Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Law School Pigs Know That The Legal Market is Shrinking - But They Are Happy to Take in More Students!

Brian Tamanaha, law professor at Washington University of St. Louis is back, with another scathing critique of the law school industry.

“While legal employment has fallen dramatically since 2007 (with a further decline in 2010), law schools, after remaining flat in 2008, increased by 5% the number of students admitted (and enrolled) in 2009. This increase was greater than the percentage increase in applications to law school.

Law schools thus responded to the worst recession in the legal market in at least two decades by letting in more law students.
[Emphasis mine]

When you go to LSAC’s website, you can see that there were 86,600 applicants to ABA law schools in 2009, which was an increase of 3.9% from the prior year. However, the number of admitted students increased by 5.1% in that time.

The law schools are FULLY AWARE of the shrinking job market for JDs.

"In these economically challenged times our past experience has turned out to be a poor guide," incoming Dean Patricia White said in an e-mail that was sent to incoming students on June 30 and picked up by the legal blog Above the Law. "An unprecedented percentage of applicants admitted to the University Of Miami Law School have accepted our offer. This will give us a larger than optimal first-year class."

The dean at the Univer$iTTy of Miami School of Law sent out an email to the entire incoming 2009 class, offering $5000 scholarships to those who deferred enrollment for one year. What’s that you say, troll? This law school is only ranked 60th by US News & World Report? Okay, let’s take a look at how well the top law schools are doing - in this shrinking legal market.

"Harvard advises students to have a Plan B for their job search, according to Weber.

Baltimore, Milwaukee

“If you are looking in D.C., consider Baltimore or Richmond,” he said. “If you’re looking in Chicago, try Milwaukee and St. Louis, too. You need to be casting a wider net in this market.”

The shrinking market for law school graduates coincides with a shift in legal services. Control has moved from law firm partners, who traditionally raised their rates every year, to the heads of corporate law departments, who demand that firms perform more efficiently and cheaply." [Emphasis mine]

Harvard Law, the second-ranked law school in the nation, is telling its students to cast a wider net. What does that tell you, lemmings?!?!

Fourth-ranked Columbia Law informs its students that they should attend the undergrad job fair. Yes, that is uplifting, promising news, isn’t it? Wait, maybe it’s the students’ fault for not getting into a higher-ranked school, right?!

Wow! Ninth-rated Michigan Law students can now find exciting new job opportunities as doc review monkeys in India! Yay!!

Here is a look at 11th-ranked Duke’s Bridge to Practice Program.

Even Slate is onto the law school cartel.

In the final analysis, law school is a terrible gamble at this point in time. In this digital age, so many of our jobs can be outsourced.

What is the ABA’s pig-headed solution?! It will consider approving overseas law schools!! Yes, that’s the cure for a GROSSLY OVER-SATURATED American legal market, isn’t it?!?!

This is further proof that the ABA and the law schools are aware of the situation but do not give a damn about the legions of JDs who will become debt slaves – with little to no chance of re-paying their student loans.


  1. I wonder what fish think. They see a member of their school heading for a lure that doesn't look like a fly or minnow. In fact the fish may have seen numerous other fish fall prey to the same lure. Is it because it looks like and easy target? Maybe they are suicidal? Maybe they just want it to be an easy meal so bad; they forget.

    I have talked to pre-law students. I have tried to show them that people are leaving the Law in droves, because they can't make a living. But, they still hold onto the TV various versions of a Lawyer lifestyle. Some do look at the stats, but think they are the exception to the rule. I never get a firm answer as to why. Most will say they will work hard. F*ck, everyone works hard;it's expected.

    It is unfortunate. But, there are always co-artists and LAw schools that will happily re leave them of their cash.

  2. The colonel was kind enough to come to my school’s OCI program and offer the top third of the class coveted positions at his industrial chicken farms. The 12-hour days are comparable to law firm hours and you don’t go home feeling dirty and dead inside like most attorneys—you only go home covered in shit and feathers.

  3. Law sxhools across the nation realize that it will only be a matter of time, maybe 5-10 years, before the higher education bubble bursts. In the meantime, law school adminstrators are responding by hiking tuition annually by double digit percent increases. They know the gravy train will be derailed and they will suck every last drop of that gravy. Law school tuiton at a public school such as Berkeley will or has already topped $50K per year. That is ONLY tuition. Add another $20K for living expenses, fees, books, etc. Add another $30-50K a year for loss of opportunity cost and you are out over $100K a year. Kids going to law school today are stupid and deserve to drown in non-dischargeable debt.

  4. What is amazing is how no one sees that this is a "education" bubble. Its not just JDs, its the same behavior that caused the housing market to implode. Over-encouraging people to take out debt for something they think will benefit them later. How is this any different from what Fanny & Freddy did? Or the predatory lenders at Countrywide? Nothing except these guy won't get caught and fined by the SEC.

    Telling everyone that a college education is now somehow a "right" and that it will lead to a better life is a fantasy. The ONLY thing education does for you is it allows you to take advantage of opportunities, if they should come your way. Law school is a special case. As a somewhat vocational degree, it creates a reasonable expectation that when you finish, you will be able to go practice law - though gainful employment.

    I think it is great he [Nando] is raising awareness, but it won't change people's minds. Most people who choose to go to lawschool - myself included - did not know any of this when we applied. It was not until I left school did I have a period of deep depression regarding my shattered illusions of the law profession.

    Non-lawyers can't understand it.

  5. Law schools know that there are fewer legal jobs but are admitting even greater numbers of students. Sickening, yes. Surprising, hardly.

  6. I wonder what Marquette students will think when they're told they'll be competing with Harvard grads for work in Milwaukee.

  7. Somebody call mah name? I do recall sayin' I would be glad t' extend offers of employment for TTT grads that otherwise would be unemployed. My mind iz a little fuzzy on da details of the conversation. So I forget which third tier shithole this applies to. Ennyways, don' forget. Sometimes we team up wit udder vendors such as A&W o' Taco Bell. Can you imagine that heavenly state a bliss? My nipples are gettin' hard jus' thinking 'bout it.

    Think about it. Famous Bowls, chicken snackers, a 24 oz. root beer float, heavenly flaky biscuits, chalupas, tacos up da wazoo. Got damn! Rememba, The Colonel wants to spread bicuit democracy aroun' da world. I myself is thinking 'bout accrediting some foreign law schools. Could always use an extra TTT grad to man the fryers, ya know.

  8. Pigs rolling around in shit. Perfect image.

    Hmm, on second thought what have these animals ever done to you? They provide food for lots of families. They also don't charge $40,000 for a single year of education. These pigs are much, much better than the filthy swine in the ivory tower.

  9. The higher education bubble covers the entire education industrial complex, not just law school. Law school is just particularly egregious because it costs so damn much.

    As far as the Miami scholarships, it would be interesting to see if they offered $5000 to students to defer for a year, but when those students showed up the next year, tuition had *magically* increased by at least $5000. Increases of this kind are happening at a lot of schools, I wouldn't be surprised if they just so happened to occur at Miami and thus erase any value these scholarships once had.

  10. Charleston School of Law next?


    Look at this blog entry. The University of Minnesota Law School will increase tuition by 13.5% next year. And the faculty will be asked to take a 1% pay cut.

    The administrators and “professors” are aware of the shrinking legal job market. Apparently, they feel that the best way to combat this situation is for the schools to increase class sizes and charge ever-higher tuition.

    In this piece from May 25, 2010, James Leipold, Executive Shill at NALP, prognosticated lower employment figures for the class of 2010 and that of 2011.

    This tells you that the NALP and ABA are fully aware of the situation. If you are a delusional pre-law student with your head in the clouds, here is further proof:

    “The national economy is still volatile and the legal economy remains anemic,” James Leipold, executive director of the Association for Legal Career Professionals, said in an e-mail. “Law firms will likely have to try a variety of experiments and novel practices in the coming months to manage both finances and talent amidst all of this uncertainty.”

    Legal practitioners are now weighing in on this reality:

    Article in the Michigan Bar Journal entitled, “Too Many Hungry Crows Pecking at a Smaller Pie: Why Law Schools in Michigan Must Shrink Enrollment to Preserve Quality and Opportunity”

    Take a look at this PDF from Kowalski and Associates, a law firm management consultant firm. They recently called out the law schools for their fraudulent conduct. This six page document stands as yet another STINGING INDICTMENT against the law school cartel.

    They conclude:

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

  12. All these people with degrees working jobs that are clearly below their abilities. The higher education bubble is breeding some very unhappy, disillusioned individuals.

    I can't help wondering though if we didn't go to school how much better off would we be? Building a career is not an easy feat, this is true. Especially when you have so many forces working against you.

    Perhaps our time would be better used being a bit more entrepreneurial. Yes, the economy is bad, yes the lS continue to flood the market with more JDs. But one of the problems new grads usually have coming into the job market is preconceived notions regarding what a law degree can do for them. Some of the blame there goes to LS and some to media and other people here and there. But no one is going to hand you a job. No one is going to pat you on the head and make you offers. If you dont want to be a lawyer. You don't need to look for employment where you will be doing traditional "legal" work. Go out and find something else. I want everyone to be real, only 38-40% of the US population has a bachelors degree. Only 1-2% of the US population has a doctorate of ANY KIND. Now within the very narrow "legal" market there is an oversupply. But stepping outside your comfort zone and taking some risk, you can create a career for yourself much more fulfilling than arguing MM cases.

    I went to a TTTT school. This school was a T4 as you can get. Afterward, I went though a period of unemployment and depression. Rather than give up and die. I decided to go outside the legal universe and started by contacting a temp agency. I worked around a bit and then I got a decent entry level job though a temp to perm program. I worked a bit at that, and now I make a rather comfortable salary at a large corporation doing interesting work that includes by legal background and some other stuff.

    I have never looked back either. There is a lot of opportunities for JDs if you open your eyes and wipe away the tears. You just have to learn to market yourself in a way that highlights your skills. The best way to do that is find your weakness and then turn it around. I have heard people say that JD not working in law makes employers wonder, "whats wrong with this person?" So rather than present yourself as a failed lawyer who can't find work, say, for example: I never meant to practice law (even if that isn't true), or I got a JD as a general business education and it gave me a wider degree of knowledge not only of the sales processes, but regulatory issues, etc, etc. There are a lot of ways to create a image of yourself that employers find interesting and sets you apart from the typical plodding "young driven lawyer" type. I learned to do this out of necessity and reading some books it. A lot is trial and error. Trust me when I say this, I have messed up. You learn and make sure you have a list of memorized canned answers to those pesky "why did you go to LS questions."

    Getting out there and trying is really the only way to learn. Being depressed, sitting in your basement or working at burger king while smoking pot all day is not going to get you a job. Go to a temp agency. Get some momentum going. Just be patient and keep in mind this process takes 3-6 months.

  13. I think the law school industry (and it is an industry) knows it is entering the "end game" phase of the higher education bubble, so they will stop at nothing right now, full steam ahead, to squeeze the juice out of this miserable scam before the whole thing caves in.

    And it will. It's just hard for them tho give up all the easy money from kids who will likely never practice law.

    Some profession, huh?

  14. Current Lawyer: "Why do you want to be a lawyer?"

    0L: "Because lawyers do well in life and are part of a well respected and prestigious profession."

    The preceding exchange happened about a year ago between a friend's son and myself. He is dead set on attending a TTT next Fall. I warned him but my advice fell on deaf ears. Note to self: the next time a friend or a relative wants you to discuss law school or the legal profession with someone contemplating such downward spiral of a path, politely decline and say you are scheduled for surgery on that day.

    What I want to know is why is it that Generation Y believes that lawyers do well? The other day I saw an 88 year old lawyer that had retired 5 years ago. Hell I was even at his retirement party. He was back in court, in a wheelchair and attached to a portable oxygen tank. Now riddle me this OLs: why do you think that man was in court? Do you think he was bored and his everlasting love for the law compelled him to come out of retirement? No, as he explained it, "the life of a senior citizen isn't cheap." But surely you OLs must wonder about the millions he stashed away during his "prestigious" career. Yes the man lived a comfortable lifestyle but he was far from rich. Now he must wheel himself into court to make a few bucks here and there so he can buy himself adult diapers. Is this how you want to wind up (if you are lucky and assume you break into the legal field)?

    A law degree is an overly valued penny stock. If you are willing to pay a high premium for this worthless product, that says something about your judgment. So ask yourself, would you hire a professional that has poor judgment? I don't think so, so why should anyone hire you. There will be more attorneys delaying their retirements or coming back out of retirement to guarantee a full generation of lawyers won't ever break into the field. Guess who that is? If you are in law school, stop guessing.

  15. As I've said before, I'm screwed, but you recent graduates (or soon to be graduates) are REALLY screwed! I can see the light at the end of the debt slavery tunnel. It's still a ways off, but things are getting easier for me nearly 10 years after graduating from law school. My LS's tuition has DOUBLED in the 8 years since I've been out. I hope you like bending over. Soon, maybe I'll be the one doing the f**kin'.

  16. It amazes me that new law schools are being opened like the law school at like Belmont Univeristy in Nasville. There is just no need for more law schools. So far law schools have gotten away with massive tuition hikes, and lack of real training. I wonder how long it will last. I watched the tech bubble and the real estate bubble inflate and explode. The legal field is in a massive bubble that keeps inflating, the bigger it inflates the more tremendous the burst.


    The only thing better than pig farmin' is pickin the Banjer!

    And with Student Loans hangin' round your neck, you won't even be able to afford new shoes for the little uns. Damn their feet sure grow fast!

    Well... what did you expect? Shoes cost money!

  18. Critick,

    How will working for a temp hag agency help one pay off his $120K in student loans - just from law school?

    Robert Half Temp Hag Agency is now offering attorneys $12 an hour as doc review chimps. Yes, that sounds promising, doesn't it?!?!

    Here is another gem from Elie Mystal at ATL. Unemployed Columbia Law grads are able to take part in the "Social Justice Pathways Fellowship." For the Class of 2009, each position came with a $25K stipend - for eight months of work.

    In sum, I am beyond tired of the old "put your nose to the grindstone" meme. Come up with something substantive and original. How feasible is it for LEGIONS of unemployed attorneys to hang out their own shingle?! Many lawyers do not have a business background - and would not know how to meet a payroll.

    “So right off the bat, a good portion of disposable income is going to go to servicing this debt. Unlike a bad mortgage, you can’t walk away from student loan debt. So there is a major liability already on the books for many prospective buyers. Compare this to a blue collar worker back in the 1960s with no debt purchasing a home. No need for a college degree to buy a home with one income. Today, you have this new college graduate that is probably making less on inflation adjusted terms from this blue collar worker and is unable to purchase a home without taking on more debt or combining two incomes. You have to wonder how many college graduates with large amounts of debt are unable to purchase homes because of their student loan debt? Keep in mind that 1 out of 4 Americans have a 4-year degree so this is supposedly a group that is prime for purchasing real estate.”

    Furthermore, look at the societal implications of too many debt-soaked college graduates flooding the market, i.e. due to their staggering NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt load, MANY will not be able to reach landmarks such as marriage, buying a home, or starting a family. How might that affect the anemic economy? You cannot walk away from this toxic debt. How many banks and mortgage lenders will be eager to finance a home for a fool with $160K in student debt?

  19. Nando, I give you props for the use of the boars in your photograph. It accurately captures what law schools are doing to students. The boar that is lying down represents the law students and the horny looking boar that is hovering over the other pig about to rape him represents the law schools. Bravo!

  20. Yes, squeal like a piggy! WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

    What 3:02 is trying to say in a sort of intellectual way, is this:

    And yes, the guy on the hillbilly on the top is the Law Schools and/or Al Lord.

  21. I have read some of critick's other comments on other blogs, and he or she seems to have a good grasp of the forest, but not for the trees (i.e. nose to grindstone is more like nose to tree as 90% of the rainforest is being cut down)

    But critick is good. Has a good perspective ina lot of ways. Just my opinion.

    And I hope a good debate is in the works now between you and critick.

    And, to critick, I still have to write my scathing review of the movie version of Stephen King's the Langoliers. (Damn I wasted a few hours of my life watching that.)

  22. Maybe critick can bring something more to the table than rah-rah enthusiasm. This site and the others have shown beyond any reasonable doubt that there are too many lawyers being dumped out. Even the MSM is covering this now. What more do you need? An official statement from the aba stating 'We are deliberately producing too many law graduates.' C'mon, use your fucking critical thinking skills.

  23. Please also, and as God is my Witness!

    Please to you young and beautiful and uncorrupted young 20 something kids, with your whole lives ahead of you.

    Never, and I mean Never! Never Ever! And Ever Never!

    Please and may God in all his Mercy help your young and naieve and innocent souls, and open up your ears!

    Never, Never, Never, Never, Ever!

    Take out a Student Loan!


    For the Love of God, how many more different ways can I say it?------your life will turn into absolute SHIT! and you will be for the rest of your life a 2nd class citizen as I am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Death will seem pretty sweet by comparison, and you will always be hoping for eternal repose, in the grave.

    May God bless us all in these horrible times. (If there is a God).

    If not, may the Devil bless us all.

    Let Satan bless us, because Satan surely does exist. If he did not, there would be no student loans.

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. @nando

    I agree with what you are saying about the LS scam on a whole. Its true that I don't know everyone's individual woes. However, making excuses for being unemployed doesn't make any money. Neither does coming up with reasons why your life "sucks," or how you were clowned into debt. When I say you, I don't mean YOU.

    It has become clear we can't depend on the old way of doing things anymore. The firm system is broken. The apprenticeship system is now non-existent. The expectation of fat legal jobs we can gobble up are an illusion – sold to us by assholes. That is neither here nor there. We are just one of a number of professions hurt by outsourcing, oversupply, and general economic downturn. Yes, times be tough. That is true. That great you figured it all out, and you could be angry, but it doesn't change the reality of the situation grads find themselves in.

    You mention the temp agencies are a waste of time. Yes, if you are applying to wrong type. There are professional placement agencies that work with high profile job seekers all the time (esp lawyers). I live around the NY area and we have dozens. It requires some shopping around and *gasp* networking to find out which ones are best for your needs (referrals help). A headhunter or professional recruiter can help you find contract to perm jobs or perm placement that is worthy of your high and mighty educational credentials. That is the way it is done in the world, very rarely do you get hits from cold-canvasing with your CV. It is a matter of a bit of luck, patience, and spreading your seeds as far as you can. It also takes time. I'm sure you can attest Nando, jobs don't fly in your window overnight. It is a long process.

    I'm sorry but even Harvard grads start out doing "shitty" work. When you graduate LS or any program you start at the bottom again. Where we get this sense of entitlement, I don't know. But that is the FIRST thing that has to go or you will not survive. The world doesn't owe you shit. OMG! you have to work some 12 dollar an hr job for a few months to support yourself? Poor baby. Did you think someone was gunna hand you a 80k a year job when you graduated from T4? Hell no. That is a tough realization for those of us who have been fucked over by these diploma mills. Its very unfair and it shouldn't be that way. I agree. Developing skills to cope with it and adapt is the only way to win at this game.

    Look Nando, tearing suggestions apart and looking for every excuse and negative in the book is not helpful. It simply encourages your readers not to try and become dispondant. Recruiters worked for me. They may not have worked for you. That doesn't mean its not worth investigating when you are looking for non-lawyering jobs.

    You bring up debt. Lets face it, most of us are never going to pay our loans back. The interest alone would take over 20 years. Staying out of default is the number one priority. These handlers are flexible, they understand we have homes and families. They will work with you to make a reasonable payments monthly. Or you can do nothing, go into default and destroy yourself. That is just about the worst thing you can do. Yet again, it sucks, but it is the reality. No matter how much we don't like it, we are going to have to pay (or not) in the forseeable future. Taking a internet degree program (cheap) can put your loans back into deferral and if you draw it out, for several years. Again, just a suggestion, not for everyone.

    Nando, I said that I am very much in favor of what you are doing here. It just can't become the house of excuses on why we "can't" do things. With good marketing skills and a willingness to go outside the narrow field of "lawyering," anyone here can get gainful employment with a livable salary.

    BTW. If you keep up with the bankruptcy cases there was a case last year where a guy got his student loans discharged without meeting the hardship criteria. U.S. Aid Funds v. Espinosa

  26. "What I want to know is why is it that Generation Y believes that lawyers do well?"

    I can't speak for others, but I am in my late 20s, and I was raised to believe I basically had four options: doctor, lawyer, engineer/scientist, and high-class businessman. That was pretty much it. People who were labeled as any sort of "gifted" were basically convinced that being a teacher, doing blue-collar work, restaurants, local management, nursing, basic technicians, etc. was way beneath them.

    And from my high school class, who are the most well-off people? An insurance salesman with a non-prestigious degree, a guy in the military, three guys who went to DeVry, a trucker, two nurses, and five teachers.

    Thanks mom, dad, and friends, and your ridiculous illogical religion of higher education and poor economics.

  27. You know the legal profession has hit rock bottom when you see a Harvard Law grad working in shitlaw. I could not believe it when my law school buddy told me he had a CLS and HLS working in his shitlaw insurance defense law firm. I had to see it to believe it and I saw it. That was a sad sight to see. I am sure both of these guys never pictured themselves slaving away in shitlaw for $50K a year.

  28. I love Critick! A desciple(spelling) of Horatio Algiers! Luck and Pluck. Good-Oh!

    A work in Progress!

    I am absolutely sure that maybe Critick will be dragged down into Hell, among the Morlocks, and along with the rest of us--the Morlocks, the Pigs. The Lepers and Debtors.

    But Still, critick is a work in progress, so not such a bad egg--so far. With a little persuasive reasoning of course.

  29. Critick, I don't know of anyone who hasn't been hustling to get SOMETHING since the law game crashed and burned. I'm a judicial clerk whose term is up in January. I've been sending out resumes, pushing contacts, networking and have received NO responses to any of them.

    No recruiter is going to go out of their way to talk to a junior attorney with no previous career.

    In b4 network moar, stop whining, entitlement complex, etc

  30. "Thanks mom, dad, and friends, and your ridiculous illogical religion of higher education and poor economics.

    October 28, 2010 5:50 PM "

    It's just that, for them and their generation, that was (and still is) the prevailing outlook. It's entirely understandable. The Boomers (especially the early Boomers) came into a working world enjoying the decades of artificial prosperity brought about by the fact America's competitors were decimated by something called World War Two.

    Pent-up demand for consumer goods, automobiles, industrial equipment, appliances, you name it, was ours to fill while Europe lay wrecked and Japan destroyed in the aftermath of that conflict. Eventually, that would of course change, with new industrial giants entering the economic scene through this day. The Boomer paradigm was one built on a set of conditions which would not, and could not, carry on forever. And, therefore, the boom days they remember, of getting a white-collar gig with General Motors with one's English Lit. degree, have ended as well. It will take time, if it ever occurs at all, for that generation's perspective and expectancies to change, s they march off the playing field demographically.

    We are entering much leaner times, times in which even those who "network" their asses off may or may not find gainful employment.


    Hello, Suffolk TTT trolls. In the span of 3 hours and 15 minutes – from 5:57 am to 9:12 am - there were 36 visitors from this IP – including and

    As you can see, the Host Name is That might explain why I was not able to look up the IP for the latter two listed above. Perhaps, David Sargent has too much time on his hands – after Suffolk decided to can him as univer$iTTTy pre$idenTTT and dean of the law $chool.

    "Sargent’s 21-year tenure as president of the 9,600-student university will end more than two years before his scheduled retirement date of July 2013. An associate of Sargent said the 79-year-old president was forced out by the board, which voted unanimously at a special meeting last night to accept his retirement.”

    “School administrators, who admit to keeping tabs on these so-called “scam blogs,” which now number in the dozens, bristle at the charge that they run diploma mills.”

    We know that law school administrators follow these blogs. For some reason, they don’t have the balls to challenge the premise of these sites under their name and title.

  32. Nando:

    I look at how far this blog has come from your very first few posts in 09, and you deserve more credit than maybe you even realize.

    You have done one Helluva job!

    Don;t worry, the Law School Administrators will eventually show up here, and in their own names probably.

    They will show up perhaps not in the name of due process (this blog is not a court of law).

    But rather they will be obligated to try to defend/ and/or explain themselves on a very basic, human and fundamental level.

    They are after all being accused of human rights violations.

    That is because they are well aware and on notice as to their role in profiting from, and at the same time destroying countless lives with toxic debt.

    They are well aware of how much blame is falling on them for misleading so many students down a garden path that leads to the abyss of soul destroying debt and depression and ultimate suicide if need be.

    Remember Madame Butterfly? Better to die than to live in desgrace.

    And that is what nondischargeable student loan debt is: A life of complete disgrace and shame.
    A life as an enemy of the taxpayer.

    What happened to the USA that I once knew as, yes, a baby-boomer.

  33. SIr, if these ls administrators are pussies as you infer, how would you even go about starting a dialogue with them? Would you be willig to debate them? more importantly, do you think they would be willing to accept your offer? I mean, why should someone who makes $200,000 annualy in such a cush job be willing to debate someone who has been so openly hostile to their profession? How will they be served by such a discussion.

  34. 11:35, allow me to answer your question.

    The country you knew as a younger man is done. It's finished. Gone to shit. Why? Because too many greedy cocksuckers decided they would rather steal all the wealth, ship all the jobs overseas, and watch the nation crumble to the ground from the safety of their yachts and mansions.

    Yeah, that turned out real well. When your grandchildren ask you about this country at least you can tell them about the time before this country became a giant ball of shit. The worthless pieces of shit in the Republican and Democratic parties (all of them, every single one of those motherfuckers) happily sold this nation down the fucking river for some big campaign checks and job security. So I don't feel bad for these shitbirds in Congress that are losing their seat of 20 or 40 years. You cocksuckers didn't do anything but ruin this place and now you are crying aligator tears because some people wisened up and voted your old, wrinkly behind out of office. Go suck a bag of elephant dicks and die a slow, painful death. Get Stage IV cancer and rot from the inside, you fuck. (Not directed at the commenter. I am referring to the shitbirds in office. WHy people kept reelecting these piles of fucking garbage I do not know for the life of me.)

  35. @12:21

    That was really funny, but I just want to say that I live on Long Island, NY.

    And I get my hair cut in a place owned and run by immigrants from Uzbeckistan and/or the former baltic states of the Soviet Union.

    I fill my car up at a gas station run by innigrants from Middle Eastern or Pakastani, or Turkish people.

    I go to Carvel Ice Cream shops run by Asian people/families.

    I go to 7-11 anywhere in NY and the people that own and run the stores are middle eastern and/or pakistani.

    I daily encounter people in the building trades from at least 10 different Latino or South American Countrys: El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Chile, Columbia etc etc.

    Little Neck, Long Island has Korean writing all over it.

    Flushing, NY is almost entirely Asian.

    Hicksville, NY has many, many middle Eastern people walking around in native clothing.

    All of the above people speak in their own tongues, and most likely couldn't care a less for learning or speaking English.

    Sometimes I see women walking the streets on Laundry day with bags of clothing balanced on the tops of their heads--no hands! (Straight out of the pages of National Geographic Magazine depictions of 3rd world contries)

    So what I am getting at is this:

    If America is or has become such a bad place, why does everyone from around the world still want to come here?

    Yet it all seems to work, and life goes on.

  36. I grew up loving this country. I never thought in a million years that I would be laid to rest anywhere except my beloved America. However, this country has changed for the worse. There are some parts of this country that are reminiscent of third world conditions. President Obama is America's undertaker. He has nailed the final metal stud in the coffin.

    Years ago, I transferred most of my money into foreign Spanish and Swiss bank accounts. America is in the endgame stages. I will be relocating to Brazil in a couple of years where I have already purchased a modest home far away from the favela slums of Rio.

    On days like today I sometimes shed a tear for the decrepit nation this has become. I dare you to not cry while listening to this David Bowie/Pat Metheny song while wondering what happened to our once great nation:

    --3x divorce court clown who paid for everyone's entertainment but will enjoy watching those folks burn down with this country from abroad

  37. the u.s. is a shitholeOctober 29, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    I'm glad you appreciate my blunt language.
    Wasn't designed to be funny really.

    Anyway America is past its peak. Its best days are well behind it. And we aren't ever returning to that time either. So to answer your question as to why others choose to come here: as miserable and shitty as the U.S. is, it is still better than living in a fucking rice paddy or in a desert warzone somewhere in Africa. These desperate people have given up being a shitworker in their former region to be a shitworker here. Yes, they have pretty much just changed geography. You no longer work the fruit fields, but you now slave away in a slaughterhouse. Just because this place is better than a shithole like Vietnam does not mean that things are well here. Let's say you married a beautiful lady and she goes on to add 40 pounds and lets herself go. are you still going to be bragging just because she looks better than the pasty fat cows living down the block?

  38. @1:21 "Let's say you married a beautiful lady and she goes on to add 40 pounds and lets herself go. Are you still going to be bragging just because she looks better than the pasty fat cows living down the block?"

    I'd say No, unless of course you like Hoggin'! Yee-Haw... Happy Freakin' Friday.

  39. OH My God! So funny!

  40. Aw, fuck it. You know what. Maybe it is poetic justice. This nation has fucked over so many peoples and states around the world. How do you think we got our position of top dog in the world? We deserve to get fucked in the ass with a dead raccoon's maggot infested dick. Throughout our history, we fabricated wars designed to deplete resources of other countries. We nearly wiped out the natives. Look up the Trail of Tears, children. We built up large sums of wealth by buying black men and women as chattel. Well, we can thank the same greedy cunts for selling this nation out to China, Japan, among others. Now, most of our jobs are about as secure as a ninety year old man's heart. This country is a piece of shit and that's the bottom line. End of story. There's nothing else to look forward to. If you are smart and have some resources, you will leave this shithole behind. Go drink a mojito in a tropical location in the company of exotic young women with large breasts and large brown eyes. What is the biggest thing to miss about this rotten place? AMerican football? 64 ounce sodas? Get a fucking grip and get out of this place.

  41. If America is or has become such a bad place, why does everyone from around the world still want to come here?

    Yet it all seems to work, and life goes on.

    October 29, 2010 12:52

    Because, ALTHOUGH THEY ARE HARD-WORKING AND MOTIVATED PEOPLE, these kind folks are working for family members, under the table, and paying absolutely no taxes of any kind. Doing lotsa unlicensed plumbing/;electrical/carpentry/
    bricklaying for people unconcerned with legalities and standards. The WORST thing that will happen to them is deportation if busted.

    So, why shouldn't they give it a go? Yes, sir, life indeed does go on, in the parallel economy.

  42. @1;49

    Yes, and a lot of truth, and I can go on and on in rebuttal on some points, but that is for another day.

    But what you said about a parallel economy stands out, and I thought I would share an interesting idea that I heard once.

    There is an easy way to solve the problem of cash income.

    Just outlaw today's currency, and replace it with a new currency.

    Anyone who is holding the old currency is welcome to step forward and exchange their old money for the new money.

    Sounds like a simple plan, and pretty natural and easy, and in a lot of ways moral.

    So why has that not been done?

    I'm just talking about currency of course, and not gold, jewelry, and other related things. (portable property)

  43. As Oscar Wilde said:

    "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence, without civilization in between."

  44. Hey everybody!

    Check this out:

    As a debtor, my thoughts keep getting darker and darker, so I guess I find this stuff attractive now. Besides, it's Halloween tomorrow, and Happy Halloween!

    I'm the guy on the right panel shitting money out of my ass. Giving it all to Sallie Mae.
    Can you find me?

  45. Well, that went over like a led balloon.

    Trying it again:

  46. Critick,

    I landed a non-legal job within two months of graduating from Third Tier Drake. I also decided to attend this school because I received a full-tuition scholarship. As a result of that, I only took out an additional $37K in student loans for law school.

    I am glad that you were able to land decent work, after going on the temp hag agency path. However, that is the exception. Many legal employers see your prior work experience as a document reviewer as “proof” that you do not have what it takes to be a lawyer. It is a black mark against you.

    Also, how can I take you seriously when you write the following?:

    “Getting out there and trying is really the only way to learn. Being depressed, sitting in your basement or working at burger king while smoking pot all day is not going to get you a job. Go to a temp agency. Get some momentum going. Just be patient and keep in mind this process takes 3-6 months.”

    How many recent JDs are sitting in their basement smoking pot all day?! MOST are hustling and working their ass off to land any employment, legal or non-legal. To land a decent non-legal job, you will need to be prepared for an inquisition.

    Non-legal employers will be suspicious of you, i.e. “Will this person take off the moment a legal job opens up to them?” Many will also see you as a loser for not being able to land a job in your area of training. After all, in their mind, you spent a lot of money to be trained as a lawyer. Why not work for legal aid, or volunteer for a law firm?

    To the guy who says this country sucks, let me respond. This nation has NEVER lived up to its promise. The Framers wrote glowing prose about concepts such as “liberty,” “equality” and “justice” - all while condoning and taking advantage of slavery. Actions speak louder than words. In the end, these wealthy white men simply wanted to cut out the British Crown for personal reasons of greed. For these reasons, I have never held Thomas Jefferson or George Washington in high regard. They clearly did not live up to their mythological status.

    The United States has screwed over tons of nations - over the course of its history - thus creating many of its own problems. Just look at the overthrow of the democratically elected Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran 1953 as one prime example. The “men” who have occupied the Oval Office over the last 40 years have been a tragic joke.

    I agree that this nation's best days are well behind it. This can be largely attributed to corporate and personal greed.


    The preceding article was written by a TTT law school professor. Although the writing style is very TTT, I thought the article highlighted the law school problem very well in a rudimentary sort of way.

    Nando, you should forward this article to the Drake Law Review for publication. If the article is TLDR, I will summarize what the author stated:

    1) Legal education system has been outdated for 130 years;
    2) Archaic legal education is sustained by lazy law professors and law school administrators that wish to keep the costs down while maintaining a high level of profitability for the law schools;
    3) Too many law students being pumped out into an overly saturated legal field;
    4) New lawyers lack practical knowledge to practice law; and,
    5) (Very subtle reference) Debt pressures of high tuition will lead young lawyers to compromise ethics, thus, endagering the profession as well as their law licenses.

    The author is pushing for legal education reform. My suspicion is that the ABA will conspire with the law schools to add a "4th" year to law school which will incorporate the "skills and methods" practicum. In the end, the law schools will make more money and the law students will come out more indebted. This article does regurgitate the problem but does not offer viable solutions to the problem. I suspect the TTT adjunct who wrote this article wants to be considered an academic peer in the law school, with full tenure and benefits. This is why he is pushing for the practicum. In the end, his ulterior motives undermine the real problem, which is GREED.

  48. Here is a link to an article re: student loans--

    I do have a question as well:

    Did people take out student loans in the 1950's or 1960's?

    And just when did the federal government get involved?

    And just who made the Student Loans non-dischargeable in bankruptcy?

    I would have declared bankruptcy long, long ago, before the loans tripled.

    The result of non-dischargeability will now cost the taxpayer the tripled amount, because I cannot, as a private citizen, ever pay it off.

    Especially with ruined credit and all that follows in the wake of ruined credit:

    such as no good job, no credit for the simple things in life, no health insurance, no retirement, garnished social security.

    Just what kind if place is the USA any more?

    As a kid in the 1970's I always heard about how the people in Soviet Russia or the USSR lived in fear every day.

    That they couldn't go anywhere without being questioned by a government official as to where they were going and what they were doing.

    And the conclusion to these stories (in elementary school) was often expressed by the teacher (s) So you see, we are free and isn;t everything so much better here in America.

    Then we would watch the Olympics and cheer for Bruce Jenner who beat out all the government sponsered Communist Athletes. And eat our Wheaties while staring at a picture of Bruce.

    How afraid I am now of the US and the debt the US seems so desirous of placing every one of its citizens into from post adolescence to the grave.

  49. "If America is or has become such a bad place, why does everyone from around the world still want to come here?"

    Now Compare:

    "If Law School is such a waste of money, why does everyone still keep applying?"

    see where I'm going....?

  50. I think we can conclude this thread by agreeing that America, like law schools, has become the land of smoke and mirrors. As long as there are suckers that fall for cheap parlor tricks, people will always try to come to America or attend law schools. The magicians (i.e., politicians and law school administrators, deans and professors) will continue to get paid.

  51. Speaking of grossly outdated pedagogics...Hmmm...where are the poor kids right about now...perhaps Pennoyer v. Neff?

  52. Check out this douchebag:

    One of his great reasons for going to law school is that you can use it as an excuse to get you out of anything you don't want to do. If this is the type of prototypical moron that law schools let in, then this profession has lost its standards. Put it another way, this douchebag makes those pigs rolling in shit look prestigious.

  53. 10/30 a 5:36--well I guess it's safe to say you won't be attending a Glenn Beck rally anytime soon. I agree things are bleak, but not to the degree you seem to express, and sort of jokingly I hope. There is always a solution or a way to solve any problem. If I didn't beleive that I would have killed myself a long time ago.

    But I made this comment here:

    But I think it is worth repeating on TTR:

    Suppose bankruptcy protections do somehow become restored?
    Wouldn't that lead to a tidal wave of Sudent Loan debtors filing for bankruptcy? Many thousands? Or hundreds of thousands? Would millions be more accurate? (somehow I doubt there are millions)

    And what result would that have on the economy? On the lenders and servicers, and all related interests? Or does anyone really know?

    I'm not an economics or financial person, but is there an understandable way to predict the overall national consequences of restoring bankruptcy protections?

    A second idea of mine is this:

    Because the system has obviously failed, and has become horribly corrupt, How about just wiping out Student Loan debt entirely and not even calling it bankruptcy? Rather call it a solution to a 3 decades old problem that was a bad idea in the first place.

    After that, reinvent the entire Educational System.

    But perhaps nothing short of a major Civil War or a Social Revolution would ever bring that about. (this idea is even expressed in the Declaration of Independence)But such a revolution might be decades away.

    I say Revolution because appealing to Congress with respect to this issue seems pretty useless and/or an exercise in futility.

    If the Republicans re-gain a majority in one or both houses you can be sure nothing will change for the next two years. They'll just roll out the red carpet for Al Lord.

    Only two days away now.

  54. Look up Al Lord's relationship to Congresspig John Boener. I believe Boener's daughter got a job with Sallie Mae.

    He was chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee. The student loan sharks love this bastard. You think Pelosi is a corporate whore? Wait until this cocksucker gets in the speaker's seat.

  55. I think the only hope for the situation, though slim, will be with the Democrats.

    The Republicans will just continue to blame the victim. While working, I've listened to probably thousands of hours of Rush, Hannity, MArk Levin, Michael Savage, That other guy um, oh yes, Lou Dobbs, and so many others.

    Still, from my point of view as a Student Loan debtor, I cannot vote Republican.
    And as the old saying goes: "You can't argue with a point of view".

    But we shall resume this conversation with all the differet points of view in 3 days I'm sure, for better or ill.

    Until then, I'm offline, and Happy Halloween!
    And Don't blow your brains out yet. Wait until after the election and then decide.


  56. @2:06:
    Great link to a great article. What do you mean he wrote in a TTT way? Being able to write and speak clearly and to the point is what actual practicing lawyers do when speaking with juries, judges, clients and each other. No one uses flowery legalese except law professors. And it doesn't matter where you went to law school, except for getting the first job; where it matters a lot.

  57. BIDER had an article which feature a dateline type of expose on the profitability of higher education. It seems the investors behind higher education have sucessfully hedged against hemorraging in this recession. These avaricious pigs target people who do not have the aptitude to go to college and tell them "yes you can." They figure since most Americans got conned by "Yes, we can," that illiterates will flood schools such as the University of Phoenix, which has more students than the Cal university system and all the IVY leagues combined. Now, these same scumbags want to open law schools and attract assholes like Mr. Law School who in prior generations would not be admitted to a law school because he clearly does not have the aptitude for it. But hey, as long as the government keeps underwriting these student loans, these profit universities and law schools will continue to destroy people and render them debt slaves for life. No this is not the America I was born in.

  58. I closed down the bank accounts for my solo practice over the weekend. I had them up and running just in case I had to get back in the saddle, i.e., lack of contract work. In any event, the banker was an Indian guy all dressed up in his suit asking me WHY I was closing my accounts and why I wasn't practicing law any more. I was upfront with him and told him that the exhorbitant cost no longer justified the means of attending, blah, blah, but my feeling is that he will probably attend law school at some point at attribute my lack of success to being a loser as so many lemmings often do. It can't happen to me....blah, blah ... I'm better than that ... I'll kick ass ... I'll be the exception to the rule.

    In any event, I no longer have the burden of reconciling my bank accounts on a monthly basis. I gave $100 of the account proceeds to my wife for house expenses and then I took her out to lunch. No more bank service charges and no more accounting hassles. I'm relieved.

  59. ^ When I decided to shut things down, every single asshole I knew asked me why I was closing up shop. Even distant cousins that I hadn't spoken to in years were calling me up and asking why. Some looked at me as though I had dumped a supermodel because her second toe was longer than the big one. I didn't care after awhile. These idiots did not understand the gravity of the situation, that I was making ~35K as a shitlaw practitioner. This was after a few years even. I went to a solid regional school and did well. When I graduated I had no prospects. On top of that I had no name recognition. Some of the trial judges and clerks knew me from when I was a go-fer for a shitfirm. NOw I no longer look back at my decision to leave this shitty field. I am happier now, make more money, and my hair is no longer thinning. I have more time to sit back and do the things I enjoy. I don't need to worry about some moron client calling me at 2 in the morning telling me that their ex-gf is threatening to move the kids. I'm not a social worker. Any more that is. And at least social workers don't have to pay bar dues, and abide by archaic and intense professionalism standards.

  60. When I went to law school, I had a professor who would constantly tell the students: "Having a law license is a license to steal." I only wished I had told him: "Correction, teaching law for 4-6 hours a week for a six figure salary is akin to stealing."

    There are too many law graduates turning to shitlaw. I have a friend who works for the clerk's office in civil division. She told me that a no-name nothing newly minted attorney submitted a motion and used a gothic font. Needless to say, the motion was kicked back and the judge ordered the attorney to pay $250 in sanctions for failing to read the court rules for submissions of pleadings. The attorney replied that he was only paid $300 to file the motion to which the court replied "SOL."

  61. nando @7:30..i say this as someone who likes your blog and the information it provides..

    why is it that most people who hate corporate and personal greed are themselves failures financially most often resulting from their own failed choices or trying to promote themselves by pretending to care for the poor or those who are not connected?

    This countries best days might be behind it, but it has nothing to do with the failure or hypocrisy of George Washington et al. Nothing is perfect but I have yet to see a country better then ours since ours was created. The things our country has done to help others is so much further then any other place. I am so sick of people, especially its own citizens, hating on the USA yet wont move to another place.

    The problem we have is that we have allowed too many illegals and law breakers into our country who dont care about the USA but want to take advantage of its freedoms and the genorosity of its citizens. Who wouldnt love the USA when you can work here and pay no tax while others carry you and your hating ass. The fact Africa and Mexico and most other places around the world live in squalor and have produced little to nothing for the benefit of mankind in the past 200 years speaks volumes.

    Nando, you might have a good blog, but you are just another liberal whose mindset is what is destroying this country.

  62. @ 10:39 am,

    You need to know what the hell you are talking about BEFORE you sound off. I am actually fairly conservative, at least financially. (I honestly do not give a damn if gay people can marry. It does not affect my life, my pocket or my home. Why get an ulcer over social issues such as this?)

    This nation CLEARLY spends too much money on too many programs - including your beloved, bloated military industry. This is why we are in the financial trouble we are in. Your hero, Ronald Wilson Reagan, is largely responsible for this state of affairs. The piece of trash/slimy cockroach nearly tripled the accumulated national debt in eight years. (And, yes, the spineless Democrats in Congress acquiesced to his spending program.) What a great accomplishment, huh?!?!

    Thanks for updating everyone that no place is perfect, by the way. Hopefully, you did not tax your brain too much coming up with that hidden nugget of wisdom. I also do not hate this country, dumbass. Get your facts straight before commenting on here. Unlike the knuckle-draggers out there, I do not need to adopt/create a sanitized version of this country. I take this place as it is. And as a citizen of this country, I have the absolute right to criticize any of its policies, laws, or numerous hypocrisies. You realize that, correct? Or do I need to give you a primer on the First Amendment, written in crayon and posterboard?!?!

    In fact, one simply needs basic observation skills - and the willingness to express those findings – in order to see where this country falls far short of its promise. I simply agreed with the earlier commenters who said that this nation has gone downhill.

    If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you will see where I place MOST of the blame on feel-good liberals – regarding the Higher Education Industrial Complex, i.e. “EVERYONE should go to college.” Clearly, many are not college material.

    Back to your main argument: many countries around the world are not as productive as the U.S. But DO NOT PRETEND that this nation has not played a role in that situation. When one nation, or group of economic powers, depletes natural resources or free labor from other, weaker nations, the economic heavyweights gain a greater advantage. Do you follow that line of logic, genius?! Read some history books. I suggest Stephen Kinzer or U.S. Marine Major General Smedley Butler. It might expand your narrow mind.

    Remember, corporations OWN the U.S. The reason why all those illegal immigrants are permitted here is for the benefit of greedy businessmen and corporations. They see this as an effective way of bringing down the overall wage scale of workers in this country. Address that reality the next time you chime in on this blog.

  63. I just have to respond to 10:30's comments. Part of living in a democracy is the ability to criticize the way things are run in this country. Hopefully with criticism comes positive change. I take it there is nothing about the good ole USA that bothers you, particularly at this time in the country's history. Your comments are analogous to the warmongers that continually harp on those critical of the way saying that in essence you are not being supportive of our troops. It's an argument that has no substance whatsoever except to single out others because your views may differ. This is what happened in Nazi Germany. It's a facist mindset and unfortunately, this is what lies ahead for this country in my opinion. Keep waving those flags and keep your nationalism up. Like the powers that be really give a crap about you. And the soldiers ... no one put a gun to their head and forced them to be killers - most likely desperation and some illusory promise of a free education. No go back to your red state you idiot.

  64. Rah, Rah, Rah ... The USA is GREAT. We're the Greatest! Do you feel better now, particularly as you look out your window and see society falling apart right in front of your eyes?

  65. Succeeding as a solo really is a hit or miss proposition.

    There are a lot of factors which may be beyond one's control, and I congratulate you guys who have given it a try. It's a bitch out there. That's why I am glad the scamblogs are giving prospective law students cause to take a long hard look at the (nebulous)value of a non-elite law degree. I knew I did not have a reasonable shot as I graduated at the bottom (took me three times to passs the bar, too) of my now-TTT law school. I was ignorant, and knew not the fact that one must drop out after 1L at a TTT if grades are shitty and one is otherwise unconnected. But, I was fortunate to be able to get into the trades. Not so easy to do that now either. Nothing is.

    For that matter, ANY kind of degree nowadays.

  66. ...I should say, one must closely consider the value of ANY degree nowadays...

  67. @12:11

    Yes, but the Founding Fathers left nothing out of their contemplation. Including the 2nd Amendment.

    So for those of us that want to stay in our homeland, and not run away. be thankful you can at least attempt to defend your home with arms, if need be.

    Against a terrible banking Industry that has taken control of Congress.

    I'm dead serious.

    It won't be long before the banks start telling the US Government to start kicking down the doors of all of the Student Loan debtors, and throwing them into jail and making them slave laborers to work off the debt. In concentration camps.

    How I really do fear the US government these days.

    If you think that sounds crazy, just look at history.

    In this case, it was never about collecting from the student lender. It was always intended that the taxpayer would pick up the tab, and leave the private citizen on the hook, and to suffer at the hands of a system he or she never understood in the first place.

    Even now. Can anyone out there explain why so many innocent people are being punished with debt for the sake of pursuing an education?

    Can anyone explain why this person, or that person, or the next one, or the next one, or the next one, or the next one, or the next one, and on and on and on and on.....many thousands,

    owe so much money?

    What the hell is Education supposed to be all about in the first place?

    Does Education matter?

    And by the way..Robert Applebaum crapped out, and now he is back in the game supposedly. I surely hope so.

    But until then, C.Cryn Johanssen has been keeping the torch alive.

    Education does matter.

  68. Nando, You should try flushing the turd that is Kaplan University's Concord School of Law. Their methods of business; which include trading on the prestige of the Washington Post since they have no prestige of their own droping the names of Buffet and Gates who own a part of them, Floating in the 5th California 'approved' tier of law schools, and high fees as is typical, are described Here. They have a website over Here and presumably a fax machine. Apparently they are issuing J.D. and 'Executive' J.D. Degrees, as well as an LL.M in Small Business. I don't think I can mock their LL.M as much as it deserves, since one of their professors is talking about bankruptcy, something that her students will need to know about.

  69. The view from across the water

    Over here in the UK prospective lawyers are facing similar challenges as in the US. To many people with the requisite qualifications chasing after not enough entry level jobs.

    Our profession is 'split' - ie one chooses whether to become a 'solicitor' or 'barrister'(specialist advocates). Most of us opt for the solicitor route (currently there are around 150,000 in England & Wales) as the bar is highly competitive & only meaningfully open to Oxford / Cambridge graduates. In order to become a solicitor you need to obtain a qualification called the legal practice course ('LPC') & then get a 2 year placement with a law firm which is called a 'training contract'. The LPC is relatively straightforward to obtain & takes 1 year but you do need either a law degree or a post graduate diploma to access the LPC course. The difficulties really arise when you're looking for the all important 'training contract' - the bottom line is that there aren't any and the legal market has contracted massively in the past 3 years. Small firms are collapsing at the rate of 400 per annum & the 'magic circle' (biglaw) are shedding staff by the bucket load. These qualified lawyers are a much more attractive hire that the LPC graduate.

    Needless to say the LPC providers are expanding & increasing fee's & selling 'the dream'.

    The fact is without family connection or a really strong degree you're going to really struggle in getting anywhere in the current climate. I'm bloody glad I did all of this 6 years ago. It was much easier to pick up a training contract in those days (even so it took me 6 extremely terrifying months to get my foot in the door). I make about $80,000 p/a which is about enough to keep the wolves from the door but my career isn't going any where. I'm just going to have to wait out this recession before moving on to pastures new (& I'm one of the lucky ones)

  70. @6:10 "Even now. Can anyone out there explain why so many innocent people are being punished with debt for the sake of pursuing an education?"

    In response - because the Powers That Be ("PTB") realize that an indentured citizenry is a malleable citizenry and will be willing to accept whatever course of action they want in exchange for some de minimus token, e.g., pass some legislation allowing additional deferments above and beyond those currently mandated when shit really hits the fan.

  71. Nando, you have the worst comment sections ever. What is it about your blog that attracts the nutjobs that can't stay on topic?

  72. @4:57, 1:09 & 9:19:

    Contract work is complete dead end. On the other hand your $35k a year law practice, if you handle it right, can grow into a respectable practice.

    And no, it is not luck.

    First: acknowledge that you know nothing about law. Law school taught you nothing. What is your plan to teach yourself how to practice in a lucrative way?

    Second: Set up a marketing and business plan to get clients in the areas that you practice (No, don't take everything that comes in) and trim expenses.

    Third: Strike the term "shitlaw" from your vocabulary. It's called civil litigation. Take pride in what you do! Quinn Emanuel started with 3-4 lawyers in a cheap office 30 years ago and is now at the top of BigLaw. "But they suceeded because they went to Harvard" you say. No, they succeeded because they have drive which manifested itself first in a Harvard degree and then, more importantly, in becoming good business litigators. You just have to skip step 1 and go straight to step 2. I can find you lots of good business litigation boutiques where they didn't go to the Ivies. You can start with a lower practice are, then move up to small company business litigation, and so forth.

    Why do see your low tier degree be an obstacle to anything except getting a first year BigLaw associateship? You really think, in your hearts, that you are inferior lawyers because of the schools you went to? That's absolutely pathetic.

  73. 11:35AM

    It's called shitlaw because your clients are culled from the dregs of society (you won't be representing Fortune 500 CEOs there), the pay is shit, the cases are shittier and the treatment and respect you get from established adversaries and the courts is the shittiest you can recieve.

    You must be a law school industry shill. Quinn Emmanuel as well as Skadden Arps started out small and expanded but we are talking about a time when starting a firm was fertile ground for expansion. Today, every fucker and their sister is a lawyer. Fuck, the barrista who served my coffee this morning is a night student at a local TTT law school. Little does he know that his JD will not help improve his lot in life.

    Personally I will never hire a TT/TTT/TTTT/law school online or correspondence degree grad to handle my legal matters. I let those grads take care of the little people who will piss on their leg and stiff them on attorneys' fees.

    As for what tier you went to, it does matter. Years ago, we had an associate who went to a midwestern TT school. When his educational pedigree came up in client conversations, we would tell our clients that he was in the LLM program at NYU. It save a little face and two years after he obtained his LLM, he was downsized. People that go to TTTs are generally dreamers not doers. I do not want a dreamer working on my team.

  74. @1:14 I've mentioned this in other posts, but people who attend TTTs aren't necessarily dreamers, they're just heavily in debt, particularly recent graduates. The issue becomes how to pay off $150+ educational debt, maintain some semblance of an existence, e.g., taking your wife out to McDs, and finding the wherewithal to sink more money into a law practice, i.e., class A office space, copy machines, software ... the list is nearly endless. I'm "almost" at the point where I can open my own practice and make a realistic go of it, but it's taken me nearly a decade of working in and out of biglaw/shitlaw/no law to get to this point. To paint every TTT as a dreamer is just ridiculous.

  75. By the way, how's that for staying on topic.

    The Nutjob /s/

  76. @ 1:14pm
    Let me tell you what I mean by way of example:

    John graduates from the bottom of TTTT but has great enthusiasm. He does what he must to pay the bills and also teaches himself the rules of civil procedure, reads deposition and trial transcripts, PACERs briefs and opinions, watches trials and reads CLEs on substantive law. He takes on PI cases, associates with experienced counsel and, in time, regularly gets verdicts and settlements in the $100,000 range. John then uses his foundation in civil litigation to learn business litigation. Small businesses (less than $5 million in revenue) won’t use big law firms. John represents small and medium businesses and now gets verdicts and settlements in the million dollar range. Over time, John gets bigger and bigger clients and cases. Twenty years later, John and his partners, while not Quinn Emmanuel, are a wealthy and respected civil litigation firm.

    Mike graduates in the same situation as John but Mike has a negative attitude. Mike reads scamblogs all day. He doesn’t try to teach himself how to be a good litigator because BigLaw won’t take him so why bother. He doesn’t take PI cases because they are “shitlaw”. Mike finally gets a job but has no enthusiasm for the cases because they are only “shitlaw” and won’t take him anywhere. He doesn’t seem to get that the state and federal rules of civil procedures are the same in both shitlaw and biglaw. He also doesn’t get that biglaw associates and partners often take shitlaw cases in order to practice questioning in front of a jury; but when big firms do it, it is called “pro bono”. Mike thinks that because he went a TTTT he can never be a good lawyer, and is easily intimidated. Twenty years later, Mike is a washed out and bitter failure.

    A lawyer is not a butler who will impress you with a fine pedigree. A lawyer is a combat athlete who fights in the ring. Have you ever seen a master litigator in briefing, deposition or trial? The skill of a lawyer determines the outcome of a case and has little to do with paper credentials.

    My experience has been that TTT are not dreamers. Quite the opposite actually:they get comfortable doing their little area of law and don’t care to try to move into more challenging practice areas, even though many could aqcuire the skills to do so.

  77. @ nov 2, 5:29

    Oh no you don't.
    You are not going to sniper this post with you last minute blame the victim morality.

    I'll admit your heart is in the right place, and you could make a touching graduation speech.

    But your argument does not take into account the main backdrop and context of your fanciful scenario.

    That context is the race against massive nondischargeable and career destroying debt that will stop any of your imagined T3 or 4 dead in his or her tracks.

    There is not enough time to work one's way up before the loan spirals out of control.

    Secondly, have another look at the Yellow pages please. There are simply too many lawyers.

  78. Nov 2, 5:29 is a fucking idiot.

    First, someone can work hard, gain clients, and be a successful lawyer and STILL be an active participant in exposing the scam. They aren't mutually exclusive. The scam exists - and harms the American justice system - EVEN THOUGH some lawyers are successful.

    Second, where is John getting this business from? "He does what he must to pay the bills." What does that mean? Where is he working? Do you understand anything about personal litigation? It can take 2-3 years to get settlements or verdicts on initial cases. How is John feeding himself during this time? How is he paying court costs? Why would clients go to him rather than an established PI mill with funding behind it?

    This isn't a seller's market, bro. There are not enough clients for the number of attorneys out there, so the idea of someone gee-willickering their way to big-money settlements. Do you seriously think there is enough personal injury and small business claims out there to support the thousands and thousands of attorneys in every big city? Not by a long shot.

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  80. Telling everyone that a college education is now somehow a "right" and that it will lead to a better life is a fantasy.
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