Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Update: Drake Law School Cashed My Eight Cent Donation



What better way for this blog to count down to the New Year than by featuring Drake Law School? This is how the blog started, after all.

I called MoneyGram two days ago to check the status on my money order. I called 800-542-3590. The Money Order No. is R 103088591815.

The recording states: "This money order was cashed on December 21, 2009 for eight cents."

(If you get bored, you can call MoneyGram to confirm what I said here.)

You read that right – the Drake University Insurance Defense and Court-Appointed List Preparation Academy cashed my generous contribution to the Annual Fund. I pondered on whether to send the donation or not. At first, I thought “Why the hell should I give them anything? They put me an extra $37K in debt, took three years of my life, caused added (unnecessary) stress, and I now have a job that does not require a J.D.”

Then I reconsidered, after hours of tossing and turning in my sleep. I wanted to keep a promise to myself, when I said that I would never give the school a dime. But I also sought to also extend my sincere thanks and deep appreciation to this dynamic third tier institution. Once I made this decision, I wanted my gift to accurately reflect my gratitude for my “legal education.”

In the solicitation letter that accompanied the Annual Fund request and return envelope, the school notes:

Being good stewards is also seen in how we communicate with you. For example, for years we have printed an elaborate listing of donors. While some perused it, our sense was that many copies were not read. It was a very expensive piece for the value you received. With modern technology, and especially during the current economic conditions, we have suspended printing the booklet and instead put the information in electronic form online. Simply go to http://www.law.drake.edu/ and click the link Dean’s Report and Honor Roll 2009 to access the same information. If you wish to have a printed copy, albeit in a less elaborate form, please contact Ms. Hannah Bretz at 515-271-1877, and she will arrange for one to be sent to you. The funds saved by putting this listing online will go directly to our highest priority expenditures, including scholarships and planning for the renovation of Cartwright Hall.

Read: “We will use the funds saved by putting the listing online to fatten the salaries of staff, professors and administration, i.e. our highest priority expenditures. WE CANNOT POSSIBLY REDUCE THE COST OF TUITION, as it currently stands at a mere $30,750 – and we are recognized as a “Best Value” by the illustrious, stupendous, neutral publication, National Jurist.

(Apparently, the school sees no problem with sending us printed solicitations 3-4 times per year – or with sending out voluminous, slick folders and glossy brochures to prospective law students. It also has no issue with sending out sales associates/representatives to law school fairs across the country. Why not put this information online, as a cost-cutting measure? Oh yeah, because then less people might apply to your school! So please spare us the obligatory “We are trying to save money” bullcrap.)

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cypress/nationaljurist0909/#/30

Yes, we can see for ourselves that Drake Law School is listed as the 57th Best Value, among all U.S. law schools. That is almost in the bottom of the first tier, in terms of value. After all, there are now about 200 ABA-approved law schools. (In 2008, the ABA listed 198 overall law schools.)

See how thrilled Drake is with this "honor":

http://www.law.drake.edu/newsEvents/details.aspx?eventID=bestValue2009

They are happy to be listed as the sixth best value among private law schools in the nation. I suppose that is an achievement of sorts – kind of like being nominated the sixth Best-Looking of your high school Chess Club. Then again, there were 118 private law schools as of 2008.

http://www.abanet.org/legaled/statistics/charts/stats%20-%205.pdf (page 3)

I want to extend a special message to Drake Law students: In a little more than 4 months, many of you – from the Class of 2010 - will have a better understanding of third tier reality. I doubt it will mirror Drake’s assertion/claim of 96.8% employment within 9 months, based off of 100% reporting.

http://www.law.drake.edu/admissions/?pageID=employStats

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dissecting the ABA's Numbers



INCREASE IN MEDIAN TUITION AND NUMBER OF LAW SCHOOLS


In 1985, the median in-state law school tuition (plus fees) was $1,792; in 2008, this figure was $15,621. That is one hell of an increase, in the span of 23 years, wouldn’t you agree? For non-residents at state schools, median tuition plus fees was $4,786 in 1985; by 2008, the median tuition figure was $26,436 for non-resident students. It gets worse. Feel free to grab a barf bag, before we go over the median tuition and fee amounts for private law schools. In 1985, this figure stood at $7,385; by 2008, the median amount towered at $33,985.

According to left side of this same chart, there were 101 ABA-approved private law schools in 1985. In 2008, there were 118 private law schools in the U.S. Likewise, there were 74 ABA-approved public law schools in 1985. By 2008, there were 80 such law schools. Over the course of 23 years, an additional 23 American law schools were accredited, built, opened their doors, and pumped out more JDs. Apparently, for $ome rea$on, the ABA felt that we needed more law schools and more unemployed JDs.

AVERAGE AMOUNT BORROWED


This PDF purports to show the AVERAGE AMOUNT BORROWED by law students, from 2002-02 through 2007-08. In the 2001-02 school year, the average student debt from a public school was $46,499; for private law school grads, the average amount borrowed was $70,147. For the 2007-08 academic year, law students from public schools borrowed – on average - $59,234; for private law school graduates, the average amount of student loans taken out was $91,506.

What is not taken into account by this chart is the fact that the market for lawyers is smaller now than it was 8 years ago. Also not allowed for is the reality that interest rates on student loans have generally gone up since 2001. I would hardly consider an 8.5% interest rate to be an accurate reflection of the “risks” taken on by the banks, i.e. these loans are federally-backed. As a result of higher interest rates, it will cost student borrowers MORE to pay these loans back. More students are also taking on private loans to pay for their education – with accompanying higher interest rates.

TOTAL JD ENROLLMENT AND NUMBER OF LAW GRADS

Here is an eye-opener: in 2008-09, the total J.D. enrollment in U.S. law schools was 142,922 students. Just look on the right-hand side of the top line.

On a related note, the ABA reports that there were 43,588 JDs produced in 2007-08.


This confirms the figure put out by NALP for the Class of 2008 – NALP reports 43,587 law graduates for 2008.


Can you say UNSUSTAINABLE?!?!

CONCLUSION: In the last analysis, job prospects for current law students - and recent law graduates - are very bleak. Overall, (1) the job market for law graduates has shrunk; and (2) it is now MUCH more expensive to get a law degree. The number of law schools has increased (which has DIRECTLY contributed to the huge oversupply of lawyers in this country). The ABA is AWARE of this situation, and yet it continues to accredit more law schools. There are NOWHERE near 43,587 available lawyer (or law-related) jobs in a given year - in the U.S.

There is a HUGE oversupply of lawyers in the U.S. due to the following reasons: (1) an increase in the number of applicants (the low-wage, service based economy - combined with fraudulent employment and salary figures from law schools - provides an impetus for this development); (2) increase in the number of law schools; (3) more schools willing to take in sub-par applicants; (4) the resultant, excessive total JD enrollment; and (5) law schools pumping out close to 45,000 freshly-minted JDs each year.

Despite what law professors from third and fourth tier commodes state, law school is a terrible investment and a foolish career choice. THIS IS NOT DUE PRIMARILY TO THE CURRENT STATE OF THE ECONOMY. This situation is the result of greedy law schools and the gluttonous ABA producing FAR TOO MANY law graduates - each year - over the course of several decades.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lemming Comment of the Year



In an earlier post featuring Third Tier Albany Law School, I received the following comment on December 16, 2009 at 9:19 am. I simply could not let this lunacy pass, without a response.

Anonymous said...
Oh my god! A recent graduate without a job in one of the worst economies America has ever faced with 10% unemployment! I can't believe it! Especially since all these law schools guarantee you a job and say they have 100% placemenet. Wait, that doesn't sound right. Also, the current Attorney General of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, went to Albany Law and it is on their website. An odd omission from such a seemingly balanced website.


Listen, kid. Andrew Cuomo is definitely WELL-CONNECTED. His father is former New York Governor Mario Cuomo. (Maybe you’ve heard of him?) Andrew also married into another politically-connected family, i.e. the Kennedys. He is the personification - the definition - of well-connected. He could have gone to Pace and still ended up as the State AG!

On a related note, Mario Cuomo went to St. John’s for law school. Does this make St. John’s a wonderful law school? I can see it now: “You too can become a compassionate, eloquent, brilliant advocate like Mario. Come to St. John’s.”

The fact that I left out Mario Cuomo’s son from the list does not take anything away from my central point about Albany Law School, i.e. that the school lists NOTABLE EXCEPTIONS to show prospective students that an Albany law degree is a great investment. I provided the link, so that readers could see the entire list for themselves. Hence, there is no reason to include the school’s entire list on my blog, Lemming.

In a similar vein, does the fact that Vice President Joseph Biden graduated from Syracuse Law School change the school’s ranking? It is currently in the third tier. “At Syracuse Law, we produce future vice presidents and chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”

Albany – if it cared about reality – could list the current positions (and not the names) of its recent graduates, i.e. doc review specialist, Biglaw associate, garbage man, insurance claims adjuster, broke solo practitioner/ambulance chaser, grade school teacher, federal court clerk, recovering alcoholic, unemployed, aide to the State Senate, night club bouncer, taxi driver, etc. The vast majority of graduates would NOT be successful, financially-secure attorneys. Get the point?!

Regarding Iowa’s law school, the heart of the matter is this: the poster above your comment relayed the story of a student who is supposedly ranked second in his class at a top tier law school. Iowa is currently ranked 26th by US News & World Report. They consistently hover around the top 25. This school certainly has some prestige. The guy is second in his class and on law review, and HE CANNOT FIND LEGAL EMPLOYMENT! This definitely presents a problem for your average law student who ends up at a lower-tiered school.

Do you understand that?!?! I suppose you are a pre-law troll from TLS, Law School Discussion, or lifeat160. If so, you are excused for your blatant ignorance. Your writing style reflects that you have not yet been admitted to law school. You also come across as immature. Furthermore, you seem to be wedded to the idea of going to law school – REGARDLESS of the facts.

Lastly, NO ONE mentioned that law schools guarantee their students a job. The fact that you feel the need to make things up FURTHER UNDERMINES your argument and your credibility. What you fail to point out is that most law schools do purport to have 93%-99% placement rates. (This is the case, even though NALP states that about 89.9% of Class of 2008 law graduates, "for whom empoyment status was known," were employed within 9 months of graduation.) That gives prospective law students the idea that they are, in fact, making a smart financial decision and a sound investment in their future.

The NALP figures are based on information collected by the individual law schools. So how can TTTTs continue to claim 94%-97.4% placement rates? Because there is no audit performed. It is based on the “honor system.” But then again, there is NO honor among thieves. Have you not seen the numerous comments on this and other sites, where grads claim their employment status and salary info were deliberately omitted by their law school, so that the school could report better numbers? How can YOU defend such practices?!?

I hope I answered your concerns sufficiently. How’s that for a stocking stuffer?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

On the Rack: Domino's Pizza School of Law



Look at how much the dean at the Domino’s Pizza School of Law was making in 2007.


According to the deposition testimony of Paul Roney, the CFO for all things Ave Maria, Law School Dean Bernard Dobranki is paid approximately $300,000 annually by the school and not the Foundation. The latest available IRS-990 statement filed by AMSL (2007) shows Dobranski receiving $365,699 in total compensation from the school. The 2007 990 from the Ave Maria Foundation does not list Dobranski as a donation recipient or an officer-employee. [Emphasis mine]

Bernard Dobranski was making $365,699 in total compensation from the school!! And why not? After all, he was serving as the CEO/educator of a privately-held corporation. A private company that receives an annual deluge of federal funds and taxpayer money in the form of government-backed student loans, that is!

The following are excerpts from the July 2008 deposition testimony of Paul Roney, the CFO for all things Ave Maria (Paul Roney):

Q. Bernie Dobranski is paid by the foundation?

PR. No.

Q. Who is he paid by?

PR. The law school.

Q. And the money is put into the law school by the foundation for his pay?

PR. No, not specifically.

Q. Okay. And he has a contract whereby he will be paid whether he’s employed as a dean of the law school or not; correct?

PR. For a period of time, I believe that’s correct.

It must be nice to be paid $365K regardless of whether one works or not.

For those of you not aware, Tom Monaghan is a wildly successful businessman who has owned Domino’s Pizza and the Detroit Tigers baseball club, among other investments. After selling Domino's, he decided to open up his own law school, providing an education under the Roman Catholic tradition. The school was originally located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The school opened its doors in 2000.

Anyway, pizza boy decided to move his school to Naples, Florida and the delivery was made earlier this year. I suppose Florida needed one more law school. Prior to Ave Maria’s move, Florida ONLY had eight law schools.


Tuition for those entering the law school in 2009-10 is $34,900. Expenses are estimated to be $20,879 for the same academic year.


Here is the school’s video regarding Career Opportunities and the Florida Legal Market:


Lastly, this fifth-rate law school is ranked in the Fourth Tier by US News & World Report.


Taking all these things into account, who in their right mind would pay to go to school here? You would be better off going to culinary school or managing a fast food restaurant. At least, you wouldn’t be strapped with massive student loan debt. You can access the school’s web site for further info, but you may get indigestion.

The school is also taking applications for the position of dean and president:


Just make sure to specify what toppings you want, and whether this is carry-out or delivery.

In all seriousness, Tom Monaghan is a businessman first and foremost - above all else. He sees this as a wise investment. (And you trolls/apologists out there thought law schools were not lucrative investments. Why else would we see so many private law schools popping up all over the place?)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

American Student Assistance – Student Loan Guarantor and "Public Servant"



Student Debt Statistics

http://amsa.com/policy/resources/stats.cfm

Go to the bottom of page 1 and onto page two of this link. This table shows the percentage of graduate students borrowing, by degree program.

As you can see, more law students – as a percentage – go into student debt than any other graduate degree program. Even a higher percentage than medical students! This is sobering. (Perhaps, there is a higher percentage of rich kids who go to medical school, and can simply rely on parents or a wealthy spouse to pay for their education.)

The chart shows that 88.60% of law students borrow money for their graduate level program. You read that right - EIGHTY-EIGHT POINT SIX PERCENT!! This same table shows the average law student debt load was $80,081. This is based off info from 2007-08.

About AMSA

http://amsa.com/about/

American Student Assistance® (ASA) is a non-profit, federally funded student loan guarantor that was founded in 1956. Guarantors traditionally assist the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to insure private lenders against the risk of default on college loans. But ASA champions a new role for the nation’s guarantors, one that better meets the needs of today’s students and families. [Emphasis mine]

From the bottom of this page, you can access their Corporate Brochure. (Coincidentally, if you print this eight-page document off, you will have an emergency reserve of toilet paper.) You can see on page 2 where their CEO talks about “focusing on delinquency and default prevention.”

On page 4, you can see where these vultures refer to themselves as “counselor to borrowers, service provider to the U.S. Education Department, consultant to financial aid professional, partner to lenders and public servant to society.”

One question: how in the hell can you refer to yourselves as public servants to society?!? You partner with the most egregious, insidious snake-oil salesmen – the upper echelons of the higher education industrial complex – and you are performing a public service?!?!? I guess strapping generations of motivated young people with massive student loan debt is a service – of some sort.

Page 5 notes that they help students make “the first step toward building good credit…” Read: “We help students by helping them bury themselves in student debt.” Yeah, that’s a GREAT way to help people! It’s also a tremendous way to start off one’s working life. Buying a home, getting married, and having kids can wait. You have an investment to pay off!!

Also, look at the bottom of page 5 – Delivering on public purpose:

As a nonprofit organization, helping students complete a successful program of college financing and repayment offers a variety of compelling public benefits, including a well-educated and fiscally responsible workforce.

Don’t forget to add well-educated, low-paid, financially insecure workforce.

If you have the stomach to peruse these materials further, you can see that the company purports to be concerned with saving tax monies.

These numbers only begin to convey our results: averting thousands of borrowers from student loan default problems…improving the performance of our partners’ portfolios…and saving our taxpayers millions – proving it pays to Think About Tomorrow. [Emphasis mine]

Yes, because you certainly care about taxpayers.

In the final analysis, the ASA is looking out for the interests of corporate executives and banksters. Just look at how they liberally employ corporate doublespeak, i.e. “counseling,” “wellness programs” and “compassion.” These vultures don’t give a damn about the student borrower. They simply want to make CERTAIN you pay back your loans.

Their primary purpose is to insure the private banking cartel against the risk of default on college loans. Just because they use “compassionate language” to describe their role DOES NOT make them different or unique from the other “non-profit, federally-funded student loan guarantors.”

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Eight Cents




As you can see from the image above, I donated $0.08 to my law school’s fund. That’s right - eight cents. What can I say? I was in a charitable mood. One nickel and three pennies – I figure this would send a message to the school’s administration. Of course, I donated this in the form of a Money Order. (I didn’t trust the school with my credit card or bank account info.) Even a co-worker noted that I should donate via money order. I sent this out on the morning of Friday, December 11th via U.S. mail.

I received a letter from the dean asking me to donate $125 to this campaign drive. I took this as a personal affront, as an insult. I was told by the school’s CDO personnel that they would do everything they could to help me find a job in the region of the country I was looking to live. They said this on May 15, the day of graduation. They said this just prior to the stupid ceremony. THEY DID NOT LIFT ONE FINGER TO HELP ME! Not one phone call. Not one email.

(When I was a student there, I got weekly emails from them, informing me of upcoming workshops on “writing resumes” or “how to highlight your personality in a cover letter.”)

I simply could not turn the other cheek, in this instance. I had to respond to Drake. And I did so by sending a money order, in the amount of eight cents. I also used the school’s envelope – since they will pay the postage. So it will actually cost the school money to receive it (and cash it). That’s what I call sending a message.

It did cost me fifty cents to purchase the money order. But it was worth every penny, to let the school know how much I care about them this holiday season. (Plus, I made the lady at the customer service booth laugh when I mentioned the amount; my co-workers also laughed with me when I brought up this idea.) After all, the school took three years of my life, caused extra stress in my marriage, and put me an extra $37K in debt. What is an additional fifty cents? Especially, since this amount did not go to Third Tier Drake.

I will track the order number, just to see if the school ever bothers to cash it.

I also sent the following letter with my generous donation:

December 10, 2009

Dean Allan Vestal
Office of Development
Drake University Law School
2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311-4505

Dear Allan,

This is all I can afford after graduating from your fine institution of higher learning, and not being able to find work as an actual attorney. I gave up three years of income, and went into more student loan debt so that I could look for work outside the legal industry. Thank you for relieving me of this time, energy, and money. As a token of my appreciation, please accept this earnest donation to the Law School Annual Fund.

Sincerely,

[Nando]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Three Law Schools Owned by One Company



Thank you to commenter Qazu, for this information. Phoenix Law School, Charlotte Law School, and Florida Coastal College of Law are owned by the same damn company!!


The InfiLaw System is a consortium of independent, community based law schools that is establishing itself as a leader in making legal education more responsive to the realities of new career dynamics.

The InfiLaw System includes Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, FL, Phoenix School of Law in Phoenix, AZ and its newest school, Charlotte School of Law in Charlotte, NC which opened in 2006.

Its mission is to establish student-centered, ABA accredited law schools in underserved markets that graduate students with the skills of a second-year associate and achieve true diversity programs aimed at student academic and career success.

In addition, InfiLaw provides an ongoing commitment to encouraging innovation, facilitating law school quality, fostering a humility-based culture, continuously improving the academic profile and outcomes of each school and securing funding for new campuses.

The fact that the ABA allows such a “consortium” to teach law shows that the ABA does not give a damn about prospective law students. You can also see that the consortium is planning to build new campuses.

Well, the "consortium" is actually a corporation, which is supposedly based out of Naples, Florida. It looks like Sterling Partners has invested in Infilaw Corp. Through Sterling’s website, you can also check out the bio of Infilaw CEO, Rick Inatome.

http://www.sterlingpartners.us/portfolio/index.asp?d_Company_ID=315


Look at the amounts charged by these respective schools.

http://www.phoenixlaw.edu/admissions/default.asp?PageID=16

Tuition $32,296 per year.

http://www.charlottelaw.edu/admissions/default.asp?PageID=16

Tuition and fees for FT student $33,242

http://www.fcsl.edu/finance/tuition-and-fee-schedule-20092010-academic-year

Tuition and fees per year for FT student - $32,662

Now, let’s take a look at the supposed job prospects for these students and graduates.

http://www.phoenixlaw.edu/about/default.asp?PageID=75

The position of dean is currently open. The school is taking applications for this illustrious position. The school does not currently mention employment figures for its graduates, on its web site.

http://www.charlottelaw.edu/careerservices/

As our career services takes form we will:

· Offer comprehensive resources to both students and employers that will serve as a platform for connecting with one another.
· Counsel students on new and exciting ways to use a law degree in our evolving culture with non-practice based opportunities.
· Continue to deepen and strengthen our already strong ties within the local and national legal communities to best assist our students with nurturing their own professional relationships.

Wow! I am sure this is a real comfort to current students. Let me guess. They also have 24-7 access to Simplicity too, right?! At least they don’t claim “99 percent employed within 9 months of graduation.”

http://www.fcsl.edu/aboutus

Florida Coastal claims a “Graduate employment rate after nine months was 96.6 percent in February 2008.”

Yeah, sure, and I can strike Derek Jeter out on three pitches. Do you have some actual proof to back up this claim? (I just want to make sure this is not some “error” or oversight on the part of the school.)

For $ome rea$on, the ABA feels that we need more law schools. Hmmm…I wonder why this would be the case. Never mind that the NALP reports that 198 ABA-approved law schools approve FAR MORE graduates than there are available attorney or (law-related) jobs. Apparently, we need more law schools! I suppose there are not enough JDs and “licensed attorneys” stocking shelves, selling insurance, teaching middle school, or waiting tables. The ABA feels that we need more of these types of graduates.

These three schools are regular advertisers on law school industry publications and mainstream newspapers. Each school has its own dean, and regional board of advisors. So, to the common eye everything appears fine. This company is blatantly out to make a serious buck. I am sure the ABA was aware of this, when it provisionally approved the schools. And Florida Coastal has already attained full accreditation from the ABA.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Open Letter to Iowa’s Law Dean and Her Responses



University of Iowa Lists Class of 2008 High Salary as $750,000

I got this info from a poster on JDU:

http://jdunderground.com/thread.php?threadId=8281

Here is the actual link to the PDF, entitled “The University of Iowa College of Law Career Services Statistics - Class of 2008.”

http://www.law.uiowa.edu/documents/cso_stats_2008.pdf

In response to this misleading material, I wrote the following email to Dean Carolyn Jones. It was sent out on Friday, December 4, 2009 at 3:56 pm.

To: carolyn-jones@uiowa.edu, karen-klouda@uiowa.edu

Dean Carolyn Jones
Director of Career Services Karen Klouda
College of Law
The University of Iowa
290 Boyd Law Building
Iowa City, IA 52242-1113

Dear Carolyn and Karen,

I recently came across a report from the law school, regarding Career Services Statistics for the Class of 2008. I have provided the link to that report, at the bottom of this letter. In that PDF, I see where the high salary for 2008 graduates is listed at $750,000.

While this may be the case, isn’t this a misrepresentation to prospective law students? For example, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young obtained his law degree in 1994, from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. At that point in time, Young was on his way to leading his team to a Super Bowl victory while earning the MVP of the National Football League. I won’t pretend to know what he was earning at that point in his career. But it is very likely that he was making about $4 million in annual salary. (This is probably a conservative estimate.)

Now, would it have been fair or accurate for BYU to say that the top salary for its law Class of 1994 was $4 million? Especially, when this particular graduate has never practiced law? Surely, another school would object to this, and argue that this is misleading and gives the false impression to potential law students that they can shoot for the top of the class and command such a HUGE starting salary, right out of law school.

If the University of Iowa is going to tout this figure on its recruiting materials, it should at least put out a disclaimer, such as: “This is not representative of a law firm salary for new associates.” Or “This person is not practicing law.”

Thank you for reading this letter.

[Nando]

(PDF link enclosed]

SCHOOL RESPONDS

Here are the responses, in full, from Dean Carolyn C. Jones. The first was sent out on Saturday, December 5, at 8:51 am. The second was sent out five minutes later.

Dear [Nando],

Thank you for your note regarding salaries for our law school graduates. The very high salary you note is quite high, but it is what was reported to us. In our reporting we do not limit our graduates' salaries (which is what we are asked) to those practicing law. Indeed, a number of our graduates do not end up practicing law, but may find existing careers enhanced or new opportunities open as a result of attaining a law degree. This particularly true for our graduates who enter the business arena. The College has reported the information we have in the format asked. We believe that law students are intelligent enough to know that these are not first year associate salaries even at the largest law firms. If students want to know about salary structures at law firms across the country, our Career Services office is certainly able to provide that information in counseling sessions with our students and alumni.

Thank you for your inquiry.

My best,

Dean Carolyn Jones

Response 2

Dear [Nando]-- I do think that a clarification might be useful for our stats. We will be adding that soon.

My best,

Dean Carolyn Jones

Some observations:
Notice how the dean states, “We believe that law students are intelligent enough to know that these are not first year associate salaries even at the largest law firms.” Okay, so the onus is on the prospective student to already know this.

One question: Then why put this on recruiting materials? After all, these figures are not meant primarily for the benefit of graduates. I’m sure not including such a disclaimer was just another one of those “errors” or oversights that law schools seem to be afflicted with.

Lastly, if you look closely at the PDF, you can see that the school claims that not a single solitary graduate was unemployed and seeking employment!! Add up the numbers, so you can verify (or disprove) what I just said. I guess they count ANYTHING as employment, i.e. stocking shelves at a warehouse, nightclub bouncer, PT sales clerk at a record store, bartender, yoga instructor, plumber’s assistant, etc.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Penetrating Look at NALP's Numbers



The figures in this entry are furnished by the National Association for Law Placement. Specifically, these numbers are from NALP’s Class of 2008 Selected Findings.


According to page two of this PDF, “Scope of Employment Data,” the nation’s 198 ABA-accredited law schools produced 43,587 graduates in 2008. (Not mentioned is how many JDs the non-ABA accredited law schools pumped out.)

Now look at the number of jobs where bar passage was required: 30,334.

Going by these numbers alone, 13,253 JDs from the Class of 2008 COULD NOT HAVE BEEN HIRED AS ATTORNEYS, even if they had wanted to, i.e. 43,587 – 30,334. Also, using these figures, we can see that of the 43,587 JDs, about 69.6% of them were employed as lawyers within 9 months of graduation, i.e. 30,334/43,587.

(Surely, there were quite a few who passed a bar exam and can now call themselves “attorneys at law.” However, if that does not help you pay the bills, what is the point of having the license? So you can continue to pay fees to an organization that probably does not know you exist?)

Here is something else to consider: how many of the fortunate 30,334 are (or were) working as solos or in family-run firms?

From the last column on page 1:

Of those graduates for whom employment status was known, 74.7% obtained a job for which bar passage is required.

So, the NALP essentially concedes that ABA-approved law schools PRODUCE FULLY 25 PERCENT TOO MANY JDs. I understand that not everyone goes to law school for the express purpose of someday becoming a lawyer, but this is ridiculous. Surely, more than 75 percent of those in law school wanted to be lawyers at some point.

Look at page 1 – opening paragraph, first sentence. If NALP claims 89.9% employed within 9 months (for those whom employment status was known), how the hell can TTTs and TTTTs claim 95% or 99% employment rates? This simply doesn’t add up.

I also like how NALP notes that employment rates for law graduates are “considerably higher” than those from much of the 1990s. Yes, before the dot-com bubble. And when there were less law schools and less competition for legal jobs. It seems that law grads would have had it better in those economic times. Perhaps the employment rates are significantly better now because the schools simply got more creative in formulating their placement rates? I doubt it has anything to do with CDOs employing better methods to help law students out.

(For instance, my CDO told me to include my hobbies in my resume - in a different subheading. Yeah, because employers really give a crap that I enjoy reading, photography, and playing chess. I’m sure these things would have set me apart from other applicants.)

Let’s look at another revealing statistic: 977 JDs were enrolled in an advanced degree program. In what other professional degree program do you see in excess of 2% of graduates pursue another advanced degree? And these are the grads we know of! Do dental or medical school grads pursue another advanced degree within 9 months of graduating, instead of taking their licensing board exams?

Conclusion
In the final analysis, law schools produce FAR MORE graduates than there are available attorney (or law-related) positions. This NALP “Selected Findings” study confirms this. You industry apologists out there can try to spin this, BUT REALITY IS STARING YOU SQUARELY IN THE FACE.

I realize this is only a snippet of information. If you want, you can purchase NALP’s “comprehensive” Jobs & JDs: Employment and Salaries of New Law Graduates - Class of 2008. The price is $65 plus $8 standard ground delivery, for NALP members; the cost is $90 for non-members. As for myself, I would rather spend $90 on important things, like food, heat, bills, etc.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Look at preLaw Magazine's Ads and Propaganda




Here is the Fall 2009 edition of preLaw magazine, a National Jurist publication. You can click on the link and follow along by flipping the pages with your arrow keys (just to make sure I am not making this up).

This is a list of law schools that purchased ads in this current issue: Chicago-Kent, Michigan State, Ave Maria, DePaul, Thomas Jefferson, Mississippi College, Massachusetts School of Law, Seattle University, U. of Memphis , Wayne State, Phoenix School of Law, John F. Kennedy University, U. of Washington, Hamline, Stetson, University of St. Thomas, UNC, Quinnipiac, Hofstra, Touro, Florida Coastal, Regent, University of La Verne, New England.

The following schools appeared in ads masquerading as actual articles: South Texas, University of Dayton, Charlotte School of Law, Minnesota, Drake, and Florida State.

[DISCLAIMER: I may have missed a few of the ads, but you get the point. I also did not address the ads from vendors such as Princeton Review or Access Group. This entry is already lengthy.]

Now among these two lists, I can only see a few “top tier” law schools (based on the 2009 edition of USN&WR’s graduate school rankings): Minnesota (number 20), Washington and UNC (both ranked at 30). To the second tier: FSU is 52; Chicago-Kent and Seattle University are both ranked at 77 (with six other schools!); DePaul is 87; and Hofstra sneaks in at 100 (what a magnificent accomplishment!). The following vendors are in the third tier: Drake, Michigan State, Quinnipiac, Stetson, Memphis, University of St. Thomas, and Wayne State.

We now look at those in the fourth tier: Ave Maria, Florida Coastal, Hamline, Mississippi College, New England School of Law, Regent, South Texas, Thomas Jefferson, Touro, Dayton.

Charlotte, Phoenix and La Verne are not even in the “top four tiers” of law schools!?!

But to their credit, Charlotte does have the decency, humanity, and common courtesy to charge its students $31,754 in tuition for the 2009-2010 academic year. What a great deal – a steal really.

Well, at least Phoenix ONLY charges $32,296 in tuition per year for its FT students (this is only tuition; there are also SBA Dues of $35, a “New Student Fee” of $75, and General Fees of $737 - just for good measure).

http://www.phoenixlaw.edu/admissions/default.asp?PageID=16

And, thank goodness, Fourth Tier La Verne charges its students a reasonable, minimal amount in tuition: $37,630 for full-time law students. I am glad to see that the school is honest enough to list this figure under Basic Consumer Info; students are customers/consumers of services, after all.

Finally, I simply could not find John F. Kennedy University or the Massachusetts School of Law. They could not make it into the illustrious top five tiers of law schools. However, Massachusetts MUST be a great law school, as National Jurist sees fit to hire one of the school’s law professors as an editor. This “legal scholar” recently referred to those exposing the law school fraud as conspiracy theorists:


But there is one nagging detail about this particular school – it has apparently failed to gain ABA accreditation, even though it has been operating since 1988. But let’s not get stuck on details like this – after all, the school is accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_School_of_Law#Accreditation

John F. Kennedy University School of Law also does not currently have ABA accreditation. However, it is approved by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California. And that is all that really matters anyway, right?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Kennedy_University#School_of_Law

And here you thought law schools were mere cash cows. Can’t you see what a great public service these schools are performing? They are – according to the industry itself – providing affordable, practical curriculums and producing future leaders in law, business, and academia.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Response from S.J. Quinney College of Law


Yesterday, I received a response from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. Here it is, in its entirety. This was sent out on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 11:02 am.

RE: Employment statistics

Dear [Nando],

This is a response to your message emailed to us on November 18. We have been unable to reply due to one or both of us being away from the law school on business until Friday the 20th. Thank you for bringing to our attention the employment data contained on the Facts-at-a-Glance information sheet we have been distributing at law fairs earlier this fall. Your close reading of the material did identify an error we had missed in the production of the sheet. The salary statistics refer to employment data for 2008 graduates working in private law firms. The data we intended to place in that section of the fact sheet was data for all employed graduates of the Class of 2008 working in all sectors of employment that are reported to National Association for Law Placement. This was an inadvertent error on our part and we regret any inaccurate impressions it may have created. We will be posting a message on our website and sending email messages to candidates who visited our tables at law fairs acknowledging our mistake and correcting the information. The overall median salary for the Class of 2008 that should have been listed was $62,400 and the overall range was $25,000-215,000. [Emphasis mine]

We would like to provide some context to how the data found its way on to the Facts-at-a-Glance you reviewed. The professional design and production of our recruitment materials were delayed this year. In order to have the most commonly requested information available for events, we had to create an information piece in-house. The fact sheet you picked up was that document. We were limited in space we had available for data in the in-house fact sheet. To accommodate for this limitation in the employment section we elected to simply give the overall median salary, full salary range and employment rate for the class of 2008. Normally, with professionally designed materials and on our website, we are able to list salary ranges and employment distributions for all the categories from the National Association for Law Placement survey. Obviously, the proofing of the in-house document did not catch the employment section error. Associate Dean Aguilar accepts full responsibility for this error. The links to the pages on our website that provide the accurate employment information are:


In your message you also asked if we would be willing to submit our figures to an outside, independent audit. If you are requesting to view the individual survey response information submitted by members of our Class of 2008, that request must be denied because of the sensitive nature of the salary information provided and the assurance of confidentially assured to our students. If you have any additional questions about our students’ employment, please feel free to contact our Director of Professional Development, Anneliese Booher. She has been cc’d to this message.

Thank you for your interest in our program and bringing to our attention the error on our Facts-at-a Glance.

Reyes Aguilar Hiram Chodosh
Associate Dean Dean
University of Utah University of Utah
SJ Quinney College of Law SJ Quinney College of Law


I give the school credit for responding to my letter, and doing so in an honest and forthright manner. This is refreshing. However, it is unnerving that this had to be brought to the school’s attention by a disgruntled JD. (Who knows? Maybe the law school knew about this and intended to keep it under wraps until it was brought to their attention.)

I love how the response is structured. In the first paragraph, the school thanks me for pointing out an "error." By doing so, it denies any attempt at fraud or deception. It then lists the "proactive course of action" the school will undertake to correct this mistake. Paragraph two offers excuses and explanations for the numbers - apparently, it is not entirely their fault. In the last substantive paragraph, the school hides behind "privacy concerns" as the reason why it cannot (read: will not) submit its employment figures to an independent audit. Also note that the associate dean for admissions and financial aid is the one who falls on his sword for the school.

The overall median for the Class of 2008 at Quinney was $62,400. Not exactly a great figure. Also, the salary range of $25,000-215,000 seems more accurate. So, this simply shows that you can indeed graduate from a “first tier law school” and still end up making $25K a year. What a great investment, huh?!?!

Fact: the S.J. Quinney College of Law is ranked significantly higher than Seton Hall’s law school. Yet, Seton Hall purports that - among its last graduating class - those in private practice earned a median starting salary of $125,000. This is brazen fraud. This raises the question: How many other law schools blatantly fudge their numbers?!

I want to thank all of you who have commented on this blog - even those of you who act as industry apologists. You have helped make this a better, more informative site. Those of you who commented on my last entry stating that the purported average starting salary of $89,021 was wrong have been vindicated by the school’s response. The school has acknowledged that this figure was incorrect and based on an error.

Lastly, as much as I would rather not spend Thanksgiving further informing my in-laws of the law school scam, it is better than eating crow!! (However, my existing student debt load will make it hard for me to digest the JD from my third tier turkey law school.)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Open Letter to University of Utah Law Deans



OPEN LETTER TO DEAN HIRAM CHODOSH AND DEAN REYES AGUILAR

I sent the following email to the “associate dean for admissions and financial aid,” Reyes Aguilar, and Dean Hiram Chodosh of the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. The email was sent on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 12:46 pm. No changes have been made to this letter (other than redacting my name for purposes of this blog and including “a” in front of “100% response rate”). If anyone wants to see the original email sent out to these two men, you can email me and I will forward you a copy.


Employment statistics
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 12:46 PM
From:
"[Nando]"
Add sender to Contacts
To:
reyes.aguilar@law.utah.edu, hiram.chodosh@law.utah.edu
Message contains attachments
1 File (277KB)
Utah.pdf


Dean Hiram Chodosh
Dean Reyes Aguilar
S.J. Quinney College of Law
University of Utah
332 S. 1400 E., Room 101
Salt Lake City , UT 84112

Dear Reyes and Hiram,

Gentlemen, on your school’s materials, it states that 98% of graduates from the Class of 2008 were employed within 9 months of graduation. And, according to the representatives from your school, this is based off of [a] 100% response rate to the graduate survey.

The same material also claims that the median starting salary is $89,021 for the Class of 2008. Is this counting private and public employers? Is this also counting those graduates who are working in non-law positions? Does this median figure include those working as retail and insurance salespeople, school teachers, clerks, and research assistants?

Lastly, the school lists a starting salary range of $42,000-$215,000. So, does this mean that not one single graduate from 2008 found a job making less than $42,000? I find this incredibly hard to believe – isn’t there a large oversupply of lawyers and JDs in the U.S.? Since your school publishes and presents these figures to attract more applicants, would you be willing to submit these figures to an outside, independent audit?

Thank you.


[Nando]

(I have attached a copy of the S.J. Quinney College of Law “Facts at a Glance” handout that was supplied at the recent law school fair.)

Evidently, these men are NOT WILLING to submit their purported employment and starting salary statistics to an independent audit. They couldn't even send a reply to my letter.

I suggest you write a similar letter to your local law school representatives, or to the law school of your choice. (Make sure you do not attack them personally or slander them in any way - you simply want information from them.) ASK THEM TO PRODUCE PROOF of their placement success. Then send the your letter to law blogs or to local or national newspapers. The schools can easily redact any identifying info, such as name of firm, graduate, etc. Isn’t this what lawyers and law students are trained to do, i.e. ask questions, uncover information, and ask for proof?!?!?

Hold their feet to the fire. Offer to debate them in a public forum. Contact the newspapers or local radio station. I am sure there will be some interest. This is more likely to get results (or news coverage) than asking your respective State AG Office or DoJ to investigate the law school cartel.

Monday, November 16, 2009

$u$piciou$ Law $chool Employment $tati$tic$


Here are some supposed employment figures gleaned from my recent trek to the law school fair at the Grand Ballroom at the University of Utah. Take a look at the following schools and their purported, respective numbers – these figures are based off of the glossy brochures and “fact sheets” handed out by the law schools at this particular fair.

If anyone disputes these figures – including representatives from the schools - you can e-mail me at nando9936@yahoo.com and I will be more than happy to furnish you with a photocopy of the figures you want.

University of New Mexico – 93% placement rate for Class of ‘08

Villanova – 95% employed or seeking another advanced degree, within 9 months of graduation

Seton Hall University – 94.7% employed (with 100% reporting); private practice annual median salary was listed as $125,000.

Albany – 94 percent employment rate

Cardozo – 94.3% hired within 9 months of graduation (with a supposed 97.8% report rate)

Utah – 98% employed (100% reported, according to the sales agents at the S.J. Quinney booth); average salary is listed as $89,021, with a salary range of $42,000-$215,000

Pace – 94.3% employed or pursuing another advanced degree for Class of ‘08

St. John’s – 96 percent employed for the Class of 2008

Whittier – 91.0% employed or in degree programs for Class of ’07 (according to the “At a Glance” handout); If we go off the “Whittier Law School Class of 2007 Employment Report,” 91.4% of survey respondents were employed, 3.9% are pursuing a degree full-time, 3.0% are unemployed but not seeking work, and 1.7% are unemployed and seeking work. The purported response rate was 96.68 percent.

UCLA – “UCLA Law At a Glance” states that the employment rate is 99.1% for the Class of ’08; Median starting salary is allegedly $160,000.

[I apparently misplaced the information from these schools: Kansas University, Roger Williams, and Touro College. The materials for the following schools did not provide “concrete” figures for employment or starting salary info: Columbia, Indiana-Bloomington, and Pitt.]

TTR analysis:

Apparently NO ONE who graduated from the University of Utah’s college of law in 2008 FOUND A JOB MAKING LESS THAN $42,000! Sorry - Utah is known as a low wage, non-union state where employers (including the government) do not pay much. Nice try, though.

Whittier and Pace are both fourth tier, fourth-rate law schools, but yet both claim that more than 94 percent of their 2008 graduates were employed or seeking a degree. Well, I want to see the breakdown of those figures by job type, industry, wage, median salary, full-time vs. part-time, etc. I also want to see how many of these schools’ grads are working as baristas, bartenders, nightclub bouncers, aerobics instructors, masseuses, parking enforcement, vacuum salesmen, doc review specialists, paid attorneys, unpaid legal assistants, paralegals, hotel managers, telemarketers, clerks, security, and law enforcement. And I want to see an independent audit by a renowned, reputable outside firm with no connections to the law school, university, or the ABA and state bar.

This actually goes for all of the schools listed above. The fact that the ABA does not require an independent outside audit of these employment and starting salary statistics SHOWS CONCLUSIVELY that the ABA does not care about the average law student. The students are a means to an end – nothing more.

The ABA accredits these schools. It could require the schools to submit to an annual independent audit of their supposed figures, in order for the respective schools to retain their accreditation. Law school is big business in this country. The banking cartel and the law schools (and the larger universities) make out like bandits. You – the lowly student – are the one left holding large sums of non-dischargeable debt. After being indoctrinated from the time you were in pre-school that "Education is the key," I guess it is just easier to punish you than it is to go after the perpetrators of this ugly lie. What a great system, huh?!?!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Drake Law School's Mission Statement




Mission Statement

Drake Law School prepares outstanding lawyers who will promote justice, serve as leaders in their communities and the legal profession, and respond to the call of public service. We are a welcoming and inclusive community distinguished by an accessible faculty and staff and a collegial student body. We provide an exceptional learning environment that integrates legal theory and the development of professional skills; promotes critical thinking and effective problem solving; examines international perspectives; and instills the ideals of ethics and professionalism.

The rank: Tier 3 – according to the 2009 edition of USN&WR’s grad school rankings

Tuition: $30,750 in tuition for 2009-2010

Total Estimated Cost: $48,760 for the 2009-2010 academic year


Now, re-read the school’s mission statement. We will now juxtapose this with an honest description. Here is how a truthful and honest mission statement from Drake should read:

Drake Law School prepares graduates to work in various and exciting capacities, such as tending bar; waiting tables; adjusting insurance claims; reviewing documents for mortgage companies and liability carriers; and teaching middle school. The vast majority of those Drake Law graduates fortunate to find work as attorneys will toil away in small boutique law firms, solo practice (fighting for small PI and fender-bender cases, against competent, experienced attorneys), county attorneys’ offices throughout the State of Iowa, and insurance defense. We provide an adequate learning environment whereby former burned-out lawyers instill legal theory into the minds of (hopefully) the next generation of practitioners. (After all, we are a third-tier school, located in the freezing, humid Midwest; we are in the top three tiers of American law schools – a notable achievement.) Our legal clinics are very good and impart practical skills, but we don’t want to upset the courts or the vigorous and petty prosecutors so don’t be troubled that we STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to take whatever deal the prosecutor initially offers; we simply don’t want to hurt our relationship with the courts. Drake also realizes that no employer hires people for their critical thinking skills, but we tout this virtue anyway. (It’s what law schools do.) At Drake, we also attempt to indoctrinate our students with the twin myths of “ethics” and “professionalism.”

However, if Drake or any of the other ABA-approved law schools were to be anywhere near this honest - even in their little-perused mission statements - then the number of applicants and aspirants might be reduced. And law school is all about maintaining job security for overpaid law “professors” (burned-out lawyers), admissions officers (used car salesmen), Career Services and other staff (parasitic appendages), and – of course - deans and university presidents (figureheads/fundraisers).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Next Up: Third Tier Commode Albany Law School


It is now time to examine a third-tier specimen. I dropped by the Albany Law School sales booth at the recent law school fair. So, naturally I will turn my attention to this school. It was the only TTT that I bothered to look at. As such, it is only fair that Albany receives its own entry on TTR.

Look at the “Cost of Attendance” at this tier 3 school; tuition is $38,900 per year! Well, let’s see what this gets you. At issue is whether this school is a wise investment.


Albany’s vague employment graph.


THE SCHOOL DOES NOT EVEN LISTING STARTING SALARY INFO. This must mean the school is tremendous, right?!?! And don’t forget that the current U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, is a graduate of Albany Law School. Vilsack was also an adjunct professor of law at my beloved Drake University (for about five minutes). Wow, this must have set him apart from the other candidates!! (Or perhaps, it was his willingness to gleefully do whatever the corporate farmers wanted that distinguished him.)

Lest you think I am being completely facetious, under the Prospective Students tab, the school features “Distinguished Alumni.” Such notables include William McKinley, from the Class of 1867; Robert Jackson from the Class of 1912; the afore-mentioned Vilsack (LW ’75); and David Josiah Brewer, from the Class of 1858. Surely, these people are NOT indicative of a present Albany Law student’s future prospects. But, for $ome rea$on, the school presents this list on the tab designed to attract more applicants.

Regarding Career Services for Albany Law students, check out this video:


This second-year student is put in the position of puffing up his summer internship in the Governor’s Office. The “Career Center” is doubtless busy finding work for the top ten percent of its graduating class. The others are left to scrounge for unpaid internships, looking for work on Craig’s List, etc. The fact that the “Career Center” touts 24/7 access to Simplicity is laughable!! This also indicates the low caliber of the school.

Lastly, we will look at the Albany area. The city has an estimated population of 94,172.


Albany’s current first-year class is 255 strong. Does an area this size really need more than 200 new JDs every year? Can such a small city support this amount of lawyers? I understand that not everyone will stay in the area (or even the State). But, it is plausible that the majority of Albany law grads will seek to stay in the area.

Even with the surrounding metropolitan area (including Troy and Schenectady), the population is about 857,000 people. It is highly doubtful that this much larger population base can support close to 250 additional JDs every year.

http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Products/Profiles/Single/2003/ACS/Narrative/380/NP38000US0160.htm

In the final analysis, this school is making millions of dollars off of naïve, young people who have been ingrained with the idea that a law degree will open up many doors to them. Those youthful dreams of “fighting for justice” will soon give way to tears, depression, bitterness, large monthly student loan payments, reality, and uncontrollable anger. If you are currently considering law school, remember that it is MUCH MORE LIKELY that you will end up in this situation than it is that you will make big bucks and be a successful, financially secure, and happy lawyer.

DO NOT FLUSH YOUR FUTURE AWAY ON THIS TOILET LAW SCHOOL. I don't care what the nice salesman on the admissions committee told you about the school. A Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School is designed for wiping your ass with – nothing more.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tier Four Law Schools Under the Microscope



I will highlight the fraudulent employment and salary stats of some of the school booths that I visited on October 20th. Today, we will look at the four Tier 4 schools (according to the 2009 law school rankings put out by USN&WR) that I looked at during the law school fair. We will examine tuition and employment/salary info for these schools.

Starting in reverse alphabetical order: Whittier Law School of Costa Mesa– tuition at this school is $37,060 for full-time students.

Whittier features “Employment on Campus.”

The materials and the sales rep state that the employment rate within nine months is 91.0% for the class of 2008 (with a response rate of 96.68%). But, for some reason, the school’s website does not list employment and starting salary figures. Why would the school’s site not tout this impressive employment rate?!?!

Next, we will look at Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, in Central Islip, NY. For the 2009-2010 school year, a FT law student will pay $39,000 in annual tuition from this toilet school. What a tremendous investment, huh?!?

As far as employment goes, this is the best info you will get from this TTTT – there is nothing specific, i.e. Class of 2007 employment statistics. Cool, you pay $39K a year for a JD from this dump, and this is the best employment info they can provide:


Roger Williams University School of Law, located in Bristol, RI, is up. The school lists tuition by credit hour – this is a nice way of trying to conceal the total cost from prospective students. However, based on the cost of $1165 per credit, we can figure that a FT student will pay $34,950 in tuition (i.e. 30 credit hours * $1165).


Here is a PDF, listing the employment breakdown for this school’s Class of 2008:


The school also features a page titled Impact of Credit History – I guess the school realizes many of its students will need to take out private loans to meet tuition.


Lastly, we will examine Pace Law School, of White Plains, NY. Tuition is currently $31,860 for a full-time JD candidate.


Look at this pathetic offering from the school – a video on Job Searching in the Current Economy:


Plus, Pace University “Employment Search Policy”:


There are also pages with regard to on-campus and student employment. In the final analysis, these schools are diploma mills. They are simply trying to squeeze as much money out of their students as they possibly can. These four schools KNOW that there is a gross over-supply of lawyers in this country. They are also AWARE that there is NOT a big demand among law firms, government or private industry to hire TTTT grads from Pace, Roger Williams, Touro, or Whittier.

The University of Colorado-Boulder (a tier 1 school) has admitted that only 35% of its recent graduating law class was employed at the time of graduation. Now imagine what this figure is for recent grads from these four toilet schools.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Low Wages For All



This article was brought to my attention by Lawyers Against the Law School Scam - http://lawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2009/10/mainstream-media-is-starting-to.html

Such uplifting news. Of course, the news media is always slow to react to such things. This has been the case for years. The Democrats and Republicans (really two prongs of a corporate machine) have sold the average working person down the river for the last 30-40 years. I know quite a few people with Master's degrees and law degrees who are unemployed. I was at my friend's house on Wednesday night, and the guy is pretty much done with medical school; he is now doing his rotations and then he will go back in May for graduation. He will start making about $49,000 a year as a podiatrist. This friend EXCELLED in med school - from the moment he started. As a result, he had his choice of rotations and residencies. Look where that got him!

I know, being a foot doctor is probably not the best decision in the world. But the malpractice insurance is relatively low, you can work in an office and have a regular schedule, you are not on call, and there are only about 300 slots a year in the U.S. In sum, this allows a doctor to have a normal family and personal life. Few med schools offer the program, and they do what they can to ensure that they do not collectively produce more podiatrists than there are available positions. If you go to med school to be one, you will ALMOST CERTAINLY have a paying job as a podiatrist. (This is not the same as law school, because the schools see it as their main priority to keep the cash cow going; this is why they produce 45,000 law grads every year when there are already too many JDs floating around.) This friend has over $220,000 in student debt, BTW.

We are in the early stages of a third world country - declining pay, longer hours, less career opportunities for the most educated part of the populace, less chances for advancement, no secure jobs, etc. I keep telling people who are interested in law school (or even MBA or a Master's of engineering): "Go on the cheap; know exactly what you want from the program/degree; realistically look at the job market for those in your field; and realize that you may earn the degree (and spend the time, money and energy on this pursuit) and end up EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE NOW!!"

For instance, I work with a policy analyst (from another firm) who is dead set on going to law school for a J.D. and Master of Public Policy. The schools she is looking at are not cheap, and she does not want to go to the state school. She is 36 years old, and she is pretty bright. I have told her that she needs to go cheap, and preferably get a full-tuition scholarship. When I told her that she might get the J.D./M.P.P. and end up as a policy analyst working for the same industry making the same amount she is now, she got upset. She has her heart set on this endeavor. I also have a friend who is currently teaching English in Korea. He wants to go to law school in New York City. I have referred him to my blog list and provided other helpful info.

In the final analysis, we simply cannot compete with countries/corporations that pay their employees a crap wage, have deplorable working conditions, and have little to no environmental or human rights provisions/schemes to comply with. "Education is the key" has been our national mantra for the last few decades or so. But the reality is that higher education is simply a business. The professors and university administrators are there to keep up the faith of their customers/students.

Monday, October 26, 2009

More Tripe from Drake 1L – Kid Still Elated Over Honor Code Lecture


Exhibit A

“During the seminar we got to hear from a great panel with Dean Vestal, Dean Lovell, Professor McCord and 2 students who are the Student Honor Board Members representing the 2L and 3L classes. Having students present gave us a student's prospective that I thought was very helpful.”

Two questions come to mind: first, what was so great about a panel composed of three overpaid law professors and 2 student honor board members? Second, what the hell is a student’s “prospective”? If you want a third tier law grad’s perspective, then check out my blog and look at the sites on my blog list.

“The Honor Code is very important. It holds professional students at the law school to a higher standard. It is helpful to know that all students will be held to a high ethical standard and that if students should make bad choices, there are consequences.”

Yes, the sacred honor code. Isn’t it sick and deplorable that LAW STUDENTS ARE HELD TO A HIGHER ETHICAL STANDARD than the thieving industry, the bar associations, the courts, the schools (which rely on misleading, incomplete salary and employment statistics to lure in unsuspecting victims), the professors (who perpetuate the lie further and make six-figure annual salaries in the process), and the larger universities (which view their law schools primarily as cash cows)?!??

Listen, kid: you can blow your nose with the school’s precious honor code. (In two and a half years, you can do the same with your third tier law degree.) That is what it is good for. It is there to give you the idea – the false impression - that law is an honorable, ethical profession.

I guess you did make a poor choice in deciding to attend a third tier law school. And you WILL pay the consequences, i.e. large student loan payments, landing a low-paying job after school, and - very likely - the inability to find work as an actual attorney. If you go solo, you may pay dearly if a client files a formal complaint alleging incompetence with the State Bar. You will pay – NOT the ABA-approved school that trained you and let you loose on the unsuspecting public.

Drake 1L Adam Kaduce concludes with: “It was a great seminar to continue to remind students of the high standard that we as law students and soon to be lawyers are held to.”

Yes, the “profession” of law is so ethical that the ABA allows U.S. law firms to offshore American legal work to foreign lawyers AND non-lawyers. See ABA “Ethics” Opinion 08-451. The ABA is fully aware that there is a gross oversupply of lawyers in the U.S. market, yet they continue to allow more law schools to be built. The bar associations and law schools KNOW that there are nowhere near enough lawyer jobs to satisfy 45,000 fresh JDs every year.

The law schools continue to perpetuate the lie that “A law degree will open up many doors to you, in industries other than law. One can do anything with a law degree.” The harsh reality is that a law degree will limit your job prospects, as non-law employers will wonder why someone is willing to pass up a large salary in the legal field to work for them.

The law schools are aware that recent graduates will be competing directly with lawyers who have 10-20 years experience for low-paying jobs!! Do you really think you have a shot at a Public Defender position, when there are hundreds of experienced, competent private defense lawyers who are willing to take this job, which likely pays $44,000?!?! JAG positions are EXTREMELY competitive right now. Hell, the ABA and the schools KNOW these things, but they would rather keep the façade up. They DO NOT CARE that you – the student – will end up in significant student loan debt with little chance of paying it back. Remember, you are nothing to them.

Exhibit B


“Tonight a bunch of 1L's went the a Des Moines Buccaneers games. The "Bucs" are Des Moines's Hockey team. I am convinced there is nothing like a hockey game in Des Moines. The chill of the ice rink with the passion of the fans, there's simply nothing like it!!! Taking in a Bucs game is a great way to start a weekend or enjoy a weeknight. You never know what you'll see. We were busy as we watched the game applying our knowledge of criminal law and torts as the players smashed into each other. We had a great time as the Bucs rallied late in the third period. The Bucs lost but we had a great time cheering them on!!!”

Exhibit C


Wow! This is sad beyond measure. I wonder how long it will take this guy to realize that law is not great profession he thinks it is. Actually, I rest my case - it's a lost cause. Many 1Ls do not find this out, until it is too late.
 
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