Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Profiles in Hypocrisy: TTT Dean Thomas Mengler

The following email was sent to Thomas Mengler on Sunday, March 18, 2010 at 10:35 pm:

Hello Hypocrite!

Thomas Mengler
University of St. Thomas School of Law
MSL 411
1000 LaSalle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403-2015



You are on tape telling Minnesota Lawyer that there may be too many lawyers in your state. Let’s go to the 4:00 mark, shall we?

“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.”

Why didn’t you put this in your school’s marketing materials to prospective students?! And I am thrilled to hear that you don’t lose sleep over this. Just get them in the doors, charge them up the nose in tuition, pump them out, and let the “market” sort out the mess, right?!


At the 1:04-1:41 portion of this interview, you show that you clearly do not care about your students’ level of indebtedness. Regarding those students who are borrowing heavily for a third tier legal education, you 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.’”


Well, Thomas, it looks like this would be a very conservative estimate, on your part. After all, for the upcoming 2010-2011 academic year, tuition for a full-time student at the University of St. Thomas School of Law will amount to $36,022! And we shouldn’t forget the required fees – in the amount of $290.

Now, maybe my math is not that sharp, but $36,000+ a year in tuition would amount to more than $108K, correct? Let’s not forget living expenses. According to this same link – under Indirect Costs – the school estimates that books, supplies, housing, meals, transportation, insurance and other miscellaneous expenses, will be $17,795 for the upcoming school year. That would take the total cost of attendance for the 2010-2011 school year to $54,107.

Plus, how many lawyers practice for 40-50 years? It seems that MOST lawyers burn out after a few years. You have a few old dinosaurs who cling around for 30-50 years, but they are the exception. The reality of the situation is this: most lawyers find that they do not like the practice of law (such as your “professors”); that they cannot make a living at it; and the rest are essentially not hirable.

Your analogy of the coffee shop closing down because there are too many cafes in a four-block area would apply to your third tier law school – if the school had to compete in a truly free market. Lucky for you, federal tax dollars are propping up this third tier commode.

Lastly, how the hell can you justify charging Ivy League tuition when you are AWARE that many of these students will be dumped into an oversaturated legal market?

Up yours, Hypocrite!


P.S. Here are some videos for you to watch, in the hope that you may grow a conscience. The first three feature UST students who cannot find jobs.





Check out this site, Thomas. A total of 830 JDs lined up to take the Minnesota bar exam in July 2009. (How many more took the state bar exam in February?)


Check out this video of struggling, established solo practitioners in your state! At the 0:46 mark. Richard Hendrickson – a practicing lawyer for 29 years – states: “It’s tough, especially with all the new attorneys coming out.”


And your bright idea is to allow minority undergrads at UST admission to the law school – without taking the LSAT?!?! Many of the people admitted under this program will not ever get a chance to practice law. You will simply be sentencing more people to a lifetime of disillusionment, low wages, and a mountain of non-dischargeable debt.


  1. Sir, I commend your courage. Nothing will change until people start talking truth to power and call these crooks out.

  2. Nice work on this one. Is this a Christian school and they charge these prices? Sick. Depraved. I bet this jerkoff makes $400K per year.

  3. Courage? I think not.

    Print your name and stand by your comments.

  4. There's enough info in this blog for Nando to be identified. He's a martyr for this cause and is willing to bet his entire professional reputation to spread the ugly truth about the legal industry.

  5. He's not a martyr. He's a coward who goes off half-cocked about institutions he knows nothing about. Now he has others sticking up for him. Nice, he must be very proud.

    Pontificating about schools he didn't attend is hardly educational.

    Identify yourself.

  6. Chris Weaton Likes it in the Toilet with Larry CraigApril 20, 2010 at 7:48 AM

    Chris Wheaton = Fail

  7. Why fail? Because I'm trying to call out a coward?


  8. How about that Catholic School in Minnesota, among all those Lutherans? I'll have to watch the movie Fargo again and see if anyone crosses themselves before eating that goop they call food up there.

  9. "He's a coward who goes off half-cocked about institutions he knows nothing about...

    ...Pontificating about schools he didn't attend is hardly educational."

    In your earlier comments, you argue that law students are personally responsible for researching law school before deciding to attend. Now, you're trying to argue that Nando's evaluation lacks validity because he didn't *attend* St. Thomas. Is attendance a necessary prerequisite for one to evaluate the merits of a particular law school? Really?

    And I still haven't figured out why you insist on dry-humping the "issue" of pseudonyms. The fact that an author uses a pseudonym has nothing to do with the strength of his arguments. Do the names "Publius" and "Brutus" ring any bells?

  10. Nookular (whatever that is),

    He lacks validity when he attacks the institution personally. Not the costs of the education, the number of lawyers, etc. He knows nothing of the mission, core values and the reason the school exists.

    As for the pseudonyms it calls into question his credibility (and yours). The examples you cite aren't analogous in that we aren't talking about discrediting a sovereign here just slandering a dean and his law school.

    Good try though.


  11. Shouldn't a gainfully self-employed aTTTorney have more to do on a Tuesday morning than obsessively read and post comments on a blog run by a "coward?"

  12. Chris, are you Venceremos on JD Underground?

  13. "As for the pseudonyms it calls into question his credibility (and yours)."

    Why, exactly?

    And for the record, Don is my real name. How much identification to you require, sir? Would my first and last name be adequate before you consider me to be "credible," or will you need my middle name too? Even then, how can you be sure I am who I say I am? Maybe my SSN and a photograph? Even then, how can you be sure who's over here doing the typing?

    And, for all we know, you're really Chris Wheaton's roommate, standing in while Chris is busy with his law practice.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. I graduated from a tier one law school (T30, not T14) over a decade ago. I have been in private practice, both in biglaw and now as a partner at a boutique firm, for a dozen years. I can tell you based on my observation that there are too many law schools in America and too many young lawyers that don't know what they are doing. After all, law schools do not make great or good lawyers, regardless of the tier. It is almost criminal what the ABA is doing in sanctioning the operation of schools such as Ave Maria, Appalachian, St. Thomas, etc. I was recently invited by my alma mater to speak at a law school function. I declined as I refuse to paint a false rosy picture to the current students about the current legal market. It is really tough out there, especially for younger attorneys. We are not talking about $40K in student debt loads as was the average when I graduated. Six figure student loan debt in a shrinking legal economy will inevitably spell doom for a majority of law graduates.

    In the past year, my firm has received hundreds of resumes from T14 graduates that have been either laid off or cannot find legal work. One candidate in particular, had a Phd from Yale and a JD from Columbia. She was on law review and her GPA was enough to qualify her as a Fiske scholar, which I believe is bestowed on the top 33% of her class. I think the point "Nando" is trying to make is that the decision to attend law school should not be taken lightly, especially when applying to inferior second and third tier schools. I am not personally attacking St. Thomas, however, I do believe it is quasi criminal that they are charging what a Tier 1 school charges for an inferior degree (at least marketability wise). I also believe many of these schools "massage" their employment statistics (I even find Duke's 100% employment rate incredulous) and starting salary figures. Five years ago, a prospective law student didn't know any better. Thanks to these types of websites, students can arm themselves with knowledge rather than relying on self-serving information pumped out by NALP, the ABA and the profit run law schools.

    I know Mr. Wheaton will attack my credibility for not posting my name but trust me Mr. Wheaton, many folks, including federal judges agree with me on the state of law schools these days. They too prefer to remain anonymous but that in itself does not invalidate our opinions. While I find your arduous defense of St. Thomas to be commendable, it is somewhat undercut by your attacks on other posters that have made compelling points. I do congratulate you on your success, however, a true solo must last at least 7 years on his/her own and be in the black before counting as a success story. You still have a long way to go. I just hope for your sake that the massive influx of new lawyers in your state won't hinder your ability to remain a "successful" solo. On a practical note Mr. Wheaton, a successful attorney does not have time to waste by making multiple posts on this site and others on a daily basis.

  16. I really feel bad for the students in those videos. Especially the guy with the young family who stated he is not handling the stress/failure well.

    How can the dean compare law students being forced out with a coffee shop closing? If your coffee shop goes out of business, you can declare bankruptcy and walk away. If you fail as a lawyer you are stuck with the debt for life. You can't just walk away. Also, coffee shops often have many locations. If one goes out of business, you have others to fall back on. If you bet your future on a JD, and you are forced out of the profession, you don't have a lot of options. In my opinion, a dean at such a charitable school should lose some sleep over the misery he is causing.

  17. "...we aren't talking about discrediting a sovereign here just slandering a dean and his law school."

    Speaking of credibility, Mr. "St. Thomas provides a top-notch legal education," slander applies spoken word. You can't "slander" someone in a publication. That's called "libel."

    Moreover, Nando's comments are only defamatory if they are false. What about the charge of hypocrisy? You've been advancing this "caveat emptor" position regarding the law school investment, and St. Thomas' dean apparently feels the same way. How well does that philosophy harmonize with Christian teachings? Does St. Thomas owe prospective students a frank discussion about future job prospects?

    Before you say something about a law degree not being a job guarantee, I'm not saying it should be a guarantee, and I don't think Nando would argue that, either. But shouldn't law students have a *reasonable* opportunity for employment in the field of law? Not only does the economy suck right now, but there is a massive oversupply of JD's. Given the circumstances, couldn't one raise a moral objection to law schools continuing to take the money of prospective students? Is it unreasonable to be a bit outraged?

    1. Regardless of anything you say, of any point you try to articulate, you and who you are defending are inflammatory.

      Incendiary remarks that you and your "friend" post exudes nothing short of an emotional attack on someone you have no prior experience with.

      For you and your "friend" to try and discredit one by means of emotional provocation who discredits you is a fallacy in legal argumentation. Its only form of rebuttal, by extension, is further emotionally-charged comments. In the end, nobody wins. Everyone loses. You and those you defend end up being bigger losers as you expose yourself by showing how pathetic you truly are.

    2. To the piece of trash calling itself Thomas R.,

      Learn how to write, bitch. High school students have better communication skills than you, ass clown. By the way, PLENTY of people have crapped all over Thomas Mengler. Check out this blog entry, from April 13, 2010, entitled "A Study in Douchebaggery: Dean Thomas Mengler Edition."


      Try not to cry yourself to sleep over this reality, cockroach. If you want to lick Mengler's balls, do so in the privacy of your own home.

  18. Don,

    Sorry about that. I mean't libel. Got my dander up and chose the wrong word.

    Thanks for being frank about your name. Are/were you a St. Thomas SoL student? Have you been to the school. Have you spoken to the dean or admissions staff? Have you investigated the mission. Do you understand what the school is attempting to do? These are all valid questions when calling out the anonymous posters and those I was trying to elicit. I understand that people are going to graduate with less than rosy prospects for a job but I also knew that prior to applying for admission. The investigation has to happen prior to going to school - it really is a personal responsibility thing which I why I don't the outrage is warranted.

    I think the caveat emptor/Catholic argument would make for a great law review article. Wish I would have taken that up while in school but I didn't. Does St. Thomas owe prospective students a frank discussion about job prospects? No, in the same way that no school does. The problem with your argument regarding reasonableness is that there is no set definition of what is reasonable. Indeed, it will likely depend on the student and their chosen are of law.

    I just can't envision a scenario where each school sits each student down and asks them if they are ready for the experience, if they understand the financial obligation and if they understand that the market for jobs is not as perfect as one would wish. That sounds like something you should do on your own (the same way you might have with your parents when considering whether or not to go to college).

    These statements and arguments don't amount to anything but whining about the decision and the poor job market. Again, at some point in your life, a person must take responsibility for their own decisions. I think that helping those make that decision by calmly and rationally explaining that law school isn't for everyone and that job prospects might be slim (as this blog purports to do) is laudable. But attacking each institution as toilets and the like is simply ignorant.

    Make sense?

  19. What "anonymous" said a few posts up is about the best thiing I've ever read in a long time about our issue here (the guy that graduated from T30). Attack TTTs one TTT at a time is the simplest strategy to alert people of the deception. Caveat emptor goes only so far and then fraud sets in. My TTT told us at orientation that 94% of their graduates get placed into positions. Two months later, once you've paid your tuition, an assigned counselor of the same institution tells you that it's more like 20%.

    There's a time for teaching young adults to take responsibility about their decisions and a time put a stop to suits who cheat. Wearing a suit and hanging a JD on your wall is not a license to lie, cheat, and swindle.

  20. "The problem with your argument regarding reasonableness is that there is no set definition of what is reasonable."

    True, there is no fixed definition of "reasonable." But it's not an unfamiliar standard in evaluating culpability, is it (I'm sure you and I have similarly fond memories of torts class)? Given the lousy economy and oversupply of JD's, why are more law schools opening up? Why are law schools admitting more students than ever before? Why are law schools continually upping the price of a product of decreasing value? Are you willing to argue that this behavior on the part of law schools is "reasonable?" I don't see how you can, unless we define "reasonable" as "whatever one can get away with."

    "These statements and arguments don't amount to anything but whining about the decision and the poor job market. Again, at some point in your life, a person must take responsibility for their own decisions."

    Okay, but aren't law schools and their administrators also responsible for their conduct? A transaction requires at least two parties, and I'm wondering why, for instance, a law school dean shouldn't bear any responsibility for the current state of the profession. If there is a glut of lawyers, increasing the number of law schools and law students only exacerbates the problem (and quite foreseeably so). Don't let me put words in your mouth, but you seem to be operating under the assumption that law schools are blameless. That strikes me as somewhat odd, given your insistent advocacy for "personal responsibility." Shouldn't policy makers with superior knowledge and in positions of power be held responsible for the foreseeable consequences of their actions?

    These issues amount to quite a bit more than "whining." We're talking about serious questions of public policy. The overwhelming majority of law students aren't spending their personal pocket money. They're spending loan money provided by the federal government. If a student can't find work sufficient to pay down the debt, taxpayers eat the loss. Even if you think it's "caveat emptor" for individual law students, shouldn't these law schools have to answer to the public for their poor stewardship of the profession?

    "I think the caveat emptor/Catholic argument would make for a great law review article."

    Indeed. Maybe there's something to Nando's charge of hypocrisy.

    "But attacking each institution as toilets and the like is simply ignorant. Make sense?"

    I understand that you're offended by the aggressive tone. However, what you see as a sign of ignorance, I would argue arises from necessity. People outside the legal profession do not understand how bad things are, largely because the legal profession is surrounded by well-entrenched cultural mythology. People just assume that law is a desirable destination, and have a really hard time reaching a different understanding. I know classmates stuck waiting tables and working retail. What do many of these incoming 1Ls have to look forward to? How am I supposed to feel about law schools? Frankly, I cannot disagree with the "flushing money down the toilet" analogy Nando has adopted. Sounds about right to me.

  21. Chris certainly has a condescending, professorial, sanctimonious air about him.

  22. I applaud Nando for confronting these residents of the Ivory Towers. I do, however, hope he identified himself honestly and accurately when he contacted them. If anyone e-mailed me from a phony e-mail address, I'd click "delete" pretty quickly.

    The "Up yours, hypocrite!" obscures the force of Nando's e-mail, and makes him appear immature. When the facts are truly on your side, resorting to such language is unnecessary!

  23. Anonymous (not sure which this one is),

    Any air of condescension or sanctimony is unintended.


  24. Chris/UST shill,

    Since you are impervious to reason and economic reality, here is something for you to chew on:

    (1) I am taking responsibility for my actions. I will take care of my loans – don’t you worry about that. I am simply providing a realistic picture of the U.S. lawyer market. Apparently, only the self-interested, profitable law schools have the right to put out information out there, right? (Most of this info is false, misleading, and fraudulent – as the ABA and NALP do not require law schools to submit their employment and salary figures to an audit.) That’s a recipe for fraud, isn’t it?

    (2) The school’s mission statement was cited on this blog, and I am attacking the school’s choice to charge $36K per year in tuition while pushing for “public service”. Who the hell can afford to go into public service with $160K in student loans looming over their head?

    (3) You have shown that YOU DO NOT GIVE A DAMN about the struggling UST students in these videos. Your mother must be proud of you. You have not said a single, sympathetic word to these people. All you have done is repeat platitudes about working hard, and denigrate others for being “lazy”, “uninformed” and “not investigating the market better” prior to going to law school.

    When you wash Thomas Mengler’s car this weekend, ask him if you can do anything else for him and this TTT institution.

    Oh, I almost forgot. Here is more evidence of Mengler’s HYPOCRISY:


    “Delahunty was a mature lawyer who had a position as a senior public servant when he wrote his opinions. He did not have to sign those documents. His peers, including William Taft IV, in the administration dissented. Delahunty has a right of free speech — but the debate is not about free speech. It is about the quality of Delahunty's work, the sycophancy of his service, and the destructive impact of his work on the edifice of law itself. For these, he does not merit the honor of being a professor of law.”

    So, how does circumventing/suspending the Geneva Conventions – even for the most heinous individual - sit with the school’s focus on “morality” and “social justice”? Explain that to me, Christopher. That’s what I thought.

    Everyone, copy and paste the link into your browser. Read the article, and then click on Show Comments. You will see that others have pointed out Mengler’s hypocrisy, in defending this UST “legal scholar.”

  25. Where's the libel? I see nothing but accurate factual statements and opinion.

  26. A while back there was a WSJ article about a bunch of TTTs placing more students in clerkships than Harvard. Basically all of the TTTs retracted and said the data were wrong. Anyways, it looks like good old TTT UST was in that elite group that made a "mistake" in reporting to US News.

    "The University of St. Thomas law school has also come forward, issuing a statement by Dean Thomas Mengler saying its clerkship information is wrong. “Our data as provided to U.S. News and World Report is incorrect, and we are working with U.S. News to fix this error,” Mengler said."


    I wonder if the students in the videos above relied on the US News ranking. I think if there was better information, and less federal money, more students would avoid places like USTTT. I guess students are like coffee shops. If you lose a few along the way you can't let it keep you up at night.

  27. Chris Wheaton,

    I really don't understand why you are so vehemently opposed to these law school scambuster blogs if you are in favor of prospective law students being able to make educated decisions about whether or not they should attend law school. 99% of everything that prospective students can access and read about law school consists of optimistic material and often purposely misleading employment statistics. These blogs constitute part of the 1% of contrarian material that attempts to reduce the amount of information asymmetry suffered by undergraduates. If anything, those of us who claim to support a free market and personal responsibility should be lauding these blogs for providing an alternate point of view and for trying to help students make more informed decisions. These scambloggers are merely trying to help the market function more efficiently.

  28. "You have not said a single, sympathetic word to these people."

    Unfortunately, expecting sympathy from a lawyer is somewhat like expecting blood from rocks.

  29. http://alumni.stthomas.edu/s/904/index.aspx?sid=904&gid=1&pgid=315

    Christopher Wheaton certainly is on the Univer$iTTTy of $TTT. Thoma$ Alumni A$$ociaTTTion Board of DirecTTTor$. Does anyone think that *might* impact Chris’s view of the law school? Simply out, you are not objective due to your position with the school. You have a DIRECT stake in enhancing UST's reputation. Discussing the dismal job prospects that await UST law grads may negatively impact the school’s ability to attract more lemmings.


    St. Thomas continues push for wider recognition in legal academy

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    “The annual U.S. News rankings of law schools were released this week, and St. Thomas again ranked in the third tier – a rare feat for a new law school. Dean Thomas Mengler indicated that no one at St. Thomas is satisfied with the third tier, however, and that the school needs to work harder to spread the word about the top-flight scholarship being done by the St. Thomas faculty.”

    YES, WHAT A TERRIFIC FEAT! You are a third tier trash can. Congratulations, UST! You’ve reached the big leagues.

    “Rather than rely solely on the US News survey data, the school intends to be proactive, using the widely cited methodology developed by University of Chicago professor Brian Leiter to measure a faculty’s scholarly impact. Under that methodology, St. Thomas expects to place within the top 50 schools nationwide. The results of this study will be released in early fall. Under a separate measure -- prominent publications in the top 25 law journals in the country -- the University of St. Thomas faculty ranks much higher than any law school in the region other than the University of Minnesota.”

    This is pathetic. Legal employers care about the caliber of one’s law degree. Sure, the curriculum is about the same – regardless of the tier. However, wealthy clients and Biglaw firms want to say, “Look, we only hire Ivy League lawyers.”

    “Likewise, the quality of the St. Thomas student body is remarkable. The school has the highest figure at the 75th percentile for Law School Admissions Test scores for any law school ranked in the third tier.”

    Except, of course, for those UST minority undergrads who do not need to bother taking the LSAT, right?


    Maybe if Thomas Mengler & Co. keep reporting false judicial clerkship numbers to USN&WR, they can rise in the law school rankings. (And, of course, this was a harmless “error” on the school’s part. Yeah, sure it was - and I accidentally called Mengler a hypocrite the other day.)


    Thanks for the tip, 2:06.

  30. Dean Mengler, I don't know about you but you can't deny those poor St. Thomas 3Ls in the youtube videos were lacking "...vitality, energy and excitement that [y]our students and visitors feel when you walk through our doors."

  31. cock mengler.

    also, chris wheaton is a tool. I've e-mailed these past few posts to the UST law school alumni board to ask them whether he is making representations on behalf of the school.

  32. turn the other cheek?April 21, 2010 at 6:32 AM

    "Welcome to the University of St. Thomas School of Law

    Through this website, I hope you feel the undeniable vitality, energy and excitement that our students and visitors feel when you walk through our doors.

    In only five years, we have achieved a number of impressive milestones, and we have earned a reputation as an academically excellent law school firmly grounded in our Catholic intellectual and social tradition. Our unique mission of “integrating faith and reason in the search for truth through a focus on morality and social justice” is the foundation on which we build a community that emphasizes professional excellence and servant leadership.

    Thank you for your interest in the School of Law. Please do not hesitate to contact any member of the School of Law community with any questions.

    Thomas Mengler,
    Dean School of Law"

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


    [This place really is a toilet, isn’t it?]

    “Sent Monday April 19 at 1:09 PM

    Dear friends,

    I write to let you know that we have posted the following message on our website:

    The annual U.S. News rankings of law schools were released this week, and St. Thomas again ranked in the third tier – a rare feat for a new law school. Dean Thomas Mengler indicated that no one at St. Thomas is satisfied with the third tier, however, and that the school needs to work harder to spread the word about the top-flight scholarship being done by the St. Thomas faculty. “Most of our scores under the US News criteria are consistent with top 100 schools,” Dean Mengler explained, “but one of the major components – reputation among law school faculty nationwide – is a lagging indicator because it is notoriously difficult for a new school to achieve a national reputation quickly.” Rather than rely solely on the US News survey data, the school intends to be proactive, using the widely cited methodology developed by University of Chicago professor Brian Leiter to measure a faculty’s scholarly impact. Under that methodology, St. Thomas expects to place within the top 50 schools nationwide. The results of this study will be released in early fall. Under a separate measure -- prominent publications in the top 25 law journals in the country -- the University of St. Thomas faculty ranks much higher than any law school in the region other than the University of Minnesota. The profile of the St. Thomas faculty continues to grow with the announcement that Mark Osler, a nationally prominent criminal law scholar from Baylor Law School, will join the St. Thomas faculty in the fall. Osler is a frequent media commentator on criminal sentencing issues, and his scholarship has been cited by the United States Supreme Court.”

    Likewise, the quality of the St. Thomas student body is remarkable. The school has the highest figure at the 75th percentile for Law School Admissions Test scores for any law school ranked in the third tier. “Together with our ability to attract students with a heart for public service and integration of faith and professional identity,” Admissions Director Cari Haaland noted, “the profile of our study body continues to increase in quality each year.” As Dean Mengler commented, “It’s hard for a new law school to get the word out, so our reputation is slow to build, but the pieces already are in place.”


    Part II

    "I would add just a few points to keep in mind.

    Foremost, we should remind ourselves that while one of our principal goals is indeed to become a national law school, we are also establishing a law school with a profound mission. It is vital that we do nothing to undermine this by making decisions that might perhaps advance our national goal, but damage our mission of faith, service, and professional formation. For example, our applicants’ academic credentials are certainly important, but we care about much more than numerical input measures (e.g., LSAT and undergrad GPA numbers). Our applicants’ interest and connection to our mission also does and should play a vital role in our admission and scholarship decisions. This Catholic law school’s fundamental focus is on an output measure: Are we being successful in helping our students and graduates find their professional callings? Are we being successful in assisting our students and graduates to lead purposeful lives, in the service and leadership of their communities?

    Without question, the U.S. News ranking is important. But it includes factors that are of dubious relevance to the quality of a legal education. And it does not factor in at all the programmatic elements that define who we are as a Catholic law school and why the Trustees of this university founded the School of Law.

    Finally, I want you to know that I remain certain that we are well on our way to achieving our goals. In nine years, by any measure, we have made remarkable progress – and that progress will continue. I am certain that if we stay focused on our inspiring mission, the School of Law will reach higher levels of excellence, by drawing stronger students, faculty, and staff here than we could otherwise recruit by merely focusing on the traditional criteria most law schools employ. My colleagues and I at the School of Law are building for excellence over the long haul – by hiring top faculty gradually over time and by recruiting students who will contribute to this incredible community while they are here and become servant leaders in the legal profession and their communities after they graduate.

    Thomas M. Mengler
    Dean and Ryan Chair in Law
    University of St. Thomas School of Law”

    So, what are the outcomes for your law graduates, Thomas?!

  35. Above emails from Thomas Mengler = pathetic

  36. “Without question, the U.S. News ranking is important.”

    But not that important?

    “This Catholic law school’s fundamental focus is on an output measure: Are we being successful in helping our students and graduates find their professional callings? Are we being successful in assisting our students and graduates to lead purposeful lives, in the service and leadership of their communities?”

    Well, it looks like your students are struggling to find any gainful employment. Just look at the video links supplied by this blog, regarding the three UST students. Who are we kidding? The only measure you guys care about it input for the school. $$$$$.

  37. My favorite part is where he brags that St. Thomas is "once again in the third tier."

    I have to say that aside from all the other b.s., it really frosts me that Mengler and St Thomas keep throwing up the school's Catholicism as some kind of sonic shield against criticism. As a practicing Catholic, I was taught that service to the poor and the powerless was a paramount virtue, and that naked greed was one of the worst sins. In Catholic teaching there are three sins that are "cry to heaven for justice" and one of these is "defrauding the worker of his wages." Replace "worker" with "student" and what have we here?

    And aside from all that, using your religion (any religion) to justify and excuse your bad acts is just -- well, sleazy.

    Anyway, the whole thing stinks but that just frosts me on a personal note.

  38. that "cry" not "that are cry..." Oy!

  39. http://www.admissionsdean.com/law_schools/university-of-st-thomas-school-of-law-mdash-minneapolis

    You are not fooling anyone, Mengler. You want to attract more minority students to your TTT – without affecting the median LSAT score for admitted UST law students. This wouldn’t be the first time you tried to game the USNWR rankings, would it Thomas?


    I am not attacking the law school’s mission, per se. I am simply documenting your blatant hypocrisy, in light of your school's stated mission. You want to produce “servant leaders” and promote the Catholic tradition of service to the needy? That’s fine. Those are laudable goals. The simple reality of the situation is this: an attorney or recent law graduate strapped with $165K in non-dischargeable student debt is NOT in a position to go into “public service.”

    Secondly, I am sick and repulsed with your assertion that your school is meeting a need for more public service lawyers. The reality is that the four ABA-accredited law schools in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area are producing FAR TOO MANY lawyers than that market can bear. Also, one can certainly go into “public service” without taking on $165K in additional student debt.


    All of the evidence shows that you are indeed a hypocrite, Thomas Mengler. For instance, in April 2007, the University of St. Thomas disinvited Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu from speaking to the Justice and Peace Studies Program at UST. Perhaps, you did not partake in that decision. However, you have the temerity to show Mr. Tutu’s image under the header of “Diversity” on the law school’s home page – the third image on the page.


    “The University of St. Thomas School of Law is founded on unwavering belief that valuing diversity is critical to fulfilling the social justice aspect of our mission.”

    Apparently, diversity of thought is NOT valued by the UST community. After researching this school in-depth, it appears that this school - and university - is devoted to conservative Catholic dogma. That is your call, as well. But if that is your central purpose, DO NOT cite to “welcoming people of all faiths”; “advancing social justice”; “valuing diversity”; and “the search for truth.”

    That is deceitful and deplorable behavior, Thomas. It gives prospective students the false impression that they can serve others, when they can only advance certain political/social causes – those that the school deems appropriate. This school is committed to ideology, plain and simple. This is not a surprise, really. After all, this school is owned and operated by the Catholic Church. While the church has done – and continues to do - plenty of good in this world, in the last analysis it is a successful business corporation with a LENGTHY history of hypocrisy, deception and corruption.

  40. Nando you are are such a roll, and getting better at making your point while staying open minded.

    I love how this blog community is educating people and/or students who need help opening their eyes from a lifetime of indoctrination and misguided self-confidence. What makes your efforts even more laudable is the fact that law schools, from a buisness and/or "criminal" perspective, are playing off of or using this indoctrination as a means to get more and more applicants to justify the "free market" argument. Of course, we all know this argument is either false or achieved through deception and fraud. This "eye opening" real-life education is providing something more positive and empowering than any school (esp law school!) ever could. The irony is nothing short of fantastic.

    Props to you buddy. Keep it up

  41. Is Chris Wheaton tired of playing with us already?


  42. What I find even more morally reprehensible is how these law school deans continue to exaggerate the "economic recovery" to law school applicants and current law students that are thinking of dropping out after their first semester/year. The deans spout phrases such as "recovery is on the horizon," "historically all recessions come to an end," "the current recession is part of a normal economic cycle that will be followed by a long period of prosperity," etc. These law school deans are lying. At best, their "opinions" are nothing but conjecture that is designed to hang TTT law students in non-dischargeable debt for the rest of their natural lives.

    Nando, great job on researching the hypocrisy of this particular dean. As a catholic, I am outraged that this catholic institution is fleecing young kids' futures and hired/retained a faculty member who justified the use of torture. I guess if torture was allowed during the inquisition to convert a few heathens to Catholicism, it must be ok in modern times.

  43. I graduated from tier 2 with honors, law review, blah blah. Now I work in-house at a major Fortune 50. Know this: There are too many goddamn law schools in this country.

    Go to any medical or dental school. Their professional orgs limit both the enrollees at each school and the number of schools. Why? BEcause it keeps the population competetive and preserves employment for their graduates. What does the ABA do? They keep approving new law schools. Keep pumping out new attorneys. It's criminal what they have allowed to occur. Criminal. Law School is NOT B-School.

  44. HEEELp! Some disgusting animal just took a HUUUUUGE MENGLER in the office toilet! The janitor keeps flushing and flushing but it won't go down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  45. When I first saw the heading in the picture, I thought this was going to be a post about the opening of a law school in the Caribbean!

  46. Hey Mengler, you lowlife animal! Try proofreading your letters before you send them. You need a comma between "Dean" and "School of Law".

  47. Dr. Thumas Mungler, Dean, St. Vitus School of LawApril 23, 2010 at 8:23 AM

    Hey everyone,

    I've decided to open a new law school! I plan to name it "St. Vitus School of Law". St. Vitus will have a focus on Public Service law - I want to provide a legal education for groups that have been traditionally disadvantaged in our society, so that they can give back to the communities in which they live and help advance the cause of social justice.
    At St. Vitus we're not going to require LSAT scores or even a degree from a 4-year institution as prerequisites for admission. We feel that this would be a type of discrimination that might prevent the enrollment of the traditionally underrepresented groups it is our mission to serve.
    Tuition will be $39,618 per year, and with living expenses, fees and books included, the total cost per year of attending St. Vitus should be $64,493 per year.
    Don't let the cost deter you! Once you've been admitted to St. Vitus, you will have access to a virtually unlimited amount of federally guaranteed student loans.
    And upon graduation, our marketing department expects to produce prospects showing that 98% of graduates are employed within 9 months of graduation, with a median "reported" income of $150,000 per year.
    As dean, I plan on earning a salary of $640,000 per year. (Not counting expenses!)
    As soon as we can convince the ABA to accredit our school, we can start up St. Vitus. I expect the ABA to approve our application for accreditation immediately.
    We plan to undertake a massive advertisement campaign in television and other media to inform prospective students about St. Vitus.
    I'm so excited to be a part of this historic mission, which will help to empower traditionally disadvantaged groups so that they may serve their communities!

  48. "I know two 2009 graduates of St. Thomas. One of them works as a waiter while volunteering for free when he can at family court, as it is the only legal experience he can get. This guy has a full debt load and all he can do is wait tables, on the night shift.

    I actually met the girl in one of the videos in the original post. She seems like a nice gal and was really motivated to get a public defender job, which given the dreams of many TTTers to get the 160k salaries and "models and bottles" at "biglaw" that all of their valvoline deans promised them. Was still unemployed and looking for a legal job after taking the bar…four or five months after these Youtube videos were posted. The sense of despair from these otherwise nice and upstanding kids is painful to endure. At this point it can’t help but come out when you talk to them, even casually. They’ll smile and chat, but the look in their eyes and the woe in their voice when they talk about law school or their job prospects is really depressing. I’m sure they spend every day thanking St. TTThomas and Dean Thomas “The Mangler” Mengler. "

  49. This blog has developed nicely. thank god you didn't keep your focus on Drake. And the 'dr. thumus mungler' comment above may be the funniest thing I have come across this year. WHoever that was, thanks for the laugh. (Dean Mengler, WIll you attend the upcoming grad ceremony, by puling up in your Spectrum blue metalllic 2010 Jaguar XF SUpercharged sedan? Or will you go with the ultimate black 2010 XFR model?

  50. Thomas Mengler?

    Or Doctor of Laws, Thomas Menglera?

  51. I realize this is over a year old, but wow...I'm so glad I found your blog, and your links to other blogs. Recently I considered applying to law school (I was looking at UST) and feel absolutely relieved to have learned more about the reality of life after a law degree. I feel especially grateful for having had the chance to read others' comments and their regrets, especially their debt loads. I realize I am fortunate to have what I currently have and that there are attorneys out there who are worse off career-wise than me, but with more debt! Thanks for opening my eyes.

  52. This story has legs...

    Minnesota 's University of St. Thomas School of Law uses faulty data for ranking:

    Law school's ranking might be based on faulty data



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