Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Money Down the Toilet: University of St. Thomas School of Law


Tip of the hat to my girl, JJD, for highlighting the fact that this school will now accept minority applicants who have not taken the LSAT. Given, the exam itself is a joke – as it does not measure anyone’s legal knowledge. But scrapping this requirement for some will not magically improve “legal education” nor help those it intends to aid.


Tuition: For the 2010-2011 academic year, tuition for a full-time student at the University of St. Thomas School of Law will amount to $36,022! (Yes, that figure is in actual U.S. currency.) And don’t forget $290 in required fees!

Total Cost of Attendance: The school estimates that indirect costs, i.e. books, supplies, housing, meals, transportation, insurance and other miscellaneous expenses, will be $17,795 for this same school year. This means that the total COA for the 2010-2011 school year will be $54,107.


Ranking: Seeing that this school is pricey, surely it has a strong reputation and will be a good investment, right?!?! (Please reassure me that I'm right.) What’s that you say? US News & World Report has this school listed in the third tier of American law schools?! (Did you contact the magazine to make sure this is not an error?)

After all, the school notes on its home page that it: (a) accepts those of various faiths; (b) seeks to advance social justice; (c) values diversity; and (d) generates ideas/the search for truth. Yeah, the school says a lot of things to get asses in seats.


Employment Prospects: This page leaves much to be desired.


From the pathetic Office of Career & Professional Development.

Our Mission Statement:

We will empower students and alumni as they explore and create careers inspired by passion and rooted in their faith and values. We will support them so that they aspire to greatness and flourish with confidence as servant leaders and ethical professionals.

I hope that your graduates will be passionate about selling insurance, stocking shelves, and driving taxis in the Minneapolis area. At least, their faith will carry them through these difficult times, right? How the hell can a supposed Christian school continue to pump out hundreds of law students who will never have a chance of practicing law?! I mean, where did Jesus say “Take advantage of the poor at every turn, and kick them to the side”?

This page pertains to Public Interest Careers. Of course! Who wouldn’t want to pursue a career in public interest law, after having spent $165K on a third tier, third-rate “legal education”?!?!


Hypocrisy: Go to the 4:00 mark of this video. Dean Thomas Mengler states: “Not every lawyer in America, or not every lawyer in Minnesota, should be practicing law. And some of them are getting forced out. And they probably should be, for the same reason that the coffee shop down the street may not be - maybe there are too many coffee shops in that four-block area. And we don’t lose a lot of sleep over the concept that businesses come and go, because the market economy plays it out as it should be.”

Well, did you put that statement on your marketing materials to your incoming students, ass monkey? Did you?! And it is good to know that you don’t lose sleep over the fact that you make deep six figures by financially ruining hundreds of law students every year. It must be nice not to have a conscience, sociopath.

Listen to the 1:04-1:41 portion of this interview. You can see that Mengler clearly does not give a damn about his students’ indebtedness. Regarding those students who are borrowing heavily for a third tier legal education, the Dean of Hypocrisy had this to say: “I still think that’s a pretty good deal. If you ask yourself, ‘Are you prepared to invest $75,000 or $80,000 in a career that might extend for 40 or 50 years.’”

Conclusion: This school is a waste of space and taxpayer money. It is also a disgrace to Christianity and to Biblical teachings. DO NOT ATTEND this rathole – under any circumstances! The Minnesota lawyer market is oversaturated and many St. Thomas grads will NEVER find paid employment as attorneys – this despite having shelled out close to $165K in expenses. Then again, Jack Crittenden feels that we should not expect a positive return on our “investment.” Apparently, he has not met these UNEMPLOYED St. Thomas third year law students:



  1. These hypocrite deans should have to refund the tuition of every student who can't get a job. Loved his comment "we don't lose a lot of sleep" Yeah, I'll bet the scumbag doesn't, he just takes the money from unsuspecting fools and gets a full 8 hours.

  2. Well, at least this bastard doesn't lose any sleep over his fraudulent actions. And that's what's important. honestly, I've not heard of this toilet before reading this.

  3. What does this academic know about free market economics? Doesn't he realize that his salary and that of his staff depends on federal taxpayer dollars? And lobbying on the part of private lenders and large banks to make these loans nondischargeable in bankruptcy proceedings?

  4. How can Minnesota sustain four law schools? Most of these grads do end up trying to find work there. They will also be competing with T14 grads who want to go back home and practice -- grads of Michigan, U of Chicago and Northwestern.

  5. those 2 interviews are f!cking sad to watch

    tls lemmings need to put that in their pipe and smoke it!

  6. This dean knows nothing about the “free market”. Apparently, he also does not understand the shrinking U.S. lawyer market. He seems to think that the solution to an oversaturated legal market is to pump out more lawyers – and let the “market” sort out the mess. What he does know how to do is sit behind a desk and lure in more lemmings – by giving them the false impression that the Minnesota market can take in hundreds more lawyers each year.

    Mengler gladly takes the federal loot – thereby, financially crushing hundreds of hapless TTT law students – even though he KNOWS that many of them will never practice law. Or in his words, “maybe they should be forced out.” After all, “not every lawyer in America, or not every lawyer in Minnesota, should be practicing law.”

    And yet, this reprehensible sewer rat is planning on “opening the doors of the profession” to people who cannot be bothered to take the LSAT. Yes, what a recipe for success!! Sadly, many of these students will end up with a worthless TTT law degree and immense student loan debt. They will also be overqualified for most non-lawyer positions.

    There are four law schools in the Minneapolis area, i.e. U. of Minnesota, Hamline, UST, and William Mitchell. Graduates of the latter three toilets will be floating upstream, when it comes to competing against JDs from the University of Minnesota - and other top regional schools - for legal positions. Mengler’s analogy of the coffee shop closing down because there are too many cafes in a four-block area WOULD APPLY to his dump – IF the school did compete in a truly free market, i.e. no federal tax dollars propping up this third tier commode.

    As to the video on Student Indebtedness, Mengler flat out lies when he says $75K-$80K is a good investment, because one can conceivably practice for 40 or 50 years. How many attorneys practice law for this length of time? It seems that most attorneys burn out after 3-10 years - either on their own initiative, because they are not employable or because they can no longer make a living by practicing law. (Even the “legal scholars” do not practice law – they choose to hide in the sanctuary of academia. That alone should clue the students in on how “great” and “wonderful” the practice of law is.)

  7. Related content. You should promote this posting here:


  8. why is everyone hatin' on this school? The dean admitted the local market may have too many lawyers? what more do you want? A peace treaty where the school agrees to accept only 20 students a year?

  9. The MN market was bad before this toilet opened a few years ago... now you can't buy a job. All of the MN law schools are located in Minneapolis or Saint Paul. Every year they dump around 1000 new law grads into the market with no real chance of getting a job. The grads, especially those paying sticker, are screwed. Because they all paid Harvard tuition for a garbage degree, moving out of the twin cities is not even an option.

    At least one of the 3 toilets in town needs to close. It would be much better for students and the public if the only one left standing was the U of M. Thank you for taking a look at this TTT and highlighting the MN market.

  10. "Given, the exam itself is a joke – as it does not measure anyone’s legal knowledge. But scrapping this requirement for some will not magically improve “legal education” nor help those it intends to aid."

    Given? Really?

    Law schools don't want to measure applicants' "legal knowledge." The reason you spend three years in law school is to gain legal knowledge, right? You don't need to know it before you begin. If you did, you'd skip right over law school and just take the bar.

    The LSAT gauges an individual's ability to think critically (logical reasoning and logic games) and absorb information (reading comprehension) under immense pressure and with time constraints. Law schools believe these skills are useful for law students. Sure, there could be better tests, but the LSAT does an adequate job measuring certain abilities - abilities that law schools value.

    The LSAT is hardly a "joke." It's just one intelligence test that reflects a person's strengths in a few areas. Doing poorly is not an indication that an applicant is dumb or unable to succeed in law school, just that for some reason or another that they're having trouble with this particular skill set. The test designed so that most people don't be high scorers, and apparently some people are still a little bitter about that.


  11. can't be high scorers*, pardon.


  12. 3:47, are you going to give a speech defending the current model of legal education, too? Are you Dean Mengler by any chance?

  13. @3:45 / 3:47

    "The test designed so that...."

    You twat.

  14. @ 3:45,

    "The LSAT is simply one intelligence test that reflects a person's strengths in a few areas"?! Well, you do realize that law schools give this 3 hour exam more weight than one's entire 4 year undergraduate career, don't you? Do me a favor and tell me how well Gerry Spence and Clarence Darrow did on their LSAT exams.

    Also, go check out the Logic Games from an actual LSAT exam in the early 1990s or earlier. Look at how easy that section was in comparison to today's exam. While you're at it, you might also learn that a 164 LSAT score in 1988 probably would have landed a student in a T14 school. Now, you need a 170 just to be considered by these schools. In sum, it is MUCH more competitive to get into top law schools today than it was 15-20 years ago.

    Furthermore, logic and reading comprehension are not exactly rare "skills". For instance, you tell me that the LSAT measures abilities that law schools value - without mentioning WHAT those abilities are. A high school student could have pointed out this hole in your argument.

    Also, even if you "knew the law" prior to law school, you would still need to get accepted into - and graduate from - law school before you would be allowed to sit for the bar. The reason why we waste 3 years of our lives in law school is because we must do so in order to sit for the bar. Got that?

    You state that law schools don't want to measure applicants' "legal knowledge." What does that tell you about this industry? One could major in Film Studies and get into law school. Medical and dental schools, on the other hand, only want students with a solid science background.

    Tell the Dean of Hypocrisy, i.e. Thomas Mengler, that I said "Hi." Also, ask him why he talks about the "free market" when his TTT relies on the federal teat for ALL of its nutrition.

  15. Nando,

    Please do a post about law schools, particularly TTT ones, constantly sending snail mail to their grads about "giving back" to the school in the form of money donations. You charge $35-40k a year for tuition and you want me to donate my hard earned dollars to you??? I'll even scan and e-mail you the solicitation if you want.

  16. Minnesota state jobs, organizations, and companies all favor locals ridiculously. To qualify as a Minnesotan you have to be born there and gone to school there.

    Everyone went to "the U" (the U of M) and they dominate the bar.

    At least, a U of M degree is worth something because their alumni help each other. Not like the New York law schools which are dog eat dog and everyone is trying to fuck each other over.

  17. If the original Saint Thomas were still alive and he condoned this toilet's existence and operation, I would petition the Pope to de-canonize him. Dean Mengler has a special place in Lucifer's den for all the lies and lives he has destroyed.

  18. As a proud alumnus of both UST and the School of Law I must say that it saddens me to read this post and anonymous comments. The legal education I received at St. Thomas was top notch. I started a practice directly after passing the bar and I'm doing well. The school can only educate and point you down different avenues for job opportunities. It is not there to guarantee placement in a job or hand-hold.

    It is up to the individual to investigate if a legal career is right for them and to evaluate their job prospects prior to and after law school. Laying a terrible legal market at the feet of St. Thomas is horribly unfair and misrepresentation of the mission and comments by the administration. The school does a wonderful job in the preparation of lawyers and introducing the students to a wide networking opportunity through its nationally recognized mentoring program.

    As for giving, it is an important part of the law school rankings and the legacy the schools leave to future generation. People complain about the cost of school but fail to realize that tuition pays for salaries, facilities, operating expenditures, clinics, etc. In the case of St. Thomas (a non-profit) there is no profit motive. The gift back to the school go to endow scholarships, fund clinical objectives and the like - not to line the pockets of the institution.

    Please get the whole perspective before making your judgments.

  19. The problem with the term "non-profit" is that while it's true, it's a mere technicality. You make it sound like the school is running a soup kitchen and everyone who works there are volunteers. It's not. I mean, it's true in that the school probably has no owners/stockholders/partners/proprietors. But make no mistake, it's employees are not volunteers who work for free. And though it's "Saint" Thomas, the professors don't exactly live a spartan life as monks do. The professors and deans make lots of money. Comparable to a "for-profit" operation. The deans have motive to rake in more money.

    This is the deceptive part of many "non-profits." Not just schools, but I find it particularly troubling with schools.

  20. I would like to congratulate Shill Wheaton who posted a defense of "Saint" Thomas Law School at 1:08PM. Mr. Wheaton, I am happy that you found success in shitlaw. I am sure you will be singing St. Thomas' praises when it graduates more TTT lawyers that will join the shitlaw ranks in your area and undercut your "hourly" or fixed shitlaw rates. In NY, shitlawyers are already advertising divorces for $250, DUI representation for $200, bankruptcies for $400 and immigration cases for $500. Let's not forget the 33.3% cut you make from a $1,000 nuissance settlement resulting from fender bender "injuries." I would rather work as a plumber than denigrate myself with a TTT law degree, six figure non-dischargeable debt and a miserable existence in shitlaw. Mr. Wheaton, like a pig that likes rolling in shit, I commend you for your "success."

  21. Dear Thomas Mengler,

    ........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')
    ..........''...\.......... _.·´


    The Class of 2010

  22. Did anybody force you to enroll at this school?

  23. I would like to apologize for trying to shed some light on this topic. Apparently a learned debate is not the purpose of this thread. Instead it seems to be a rant session against law school in general, St. Thomas School of Law in particular, and now me personally.

    I would urge everyone here to investigate fully the profession and the school as you owe it to yourselves to be fully informed about the topic.

    Good luck to everyone here and thank you for the opportunity to comment.

  24. GOP Lusty Larry Gives Good ToiletApril 15, 2010 at 8:05 AM

    Chris Weaton,

    A learned debate matters little outside of the fake ivory tower construct of the LIE schools. What controls actual outcomes are money, and brute force. And these schools are governmentally subsidized cash cows which are misrepresenting themselves to their students.

    You say that there is no guarantee of job placement by these schools. Well why should there not be? These scum toilets accept $40 K per year but do not accept any accountability for their failure to provide the careers they promise in their shiny brochures. They are despicable criminal enterprises and these 'deans' should be lead out in cuffs.

    Have a bad day.

  25. Chris Wheaton,

    I apologize for your feeble defense of this toilet not being received with open arms (and gaping mouths) by the readers of this blog. This site is devoted to informing prospective and current law students about the perils of “legal education” in this country. You state that you want pre-law students to research this decision, but then you show your true apologist colors with your defense of this third tier trash can.

    How can YOU defend toilets that charge Ivy League tuition – when their students will have anemic job prospects?! You made me laugh with your focus on the “non-profit” nature of these schools. Are the “professors” and administrators taking a vow of poverty to “teach the next generation of lawyers”? Of course not! The tenured profs are making SERIOUS bank – by financially ruining legions of young people. Do such people – who often work less than 6 hours a week – deserve anyone’s respect or admiration?

    The law schools have endless advertising budgets to get the word out about how amazing and wonderful they are. They also have free reign to put out whatever garbage employment and starting salary statistics they want to disseminate. (Remember, the ABA and NALP simply pass along these SELF-REPORTED figures as if they were gospel.)

    The schools have NO INCENTIVE to produce accurate numbers. (They might suffer a drop in the USN&WR rankings if they were to put out accurate figures.) The stats are not put through an independent, outside audit. And no penalties are handed down by the ABA for manipulating these numbers.

    Instead, the law schools have plenty of rea$on$ to manipulate and distort their placement and salary figures, i.e. possible higher USN&WR ranking; attracting more applicants; and increasing tuition. (Then again, even the commodes - such as UniversiTTTy of STTT. TTThomas Sewer of Law – jack up their tuition year after year.) In sum, the law schools have much more to gain by lying and fraud - than they do by reporting the truth.

    Thank you for urging pre-law students to “investigate fully the profession and the school as [they] owe it to [themselves] to be fully informed about the topic.” This site and the other scam-blogs will continue to inform prospective law students about the realities of the shrinking, over-saturated U.S. lawyer market.

    Take a cue from your mentor: don’t lose any sleep over this development. After all, this is how the marketplace of ideas works.

    1. I am a practing lawyer of 22 years. St Thomas should have never opened up a law school. It is a diservice all current lawyers and especially new graduates. There is only one dental school college in Minnesota and they graduate around 300 students per year. A dentist can make a good living and retire at age 62. Your school has flooded the market with hundreds of people that will have no chance working in the legal field and the hourly rates have been driven down by hundreds of desparate new attorneys that are just trying to earn enough to pay their student loans. The sad part is that I have met many extremely talented St Thomas Grads that would make execellent lawyers but many of them might have wasted 4-8 years that could have been in another occupation that is in demand. I was following this and many officials from Mitchell and Hamiline pleaded with St Thomas not to open the school for these reasons but St Thomas did it anyway over ego. Ban idea anyway - religion has zero place in the practice of law.

  26. I love the professorial, learned tone "Chris Weaton" takes in his second post, like he's the reasonable and intelligent one and the rest of us are fools. The problem, "Chris" is that UST and its crappy ilk are selling a crop of mediocre students that they too can enjoy the riches and prestige of a high powered legal career even though those jobs are reserved for those students who have excelled in their previous academic lives. It's nothing short of immoral.

  27. All,

    First, I'd hardly call this the marketplace of ideas. The fact that the bulk of comments come from those hiding behind anonymity is evidence of that. The ad-hominem attacks and lack of full and fair disclosure of those making comments makes this all the more disturbing. I commented because of the inaccuracies of the statements. I did so openly and with full disclosure.

    Secons, the fact is - students need to investigate the profession, the likelihood of job prospects, educate themselves of the job market before taking the LSAT and applying to any school. Laying the lack of full investigation at the schools feet is more than unfair - it's simply inaccurate. There are legions of resources out there that can giver you a fair and accurate picture of what the education entails, the costs, and the prospects of employment after graduating.

    Am I defending St. Thomas? You're damn right I am. It is a fine institution and it delivers a top notch education to those who wish to enroll. Does it hand everyone who graduates a job? No. No school does. St. Thomas provides opportunities for networking though a mentorship program that no other school can match. Given those opportunities along with SELF MOTIVATION, a job (even in this market) is not only possible it happens every day.

    Third, A bulk of the comments seem to want to take away personal responsibility away from the students. There is no magic to graduating from law school, nor should there be any job waiting at the end of it. At some point in your life, you must become self-sufficient. I assume that your parents no longer house, clothe and feed you, right. At the time of majority, were you handed a place to live, clothes and food to sustain your life? Of course not. There are no guarantees in life. You have to work for what you want. If you went to St. Thomas and want a job, you must work to get one. It's no different than anything else in life.

    Finally, I have never said, not intimated that anyone here is a fool. I have tried to engage everyone in a serious and open debate. St. Thomas isn't selling anything that isn't advertised. Again, I can tell you that as a graduate I am fully prepared to practice which is a testament to the education I received. I practice with and against many St. Thomas lawyers and can tell you that they are also well prepared to practice and are formidable adversaries as well.

    I appreciate the forum. Thanks again.

  28. Guy In Gorilla SuitApril 15, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    I am not convinced, Sir, that "hiding behind anonymity" somehow detracts from the free exchange of ideas. Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" was published anonymously, and I daresay it made a substantial contribution. I think you are smart enough to realize exactly why most who post here do so anonymously.

  29. I am convinced "Chris Wheaton" is a shill for St. Thomas. "Top notch legal" education at St. Thomas? Really? This reminds me of a conversation I overheard on the LIRR from a Touro law student who tried to equate his TTT to NYU Law because Touro and NYU law students use the same casebooks. Come on Chris, do you expect those diligent pre-law students to question the fraudulent employment and starting salary numbers published by TTTs such as St. Thomas? What these schools do is criminal. If law school deans worked in Fortune 500 companies and made false statements to the SEC, do you think they would be insulated from criminal liability? Oh but no one regulates or verifies the numbers published by these scoundrels. If the dean of St. Thomas law school wants to be honest, why won't he submit his employment numbers to an independent auditor for verification? Why does he have to hide? Besides the employment numbers are fudged. A St. Thomas law grad that works as an asst. mgr. at a Payless shoe store counts as an "employed" alum even though the employment is unrelated to law.

  30. I suppose that Thomas Paine argument might carry some weight if we were discussing the rights of men, liberty and the like. As it is, I can only assume that posting anonymously is out of fear of becoming found out as a fraud.

    I am no shill. What I am is a satisfied customer of the education I received. As for St. Thomas not providing a top notch education, the only "evidence" advanced to that end is the lack of legal opportunities perceived by our anonymous commenters. My point here was to explain that to gain an opportunity, you must do some work yourself. This point seems lost in platitudes and personal attacks of those feeling entitled to a job upon graduation.

    I think we can all agree on one thing. Those who would complain about the lack of opportunities are those unwilling to put in the work to find jobs or failed to investigate the post law school job market.

    Here is what St. Thomas has done for me. They provided me with a great education, networking and mentorship opportunities, real world practice and the tools to employ myself. The job market is just like life - it's all what you make of it. Blaming the school is (just like posting anonymously) is just cowardice plain and simple.

  31. Chris, YOU are the only one relying on meaningless platitudes to make your point, i.e. "hard work" and "life is what you make of it." Did UST instill in you the value of employing platitudes - when your arguments are weak?

    It is laughable that you are a Consumer Rights attorney, but yet you side with the fraudulent law school industry. I am being unfair to the billion-dollar legal education industry? That is comical.

    So, when are YOU going to criticize third tier toilet law schools for taking advantage of desperate law students?! Is there any reason why someone should attend UST Law and take out $150K in loans? Is the possibility that a UST Law grad may find a job making $40K upon graduation sufficient justification for this immense debt load?

    You are aware that online student loan calculators suggest that one should take out the amount of student loans, are you not?


    “A good rule of thumb is that your total education debt should be less than your expected starting salary. If you borrow more than twice your expected starting salary you will find it extremely difficult to repay the debt.”

    You also seek to absolve this dump/sweltering toilet of ANY responsibility for banishing its grads to a lifetime of poverty and subsistence. THAT IS EMBARRASSING. And that is why everyone refers to you as a shill.

    Also, should the law schools become self-sufficient at some point, too? Apparently, it is okay for these dumps to suck on the federal teat, right?! You attempt to put the entire onus on the student. That is disgusting and reprehensible, on your part. This is shameful conduct, Chris.

    Furthermore, when are you going to chide the law school for taking in legions of law students when the administration KNOWS and CONCEDES that “not every lawyer in Minnesota should be practicing law”?

    Yet, Mengler was thrilled to accept these sub-standard students into his diploma mill, and to take the federal funds. Can you spell “hypocrisy,” Chris? The school is a third tier toilet that provides its students and graduates with dismal job prospects. Your empty platitudes will not change this basic fact.

  32. Nando, those aren't platitudes, they are tried and true aspects of the American dream. You may call my arguments weak but they make the point. See President Lincoln's biography for a bit of perspective on that.

    You may also it comical that I am a consumer rights attorney but the fact is I am an attorney and I am practicing. The beginnings of this thread seem to make an argument that these institutions are graduating students with no prospects. I am proof that this is patently false. I am also proof that hard work, perseverance and a good attitude can bring success.

    Regarding debt...are there some students who take on far too much debt-load? Of course. Is this the law schools fault? Absolutely not. Taking out loans for an education is personal decision. I can assure you that as I applied for the loans I took out and went through a calculus to determine if it was a good idea for me and my family. Again, I can assure you that I didn't fall victim to some grand St. Thomas conspiracy to rope me into debt to serve their own ulterior motives.

    Regarding banishing grads to a lifetime of poverty...again, nobody is forced to attend any law school or take out a loan to do so. I find it laughable that a students decision is now somehow inextricably tied some false notion that the school owes the student a job at the end of the road. What I find sad is that someone would take on a huge debt with the idea that they are owed a job upon graduation.

    As for the onus being on the student. That is exactly where it belongs. This isn't some bait and switch scheme - it's an education. I have said over and over that the decision to attend law school is a serious undertaking requiring an extreme time commitment and much debt. Is it right for everyone? No. If you investigate the road and decide to take it - you have only yourself to blame for your decision. It's no different than an undergraduate degree. They are expensive undertakings and a job is in no way guaranteed. Do you rail against all higher education? No. Just bashing the law schools.

    Regarding not all lawyers practicing law. I don't fault the sentiment. There are many students who graduate with both a JD and and MBA or other graduate degree. Those who are working in business aren't practicing law but the education provides a wonderful foundation. In fact, I know one fellow graduate who is the head of an performing arts center. While she doesn't practice law in the traditional sense she nonetheless uses the skills afforded her by her JD in her career. I can assure you that she is happy. There are literally tons of jobs which a JD can add value to without practicing law in the traditional sense.

    Perhaps worst of all are the blanket assertions in your final paragraph, I suggest you visit the school's website and do some research on the mission of the school. The school is training lawyers as servant leaders. Do a bit of research on the student profile and you will see that the school doesn't accept sub-standard students. I can assure you that there were many brilliant people I graduated with who will no doubt become judges, lawmakers, etc. Calling St. Thomas a diploma mill is just plain wrong. As there have been just six graduating classes since the school was re-established you can see that this is not a mill (and thus not a basic fact).

    It's too bad that many are consumed with so much bitterness. If those railing against their job prospects would put half their effort at being unhappy into networking, marketing themselves, researching, etc. they may have a job already.

  33. Office of the Dean: “Hey, this is Thomas Mengler. Someone featured our beloved law school on a blog, and is beating the hell out of this institution. They also got hold of a video, where I foolishly admitted that there are too many lawyers in this state.”

    Office of Wheaton Law Group: “What can I do to defend the integrity of St. Thomas?”

    Mengler: “I need you to do some spin, post some favorable comments on the blog, throw out some plausible defense, whatever. Just get on that blog and show that we get results for our students.”

    Wheaton: “You got it, Skipper. Anything I can to help UST lure in more unsuspecting fools.”

    Mengler: “Thanks for doing this, Chris. This won’t go unrewarded. Now, make sure to visit the site often to stop the tide of negative comments. Prospective students may see this, when they google the school.”

    Wheaton: “No problem. It is an honor to defend you, sir. Take care, dean.”

  34. Google "Mengler" & "St. Thomas School of Law" and this article comes up number 2. Nando, on behalf of many unsuspecting college grads, I thank you for featuring this toilet, which was accredited by the ABA in 2006, Perhaps as Mr. Wheaton suggests, if students made the appropriate inquiries by employing the google search engine, they will avert a personal lifetime disaster, particularly when it comest to St. Thomas.

  35. All of you who rave and rant against third tier schools and there being a lack of legal job opportunities forget that 1) not everyone wants to get a legal job, some just want the training and "liberal arts" aspect of the education and 2) legal training is highly flexible and carries much value outside the legal system. (i.e. roughly 10% of Fortune 500 ceos have law degrees)

    So called TTT schools serve a purpose in that they can specialize. For example, Hamline Law School (also in the Twin Cities) has a top five ranking in ADR. Yet, they are a fourth tier school. Additionally, these schools have much more flexibility and room for creativity than the top tier do.

    Frankly, there is a market of potential students who want to go to law school and are willing to pay for it, but can't get into a top school. So they go to a Third Tier School, take on debt, and go about their lives with the enriching experience of a law school degree in their back pocket.

  36. Not only do few law schools provide graduates with the credentials to get a job by virtue of their degrees, they also fail to teach students practical skills that will allow these graduates to market themselves to clients or firms based upon their legal aptitude.

    Therefore, one wonders what on earth students are paying for with their $30 - 50k annual tuition bills? Not access to lucrative (or even modest) jobs. Not basic vocational skills. Not even particularly intellectually stimulating subject matter.

    It's funny how law school apologists act like law school is a 6 week, correspondence course that costs a couple thousand bucks. If that was the case, I'd agree there shouldn't be any guarantees. For as much as $150k in tuition alone and three years of missed work experience, however, I think law graduates are entitled to expect a bit more of a ROI.

    If getting a job out of law school requires not only assuming substantial debt and slogging through three years of coursework but also the networking skills of a politician, then perhaps it merits a mention or two before the law school deans cash those checks from Sallie Mae.

    As for Honest Abe. He may have pulled himself up by his bootstraps, but he also didn't have to go into massive debt - or jump through all of the ABA's other hoops - in order practice law.

  37. Christian EichenlaubApril 16, 2010 at 4:32 AM

    Wow. Lots of negative energy. Here's all I know.

    1) Chris Wheaton is no shill. He is a man of integrity and anyone saying otherwise simply doesn't have a clue and is allowing themselves to be blinded by their own anger so as to be deaf to his arguments.

    2) I graduated with Chris in 2008, and while I CERTAINLY had my complaints about St. Thomas, I did feel I was given a quality education and was taught to be a servant-lawyer, with an eye toward helping the community. I graduated with fantastic job prospects and am now happily employed as a Public Defender. I also felt that in the Minnesota legal community, St. Thomas has grown in stature by leaps and bounds.

    3) At the paid public defender clerkship I had for two years (a highly competitive position) more than half of the clerks I worked with at any time were from St. Thomas.

    4) To my knowledge, most of the friends I graduated with now have jobs.

    I hope these fact-based assertions will help guide the discussion. Also, Mengler HATES me, and I am about on the same page with him. Call him and ask. So I'm no shill either.

  38. GOP SENATORS LOVE IT IN THE TOILETApril 16, 2010 at 6:33 AM

    "servant-leaders"! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!! This coming from an administration and "Dean" that accepts six figure salaries by putting their students into lifelong debt servitude!!! HAHAHA! Clearly they are qualified to teach about the self-less values of "service"!

    Oh thanks for that laugh! I needed that!

    Have a bad day, apologists!

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. Ten percent of Fortune CEO's with JD's? How many of them were from the T14 or had Biglaw connections?

  41. Christian, as to point 4, how many friends are you talking about? Law Review friends?

  42. News flash! The rankings are out and St. Thomas is still in the 3rd Tier. It's probably the third best law school in Minnesota, but that's not saying much.

  43. TTThoma$ Mengler,

    Thank you for calling up two of your recent graduates (from an undisclosed pay phone, with gloves on) and sending them here. It has been very amusing to hear them talk about servant lawyers and non-profit education.

    If Jesus were in Minneapolis, he would probably jump on bus line 535, walk over to the law school, overturn the administrators’ desks, and refund all of the money to the poor students at your school. and possibly toss you all out.

  44. If you enjoyed this post, you will enjoy this one, too:


  45. "2) legal training is highly flexible and carries much value outside the legal system. (i.e. roughly 10% of Fortune 500 ceos have law degrees)"

    the JD is not flexible, this argument has been beaten to death 3 times over, but here it is in outline format

    A. There is an oversupply of degrees in virtually every discipline.
    1.There a flood of job applicants with degrees that are more relevant to the job
    EX. English BAes or MAes applying to an editor position in a publishing company

    2. they would rather choose people with other degrees because lawyers have a (justified or not) reputation of being low-lives

    B. LS is glorified vocational school
    1. there are few transferable skills learned in LS that are relevant in non-legal jobs

    2. LS teaches you skills that would only be relevant to the 1800s legal practice
    I. outside of classes like legal writing LS is tenuously related to the actual practice of modern law.
    II. this is why a JD is all about prestige

    and LOL @ your 10 percent stat, reference the previous blog entry on this site where the "leg-up in the corp world via JD" argument was beat to death.

    FYI about half of those CEOes have some kind of accounting background so a masters in accgt or MBA with an accgt concentration would be a much more wiser path than a TTT JD

  46. I find it somewhat suspicious that we've seen at least a couple posters defending this school using the same "servant-lawyer" jargon/platitudes. Really suspicious, come to think of it. Even more ridiculous is the fact that Mr. Wheaton practices "consumer protection law", yet uses the same "buyer beware" arguments that the defense firms use in their motions to dismiss or affirmative defenses, when representing the defendants Mr. Wheaton sues. So this means that either Mr. Wheaton believes this type of "caveat emptor" belief system, and is just filing these lawsuits to make a quick buck off the back of consumers, or he is employing a double standard to justify this "rare exception" to his beliefs. Either way, we're talking some major cognitive dissonance.

    To use the sort of bullshit argument Mr. Wheaton uses about the "nobility" of the law school's motives when so many people go into such high debt for such a low rate of return as exists in this day and age for the practice of law, simply reeks of either abject cluelessness that reflects poorly on a practicing lawyer, or of a level of deceptiveness motivated by who knows what. So, Mr. Wheaton, you can kindly go @#&%$@#$% yourself.

  47. "Even more ridiculous is the fact that Mr. Wheaton practices "consumer protection law", yet uses the same "buyer beware" arguments that the defense firms use in their motions to dismiss or affirmative defenses, when representing the defendants Mr. Wheaton sues."

    An odd inconsistency, indeed. But you're posting under a pseudonymn, so I'm afraid Mr. Wheaton will dismiss your argument solely on that basis.

  48. Law is the most overrated profession in the US which is why this country is populated by just so many TTTs.

  49. I don't necessarily agree with Chris Wheaton views. However, I don't find his personal buyer-beware view student loans inconsistent with his employment as a consumer rights attorney. As an attorney, he has an ethical obligation to zealously advocate on his his clients behalf. As any attorney knows, there are times when you have to make arguments that are inconsistent with your personal beliefs. IMHO, that is actually the sign of a very good attorney, i.e., the ability to put personal beliefs aside and advocate for a client.

    So please stop with the cognitive dissonance nonsense. It is nothing more than a smoke screen to avoid addressing the merits of his argument.

    With that being said, the tuition that St. Thomas charges unconscionable. If the administration truly cared about students, they would do everything in their power to make tuition reasonable. Sadly, every law school is raising tuition now. I graduated from a T25 state school in 2006. My tuition, in state, was $15,000/year. Now, that same school charges $36,000/year for in state students. It is horrible, I will not donate a dime to my alma mater until tuition comes back down.

    Moreover, was anyone in this discussion advised by law school administrators before enrolling that student loans are non-dischargeable? I know I wasn't (and thankfully, my debt is low and I've been fortunate to find good employment). Again, if law schools truly cared about students, they would give objective evidence of employment prospects and how graduating with non-dischargeable debt will affect their lives for many years to come post graduation.

    As long as law schools fudge statistics, they are nothing more then predatory lenders and deserve to be exposed.

  50. http://minnlawyerblog.com/2009/07/28/the-09-minnesota-bar-exam-day-1-video/

    Check out this site, Chris. A total of 830 JDs lined up to take the Minnesota bar exam in July 2009. How is that going to impact solo practitioners and recent graduates? (How many more took the state bar exam in February?)


    Now look at the bar admission ceremony for October 2009. Can you see all those people in the seats? These people will be competing against you for work. Perhaps you will end up getting “weeded out” – as Mengler suggests should happen to many lawyers.

    Chris, did you even bother to view the videos on unemployed $TTT. TTThoma$ 3Ls? Or were you too busy citing yourself as an example of success (“I made it. Hence, UST is a great investment for all students.”) to bother watching these sad videos? I guess they are just lazy, and they didn’t do enough footwork to get a job, right?!?!


    Here is another video you should watch, Christopher. Struggling, established solo practitioners in your state! Go to the 0:46 mark. Richard Hendrickson has been practicing for 29 years, and he mentions “It’s tough, especially with all the new attorneys coming out.”

    So tell UST students/grads Tim Brovold, Rasheen Tillman, and Frank Aba-Onu that UST Sewer of Law is a great investment. Contact them and tell them that they need to network harder and pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Here is the interview with Mr. Aba-Onu.


    While you are at it, shill, tell TTThoma$ “The Hypocrite” Mengler not to take in so many students when he KNOWS that there are too many lawyers in the state of Minnesota. And tell this joker NOT to charge $36,022 in yearly tuition for a third tier, third-rate “legal education.”

    So, am I coming down hard on this dump? You bet your portly ass I am! Again, for your benefit, here are the reasons why: (a) the school charges $36K per year when its students are graduating in an over-saturated legal market; (b) law is a prestige-obsessed industry – who wants to hire a TTT grad over a JD from a top 20 school?; (c) THE DEAN OF THE LAW SCHOOL IS ON TAPE ADMITTING THAT THERE ARE TOO MANY DAMN LAWYERS IN HIS STATE; and (d) the school is now planning on admitting minorities who have not taken the LSAT!

  51. "He...sits on the University of St. Thomas Alumni Board of Directors."


  52. I have a friend that entered law school back in 1999. Back then, large portions of the 1L class would not make it to the second year, as I understand it at least 1/3, if not more. Today, it seems that almost everyone makes it through. My question to you would be whether you know anything about the class sizes and number of schools 10 years ago. Maybe a compromise solution would be to see not a decrease in law schools, but a greater culling by the law schools based on 1L performance. This way, at least students would consider more carefully the choice of entering law school, students with great work ethic but low LSATs have a chance to prove themselves, and the law schools get to use the money earned from the culled students to subsidize professor salaries and student educations. What are your thoughts?

  53. "As a long-time Saint Paul resident, Chris is an active member of the Twin Cities community. He is a member of the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce and sits on the University of St. Thomas Alumni Board of Directors."

    Thanks, 9:44. It appears that Chris WheaTTTon has a vested interest in defending this dive. That explains a lot.

    The school is blatantly hypocritical, esp. considering that thjis school fancies itselfs a paragon of Christian values. U of MN only charges in-state residents $25K in tuition. Whereas TTT St. Thomas charges Ivy League prices for low-wage employment prospects. Yes, just like Jesus would do!

  54. Chris - I have no doubt that you have your wits about you; however, if I were posting on this blog I would have at least prefaced it with "in full disclosure, I sit on the UST board" or something to that effect.

    The anonymous posters do so to insulate themselves from the stigma of rebelling against the legal community. While it is very difficult to break into the "old boys" legal network. It is EXTREMELY simple to forever blackball one's legal career.

    You're defending your alma mater. I can respect and understand this, but you have everything to gain.

    Nando disclosed his graduation year and law school - he has virtually accepted his cover being blown. Ask Drake grads from 2009 and you could ascertain his identity. He is dangerous because he doesn't care anymore about his legal reputation. Yet, he's not going to brand himself an outsider to the legal community. He has everything to lose with respect to his credibility.

    Chris was the mission award winner for UST for 2008. UST's mission statement reads as follows: "dedicated to integrating faith and reason in the search for truth through a focus on morality and social justice."


    Listen to your fellow UST students and local community legal members. They are figuratively starving. Heed your school's words: "The law school will undertake to expand knowledge about law and society and participate in the improvement of legal institutions..."

    Improve your OWN legal institution Chris. The majority of students entering UST law are between the ages of 21 to 25. Do you really think they understand what they're getting themselves into?

    Here's your retort to these people:

    "Regarding banishing grads to a lifetime of poverty...again, nobody is forced to attend any law school or take out a loan to do so. I find it laughable that a students decision is now somehow inextricably tied some false notion that the school owes the student a job at the end of the road. What I find sad is that someone would take on a huge debt with the idea that they are owed a job upon graduation."

    Honestly Chris, do you tell potential clients who walk into your office that you find it "laughable" that their decision to take out debt should be accompanied with some expectation of Fair Debt Collection? They owe the debt, correct? You could just as easily argue that nobody forced them to take out loans. Then again, you couldn't earn a living if you did that, right?

    Granted, there are federal and state statutes to protect consumers. Still, as your school's mission winner, you have a moral obligation to improve your legal institution with just as much zeal.

    Make a difference Chris. Talk to the Dean, talk to the board members, talk to your fellow UST students, verify your employment statistics, explain to these legal novices exactly what it means to go into $100k plus of non-dischargeable student loan debt with no guaranty of jobs.

    Please continue posting - and I mean that wholeheartedly. If you truly respect UST as an institution, as an alumnus, a board member and local patriot for the community you can make a difference.

  55. May I suggest that you keep this toilet on here for a few mroe days so that the school gets some more much-needed publicity? It will also give this turd some time to air out. Thank you.

    have you noticed that Chris never addresses the central points brought up by nando and others? He just keeps sayin' "I got nothing to hide." like others have said, its easy to shed your anonymity when you are defending the industry. So go ahead and score yourself from 'brownie points,' coward.

    Do you even think this noob will bother to watch the videos of his fmr classmates who are now struggling? He wouls prefer to point to himself as a shining example of success and hard work to do that.

  56. Ahh, Chris Wheaton's true motives have been exposed. As shameless shills go, Chris Wheaton should take the top prize. I agree that St. Thomas "School of Law" should be left as the top feed on this blog for another week. I saw the youtube videos. My heart really goes out to those St. Thomas 3Ls. These kids were duped into paying a first tier education rate for a third rate education. Most of these kids will live penurious lives. Too bad Jesus isn't around to absolve their debt or Dean Mengler's lies.

  57. I'm no shill and I have hidden nothing. My name and website have all the details about my career and volunteer activities. I serve as a board member because I believe in and care about the institution. I do so openly and publicly.

    I too would suggest you keep St. Thomas up another week. The more discussion the better although a little less cowardice would do wonders to advance the ball. I find the "black-balling" and "old mens club" arguments disingenuous. If you have something to say, man up and say it. Don't hide behind the shroud of anonymity.

    As an aside, for those questioning my motives in practicing consumer law...I can assure you that I am not making money off the backs of consumers, in fact, I charge my clients nothing as I work on contingency fees. I make a modest living. Enough to pay my loans, make my house payment and put my children through school.

    I represent those who sincerely need my services. I can be selective in my representation because of the law I chose to practice (a conscious decision I made PRIOR to entering law school). Do I ascribe a buyer beware foundation to a decision to attend law school. Absolutely. It's a hard decision, it's not for everyone, it costs a lot of money and there are no guarantees. Just like the bulk of life's decisions.

    I'll address the points directed at me (and the school) as as I get the chance. For now, I have to prepare for another week of work as a practicing attorney.

  58. Ok Mr. Wheaton, I will bite on your invitation. I realize you will defend this TTT because you obtained dual degrees from there (which by the way impugns your judgment/intelligence). How can you defend St. Thomas's decision to admit minorities without having taken the LSATs? And why does this "open door" policy only apply to minorities that have never taken the LSATs? Why is a minority that scored a 139 on the LSAT excluded from such a "philanthropic" program? Perhaps Dean Mengler is gaming the admission numbers (by not counting low LSAT scores) so that St. Thomas doesn't fall into the fourth tier next year in the USNWR's rankings. Besides what is the average LSAT score to get into this dump? A 155?

    Mengler's policy is not only racist (by implying that minorities cannot compete on the LSAT) but downright pernicious as many of these minority students will become unemployable lawyers saddled with a lifetime of non-dischargeable student loan debt. Please tell me Mengler will offer a full scholarship to any minority admitted under the "No LSAT" requirement and I will retract my criticism; otherwise, St. Thomas is just looking for more federally guaranteed student loan dole to fill its coffers to carry on their "Christian" mission. And please Mr. Wheaton, tone down on the platitudes. Hard work, aggressive networking and the will to live the American dream will not save the minorties that graduate from this third tier commode.

  59. @Anonymous (whichever this was):

    If you had taken the time to research the subject, you would have seen that the article you reference on the Star Tribune site was printed in error. You can find a correction here:

    Please have all of the facts prior to posting. The fact that you didn't research the program makes me question your motives for posting. Failing to do a modicum of research says volumes about your current state of unemployment in the field.

    Regarding the award of scholarships - I can tell you that there were several minorities in my class who were awarded full scholarships. As for those awarded in the future, I can't comment as I don't sit on the admission committee but I have no doubt that they are fairly distributed based on my knowledge of the institutions integrity.

    Again, those aren't platitudes. There are many, many minorities who have graduated from UST SoL who have used hard work, networking and the like to get a job utilizing their JD's.

  60. This place has no business issuing law degrees. No business. If I got a resume from someone from this school, and let's assume he was #1 in the class, I'd laugh at it.

  61. How about instead of blaming the school for being a shithole, all you morons that are *still* applying for admission do a little research before you invest your $165,000?
    If you think you're smart enough to practice law, shouldn't you be smart enough to figure out if you're making a realistic investment?

    Put it this way - you're not going to buy a $165,000 house just because the realtor says it will be worth double that in 20 years - you do the research (or hire someone to do it for you). You look up the historical value of other homes in the area. You have it inspected to see if it's actually worth $165k.

    If UST isn't worth the investment - then DON'T GO THERE. Stop bitching about it and either a) go to a different school, or b) choose a different career path.
    For those of you who got "duped" into going there already - its true, the market sucks. Just like it did for people who invested millions in the .com trend just to lose it all. Or in real estate, just to lose it all. It's called an INVESTMENT, not a GUARANTEE. You're a legal professional, you should understand the difference. Tough sh*t kids, life isn't fair.

  62. Nobody who attends law school is a "legal professional" before admission.

    In fact, most are inexperienced morons (especially those recruited by UST) with little life experience and virtually no ability to perform a cost/benefit analysis.

    I would also bet that fewer than 1 in 50 know that student loan debt can't be discharged in bankruptcy.

    Point is, take your ill-informed, sanctimonious bullshit elsewhere - it doesn't sell here.

  63. I thought the readers of this blog might like to read the email just sent to this years 3L's:

    Sent on behalf of Christopher D. Nelson (2007).

    Dear Class of 2010,

    Congratulations on all your accomplishments and upcoming law school graduation. I am a proud 2007 graduate of our law school. I now practice at a mid-sized firm in Rochester, MN, where my wife is a practitioner at the Mayo Clinic. I currently serve on our law school alumni board and am Chair of the 2010 Annual Giving Campaign.

    I fondly recall the weeks surrounding graduation. The transition from law student to lawyer is full of excitement but not without some anxiety and stress. The job market, student debt, the bar exam, and new responsibilities weigh heavy on the minds of many graduates. Indeed, at the time of my graduation, I was not yet employed. Yet, with dedicated job search efforts, communication with our CPD office, and the support of UST Law faculty and staff, I was fortunate to land a wonderful legal position. In the flurry of emotion, never forget that you received a first-class education, developed a professional identity consistent with your core values, and are ready to serve the community with intellect, skill, and passion. Moreover, our law community is strong--faculty, staff, and fellow alumni will continue to care deeply about you and your career.

    As a UST Law alum, you will find that both a tradition of excellence and a commitment to engagement continue to bind us as a community committed to a unique mission. One way your class can demonstrate both is to participate in the class gift campaign. We've kicked off our 5th Annual Giving Campaign (2010). Proudly, UST Law has been a national leader, claiming the #1 spot in the country for annual giving among all ABA accredited schools for four consecutive years. The results of your class participation is a factor in our 2010 campaign and beyond. We can't be successful without you!

    I know firsthand that our alumni, both individually and collectively, provide countless success stories for our students. And soon, you too will serve as an alumni role model for future UST Law grads. In the meantime, reach out to your fellow alumni to assist in helping you reach your goals; we are here to help!

    Collectively, the high level of participation in our annual giving campaign is a powerful example of the alumni investment and faith in UST Law and our mission in action. We remain grateful for your commitment to UST Law and encourage you to contribute to the success. Together we can retain the top seat in annual giving among all ABA accredited law schools.

    Best wishes to you all during this exciting time as you navigate the transition from law student to lawyer. And if the alumni association can assist you in any way, please don't hesitate to contact me.

    Christopher D. Nelson, Esq.

  64. RT @anonymous who said this: Nobody who attends law school is a "legal professional" before admission.

    "In fact, most are inexperienced morons (especially those recruited by UST) with little life experience and virtually no ability to perform a cost/benefit analysis.

    I would also bet that fewer than 1 in 50 know that student loan debt can't be discharged in bankruptcy.

    Point is, take your ill-informed, sanctimonious bullshit elsewhere - it doesn't sell here."

    I never said they were "legal professionals" - just that they should be smart enough to do some damn homework before they drop 165k. If they can pass an LSAT, they can look up some facts. It's not sanctimonious, it's reality.
    Schools (especially private ones like UST) are a business, that's the bottom line. They'll take your money if you're willing to give it to them. Just like a coffee shop or a car dealership - but I don't hear you bitching about the Pontiac dealership because they didn't explicitly tell you that the Aztec you purchased would make you look like a pussy and be worth about $350 bucks 5 years after you dropped $25,000 on it. YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO THE HOMEWORK ON THAT AND KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GETTING INTO.

  65. All St. Thomas students are told that the debt (in most cases) can't be discharged in bankruptcy on orientation day during the mandatory session on financing the education.

  66. That was a nice email from Mr. Nelson. He understands (as I bet the bulk of people posting do not) that giving is a portion of the overall ranking process. Not the amount but the number of donors.

  67. i'mgoingtoscamyoupart7April 19, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    St. Thomas is likely on the cutting edge of a new trend amongst TTT schools to no longer require LSAT scores. Why? By eliminating the requirement, the school becomes more attractive to potential applicants, i.e. has access to far more potential "victims", and especially to those who may, due to lower intelligence, be more easily fooled into believing they will have high-paying legal jobs after graduation and easily be able to pay off $165,000 in debt.

    Many features of the higher education business in the U.S. look like a scam. Federal student loan programs, meant to encourage "education", actually encourage students to take on huge, non-dischargeable debts. They also provide an indirect incentive for institutions to admit everyone, lessening the quality of the degrees they provide, which for most fields in today's saturated job market are often useless pieces of paper. The winners are administrators and professors, who usually have comfortable six-figure salaries, expense accounts for frequent travel, loads of time off, huge benefits, and don't have to work much.

    How to set up a scam: 1. Invent a product which costs $165,000. 2. Advertise that this product will make your life wonderful forever (by getting you a $250,000/yr. job). 3. Convince gullible govt. officials into guaranteeing a loan program to the consumers who are meant to buy your product. 4. Get the cash from the gullible consumers. 5. PROFIT!!!!!!!!

  68. Anonymous 3:50 tells pre-laws to "do some damn homework" before dropping 165K on law school. I agree. But until the law scam bloggers started writing about the fraudulence of employment and salary statistics, there was a complete asymetric information relationship between 0Ls and the legal industrial complex. Prospective students could check law schools' web sites, but clearly those self-reported, non-audited statistics are merely marketing tools. Or you could check with NALP or the ABA. But those organizations merely compiled the faulty stats. Or maybe the enterprising OL looked at USNews. But again, the same bullshit statistically invalid nonsense (unless you believe 100% of Dukies were employed at graduation). The law scam bloggers are beginning to have enough of a web presence that I won't feel too sorry for a class of 2012 grad who finds him/herself strapped with 185K in debt and no job prospects. The information on the reality of law school is readily available. It wasn't a year or two ago.

    Now on St. Thomas. I'm not going to diss the education provided by St. Thomas (or any 3rd or 4th tier school). Because is Marbury v. Madison really any different at Harvard or at Hamline? Seriously. It's not like what you learn in a class really prepares you for practice. Law school isn't about education it's about prestige--acquiring the right brand and earning the right school tie to get into the right biglaw old boys club. Of course, no law school will actually admit to the lack of prestige of their brand, any more than they'll cop to their bogus employment stats. I will diss St Thomas however, for actually opening a law school. They did so, not to fulfill a need for attorneys in an underserved market (UMN, WMCL, and Hamline were already pumping out 600 + JDs a year) but for institutional aggrandizement. UST views envisions itself as a major Catholic university and felt a law school was necessary for it goal to be on par with Marquette, ND, Villanova, DePaul, etc.+ JDs a year. The employment prospects of its graduates was a secondary concern.

  69. GuywhounfortunatelyreadthruthisApril 19, 2010 at 11:21 PM

    i'mgoingtoscamyoupart7 -

    If you think LSAT scores have any reflection of intelligence, let alone a reflection of your ability to succeed in law school, I imagine you must have done great at the test because you are dead wrong, and dangerously misinformed.

    As for the rest of you here, clearly there are a multitude of OTHER unemployed law graduates who did NOT go to TTT schools but STILL have not been able to find employ. So, to vent your frustration, you blame an oversaturated market on students of some law school you never attended, like petty vultures and blog trolls. If you want to cry about not having a job or being in debt, show some dignity and do it to yourself, dont put down other law students who are either just as well off or maybe lucked into better positioning.

    Seriously, what is this? A High School Football team rally blog? You guys are acting like kids (and Im aware a good number of you almost certainly did not attend law school at all, let alone a TTT). Take it from someone who is currently at an upper tier 2 law school, the market is bad for everyone. It sucks. But dont think you were suckered. There are tens of thousands of architects, engineers, MBA's and various other Grad Degree folks who are in the same boat.

    STOP CRYING AND BLAMING AND MOVE THE HELL ON. No wonder you are unemployed and on this blog whining and attacking others.

  70. "Take it from someone who is currently at an upper tier 2 law school." Who cares? Am I supposed to be impressed with that? These second tier sewers provide dismal job prospects to the majority of their graduates, as well. Maybe you should complete law school BEFORE reaching your conclusions about everyone here. Who knows? I may be reading your entertaining, informative law school scam-blog in a few years.

    You have my condolences for suffering through this entire entry. Because, in comparison, wasting three years of your life - and a small fortune of borrowed money - on law school is rewarding, right?!?!

    Higher education is HUGE business in this country. Just look at the endowments of major colleges and universities, throughout the U.S. We have mentioned SEVERAL TIMES that other fields/disciplines are just as oversaturated, i.e. MBAs, PhDs, MSs, MAs, etc. Remember, everyone in our generation has been told since infancy, "Education is THE key to one's future success and prosperity." We now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is nonsense.

    We are informing pre-law students about the dangers of American "legal education" and the shrinking U.S. lawyer market. Why do YOU have a problem with that, if you are indeed a current law student - and not a law school administrator or "professor"?! Would YOU prefer if we remained silent, and sat idly by as legions more lemmings are sentenced to a lifetime of massive non-dischargeable debt and low pay? Is that what YOU want for your fellow man? If so, that says volumes about you.

    Were your feelings hurt because we don't share your rosy optimism? Well, guess what! We went through law school, and we know that the job market is anemic.

    We also KNOW that this is not due primarily on the Great Recession/depression. We have too many people in college for the available number of positions. That is why you see people with MBA and JD degrees delivering packages, parking cars, teaching salsa lessons, driving taxis, selling insurance, and tending bar.

    If you want optimism, go read a Horatio Alger tale, visit Disneyland, or attend Joel Osteen's next seminar. (And make sure to bring your checkbook or credit card with you.)

  71. Nando (whatever that is),

    Have you considered therapy for your psychological issues? I think it would do wonders for you. Perhaps even allow you to find some happiness in your life. Things aren't as bad as you'd make them. I understand that you have some buyers remorse and you think that as-hominem attacks are "arguments" but you are wrong.

    Address your personal issues before commenting on a school you didn't attend.

  72. ThisIsNotaPseudonymEsqApril 20, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    Chris Wheaton:

    You said "you think that as-hominem [sic] attacks are 'arguments' but you are wrong." You begin the paragraph with "Have you considered therapy for your psychological issues?" Is this what they teach you at the law school you're defending? To use the very fallacy you are calling attention to in the same breath?

    Nando and other bloggers are doing a service by calling attention to this problem. Your dump of an alma mater just happened to be in the crosshairs this week. My alma mater happened to be in the crosshairs a few posts ago. This blog and others like it are starting a discussion about law schools and about the state of education in this country -- and we desperately need to have this discussion. Tuition is too high, most of tuition is serviced by debt, this debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy, and this debt is guaranteed by federal government.

    This current approach to education is causing problems for both the individual and for our society as a whole. First, the continued access to student loan debt and the continued existence of higher ed programs that greedily take this debt but provide limited job skills and job placement are leading to an increasing number of defaults on these loans -- at some point this student loan bubble is going to burst. Second, individuals that take on the debt required to pay for schooling are delayed or prevented from starting a family, buying a home, or even buying a car. I make more money than my friends from my rural hometown, but I'm in far worse a financial situation. I will likely always be a member of a growing class of citizens known as the "educated poor." Education was once the path for others to realize the American Dream, but that dream is largely a fairytale now.

    This blog and others also provide a service by providing information to prospective students other than the rosy pictures that law school brochures provide stating that the average starting salary is 80-90k and everyone gets a job. Both the bloggers and the followers of these blogs were students in law school before there was information readily available to contradict the rosy statistics put out by law schools. The bloggers and readers of these blogs do not suffer from psychological issues and they are not asking for your pity. These blogs are illuminating a very real problem that up until now has been largely ignored by the media, but that is changing. And yes, your dean, your law school, and schills like you are part of the problem.

  73. All,

    I did not post the last comment attributed to me. I'll try to use my gmail account going forward to minimize being hijacked.

  74. 75 comments...now 76. I think we've hit the threshold Nando. New toilet please.

  75. Guywhounfortunatelyreadthruthis -

    Actually, I was admitted to a T1 law school, but after carefully considering various factors including the cost of a legal education and the prospects for employment upon completion of the degree, I decided to attend graduate school in a different field - a school which offered me a tuition waiver and a substantial stipend, and which will provide me with a degree in a field with excellent job prospects.
    Nando and other bloggers are providing a useful and valuable service to potential law school students, and his analysis is basically correct - Law school is essentially a massive scam and transfer of wealth from (often poor) students (and/or taxpayers) to wealthy administrators and professors, many of who engage in borderline criminal misinformation campaigns when representing the legal profession as a whole and their own schools' role in contributing thereto.
    And yes, LSAT scores do reflect specific types of intelligence.

  76. Most law schools do not report accurate employment and salary statistics. There is a disincentive to do so. It would be like expecting cigarette companies to voluntarily disclose that their product kills or expecting soft drink manufacturers to disclose that their high-fructose corn syrup sweetener causes obesity. It is difficult, therefore, to make an informed decision when reliable information is lacking in the first place.

    Compounding the problem of lack of information is the cultural climate of the nation. Every TTT law student thinks he will be the exception: the stats don't apply to him; where there's a will, there's a way, et cetera. Law school (and MBA) programs pander to this by emphasising how much depends on the initiative and energy of the student. Hamline's law school dean is on Youtube stressing this line of argument. It is disingenuous. In short, besides the deliberate vagueness and mendacity of the law schools there's also the false optimism, the will-to-believe, of prospective students. The two co-exist symbiotically.

  77. UST is now First Tier.

  78. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/rankings/page+6

    Actually, the University of St. Thomas Sewer of Law is still ranked in the third tier. The link above is from USN&WR's 2011 law school rankings scheme. William Mitchell is ranked 98th, placing it in the second tier.

    There are 200 law schools in the United States. While US News may be polite enough to list top 100 schools as "Tier 1", this is not the case. First tier schools would logically be limited to those ranked in the top 50. Unless, of course, you think that there is no second tier.


    In the last analysis, even first tier law schools are nothing special. Hell, 11th-ranked Duke Law School needs to pay firms to (temporarily) hire some of its students.


    Ninth-ranked Michigan Law School is advertising job opportunities in India for its graduates. The lawyer job market is over-saturated to the point where lawyers from elite universities are no longer safe. What shot in hell does a student at $TTT. TTThoma$ have, in this industry?!

  79. Does anybody know where the raw data is on the employment statistics for St. Thomas? Like the actual survey data? It used to be easy to find on their webpage, but now.... nothing

  80. All of these rants, of course, rely on the fact that everyone who goes to law school wants to go to some high power, high stress, no life outside of work, law career. Maybe a third tier school would be appropriate for one who wants a law career and still have time for other activities like being apart of a family and not just a "pay check" for them.
    I am going to UST because of the sizable scholarship they offered me. I could have gone to a higher ranked school, but there is no way I am going to pay sticker for those schools. Such a debt would force my hand in what kind of job I will need upon graduation.
    The one question I have is; what the percentage of people going to UST that pay sticker. That would be eye opening.

  81. Perhaps this blogger is more knowledgeable than the rant.

    University of St. Thomas Minnesota - Bill of Rights for Sale in Minnesota. Cheap. by Mark Bennett. The comments are cherry!


  82. You can't be a third tier law school without bottom rung professors. Do they come any lower than Professor Robert Delahunty? His 2002 OLC memos advised Bush and Rumsfeld that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to prisoners in the righteous "War on Terror". They were the legal foundation for American torture chambers at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, and black sites around the world. They opened the door for every sadistic soldier and spook to have their way with any Muslim that looked sideways at them.
    State Department lawyers immediately found Delahunty's analysis to be "seriously flawed", "incorrect", and "confused". The OLC would later repudiate the memos as "overbroad" and "not authoritative for any purpose". The American Bar Association found them to be "constitutionally, ethically, and morally troubling".
    I'm not so sure there won't be job prospects for Delahunty's students though. Seems there's growing demand for sycophants in the legal profession. However I am sure that UST and Delahunty are well-suited for each other. Torture is the Catholic way.

  83. Some of the background re St. Thomas law professor Robert Delahunty is at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Delahunty But some of the OLC memos that Delahunty co-authored with John Yoo based on the "unitary executive war powers" theory are still secret. There's some reason to believe that the greenlighting by OLC of Bush's order to then NSA Director Michael Hayden to warrantlessly intercept communications and communication data that included American citizens instead of only foreign persons is amongst those still secret OLC memos written by Yoo-Delahunty. No one knows who the authors were since the government is still fighting the release of such documents being sought by the ACLU that purported to legalize the NSA's massive spying.

  84. I didn't realize that taxpayer money was going to fund a private law school. Maybe the author can correct me here, but taxpayer money usually doesn't cover private schools. Or have I been under a rock my whole life?

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