Sunday, August 22, 2010

Grab the Bleach: St. John’s University School of Law

Tuition: For the 2010-2011 school year, full-time law students at $TT. John’$ will be charged $44,800 in tuition. Yes, tuition increased by $2,600 from the previous year, for a 6.16% increase. Part-time students will be charged $33,210, for an increase of $1,560 – or a 4.93 percent increase from last year.

For the 2009-2010 school year, full-time law students were charged $42,200 in tuition. Part-time law students were only charged $31,650 for the same academic year. What did St. John’s law students receive in exchange for this increase?!

Ranking: According to a publication by the name of U.S. News & World Report, St. John’s is ranked as the 72nd greatest, most phenomenal, amazing, exhilarating and terrific law school in the United States. Their mothers must be proud. They share this prestigious honor with the following five law schools: Penn State, $eTTon Hall, TTemple, Hawaii and Oklahoma.

Employment Placement: According to this document, 96% of the Class of 2008 was employed within nine months of graduation. Yeah, sure they were – and Jessica Alba broke into my house last night, climbed on top of me, and dug her nails 1/4" into my chest.

“By February 2009, all 276 members of the Class of 2008 reported their employment status to the Office of Career Services. Of these 276 graduates, 241 were employed, and 10 were pursuing post-graduate degrees. The placement rate at nine months after graduation was 96%.” [Emphasis mine]

Actually, 241/276 = .873, which means that roughly 87.3% of the Class of 2008 was employed within nine months of graduation, not 96 percent. Even when you add in the ten JDs who went on to another advanced degree – and presumably count them as “employed” – the job placement rate is 90.9 percent, i.e. 251/276. In order to reach 96 percent, 265 of the 276 students would need to be employed. Next time you cook the books, get the figures right, geniuses.

Purported Starting Salary Figures:

Salary Data

One-hundred and fifty seven (157) of 241 employed graduates reported their salaries to the Office of Career Services. The overall median for all graduates reporting their full-time employment salaries is $73,000.”

Some questions: what about those who reported their part-time employment salaries? Seeing that only 65.1% of survey respondents reported salary info, how can prospective students rely on this data? Also, considering that 29.3% of 2008 Class of 2008 respondents report working in firms of 2-10 lawyers, how can the median law firm starting salary be $147K, as reported by the school?!?! And if 140 out of 241 graduates report working in law firms, how can the remaining 101 respondents reporting salary info bring the OVERALL MEDIAN starting salary down to $73K?!?!

Average Indebtedness for Members of the Class of 2009: Thanks to a commenter on this site, we can take a look at the average indebtedness for recent law grads. According to US News, the average indebtedness for $TT. John'$ Univer$iTTy $chool of Law Class of 2009 JDs who incurred law school debt was $107,137!! We can also see that 85 percent of this toilet's graduating class went into debt for law school.

Law School Faculty/Admin Compensation: Head over to page 36 of this PDF. This is the university’s 2009 Form 990. Andrew J. Simons currently “serves” the sewer of law as “vice president emeritus” – whatever the hell that is. In this capacity, he made $333,098 in TOTAL COMPENSATION in 2008. Dean of the commode, Mary C. Daly “earned” $595,459 in TOTAL COMPENSATION for 2008. Yes, the dean of the 72nd best law school in the land made a shade under $600K. Who says “higher education” isn’t a racket?!?!

Conclusion: This school is an overpriced Catholic commode. (because Jesus would charge $44,800 for one year of a TT education, right?!?!) Its graduates will be directly competing for jobs, i.e. those thankless tasks that allow us to pay our bills and living expenses, against JDs from Columbia, Cornell, NYU, and dozens of other law schools in the region.

A student can look forward to taking on $135K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt – from tuition alone!! When you take living expenses into account, a person without a trust fund will need to take on private loans – which feature higher interest rates and more ruthless terms. Do you want to go in the hole $100K-$180K for the chance to hang a TT law degree on your wall?


  1. An appropriately graphic portrayal of yet another festering loo.

    Thanks Nando!

  2. What an ugly, disgusting toilet. And the picture is almost as awful as the school.

  3. At a law firm reception during my OCI I met someone who was interviewing at the same firm and went to St. John. He didn't find it at all amusing that I insisted on calling his school "Sin-jin."

    I guess you can get into St. John without ever having read Jane Eyre. Such a humorless bunch.

  4. They can't even be bothered to get their percentages right, something that is easy to check, what makes anybody believe they aren't just lying outright?

  5. Nando--you didn't break down the price to include housing. Is tuition by itself 44,800? Living expenses would kick that up to 10k a year easy.

  6. $10k a year in the NYC area? That's the deal of the century right there. Actually it'd probably be closer to $15k, and that's if you cook all your meals yourself, and never go out.

  7. Is Geico out in Woodbury, Long Island still hiring a bunch of SJU law grads each year? The Queens and Nassau county DA's offices used to recruit SJU heavily, but I'm guessing that isn't happening anymore.

  8. Any law school charging these criminally insane tuition rates for an inferior piece of paper should not be calling themseves "Saint." St. Johns law is the Settton Hall of NY.

  9. You do know Mary Daly is dead, right?

  10. Where do you get only 100K-180K in debt?

    I'm conservatively estimating that tuition plus housing, food, etc. will run you $65-70K per year. And of course, costs go up every year. You're looking at a minimum of $195K of debt.

    So here's a question I'm wondering about: what percentage of students will earn enough to make that degree worthwhile? I'm guessing at most 15%.

    Note to Nando: KEEP GETTING THE WORD OUT. If these schools were a get-rich-quick infomerical would already be shut down.

  11. @ 6:45 pm,

    The blog entry specifically mentioned that the dean made $595,495 in total compensation for 2008. This information is from the most recent Form 990 from St. John’s University. Furthermore, the fact that Daly is deceased does not mean that her grossly-inflated salary is off-limits. If you think the dead are beyond criticism, you are sadly mistaken.

    For 2008, Daly made $309,601 in base compensation; $30,000 in bonus & incentive compensation, $47,422 in “other compensation”; $10,906 in deferred compensation; and $36,270 in non-taxable benefits – for a total of $434,199. Under “Compensation reported in prior Form 990 or Form 990-EZ”, we see a figure of $161,260. Now, does anyone think that this figure represents her base income – or total compensation – from 2007?!

    The current dean of the sewer of law at St. John’s is Michael A. Simons. When the next Form 990 tax return is posted, perhaps I will post his total compensation as well.

    To 3:52, the school cannot even figure out how to correlate its lies. I was able to figure out that the 96% employment rate is total bull, just by looking at the figures posted. The law school apparently cannot figure out that 241/276 does not equal 96 percent employment!! And they are charging $44,800 in tuition alone!! (I did not include room and board, as the school only provided a link for housing costs – most of which were for on-campus housing.)

    8:25, I provided the link to the USN&WR’s debt figures, so we could see a baseline of student debt. These figures seem conservative, but even they reflect that 85% of St. John’s University law students are taking on non-dischargeable student debt – and that the average debt load for these students is $107,137.

    With housing, board, insurance, transportation and miscellaneous expenses, I am sure the overall price tag is close to $200K for a person to attend this commode of law. However, I am not sure how many students will take out loans for the entire cost. Using the numbers from US News and total costs as a guideline, I came up with the range of $100K-$180K in possible student debt. Surely, a TT law degree is not worth even the low end of this spectrum.

  12. It is not that bad. Many Grads get jobs and don't starve, so it is better than bozo, Hofstra, Syracuse, Seton hall and Tauro. They added several clinics to give students some "experience" and the journals are good. Also, Simons the Younger is now Dean, and he is ok. The school can be fairly cricized for its location Jamaica Queens, and losing Professor Tamanaha of recent scam-buster fame.

  13. Wow, the whiz kids can't even determine that 241 JDs with jobs, out of 276 is far from 96 percent employment. If the lemmings cannot come up with this on their own, fuck 'em. They're too stupid to be in law school in the first place.

  14. Please remove my name from this filthy toilet. I do not condone charging law students $45,000 a year in tuition. Esp. when many of those who attain this credential, will never be able to use thier degree. Thank you.

  15. Have you ever researched the costs of legal education in foreign countries? It would be a nice comparison to the obscene costs of a U.S. legal education: How many years? How much? Who pays? What are the job prospects/salaries? Can law grads start over in another field if a legal career doesn't pan out?

    As a heavily indebted, uninsured, unemployed US attorney, I often wonder what my life would have been like if I'd been born in another country like Argentina, Austria, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Lich., Lux., Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K., etc. Are any of their disgruntled law grads starting scam blogs?

  16. My ex-wife graduated from this dump in 2005. Top third. Secondary journal exp. Passed the bar on first try. Five years later, she has never practiced law. I think she may have let her license lapse. I supported her for three years, so the admins of St. John's Law School can go get fucked by a hostile rhinoceros.

  17. Nando, I think I am going to marry an Indian woman and move to India to become a lawyer there. I will reap the benefits of outsourcing and at the same time, if I am lucky, I will come across some sensitive information (i.e., trade secret or insider trading tip) that will enrich me. Let the SEC's short arm reach me in India.

  18. 4:24: That's what is so evil about non-elite J.D.'s--they're like boogers, you can't get rid of them from your resume.

    UNLIKE any other degree I can think of, only the dreaded JD has the unique quality of being able to cripple you career-wise. Non-law employers loathe the JD. You will be HIGHLY SUSPECT when trying to find non-legal employment, as the media (TV) still portrays law glamorously, for some strange reason. For example, no one gives a shit if an Economics major with a BA seeks a sales asssociate job at a retailer, or an English BA, or a BS in Chemistry or Biology. That's ok. But the JD? Forget it, you are "overqualified". Period.

    That's the unique dangerousness of the JD. And, why warning the kids now is so important. If you are unconnected, a non-elite law school is a real risk.

  19. I can't believe that there are three new proposed law screwles in NY. SUNY Stony Brook, St. John Fisher (Rochester), and SUNY Binghampton. How stupid can people be to think we need three new schools secreting grads with no jobs or hope.

  20. James C. you sound bitter.

  21. Own that bitterness, James. Don't let people like 1:29 chide you for it. Who wouldn't be upset by putting someone through law school - only to see that "investment" go down the drain? I sure hope you did not co-sign any of these loans.

    Take a look at this post from Jobless Juris Doctor, back in January 26, 2010.

    "The Reader said that after having worked a summer at a midsized firm after first year, he found that the salaries were much lower than he had been led to believe by his school. He went to the school's career services office and asked why it was so much lower than what he had been told. Career services replied, “A poor lawyer makes 100k a year.” The reader said that when he told him about the lawyers at _____ firm that were making 45k, not 100k, the career services response was, “They are probably joking with you, they’re all making over 100k.” The reader then “sat there in silence and wondered how could someone try to manipulate me like this?”

    They try to manipulate you because that’s what Career Services gets paid to do! It’s not personal, it’s their job! The reader cut his losses and dropped out after first year, and seems very happy about his decision."

    See, "Career Services" at this dump told a student that "a poor lawyer makes $100K." These people truly are divorced from reality. They are working a cushy, easy job at an "academic institution", and so they do not care about the shrinking job market. Their primary job is to sugar-coat the situation. They want to make sure they get three years of tuition from you. Providing honest advice may cause some of their students to bolt.

    Maybe this student can go on to represent attorneys in the workforce. Oh wait, they would be considered "contractors", right? Anyway, at least Boyd Law Group hires St. John's JDs.

  22. anon: Things didn't work out between us. I am actually pissed that she earned good grades and had good extracurriculars (clerkships, journal, student orgs) and still could not find a job in the legal profession. I only have a BS in management, but I helped out as muchg as I could. I made about $50K during this experiment, and paid the rent and bills for three years plus put about $10K of my annual modest income towards her tuition for each of the 3 years. She still ended up with over $65K in student loans. I am astonished that people jump to these schools that are more interested in overproducing law degrees.

  23. St. Johns as a law school, is a filthy toilet. To be fair, it does have a respected LLM program in bankruptcy but that is like having a gold plated toilet handle on an outhouse commode.

    Again, I will repeat myself. Folks enrolling in law school or thinking of enrolling in law school are not doing their due diligence. Law school is a poor investment and has been for about 30 years (poor investment for about 50% of grads pre-Great Recession). In this economy, the pursuit of a law degree will be a poor choice for about 90+% of people. I have no sympathy for cowards that would rather saddle the taxpayers with the student loan crisis than be humble and accept a retail job without burdening society.

  24. James, most lawyers would love to make "only" $50,000.00 a year. Did she ever get a legal job?

  25. Hey Nando, enough about Jessica Alba, JJD is getting jealous ;)


    Even a former St. John's law professor agrees with the premise of these scam-blogs.

    "This dismal situation was not created by the current recession—which merely spread the pain up the chain into the lower reaches of elite schools. This has been going on for years.

    The law graduates posting on these sites know the score. They know that law schools pad their employment figures—96% employed—by counting as “employed” any job at all, legal or non-legal, including part time jobs, including unemployed graduates hired by the school as research assistants (or by excluding unemployed graduates “not currently seeking” a job, or by excluding graduates who do not supply employment information). They know that the gaudy salary numbers advertised on the career services page—“average starting salary $125,000 private full time employment”—are actually calculated based upon only about 25% of the graduating class (although you can’t easily figure this out from the information provided by the schools). They know all this because they know of too many classmates who didn’t get jobs or who got low paying jobs—the numbers don’t jibe with their first hand knowledge."

    In St. John's specific case, their claim of a 96 percent placement rate doesn't even jibe with basic mathematics. Now, Brian Tamanaha teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Send him an email, thanking him for confirming what these blogs have been saying for well over a year.

    12:04, I am not sure how JJD would be jealous. I have never seen her. However, her aggressive writing style and language really intrigue me. She has also done some great research on this filthy, disgusting industry.

  27. From 12:04, it was said in jest. You guys are always complimenting each other (deservedly) and both write good blogs.

  28. Any guess as to how many JD graduated in 2009 with $100K in debt, and no job prosepcts?

  29. ^Damn good question. HOw many '09 JDs are working their old jobs? What percentage are making ~$35K and owe six figs? Anyone who defends this systm should be strung up by his thumbs.

  30. Good lord, man. Stop projecting your self-flagellations for choosing a shitty school to begin with. This obsession, with your ad nauseam, humdrum depictions of schools as "commodes," is pretty sick.

    Don't go to school unless you're in the "Top 8?" I guess Georgetown is worthless.

  31. "Don't go to school unless you're in the "Top 8?" I guess Georgetown is worthless."

    From 5-27-10:

    "On Friday’s broadcast of NPR‘s “All Things Considered,” host Robert Siegel spoke with five Georgetown Law students who found themselves in unexpected positions after graduating earlier this week.

    The five graduates estimated that they each sent out “hundreds” of resumes, yet have all struggled to find jobs, according to Joel Florescu (LAW ’10)."

    From 4-28-09:

    "Will three months be enough time for ‘09 graduates to get full time employment?

    The law school is also offering a few students an opportunity for on campus employment:

    On-Campus Employment. We expect to have ten to twenty short-term positions (up to three months) available at the Law Center beginning in August or September to assist 2009 JD graduates who are seeking permanent employment. Such positions would include research assistantships with faculty, the law library, and Law Center institutes and centers, or working for a Law Center office. Participants will be paid the research assistant rate. Open positions will be posted in Symplicity and highlighted on the 2009 Graduate Web Page.

    And Georgetown is doing a number of other, smaller things to help ease the transition from law student to out-of-work lawyer. The school is offering a scholarship program for students interested in pursuing an LL.M, offering free CLE through the spring of 2010, and extending their GULC email accounts through the end of 2009."

    Andrew, I have received plenty of comments from practicing lawyers who have told me that I should amend this criterion to state "Top 5" or "Top 3". Michigan grads are looking at doc review in India. Duke pays law firms to hire its unemployed grads for short-term work.

  32. seriously, you are all a bunch of pathetic spineless bitches. get a life. nobody made you go to law school. i went to st. johns and I'm glad i did.

  33. Thomas Combs, when you grow a spine, a pair of balls, and a brain, feel free to come back and post comments. Until that time comes, keep sticking up for this sick, putrid industry. Yes, you are so courageous for sticking up for the higher education industrial complex, aren’t you?!?!

    This festering commode charges $44,800 in yearly tuition for a TT product. How do St. John's JDs fare against their counterparts at NYU, Cornell, Columbia, et al.? Don't forget that many Harvard and Yale JDs are also seeking New York Biglaw. How many of these large firms actively recruit St. John's law students and grads?

    Your law school was caught in a lie. The school claimed a 96 percent job placement rate for its Class of 2008, when in fact only 87.3% of this graduating class was employed within 9 months of graduation. Deal with it, moron!

    Unlike you, I have the balls, the brains and the backbone to call these pigs out. Thanks for playing, and you are welcome for the spanking.

    Also, learn how to follow an argument, and develop some writing skills. If you attended this dump, then it shows that the school is not too selective in its admissions process.

    Enjoy you NYC Opera Reviews, Tommy. You definitely need some exposure to more cultured tastes.

  34. meaning "nando", whatever that is, is bitter.

  35. To the cretin above,

    This is Nando, not a "whatever." Did I ever say I wasn't bitter, loser? I am hostile to law schools and "law professors." I own up to that; I also happen to effectively tear up these filthy commodes. What do you expect from people who pissed away three years of their lives for a worthless “education,” moron?

    The ABA keeps accrediting more trash heaps as law schools. There is a HUGE glut of attorneys in this nation. The schools are AWARE of the situation - and yet they keep pumping out more graduates!!

    For instance, ABA-accredited law schools produced 44,000 graduates for the JD Class of 2009. Guess how many of these graduates found jobs as attorneys, cockroach?!?! There were only 28,901 jobs requiring bar passage. Keep in mind that 1,058 members of this particular graduating class became solo practitioners!!

    Furthermore, on page two of this NALP chart, you can see that 24.9% of all jobs were listed as SHORT-TERM. Additionally, 10.3 percent of all jobs listed were part-time. Get the picture, Bitch?!

    If you still feel or believe that this is due to the current “recession,” take a look at this piece from “law professor” Brian Tamanaha:

    “This dismal situation was not created by the current recession—which merely spread the pain up the chain into the lower reaches of elite schools. This has been going on for years.”

    By the way, do you tell rape victims that they are bitter? Do you refer to people who were hit by drunk drivers - and left paralyzed - as embittered?

    Grow up and stop acting like a bitch. I make my monthly student loan payments, and I have the absolute right and the moral obligation to warn others about the law school scam. Do you understand that, idiot?!?! Or do I need to write it out for you, in Crayola and posterboard?!

  36. hahahahaha, nando, you went to Drake Law School. On top of that, you took out six figures to go to an utter dog shit program, i.e. you weren't even smart enough to get a decent scholarship to Drake. Hahahahaha, i laugh at your life. And yes, I go to St. John's.

  37. To the retard above, i.e. 1:49 pm:

    Get your facts straight, bitch. I went to Drake Law School on a full tuition scholarship. (Is that a pretty decent scholarship, Idiot?!?!) As a result, I only took out $37K in loans - for living expenses.

    By the way, St. John's University Sewer of Law is an overpriced trash pit. The school is ranked 72nd best, and it has the nerve to charge $44,800 in annual tuition! News flash, dumbass: There is not much difference between a school that is ranked 72nd and one ranked in the third tier. They are both trash. Legal employers view them both as diploma mills. Got that?!?!

    By the way, will legal employers look at a St. John's law student, when they can hire those who attend NYU, Columbia, Cornell, Fordham, Cardozo, or Crooklyn?!?! Hell, the last three schools I just listed are not even that great - but they are ranked higher than your commode.

    Don't cry about your situation, when you are living in your parents' garage - as a broke-ass, unemployed, licensed attorney. You were warned, immature moron.

  38. When I went here, Simons Jr., who is now the Dean and makes, as noted above, a cool $600k, had the nerve to tell our class to "take a job, any job. Work at Starbucks," to keep the employment ratings up. Most of us took out six figure debt to go here, and he sits there making over a half million a year and has the nerve to tell us to take a job at STARBUCKS?!?!?

  39. St. John's is a joke of a law school!!! Trust me, I went there!!

  40. I like all the law firms in St. John's. The lawyers seem to be pretty awesome!

  41. I live within a mile of this toilet. although the neighborhood is upper middle class, everytime i drove past st john's, i think about this blog. a deep sense of dread overcomes me knowing the amount of evil that this law school represents. tuition has hit mid 50, so the new crop of law students are totally fucked.

  42. I was accepted on a full tuition scholarship with ridiculous stipulations, they must think prospectives are idiots.

  43. St. John's is a certified shithole. Have fun working in traffic court for peanuts.

  44. I went to St. John's almost 30 years ago, but dropped out after a year when I realized my grades were not good enough enough to land a high-paying job. Most graduates then wound up as ADA's not making much money. Only a few top students landed Biglaw jobs. At the time it had the highest NY bar passing rate of any law school; and it most graduates could get some type of legal job. 30 years ago I didn't think law school was worth it unless you were in a top ten school. Now, it's an even worse investment.

    I'm glad I left law school as things worked out well for me. I wound up teaching HS and my law school experience proved to be an asset: school administrators knew I was smart since most teachers back then couldn't get into law school. My law school credits even earned me a salary differential. Today I make 140K, work 7 hours a day, and have summers off. I'm very happy I left law school.


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