Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fourth Tier Waste Site: Hamline University School of Law

After steamrolling over UST and Thomas Mengler, the TTR Express is extending its stay in Minneapolis - and will now focus on the other commodes of law in the area. Today, we highlight the Hamline Sewer of Law.

Tuition: For a full-time student at this presTTTTigious institution of academic excellence, tuition will amount to $33,022 for the 2010-2011 school year. There is also $384 in required fees for Hamline students.

Ranking: Hamline is ranked in the phenomenal fourth tier of American law schools. Yay!

Employment and Starting Salary Prospects: According to the school’s SELF-REPORTED, un-audited figures, 95.4% of the Class of 2008 was employed – presumably within 9 months of graduation. And Hamline JDs can look forward to making an average salary of $69,567 – at least using the Class of 2008 as a barometer. The school also claims that the median salary for the Class of 2008 was $52,000.

Some questions to ask: How many people responded to the graduate survey sent out by the school? What percentage of respondents reported salary info to the school?” How many Hamline JDs are working as bouncers for The Annex, or as bartenders at 331 Club? How many are driving for the Minneapolis Taxi Cab Co, or for their competitor, Rainbow Taxi? How many Hamline-educated attorneys are proudly teaching salsa lessons/workshops at The Four Seasons Dance Studio? How many of these “legal professionals” are working the concession stand at Minnesota Twins home games?!

Basically, your job prospects are weaker than moist excrement – if you go to a TTTT. What’s that you say? You were research editor of the Journal of Law & Religion? Well, why didn’t you say that earlier? That changes everything! Now, you WILL be more marketable than a JD from U. of Minnesota or from schools such as Notre Dame, Michigan, and Northwestern. Actually, your resume and your (big ass) diploma will still say “Hamline University School of Law” on it. Damn.

So, what does Hamline TTTT have going for it?

Yes, nothing says “world class”, quite like a part-time weekend program, right?! Honestly, who doesn’t want to spend their Saturdays and Sundays in the classroom, learning about the Model Penal Code and “minimum contacts”?

Dean’s blog: “I apologize that it's been so long since I've visited with you on this blog page. It's been a very busy semester for me, in large part because I am also teaching. I'm happy to be back in the classroom and I hope that my White Collar Crime students feel the same way."

Yes, I’m sure teaching a class this semester has really put a lot of strain on you, Donald. Maybe your White Collar Crime students will get the opportunity to put your ass behind bars for fraud, i.e. intentionally distorted employment and starting salary figures. If they can find work that is! Who knows? Maybe some of them will have a spouse support them as they hang out their own shingle. Everyone, feel free to post comments on Donald’s blog entries. I will leave one, as well. I don’t imagine he will approve my comments though.

Conclusion: “Discover the Hamline Difference”?! The school is a pathetic joke. It charges too much in the way of tuition, and provides its graduates with garbage employment prospects. How does that differ from the other TTTs out there?

DO NOT ATTEND THIS DUMP, UNLESS THE FOLLOWING FOUR FACTORS APPLY TO YOUR SITUATION: (a) you receive a full-tuition scholarship that is NOT CONTINGENT on your class rank; (b) you are living at home with your parents or relatives and will only incur minimal living expenses; (c) you work a crap job and you have no prospects for earning more than $10-$12 an hour, any time in the foreseeable future; and (d) you have employment lined up with a friend, relative, or business/political connection BEFORE going to law school.

If ANY of these factors do not apply to you, then do not attend this school. For example, if you are offered a full scholarship but you currently make $55K a year, DO NOT TAKE THE BAIT. You will find it hard to get back into your prior industry, as you may suddenly find yourself “overqualified” for the job/task you previously performed well. (Isn’t this the richest of ironies, i.e. earning a TTTT law degree and being considered “overqualified”?) In sum, you do not need the extra credential this badly. You will not die, or leave this earth having lived a meaningless existence if you are not an attorney-at-law. If you do not get into a truly elite school, and you simply MUST be a lawyer, go to the cheapest school you can get into. Do yourself a favor and look up 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8).

Don’t stay mad at me – I just saved you about $150K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt (tuition plus living expenses). Plus, you can stay at your job where you will actually make some money and pay your bills.



    I agree w/NMUZ that this has been very helpful for me as a 0L trying to choose a law school. I have a couple questions and would be interested to know what people think....

    1) We have heard a lot of back and forth concerning whether UST will definitively be the 2nd best law school in the State in 10/20/30 years. I think there is a very good possibility that UST will pass up both Hamline and WM by a substantial amount eventually. However, assuming that I care about getting a job upon graduation in 2012, will UST have made a big enough move by then to make a difference?

    2) If your answer to question one was "no," can you think of any GOOD reason (not prettier facilities or better TC location) that I'd want to pay about 21k more over three years to go to UST over WM? Or 38k for UST over Hamline?

    3) Does anybody think that hiring a new dean (Donald Lewis) and Hamline's recent rise in the rankings, means they are moving up in stature?

    These LSD kids are so clueless and pathetic.

  2. Wow, its really amazing that you think Hamline is misrepresenting a median salary of $52,000. Even if it is accurate, at $33K + living expenses a year, its a no brainer not to attend this dump. But if you're right and the median is $40k, then wow, just a pitiful wow!

  3. Thanks for keeping the focus on Minneapolis. It's hard to find another city with more "lawyers" and less need.

    And a 52k median from Hamline is almost certainly bullshit. Among the "successful" maybe, but all grads, no way.

  4. I just read through that entire thread on that awful website and those are minutes of my life that I will never ever get back. It made me want to take a power drill to my temples to see if the stupidity I absorbed from NMUZ and the subsequent "advisers" would leak out. I've seen less pathetic arguments between Trekkies over "Kirk v. Picard--Who wore the uniform better?"

    I know that 98% of 0L's, current law students, and practicing attorneys are awful at math, but have you really not been reading anything on this or other blogs? Can you possibly be that dense/naive/arrogant to think that you will escape the cold hard reality of the world? If anyone is seriously considering law school at this point and is over 30 years old, you're an embarrassment to your generation. Anyone under 30 considering, please start driving without a seatbelt.

    As to the first anonymous poster's 3 questions, let me take a stab at it to explain why none of your questions matter.

    1) I have never been to Minnesota nor do I ever plan to visit that state (but I don’t need either to show you the fallacies of your decision making paradigm). The better question is, “Who cares whether UST passes Hamline or WM?” And let’s assume that you DO care about getting a job, because if you have to ask whether UST will be higher ranked in the future, then you’re already screwed.
    Here’s why. The only human being who should be considering going to law school at this point in world affairs would match all 4 qualities described in the header of Nando’s blog. Otherwise you must be independently wealthy and are going to law school as a purely philosophical exercise like Edward Cullen from those horrible Twilight books. Take a look at the number of people in the current 3L class at any of those fine 2nd, 3rd, or 4th tier schools in Minnesota. Then open up the obituary page. Now compare those two numbers. Unless you see the number of practicing attorneys who just DROPPED DEAD outnumber the current 3L class of all the law schools in Minnesota, then the chances of you getting a job when you get out as a cold caller to firms is about the same as you joining the NASA astronaut corps.

    2) Suffice to say, my answer to Question 1 is a resounding NO. Thus my answer to Question 2 is in question form. Why are you paying anything to any of those schools? Especially in the numbers you’re talking about. Do you have money burning a hole in your pocket and don’t like Vegas? Or do you want to see just how quickly interest accrues on a student loan on a yearly basis?

    3) Question 1, NO. Question 2, NO. Question 3, are you fucking serious?

    Deans at bottom tier law schools move around more than child rapists in prison exchange programs. If asking any of these 3 questions was really part of your decision making process, you need to consider the internship program at Panera’s or whatever they have that’s equivalent in the Midwest. But hurry! Because if you don’t start now by the time you get out of one of the schools that you’re talking about, everyone else at Panera’s will have a lot more experience than you and your chances of getting hired will be slim to none. Slim just left town.



  7. *************Law School Ethics in Action*************

    “Hamline Law Dean Don Lewis posted an open letter in response to the widely-reported story that Prof. Robin Magee has been charged criminally with tax evasion. His letter from the school’s Web site states:

    “As you may have heard by now, a state criminal complaint has been filed against Associate Professor Robin Magee in Ramsey County District Court alleging several state income tax offenses. This is a sudden and disappointing development. While we are sensitive to Professor Magee’s rights and her presumption of innocence, we also recognize our primary obligation to provide our students with instruction by law faculty who meet the highest standards of the profession. I will keep you advised as the law school responds to this matter.”

    Donald M. Lewis, Dean

    Hamline University School of Law”

    Had this been a Hamline law student, you can bet your ass the dean would not have come to his defense this ardently or swiftly. You are presumed unethical or guilty, when you have 4 parking tickets in the last 5 years, and are applying for the bar - even when you promptly paid your fines on time.

    Additionally, according to the faculty bio, “Associate Professor” Robin McGee concentrated in tax law while in private practice. She also focused on criminal law. Apparently, she doesn’t understand that you need to file a tax return every year – NOT once every 12 years (or whenever you feel like it).

    “Between 1991 and 2003, she filed only one tax return, in 1997, within the required time, the department said. Magee, who has been employed by Hamline for 17 years, told an investigator "she teaches classes on race and religion and is not familiar with tax law," the complaint states.

    However, according to her Hamline biography, tax law was one of the areas she "concentrated in" while in private practice.”

    Oh well, “law professors” are special and can’t be bothered to follow the law. After all, they are so busy teaching their two classes a semester.

    The sub-heading of this Minneapolis Star-Tribune article from September 9, 2009 says it all: "According to the charges, the professor owes the state almost $5,000. The school said she will continue to teach."

    And it looks like she is still on the faculty. Well Donald, so much for “recogniz[ing] [y]our primary obligation to provide [y]our students with instruction by law faculty who meet the highest standards of the profession."

  8. Nice site, very informative. I like to read this.,it is very helpful in my part for my criminal law studies.

  9. I propose we all start contacting law schools and asking them specific questions about their employment stats:

    How many students respond to these surveys?

    When you say 25% of your 2009 grads are working in "other" are you referring to a Fortune 500? Or are they waiting tables at Chili's?

    Also, is there any attempt made to verify the information you are given? Or do you just take it as a given when someone tells you they're pulling in 400k as Warren Buffet's personal attorney?

    If anyone hears back from their law school they should post the responses here.

  10. It's crazy how there are so many TTTs in a smallish city like Mpls.

    Nando, to echo what was said here previously, please create a link list somewhere so that a person can directly jump to your review of a particular TTT...

  11. Your statement about the "four factors" applies to all law schools. Stop buying the prestige B.S.

    Have you ever met a "TTTT" you would endorse or are you just the US News & World Report's lackey?

  12. Can someone please go on that website above and destroy it? I'm crying...


  14. One of the feel good stories from 2009 was about the couple who posted their wedding entrance that went viral worldwide. I admit that wedding entrace was a stroke of creativity and I had nothing but well wishes for the couple. A few months later, it was broadcast that the groom, Kevin Heinz, was an entering 1L at Hamline School of Law. At that point I frowned and realized all that creativity went into the gutter when the groom decided to enter this "august" and "noble" profession. I predict that marriage will end in divorce when the groom becomes riddled with six figure non-dischargeable student loan debt and no legal job prospects from this dump. For Kevin's sake I hope they copyrighted the video (with substantial royalties paid to Chris Brown) and can profit from his wedding because he won't be able to make a living with a JD from Hamline School of Law. What a way to ruin a feel good tale Kevin.

  15. Anyone dumb enough togo to this school deserves what they get.

  16. Breadline University?

    This dump is seriously accredited by the ABA? $150K in debt and stuck waiting in a breadline, upon graduation. Sounds like a good deal!

  17. @ 5:40,

    I have noted that the USN&WR rankings are completely subjective. So much of the formula depends on figures that can EASILY be manipulated by the law schools, i.e. job placement and starting salary info. Plus, the bulk of the score depends on the school's reputation.

    However, the reality is that legal employers are OBSESSED with prestige. Class rank and where you went to law school matters very much to law firms. (They are aware that there are too many law schools, and they largely weed out the losers who attended TTTs and TTTTs.)

    Also, I part company with those who argue that T14-T25 schools are a good bet. This isn't 1994, people. The rules of the game have changed significantly. Some people graduate from T14 schools and end up unemployed or under-employed. Plus, the debt load can be crippling. However, I do think it is unreasonable to expect to attend Harvard or Stanford and not go into any student debt. Your chances at landing good employment are VOLUMES better if you attend the elite schools.

    Also, I generally do not beat up on TTTs that are cheap, state-run schools. I save my ire for the toilets that charge $35K a year for garbage job prospects, i.e. places like Hamline UniverSiTTTTy $chool of Law.

  18. I find it ironic that Hamline School of Law has a program called "Chowhounds." I guess the program is a grim harbinger for Hamline graduates who will find themselves hounding for chow.

  19. Wow, sure is butthurt William Mitchell in here...

  20. It would make sense for Nando to tackle William Mitchell in his next article.


  22. mitchell is now a T2. Give me a break. The twin cities cannot handle 4 schools, but Mitchell, like the U of M, actually has a presence in the community. so leave bill mitch out of this.
    PS: a William Mitchell graduate, terryl clarke, is about to beat michelle bachman's ass in the mid-term election come fall. A woman that unseats bachman? Now that is a fine civil servant Mitchell produced.
    PPS: check out the big firms in the twin cities online. More attorneys, both young and old, are from Mitchell than from the U.


    Check out the Hamline TTTT Dual Degree Program. I mean, who doesn’t want to hire a Hamline JD/MNM? Oh, you don’t know what an MNM is? It is a Master in Nonprofit Management. What about a JD/MAOL? This is a Master in something called Arts in Organizational Leadership. Here is a brief course view in the MAOL program:

    Maybe Hamline TTTT can get tax-dodging “law professor” Robin McGee to teach “Ethics and Leadership.” Better yet, this dual degree is offered in conjunction with a no-name schooled called the College of St. Catherine. Actually, when you click on the link to this school, it shows that the official school name is St. Catherine University. And they go by “St. Kate’s.”

    Do you honestly think that spending another year or two in college gaining one more worthless credential is going to somehow make you more marketable? While you are busy earning a TTTT law degree and a TTTT Master’s degree, other people in your age cohort are busy working; learning practical skills; making money; and making personal, business and political connections. These things will make your competitors MORE marketable – even though you have taken on mountains of non-dischargeable student debt.

    For instance, who wants to hire someone with a TTT JD and a Master of Fine Arts in “Writing”? Wouldn’t YOU rather hire someone who can bring in business? Don’t employers prefer to hire people who can hit the ground running, due to their experience in the field?

    “Graduate School of Liberal Studies Dean Mary Rockcastle said the new dual program will allow Hamline “to create a bridge between two very different programs.” Rockcastle said that in the Graduate School of Liberal Studies, faculty members integrate the craft and values of good writing into interdisciplinary coursework and encourage students to write and publish in multiple content areas.

    “Now, we’ll be able to do the same with students in law school, who can take their knowledge and experience as lawyers and write — nonfiction, fiction, screenplays and poetry,” Rockcastle said.”

    Yes, JDs who can write screenplays are in such demand by law firms and government agencies! This further solidifies that Hamline is a filthy dump.

  24. To supplement the point about the "worthiness" of a joint JD/whatever other BS degree, I offer the following observations, regarding the value of an LLM degree, based on my dozen years in the legal field. Often times, a lawyer will obtain an LLM degree to compensate for a TTT JD degree. Case in point, does a lawyer with a Seton Hall JD become prestigious with an LLM from Harvard? Perhaps to his family and friends but in the deeper legal circles, the Harvard LLM does not wash away the stain of a Seton Hall JD. I have actually seen lawyers leave out their TTT legal education and only list the Harvard LLM credential on their resume. That is a dead give away that the lawyer obtained his/her JD from a TTT and invested another $50K in an LLM to "sandblast" the TTT JD tattoo. Folks, let me recap here. Is an LLM degree worth it? Only if you are a foreigner seeking to sit for the NY or CA bar exam or are specializing in Tax from a top 3 program. Otherwise, don't fall for the LLM trap: 1) an LLM will not erase the taint of your TTT JD; 2) you will find yourself $50K plus COL expenses in the hole; and 3) your "peers" will not be impressed and will see you for the loser you really are. On a parting note, UCLA LS is offering an LLM in Legal Skills and Practice. Wasn't the pursuit of a JD degree supposed to teach you legal skills and practice? I swear if I were in the mob, I would have invested in this legal education scam. This is the one industry where the administrators can commit fraud, profit and not have any regulatory agency monitor its actions. The kicker of this lovely racket is that ultimately the government/taxpayers are footing the bill for this fraudulent enterprise. Of course the law graduate will be on the hook for his entire life for having committed the folly of attending law school to learn nothing of the practice of law. And with legal jobs shrinking in the U.S., fewer opportunities for legal training will exist, which means many law graduates will never ever learn how to practice law. Sigh.


    Look at this quote from bitch-boy Thomas Mengler:

    “It makes no sense for all four libraries to develop a collection in food and drug law for example,” Mengler said. “Given that everything is electronic; can a student at St. Thomas e-mail a question to a librarian at the U of M and get an answer? You can never waste a crisis and here is a good example of how we are looking to cut expenses in a way that will be beneficial to all of us.”

    You can never waste a crises., eh? Good line. Mengler.

    Oh yeah, here’s the title of the piece: Subject: Law school tuition bubble? The rising costs of legal education in Minnesota may not be sustainable. So what next?
    The deans do not care about the future outcomes of their students. These bastards get paid up front.

  26. I'm a life-long resident of Minnesota and a graduate of William Mitchell (which is, admittedly, nothing to brag about), but for those unfamiliar with Minnesota and its ability to support three law schools prior to St. Thomas throwing its hat in is because of Thomson Reuters. It's my understanding Thomson Reuters employs more "attorneys" than any other organization in the world, and although through several mergers, including Thomson buying West, then ThomsonWest buying Reuters, it's much more than a legal-product company, almost everything having to do with Westlaw, legal software, and West print products (including the case reporters) takes place in Eagan, MN (a suburb of St. Paul). In that single building, I understand over 4,000 people with law degrees earn money to pay back student loans, and almost anyone with a law degree can get a job there.

    I am not trying to puff Minnesota or promote going to law school because of this, but I have a lot of classmates that make good enough paychecks without worrying about billing or working more than 8 hours a day basically doing data entry, checking links on Westlaw, or editing publications that they have no desire to ever practice.

  27. Nando, I have a suggestion for you. Since you have put yourself out there and are not afraid of the legal industry's "wrath," I suggest you request a sit down with your local congressman or senator to discuss this problem as a constituent concern. The fact is that these TTT scams are pervasive, destructive and ultimately costly to the taxpayer. Your blog is gaining credibility (recently mentioned in a Wall Street Journal story) and you are someone that I can see testify before a congressional committee on closing down these TTT diploma mills that are creating nightmares rather than realizing dreams. I support legislative reform that will tie in student loan funding to a particular school's ability to place graduates in the LEGAL profession so that they can repay back the student loans. This will create an obligation for law schools to report accurate employment numbers or else face perjury charges. It's time for these TTT law school deans to be held accountable.

  28. Here's a link to the WSJ blog:

    Last (but not least?) is Third Tier Reality. Don't worry - I'll be ranking all the law school scam blog sites into tiers based on my own subjective and unaudited data computation.

  29. going rate for MN people working at westlaw headquarters in eagan MN is about $16-18/hr. i was out there right when i passed the bar in 2007 was making $22/hr for 6months testing new versions of WL as a temp thru a staffing agency. so the 4000 attys the poster above refers to (the number is way too high btw-maybe a 1000 tops) making a decent living there must be lifers who have been treading water there since the 90's. they sure aren't new hires.

  30. I found this site quite interesting. First off Hamline Univ. School of Law is accredited by the ABA and it provides the same uniform curriculum required for law students wanting to take a state bar exam after graduating.
    Additionally, law school is no different than college. Some might tell you don't bother if you can't get into a top 8 research university because you are just wasting your money. However, the point of an undergraduate education is that it provides the student (hopefully) with a broad overview of his academic or career area of interest. Moreover, the social aspects of college allow students to – hopefully – develop the skills necessary to be able to go out into the world and contribute positively to society.
    Alternatively, law schools or professional graduate programs in general provide a set of skills that students learn to use and upon completion of the program they take those skills and apply them to their professional area of interest. No law school guarantees its graduate's jobs. Nor can they better its graduate's chances of acing an interview at any law firm. It is up to the individual to go out and be creative about applying that degree in the professional world.
    While I think you are correct about where Hamline Univ. School of Law appears in the U.S. News and World Report Tiers – I think you REALLY don't understand that no law school is charged with guaranteeing its graduates anything other than the skills required to take and pass the bar exam.

  31. @5:29

    "No law school guarantees its graduate's jobs."

    No, they just put out patently false and misleading employment and starting salary statistics - to lure in more applicants and students. That’s all – no big deal, right? Desperate college students think that a "legal education" will provide them with a better future. Also, law school is NOT the same as undergrad. I think most people understand that most four year degrees qualify one to pump gas, wait tables, answer phones, and serve cocktails.

    You have also noticed that one year of tuition for "legal education" costs a hell of lot more than one year of undergraduate education - even at the same university, have you not? Would you argue that someone majoring in Chemistry is costing the university less money than someone sitting in a law school classroom? Law schools are cash cows. What are their expenses – rooms, LexisNexis and Westlaw subscriptions, library materials, printers, computers, and “professor” salaries?

    “I think you REALLY don't understand that no law school is charged with guaranteeing its graduates anything other than the skills required to take and pass the bar exam.”

    And that is why law schools charge upwards of $40K in yearly tuition, right?!

    Here is some reading material for you, anonymous. Apparently, the dean of New York Law School – who also happens to be chair of Access Group – stated the following in January 2009:

    “We own our students' outcomes," Matasar said at the AALS program. "We took them. We took their money. We live on their money. … And if they don't have a good outcome in life, we're exploiting them. It's our responsibility to own the outcomes of our institutions. If they're not doing well ... it's gotta be fixed. Or we should shut the damn place down. And that's a moral responsibility that we bear in the academy.”

  32. @mondo
    Overall the price of law school is out of control. We can agree on that. However, most of the professional skills learned in a college or university setting - that will allow a person to earn more than he might with just B.A. degree - cost money. (Medical school and MBA programs at approved universities are not cheap.)
    Additionally, career services office’s statistics should always be taken with a grain of salt. Any dummy that chooses a law school based on promises made by a career services office is a moron! As I said before its up to the individual to work the Juris Doctor degree. Unfortunately, most law school graduates believe that they are entitled to a job. This belief is incorrect and boneheaded. The skills developed in law school (legal research, analytical reasoning and legal writing) are skills that can be applied broadly in the professional world. There are plenty J.D.s who are not practicing law – not because a law firm did not hire them – because they wanted to apply their Juris Doctor to a “non-traditional” career. I would imagine that there are more graduates doing this than ever before. That’s a good thing for our economy!
    Finally, as to the professor from New York Law School – he’s free to say whatever he wants. Not all faculty rows would agree with his assessment. Some might. In academia – academics say a lot of things based on their personal perspectives. This does not mean that it’s the law.
    Finally, individuals should research how to work a Juris Doctor degree in the professional world. From there they should choose a program that will expose them to their area of interest. (This might be a clinical program, a professor who has written extensively on a specific area of the economy, etc.) It’s a tough competitive world out there. No one should be discouraged by you or anyone else once they understand the degree and the skills obtained in law school. Are you a law school graduate? If not, why do you hold yourself out as an expert on anything dealiing with US law schools?

  33. I can vouch for the uselessness of a HUSL law degree. Back in the '90's I went there, I received a scholarship for my first year. Even then there were too many lawyers. Luckily I had an BBA and MBA in business and took the business, not legal, route ( I'm a division Financial Operations manager for a manufacturer). The overwhelming majority of my fellow law students had liberal arts degrees and were "dreaming" of big paying jobs. Example: During breaks the most read magazine was the local legal publication when it listed "average" salaries for attorneys.

    Of the approx. 200 students in my class, I was the only one with a business background and one other had a chemical engineering background. The return on investment for law school has been 0%. The only thing I still have from that time is my student loan albatross.

    As for those "dreaming" of working for a decent law firm with a decent salary only students,like myself, in the top 1/3 of the class rankings received interviews and if one wanted to work for a "prestigious" firm one had better be in the top 10%.

    In all fairness though a few of my classmates have succeeded in the legal field by being judges, prosecutors, public defenders etc... but they are the rarity or,in the alternative, went to small towns far away from the big city to practice where the "dream" salaries are not possible. A large portion of them have ended up at Westlaw,now owned by Thompson, where what they do can be done by someone without a law degree.

    The biggets "crime" committed then and now by law schools is they have become a business not an academic institution. they need as many students as possible to keep that tuition stream flowing. Gone are the days when 40 to 60 percent of law students would flunk out because they were not qualified. Law schools just grade inflate and give gentlemen Cs to students when they should be flunked out. Or worse they have become politicized and if you don't parrot the instructors point of view in class they will penalize you grade wise regardless of the students legal argument.

    Even though not directly related to any one law school, but the legal profession as a whole, the fact that most bar exams are multiple choice is a sham. They emphasize test taking skills, not legal knowledge. When was the last time a lawyer was asked A,B,C or D for his/her client's legal position.

    In closing, law schools emphasize what is wrong with higher education in general. The majority of students should not be in college in the first place. The are passed along, by the institutions, to keep that revenue stream flowing. This is a disservice to the "student" and "society".

  34. "I am not trying to puff Minnesota or promote going to law school because of this, but I have a lot of classmates that make good enough paychecks without worrying about billing or working more than 8 hours a day basically doing data entry, checking links on Westlaw, or editing publications that they have no desire to ever practice. "

    Thompson Reuters pays about 40, 45k a year for that kind of work. That's a decent living if you don't have 100k in student loans. Unfortunately, many of their employees are going to be suffocating under student debt. In this economy, 40k is a good salary to get in the law, but it's hardly what the schools were advertising when these students signed up.

  35. I have been visiting various blogs for my term papers writing research. I have found your blog to be quite useful. Keep updating your blog with valuable information... Regards

  36. I graduated from Hamline in the 80's -could have gone to Pepperdine law school, amongst others. I agree my degree is worthless! All the other law schools rose up in rank, but not Hamline. I also had teachers who knew next to nothing. I cannot remember any of them being exceptional. Don't choose this Law School. It was a waste of my time and money. Thank goodness when I attended it only cost about $5,000 a year!

  37. This guy is hilarious. He is making his own point...Too many idiots are going to law school.

    Can you say bottom third of his class?

  38. To the idiot above, i.e. 11:32 pm:

    I am actually not funny - or hilarious. If I come across as funny, it is because I am honest and frank about this fraudulent, sick industry. Sometimes, telling the truth is the funniest thing a person can do.

    Do YOU think that Hamline University is a decent school? It is ranked in the fourth tier of American law schools for a reason: employers are NOT lining up to hire students and graduates from such a festering cesspool.

    Hell, the Dean’s Blog at this vile commode features the following quote, from the Donald Lewis, the dean of this commode; he is relaying the story of a Hamline-trained toiletlawyer who decided to, i.e. was forced to, hang out his own shingle:

    “So, why are these changes so important? Let me answer by quoting an e-mail I received from a recent Hamline law grad in response to my blog a month ago about associates in big city law firms. This grad had recently been laid off from his government job in Arizona and decided to hang up his own shingle. He is now representing an individual suing a big retailer, and explained in his e-mail why he was not intimidated by the big firm partner who was on the other side of the table. This Hamline grad wrote (and I quote):

    I'm not scared at all. Why? Because between what I learned in research/writing & having professor Morrow for trial ad, I know I have what it takes to win. Moreover, the skills that I developed in Mediation & Negotiation (Professor Fox) have come in extremely handy for the pre-trial issues.

    So yes, I graduated from a low tiered law school that no one out west has heard of. I'm not making 6 figures working in a big firm. The economy sucks and there are no jobs. Sure, I'm learning lots of things by being thrown into the fire. Truth be told, I wouldn't have it any other way. Hamline gave me the tools and skills I need to be successful. While my peers in BigLaw are spending 100 hours a week in a dank room looking over a 50 page brief for typos, I'm getting real experience."

    That is the spirit that underlies our new first-year curriculum. Our goal always is to give you the skills to put wisdom and sound judgment to practice in the marketplace, and to do so with confidence. That is the Hamline Difference.

    See ya' next time.”

    Need I say any more about this fourth tier piece of garbage?! Thanks for playing.

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  41. HMMM 2nd in the country in ADR and top 20 in health law. seems like pretty good reasons to go there to me. but what do i know, i just went there in the 90's, have my own firm that specializes in ADR for divorces and make over 2 million a year. such a terrible school.

  42. 9:11 pm,

    How well are your classmates doing? Also, you went to law school in the 1990s. In case you are not aware, the job market for lawyers has changed significantly since that time. Also, YOU did not pay $33,022 in yearly tuition.

    Biglaw law firms can now rely on foreign lawyers and non-attorneys to engage in American legal discovery. See ABA "Ethics" Opinion 08-451. This means that TTTT grads can no longer rely on doc review.

    You can see that Thomson-Reuters recently purchased Pangea3 LPO.

    The ABA was considering accrediting foreign law schools. (I am sure these pigs/morons will revive this later on.)

    The JD Class of 2009 had 44,000 graduates – competing for 28,901 jobs that required bar passage. Do you think there might *possibly* be a glut of attorney positions?!?!

    In the last analysis, Hamline University School of Law is a FOURTH TIER PIECE OF TRASH. Hell, the commode offers a part-time, weekend program! Law firms, especially Biglaw, look at the caliber of the law school. So do federal government agencies. The school is a terrible joke, notwithstanding your success. Every TTT and TTTT can boast of successful graduates. However, these sewers are now sentencing their graduates to a lifetime of debt servitude – and anemic job prospects.

    Here is some sobering analysis from Kowalski & Associates:

    “And, indeed, if you have reached this point in this note, in the unlikely event you haven’t already come to other obvious conclusions, here they are: (a) law schools must stop behaving like the beauty schools of 1990 and (b) law schools should make full, fair and candid disclosure to every law school applicant (before they even remit the application fee) and have each applicant sign a document that he or she has read the disclosures and understands them.”

  43. Did you ever consider that a part-time weekend program may just be more accessible for students that work full-time? Yes, students that are working as doctors, nurses, pilots, engineers (yes, had one person in each of these categories in my classes)...the list goes on...but all individuals who wish to obtain a legal education for one reason or another. Just because it is part-time, or on the weekend, does not mean it is for "slackers," etc.

    I see your research is lacking a little. I am sorry that you had a bad experience, but you are quite naive if you think every student attending law school is in the same situation as you.

  44. To the idiot above,

    This blog is clearly not lacking in research. Hell, the New York Times saw fit to quote me in its Sunday edition.

    A few “law professors” openly support of the basic premises of these blogs – even if some have not actually endorsed these sites. Brian Tamanaha (Washington U. of St. Louis), Lucille Jewel (The John Marshall Law School), J. Gordon Hylton (Marquette), Richard Sander (UCLA), William Henderson (Indiana-Bloomington), Herwig Schlunk (Vanderbilt) and Erik Gerding (U. of New Mexico) come to mind. In respective order:

    On July 30, 2010 9:24 pm, Gordon Hylton wrote:

    "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"

    The next time you want me to bitch-slap you, Dumbass, just come back here and shoot your mouth off - without having the slightest clue as to what the hell you are talking about.

    1. This blog is clearly lacking in research.

  45. I received my BA and JD from Hamline. Although I hated law school, I appreciate the degree. I never took the bar exam and don't plan to. I bill out at $200/hr. all day long as a family court mediator/arbitrator. Paying $600/month in student loan payments is really no big deal. sound like a lot of 1L's who are all worked up about class rank and other bullshit that doesn't really matter in the real world. HUSL is no different than any other law's up to the individual to be successful with their degree, not the school's responsibility.

  46. @ 7:04 pm,

    How much did the sewer of law pay you to make that recommendation? In the end, that was simply an empty, meaningless platitude. To wit:

    "it's up to the individual to be successful with their degree, not the school's responsibility."

    Really?!?! You mean the schools do not line their students up with jobs?! Nobody here is making that argument, shill. We know that we need to find work. However, people do have the reasonable expectation that a JD will not be such a barrier to non-legal employment. After all, these diploma factories always say, "A law degree is highly versatile. One can do anything with a law degree."

    Lastly, you mention that you bill out at $200 an hour as a family court mediator. That sounds suspect. You would be making well more than many legal practitioners who represent family court clients. You would also being making a hell of a lot more than a family or juvenile court judge. Most mediators I know make about $100-$150 an hour - and they certainly are not billing all day long. They may get 20-30 hours in a month. In fact, many of these people have another job. I also know some mediators who are working on straight salary, i.e. $47K per year. By the way, that friend went to a real law school, i.e. Texas-Austin, and has a law license.

    Nice try, kid. States are trimming judicial budgets.

    “Professional Background

    I was a full time practicing attorney for eleven years. My early career was in corporate law. However, the majority of my career was as a Family Law Attorney. I represented private clients as well as served as a family court Public Defender in the first and second largest counties in Minnesota. In 2007 I became a Rule 114 Qualified Mediator. I began mediating family law conflicts of all kinds and other civil law issues.”

    This former corporate attorney of eleven years now charges $185 an hour, as a Minnesota mediator.

    Lastly, a lot of recent Hamline JDs are making $35K-$50K per year. US News shows that the average student indebtedness - for those Hamline JD Class of 2009 who incurred law school debt - was $92,794. Fully 83% of this class took on such debt. According to FinAid, this amount alone at 6.8% interest, would equal out to 361 payments of $606.12. Try doing that on $40K.

  47. Are there too many people going to law school these days? No doubt. Do they come out of school with too much debt? Certainly. But all the trash talk talk about Hamline (and no doubt other schools I'm not familiar with) is pretty silly with all the colorful language making for fun venting but not really adding anything to reasoned debate.

    I went to Hamline in the 90s and got a decent job as an editor at West before eventually moving to private practice. I had friends in my class who ended up at both Faegre and Dorsey (the two biggest firms in the twin cities) as well as ones who are in the PD's office, the AG's office and Minneapolis city attorney's office. There are plenty of them in smaller firms and in legal departments in corporations. One classmate is the new Ramsey County (St. Paul) Attorney. Another is the out going North Dakota Commerce Secretary. And those are just people I know personally. Tons more that I don't know are no doubt working in the field as well. And of course there are plenty who don't end up in the field and wonder if they maybe shouldn't have gone to law school after all. But that happens everywhere.

    Yes, it goes without saying that a degree from Hamline doesn't carry the same weight as one from U of M. But that doesn't mean that a Hamline degree doesn't work out quite well for plenty of people. A lot of success is networking and students at lower ranked schools will always have to do more of that than ones from the top 20. Tell us something we don't know.

  48. 2010 Hamline graduate gainfully employed as an actual attorney at law, believe it or not. No, seriously.February 1, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    "Any dummy that chooses a law school based on promises made by a career services office is a moron!"

    Just quoting the above for emphasis. Did any of you people throwing around the buzzword "fraud" pay enough attention in law school to notice that one of the common-law elements is the plaintiff's right to rely upon the representation, i.e., justifiable reliance, reasonable reliance, etc.? What do you submit to show that your reliance upon whatever TTTT X purportedly represented to you was in fact reasonable, and not just taken at face value? I'm not even disputing whether or not or to what extent TTTT X made negligent or intentional representations, because that's merely one of several conjunctive elements.

    FFS, had Hamline's CSO come to me and "promised" that I was guaranteed to receive a fantastic blowjob from Portia De Rossi in the graduation ceremony, I still wouldn't feel cheated now, because there would have no reason to RELY on such a ridiculous proposition. There would have been even less reason to rely on it upon doing some actual RESEARCH and discovering that she is, in actual fact, a dyke. Yet apparently you were content to take anything some obviously incentivized CSO lady you've never met before says to you at FACE VALUE. Why? Were you really so clueless about the way of the world as to trust whatever a stranger says because they say it? If you were, why are you suddenly so enlightened now about what a cynical machine of exploitation the entirety of the human experience is, always has been long before law schools came to exist, and always will be even after 99% of what lawyers do will be automated out of existence? Perhaps law school taught you a thing or two about the real world after all?

    Really, this is a serious question: what set of particularized facts elevated your mere reliance into the mystical realm of reasonable reliance? I'm genuinely curious. Enlighten me.

  49. @ Feb. 1, 2011 8:24,

    Look at that "mature" response! Did I EVER state that NO ONE from a TTT or TTTT practices law?!?! I suppose Hamline TTTT students have difficulty staying away from straw men arguments.

    By the way, what do you have against lesbians? (I have actually received a thorough blow job from a lesbian before.) Referring to them as "dykes" is idiotic. How is that for enlightenment, Dumbass?

  50. Certain aspects of law school are similar for all students, but, like every graduate program, law school requires non-traditional students to think about additional considerations such as family and full-time employment on top of academic

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  51. Nando, Could you lose the name-calling already? You do nothing for your arguments and your bitterness is palpable.

  52. I went to Hamline in the 80's. I got into Pepperdine as well and chose Hamline because it was cheap and I didn't know better.
    I might as well have used my degree as toilet paper. The professors were terrible! They seemed like a bunch of left over hippies at the time.
    I graduated and did pass the Minnesota bar the first time, (it is an easy bar) but had trouble passing the California Bar. This school has gone nowhere in ranking and probably will always be at the bottom of the heap.
    I would never send my kids here. If you can't go to a top 10 don't go to Law School. You will be left with a huge loan and no income.

  53. Hamline is in the second tier based on the 2012 rankings. There is no longer a tier 3 or 4. There is top 150 and tier 2. So Hamline must not be nearly as bad as you think. And they don't even have the 'big school' factor going for them that skews ranking.


    Are you pretending to be brain dead, cockroach?! Hamline University Sewer of Law is now listed as "Ranked Not Published." This school was also in the bottom quartile last year, Stupid! The ONLY difference is that Pussy Bob Morse decided to no longer refer to schools as third or fourth tier.

    Does he own the copyright to those terms, bitch?!?! He simply did not want to offend those schools. After all, they provide advertising revenue for that dying rag known as US "News" & World Report.

    In the final analysis, Hamline Univer$iTTTTy $chool of Law is still a fourth tier pile of garbage.

    By the way, Brian Leiter, “law professor” at the University of Chicago, also flushed this piece of trash down the drain:

    “[US News] combines too many factors, in an inexplicable formula, and much of the underlying data isn't reliable, and some of it (e.g., expenditures on secretarial salaries and electriciy) isn't even relevant. You all know this. So don't report it. The fact that this garbage appears in what used to be a major 'news' magazine doesn't change the fact that it is garbage.”

    You are welcome for the education/beatdown, Dumbass.

  55. ^Sadly, you are referring to the 2011 rankings. I am positive I said 2012. Not to mention they are ranked 3rd in the nation in Dispute Resolution. Beat down on US Best if you want, but its funny how you have been using their rankings to back your point up for so long. US Best is not the only list that puts Hamline in the 2nd tier. I will let you do the research. You calling people out of their names does not make you look intelligent by the way, especially when your entire post is based on your inability to interpret my fairly simple post.

    Wasn't expecting you to respond to my post. Guess I will check more often, to keep giving you an "education/beatdown."

  56. According to the most recent (2012) U.S. News and World Report rankings, Hamline Law's ADR program ranks 3rd in the nation while its Health Law Institute ranks in the top 20. Not bad for a "Sewer of Law", if you ask me.


    As of today's date, this link furnishes USN&WR's law school rankings - for 2012, retard! You are fooling yourself - or attempting to fool lemmings - if you insist that law firms care about specialty rankings.

    YOU need to learn how to follow a straight-forward argument, cockroach. In fact, if you had bothered to copy and paste the link, you could have prevented making an ass out of yourself. Pussy Bob Morse of US "News" now lists the fourth tier as "Rank Not Published."!?! Or do I need to draw you a diagram with Crayola marker on posterboard? I am more than happy to flush your face and ass down the commode again, stupid bitch.

  58. Interestingly, Hamline Law School got its start as a student-initiated law school. A local entrepreneur started his own law school and when students & faculty learned he had no interest in seeking accreditation, they seceded to start a community-based law school of worker-students. Known as "Midwestern Law School" they realized that accreditation wouldn't happen without a sponsoring university and joined Hamline (oldest university in Minnesota)

    I entered in that "radical" class, without any intent to practice law, and didn't do bad for myself through out a career in community organizations & government. Made a middle-income for most of my career until my health gave out.

    No regrets. Prospective students should realize that no school, Hamline or Harvard, is going to give you a life. You have to do that on your own.

  59. The legal job market has changed drastically, since 1975 - when the first Hamline Law graduating class received their degrees.

    By the way, thanks for the news flash - regarding the fact that "no school is going to give [someone] a life." The comparison to Harvard is disingenuous, by the way. Connections and grades are what matter, in this filthy "profession." Going to Harvard Law provides one with a great roadmap, whereas attending Hamline University Sewer of Law furnishes one with TTTT job prospects. In light of SKYROCKETING tuition - and a fundamentally different U.S. and global economy - it is more important than ever to make sure that you give yourself the best chance at success.

    Harvard, Yale and Stanford are in a class of their own. Hamline is simply another diploma mill. In fact, it is a fourth tier dung pit. Take a look at these sources, if you desire timely info - regarding the legal industry.

  60. You are kind of an asshole and truly probably don't even know what you are talking about

  61. To the piece of trash who posted on December 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm,

    Host name:

    NetRange: -
    NetName: DREXEL
    NetHandle: NET-129-25-0-0-1
    Parent: NET-129-0-0-0-0
    NetType: Direct Assignment
    RegDate: 1987-07-20
    Updated: 2000-08-09

    OrgName: The Drexel University Campus
    OrgId: DUC-1
    Address: 3141 Chestnut Street
    City: Philadelphia
    StateProv: PA
    PostalCode: 19104
    Country: US
    RegDate: 1987-07-20
    Updated: 2011-09-24

    How are you doing, in lame-ass Philadelphia, bitch?!?! I can see that you are visiting this site, from the campus of Drexel University.

    Visitor detail
    IP address:
    IP lookup: ARIN / RIPE
    Unique ID: 9749609955614689720
    First visit: Wed Jun 30 2010 11:27am
    Visits: 18
    Language: English
    Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Operating system: Windows 7
    Web browser: Internet Explorer 8.0
    Resolution: 1920x1200
    Javascript: Enabled

    Time Visitor Session Referrer
    Dec 12 2011 2:05pm 5 actions 6m 53s third tier reality

    By the way, cretin: I have supported my case with the facts. All you have done is cry like a bitch, because reality does not square with your beliefs. Go see a therapist about that, pussy.

  62. Dude this website rocks!!!

    I'm guessing the webmaster went to law school and didn't find a job? That sucks, man, it's a big racket, you need to spread the word that we need less lawyers not more!

    Keep up the good work.

  63. As a Hamline Law graduate from the 90s I will, unfortunately, have to concur with the common absence of gainful relevant employment following this law school. All is well now, but my career growth had nothing to do with Hamline. That being said, there were a few law professors there that taught and prepared students extremely well for the practical world. It's too bad the school's ranking dragged them down with it. I would suggest that you keep in touch with a former employer when you attend so you can return to the job until you find what you want.

  64. So, since this mess was written, Hamline Law School has moved into the First Tier. You guys are a bunch of egotistical idiots.

    1. To the piece of trash above,

      Actually, Hamline University Sewer of Law is now rated as the 126th greatest, most phenomenal and astonishing law school in the land, waterhead! That places the cesspool in the THIRD TIER of ABA-accredited diploma mills.

      Hell, this school shares this particular ranking with the following five garbage heaps: Campbell, Chapman, Drexel, Howard, and Loyola Univer$iTTTy New Orlean$. Are you still proud of this "accomplishment," cockroach?!?!

    2. Hahaha little troll. Where did you go to law school?


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