Thursday, August 23, 2012


The CU law faculty have been instructed by the dean to attend a reception for new students this afternoon (it's clear this is a command performance, as attendance by non-faculty staff has been described as "optional").   I suspect that the dean, who a few months ago told the media he doesn't read this blog, would not exactly be heartbroken if at least one member of his faculty didn't show up.

As much as I dislike this sort of thing I'm still going to be there, since the main reason I wouldn't show up would be that I wouldn't want to deal with any awkward questions from the brand new 1Ls, and that excuse consists of 100% moral cowardice.

This sort of event forces me to think about what percentage of the entering CU class is going to come out ahead three years from now for having spent those three years getting a law degree.  Those people in the class who are paying no or practically no tuition have a decent shot at coming out all right, especially if they know why they're going to law school and they have a realistic career plan based on that desire.  The possibly not trivial percentage of students who to some extent are engaging in conspicuous consumption on their parents' tab will be OK too.

It's better not to think about the others.

"Where do you come from?" I asked him.
"From San Carlos," he said, and smiled.
That was his native town and so it gave him pleasure to mention it and he smiled.
"I was taking care of animals," he explained. "Oh," I said, not quite understanding.
"Yes," he said, "I stayed, you see, taking care of animals. I was the last one to leave the town of San Carlos."
He did not look like a shepherd nor a herdsman and I looked at his black dusty clothes and his gray dusty face and his steel rimmed spectacles and said, "What animals were they?"
"Various animals," he said, and shook his head. "I had to leave them."
I was watching the bridge and the African looking country of the Ebro Delta and wondering how long now it would be before we would see the enemy, and listening all the while for the first noises that would signal that ever mysterious event called contact, and the old man still sat there.
"What animals were they?" I asked.
"There were three animals altogether," he explained. "There were two goats and a cat and then there were four pairs of pigeons."
"And you had to leave them?" I asked.
"Yes. Because of the artillery. The captain told me to go because of the artillery."
"And you have no family?" I asked, watching the far end of the bridge where a few last carts were hurrying down the slope of the bank.
"No," he said, "only the animals I stated. The cat, of course, will be all right. A cat can look out for itself, but I cannot think what will become of the others."
"What politics have you?" I asked.
"I am without politics," he said. "I am seventy-six years old. I have come twelve kilometers now and I think now I can go no further." "This is not a good place to stop," I said. "If you can make it, there are trucks up the road where it forks for Tortosa."
"I will wait a while," he said, "and then I will go. Where do the trucks go?"
"Towards Barcelona," I told him.
"I know no one in that direction," he said, "but thank you very much. Thank you again very much."
He looked at me very blankly and tiredly, then said, having to share his worry with some one, "The cat will be all right, I am sure. There is no need to be unquiet about the cat. But the others. Now what do you think about the others?"
"Why they'll probably come through it all right." "You think so?"
"Why not," I said, watching the far bank where now there were no carts.
"But what will they do under the artillery when I was told to leave because of the artillery?"
"Did you leave the dove cage unlocked?" I asked. "Yes."
"Then they'll fly."
"Yes, certainly they'll fly. But the others. It's better not to think about the others," he said.
"If you are rested I would go," I urged. "Get up and try to walk now."
"Thank you," he said and got to his feet, swayed from side to side and then sat down backwards in the dust.
"I was taking care of animals," he said dully, but no longer to me. "I was only taking care of animals."

Ernest Hemingway, "Old Man at the Bridge."


  1. The possibly not trivial percentage of students who to some extent are engaging in conspicuous consumption on their parents' tab will be OK too.

    Thanks for that qualification. :)

  2. It's better not to think about the others.

    Actually, 'thinking' isn't what's called for here; take action, most obviously by directing your incoming students to this blog. I assume that, at the beginning of every semester, you include the URL on every course syllabus?

  3. LP, just ask the others if they know for whom the bell tolls.

    Or what it's like to have and have not.

    And tell them to always remember: the debt also rises.

  4. What were your teaching evaluations like last year?

  5. The mention of For Whom the Bell Tolls reminds me of the original, which should be at the core of the scamblog movement.
    "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. "

  6. LawProf:

    How has the legal marketplace effected the incoming CU class? Smaller than last year's class? Lower mean LSATs/GPAs? And, what about the applicant pool? Reduced? If so, by how much? Overall, what's the impact of market changes(including increased marketplace transparency) on CU, the school you know best?

  7. Professor Campos,

    As a 2006 law grad with a less than ideal outcome I would like to thank you and the other bloggers for the brave work you have done exposing the realities of the legal profession and its long term outcomes.

    I come from an immigrant family of physicians. My parents urged me to become a physician but having little interest in science and a lot of interest in law, I decided to become a lawyer. I relied on the data of the time and the seemingly overwhelmingly positive outcomes they proffered. I genuinely believed those statistics and that becoming a lawyer would both give me a similar long term financial outcome as becoming a doctor with the added advantage that I would be in a profession I loved, and could always utilize the supposed versatility of a law degree if I ended up not liking being a lawyer. I believed in those statistics because, afterall,, would the pillars and gatekeepers of the legal profession be so brazen as to lie?

    Fast forward a few years. I am unemployed, have significant school debt, and little job prospects as a lawyer or anything else.

    Prof. Campos, I find it admirable that you are sticking your neck out (figuratively) to point out the realities of legal education and the legal profession, however this does very little to help the multitude of those in my position, who, before the "scam blog" movement relied on false and fraudulent data proffered by legal academia to lure us into this profession and shackle us with insurmountable debt burdens for their own benefit. Perhaps it is time to focus on how best to ameliorate the situation for those who find themselves in a similar, or worse, position that I?

    While nothing will be able to undo the damage caused by essentially a lost 3 years and the permanent negative stigma of a JD, enabling people like myself to discharge this massive debt in BK and move on with our lives would be a start? Prior to 1996, you could get student loan debt discharged in BK, however the government and big banking interests changed all of that.

    It seems to me that for the sake of justice and equity, BK protections should be given to student loan debtors.

  8. "the main reason I wouldn't show up would be that I wouldn't want to deal with any awkward questions from the brand new 1Ls"

    This statement does not make sense, considering you post about this stuff every day (which, by the way, is too frequently).

    It also leads me to believe that you do NOT, in fact, practice in real life what you preach on the internet. That is greatly disappointing.

    You, of all people should be up on that stage and trying to interject into every 1Ls question a little bit of financial reality. It is also a bit disheartening to see you backtracking on the number of students who may be harmed by attending your esteemed university.

    If you're going to stand up, stand up tall. Don't you have confidence in your message?

  9. you post about this stuff every day (which, by the way, is too frequently)

    I don't understand this complaint. How can a blogger post too frequently? It's not as if he's sending tweets that demand your attention.

  10. 0858 --> You must be the type of person who thinks that quantity = quality.

    Spouting off about the same shit day after day detracts from the message rather than adds to it. See JD Painter for another illustration.

    Paul is just a less crazy JD Painter at this point.

  11. "This statement does not make sense, considering you post about this stuff every day (which, by the way, is too frequently)."

    Oh go away, troll. If you've got nothing constructive to bring to the discussion, the least you can do is to keep the supercilious tut-tutting to yourself.

  12. Brian, if you have better things to do than read this blog, I suggest you get to them.

  13. Spouting off about the same shit day after day detracts from the message rather than adds to it. See JD Painter for another illustration.

    There is no comparison between the quality content that LP and DJM post and the ramblings of JDPainter.

  14. You people are thick, aren't you?

    The comparison is in the quantity. Even if the quality here is of a higher caliber, the redundancy of posting about the same shit day after day takes away from said quality.

    Call me a troll if you want. What I am saying is just as constructive as any of the pee pee licking you do here to Paulie on a daily basis.

  15. What kind of a total fucking loser hangs out on a blog just to complain that the posts are too repetitive? Oh I know this one . . . a "law professor."

  16. It would be much more convenient if LP just wrote a book, like Tamanaha. Then we could get our obligatory hand-wringing over at once and move on to truly important topics, such as whether LRW professors should be tenure-track.

  17. I think the criticism of post frequency makes sense, but it depends on who the readers are. If the readers come every few days and just read new things, then perhaps frequent posts on the same topic will drive the point home. This blog does not exist for the echo chamber, despite what the scambloggers think.

    As for not practicing what he preaches in real life, who cares? That's very difficult to do, especially with the social pressures of the law school. Not feeling some empathy for Paul on this shows a gross misunderstanding of people.

  18. Forget Hemingway. If you go, what will you say to the students?

  19. I don't know; if you're going to bash all of the law schools in the country day after day online, then it doesn't make much sense to sit mute on a stage or avoid it altogether when you're up in front of exactly the group of people you're trying to "protect" with your blog rants.

    Sure, it is difficult and you'll get nasty looks from the others on the stage, but that comes with the territory--nobody forced Paul to create this blog and take the position that he has.

    This group of 1Ls, every single one of them, needs to be told live, in person, from THE "law school scam professor," that many of them are quite probably, according to all of his research, making a huge financial mistake--one that may cripple them for life.

    Tenure takes away a lot of the "social pressures" in the law school. The academics there who disagree with Paul hate him already, so he won't make any new enemies by telling the 1Ls the truth. In fact, that would be a perfect time to possibly convince some of his peers on that state of the merits of the problem.

  20. OT: Trading caps and gowns for mops

    ... Another survey by Rutgers University came to the same conclusion: Half of graduates in the past five years say their jobs didn’t require a four-year degree and only 20% said their first job was on their career path.

  21. This blog is amazing and should continue. It convinced me to tell my kids to avoid law school, and now I've warned my daughter's two friends who were considering law school the same.

    I cannot stress how thankful I am for this blog. Please keep up the good work.

    And my children are getting by, and they don't have any student debt.

  22. I completely understand the temptation not to attend, and I applaud the decision to follow through. It takes courage to stand behind what you write online, and hopefully one of the brighter 1Ls will ask LP about it at the reception.

  23. feel free to tell your 1Ls to try hard their first year. and if their grades are poor, drop out with (relatively) minimal debt and career options still available. tell them to hold down part time jobs during 1L if they can find them, so there isn't a "gap year" on their resumes. tell them the first year is still a gamble in any case, but the second and third years are terrible gambles if you didn't make the grade.

    tell them not to throw good money after bad. tell them you hope the graduating class has about 50 people in it. and sleep like a baby when you get home.

  24. Lawprof is going to attend, he said he was going to attend, and he said that not attending would be an act of moral cowardice. Didn't you read the post?

  25. Obnoxious as this concern troll is, it makes me feel good to know that there are law professors who "hate" Campos. This just means he's effective. If he's ruined your reputations and threatened your jobs, good.

  26. I mainly wanted to know what he is going to say. It's a tough position be in.

  27. Just saw something interesting. UVA just posted a piece on the the school's website about its new class. Apparently, around 6,100 people applied this year. Unless my numbers are wrong, around 8,500 people applied just two years ago. We're talking about a 25% drop in that timespan at a law school that's probably doing relatively well.

  28. Yet UVA managed to keep its numbers in tact and kept its class size the same.

    The class size should be reduced at this point--it's clear they are propping up their employment stats by employing their own grads.

    And I'm beginning to wonder if their data re: medians etc. are on the up and up. How do you subtract 25% of your applications and come out ahead numbers wise?

  29. I find the trolls amusing. At some point you do reach a sort of zen state in which their totally transparent attempts to project a sense of rationality on top of what is obviously a total freak out just adds color to an already mostly enjoyable time visiting this blog. It's sort of like Thanksgiving dinner. You know your uncle is going to get drunk and do something inappropriate, and it's annoying, but no real harm is ever really done and you're over the annoyance of it by this point, so the only curiosity is what exactly the spectacle will be, and that's just total fun.

  30. Mr. Infinity has it in for Painterguy and Nando and BIDER and posts accordingly.

    Painterguy defaulted on his student loan debt and about 50K was added onto his loan balance by a collection agency called GC Services, making it go from 210K to 260K.

    He has never had an interest rate below 8% on his SL Debt and he has no credit card debt although he has about 330K of SL debt and it grows by seventeen dollars a day in interest or rather 2K a month.

    He cannot get credit due to a high debt to income ratio. Cannot get a small business loan, and cannot get a job that requires a credit check.

    All of his worldly assets, including his old truck and a clunker car are not worth more than 4K if that.

    You too would be a little nuts if your debt will be close to 2 million dollars by the time you retire.

    And the best that people can tell him here is to flee the USA.

  31. 9:12AM:

    "What I am saying is just as constructive as any of the pee pee licking you do here to Paulie on a daily basis."

    Good point well made. Gooood point! I think you might have missed your calling as a Roman orator or senator or something. Seriously, if you didn't find that line on the cutting room floor for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and instead came up with it on your own, then, I've got to say, you've got a bright future ahead of you.

    1. Thank you. But next time, instead of calling him a "Roman orator" try, "Greek Oralator".

  32. 11:38,

    11:17 here. I noticed something that might help explain what you pointed out. Only 20% of the members of the new class are minorities. UVA has never been the epitome of diversity but it did, until recently, have classes where the % of people that identified themselves as people of color was in the high 20's. Not a drastic change, but a certainly a significant one.

  33. 11:17 & 11:38,
    Back when I was at UVA there were far more applicants with high numbers than slots. FWIW, admissions would differentiate by picking people with varied backgrounds and a significant % of the class had prior work experience (one or two were doctors, ex military, consultants, etc.). It's likely the 25% drop has decreased their applicant pool in other ways than the numbers.

  34. 12:45:

    LOL. There might be a grain of truth there but UVA differentiates on "likelihood of attending," and willingness to apply ED much more than any qualitative factors. Their willingness to delay and waitlist the HYS-bound, including those with very impressive credentials, is well reported. The reason is that it protects their precious admit rate.

    12:32: That makes sense. A close to double-digit drop in minorities would give a lot of flex to an adcomm trying to maintain their numbers.

  35. 12:57 here: To add about UVA, I've known a few instances where UVA goes from delay or waitlist to offering students large wads of cash when it appears they might actually attend UVA. They are, by far, the most slick school in the t14 when it comes to manipulating USNews data.

    1. I think what is telling is UVA's 25 percentile LSAT. This year it is 164, a number it has not been since the class of 2005. In years past it was 167 and 166. The number has decreased lately due to a concerted effort to increase the GPA numbers but still.

  36. Another great lunch time read. Painterguy based on earlier posts is in a bad situation that is beyond comprehension to most people which is why there is no great advice for him. I agree with other's earlier advice for him to flee and rebuild his life elsewhere or should he decide to stay that he needs to face that horrible reality of having to dig his way out of that debt. When digging he will fight and seek help of others more powerful than he is. A start can be renegotiating the terms of the loan--if he learned anything in law school it would be to get such loan modification in writing signed by the loan companie(s). But this will also mean he can't default anymore and he has got to pay his way out of the debt. He can also take his plight to the local news agencies, debt collection services. I don't follow his blog to closely so its unclear what he has/has not done. For everyone else especially those who are not yet in Painterguy's situation I haven't heard articulated why these same folks can't pay down their loan in a 10-15 year time span. I read the disaapointment on this thread about life predicaments, jobs not being what is expected, but what I'm not reading from these same folks is talk about the hussle out in the job market, or questions about taking a specific plan of action where sufficient and relevant details are provided. Just saying.

  37. I've met some recent UVA grads and believe me there indivicual situations were not rosy at all. They could not find work..

  38. This issue (what to tell law students) comes up all the time with interns, staff applying, other young people. I tell them if they inquire but don't chase them down. LP has a tough spot bc he really has a duty to say something. I would never attend an event in support of law school attendance.

  39. @Poorgrad

    Painterguy did go to the media and was on NPR Radio about a month ago with Cryn Johannsen.

    You can listen to the podcast here:

    He was also on Long Island Television last winter:

    It looks like he will have to start blogging again since Mr. Infinity wants to distort his facts and move in for the kill on absent scamblogs.

  40. ^^ The NPR radio segment with Painterguy and Cryn Johannsen was national BTW.

    And there are about a million viewers in the audience for Long Island's Cablevision news 12

  41. I'd also like Lawprof and DJM to stop blogging about high debt and too many students for not enough jobs so we can focus on the important stuff, like whether the $50,000 per year per student should be best spent on having former COA clerks write empirical piles of shit, theoretical piles of dung, or "law and" piles of crap.

  42. It could just be me, but I believe that BoredJD's comment was facetious in spirit.

  43. Survey SAYS:

    theoretical piles of dung!

  44. A while back DJM wrote that she was going to try to write a blog on how OSU Law School might be able to reduce its tuition to 13k in-state. Did she get around to writing it and I missed it or is that something she hasn't gotten to?

  45. @8:53 AM

    the fact that students put up no collateral and then discharged their educational loans when they could not find employment is the reason why the those bankruptcy discharge laws were put in place.

  46. 2:19: That's not true. See this article:

  47. @ Anon at 1:48

    If (as I suspect) you meant "fecesious" that was a pretty funny joke, I thought.

  48. curious LawProf thinks about this article:

  49. "One of the biggest negatives of the scambloggers is that they tend to rip apart anyone who may be of a different mind than them and as a result, they tend to make enemies. It is a fault of theirs I believe and it does not help their cause."

    The scambloggers, lead by Nando, the turd slinging Baboon, with JDPainter, his little chimp, zookeeper "professor Campos" and the angry baboons that want to eat JDpainter (whom Nando protects -- for now) can not touch me.

    P.S. Go to the reception for the students, profe$$or, they are paying you over $100,000 for crying out loud!

    1. What's yer revs, man?August 23, 2012 at 6:55 PM

      So, what's your ad revvies this month, man? Up to $35 or so?

  50. @3:38PM

    If the boner can get a gosh darned real editor to help out and stop using a small letter for the first letter of a last name before posting it, it might help just a bit.

  51. I would memorize the following quotations. Then I would recite them, in a clear, strong, and sincere tone, to the assemblage of eager-beaver 1Ls. Then I would fall to the ground and start foaming at the mouth:

    1. “Job opportunities will expand in the coming two decades. While the growing retirement level of the baby boom generation will impose an increasing burden on the country's social security system, those retirements represent increasing job openings in every field. That will be particularly so in law.” -- Don DeLuc, President and Dean, Cooley Law

    2. “Part of the value of legal education is its inculcation of analytic skills that translate well into many employment and leadership settings; part of the value of the law degree is its incomparable flexibility.” --Don DeLuc, President and Dean, Cooley Law

    3. “Talking in class, and other ways of throwing yourself into the mix, is a terrific, bad-consequence-free way of actually starting to practice at being a lawyer. Take advantage.” -- Professor Paul Horwitz, Alabama

    4. “We are not producing plumbers and bookkeepers, we are producing the leaders of our Society whose primary ability is the strength of their intellects. Law teachers hone the mind in a variety of ways through a variety of methods.” --Professor Peter Bayer, UNLV

    5. "Students benefit from the scholar's ability to turn chaos into order and communicate both the chaos and the order to someone who hasn't done the same work. The students have to start with order and see how it is constructed from chaos and how to explain that before they can learn to do the same thing, which really, is what lawyers do for their clients." --Professor Marcia McCormick, St. Louis Univ.



  52. Study: Longterm Unemployment Has Disastrous Effects On Health
    Laura Bassett

    WASHINGTON -- With 17 percent of the American workforce either unemployed or underemployed, experts predict that the scarring consequences of the recession -- not just on the bank accounts, but on the health and longevity of the jobless -- will be far-reaching and severe.

    Dr. Elise Gould, director of health policy research at the Economic Policy Institute, said in a forum on health and unemployment Friday afternoon that research shows that losing one's job can have a "powerful and negative impact" on the health of the jobless, leading to feelings of failure, depression, anxiety, notably increasing the risks of strokes, heart attacks and catastrophic illnesses, and potentially leading to premature mortality.

    "After wage losses, the most direct impact of unemployment is loss of health insurance coverage for those who had it in the first place," she said. "But this is only tip of the iceberg when we think about people's health. It's clear that many Americans are still hurting and will be hurting for a very long time."

    According to a research study conducted by William T. Gallo, professor of health policy and management at CUNY, the six- and ten-year risk of heart attack or stroke in people between 51 and 61 years old who have lost their jobs is more than double that of the employed. Gallo also noticed some stress-related changes in the health behavior of older jobless people: there was less physical activity and an increase in daily cigarette consumption among long-term unemployed smokers, an increased risk of a smoking relapse, and some increased drinking and weight gain, which increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

    Gallo said that even the risk or fear of losing one's job was just a strong a predictor as the actual job loss on an older person's overall health because of internal psychological factors.

    Kate Strully, assistant professor at the University of Albany, said the best way to help the longterm jobless cope with unemployment and ameliorate their health issues is to make job loss less traumatic and stressful by reducing the associated financial strain through unemployment insurance, job search assistance and career training.

    "We don't often think of unemployment insurance or job search assistance or so forth as a health policy," she said at the forum, "but given the links between psychological components of job loss, stress and disease, financial strain, it's quite possible that there may be health benefits that we currently aren't capturing related to these sorts of programs."

  53. Mr. Infinity is a Hero!

    Thank you Mr. Infinity, because you are the voice of the truth!!!

    All of the scambloggers are 100% WRONG and you are my champion!

  54. @Mr. Infinity:

    Professor Campos and also DJM are indeed zookeepers!

    You have nailed it!

  55. "[D]eliberate student deadbeats accounted for a virtually infinitesimal proportion of bankruptcies. In the meantime, mainstream journalists who spent more time in reality than their trend-setting contemporaries uncovered some troubling (and real) trends while scouring bankruptcy filings. Of the small population of twentysomethings who did seek to use bankruptcy protection primarily to discharge student loans, many had been defrauded by fly-by-night "correspondence schools" that had forged the students' signatures and saddled them with staggering loans. They hadn't even known about them until they started getting hounded by collection agencies."

    LP, thanks for debunking the myth. i was always under the impression that massive unsecured SLs were discharged so many did it to game the system.

    1. In any event, private student loans (as opposed to those federally-guaranteed at the time) were subject to the bankruptcy of the borrower until 2005. I don't know about you, but Congress, at the behest of the banks, basically re-wrote my private loans for 2/3 of my legal education.

    2. it is amazing that there are no comments in that article's comment section.

  56. Yes, gaming the system and now we all know and thank you 4:45PM.

    Student Loan Debtors are criminal and ought to be thrown into a for profit and publicly traded on wall street debtors prison by the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)

    America incarcerates more people than any other country in the civilized world, and for good reason.

    As two judges have said so far, Higher ED and law school is a wild gamble, and all who lose on that gamble ought to be severely punished until the grave for having lost that gamble, and the very idea that they can declare bankruptcy is an offense to all civilized morality.

    Institutional responsibility is always secondary to personal responsibility.

    It is a matter of morals and personal decisions during the second decade of life.

  57. on a side note, why are there not more personal bankruptcy attorneys? that is where the demand is.

  58. So, how did the reception go, LP? Still employed, I hope!

  59. Hey, wait uh minnit...August 23, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    "Back when I was at UVA there were far more applicants with high numbers than slots."

    So the women at UVA had low numbers? Doesn't sound too sound very PC to me.


  60. Hey, wait uh minnit...August 23, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    Hey, uh, when did we get thread-embedded replies here?

    1. i don't know, but this will definitely make things a lot easier to follow! no more "10:15," "11:29," and so on, replete with scrolling all over the place to follow things. Shawn Spencer approves.

    2. Hey, wait uh minnit...August 23, 2012 at 8:18 PM

      @7:33, thanks, I quite agree.


    3. Boy, this is a big improvement!

  61. I would suggest all of the conversations in the comments here (save for the profanity laced tirades, off the wall comments, etc.) would be appropriate for a webchat with the Secretary of Education on student loans and higher ed financing. It is today (August 24) at 11 am ET. Ask the CEO of Direct Loans, Inc. your questions on the law school bubble and see if you get an answer:


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