Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Booming Tennessee TTT and TTTTT Law School Market

Notice how I didn’t mention the booming Tennessee lawyer market? You see, the ABA does not take a shrinking legal market into account when deciding whether to accredit MORE diploma factories. They only care about the demand for law schools, created by a combination of desperate students, weak job prospects, a low-wage economy, and blatant distortions and falsehoods perpetrated by the law schools - on their self-reported info.


As you can see, Third Tier University of Memphis exceeded its fundraising goal of $12 million by $547,000.
You can also see that this third tier institution of higher learning received serious backing from major corporate donors and large law firms. Good thing a former dean of the law school conceived of an aggressive naming-rights campaign:


I guess it remains to be seen if firms such as Baker Donelson and Glankler Brown PLLC will be as generous when it comes to hiring Memphis grads.

The school decided to relocate and purchased some real estate in downtown Memphis. This acquisition was made easier with serious state funds:


The State of Tennessee allocated an unprecedented $42 million toward the renovation of the historic custom house, federal courthouse and most recently post office.

Couldn’t this money have been better spent - perhaps on actual job growth?! The State of Tennessee set aside $42 million for this scheme. And for what?!? To ensure that the legal market will remain over-saturated?!

There is more good news for the expanding law school industry in Tennessee. Lincoln-Memorial University in Knoxville opened the Duncan School of Law and enrolled its inaugural class in August 2009.


Fast forward to March 2009 and the fledgling program had already achieved Tennessee Board of Law Examiner’s approval to open and had begun accepting its inaugural class. By the end of that month, the LMU-John J. Duncan, Jr., School of Law, or LMU-Duncan School of Law (LMU-DSOL) for short, was building a name for itself by recruiting some of the brightest legal minds from all over the country to fill-out the faculty.

WOW! You were able to gain approval from the Tennessee Board of Law Examiner’s. Is that harder than getting approval from Jack in the Box’s board of directors? What a great accomplishment!! And yes, LMU-DSOL certainly is building a name for itself. That’s why no one outside of Knoxville has ever heard of this dump!!

Now let’s take a peek at provisionally-accredited BelmonTTTTT Law School:


The law school will have a cap of 350 students and be integrated into Belmont’s campus. [Belmont’s president] Fisher said the school has set aside the money for the first two years of operation and expects to break even by the third year. [Emphasis mine]

It cost Belmont University $25 million to launch this turd. And they EXPECT to break even by the third year of operation. Who says law schools aren’t lucrative?! The article itself notes that tuition and fees are expected to be about $31K-$33K a year.

In the final analysis, attending any of the newer schools would be financial suicide. You will be competing with Vanderbilt and University of Tennessee grads for legal positions. Even those grads are not guaranteed anything. VANDY LAW GRADS ARE WAITING TABLES!!!


Tennessee DOES NOT NEED another fourth or fifth-tier garbage heap, let alone two of them. The school administrators and the ABA know that many of these kids will end up with $100K in debt and no shot in hell of landing legal employment. This alone shows you that the ABA and the State Board of Law Examiner’s do not give a damn about future law students. They only care about their over-paid, under-worked law "professors" and administrators.


  1. Notice how they the Nady law school offered her temp employment so they could boost their ranking up a notch or two.

  2. Nando, what is vandy ranked? Top 15? Top 20? And they need to offer their grads temp work so they can claim a higher employment rate? But yet the TN board examiners and the ABA see fit to approve two more law schools. This is insanity, pure and simple.

  3. HOW CAN WE STOP THIS?! Save these kids! They don't have a f-cking chance.

  4. The picture of that garbage heap looks a little like Mt. Rushmore--nice irony. America's higher education in general is more about cosmetics than passing the torch to a younger generation.

    Hm. I have a cousin from Vandy Law. He stayed in the military...

  5. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/rankings

    According to the latest U.S. News rankings, Vanderbilt is ranked 17th. Shouldn’t the fact that Vandy JDs are waiting tables tell prospective law students that the industry is dying? Remember, this is the seventeenth most amazing, prestigious law school in the land. The students at LMU-DSOL and BelmonTTTTT do not stand a chance in hell of landing a great job, upon graduation.

    What is most disgusting is the fact that the state of Tennessee allocated $42 million to relocate a third tier trash can to downtown Memphis! Nearly as repulsive is the fact that the ABA approved two more law schools in the state, when students at the highest-ranked law school in the state are taking temp assignments and waiting tables.

    Law schools are cash cows. Do not fall into this financial trap. Law school deans will continue to make $300K a year for a do-nothing “job.” There’s no need for YOU to dig yourself into a deep six-figure hole.

  6. Nando, I appreciate all the work you've done on your blog thus far. It is so, so important what you're doing. The waiting tables thing: I did it after law school. I went to a wedding a couple years ago and the only other attorney at the wedding (he had graduated from Western New England) was bartending. This tells us something. And it's ugly. And make no mistake, this isn't just a couple "exceptions" to the overwhelming success of law grads. Also, this isn't "entitlement," which I often see posted. What's "entitled" about expecting A JOB in the legal profession after selling your entire future to debt servitude? After spending three years of hard work, passing the bar etc.? That's not entitlement. The fact that lawyers are waiters and bartenders really further solidifies law's equivalence to making it as an actor or actress in hollywood. The difference is 200K. And your future.

  7. Thanks for highlighting this travesty. I have known a few people who graduated at the top of their class at TTTTs who ended up tendig bar and waiting tables. What is really troubling is that people in TN have to be aware that Vandy grads are waiting tables. And yet, people are applying to belmont in droves. The Tennessean article stated that belmont had 650 apps for 100 slots. The other dump got 250 apps for 81 seats.

  8. Nando,

    When can we expect an article on the Chicago TTT schools? That would be Loyola, DePaul, John Marshall, and Chicago-Kent - should be enough to keep you busy for a solid week or so.

    I was dangerously close to matriculating into DePaul as a 1L last fall. I dropped out before the first week of classes after spending most of the summer reading about the decline of the legal profession.

    Anyway, I enjoy your writing and I hope you continue fighting the good fight at Third Tier Reality. Keep up the good work!

  9. Look for something on those schools in March. I will have a statistical analysis of the job market, and another entry on a second tier school coming up. I remember Chicago-Kent kept sending me solicitations in the mail, when I was applying to law school. Thanks for the suggestion, and for the encouragement.

  10. Please be especially harsh on Kent. As a student there I have observed a completely undeserved arrogance of being not quite Northwestern, but well above Loyola/Depaul/JM. I really want my peers to be knocked back to reality. Somehow, the fact that virtually no one in our class (2010) has a solid job offer has not been able to get them off their high horses yet.

    Please keep blogging! Stupid liberal arts degree holders from sTTTate schools like myself will continue to drink the Koolaid, but if you save even one person from TTT hell, it was worth it.

  11. I would also be interested in reading about the TT and TTTs in Chicago. I went to an admissions panel and the reps from DePaul, Kent and Loyola seemed pretty convinced that attending these schools will get you a job in Chicago, but I wasn't so sure.

  12. Also, since we're giving recommendations :), I'd love to see a post on Seton Hall.
    That school has impressive "employment data", is super expensive, yet I never even found a "first" legal job and I graduated in '07. I also ran into quite a few Seton Hall grads in doc review...
    Anyway, it's really nice to see hard stats and good research, so good job, Nando!

  13. Hi Nando:

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoy reading your posts. Not only is your writing strong, but you approach your topic with great originality.

    I'm a teacher. My brother is a lawyer with elite credentials who now lives the good life. A few years ago I was thinking I would get on the gravy train and go to law school. Thing is my supersmart brother got a 171 on the LSAT; I got a 158. As such the only schools I could get into were the crapholes you are always excoriating. In the end I decided the risk wasn't worth it. I encourage you to keep up your fight as other people might not be able to back out like I was and end up making a fatal mistake.

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. Attending Kent/Loyola/DePaul used to mean you would likely get a job in chicago. ITE, almost no one at these schools has a job offer, let alone the elusive big law offer. STAY AWAY.

  16. Vandy grads are working in restaurants. And all the other law schools in the state are shit. Not good for students.


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