Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Turn the Handle: BalTTTTimore

Tuition and Fees: Full-time in-state students at the University of Baltimore will pay $23,992 for a “legal education” for the 2009-2010 academic year, i.e. $11,996 * 2.

For full-time non-resident students, the cost will be $35,988 for the 2009-2010 school year, i.e. $17,994 * 2.


Estimated Total Cost of Attendance: Look at the far-right column. There you will see that the school estimates the total COA for the 2009-2010 – for Maryland residents – will be $44,922! It gets uglier: for out-of-state students, the total COA, for the 2009-2010 school year, is estimated to be $56,918!


Ranking: Well, surely the law school has a strong academic reputation to justify these amounts. Plus, the school probably isn’t located in an over-saturated legal market. And certainly a law degree from such a prestigious law school WILL open many doors to its graduates, right?!?! Well, according to US News & World Report, the University of Baltimore is located in the fourth tier of American law schools!!


Career Outcomes: This is a pathetic Career Services page.


Under Diversity Recruitment, you will see that this school touts itself as being a melting pot:

African American, Asian, Latino, Native American and international students make up 15% of the law school enrollment. Sixteen percent of UB's faculty are from diverse ethnic groups and a little over half of our students are women. The School of Law, along with the Office of Disability Services, supports the needs of students with disabilities.

A diverse law school community enriches the academic program and better prepares students to practice law in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society.

What the school fails to note, is that the legal industry does not really care about diversity – other than to be able to pat itself on the back and say, “Look, we hire minorities.” How many of those minorities become senior partners? How many of them are working in the basements, doing doc review? How many are fired or let go within a couple of years? How many simply get burned out, when they realize they are working for a soul-less, greedy corporation or government entity? How many are unemployed?! How many are working as waiters, bartenders, cops, taxi drivers, insurance adjusters, etc.?

Conclusion: Do not attend this law school UNLESS: (a) you get a full-tuition scholarship – and preferably you are also not paying for living expenses; (b) you have some strong family, political or business connections, which WILL result in you getting a nice job upon graduation; or (c) you are one of those people who just HAVE to be an attorney, i.e. your self-image depends on outside validation and the accumulation of educational degrees.

If you do not fit into any of the above three categories, you are in a position where you MUST make law review, make connections while in law school, and graduate at the top of your class. Otherwise, you will be saddled with NON-DISCHARGEABLE, massive student loan debt and little job prospects. Remember also, that there are currently 16 law schools in the Maryland, DC, and Virginia market.


  1. Nando. I knew a guy who went here with a free ride. He saw the writing on the wall after year one, quit and was able to grab a good non-legal job before the economy went to the birds.

    Anyone who is considering this school should just do themselves a favor and not even bother with it in the first place.

  2. Well, well. You, sir, have picked on the wrong school. If you keep this course of action up, you may find your ass in court. ANd then we'll see how much you learned in law school.

  3. Nando, as a fellow Drake grad, I don't agree with everything you post. That said, if your blog convinces people who are not 100% sure they want to become lawyers (or doctors) and know what it entails (debt, ridiculous hours, stress, and all) to postpone or decide against grad school, then this is a good thing. I'm happy with my choice and I know lots of other Drake grads who are happy with theirs, but it is not for everyone.

    Anyhow, I wanted to share this article with you - it really speaks to how costly failing to read the fine print (which is drafted by people who have already completed a legal education) in your student loan forms can be, and how predatory the lenders and debt collectors are. I can't paste the link, but it is from the Wall Street Journal 's personal finance section and is entitled "The $555,000 Student Loan Burden."

  4. ^ please get over yourself. This entry used the school's own figures and materials to make the case that this is not a good investment. Can you prove otherwise?

    Can Baltimore JDs realistically even compete against UVA, UM, or G'town grads for legal positions in that area? That's what I thought. And that COA is atrotious (sP?).

  5. U. of B has a lot of cache actually in Baltimore; Peter Angelos, the big-time asbestos guy and the owner of the Orioles hires from there as well as a lot of the medium sized firms there. I clerked at the federal court there and was surprised by the number of U. of B grads that got clerkships there as well.

  6. Fellow Drake grad, here is the article you are referring to:


    That is an insane amount of debt. People foolishly believe this is "good debt," even though the article notes that "student loans are one of the most toxic debts." They are virtually impossible to discharge in bankruptcy.

    To 2:24, do those midlaw jobs pay a salary that will make up for the $150K in additional student loans? Do federal clerkships pay a sufficient rate to justify this immense debt? Also, this is a fourth tier school, and Biglaw is all about prestige, reputation, and connections. Unfortunately, students and grads are judged by where they went to law school. Opportunities are limited from the moment one enters a non-elite law school.

  7. I know other people who think the economy is magically going to improve in a year. Yes, not only will it absorb all of the people who can't find a job, and begin accepting inexperienced attorneys again, the demand for attorneys will be so great that salaries will rise to the "old" levels.

  8. Take a look at this op-ed in the New York Times, by Barbara Ehrenreich:


    She correctly notes that Americans suffer from delusional optimism, i.e. "If you only work harder or attend more 'networking events', you WILL find a good job."

    Especially troubling is the fact that many "middle class" parents - themselves STRETCHED to the limit financially - tell their kids that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. This is complete nonsense, and it is a great disservice to the younger generations. (It sets them up for failure and great disappointment.)

    Believing does not equal reality. Law schools and the industry rags will continue to promote this delusional thinking also, i.e. "I think that the legal market will be better in 2013." There is NO BASIS for such optimism. Of course, the schools have a direct financial interest in spewing forth such garbage.

    ALL of the factors indicate that the American legal market will continue to shrink. Not one factor indicates otherwise. We will continue to see more outsourcing and off-shoring of U.S. legal work; the approval and construction of more law schools leading to yet thousands of more graduates each year (employers can already get hundreds of JDs to apply for a job that pays $12 an hour); and more laypersons being able to effectively present their own cases - thanks to technology and better access to information.

    Yet, law schools, society and parents will continue to feed young people the lie that "education is the key to their future."

  9. Attacking US News 3rd and 4th tier law schools is so TTT.

    Why aren't you focusing on the much more appealing (dangerous?) yet just as risky 2nd tier schools. You know: the ones with marginally better job ops and giving out less scholarships.

  10. Ha ha ha. I have a "friend" who recently applied for a job at this TTT, but will say no more lest I out myself. Let's just say that you're being too kind, Nando.

  11. Actually, Baltimore is an up-and-coming law school. They've moved up to tier three, and should be tier two in the next few years with the addition of their brand new law building and library. Dean Clocius is doing a fantastic job.

  12. I graduated`from ub as an undergrad and am thinking of going to the law school. I am think its going to be fine`for me

  13. as a student at UB Law who has secured a clerkship I would say it's been a worthwhile place to go- if you're going to trash it at least be accurate in the article and call it a TTT, which it is now. There's only 2 law schools in Maryland, which helps the market at least some.

  14. @ 2:35, sure - why wouldn't this decision turn out fine for you? You are so special, after all, and will undoubtedly overcome the odds to become a rainmaker.

    To 8:07, this was posted on February 16, 2010. The school was ranked as a TTTT, at that time. If your feelings have been hurt, then I would suggest you get over your insecurities. WOW! The school is now a third tier trash can. Did you have a wild party when the school improved its ranking - and made it all the way to the amazing, mesmerizing third tier of American law schools? The school is still a fourth-rate PIECE OF TRASH. Got that?

    Also, you should look at the sheer number of law schools in the VA, DC, MD area. Still feel like you have the market to yourself?

  15. I have to chime in here, although I am noticably late given I just discovered your blog. As a disclaimer, I am an incoming UB law student, and this was my first school of choice. One thing that stuck out to me when choosing this school was the achievements of its alumni. I currently work for one of our nation's top government offices and I have encountering numerous UofB Law alumni here. While the other schools you mentioned have better reputations in terms of federal and international law, it is well-known among the legal communities in Maryland that if you wish to practice law in Maryland, you should go to UofB. Many of the Maryland federal judges and a few of our federal elected officials are U of Baltimore School of Law alum.

  16. Yeah, I'm not following how UV grads are direct competition in places like Baltimore except for the few remaining extant positions at the largest and most prestigious firms.

    Just curious, are there any law schools that are worth going to that aren't T14?

    Moreover, I find it ironic that you have an anti-capitialism cartoon as your logo, since it is government student loans that are causing the rise in tuition prices. Prospective students bid up the prices for these seats at law schools because they're bidding with other people's money. If the government wasn't involved, no bank would give out 200k loans to students. Schools would be forced to lower tuitions, as well as salaries and operating costs like any other entity in a market economy.

    Lastly, commenter above makes a cogent point. If you look at federal judges in their respective districts, a great majority of them came from law schools in that district.

  17. Nando, some of your points are valid, you are right, the career center at Baltimore Law used to be a joke. There were many things wrong with the school in general, especially 5-10 years ago. The teachers were ok, but the administration and facilities were horrible. I graduated in 2000, I wanted to apply for legal work in DC, but the career center laughed at me, and said Baltimore was a "local school." (Washington DC is only 45 minutes away). Total muppets back then. Ironically, Baltimore Law has tons of alumni in Washington DC, but the school had no lists and made no contacts with them. The school had a parochial "baltimore only mentality." What a total joke it was. Worse yet, many professors and the local students who grew up in the Baltimore area called Baltimore Law a "blue collar law school" - with pride! I just wanted to stangle anyone who said that, the very term is contradictory and deprecating. You go to law school to be white collar, not blue collar, thats the freakin point. It cannot be blamed totally on the school though. The Baltimore and Maryland legal market in general has too many dogs fighting over scraps. There are too few areas of practice, lots of crim law and ambulance chasers. There is little money to be made. The closer you get to DC, however, the better.

    But with Dean Closius at the helm the last 3-4 years, Baltimore Law is gearing towards the top 100. Also, a state of the art $110 million law center will be built in 2 years time. The only job I could get from UB in 2000 was a DA position at the Baltimore States Attorneys Office, it was a good learning experience, but the money sucked, and, well, I had to work in Baltimore, a total joke of a city. In time I temped in DC at a big firm, and was able to break into the federal goverment by networking at my temp job in 2005. I now have a dream job (most of the time) with a federal agency. Now times have changed, and Dean Closius does great work using his DC contacts to hook up Baltimore students with jobs.

    In short, I agree with you that third and fourth tier local schools with an extremely provincial attitude that Baltimore Law used to have make it harder to get good legal work unless you are top 10% of the class or know someone. But with patience and networking you can get a decent legal job, it just takes more time. And who knows, in time a third or fourth tier law school can improve just like University of Baltimore has.

  18. I think UB has been underrated for years. The practice of law tends to be local, and it is best to attend law school in the State you intend to practice unless you get into a top 10 school. UB has graduated a Vice President (Agnew), Governors, and elected officials at almost every level. The number of Judges alone in MD is very impressive. If you want to work in a top New York law firm right out of school then this is not the school to attend. If you want to work in the Baltimore or DC market it is a good choice. The economy is rough on all graduates right now, so I would agree that it is not the best time to attend law school in general, but if you insist on going then UB is as good of an option as many other schools below the top 10.

  19. University of Baltimore is an outstanding law school and there are few better in the nation if you plan to practice in MD. The MD market is dominated by UB attorneys. Look up the bio of Circuit Court Judges and elected State's Attorneys. It is truly impressive the amount of elected officials that graduated UB. UB has partners at Big Law firms in MD such as Venable and Piper. The sky is the limit in the MD market with a UB degree. I would caution as Nando does, the job market for all law graduates is ugly right now, but UB is an outstanding school, with outstanding competitive students. If you want to practice in MD this is the school to attend as the alumni network is strong and deep.

  20. To quote the Judge I interned for: "Nobody will care where you went to Law school 3 years after you graduate"

  21. Good luck finding legal employment, in the mean time. Who cares what the local traffic court judge told you? Did your "professors" tell you that "One can do anything with a law degree"?!


    Check out this July 29, 2011 piece in the Wall Street Journal, regarding the resignation of your commode's dean.

    "Philip Closius resigned today as dean of the University of Baltimore School of Law, explaining in a letter that he shared with various media outlets (including WSJ) that the University of Baltimore asked him to step down.

    The reason for the rift, he said, was his growing frustration with the amount of revenue that the law school has been required to share with the university. Suffice it to say, folks, this is no usual resignation.

    Closius (pictured left) maintains in the letter that the university has demanded that the law school share an increasing amount of the revenue that it generates from tuition, fees and state subsidies. In the past year, the university retained about 45% of the law school’s revenue, Closius writes, stating that this is higher than the national standard for revenue sharing.

    In an interview with the Law Blog, Closius said that the Baltimore law school cannot adequately serve its students if it has to provide so much money to the university. This is a gripe shared by many other deans at law schools, which tend to me the most lucrative graduate programs, he said."

    When dealing with "institutions of higher learning," it always comes down to money.


    In the final analysis, Closius was ousted, as dean, by the 117th best law school in the land. Many students and academics rave about Closius. This should help the school's reputation, right?!?!

  22. People have too high of expectations for law school. They expect a 160K salary immediately after graduation. Not going to happen. But, if you are going to indict law school, you need to indict the whole idea of graduate school. Maybe us law students should have got a masters in English or History? Even a masters in a science is not going to improve you job prospects/salary that much. And a Ph.D. is program is going to take you 4-5 years. After which, you are so specialized your career prospects are very limited. I have heard of Ph.D.’s not listing their degrees on their resumes, just to get a job. And you want to talk about a worthless degree, get a business degree.

    Maybe it’s the cost of law school that’s got you upset? Let’s take a school down the road from UB, Johns Hopkins. Tuition there is right around 40K, much lower than UB's 24K price tag.

    It’s hard to take anyone seriously who post pictures of overflowing toilets on their website. A Law degree doesn’t guarantee you anything, and law school is not for everyone. If you are willing to struggle through law school, start at the BOTTOM of the legal industry and work your way up through long hours you have a CHANCE of making a good living. That not law school, that’s life.

  23. To the piece of trash who posted on November 3, 2011 9:30 am,


    Take a look at this article I wrote for AskMen.com - regarding the "higher education" industry.

    By the way, mental midget: you rely on straw men and meaningless platitudes to make your "argument." In contrast, I back up my case with the facts, i.e. charts, graphs, industry statements, law school figures, etc. Also, this blog's tone and style is effective. Does that hurt your feelings, pussy?!?!

    Since you seem to BELIEVE that a positive attitude makes all the difference, the following is directed at you, cockroach.

    On pages 4 and 5 of "Bright-Sided," Barbara Ehrenreich wrote:

    “There is, we are told, a practical reason for undertaking this effort: positive thinking supposedly not only makes us feel optimistic but actually makes happy outcomes more likely. If you expect things to get better, they will. How can the mere process of thinking do this? In the rational explanation that many psychologists would offer today, optimism improves health, personal efficacy, confidence, and resilience, making it easier for us to accomplish our goals. A far less rational theory also runs rampant in American ideology—the idea that our thoughts can, in some mysterious way, directly affect the physical world. Negative thoughts somehow produce negative outcomes, while positive thoughts realize themselves in the form of health, prosperity, and success.”


    “Avoid this overpriced sewer pit as if your life depended on it,” writes the anonymous author of the blog Third Tier Reality — a reference to the second-to-bottom tier of the U.S. News rankings — in a typically scatological review. “Unless, of course, you think that you will be better off with $110k-$190k in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt for a degree that qualifies you to wait tables at the Battery Park Bar and Lounge.”

    When is the last time YOU were quoted in the New York Times Sunday edition, you piece of garbage?!?!


    Back on July 30, 2010 at 9:24 pm, Professor J. Gordon Hylton at Marquette Law School wrote the following, about Third Tier Reality:

    “For a thought-provoking (and sobering) blog devoted to the realities of legal education in the 21st century, one should check out Third Tier Reality


  24. This school is a miserable shit heap. The poor bastards at this school are fucked as soon as they walk in the door.

  25. Nando--In case you were wondering, people still read these school profiles. They are far more informative than the ABA propaganda coming from USNWR.

    Many people seem to think, "Most law schools are scams, but my local school is still good." Your profiles help refute this thinking. Please don't take them down even though they are old posts.


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