Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Grab the Air Freshener: The John Marshall Law School

Tuition and Fees: To attend this commode, a full-time student will pay $1,260 per credit hour for the 2009-2010 academic year. Seeing that most law schools require 90 credits for graduation, it seems that this would come out to roughly $37,800 for the current school year, i.e. 30 * $1,260.

Also, take a look at the fees. A locker fee of $15 per year?! I understand that this fee is optional, but come on. Those lockers are not worth $15 a piece. Even Third Tier Drake only charged us $10 to rent a locker, and I got my money back after I returned the lock. I also just love the Loan Repayment Assistance Fee. Also look at the diploma handling fee for in absentia graduates. So, if one (understandably) wants to skip out on the graduation ceremony from this fesTTTTering toilet – and avoid the $40 cap and gown rental fee – he will still get charged a $5 fee.

We can see that US News & World Report lists The John Marshall Law School firmly in the illustrious fourth tier of American law schools! (I am sure John Marshall is rolling over in his grave – he also has a provisionally-accredited law school named after him in Atlanta!!) And look – apparently full-time enrollment at this fourth tier piece of trash is 1000!

Employment and Starting Salary Statistics: This school asserts that within one year of graduation, 100 percent of its Class of 2006 was employed. Yes, this fourth tier piece of trash has the audacity to claim that 100% placement for its 348 members of the Class of 2006!! The school even has a purported breakdown of how the Class of 2006 found their jobs.

Yeah, sure 100 percent of the Class of 2006 was employed within one year of graduation – if you count the following professions: shipping and receiving; stocking shelves at a Big box retailer; sales associate; “people greeter”; fast food window operator; nightclub bouncer; online gambling; city bus driver; beer vendor at Wrigley Field; etc.

We see the (alleged) salary range was $24K-$240K for the graduating class listed above. The average starting salary was also listed as $71,103 – with the median listed as $$60,500. Of course, for self-employed attorneys, i.e. sole practitioners, no average or median salary was listed! Could it be that those figures would have brought down the overall average salary?!

“But look how well our students have placed in moot court competitions!” Well, unfortunately, employers do not care that you placed fifth in the Pepperdine University National Entertainment Law Moot Court Competition. Surprisingly, employers also do not care that you were an “octofinalist” at the (regional) Evan A. Evans Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition. Simply put, legal and non-legal employers do not care how well you or your team placed at these BS competitions.

In the last analysis, this school puts out deceptive employment and starting salary figures, in order to justify the high cost of tuition at this fourth tier trash can. The general premise? “Sure, we’re not Northwestern or University of Chicago, but you can come here, get a quality education that will (somehow) prepare you for practice, and land a good-paying job upon graduation.”

Well, this simply is not the case. You WILL be competing directly against students and graduates from MUCH better law schools in your own city – even for "lowly" city jobs. Law is a prestige-obsessed industry. Where you went to school does matter to potential legal employers. You could easily land $180,000 in the hole by attending this school. This is a mortgage you CANNOT walk away from. Also, many employers will not be interested in your “credential” – in the slightest. They want someone with a better pedigree.

If you want to practice toiletlaw – and represent little people with BIG problems – where you went to school does not necessarily matter. However, you can certainly do so at a much cheaper school. (There is no need to go $180K in non-dischargeable debt to maybe make $35K per year in salary.) Plus, aren’t you interested in making a positive return on your “investment”?

Seriously, the stench of this toilet is starting to make me sick.


  1. I sure would like to get the contact info for that class of 06 and find out if those stats are correct. I would bet they are not.

  2. Another good post by Nando -- the saturated Chicago legal market/law schools needs to be discussed. JMLS is the worst of the TTT pack. Unlike DePaul, Loyola, or Kent, I would not go to this school under ANY circumstances, not even on a full ride scholarship. The 3 years is not worth it and job prospects are slim to nonexistent. Conversely, I would probably go to the other TTT Chicago schools IF they offered me a substantial, no-strings-attached scholarship.

    Once again, the Chicago market is saturated and there are a lot of very good law schools in the area (Chicago, NW, Illinois, Notre Dame, etc). I graduated from a T25 school in Illinois back when the economy was good, and I know people who didn't land jobs right away. JMLS grads stand virtually no chance of competing with these students. I'm not saying its fair, because I know a lot of bright people who graduated from JMLS, but sadly, that is just the way it is. I'm also not saying this to be mean to JMLS grads. Rather, prospective law students need to be warned.

    Another good post Nando. The only thing I would disagree with is classifying City jobs as "lowly." Working for the City of Chicago law department -- particularly as a young attorney -- is a vey good job. Great experience and a great way to meet future contacts. A lot of City attorneys are big law refugees and a lot of the bigwigs there are former big law partners. Also, it can be a stepping stone to other government jobs, such as the Illinois AG's office (which is a cush job). Of course, Nando is correct that getting a City job as a JMLS grad is difficult, and as far as I know, there is a hiring freeze due to the financial crisis.

  3. So if I wasn't feeling bad enough already about my JMLS degree, I had to read this blog -- which is absolutely correct. I'd guess that maybe 10 percent of the class of '06 are actually employed as attorneys. Also, those lowly city jobs and AAGs (40 grand a year is NOT cush!) are being snapped up by first tiers.

  4. I facetiously referred to these jobs as “lowly” – because many law students think that if all else fails, they can work for the government. They fail to realize that these jobs are increasingly competitive, in today’s market. Want to work for the Public Defender’s Office? Be prepared to compete against T14 grads, former Biglaw associates, deferred hires, connected people, and criminal defense lawyers with 10-20 years of litigation experience.

    Too often, law schools give students the false impression that if they do not land Biglaw or a position with a law firm, then they can parlay their JD into a city government job. As a result, many law students look at such positions as a backup. The reality is that landing city jobs out of law school is very difficult for TTTT grads. My guess is that those TTTT grads who end up in such positions, are well-connected to begin with. The toilet did not really have anything to do with them getting the position.

  5. I agree. JMLS used to be a feeder school for gov't jobs. Now JMLS grads can't even get an interview. I've sent dozens of resumes to the city and state -- NADA. I owe $140,000 to the the Access Group syndicate and am out there begging for jobs that pay 40K. Thanks JMLS!!

  6. "I am sure John Marshall is rolling over in his grave – he also has a provisionally-accredited law school named after him in Atlanta!!)"

    BWAWAWAWA! Sadly, that is the truth.

  7. As a JMLS alum myself, I totally agree with these posts. The tuition has doubled since I graduated from there 10 years ago, and their current enrollment is 1,000 students. Since the building is not that big, there were only 2 large lecture halls, no cafeteria, and the library is comprised of 6 floors of a 12 story building at least when I attended, so I can't imagine where they put all those students today. With Northwestern, University of Chicago and Loyola law schools just blocks away, it is extremely difficult to be even remotely considered for a big firm job if one is a JMLS student even if they are in the top 10 percent of their class. The best a JMLS grad can hope for is a public sector position which will never pay enough to pay back all the loans. But that does not deter them from soliciting more students or from sending me their glossy annual reports stating how great they are and oh yes, asking me how much money I would be willing to donate which is zero, since they got enough money from me.

  8. How about the reported salary range topping off at $240k per year?!? The person that made $240k after graduation, either: (a) ran their own business while attending the toilet at night (i.e., made this type of money before / during law school--no thanks to the toilet); or (b) received an honorary degree from the toilet for speaking at the class graduation; or (c) submitted "$240k" as a joke, and naturally, the toilet was happy with not investigating the figure.

  9. Love this post! I know someone who left a lucrative job to attend JMLS with hopes of becoming a patent lawyer. I really hope that works out for him, because he had a cushy job before attending this dump.

    You should do a post on Suffolk, the JMLS of Boston.

  10. I plan on getting to Suffolk soon. Let me land a couple of more left hooks on the other Chicago-area toilets first.

    Suffolk will get the recognition it deserves on this blog. For instance, isn't it nice that Suffolk University's president - a supposed "educator" - could make $2.8 million in compensation in 2007?

    Who says higher education doesn't pay off? It certainly does for university and college presidents, law school deans, overpaid, under-worked law profs, administrators, boards of trustees, and the student lending cartel!

  11. The picture of that toilet is actually a compliment to, nay, a flattering depiction of JMLS, if you ask me. My question is how can the estate of John Marshall allow the appropriation of his name to assist in this modern day scam? How is what these commodes perpetrate any different than what Bernie Madoff did? Nando, you must do a feature on Settton Hall Law School, which has prominent alums such as Mark Cammarano, the formerly deposed mayor of Hoboken. Since Settton Hall Law School placed a clerk on SCOTUS, it feels it can charge over $44K for annual tuition alone.

  12. Suffolk is worse than the New England School of Law? Really?

  13. I think it would be interesting if you took a break from doing individual law schools and tried to do some aggregation and see which city/metro area has the highest concentration of TTT or TTTT schools.

    Chi-town and Boston seem to be up there. Maybe do a per capita analysis, like one ttt for every million residents or whatever.

  14. @ 12:33pm: What does it matter? That's like asking which toilet at a highway rest stop is nicer, the handicap stall or the regular stall? Sure the former is bigger and comes equipped with a fancy wall-mounted bar to help the disabled stand up, but guess what--they both smell like shit. To an employer, both those schools smell like shit. There is no difference.

  15. Wow your pictures are very graphic, but they definitely drive the point home. The law profession is overrated and depressing.

  16. 5:29 drives the point home: employers catch a whiff of either TTTT and you may as well admit to sniffing 80 year old women's panties for a living.

  17. I would like to know your stance between Loyola vs Depaul

  18. @ 8:54

    I practice in Chicago, and to answer your question, there is no substantive difference between DePaul and Loyola (or Kent, for that matter). At each school, you will have to be in the top 10% and on law review to compete for a big law job and in the top quarter to compete with students from T1 schools in Illinois for other Chicago jobs. There are just a lot of highly ranked law schools in and around Chicago that make the market competitive in good times and extremely difficult in hard times. Only go to one of these schools if they are giving you a substantial scholarship that is not contingent on class rank.

  19. DO not abandon all hope, JMLS grads. Here is a job you just may be able to land:

    RESEARCH ATTORNEY (4105 W. 26th St.) Date: 2010-03-08, 9:11AM

    • Location: 4105 W. 26th St. (CHicago)
    • Compensation: $10/hour
    • Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
    • Please, no phone calls about this job!
    • Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

  20. Today I received an invitation from JMLS inviting me to a faculty reception honoring one of my former professors who has now established a scholarship fund to be awarded to a 2d or 3d year student. The suggested donation is $50.00 at the door. I guess one way to keep students from bailing is to dangle the incentive of a 3d year scholarship under their noses after they have already invested around 80,000.

    Also today I looked at their website since I had not looked at it in a while. The website immediately points out that U.S News and World Report ranked them 4th in writing and 14th in intellectual Property. However, the overall ranking for the school is tier 4! It is as if they are saying, " pay no attention to that 4th tier ranking, look at our intellectual property and writing ranks!" IT'S STILL A 4TH TIER NO MATTER HOW HARD ONE TRIES TO SELL IT. And while it's true that JMLS requires 4 semesters of legal writing to graduate, it still makes no difference if you don't graduate in the top 5 percent. And as far as the intellectual property goes, that is an LLM program, at least it was when I was there, so you would still have to pay the $114,000 to get the JD before you could get the LLM. BUT IT IS STILL A 4TH TIER SCHOOL.

    Also the website stated that sometime next year, JMLS will be adding a $3 million dollar plus addition to the school creating an entrance off of State Street where the Walgreens is currently located ( this will be after Walgreens' lease runs out). Even after that is completed, IT WILL STILL BE A 4TH TIER LAW SCHOOL. The website further stated that the plate glass windows they will install will give them better visibily from the street. I guess this will be so that passersby along State Street will get a better view of the students being sadly taken advantage of.

    Sadly, I will not be attending the reception, although this is a professor whom I'd admired, I can think of much better ways to spend $50.00. Plus the idea of aiding and abetting future disillusioned law students is unethical to me.

  21. I agree with anonymous (11:05 AM) - the person who supposedly made $240k must not have been practicing law. Instead, it was probably a business owner or someone in a corporate management position who went to school to get a law degree and then returned to his old position.

    It is also possible that the person wrote $24,000, but accidentally typed an extra "0" on a submission form.

    I am a practicing lawyer in Chicago, although I did not attend JMLS. JMLS does have a very bad reputation. However, some of the students interested in patent law do sometimes get decent firm law firm jobs if they have choice undergrad degrees. In the current hiring market, however, even the patent law students at JMLS have to be hurting.

    How can fourth tier schools such as JMLS charge so much when they know full well that the value of the law degree is not worth the huge cost to the vast majority of students?

  22. Misery loves company.

    There's a sucker born every minute...and a bunch of them seem to be gathering here.


  23. Cooley law school now has a baseball stadium. Seriously.

    “We are thrilled to make this long-term investment that will benefit, not only our students and employees, but the entire community and region for years to come,” said Dean Don LeDuc said.

    It seems like a reasonable investment for a law school to make at a time when its graduates cannot buy jobs. Who knows, maybe it will benefit the students. At least they will have a place to work after they graduate.

  24. To “PJB”:

    That quote has been wrongly attributed to P.T. Barnum, not "PJ Barnum". If you are going to hurl insults, at least get your basic facts straight, idiot.

    On a more serious note, it is funny that you attempt to use a quote misattributed to a fraudulent conman to defend the law school cartel – which is a MUCH bigger fraud. Run along now and put some more money in your law school’s immense coffers, sucker.

  25. @ 03/11 06:30am

    Wait... what type of work can the rest of the 75% get? (from Depaul/Loyola/Kent)

  26. Nando,

    Have you ever received any feedback from the schools you profile? The students of each school have probably seen these posts and its probable safe to assume that the administrations of these schools have seen them as well.

    - A fan

  27. Google some of the schools I have highlighted. I have received a fair amount of traffic from people researching particular law schools. I know the schools must be aware of this situation.

    Yet, I have received no feedback from the featured law schools - other than a few anonymous comments on this blog (and other sites). I have offered to debate "law professors" and deans in a public setting, panel, or radio interview. A while back, some adjunct professor commented on this blog and tried to defend the increased costs. I then offered to debate him in a public setting. He flat out refused.

    I recently contacted the editor of a law school publication, and volunteered to be on a panel with law profs, law school administrators, and ABA officials to discuss and debate the shrinking job market for U.S. lawyers. No luck on that front. I have also contacted various reporters and newspapers with regards to such a debate, and received similar excuses/responses, i.e. "I have to run that by my editors" or "We can't put together a panel, because it would be too hard to work around everyone's schedule."

    Plus, I have even contacted various law profs via email and phone, offering to have a panel discussion with them regarding the legal market. No takers - NOT A SINGLE ONE so far has stepped forward and accepted the challenge. (Yes, these "bright legal scholars" are afraid to take on a "disillusioned, angry, TTT grad." Anyone still think these tools are worth $180K yearly salaries?)

    I would even be willing to have such a debate at Drake Law School - right in room 213 of Cartwright Hall!! Even, if I had to pay for my own travel and room. Are any of you "professors" out there still not interested in such a meeting taking place?

    Remember, many of these "law professors" and administrators went to the top law schools in this country and graduated near the top of their class. But, yet they are not interested in debating a TTT grad. It is because the facts SHOW that the market is shrinking; education costs are going up; and more JDs are unemployable. If the facts were on their side, they could presumably handle me in a debate.

    Maybe some of the people who read this blog should contact law schools, and see if anyone there is willing to debate me in public. Then again, the guy who mops the floors in these schools has more testicular fortitude than the professors.

  28. Don't count on any of these law schools contacting you Nando. They are very well aware of what the situation is and still they choose to ignore it since unfortunately what was once an 800 lb gorilla now has to be 10,000 pounds before they will take notice. It is the students and the prospective students that I hope your blog really reaches since they are the ones who can do the most damage, such as refusing to attend or refusing to go back until the problem is properly addressed.

    Instead of packing students in like sardines, these law schools should take in only the number of students which the current market can bear each incoming year based their respective demographics (e.g. the number of private and public legal positions available in their immediate area). They should also eliminate the grading and ranking system and keep law review open for anyone who wishes to join (being in the top 10% doesn't make one a good writer or researcher). Perhaps they could offer other career alternatives such as paralegal programs, legal assisting programs and criminal justice programs.

    If the current economy continues to decline, then law schools hopefully will see less enrollment and more dropping out; and hopefully this will force them to address the problem.

  29. the picture would and could describe the legal profession as well

  30. I am sad to say I am a member of the 2006 JMLS class. I wish I had a time machine and go back and undo the decision because it has ruined my life. After graduation I dedicated 8 months of my life, 12 hours a day, to finding a job - researching jobs, sending resumes, attending networking events, and in the end I had maybe 4 real interviews, and no job. After 8 months I was broke and was reduced to working doc reviews, and have been stuck doing it ever since. Whenever you ask people on these doc review projects in Chicago what law school they went to, at least 50% of them say JMLS. Even those that were lucky enough to initially get jobs rights coming out of school, or start their own practices, are now working doc reviews because they've been let go or there is not enough work to make a living.

  31. Thank you 2006 JMLS graduate for coming forward! We need more of you. I too am a past graduate of JMLS and wrote the above post dated 3-12-2010 at 12:49pm. I also wrote the post appearing 3-11-2010 at 9:41. Perhaps other JMLS grads will share their experiences as well. What they are doing is unethical and they need to be called out to explain their unethical behavior publicly. I will continue to contribute to this post and I hope you will as well.

  32. Nando - you really are providing an invaluable service to would-be law students. I just hope more and more law students visit this blog before deciding to go to any law school that is not in the top 50 or so and then also after receiving some scholarship. Just hope this blog keeps rising up the google searches. Perhaps you can try and get some publicity through Abovethelaw?

    Keep up the good work!

  33. I actually found this blog through Abovethelaw. I was an aspiring 0L when I read a post in which they linked to Tom the Temporary Attorney's Blog. I found Nando's blog through there, probably in the comments section. Thank you, Nando for helping me avoid making a HUGE career mistake by going to law school.

    Maybe Nando could be in a panel with Elie Mystal? He's tired of the law school scam as well.

  34. Are there any recent JMLS graduates out there who know if JMLS is still offering the Conditional Program? Because if they are, they should stop. For those of you not familiar with the Conditional Program, I will explain.

    I gained admission to JMLS through this program. It was designed for applicants with a strong undergrad GPA but with a tepid LSAT score. We were required to take 2 classes during a 7 week summer session, pay for them of course, and pass both with a C or better to be granted full admission in the fall. The classes I had to take were Criminal Law and Agency which I did pass and was granted full admission. If I remember correctly, there were about 50 of us all together split up into 2 divisions, the other division had to take Torts I and Agency. Most of us made it, but interestingly only one or two actually graduated in the top ten percent at the end of the 3 years. For those who did not make it, JMLS did not refund their tuition money which at that time came out to around $4,000.

    I mention this because I suspect this was and could still be another way for JMLS to make money and to fill up their enrollment, knowing ahead of time that most of admitted Conditional Program students will not graduate in the top ten percent.

    If anyone out there knows if JMLS is still doing this, please contribute to this blog.

  35. And how about the scholarship scam JMLS runs. I don't know if other law schools do it this way too, but JMLS did it to me. Basically, they give a scholarship to everyone with the condition they must remain in the top 10% of the class to keep to scholarship. The scholarships aren't full rides, but they are enough to make you consider them. Well, obviously not everyone is going to be top 10%, so its just a scam to get people in the door, and once they are there for a year they figure they have to finish law school otherwise they would have pissed away about $50k with no prospects of a higher paying job. Funny, even with their degree there are no prospects of a higher paying job.

  36. As I said in my earlier post I did receive an invitation to attend a fundraiser to raise funds for a scholarship to be given to a 2d or 3d year student in good academic standing. The suggested admission is $50.00 at the door. This will be on April 12 from 5-7PM. What JMLS does is to find their superstars after the first year and then entice them with incentives such as scholarships to get them to stay before they get the idea of transferring themselves and their grades to a better school. When I was there, the superstars tended to get preferential treatment while the rest of us scrambled for the crumbs.

  37. This is a ridiculous post and sight. I just graduated from John Marshall and no I do not have a job yet . . . But my point is that it is a signal of the economy and not the school. I clerked throughout all 3 years and have made significant contacts and tons of friends from Kent, Loyolya and Depaul. Most of those students graduating from those schools do not have jobs right now either. It is the economy not the school. It is true we are not ranked very well, but we are a good school with great professors and many great lawyers have graduated from John Marshall. Perhaps we do not have the best reputation in the Nation but in the chicago area we have a great reputation. Top ten percent usually get big law firms and I know lots of people who did get those from our school.

    1. I am considering this school for Fall in August. They gave me a substantial scholarship as well. I was curious to know if your thoughts are still the same in regards to the reputation of the school and if your job prospects got better over time?

    2. Do you still have the same thoughts in regards to the reputation of the school and did your job prospects get better over time?

    3. Valencia, I was accepted into the conditional program. I've paid and plan on attending, if only for the experience to solidify my (previously strong) desire to practice law.
      I am awaiting decisions from other schools (NIU, Marquette, UW), but I am grounded enough to know that with my poor LSAT showing, I may not be cut out for law.
      At any rate, the program is $1600, and we start in 2 weeks. So far, I'm pleased with admin. I am looking forward to going -$1600 to find out if I really want to go to law school? Priceless compared to finding out as a 1L who will eat the reality of taking a $50,000 vacation from real life (and not even probably getting a T-shirt!)
      Anyway, maybe I'll see you in the fall. I, of course, will not have scholarships, since conditional program participants are ineligible for scholarships first year.
      With that being said, unless one of the other schools come through, I probably will not be attending law school anywhere. I'm good with that.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. To 10:00,

    Yeah, TTTT law school really worked out well for you didn't it? Your clerkships, contacts and connections have not resulted in a job for you.

    The economy is in bad shape, but that is only ONE factor with regards to your current situation. Here are some other factors: (1) Loyola-Chicago, DePaul, Chicago-Kent, and JMLS are all over-priced, low-ranked dumps; (2) the job market for U.S. lawyers is shrinking - thanks to technology, many of these jobs will NEVER return to our shores; (3) there has been a glut of attorneys in this country - for decades; (4) ABA "Ethics" Opinion 08-451 - do yourself a favor and read it; and (5) the Chicago area, in particular, is grossly over-saturated AND has too many law schools - which collectively produce legions of additional attorneys each year.

    "Perhaps we do not have the best reputation in the Nation but in the [C]hicago area we have a great reputation."

    Perhaps?!?! The school is ranked in the fourth tier of American law schools! And this toilet has the nerve to charge $37,800 in yearly tuition! For what?! So you can end up unemployed or working for $10 an hour as a licensed attorney in Chicago?

    As far as JMLS having a "great reputation" in Chicago, is that why no one wants to hire someone with three years of clerking experience? If you still think the school has such a solid reputation, just take a look at the comments on this entry and in other law school/lawyer forums, such as JD Underground or Tom the Temp. JMLS is a joke. I cannot see how an (alleged) unemployed JD from this dump can come to the defense of this festering garbage heap.

    The overwhelming body of evidence shows conclusively that JMLS is an overpriced diploma mill that provides the overwhelming majority of its students with pathetic employment opportunities. (I sincerely hope you did not graduate from this sewer with six figures in non-dischargeable loans.)

  39. Well . . . Maybe I will agree with you in a couple months. . . I just learned I passed the bar and I am on the job hunt. We will see how I fare. I do agree that the tuition they charge is insane an is probably not worth the time, money, energy and opportunity cost of the degree in hand. But the degree is a JD and it is what YOU personally make of it. You need to make that degree worth it! Another point I agree with is that JMLS really needs to lower the amount of students they let in and graduate. . . Now that I agree is unethical and they are just obviously greedy for tuition. They are single handedly (along with Cooley and other diploma mills) ruining the legal market by injecting so many grads into it. I agree that something needs to be done with that and with the tuition.

  40. I wish I could agree with March 14, 2010, 11:49 a.m. and blame everything on the economy but experience tells me otherwise. I graduated a few years ago and learned that the majority of law firms country-wide do not hire four-tier grads. There is no respect for JMLS in Chicago. Don't listen to the propoganda from the JMLS career services office. You're screwed!

  41. I started at JMLS several years ago. Got some great advice and transferred out and landed at a T25 school and even made Law Review!

    If any JMLS students read this and have the opportunity to transfer out (at least top 15%) then MAKE THE JUMP and leave. Do not be tempted by the trifling $3k per year scholarships they throw at the top of the class.

  42. I am another 2006 JMLS grad. It took me a year to find a job that paid $17.00 an hour. In the past 4 years, I have yet to crack $50K per year. Even document review projects are hard to come by in Chicago right now. I was better off before I went to law school. Student loans are a tax I will probably be paying the rest of my life. Sure, I know some people who re making a good living, but they were the smartest people in my class. Don't do it.

  43. Ben, Class of 2007May 27, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    In response to all of the above and no post in particular. John Marshall is a fine school. I was able to go to school part time and work during the day, and I learned a lot volunteering at one of the legal clinics. I landed a job within two months of being sworn in. After getting my feet wet I opened my own office and will be celebrating my second year this November.

    Sure I pay a lot per month to the student loan company, but I also don't have to take crap from any boss. Without law school I never would have struck out on my own.

    As for the JMLS grads who whine about being attorneys and about the school, please. No one forced you to go to law school. No one forced you to sign the student loan promissory note. You can still choose to leave the profession and do something else.

    For those of you non-haters, keep at it, you'll find something that will make you happy.

  44. I think Ben, class of 2007, is really one of the lame deans at JMLS posting propaganda. I don't know any recent grads who struck out on their own and have been able to make a living. Who the hell would hire a Ben to represent them? This would be an attorney who doesn't know how to draft a complaint, doesn't know where to file a complaint, has no funds for filing fees or other court costs, has no idea how to draft a motion or argue a motion -- this is a joke!

    And for those lame comments that nobody forced us to go to law school -- you miss the whole purpose of this blog and others like it. We want to warn others NOT to make the same mistake. DON'T GO TO JMLS BECAUSE YOU WON'T FIND A JOB AND YOU'LL BE STUCK WITH DEBT YOU CAN'T REPAY!!! Starting your own practice is a pipe dream that's not going to happen.

  45. What is your opinion about "for profit" law schools such as Atlanta's John Marshall Law School?

  46. Well . . . I am back. I posted a hopeful lil message earlier. After months on the job hunt and countless interviews . . . I am now willing to admit what you are saying. It is sad but true, I wasted a whole bunch of money, time and energy for a worthless piece of paper. I am sincerely regretting my choice to go to law school . . . especially at JMLS. I would have never gone to law school had I known that this type of journey, aka job hunt, was ahead of me. It is depressing and demoralizing and I am about to give up on law and look elsewhere for employment. Not worth it, I feel like I dug myself into a hole and I cannot get out. .

  47. Love the brutal honesty of the post.. however, one fact was wrong. Atlanta's JMLS was fully accredited in December 2009.

  48. DO NOT ATTEND John Marhsall Law Scam (i.e. School)!!!!!
    I attended Atlanta's JMLS for 1 year for the 2008-2009 year and it was the worst decision of my entire life. The scumbags in Argosy Education Group that forced students to pay $1,300 per credit hour should be thrown in jail. The law school fails to inform students that they are forced to obtain private loans through Sallie Mae student lending to attend the law school. They furthermore do not inform you that these private lenders are charging 8.5% interest compounded quarterly and that you cannot refinance your loans to lower your interest rates. I watched $42,000 in loans for 1 year explode into $55,000 in debt through compounding quarterly interest. Thank God the James Hoyer Law Firm in Tampa has started a class action law suit against Sallie Mae, Argosy Education, and Atlanta's JMLS for predatory lending and failure to disclose lending terms. I hope Hoyer nails the bastards to the wall.

    Not only is the tuition outrageous, but the proffessors in the Atlanta campus are horrible. My legal writing and research professor was never available or present during her office hours and the two times I was actualy able to find her to ask questions about my brief, she informed me that I needed to take a writing course at Emory because she just didn't have the time or patience to work with me on my writing deficiencies. I paid $7,000 for the LWRA course to be told I needed take a writing class at another school? I hope she enjoyed the money she was paid but if I'm going to be screwed that hard, I'd at least like to get a kiss at the end of it. She probably enjoys manipulating people.
    None of the professors give a damn about their students learning or comprehending the material. Academic Achievment is nonexistent. When I visited Kimberely De Haene in academic achievement (the only person that works in academic achievment), she informed me that she could not help me with anything regarding Legal Writing, Exam Prep, outlining, or case briefing. I know now why all the pictures of professors on the school's website are smiling. It's because they're so happy about how much they're getting paid and how hard they are screwing the students over.
    For the appellate brief and oral agrument, we were told that we could not talk about or research cases for the written brief because it was academic dishonesty. I student approached me about discussing cases after class and I didn't respond to him. Later on, a fellow classmate reported to the dean that the two of us were conspiring to discuss cases regarding the appellate brief and therefore we were cheating. The dean met with us to administer a light punishment but never charged us with academic dishonesty because she really didn't give a shit that students might be talking about cases. The dean just wanted our tuition money and we were never thrown out of school. Furthermore, after the briefs were submitted, the proffessors told us everyone could collaborate with each other regarding cases for their graded oral arguments. What kind of fucking hypcrosisy is that? So in one instance students can collaborate together for a graded assignment and another they can't? Do these people even know what they are saying?

    If you are attending JMLS, get out now and don't take Michael Kent's real property class. He is the worst professor I have taken in my entire life. He skirts around the issues and reasoning regarding the case, and half the cases he drilled us on throughout the semester were never on the final exam. If you visited him during office hours, he would throw you out of his office when you asked questions regarding court rulings or reasonings, especially if they regarded eminent domain.
    Bottom line, don't get fucked over like me by attending this school. Nothing is worth the pain of $55,000 in student loans for 1 year of a shitty school.

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

  50. I should add I graduated in the bottom 33%. Boo yah suckaz!

  51. To the miserable piece of moist excrement who posted on November 30, 2010 at 1:42 pm and 1:44 pm,

    Quit pretending to be making $100K as a 2010 graduate of this fourth tier toilet, moron. Apparently, you have plenty of free time to spend on this blog, while at work – slaving away for Corporate America. When you grow a pair of balls, feel free to come back here.

    Also, this web site has received some glowing coverage in WSJ,, ABA Journal, National Law Journal, and Slate. How is that for a blog, borderline retard?!?!

    Also, check out what some "law professors" have said about this website, you piece of trash.

    It is understandable to see why you would feel dumber after visiting this website. The level of reasoning and logic is above your comprehension. By the way, US News ranked your little law school in the fourth tier, not me. Do you understand that, Idiot?!?!

    Now go back to your coloring book, and ask your mother for some help in filling out your application for Food Stamps. Ask her when she is not blowing the 17 year old neighbor for her next hit of meth, loser.

  52. The school is at a level of a second rated Junior College. They teach you nothing of any value and the teachers are absolute garbage. Save your money go do something else. I graduated in 1975 (senile Dean Lee was still in charge) We had a property professor that was still teaching even though he could not speak due to a stroke. I was lucky to start a lucrative business of my own that had nothing to do with the law. What a waste of time it was.

  53. Fag "nando" had to delete my post like the maricon he is. I just bought myself a brand-new BMW X5. I'm loving my high-paying personal injury practice! The JD is only as good as the graduate makes of it. One thing is for sure, there is no room for comment-deleting putos in this world.

  54. To the worthless piece of trash above, i.e. January 10, 2011 1:11 pm:

    I did not delete any posts, bitch. You want to make that assertion?! You better be able to back it up. The fact is I never saw your previous comment.

    It is not my fault that you could not make a comment, idiot. I guess that is enough to put some people over the edge, i.e. "One thing is for sure, there is no room for comment-deleting putos in this world."

    If you feel that strongly about it, pussy, why don't you come find me and do something about it?!?! Are you going to shoot or stab me, you mentally-deficient, emotionally-unhinged beanbag sniffer?!

    By the way, what was contained in your prior post? It must have been a gem, if your feelings were so injured by the fact that it was not published. Get over it, pussy. Go cry to your boyfriend, after you go down on him tonight. Maybe tell him about your "traumatic experience," when you are snuggling afterward.

    You can barely write. How could you possibly be making lots of money as a PI lawyer, cockroach? You sound like an uneducated chimp. Anyway, have fun with your little fantasies of making big money and driving BMWs.

    If anyone is considering this law school, are you going to rely on charts, graphs, industry statements and the word of several JMLS grads - or the rantings of a ball-less lunatic? The choice is pretty clear.

  55. Wangerin is still there...and he is probably a liability....

  56. I am a January 2011 John Marshall grad and will start my employment after the bar next week. It is not a 'dream job' scenario but pays $60,000+ and offers excellent opportunities to get into court and learn right away. I got my job through contacts I made while in law school. I have spoken with law students at almost every school in Chicago and the tough job market has effected everyone. While I recognize John Marshall does not have the national acclaim of Northwestern or U. of Chicago, locally (I have been told many times in candid conversations with non-JMLS lawyers) it is held in basically the same regard as Kent, Loyola, and Depaul. More judges in Illinois come from JMLS than any other law school in the state. Does that mean it is a top tier school and doesn't have it's drawbacks? Of course not but, it does offer a hint at the reality of how JMLS is viewed in the legal community. I hope you will not berate me as some overly rah-rah and naive fool. Nor do I recommend anyone ignore the realities of legal job market and John Marshall's place in it. However, I thought a dose of honest commentary from someone who has succeeded in finding an entry-level legal job might offer hope to people who read this overtly biased blog.

    PS: The bathrooms at John Marshall are some of the cleanest in the city!

    PSS: Try to resist the urge to skewer me for that parting bit of levity...

  57. How about protesting in front of JMLS to attract media attention.

  58. @"February 17, 2011 1:42 PM", definitely someone who works for JMLS.


  59. Also some disturbing and questionable grammatical and punctuation indicators, like "effected" and "it's" in the 1:42 post. My bullshit detector has also been activated.

  60. As a current JMLS student, I can attest to the accuracy of this blog. I went there because I got a full ride. After 1 year, I'm transferring anywhere else. In addition to some of the most loathsome professors I've ever seen (my Con Law professor in her review session answered a student's question regarding the significance of Marbury v. Madison by telling the student to refer to his notes of what she had said in class), the place just has no academic value whatsoever. Other than the top 10-15% who compete like pirhanas against each other, the rest of the "student" body is composed of low grade morons and degenerates who don't give a rat's behind about actually learning anything about the law. Don't even get me started on the facilities. One student actually sat behind a pillar in one of the "classrooms" and could not see the professor all semester. This was because the rest of the old, decrepit room was already packed to the gills. The rest of the rooms are hardly better and the library is cramped with slow wireless internet because they probably scrimp on the servers. I, like many others, was fooled into thinking that if I went there on a full ride and saved the money spent on law school I would come out ahead in the long run. This cannot be further from the truth. A Notre Dame grad who was on the Dean's List there, I couldn't even get my foot in the door for more than 1 job interview which was for a grunt work law office paying $11/hr which I did not even get. Luckily I have my CPA as a fall back and found a good job this summer as an accountant, albeit paying slightly less than my old accounting job. I just cannot say enough bad things about this school. Oh, another great gem. Because the class sizes are about 80-100 per section and the grading scale is absurdly tightly curved, this leads to an oppressive grading structure whereby a multiple choice test of 50 (which I had) required a perfect score for an A, with a 90% leading to a B- or below. Even normally structured final exams lead to decreased GPAs because they are forced to fail a mandatory 10-20% of the class due to the absurd size to begin with (which is all a function of scamming a class for additional revenue). People told me all this before I signed on and I didn't believe them. Boy, I sure do now. I am in the process of transferring now and realize that even with some additional debt coming out of school, the opportunities I will be afforded somewhere else will undoubtedly make that burden worth it.

  61. Well, well, well. These post have surely shed some light. I just got accepted to JMLS in Atlanta for the fall semester 2011. I wasn't sure if I was going or was I going to wait until next year and reapply at a local school in NC. But, after reading all these post, I think I going to wait. I mean how much different could the schools be from Chicago to Atlanta?

  62. Any chance you'll be doing Catholic University Law School soon? My "prestigious" alma mater needs to be slammed on this blog!

  63. f*ck john marshall law school

  64. An ultra-sensitive cockroach tried to post a comment on this entry, today at 2:47 pm. Since the loser was unable to make a cogent argument, his remarks were not approved.

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    Feb 3 2012 2:45pm 2 actions 1m 42s depaul law schol lawsuit complaint

    Hello, you worthless piece of trash. How are you doing, bitch?!?! Are your feelings hurt, because several people have pointed out that The John Marshall Law School is a pathetic waste pile. By the way, the next time your boyfriend pounds you in the ass from behind, make sure that he wears protection. Learn how to spell, mental midget.

    Apparently, the pussy has his heart set on going to law school, in the Chicago area. He has an interest in the lawsuit filed against DePaul University Commode of Law. Furthermore, he attempted to comment on this entry, for “The” John Marshall Law School. No one is stopping this waterhead from throwing his (borrowed) money away, on a TTT law degree.

  65. Hi. Does anybody know how they base their scholarship packages for new students? Has anybody negotiated scholarship packages before? Any advice? I received 30k over 3 years and was wondering if that is typical.

  66. Well, I am a JMLS graduate (from about 8 years ago, when the economy was decent) and, fortunately, I did get a job at a small, private Chicago firm with average market pay right after confirmation that I passed the bar (even without being at the top of my class). I also had some amazing professors at JMLS who are still mentors and friends of mine today (and unfortunately some who really should not have been teaching at all,such as one who said the use of semi-colons in his legal WRITING class was unacceptable because he never really understood the purpose of them--yeah, funny how JMLS brags about its top-ranked legal writing program... so long as you don't use semi-colons, apparently).

    One of my professors at JMLS hit the nail on the head when he said, point-blank, in a private conversation, that he was frustrated with the JMLS administration because they'll allow just about anyone in, and a lot of students at JMLS really have no business being in law school.

    While I did get a solid legal education and a license to practice law, I must sadly admit that this Blog is INGENIOUS and most of the comments on here are pretty accurate. The first-year attrition rate is outrageous; the "Conditional Program" is just pure fraud (I wasn't in it, but I know people who were and they really shouldn't have been admitted into law school); I find it difficult not to laugh when that pathetic s*it-hole asks me to donate each year--for what?!; and its mass-production of hoards of incompetent lawyers twice a year (JMLS has winter and summer graduations) screws EVERYONE looking for a legal job in the Chicago market because it just clogs the applicant channels for the limited jobs available--and it further drags down the already not-so-great perception of the school. Even while I was a student there, I knew it was a dump: not to be rude, but some of the students really seemed like they did not have very stable pre-law-school lives; many professors were visibly annoyed with the school's administration; we went through three deans in three years; we went through three grading systems in three years (and the Administration said not to worry about this because there would be a lengthy footnote on our transcripts explaining to potential employers how one's grade in a particular course and overall class ranking could be affected simply because he chose to take any particular class in one semester as opposed to another--so basically a convoluted way of explaining that the GPA and class ranking meant nothing because not all students in my graduating were graded on the same grading scale for each class); the school is severely overpriced; and the school simply doesn't care how its graduates are affected, as long as it can sucker them into paying hundreds of thousands in tuition. It's as if JMLS has been about as honest with its students as Bernie Madoff was with his investors.

    Sadly, there are some really intelligent students at JMLS and some of the most qualified professors in the country who have ivy league law degrees and experience at the most prestegious law firms in the world, but all the nonsance described above and all over this Blog about the mis-management of the school (most of which is keenly accurate) basically casts a shadow of doubt on JMLS, period, and everyone who went there will be branded unfavorably to the general legal community unless a particular JMLS grad is personally known to another as other than simply a product of the JMLS chop-shop. Hell, even as a JMLS grad myself, when I've received resumes from recent JMLS grads, they went straight to the garbage. The only law school for which I have even less respect is Thomas M. Cooley. JMLS is a bad joke, and Cooley is a book bad of jokes.

    Ever see "Boiler Room"? Well, if only the ABA would react to questionable law school administration practices like the FBI and SEC did to illegal securities trading....

  67. As a JMLS graduate from about 10 years ago, sadly, I must say that you are correct in what you are saying on here. I enjoyed my time at JMLS, learned quite a lot and had many wonderful professors. BUT, the truth of it all is, that when I graduated, I had around 120,000 in debt. Insane! I took a public sector job (couldn't find anything else), moved back in with my parents (pathetic) in order to be able to pay off more of my loans. A lawyer who is living with their parents. It still makes me shudder! But, I was attempting to whittle down my loan payments. At one point, I wanted to move to another state so I looked into freezing my loans but you still have to pay the interest, which in my case, was the same amount as my monthly payment. I couldn't find a job and even thought about going back to get a teaching certificate but was left with the harsh reality that I could not afford to attach more debt to my name and wouldn't be able to make a payment on my loans whether frozen or not. I found it near impossible to make payments each month and still have money leftover. Additionally, the daily thought of how much money I owed left me feeling sick, miserable and overwhelmed. I remember one time talking to my hairdresser who just bought all new furniture for her apartment and thinking, WOW! I just got declined from yet another credit card company because my debt ratio was too high so I couldn't buy new furniture. Sadly, I was left to hand-me-downs and cheap furniture while my hairdresser was in a better place financially than I was as a lawyer. PLEASE PLEASE think about how you are going to pay off your loans. Most likely, you are NOT going to get some amazing job paying hundreds of thousands of dollars. You are going to struggle to get a job and 10 years later still not be making as much as you think all while feeling sick over how much money you owe. The overeducated poor. LOVE IT! Thanks JMLS!!!!!

  68. I understand the arguments being made here. All of you continually knock JMLS and other schools like it for throwing out the JD diploma for outrageous tuitions and job prospects that are not guaranteed with an over saturated legal market. I agree. However, it is a foolish hole in your argument to attribute these schools as the problem. All law schools, hell most undergraduate schools as well, hike their tuition and state that you have higher job prospects than is true. Legal restrictions must be thrown on all "higher" education institutions. It is indeed unfortunate that as I go to law school in fall, I am probably going to have one b*&th of a debt and low prospects for cash. One thing still remains certain though, for those of you who complain about not getting what you want out of law school, try suing the law school itself. There are lawsuits out there where law schools are being sued for artificially inflating there statistics. Good luck to you all

  69. Nando, why not feature the Atlanta JMLS? The school must be raking in cash because it's opening another branch in Savannah, GA. It seems part of the reason for expanding to this area is an alleged demand for more lawyers there. See

    According to that author, the fact that the two nearest law schools are 90 minutes away signifies some sort of need for more lawyers/law students in Savannah. I want to ask that author if he believes that America needs enough law schools so that none of them are over 90 minutes away from any other law school.

  70. I graduated from JMLS 25 years ago. To this day, I am ashamed to say that I went to law school there. I hated every minute and thought that hell would be a better alternative. So, this old JMLS alum would like to impart some words of wisdom to all of you who are thinking about going to JMLS. Here goes! It was a horrible school when I went there and it is horrible now. Whenever I am asked advice about law school I tell the person that if their only choice is JMLS, don't go-it's not worth it. In my day, transferring was not an alternative because of the unfair grading system. The grades were kept very low so that it was impossible to leave the school. I stuck it out and fortunately got a great job in a corporate law department thatI've worked in for over 20 years. These days jobs like mine are nonexistent for JMLS graduates. There are too many other really good law schools that graduate quality lawyers competing for the better jobs. JMLS has a horrible reputation and don't be fooled by the propaganda coming from the school. Everyone in Chicago who is in the legal community knows how bad it is! Don't waste your time or your money. I want to be brutally frank because I know what I'm talking about. If you go there you willl always be hanging your head every time you have to tell someone where you went to law school. If you are lucky, and I mean really lucky, you may get a pity interview somewhere but you probably won't get the job because of where you went to law school. One of the other bloggers was very correct when he/she wrote that the law is a profession of prestige and it matters throughout your career where you went to law school. For those readers who are current students-good luck! I suggest trying to transfer out of there if you can. If you are stuck there, try and find a clerking job or a paralegal job so that you can have some type of work when you graduate.

  71. I cannot dispute some of the comments on this board or the fact that JMLS may be overpriced considering its reputation. However, I will say this, the quality of education at JMLS is the same as at any other school. Lets face it, law school is not rocket science. Its basically reading a bunch of old cases and statutes and talking and writing about them. They teach the same cases at Harvard as they do at JMLS. Marbury v. Madison at Harvard is the same at JMLS. The difference is perception and reputation. The kids at Harvard are not "better lawyers" because they went to Harvard, they are "better" because they were the best of the best to begin with. I am an 05 JMLS alum and I did find a job before I was sworn in. Admittedly, big firms would not even talk to me as their job descriptions typically excluded me because they were seeking top tier law school grads. My first job paid only about $50k and I left that job after a year to take another job for about the same money. I built up some good experience and was able to get a six figure job with a mid-size firm. None of these jobs were based on connections. I think for JMLS grads that is probably your best path. If you rack up some good experience after about 4-5 years your chances of getting in the door at better paying jobs is good.

    What we should be talking about is how Law school in general is a scam. There is no reason for law school to be a three year program. In my view, law school should be 1 full year of classroom and then 2 years of apprenticeship.

    I am thankful that sites like this exist because I think people need to be made aware of the pitfalls of going to law school in general. And no doubt, when you go to a TTT or TTTT school, your road will be much harder but not impossible.

  72. Wow. What a bunch of negative nellies!! Maybe John Marshall does not have the best reputation but let's face it- it is Law School. How many people put themselves out there to take that step in life? Putting themselves through the stress of the LSAT, school and the BAR exam. That is itself is separating the men from the boys in this day and time. Getting a law degree will always be something that you can be proud of. It is a degree that comes with a lot of respect. I don't think it is a positive thing to dwell on such negative thoughts. I think you should all put the same energy into feeling good about the fact that you have been selected to join a group of men and women to pursue a higher education. Fight on and good luck!

  73. Man, really harsh comments about JMLS. If it and the legal market in Chicago are as bad as reflected in this blog, it is unfortunately very different than when I graduated in 1981 -- 30 yrs ago, wow, hard to believe.
    I knew that JMLS was looked down upon by many when I applied, but I was realistic as to where I could get in. I didn't work hard in undergrad at University of Miami, it was a party school then, and my GPA wasn't great. However, I did have a high LSAT score and hoped it would offset the GPA at a school like JMLS. I also applied at Tulane and was accepted but didn't go, luckily.
    I worked hard at JMLS graduated in the upper quarter of my class, and it was not easy then. Lots of students flunked out. Good grades where very difficult to get.
    I clerked for a personal injury attorney the summer of my first year and really liked it. Decided that was what I wanted to do. Clerked for Leonard M. Ring & Assoc next two summers and was one of two attorneys hired by him before graduation. We were both JMLS graduates and Mr. Ring went to DePaul. I started as an associate the day of my swearing in, went back to the office the same day.
    I devoted all my time and life to that job, got noticed, learned so much. The salary wasn't even important to me. The job was an opportunity to go on to more money.
    I ended up working for some of the best plaintiff PI firms in Chicago for 25 yrs and when I left in 2005 to help with my dad in AZ, my salary alone was $300,000. Along the way I "brought in" quite a few cases and received a referral fee of 1/3 of the 1/3 contingent fee.My biggest referral fee was $280,000 when I was only 34.
    So, I think JMLS is a good law school for those who for whatever reason aren't able to get into a top tier school BUT have a strong drive and go into PI, divorce or criminal defense. I even then had no desire to work at a big firm and knew that's not what JMLS prepared you for.
    JMLS is what it is. And in my opinion, based on my experience, it is very good choice for focused, hardworking students who want to go into PI, divorce or criminal defense. I really have no complaints about JMLS and, in fact, I personally am grateful to it and the professors I had.

  74. I Dated A Guy Who Went To JMLS... So Glad He Never Called Me Back!

  75. I really wish attorneys who graduated 30 years ago (such as Mr. Leigh) would stop using their experiences as advice for current or potential law students. The legal market and the cost of attendance and other aspects of law schools have changed so much in the past few decades that their experiences are essentially irrelevant.

  76. that is a very good point...the market has completely changed..

  77. those are wonderful, encouraging words...
    and yes, no matter what it IS a separate from the haves and the have nots in the law degree world.

  78. Nando, how can I contact you? I wanted to talk about this school. I was bullied and harassed by administrators here as well as my entire 1L section. They have destroyed my life.

  79. My experience was the same as Anonymous 10:16 above. You could feel the contempt the faculty had for the students. Every aspect of it was a scam, they nickel and dimed us everywhere, billed the students for services that we never got access to. Complete predators, I couldn't breathe until I left. This was 2011-12.


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