Thursday, January 17, 2013

Comments on comments on comments etc

Everyone who writes knows that being misunderstood is inevitable. For example a couple of days ago, Bernie Burke, whose work on the law school crisis I generally admire, produced what seems to me an obvious misinterpretation of a quote from a magazine article, as evidence for the claim that I argue all law degrees are worthless.
But there is an equally corrosive rhetoric at the other extreme in this discussion, and it is just as pernicious and misleading. For example, this recent quote from Paul Campos in Fortune: “[I]t’s like the subprime mortgage scandal without securitization. When people realize it’s a worthless degree, the system is going to collapse.”
Taken out of context (a context which includes this preceding sentence: “This isn’t sustainable,” warns Campos. “There is a zealous faith in American culture that higher education always pays for itself[.]“), and read as literally as possible, this could be read as a claim that all law degrees are worthless. Now of course Burke knows, since he has read a lot of what I’ve written on this topic, that I don’t make such a wildly implausible claim anywhere (For instance in an academic article I just published on the topic, I estimate that 92.1% of the 2011 class of Stanford law school had positive outcomes relative to the costs of attending the school. More on Stanford shortly). I suppose Burke might claim sincerely that a casual reader, coming across this single quote, might misread it in this way. Still, all this smacks very much of tactical high Broderism (“Some say law school is a great investment in one’s future. Others say law degrees are worthless. The truth no doubt lies somewhere in the middle.”).

Burke’s rather perverse literal-mindedness in this context is merely annoying (and in any case his head and his heart both appear to be in the right place on the more general issue). Steve Diamond’s libelous musings are another matter altogether:
After all we could very easily solve the so-called “oversupply” problem by returning to the days of The Paper Chase (“Loudly, Mr. Hart!”), where women, blacks and Hispanics were a “discrete and insular minority” among law students. Professor Campos of the University of Colorado, who maintains a website called Inside the Law School Scam, seemed to go so far as to endorse such an approach, at least with respect to women.
Diamond is referring to this post. I’ll leave it to readers to decide for themselves whether I’m suggesting that law schools ought to discriminate against women applicants, so that law can return to the genteel days of almost all-male classrooms, or indeed whether anyone could in good faith conclude the post is saying such a thing.

Since as Scott Lemieux points out Diamond also argues that a student accepted at both Stanford and Santa Clara “would most likely have very similar opportunities once [he or she] graduated,” it’s difficult to say exactly how preposterous an argument would have to get before Diamond wouldn’t make it.

This claim is plausible only if one assumes that someone who graduated in the middle of the class at Stanford would “most likely” finish at the very top — as in the top half dozen people — of his or her SCU class. Given that the correlation between combined admissions numbers (GPA/LSAT) and first year law school grades averages only .48, this is not exactly a plausible hypothesis. In addition, anyone who gets into Stanford can go to Berkeley with a big scholarship, or UCLA or USC for free, which is to say there’s almost no conceivable circumstance in which it would make sense for someone who is admitted to Stanford Law School to enroll at Prof. Diamond’s institution instead.


  1. FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Nicely done sir.

    2. Thank you, I have longed for the glory of firsty for quite some time.

    3. 739 and 740: I hope this is irony.

    4. 7:39 here, and nope. Getting a first is a challenge. 7:07 deserves the accolades.

    5. 739:
      You set a very high bar for achievement, and add a great deal to the conversation. Thank you, sir, and Godspeed.

    6. Will someone PLEASE delete this garbage?

    7. "Will someone PLEASE delete this garbage?"

      Why yes, yes I will.
      - Phineas Flynn.

  2. This post reminds me of an "Argument Pyramid" I saw recently.

    I think we can all recognize the lower level arguments when we see them. And, those who make them expose their weaknesses.

  3. Dang.

    But keep up the good work Lawprof. We know the retaliation is going to be fierce as these schools fight to stay afloat and professors fight for their jobs.

  4. You losers still at this?

    Let me remind you of the victories won by law school against you nobodies:

    1. IBR = unlimited enrollment. You can keep running your mouth about how there aren't enough students to fill the seats, but there are more than enough to fill every seat the law schools want to fill. It's a money machine thanks to the IBR victory.

    2. Utter DOMINATION, TOTAL AND CRUSHING DOMINATION IN EVERY COURT IN EVERY JURISDICTION, in the lawsuits you clearly incompetent lawyers filed against them. Doesn't that tell you morons that you don't have jobs because you're not good lawyers?

    3. Dean O'Brien make $900,000 a year, more than TWENTY TIMES what you losers dream of making. All across the country, law schools are pwning your asses on every level, in every way.

    You people are just ineffective, incompetent losers. That's why law schools destroyed you in what you consider a "battle" and it's why you don't have jobs, and it's why you will never have jobs. You're the 47%, so take your government check and be thankful the world's winners let you have that which is a gift.

    1. By god, he's right! Thank you, sir, for your inspiring words, which have completely changed my perspective on everything.

    2. Keep fucking that chicken forever, Epic Fail Law School/Mr. Infinity/World Class Law Student.

      You gutless Leiter wannabe.

    3. I am under-employed, at least in law. But, I am not part of the "47%".

  5. I do not believe the prior sentence improves the context. Combine that sentence with the one Burk quoted and it is still reasonable to claim, as Burk does, that you are calling a law degree worthless.

  6. "there’s almost no conceivable circumstance in which it would make sense for someone who is admitted to Stanford Law School to enroll at Prof. Diamond’s institution instead."

    There is almost no conceivable circumstance in which it makes sense to attend Prof. Diamond's institution at all.

    I know it must piss off LawProf to see Diamond writing the things he writes, but there is a hard truth that Diamond is now finding ever harder to ignore, so he is struggling ever harder. I can't imagine what it would be like to get to the end of a career throughout which you were extremely proud of yourself for being so successful and well-respected, only to get slapped in the fact with the cold reality that over your professional life you have done far more harm than good. Perhaps the dead enders deserve a little more pity -- just as the victims of the scam are not entirely blame-free, the professors are not entirely guilty.

    That said, Diamond is still a total c-word.

    1. Diamond's institution has no legitimate raison d'ĂȘtre. Close the toilet down.

    2. . . . end of a career throughout which you were extremely proud of yourself . . . cold reality that . . . you have done far more harm than good.

      It boggles the mind. It really does. I had an ultra-miniature version of this and it's made me feel pretty awful. I spent about a decade as an LSAT tutor. There are undoubtedly hundreds of law students who went to law school on the basis of the encouragement, prep, and coaching I gave them.

      I repeated, over and over, the same b.s. I'd heard from other sources about the versatility of the degree, the low unemployment rates among attorneys, the "lifetime value of the degree" etc. Then I finally went to law school myself and started reading this blog.

      I started tapering down my work and now simply refuse to participate in the system. I refuse to be a part (even a very small part) of a system that causes these kinds of catastrophic outcomes.

      It hasn't been an easy decision either - LSAT work used to constitute anywhere from 40-60% of my book of business. Scraping by as I build up more MCAT and SAT hours is worth it, though. I'd rather cut out life's little luxuries and be able to look myself in the mirror.

      I can only imagine how devastating it would be to have spent your entire professional career not simply helping people ruin their lives, but actually being the one ruining it. I feel like anyone with an actual human heart beating in their chest would have to seriously consider an honor suicide as the only way out.

    3. I wouldn't want to be an LSAT tutor anyway, as that only gives an even greater advantage to the rich kids. I didn't prepare for the LSAT at all, beyond completing the two free LSATs from past years that are published on the Internet; I simply showed up (and scored in the 99th percentile). LSAT tutoring comes close to buying and selling admission.

    4. only gives an even greater advantage to the rich kids

      Yes, yes it does. Although where I work (the Jersey burbs), it's more of a middle- to upper-middle-class thing. Digging up a couple grand doesn't require vast wealth.

      comes close to buying and selling admission.

      Ah, this it does not do. Not even close. Anyone who says they can do that for you is lying or wildly self-deluded. At its best, it's like hiring a personal trainer: someone to keep you focused, motivated, and to help you with your form. You still have to lift the weights yourself, and you're still going to be limited by your own skeletal structure.

      I've had plenty of kids who just weren't that bright, even though their parents were richer than Croesus. No expertise in the world was gonna get those kids past a 155.

      I've had more than my fair share of offers to simply take the test for another person. Now THAT would be "buying and selling admission".

  7. "...seemed to go so far as to endorse such an approach, at least with respect to women."

    When others in the academia will throw out such baseless accusations this just goes to shows the lengths the academy will go to maintain the status quo. Is it that they don't know they are flushing their reputation down the toilet, or that they don't care they are ruining their reputation?

  8. I know this is immature but this post would have been a great opportunity for LP to poke a little fun at himself and we could all have a giggle.

  9. Seriously - Diamond has managed to make such a complete ass of himself is there any reason to complain. I mean, for the shear joy of being attacked in an asinine manner I might even use my name....

    Why Prof. Campos are you complaining - if all critics were like Diamond life would be easy.

    Incidentally, how the hell did Diamond get a job as a law professor?

  10. An accusation that PC wants to exclude women from our so-called profession? Someone is very desperate.

  11. Diamond is obviously desperate to resort to framing Prof. Campos as a misogynist and a white chauvinist. If anyone meets that description, it is Diamond, for putting a false "progressive" spin on his effort to promote enrollment in law school.

    1. Leiter did the same thing:

  12. Is there any way -- maybe AALS, maybe AAUP -- to identify law profs who have been forced out of their schools?

    With a dozen or so names, it would be interesting to see how many are working at large firms. It would help puncture the idea that law profs are worth so much in private practice.

    1. You might want to think that comment over a little more...

  13. Nice post LawProf. However, these criticisms of you are only going to get more frequent and more ridiculous as the noose tightens around law school administrators. If you respond to them all, you will get bogged down and it will take time away from the important work at ITLSS, which may be part of your critics' goal.

    I hope you are very selective with the critics you respond to. Responding to law school propaganda in major newspapers is more important that responding to Steve Diamond's blog, in my opinion. While it was nice to see you destroy Bernie Burke and Steve Diamond's arguments, the post really wasn't very interesting. Steve Diamond is a known crazy person, and I don't know or care who Bernie Burke is.

    They're trying to make you lose focus LawProf, and it will get worse. Don't fall into that trap.

    1. Any adult who calls himself "Bernie" must be an ass.

    2. When you hurt them, it will get personal. Don't even address the personal attacks and mischaracterizations. It is a battle that cannot be won.

    3. Don't even address the . . . attacks

      No joke. The only way to win is to ignore them. I seem to remember a study coming out that showed if you told someone that a fact was wrong, they were more likely to remember it (and thus believe it). The real way to stamp out pernicious ideas is simply to ignore them and constantly beat the drumbeat of truth.

  14. LAwprof: do you really believe that a law degree is not worthless, at least at the sticker price? So I guess it would be that a law degree is not worth the cost, instead of being totally worthless?

    For a handful of the total students a law degree may eventually payoff - but we don't even know the long-term salaries of lawyers. To just look at the first job is not enough to say the degree is worthwhile. Though it is possible to say for sure that if a grad doesn't get one of the desirable jobs upon graduation, they are unlikely to ever get there.

    We know that many lawyers drop out of law.

    We know that people depend on getting biglaw and living like students to pay down their debt. But we also know that biglaw is a very insecure career and that the associates are expendable. All of us who have worked in biglaw know the toll it takes on health and that for most people it is not sustainable for very long.

    In addition the number of biglaw associates will most likely continue to drop. More firms are going to follow the Wilmer and Orrick model and have offices in Ohio and West Virginia. Class sizes will stay small.

    How can we calculate the number of people for whom a long term a law degree will be worthwhile?

    We at best only have data on the very first jobs.

    Is there a way to do this? I have seen spreadsheets on TLS with projected lifetime earnings, but these are people who think that going to Harvard is a guaranteed minimum $100,000 for 40 years.

    I'm happy to tell people not to go to law school until they have exhausted other career possibilities or they can go to a top school on a full ride.

    What does it take for a law degree to not be worthless? I think it takes more than a shot at biglaw for a few years.

    1. "How can we calculate the number of people for whom a long term a law degree will be worthwhile?"

      I think you have to make assumptions based on the first result. EG:

      Generic Chicago TTT
      BigLaw: 5%
      after 5 years:
      --1% still in Big/Midlaw partner/partner tracks
      --1% move on to govt/academic/in-house jobs
      --2% move on to generic jobs making 20k-60k
      --1% out of law.

      Govt (SA/AG/etc.): 10%
      after 5 years:
      --5% still in government positions
      --5% move into private practice

      ETC. law schools generally have the means to roughly calculate these probabilities through things like alumni networks, and the probabilities seem to be fairly constant year over year with exceptions when there's a major recession

  15. It's clear by now that the profs at the absolute bottom tier have the most job security right now. The recent reporting on NESL makes clear that these schools are going to keep enrollment numbers up as long as possible. The real downsizing is going to occur at the mid-tier schools who want to preserve their reputions, even if that reputation is strictly local. That is where the bloodbath may occur. Schools like Santa Clara will not be effected (financially).

    1. Santa Clara sees itself as a mid-tier school, well above USF and Golden Gate. Perhaps reality will force them to take all comers and become more of a Cooley as schools like Hastings trim classes.

    2. Yes, and Cooley sees itself as second only to Harvard. A school's self-image doesn't amount to shit.

    3. "Yes, and Cooley sees itself as second only to Harvard. A school's self-image doesn't amount to shit."

      It most certainly does when you're talking about internal behavior. At Cooley, no one balks at taking a 147 LSAT. At a school like Santa Clara, the in-house people may be more likely to draw the line in the name of integrity rather than, say, McGeorge, where the parent university isn't as notable in reputation, even though they're only a few USN spots apart.

      I would guess Santa Clara would resist going deeply in the 140s and would rather tone its classes down and focus on its core areas, while McGeorge or USF seem more likely to dumpster dive at will.

    4. What does it take to get a 147 on the LSAT? I don't have any concept of how that could be the best someone could do unless they had some kind of disability or extreme disadvantage.

    5. After a decade in the biz, I can tell you I've had many MANY students who never got close to a 150. They're simply people who, through some combination of genetics and upbringing just aren't "readers". They're just not good at taking in written information and thinking in the particular formalisms that the test requires.

      Some of these people were of totally normal intelligence, some were actually quite bright, although most were kinda dim.

  16. "Nice post LawProf. However, these criticisms of you are only going to get more frequent and more ridiculous as the noose tightens around law school administrators."

    If you smell desperation now, wait a few months. Law schools can still hope that they can fill their classes come next September - but since there seems to be a preference cascade underway, it is possible that the fraction of students taking the LSAT who actually enroll will drop sharply, and there may be noticeable attrition from 1L and 2L classes, as word gets out that you should drop out of most law schools if you are not in the top quarter of your class. Wait until June, and just see what the law schools start doing to fill places...

    1. I know the schools will be desperate. But the students should be even more desperate.

      I am still confused as to why people continue to apply and attend any law school (outside of Stanford or Yale) with such enthusiasm. Why do people see the drop in numbers of applicants and think that means this is a great time to apply. Why do they still believe that being a lawyer is a path to a highly remunerative career?

      People just still don't seem to understand that even top schools may not lead to employment. Just yesterday a commenter thought that including UVa in a list of schools with terrible employment outcomes was "trolling."

      What does it take to get the idea out?

    2. There's a very very small slice of kids for whom this year may actually be a good time to apply - kids with like 167 LSATs who in the past would've been happy to get into any top twenty-ish school are now in a position to apply to, get into, and GET A FULL RIDE at some really decent schools.

      While the opportunity cost is still pretty huge, I have a tough time telling a kid not to take a full ride with no stips while the getting's good.

    3. Don't forget the cost of living and the opportunity cost of not doing something else for three years.

    4. "Why do they still believe that being a lawyer is a path to a highly remunerative career?"

      Because for a notable minority of people, it is an instantaneous "highly remunerative career."

      You can be a complete idiot of middling achievement. If you just go to law school and rank in the top [x]%, some stupid firm will pay you six figures for office work. So, the thinking goes, a brain-drain at the top means even MORE mediocre people can bag those six-figure salaries.

      The biggest problem, and why idiots still "believe" in the law is that the law doesn't work under normal economic rules.

      The first illusion is career trajectory. While you may start at $160k, there is a 90% chance that is the most money you will ever make. The only other career where that applies is athletics. Most careers have their peak earnings in the 40s and 50s, and law students likely assume that even if start at 160k, it's only more from there, or that even if you START at 50k, you'll keep going up.

      The second illusion is starting associate salaries. Under normal economic rules, no associate position would be paid more than 40-50k. Why would they? There's literally 2-3x the applicant pool as there are jobs. But law is different. Big firms aren't paying for someone to sit at the desk and do mundane work; they're paying for your credentials that they can sell to clients to justify high billing rates, even if the work is pedestrian. They're also paying a premium to scout partnership material and find the next rainmaker, which they can't do by paying 40 year old washouts to do said crap work.

      The third illusion is the hierarchy. People think if you just miss BigLaw, that you'll easily get in at a government agency or smaller firm or legal aid (LOL). Baloney. After the primo jobs have hired, it's purely about who you know. Similarly, the idea that the top [x]% of students are the ones who get the [x]% jobs is unfounded. I was top 6% at a T2/3. I have had three interviews in the last six months. There are people from my class who are objectively slow-witted who are working at solid firms making 70k.

      The fourth illusion is the associated optimism bias/graveyard effect. People do not see the top 6% grad sitting on his butt writing blogspot comments. They see the middling grad making bank. It is VERY easy, when you are 22 years old, to believe that you will NOT be a failure, and to discount objective evidence that you're walking into a minefield. Cuz if you were in WWI, you just would've traipsed right through no man's land without getting shot. In twenty years, all these cocky little brats are going to be JUDGES and not SOLOS looking for opportunities to GET OUT. But these special snowflakes will never, ever be in the really high amount of attorneys who take up drinking, drugs, or unethical conduct. Oh, no, not them. They'll be arguing international civil rights cases before SCOTUS.

    5. The related 5th illusion is that law has a stable career path, that even if you struggle now or can't find a spot, they'll be one for you in time and that once you have a position, it'll be easier to find them in the future. Oh, heck, no. Look at job listings and see how many you can find that look for people 10+ years out. I dare you. The last call for associate hiring seems to be when you hit 8-10 years of experience. After that, everyone expects you to have your own book of business or start your own firm. Not a businessman or salesman? You're screwed.

      The 6th illusion is that EVEN IF law doesn't work out, the JD won't inhibit you from finding generic work in another field, because there's just no way the JD is as toxic as people say it is, and surely the deans aren't lying when they claim it's versatile, and surely even if it WERE toxic, I can overcome it because I'm SPECIAL. No one can truly understand how awful the JD is perceived until they've been rejected for a completely mundane job requiring only a high school education. When you can't find a legal job, you WILL be rejected for jobs you are "over"-qualified for. HR people do not see you as a well-rounded person. They see you as butt-fucking lawyer who wants to make hay and bide time until a Boston Legal job comes open.

      The 7th illusion is that this is worthwhile, life-affirming, interesting work. There's a reason the law schools don't want you working until you're a 2L.

      The 8th illusion is that IBR/PAYE minimizes the financial risk involved in taking out gobs of debt. No, no, and no. Also, many employers can legally look at your credit report and their eyes will dart out of their heads when they see that you have $250k in debt. Many think 60k in debt is risky, and many (especially older) have very strong moral objections to "deadbeats."

      The Grand Illusion is that going to law school will probably make you a deadbeat at some point in the next 40 years. Today, you might get a job in BigLaw. In 5 years, they will probably spit you out. You might land somewhere, but unless you're in the anointed few who get govt/in-house for life, you'll be expected to float on your own some day, and your JD will not save your imploding financials and mental health.

    6. Craig, about two weeks ago I met an older lawyer in town for coffee. He's a respected, connected guy who has done hiring for his firm in the past. He told me that someone willing to take out six figure student debt, to him, lacks the common sense and decision-making ability to be a viable candidate for a job. I'm not saying he's right or wrong. But there's the reality, straight from the source. Think about this screwed up system. Law schools charge so much money that the only way for some people to get into the profession is by taking out so much money in loans so as to be a poor candidate for the people hiring in the profession. Talk about "access."

    7. @10:32
      I still think a kid with a 167 should try something else first. Next year might even be better for applications( I am sure it will be) and maybe they can retake and do even better.

      A 167 is looking good to admission officers desperate to hold onto medians. Why is that? Simply because the higher score folks are taking their talents to another profession. Those higher scores could get the scholarship that is now tempting the 167s.
      But, guess what, the high scorers understand the scam. They understand that law schools have lied about employment for decades. They understand that even a free ride can cost a fortune in costs and living expenses that they may have to borrow. They understand that the chances of a long term career in law is uncertain at best and that even if you get it, biglaw is a soul-sucking grind for the money. So these high scorers are choosing other careers.

      My feeling is that the 167 scorer is feeling like they have won the lottery instead of understanding that they are near a cliff. The 175 scorers understand the cliff, but the 167 doesn't see it.

      Yes, the 167 may have significanlty less debt than they would otherwise (maybe only $100,000 or even less if they live at home or have a working spouse), but if they don't get or keep a job, what good will the law degree do them?

      This is getting back to the question of whether a law degree is worthless. Or at what price is a law degree not worthless.

    8. @ Shawn Spencer: that is just another indication of how out of touch the boomer lawyers are with the current cost of law school. They don't understand the current cost, and, quite rightly, they probably would never have borrowed the money if law school was comparably expensive when they went to school.

      I agree that taking on that much debt shows great irresponsibility - but you have to recall also the lies about employment that made it seem the debt would be easy to repay.

      I hate those lying liars at law schools for what they have done to our profession for the sake of greed (their own and that of the parent institution.)

    9. "I still think a kid with a 167 should try something else first."

      What else, though? I scored a 168. I had a dead-end job making like 30k. I already screwed up by majoring in lib arts, so engineering/accounting/medicine/etc. were all out.

      My options at the time were basically: 1) apply for next job up ladder, look to make about 40-50k/year.
      2) get an MBA
      3) go to law school
      4) go back to community college and do enough to either get a trade or take the coursework to get a masters in something computer-related.

      I caught on that (2) was a joke. (1) was an illusion - no one wants a dead-ender unless they can either sell or already have professional management experience. Between (3) and (4), I let the charlatans convince me that law school would see a positive return on investment with my severely-discounted tuition.

      Not that going back and learning networking or programming would have fo' sure opened doors, but I would certainly rather have that skill set than whatever that shit in law school was.

      Anyway, the point is that the 167 scorer who has limited work experience has very few legitimate opportunities and they're RIPE for buying the law school myths because they think they should be doing something "good" or "better" than what they're doing.

      People on here mention start-ups and other vague opportunities, but I have yet to either see these mythical beings or figure out how to land in one. People always seem to have hidden answers and "know" how to land good jobs with a BA or a JD, but then if you ask about them, they hush up. Everyone I know who landed a good job out of undergrad either got extraordinarily lucky on the interview circuit or use networking, almost exclusively the latter.

    10. @11:27,
      Even if many of the lies were true it still wouldn't be a good idea to borrow that much for school. Even if the NALP published salary rates of $60K per year were true it would be hard to pay off $200K in loans.

    11. I was talking about the schools lies of six figure salaries. I agree that no one would borrow $200,000 for a 60,000 job.

  17. I hope someone can keep track of transfer numbers for next fall. 1L attrition is going to be VERY bad. If one can extrapolate anything from the conversations one hears time and again from 1Ls, it is that. They are giving the wheel a spin and taking their chips after one year (rather than spinning twice more) if things don't hit for them. Wise move. But it's going to make schools desperate to siphon off tuition-paying students through transfers. It will be wild.

    As to these criticisms? To be expected, LP. If you've got no argument, make fun of your opponent's moustache. Sleight of hand techniques that, sadly, law shills have gotten very good at employing for their own gain.

  18. Santa Clara is a law school that has many of the features that a law school likely to close exhibits.

    1. It is part of Santa Clara University - so a parent school would be closing a department.

    2. It has really nice buildings on the main campus, so the university could use them right away.

    3. Santa Clara University is ranked No. 2 by US News in the Regional University West category and 72 out of 600 top colleges by Forbes - while the law school is number 96 of 200 ABA schools, just 4 above being unranked. So the law school is badly regarded while the University has overall a good reputation - it hurts the university's image.

    4. Santa Clara University's endowment has taken some hits recently so it cannot be keen on propping up the law school.

    5. There a number of other law schools nearby (OK other than Stanford Lincoln and Silicon Valley look like jokes) - but still.

    Will it close in the next 12 months - probably not. But in a wholesale shakeout it has to be vulnerable. I's say layoffs are likely though and rationalisation.

  19. Craig's analysis above is very astute and comprehensive -- the talking points memo refuting each and every piece of the scam.

    1. Agree. We need to turn these into a manifesto and leaflet undergrad campuses with copies.

    2. Thanks, anonymouses. I got on a roll.


    The credit reporting agency Moody’s said on Wednesday that it had revised its financial outlook for colleges and universities, giving a negative grade to the entire field.

    For the last two years, Moody’s Investors Service gave the nation’s most elite public and private colleges a stable forecast while assigning a negative outlook to the rest of higher education. (Moody’s assigned a negative outlook for the sector in 2009, but it upgraded the most elite ones to stable in 2011-2012.)

    On Wednesday, Moody’s explained the change by saying that even the best colleges and universities faced diminished prospects for revenue growth, given mounting public pressure to keep tuition down, a weak economy and the prospect that a penny-pinching Congress could cut financing for research grants and student aid.

    The report advocates “bolder actions by university leaders to reduce costs and increase operational efficiency.”

    1. I love the way the rating agencies now control the entire damn world.

      But will this have any effect? How can Harvard or Yale be negative... and should they be working for growth anyway? Is that the prime concern of an educational institution?

  21. I like the third illusion and it is one that is not touched on enough. People think that top whatever percent guarantees a job. When people with the grades and credentials don't get a job or get no offered, there must be something wrong with that person! They must be a terrible interviewer; they must not do research on firms; they must have done a terrible job at their firm.

    We know this isn't true. There is no guarantee that top whatever will get you anything.

    This is the basis for the TLS mantra that you should only go to a school that you would feel comfortable graduating from at median (guess those below median are SOL no matter where they go unless YHS.) But this is just a protection, not a guarantee you will get a job to repay your debt.

    1. Sadly, a lot of people continue believing that well into 2L and 3L and keep pumping their grades.

      If you miss at OCI with the big firms and state agencies, the single best thing you can do is dedicate yourself to a private firm that has a history of hiring clerks/assistants and will possibly have an opening when you graduate. I've seen sub-median graduates land positions this way merely because the people they work with like them and know they can do respectable work.

      I've also seen people with multiple prestigious internships and order of the coif wind up unemployed for 6-8 months after graduation and struggle landing anywhere permanently.

  22. Just tweeted a link to this site on the USA Network "Suits" twitter account. LOL

  23. "Since as Scott Lemieux points out Diamond also argues that a student accepted at both Stanford and Santa Clara “would most likely have very similar opportunities once [he or she] graduated,”

    If he can say that with a straight face, he will always have a future in sales...

  24. Why is there not an effort to email EVERY SINGLE professor at every single law school beyond 14 and to inform them about their law schools employment statistics. Put them all on notice about whatever fraudulent claims are being made by their schools. They're all "lawyers". Let them all know individually that their schools are committing frauds, and document this. Create PDFs.

    And save those emails documenting the contacts. Document everything.


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