can of course be used for any school -- http://www.bu.edu/law/prospective/financial_aid/calculator/
It does include both tuition increases and accrued interest. It's missing historical information re tuition increases that would help students figure out what number to include as the multiplier for that. It's also missing some crucial info about interest rates. But overall it's a pretty useful tool.
sophisticated consumer of educational productsReplyDelete
You mean 0Ls?
Plus, consumer fraud statutes generally don't limit liability to sophisticated consumers, because most consumers aren't sophisticated.
Should the law only protect the sophisticated?
No school should misrepresent its numbers. But each prospective student should calculate his or her own likely debt because, as someone mentioned above, that's the relevant calculus. How much other people borrow is, I suppose, interesting. But, just that.ReplyDelete
Even if you left out rising tuition and compound interest it's still blatantly obvious that it will cost an individual a lot of money to go there when you add up tuition over three years so I don't see why anyone would take comfort in the average debt.
I just want to note that the various claims that it's not a good idea for 0Ls to pay attention to average advertised debt levels whether they're accurate or not is the kind of argument that would cut exactly zero ice as a mitigating factor if a lawyer or law student (or for that matter an ordinary business) raised it in a context where that person or enterprise had seriously misrepresented a material fact.ReplyDelete
Terry - sarcasm failReplyDelete
Other's discussing the amount of reliance student's should place on the average debt number - miss the point much?
I probably need to work on my apostrophe placement.ReplyDelete
There is no question that a school misrepresenting these numbers has done wrong. But even when the number is right, the prospective student should be focused on how much debt he or she is going to be in at the end of the day.ReplyDelete
I miss sarcasm, you are overzealous with apostrophy placement. We are all a little flawed.ReplyDelete
I think the real benefit to the school in underreporting debt is at the admissions stage--as 0Ls become more knowledgeable about the debt problem, they will look for schools where it seems likely they can graduate with debt under the school's median salary. They may believe that the school is especially generous with scholarships (as many are, see e.g. the news about Louisville today...). Getting more applicants is good for USNews even if they don't enroll. Plus, once students apply, there is a chance that they will become emotionally invested in the idea of attending, even if their actual financial aid package would ultimately leave them more indebted than they expected. Having said that, I do think it's probably a "mistake" (even one three years running), but I think it's no surprise that the mistake benefits the school. People engage in motivated cognition--if they benefit from a mistake, there's less incentive to notice it. If the stats hurt the school, there would be a much greater incentive to look them over carefully.ReplyDelete
I understand that the primary point of this blog is to uncover the misbehavior of law schools. But a secondary point of this blog, and certainly a primary concern of many of its readers, is how prospective applicants can make good and properly informed decisions about law school. My posts about the usefulness (or lack thereof) of the average indebtedness number is unrelated to the law schools' (alleged) misbehavior. It's about that secondary point -- helping applicants discern what is and what is not useful information (whether true or not).ReplyDelete
So no, not missing the point. Just addressing a different one.
I disagree. The uselessness of the fact relates to the materiality of the fact that is misrepresented.
True 11:02, that's why the prior blog post focused on that point. When potential fraud has been exposed, I think it's worth concentrating on that point only for a day.ReplyDelete
fat guy - I disagree. DJM points out the usefulness of the statistic in her comment at 10:09. Let's not derail a conversation about fraud or serious oversight by "professionals" for the purpose of pointless pseudo legal analysis. "The uselessness of the fact relates to the materiality of the fact that is misrepresented." Yes, the "materiality" of the fact relates to the "materiality" of the fact.
We should focus on getting the school to answer for the anomaly.
Yes, by asking the school...ReplyDelete
LawProf, this ABA Journal article explains what happened regarding the amount of total debt reported on the USNews website. It's difficult to ascertain whether the folks over at Rutgers-Camden are being deceptive or just earnestly incompetent. Neither would surprise me.ReplyDelete
After reading The Soprano State, I'm surprised by nothing about New Jersey.ReplyDelete
I'm pretty sure that if I made an inadvertent mistake regarding a material misrepresentation of a fact to a client or a court, I am pretty sure that the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility would be investigating me faster than I could say "Rutgers-Camden". It is always astounding to me that law school deans/some professors so often mouth ethical platitudes, but wouldn't recognize a violation of the ABA Model Rules if one smacked them across their smug faces. (sigh)ReplyDelete
Here's pretty clear evidence that the school reported just one year of debt instead of cumulative debt. On its website, R-C brags that to help students cope with the cost of law school, "in the 2010-2011 academic year, more than $22 million was distributed to students in the law school through fellowships, grants, loans, and employment." https://camlaw.rutgers.edu/tuition-and-financial-aid.ReplyDelete
The school then acknowledges that most of this money came from federal loans. The next sentence states that "in 2010-11, the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
. . . provided more than $20.2 million to 785 students."
So total federal loans in 2010-11 were $20.2 million. Divide that by 785 and you get $25,732 per student for that one year--very close to what R-C reported as total loans for 2011 graduates. Mistake? Or intentional? In either case, has there been any public correction of the ABA/US News numbers? US News did a special story on the schools with the lowest total debt--was that ever corrected?
DJM: See the third update.ReplyDelete
I give up.
I agree with CBR that schools underrepresenting debt get a boost at the application stage. Just appearing on a USNews list of the "ten schools with lowest debt at graduation" is a big boost.ReplyDelete
There's another, specific way in which this number can mislead students. One of the hardest budget items for 0Ls to estimate is: "How much will I earn during law school? Will I get a summer job? If so, how much will it pay? Is it realistic to work during the school year and, if so, how much will I earn?" A low average debt load at graduation may lead 0Ls to erroneous conclusions on these important questions--it may appear that, on average, R-C students are able to work enough during law school to keep their debt very low.
I definitely support each student doing the individual calculation--no doubt about that. But this type of average is seriously misleading.
LawProf, wow. Surely it is an ethical violation for R-C to fail to correct this information--especially since they got it wrong three years in a row. But as tdennis says, we somehow don't apply the same standards to legal educators that we apply to practicing lawyers. Shameful.ReplyDelete
DJM you would make a decision to go to a school based upon the average debt upon graduation? On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being extremely important, where would that rank?ReplyDelete
1:32 - leave, and don't ever come back.ReplyDelete
"DJM you would make a decision to go to a school based upon the average debt upon graduation? On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being extremely important, where would that rank?"ReplyDelete
Don't be a dick.
1:32, I know just a little about the attorney regulation process in Colorado, and I can assure you lawyers get disbarred all the time in this state for conduct far less egregious than what Rutgers-Camden's administrative leadership has done and failed to do in this matter.ReplyDelete
Law schools are perfect waterfalls of sanctimony when it comes to "Character & Fitness," and busting their own students for "honor code" violations and the like.
But really what's the point?
What does that even mean, "Don't be a dick". Nothing, actually. The OP was about misrepresentation of debt data, a serious issue. Then there was a side conversation about why this is important substantively, aside from the discussion of the misrepresentation. Why is it being a dick to ask how important it is?ReplyDelete
Under Illinois' Consumer Fraud Act, even innocent misrepresentations are actionable... I wonder if NJ's CFA is similiar... Assuming these really were innocent... For three years.ReplyDelete
Great work LP!
"Why is it being a dick to ask how important it is?"ReplyDelete
Don't be dense in addition to being a dick.
No one has said that misrepresentation isn't a problem. IT IS. But the question goes beyond Rutgers-Camden. If you had a school that did not misrepresent this figure, how much should the average debt a graduate carries weigh in the decision whether to go to that law school? That's all.ReplyDelete
1:43: No, you're the one who is dense, really, if you think people should make a decision whether to go to a school based on the average debt of graduates.ReplyDelete
Years ago one of my colleagues wrote an article on power of shaming. I don't think there is much likelihood that there will be serious legal consequences for this gross misrepresentation. But I do know that at my school when an error of that kind was made it was immediately and publicly corrected. I think that the failure to make a public correction of not one mistake but errors of three years running is absolutely astounding. Shame on you Rutgers –Camden, SHAME!ReplyDelete
Love that the media contact for the linked press release is the communications director of the business school. Would love to have old footage of the moron who decides a school needs a communications director. "But we have to compete!" "We have to get the word out!" "Newark got a communications director!" "I really don't have the time, I think we need to add a communications director." "Someone find me a job description for a media relations person." "This is the way business works!"ReplyDelete
At some point we stopped having a society, and instead became an economy. That's an overstatement, but I'm so tired of this "you're not my neighbor, you're potential profit" attitude toward life. Is this what happens when you stop actually producing real products?
You can extrapolate the sanctimony of law schools to all of higher ed. Believe me, I work for them. "Don't plagiarize!" Where do you think these people get their 180 page handbook? All they know how to do is copy other people's work. And then are too dense to apply the copied work. Which is why you don't plagiarize!
A little exasperated today.
1:45: You're harping on an irrelevant side issue, possibly because you're a concern troll trying to derail the focus of the conversation (you may just be clueless).ReplyDelete
Students shouldn't focus on average debt. Students shouldn't read bullshit fake "news" stories put out by law schools. Students shouldn't think they'll finish in the top 10%. Students should never go to Cooley. Students shouldn't do a lot of things that they're going to do, but they will do because they're human beings not rational maximizing cyborgs. Now please STFU.
Look, only an idiot would make a decision based upon the employment figures. But that is not the issue. The issue is whether or not a person might choose one school or the other based on that factor ceteris paribus.
Look at Andrew's recent publications from LP's link. Just got a little more exasperated.ReplyDelete
1:32, it's this attitude that makes the public (and even some lawyers) distrust our profession as unethical. The ABA numbers are important: I was once an associate dean and worked on compiling them for my school. It's not ok to get a number wrong three years in a row. It's not ok to let US News rank your school number three on a top-ten list, based on a number that you--by that point--must know is mistaken. It's not ok to keep silent when your errors lead to further highly favorable publicity.ReplyDelete
And I'm giving R-C the benefit of the doubt here by calling them "errors." Really? Three years in a row? And they didn't notice that their school magically had the the third-lowest at-graduation debt in the country? Schools benchmark this type of information all the time. Even if they don't share it publicly, they use it internally.
This really is "what I learned in kindergarten" stuff: 1. Be careful when reporting numbers to the principal. 2. If you make a mistake, correct it. 3. If you benefit from a mistake you made, because other people are relying on the bad information you gave them, set the record straight.
It's the worst type of lawyer-think to say, "well this number probably isn't the most important one out there, so let's not worry about it. It's wrong, it's based on our mistake, and we're getting favorable publicity based on our mistake, but we have no obligation to correct the misimpression. We might be able to persuade a court that this mistake isn't material, so there's no reason to worry about it." Clearly we need to shorten law school to two months so that graduates don't develop this type of thinking.
Clearly we need to shorten law school to two months so that graduates don't develop this type of thinking.ReplyDelete
DJM: THANK YOUReplyDelete
1:53: A+. Thanks for a much-needed laugh.
So let me get this straight: USNWR and maybe the ABA have been publishing a figure for three years that is (1) obviously ridiculous and (2) DJM and Law Prof and a few commentators were able to debunk from public sources in a few minutes (hours?) of research? And nobody asked a question or did any fact checking? And this is the information that trustees use to evaluate the performance of law deans? And 0L's use to invest three years of their live and hundreds of thousands of dollars?ReplyDelete
I hope the bar opens soon.
"And this is the information that trustees use to evaluate the performance of law deans?"ReplyDelete
I think we've all been reminded recently (thanks to Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan LLP) that university trustees are not exactly paragons of attentiveness and diligence.
DJM- No one ever said misrepresentation was not an extremely serious thing. Off with their heads! But you, not I, offered an explanation why prospective students should pay close attention to the average debt of graduating students when making the decision to go to a particular law school. That discussion was part of tributary off the main discussion about misrepresentation, which is not unheard of on this site.ReplyDelete
Average debt is an interesting thing to know, but it I do not think it dispositive. I think students' attention should be focused on the cost of the school and the kind of deal they can get, given their academic profile, the quality of the school overall, the kinds of jobs people get coming from that school, as well as other things. That is harder work, but it is critical. As one who does not agree with you on how much people should focus on the average debt, I don't think it "dickish" or whatever, to ask just how important a variable you think this is. Nor by asking am I to be placed among those who do not care about people putting false stuff in reports. It's a non sequitur to suggest that.
Whoever believes these misrepresentations aren't important is missing the point. "It's ethics, stupid!". If you are a lawyer, the ethical code forbids you to make misleading statements to further your own interests, If you make a good faith representation to a Court, or a client, or, say, even your opposition in a court case, and it turns out to be untrue, you have to correct the misrepresentation--immediately! The Dean and his minions are theoretically lawyers. They should be subject to the same ethical rules as their licensed graduates. But they refuse this honor. And it is, an honor. It feels good to be part of a profession that so values honesty. But folks like the Rutgers Dean treat these honorable values like nothing more than a punchline. It's disgusting. Whatever state bar or board or court that licensed this dean and her minions (assuming they are licensed which, sadly, we can't do), should receive a complaint tomorrow and launch an investigation by Monday. But, of course, that won't happen. You are right DJM, no wonder the public dEspises us so. Disgusting!ReplyDelete
I share your sentiment. If you were here, I'd buy the first round. Wish we could have a convention. At least we could get drunk together and commiserate about the utter hopelessness of the situation.
The figure should be relevant to people who applied to the law school expecting that, if they were admitted, they would get significant financial aid.ReplyDelete
By deflating the amount of debt incurred, it makes applying to Camden more appealing.
I would argue that people who applied there should be ENTITLED TO A REFUND OF THEIR APPLICATION FEES. I bet over the course of three years that this is no small amount either. Anziska/Strauss should look into this as a separate class action.
@2:18 What was dickish was not the question itself. It was the obnoxious way it was put.ReplyDelete
Separate class action independent of any class action for any potential misrepresentation by the school of the value of a JD.ReplyDelete
2:18 here- That was not my intent. I'm sorry if that's how people took it. I was trying to get as concrete an answer as possible. DJM does useful things on this site, but I think focusing on metrics like this will lead people to rely on things that are interesting to know about schools in general, but may give people a false sense of what they should be keying in on. I simply cannot imagine choosing to go to a school based upon the average debt of its graduates. There would be so many things before I even got to that point... But I am prepared to concede that I am outlier among this group of commenters. Sometimes that happens.ReplyDelete
There is also a MRPC 8.3 reporting requirement. See Lisa G. Lerman, Misconduct by Law Professors: Why It Matters, Prof. Law., 2004, at 21, 31:ReplyDelete
"Some professors are aware of misconduct by colleagues or others that would be reportable under Rule 8.3 or its equivalent, but do not report that misconduct to the disciplinary authorities. . . . . [T]he more general rules of professional conduct are relevant in a law school setting. The prohibition by most states of ‘dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation’ and the ethical ban on criminal behavior that ‘reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects' apply to conduct in and out of practice."
The irony of legal academics who hold themselves out as champions of victims but don't support Campos and other blogs getting out the word regarding the law school scam is sickening.ReplyDelete
Update III: this sounds like a possible negligent misrepresentation.ReplyDelete
""A cause of action for negligent misrepresentation may exist when a party negligently provides false information." Karu v. Feldman, 119 N.J. 135, 146 (1990). A "negligent misrepresentation constitutes '[a]n incorrect statement, negligently made and justifiably relied on, [and] may be the basis for recovery of damages for economic loss . . . sustained as a consequence of that reliance.'" McClellan v. Feit, 376 N.J. Super. 305, 317 (App. Div. 2005) (quoting H. Rosenblum, Inc. v. Adler, 93 N.J. 324, 334 (1983)). See also Kaufman v. i-Stat Corp., 165 N.J. 94, 109 (2000); Union Ink Co. v. AT&T Corp., 352 N.J. Super. 617, 646 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 174 N.J. 547 (2002)."
@2:14 speaks truth. i went to law school in part to learn 'how the world works'... for better or worse, i got much more than i bargained for!ReplyDelete
Attorney ID: 035651986
Camille Andrews recent Publications:ReplyDelete
Ethics and Third-Party Litigation Funding (2011 Pennsylvania Bar Institute); Ethics and the Media (2009 Pennsylvania Bar Institute); Ethics, Ethics and More Ethics: Current Issues in the Law 2000 (New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, November 2000).Ethics, Ethics and More Ethics: Current Issues in the Law (New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, November 1999)
Courses recently taught: Professional Responsibility
Professional Responsibility course description:
This course is a graduation requirement for all students.
Explores the legal constraints and ethical considerations confronting the legal profession. Analyzes the role(s) of the lawyer and the sometimes competing obligations of the lawyer to the client, society, the court, and the self. Specific problems examined include: lawyer regulation, advertising and solicitation, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and the adversary system of justice.
These people are professionals at credentials and meaningless involvement.
I agree. At the very least, applicants should receive refunds on their application fees. How many applicants were induced to apply under the mistaken belief that a lot of grant stipends were being handed out?ReplyDelete
Probably not many. I would think most people would first look at tuition cost then look at average scholly award.ReplyDelete
"I would think most people would first look at tuition cost then look at average scholly award."ReplyDelete
Is the average scholly at US News?
I think the cover post, including in update 3, does a poor job of explaining how the mystery is solved. I take it that it relies on reading these comments, particularly the DJM computation above. For sake of clarity, this might be better explained above the fold.ReplyDelete
Or a few clicks away with Google.ReplyDelete
How long until every school has a major misdeed and/or "accidental" fraudulent act? How long until every dean in the country has said something ridiculously stupid?ReplyDelete
Someone should make a BINGO game out of this. Make 5 x 5 squares of which 13-150 school will get slapped next with either an absurd dean quote or major misdeed.
LawProf & DJM: For your next trick, please explain Georgia State's 19k average debt. Another reporting error?ReplyDelete
The cite to Congressman Rob Andrews and his law dean/professor wife underlines the scrofulous practice of our political class to place their spouces, wives usually, in high pay low work sinecures. In addition to her job publishing the positive aspects of attending Rutgers Camden Dean Andrews also teaches the usual suspects, Sports Law, Professional Respondsibility and Entertainment Law Drafting. The University of Texas had a similar situation. The recently removed dean set up his academically unachieving wife with an endowed chair that pays $319,000 per year. The faculty directory lists among her areas of interest, law and literature and cultural accomodation. He also gave her a $350,000 "non-repayment" loan. Nice work if you can get it. William OckhamReplyDelete
Sorry for being off topic, but seriously fuck Orin Kerr. http://www.volokh.com/2012/07/18/free-law-school-casebooks-for-everyone/ReplyDelete
I like how nobody over there conceives helping lawstudents avoid having to shell out for over priced books for three years as a worthwhile incentive. Assholes.
Orin Kerr is proving to be a much, much bigger dope than his platinum-level CV suggests. Maybe he pulled one over on the system, or maybe the system just sucks. But what an Anthony Kennedy-level lightweight. (well, what do ya know, apparently they worked together once...)ReplyDelete
Orin Kerr, what a twat!ReplyDelete
Hey Orin, how about compensating your students out of your salary?
Check out his uber-snarky response to the poster "FirstatLosing." I mean, wow. If that's not a giant, smug middle finger at all of us, I don't know what is.ReplyDelete
Lawyers don't get disbarred over this kind of thing in California. You be lucky to even get them suspended. Things may be different in CO or NJ, but I seriously doubt it. Try to find some precedent...ReplyDelete
I think the Rep. Rob Andrews story deserves a lot more press than it has been getting. Im naive regarding the congressional ethics thing (an oxymoron I know) but isn't/shouldn't it be illegal for a congressman to direct money to an enterprise that directly benefits his immediate family?ReplyDelete
I got a JD from Georgia State in the early 00's. Too bad they have also made this "mistake" regarding debt. I graduated with about 25K in student loans which was very manageable even though I'm never going to get rich doing what I'm doing now. Im inclined to think this was more an issue of incompetence than deception--even with accurate figures GA State has been a better value than most law schools (relatively speaking of course).
Some poster called "Unemployed Northeastern" seems to have eked some understanding, if not humility, out of Kerr in that thread.
I thought you'd be interested in this ABA Journal story:ReplyDelete
I was with Northeastern until he linked to a yahoo finance article...yikes.ReplyDelete
i didn't really pay attention to this post earlier this morning b/c I don't care about any specific non-T14 schools. i only care about the trends of how the TTTs affect T14. I was also wondering why an insider (Campos) would not know the answer to such a topic.ReplyDelete
I'm glad I checked back in b/c i now see how important crowdsourcing is in addition to an insider's POV can be when things don't add up.
Kerr's response to Northeastern shows you how much has changed in the last year. A year ago, Kerr was denying the existence of any problem at all.ReplyDelete
Wow at all these updates. What the hell fuck? How can US News not get something so simple right?ReplyDelete
Dean Rayman Solomon is a member of the Illinois Bar - non practicing (he nerve actually ever seems to have practiced law - he was a "bar historian" instead) - you can find his record hereReplyDelete
The associate dean for enrollment at Rutgers - and probably the person responsible for the misleading information is Camille Andrews - who cough, cough, teaches legal ethics !!! The mind boggles. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar - record is as follows
Camille Spinello Andrews
PA Attorney ID: 47307
Current Status: Active
Date of Admission: 11/21/1986
Other Organization: Context Capital Partners, LP
Public Access Address CONTEXT CAPITAL PARTNERS LP
401 CITY AVENUE STE 815
BALA CYNWYD, PA 19004
Tel: 610 538-6102
Fax: 610 660-5000
Professional Liability Insurance: I do not maintain Professional Liability Insurance because I do not have private clients and have no possible exposure to malpractice actions (e.g. retired, full-time in-house counsel, prosecutor, full-time government counsel, etc.).
The Associate Dean of Students and Career Planning - another person with responsibility is Angela V. Baker She is an active member of the New Jersey Bar:
ANGELA VIRGINIA BAKER
NJ Attorney ID : 028081985
Bar Admission Date : 12/23/1985
BTW Law Prof: love the press release; modern "communications directors" at their best. Its not exactly lies, right? The articles quoted really do say those things,even if no one with the least familiarity with RC believes them for one minute. And RC really is located (almost) in Camden's "vibrant waterfront district." The fact that this "vibrant waterfront district" is a series of taxpayer funded and subsidized institutions -- an aquariam, an entertainment venue, a battleship turned museum, a minor league ballpark -- specifically located so as to be within a few blocks of the highway out of town and the bridge and ferry to Philly so no one attending them has to (or ever has) set foot on a Camden city street, that to get there from RC you have to cross a DMZ that would have daunted Ho Chi Mihn's finest, and that Camden is the most depressed, depressing and crime ridden city on the east coast is, well, beside the point.ReplyDelete
Lawprof: wasn't sure where to post this. Don't know what to say except I'm thinking about all the people involved in this, all the victims, the responders, everyone. Just so sorry and sad for everyone.ReplyDelete
I'm sure the CU campus is horror stricken by the murder of 12 people by one of their graduate students. I hope you support each other to cope with the grief.