Sunday, November 28, 2010

Third Tier Corroded Excrement: Cumberland School of Law at Samford University

Tuition: For the 2010-2011 school year, a full-time student at this law school will be charged $32,900 in tuition.

Total Cost of Attendance: According to this same page, room/board, technology fee, books/supplies, transportation, miscellaneous expenses, loan fees and the activity fee will amount to another $21,180. This would bring the total estimated COA – for this single year of law school – to $55,080!!

Ranking: The cost of attendance is a little steep, to say the least. The school’s sterling, impeccable reputation will certainly justify the cost, right?!?! Somehow, US News & World Report has listed Cumberland in the corroded third tier of American law schools. Seeing that such students will be facing TTT job prospects upon graduation, one wonders why the hell tuition is so high.

Purported Employment Rate: This school published that 95.65% of its 2009 graduates passed the bar on the first attempt. We all know that bar passage does not equal gainful employment, let alone a position as a lawyer. Furthermore, the school states that 94.8 percent of its Class of 2009 was “employed or enrolled in a full-time graduated degree program within nine months of graduation.” Sure they were - and I feasted on Jessica Alba’s torso this Thanksgiving weekend.

Average Student Indebtedness: According to US News, the average indebtedness of 2009 Cumberland Law grads who incurred law school debt was $102,106. This publication also shows that fully 80 percent of this commode’s 2009 graduating class incurred law school debt.

Law Faculty and Administrator Salaries: Take a look at page 28 of Samford University’s 2009 Form 990. We will see if the “professors” and administrator of this third tier commode are experiencing the same financial distress as their students and graduates. Look, John Carroll, dean of the law $chool, made $279,545 in TOTAL COMPENSATION - for 2008. Doesn’t that make your heart glow?!

Thomas B. Bishop, “scholar” in the area of Contracts, made $229,934 in TOTAL COMPENSATION, for the same tax year. Charles Cole and Alexander Bolla, former “law professors” at this in$TTTiTTTuTTTion, “respectively” made $302,936 and $273,557 in TOTAL COMPENSATION - for 2008, as well.

Dean’s Blog: Look at the entry for 2/23/10.

“One of the important messages we try to communicate to our students involves public interest. A law degree is a tool of empowerment and it is important that we use that tool to give back to the community.”

This steaming bag of hot gas goes on:

“Today is another important step in connecting our students to a public interest practice. The Cumberland Career Services Office is holding its annual Public Interest Career Fair. This event has grown exponentially over the past few years. In the law school Great Room, there are over 35 groups including government agencies and non-profit organizations in attendance.” [Emphasis mine]

By looking at the tax form above, we can see that this bastard makes deep six figures as an “educator” and administrator. This pig made $279,545 in TOTAL COMPENSATION – for 2008 – and he has the nerve, the sheer audacity, to tell his students that they need to give back to the community?!?!? Tell me, John Carroll, how does flushing out more TTT grads into a glutted attorney market “serve the public”?!

Furthermore, he chooses to go by “The Honorable” John L. Carroll. Maybe you can email this swine at and ask him what is so “honorable” about him - or his choice to charge $32,900 in tuition to students, many of whom can look forward to making $35K annually upon graduation.

Conclusion: This school is simply contributing to the gross over-saturation of the American lawyer job market. The school charges $32,900 for a third tier, fourth-rate “legal education.” If you are still foolish enough to consider attending law school, ask yourself the following: “How will you be served by taking on $100K-$160K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE student debt – for a law degree from a third tier school?!

If you have a strong desire to help those in need, you can do so without joining the ranks of the less fortunate. Going into public service does not require you to take out a mountain NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt. You need not take a vow of poverty to help others. In the final analysis, this school is an overpriced diploma mill. Avoid this school as you would an HIV-infected prostitute.


  1. Ahhhhhh yes, the $100,000 a sq. ft. wallpaper – a.k.a. a diploma.

    Capitalism = Terrorism
    Communism = Impossible

  2. Cucumber School of law. What a fucking joke. I suppose that describes how these grads are fucked. The dean of this place wants his students to go into public service. While he makes a quarter mil. Go stick a cucumber up your old wrinkly gray asshole, John L. Carroll. And Merry Xmas.

  3. I like to affectionately refer to this school as the "Sanford & Son Shithole of Law." Why? Because the Cucumber diploma you shell out over $100K for is less useful and worth less than any item Fred Sanford could have sold you from his junkyard.

    I am afraid the only way a Cucumber law grad can give back to the community is by going to a local Red Cross during a blood drive. Cucumber may tout high bar pass rates but this does not translate to a legal job or practical legal skills.

    Contrary to what the "noobie" lawyers at KESD (referenced in the prior entry) may think, third chairing a case as a student attorney does not mean you can try a Federal criminal case before a jury.

    Lastly, I never refer to anyone as "honorable" or "your honor." If I am before a judge, I call him/her by title "Judge." There is nothing honorable about the law or its participants.

  4. "A law degree is a tool of empowerment..."

    Nearly split my sides laughing after reading that one! Only a layperson would fall for that bullshit.

  5. I just hope you didn't raise the profile of this pathetic shithole. Hell, the school should consider it an honor to be featured on third tier reality.

  6. Nicely illustrated nonetheless.

  7. Dean’s Blog: Look at the entry for 2/23/10.

    “One of the important messages we try to communicate to our students involves public interest. A law degree is a tool of empowerment and it is important that we use that tool to give back to the community.”

    You'll be "giving back" all right. Most likely in "giving back" change over a counter.

  8. Also, when they try to lean hard on the bar passage rate, that's a warning sign of a true dumpster of a school.

    Sad to say, due to the tremendous glut of attorneys, bar passage is no longer a ticket. Hasn't been for quite a while. And, that's awful, as it represents the culmination of a lot of effort by students, indeed.

    Law employers want prestige. Period.

  9. @ 1:46 is dead on accurate, and the message cannot be repeated enough.

    I hope the kids thinking about enrolling in this sorry excuse for a law school pay close attention to this nice little bedtime story.


    The Birdie is the innocent young kid with virgin credit.

    If you think your life is bad now in the warm cow-pie, the Coyote is the T3 or T4 rogue Law School, ready to clean you off, then gulp you down in one gulp.

    Do not say you weren't warned.

    Do not go to a T3 or T4 Law School. In fact, don't go into law at all unless you follow all of Nando's guidelines.

    He/We are trying to save young lives from a lifetime of Suicidal Debt. Yes. Suicidal.

    And you will be absolutely shut out of non-legal employment as well.

    So that is the message.

    If my T4 destroyed suicidal debtor's life can serve one purpose, it is to send out this warning.

    It is a big and beautiful world out there outside of the life and world destroying Horror of the Law School Industrial Complex. In this day and age anyway.

    For many of you, if you go to a T3 or T4 Law School, you will absolutely throwing your lives away. Forever.

    I should know.

  10. I am just curious, what class rank did you graduate from? How much time have you spent searching for jobs in the legal field?

    1. I don't know about them but I am a graduate of Cumberland and I spent 7 years looking for a job in the legal field...I now work in insurance.

  11. Stina is just a kid. Asking very good questions by the way.

    Also Nando, here is a little chestnut:

    It's like: Look at Me! I'm 100 grand or more in debt! Now I can fly!

    And it's not Damien, but Albert, as in Al Lord.

    "Look at Me!" And it's all for YOU!

  12. This little song is for all of us who have been in and out of the profesion of Law.
    Some of us have done well perhaps.

    And some of us have been hurt very badly, nd hurt beyond repair. Hurt to the very depths of our souls by the people that we trusted the most, and yet have let us down.

    Our Teachers.

    All we have left is the future.

    We can't return. We can only look behind from where we came.

    And I only hope and pray that there is a merciful God that looks out for a better future for the legal profession in the USA.

    Dear God, does Education Matter at all?

  13. Well, if 27 counts as being a "kid," then I guess I am. However, I'd like for nando to answer my questions. :p

  14. Stina, your question shows you miss the point and by a rather wide margin.

  15. I completely understand the point, and I think nando does a terrific job of (vividly) depicting the f*cked up reality of legal education and employment in the US.

    My curiosity stems from my pre-law advisor's insistence upon class ranks and "how the negativity comes from people who did not do well in law school." (his words)

    I am not of this opinion. I am simply a 0L doing research, and I truly appreciate the work that nando is doing.

    Maybe an entry on class rank or a feature on top-grads where-are-they-now type a thing would be useful? Because there are a ton of pre-law advisors (and practicing lawyers) who keep saying that success in law school is key to a successful legal career, and if you attend a low-tier school it becomes even MORE important. Meaning that if you go to Harvard, you are okay being int he top 50%, while at Drake, you probably have to be top 10 or 5%.
    These people may be full of shit, but it is just what I have been told over and over again.

    And yes, prelaw advisors should be more honest about future career prospects and so should law-schools.

  16. Stina, class rank is hardly relevant in this economy and when the discussion centers on TTT schools. Nando included a link to 4 classmates that finished at the top of their class (with honors or high honors) and they still wound up starting a shitlaw practice because presumably no one would hire them, despite their high class rank. Right now thousands of 1Ls are going crazy studying for finals. Many of them believe they will rank in the top 5% of their class. Come January 2011, 95% will find out that their beliefs were misplaced.

  17. yeah it's sad. I want to work in the legal field, and I have been talking to some lawyers who are very happy and are working decent jobs. I have also talked to some who either hate their jobs or have difficulty finding employment.
    So yeah, it is definitely a gamble.

  18. Most austere career services page I've ever seen. They probably don't even have a fax available for students and alumni. :-(

    The nontraditional careers link not only doesn't resolve, but uses dynamic DNS because the owner is too cheap to spend $10/mo. (or less) to host the site. This is as TTT as it comes.

  19. Dear 0L's: Let's put it this way. 100% of Law School X's students cannot end up in the top 25% of Law School X's Class of Whatever, NO MATTER HOW HARD THEY TRY.

    Calculate your odds accordingly.


  20. Still considering a TTT? Consider this analogy: you may also survive a fall from a five-storey building; that nonetheless does not make it a good bet to try. Not when there are other career fields which actually need people and offer rewarding experiences.

    Get ready for a solo attempt upon exiting said TTT in this very sick and declining field. Just make sure those malpractice premiums are paid up. Law school teaches you to DO nothing.

  21. I know some kid who was recently accepted by this TTT. Topping it off, this kid has been rejected by Pace U and Brooklyn Law (in NY), but is considering in going to Cumberland because no other school will accept his application so far. This kid is also a recent graduate from a fourth tier undergrad college with a GPA of 3.4 to boot.

    I have tried in vain to warn this kid that if he cannot get accepted into at least a second tier law school, he should re-think his career path. Needless to say, this kid is completely brainwashed in thinking that a JD from any school is all you need. He is also convinced that if he does well in his first year at this TTT, he could easily transfer to Fordham or NYU if he wanted (I swear, I am not making any of this up). Sad thing is that the parents are not putting their foot down either. I keep cautioning about today's market and the fact that grads from lower ranked schools have a difficult time marketing jobs, but no one is listening. Some people choose to take that gamble.

  22. @ stina -

    I graduated top 5% from a TTTT that charges $35,000+ per year for tuition alone. The school boasts its 90% bar passage rate all over its website. Currently, I am working in shitlaw making $45,000 / year and am one of the lucky ones. There are several students who finished in the top ten students who have absolutely nothing, legal or otherwise.


    1. Similar story for me. Yes, within 9 months I was employed...IN RETAIL.

    2. OMFG this is horrible. Absolutely horrible.

  23. Stina.

    Here are somethings to consider. I like Nando's blog. It is a great source of information on why you should avoid law school. Now I went to a crappy school, passed the bar, but managed to land a job safely outside the legal shitworld.

    Lets be clear, there are jobs out there in the legal field. BUT, you have to be prepared for an uphill battle though. Much of what is available will be based on location. If you live in the NJ/NY area your choices will be better than someone who lives in Fargo.

    The down side is establishing yourself as a practitioner these days outside of BIGLAW is very difficult when you come from a T3/4. You will have to work at least 2-5 years in either small firms or in-house doing mind-numbing crap work. The lawyers I know coming out of LS make around 24k - 34k as a Jr. Associate or doc review. These jobs are not "bad." They pay and give you valuable experience. However, they just are not a living wage many times because they are hourly, and often give no benefits.

    But I see open positions everywhere for jr. associates and other jobs that require you be barred in any state and do basic legal functions. I know doing collections litigation for CC companies isn't anyone's dream but it will pay the bills and give you a wage that is decent.

    The harsh reality is no one is going to hand you a job that pays you 80k + out of a TIII with no discernible experience in your field. That expectation is not realistic in any market - up or down. I have said this many times here and other places but the biggest problem young lawyers have is themselves. They have absolutely no idea how to market themselves to employers. They don't understand the process of hiring. For example, if you apply to a very large corporation, most likely before your resume ever gets to a dept hiring manager it goes though HR screening. Now your resume might have 9/10 requirements on that list but if the guy looking is a typical HR moron then it will go in the "no" pile. Why? Simply because you lacked 1 bullet point or minor req on the "wish list". Of course, that isn't always the case. I have had situations because of my JD and bar license dept hiring managers were intimidated by me. This was a big problem when I was trying to land my non-legal job. They were fearful that I would be better, faster, stronger, and they would get canned. Eventually I met the right people and everything just happened. I looked a good 1+ year before I got my job. Before that I did doc review, worked in solo firms, and some other stuff.

    It being a incredibly tough and competitive market right now. Which makes being noticed and standing out of the crowd more important than ever. If you don't think you have the ability to be entrepreneurial and street-smart this is NOT the profession for you. People who are scared to prostitute themselves for work, don't belong in law. Now you might be saying, "oh, that won't happen to me." Yeah, well I'm sure thousands of suckers say the same thing every year.

    If you can't get into a tier 1 school. Don't bother.

  24. thanks for sharing your experience, I really appreciate that.
    I only applied to tier 1 and most of the schools are a long shot due to my LSAT score, and if I do not get in, I will figure out something else to do with my life.
    I'm glad you found employment though, even if it's not what you were imagining as a 0L or 1L.

    I do not brush off nando's blog or peoples experiences, quite the opposite, this is great source of info that everyone who is considering law school needs.


  25. After a long and failed search for both legal and non-legal employment, I removed the JD from my resume and landed a job selling insurance. It had a great health insurance plan. But it paid 35K a year with no commissions on my sales.

    On Friday, on my lunch break, I would cash my weekly paycheck. (After taxes it amounted to something like $510.00.) Then I would fill up my gas tank, and buy lunch sometimes.

    I would go back to the office where Bunny, or "Bun", who sat in the next row, would ask me for 5 or 10 bucks for the football pool, or the american Idol pool or whatever it was. (Always on payday she would ask this.)

    The next day I would do some grocery shopping. Buy a shirt maybe, pay a couple of bills.
    My point is that pretty soon I was looking at 40 bucks left over to get through until the next paycheck.

    And the $1200.00 monthly student Loan? That was just going to have to wait.

    My wife worked as well, but she wanted no part of the Student Loans, and was actually terrified of them and we spent many a sleepless night worrying and worrying ourselves sick.
    She would say over and over: "I'm going to lose my home. I'm going to lose my home."

    Eventually we divorced, and my ex-wife was able to keep her assets and the home. She was, of course, also released from all of my student loan problems as well.

    I never blamed her for not wanting any part of my student loan debt, and I am glad I did not drag her down with me.

    At one point during our marriage, and after we had an argument over something, my ex-wife posted a classified ad in the local newspaper stating something like:


    True story. And actually it was a family friend and attorney that noticed it and told me about it. The only "Debt" I had was Student Loan Debt as I say.

    So I have posted this tale here more or less already. But I think the message is worth repeating, especially to young kids. And to me anyone in their twenties is still a kid.

    Student Loans can destroy a person's financial well being for life. They can deter people from marrying, and tear existing marriages apart as well.

    And if you defer them, the student loans will just keep growing, and growing, and growing.
    I swear I feel like an enemy of the state in a sense.

    It's like, I live in the USA, and I owe the government massive amounts of money. I'm no expert on George Orwell, but does my situation seem Orwellian?

    And every day I wonder how it is all going to end. With my debt being discharged when I am 75 years old?

    If that is the case, and if I do live that long, I wonder what the fate of the LAw School industry will be by then.

    Will the ABA cut down on schools and enrollment, or just keep things the way they are indefinitely?

    Will many more thousands be heavily in debt for life as well?

    Or will we all be speaking Mandarin?

  26. Stina,

    I graduated in the top 2% of my class from a top 20 law school. I have a list of contacts and clients that would make most lawyers (not law students, or 0Ls, but lawyers) green with envy, and I'm heading to bankruptcy court - not for a client, but myself.

    Law is a dying field. You're better off taking your student loan money and betting it all on black. At least you might be able to pay the sharks back.

    Learn Spanish, Norwegian, Arabic, or Chinese (one of the two main dialects). Far better investment than law school.

  27. I graduated more than a decade ago. things weren't sogreat then. Now it seems that grads from t14 schools better land in the top 10-20% just to make sure they get a job. The rules have changed.

  28. "My curiosity stems from my pre-law advisor's insistence upon class ranks and "how the negativity comes from people who did not do well in law school." (his words)"

    How did he define "doing well" in school? Top 10%? Top 10 in the class? Did he parse the value of "doing well" at St. Johns vs. Boston vs. Columbia, etc.?

  29. I never even heard of this dump! Although there is a Cumberland University in my state that is a good state school in a beautiful area of the country...glad to see this pile is not connected to it .

    But you have discounted one incredible bonus of this degree! Check it: If you kinda slur your speech a little or talk fast, you can get people to believe you went to STAMFORD University! Sweet!

  30. you were feasting on Jessica Alba's torso? You been watching The Walking Dead?

  31. Stina,

    I graduated from the University of Utah with a GPA of 3.82. I then received a full-tuition scholarship to attend Third Tier Drake. There, I did not buy into the culture of law school, and didn’t do very well there. That being said, the outgoing SBA president at Drake did not have a job lined up at graduation. MANY in the top half of the class did not have jobs, either. (This is also true of many first and second tier law schools.) Some managed to graduate in the top 5-10 students in the class, and still ended up working at insurance defense mills.

    I knew people who were journal editors who did not have ANYTHING lined up – even after attending countless “mixers,” “workshops” and sending out several hundred resumes, cover letters and writing samples. I make more money than many of those who graduated with stronger grades – including some who are working as lawyers. What does that tell you about third tier law schools?

    Does this take away from the fact that the JD Class of 2009 had 44,000 graduates – scrambling for the 28,901 jobs requiring bar passage?! Does it take away from the fact that graduates from top law schools are moving back in with their parents?

    Now that I have met your request, would you tell me your UGPA, school, and LSAT score? Which specific law schools are you applying to for admission? Please tell me the names of the “pre-law advisors” you are talking to. These people simply do not know what they are talking about. The legal “profession” is contracting, i.e. shrinking. Look at the effect of outsourcing. TTT grads can no longer rely on contract attorney work. While it was never glamorous, it did allow such JDs to put food in the fridge and pay the bills. Now, Biglaw firms simply outsource American legal discovery work to foreign attorneys and non-lawyers. Look up ABA “Ethics” Opinion 08-451.

    Stina, there is a terrible glut of attorneys, in the U.S. The fact that “pre-law advisors” are telling you about tiers and class rank is a good indication of this reality. I hope you do your research. Do those who want to become physicians lose sleep if they do not get into a top two medical school?!?! Are dental school students screwed if they do not graduate in the top ten percent of their class?! I have yet to hear medical school professors tell their students that they will teach them to “think like a doctor.” They teach their customers to be doctors.

    In the end, law school is a very expensive admission ticket to the bar exam. Law schools charge way too much, produce FAR TOO MANY graduates than there are available legal positions, and they largely do not teach practical skills. Why should anyone go an additional six figures in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt, to earn a law degree?

    Lastly, former Biglaw associate Will Meyerhofer notes that a law degree is not versatile.


    Dan Slater, former litigator, argues that there are too many law schools.

    “This fall, as thousands of second-year law students wait in vain for callback interviews and ponder instructions to cast a wider net, they might wonder why, when they signed up for all of this, no one mentioned times were changing. They might even look at Miami’s attempt, however futile, to stanch enrollment and call it an honorable thing.

    The American Bar Association, which continues to approve law schools with impunity and with no end in sight, bears complicity in creating this mess.”

    William Henderson, “law professor” at Indiana University, has documented the bi-modal analysis of recent lawyer pay. Essentially, he points out that many pursue a “legal education” because they see that associates at Biglaw can make $160K per year, coming out of law school. However, the reality is that very few land those positions. MANY end up making $35K-$50K, upon graduation. Do you see how taking out $120K for a law degree could be problematic?! Unless, of course, you are not concerned with paying back your student loans, putting a roof over your head, or taking care of your bills.

    From Brian Tamanaha, who teaches law at Washington University in St. Louis:

    “Their complaint is that non-elite law schools are selling a fraudulent bill of goods. Law schools advertise deceptively high rates of employment and misleading income figures. Many graduates can’t get jobs. Many graduates end up as temp attorneys working for $15 to $20 dollars an hour on two week gigs, with no benefits. The luckier graduates land jobs in government or small firms for maybe $45,000, with limited prospects for improvement. A handful of lottery winners score big firm jobs.”

    Check out this PDF, and see the author’s conclusion.

    “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.”

  33. I went to a top 20 law school. My LSAT score was 171, maybe I could have gotten into a top 10, or a top 5 law school. The job opportunities sucked. I knew people working as waiters and shoe salesmen after graduation, so it is not just TTT or TTTT law schools.

    Before I applied, back in the old days before the internet was big, I looked at one of the law school books listing the median starting salary and 98%+ employment statistics. I am so angry. I feel mislead. All that hard work for this?

    I have slogged around in small law and solo practice. One of my first law jobs working for a real estate/debt collection law firm outside of Boston, a partner said you know this is not Boston so we don't pay like they do, $25,000, hell they don't pay like backwoods Arkansas. But this like so many other law activities was an investment for better things.

    I hate my law school, which keeps sending me donation requests, 3 this month alone. The way my law school begs for money, you would think they are having trouble keeping the lights on. The law school has raised tuition every year at twice the rate of inflation, Wal-Mart would kill to have that pricing power.

    Law sucks.

  34. At risk of being labled a Cumberland apologist, in my area this school isn't viewed with such vitriol and contempt. Is it a good value? Of course not. I'd say only consider going if you got at least half your tuition paid for. But I think going to a TTT in the Southeast makes much sense than going to a TTT in the Northeast.

    Who are Cumberland grads mainly competing with? University of Alabama and other grads of non-Ivy league schools. Schools like Mercer Cumberland and Memphis make more sense to me than Brooklyn, Seton Hall or Albany.

  35. Finally!!! I transferred from Cumberland to a T1 thinking that my job prospects would be better if I graduated from a higher ranked school. Well, they weren't. I graduated top half of my class and got laid off with all the other junior associates from top schools in the fall of 2008. Have any of us found gainful legal employment capable of paying our 100 K+ student loans - hell no. Most of the other guys are either working for family businesses, employed in retail or as waiters, or still networking for their hot legal job. As for my Cumberland buddies, a quick review of the Alabama Bar website reveals the dirty truth. Most of them are employed at the standard Birmingham gigs: Regions or Wells Fargo as financial advisers or some insurance company in P&C sales like Allstate. They have indicated that for all their education, they had to omit their JD to get such positions and are now making about $65 K three years out from law school.

  36. cucumbers become picklesNovember 29, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    This is a school I have never heard of. But it still needs to charge 33K per year. These schools feed off the gullible. Guess what fuckers? If you are not incredibly well connected and/or wealthy, you have no fucking business pursuing a law degree. Go do something else with your life. Pursue a hot redneck chick or something. Is that elitist? Not unless you consider it elitist to provide info that will help someone avoid financial suicide.

  37. Nando - why don't you create a nifty little listing on the right panel of this blog for easy access to each of the TTTs you have profiled thus far? Would be very convenient for readers and help you with SEO...

  38. I's partial to this school. Ya see, its located in the good ol' south, ya see. Plus the little name o' the law school has given me great idea for a new menu item. How does salad loaded wit' cucumbers sound? God damn. Imagine if we added some fuckin' biscuits 'n gravy to this bitch. Imagin' that. We'll run this idea past the boys in development. (College educated fucks will probably need to run it past several focus groups befo'e this thing gits off da ground. Ennyway, I digresses...

    Anyone on this board tried out Arby's New Priime Cut Chicken Tenders? Please someone tell me if they be tastin' good. I's promise I's won'ts be mad at yas, fo' tellin' me da truth. Let me have the news unfettered. Is we in trouble of losin' market share to these upstart sumbitchez? Let me know, fo' fuck's sake man.

    Also I gots'ta admit a sin. I recently took mah horsedrawn carriage and went through Wendy's drive thru late Thursday. I got me two of 'em Crispy Chickin Samiches. Oh, thems things was gooooood. I even licked mah bony fingas after the fact. I didn't even do that after I ate my wife. Or even afta I beat mah client's ass in court that one time. Tee-hee-hee. Good times.

    Here's mah Lexis profile -

    Like a lot of law grads I sold insurance after my legal career went to shit. Cheers. Make sure to enjoy a big ol' Family Bucket O' Chickin this weekend and watch the football, 'K? Order a 2 liter of Pepsi to go wit' that. Bring yer ass to the Colonel. Leave happy.

  39. Does Cucumber Law School have a zucchini law clinic? I would love to learn how to make zucchini tempura. However, I am not willing to pay over $30K to learn the ins and outs of cooking zucchini.

    Here is a crim law hypo for those 1Ls that have gnawed fingers from all the nail biting in anticipation of your "make or break" 1L first semester grades: Mike gets drunk after imbibing 3 quarts of Wild Turkey. He picks up Cindy at a bar and both go back to his place. Mike tells Cindy that it has been his fantasy to see a woman put a strap on and fuck another woman. Cindy says she would never do such a thing but agreed to have sex with Mike. Mike turns out the lights and brings in "Jackie," a real doll with a life like dildo strapped on to her waist. Mike proceeds to thrust Jackie's member in Cindy's rectum. Cindy, thinking Mike is sodomizing her, begs him to stop. Mike, however, is too caught up in the moment and pins Jackie's strap on dildo against Cindy's ass. Cindy manages to wiggle her way out of Jackie's powerful torso thrusts and turns on the lights to see Jackie had been fucking her all along. 1L Exam Question: Discuss the crimes that have been committed here, including potential defenses, including legal and factual impossibility.

  40. I like when the colonel checks in. But it looks like the bastard didn't have to take out student loans or even go to law school.

    from the lexisnexis article above

    "In the 1950s the government built I-75 which by-passed his restaurant a few miles to the west. The restaurant failed. Colonel Sanders sold his restaurant at auction and was just barely able to pay off his debts and taxes. He found himself broke at the age of 65."

    "In 1964 he sold the business for $2 million (over $13 million in today's money). Success may not come easy, but if you stick to it, you may find success in the end as Colonel Sanders did."

    This guy is just another HOratio Alger success story. I wonder if his family paid the asshat to write a glowing commentary on Harlan. And Arby's has better chicken strips than your restaurants.

  41. The Colonel's personal saga is an impressive one. I salute him once again.

  42. Last week I showed a friend of mine these law blogs. He looked at me and said The law schools have no integrity, decency or honor. But that is to be expected. They are business enterprises.

    He remembered seeing JDs driving taxis in the 1970s. Overall he didn't seemvery sympathetic. The biggest difference is that those guys (and they were mostly men) did not graduate with crazy debt like today's kids.

  43. Nando, thanks for responding, and all of you other people as well.
    My UGPA is 4.0 and my LSAT is a whopping 157.
    I dont want to give the name of my pre-law advisor, he was a complete creep.
    He was basically flirting with me the whole time, it was very awkward.

    This is depressing. I always wanted to work in law.

    It seems like there's too many PhDs walking around out there too, so I am not sure I want to go that route.

    Maybe I'll just become a Walmart greeter.

    Oh, and I already speak Swedish and some Norwegian, so it will have to be mandarin. :)

  44. Whatever you end up doing, make sure you distinguish between wanting to be a lawyer and just liking the IDEA of being a lawyer.

    Two very different things.

    Very few end up arguing constitutional cases and sexy stuff like that; rather, they get calls at 3 a.m. from crazy people going through nasty divorces and who can't pay their bills, legal or otherwise.

    Your immediately preceding post (the Walmart reference in particular) suggests you may be looking at law school at least in part for lack of knowing what else to do. That's probably not a good way to approach entry into a grueling field like law.

    There's just way too much else to do out there. Best of luck in all things.

  45. In light of the Colonel's recent proposal, I am willing to reconsider my position Re: the Cucumber.

    After all, it can be a delicious,healthy and nutritious snack when smothered in, perhaps, blue cheese dressing. And part of a balanced diet as well, full of vitamins and minerals.

    When I was a kid, I worked on a farm one summer actually picking cucumbers for many hours on end.

    Basically, the farmer would sit in his tractor and creep forwards at a snails pace. Alongside and to the right (perpendicular) to the tractor, maybe a dozen of us, the "pickers" stood, or rather stooped between the rows in the farm field, behind a conveyor belt apparatus which rolled in front of us.

    We would pick the cucumbers and put them on the conveyor belt, and then the cucumbers would be carried along and upwards to be deposited in a big hopper being pulled along behind the tractor.

    It was hot and monotonous work. And I think I made 5 or 6 bucks an hour, or whatever the farmer felt like paying.

    After maybe 4 hours of picking, we would go back to a big barn and run the cucumbers through another conveyor belt set-up where they were cleaned and waxed.

    Then we would box them up according to size.

    The farmer's word for cucumbers was "Cukes", and the farmer had two sons that were real characters, and very fond of saying the word "Cukes" too.

    So, being impressionable and easily influenced, I would naturally go home and amaze my family and friends with my new words and trade lingo.
    i.e. "Got any cukes for the salad?"

    That was a long time ago, and the farmer is long dead now, and the farm was sold, and the fields planted with grape vines. But like another old farmer told me once, a real farmer grows somethng to eat, not something to drink.

    But @Stina:

    If you can remember just one thing from this blog:


    They are the most Toxic form of debt ever devised by mankind, and they WILL destroy your life.

    Making mistakes in life and changing careers is one thing. But in this day and age, there can be very dire and serious financial consequences.

    Go to and please take the time to read all the Student Loan Horror stories. Some of the most terrible stories are from ex-law students.

    Please Stina, do not throw away your life.

    If my life, now destroyed by Student Debt, can serve as a warning, then maybe it might have served some sort of purpose.

  46. Also Stina, read this:

    Maybe not perfect, but I think the chart does a good job in explaining a rather complex situation.

  47. The Mother Fuckin' Colonel is back!

    I's usually refrains from commentin' twice on an article. I make an exception here as someone called my integrity into question. Nah, I didn' go to no law school. So I had it much easier than today's lawyer.

    'bout that li'l incident wit' da client in that Arkansas courtroom. Bastard thought he would show me how ta properly conduct his li'l trial. Next thing ya know - Blam! right in the fuckin' mouth. Lemme follow that shit up wit' a right cross. Bam. I tried to choke the bastard out, but the court attendants and those guys wit' da badges 'n nightsticks 'n such broke that fracas up.

    Lookin' back, that guy is lucky I didn' stick a cucumba, mashed taters and some of mah 11 herbs 'n spices up his ass for good measure. If I' bes wrong 'bout that, may the good Lard strike me dead and make me eat Church's Chickins. Go on 'bout ya bizness, ladys and gents. Ain't nothin' ta see here.

  48. Colonel:

    Whether it is right or wrong, there are many times I look back and wish I had simply hauled back and flattened somebody's nose.

    Especially someone who really had it coming.

    And yes, the Harlan Sanders story is an amazing success story, and he did it after knowing defeat, and at an age where many would long ago have given up and/or quit.

    I have my doubts when I allude to the Bed Bug guy however, and cannot say he is analogous to the Harlan Sanders story. Only time will tell.

    But I saw a commercial minivan today with the cutest picture of "Roscoe" the bedbug Beagle.

    It said: "You Got Bedbugs, We Got Roscoe"
    and there is a website. So I looked it up:

    You can see Roscoe's pic on the bottom.

    I think it is a New Jersey Company.

  49. @8:51AM

    I am convinced the Florida Canine Academy, featured on the linked Today Show broadcast, is more prestigious than any TTT featured on this site.

    To the kids in law school, Roscoe and his handlers have pwned you.


    Stina, even in an era of grade inflation, your UGPA is impressive. I agree with Vedder’s analysis, in large part. However, he is dead wrong in attributing less time spent studying on students’ inherent laziness. The fact is that MANY college students are working at least 20+ hours per week. I worked 40 hours a week while earning that 3.82 UGPA – in a job that did not allow any time for studying. College tuition has skyrocketed over the last 30 years. In the 1960s and 1970s, a person of humble means could work his ass off during the summer to pay his tuition bills and cover living expenses. This is CLEARLY not the case today.

    Vedder is correct in noting that student evaluations have reduced “professors” to customer service representatives. My sister-in-law teaches for University of Phoenix; she has also taught at typical 4-year colleges. If a kid doesn’t turn in an assignment, or does poorly on an exam, she MUST provide the dumbass with extra credit assignments – or extend the deadline for a paper. Parents and students have complained to department heads when she has given them the pathetic grades they earned. My other sister-in-law, i.e. the friendly one, taught at a community college. For her “tough grading,” she received some backlash from students on course evaluations. This made her unpopular with the faculty members, as well. Students see themselves as customers, and, in their minds, “the customer is always right.” They have spent a small fortune on an education, and therefore many feel entitled to receiving stellar grades.

    “Sixty percent of the 124 respondents to the Law Firm Leaders survey said that the downturn has produced a FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT in the legal marketplace, and a smaller proportion--32 percent--said that the downturn had caused their firm to adjust its business model.” [Emphasis mine]

    The article continues:

    “The move toward lower head counts is also affecting partners. Almost 70 percent of our respondents said that they plan to ask partners to leave in 2011, and 31 percent said that their firm plans to deequitize partners. "This was happening even before the Great Recession, but these trends were exaggerated during the downturn," says consultant Joel Henning of Joel Henning & Associates. Reducing the size of the equity ranks is an easy way for firms to get a competitive edge by improving their profits per partner—and to clear out dead wood.”

    Check out Elie Mystal’s take on this development. In sum, going to law school – from this point on – is a risky proposition for anyone who is not STRONGLY CONNECTED.

  51. @9:51 AM

    Actually, even those who are strongly connected aren't ensured to be a shoo in.

    My best friend's aunt is an equity partner at a mid size law firm out here in California and she couldn't even get his cousin (top half percentile of a T25 law school) into the firm.

    One thing you have to know about "connections" is that it can only go so far. Most of the time when HR does a bad hire, the onus is on the HR dummies. The moment a connect gets in and performs poorly, that reflects badly on the partner who used their referral.

  52. 12:28pm cont.

    ... in a environment where even a lot of partners are getting laid off from big/ mid law, a lot of individuals simply don't want that burden right now.

  53. Third tier brutal reality. The angriest and funniest blog out there. I wish this had been around when I went to my tier 1 shithole.

  54. God bless you, Colonel. Keep 'em coming.

  55. I never heard of this school, nor do I care to look up where it is located. Needles to say, grads of this school would have some audacity to apply for a janitorial position at the firm.

    NYC Hiring Partner

  56. Working for it; not blogging about itNovember 30, 2010 at 10:26 PM

    A few quick comments before I get on with my life.

    First, John Carroll, as I'm sure you're aware but neglectful to mention, goes by "the honorable" because he was a federal magistrate judge. While not Article III, I believe that qualifies you for the label. More so, he has the authority to speak about public service since he worked for years at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    Regarding your comments about high salaries, it's as if your debt has forced you to live under a freeway. Do a quick Google search and you'll see that administrators and college presidents across the country are pulling down salaries in excess of one million a year! It's disingenuous at best to indict one or two educators and disregard the system that has facilitated these high salaries.

    Third, you mention a "fourth rate education." I'm not really sure what that means when Justice Scalia has been quoted as saying Harvard and Yale don't even provide the best education. Bottom line is that you get the education you want. Everyone reads the same books, the same opinions, etc. You decide what you want to learn. Justice Scalia hires the Harvard graduates out of a belief that they entered law school as the best and brightest in the nation, not because they got a “first-rate education.” His words, not mine.

    Finally, regarding Cumberland itself, its graduates compete primarily with Alabama law school, and it places quite comparably to Alabama in the area. Very few law schools in the country—Yale, Stanford, etc—make their reputation on a national scale. Seriously, what do you really know about Illinois law school or William and Mary, other than their location? My point is that you cannot evaluate a school’s true reputation by resorting to numbers alone. Come to Birmingham where the majority of Cumberland lawyers practice; I think you’ll find they enjoy a sterling reputation on par with Alabama Law graduates.

    Moreover, two Supreme Court justices count Cumberland as their alma mater; that's the same number as Northwestern, Stanford, UVA, and Northwestern. Not to mention, the chief judge of the 11th Circuit, and at least two district court judges in the Southeast also are Cumberland graduates. Care to call their education and qualifications into doubt?

    Bottom line, the job market isn’t easy for any lawyer right now. You can find Michigan and Cornell graduates still searching for jobs and a means to pay off their debts. I’m not here to argue that people shouldn’t be more informed, but I’ll tell you this: if you put half the time you put into this blog into networking and looking for a job, I think you’d go from jaded to employed.

  57. The simple fact is that Cumberland doesn't contribute to the problem in any of the ways that other schools do. Cumberland is a top-10 trial school nationally. Last I checked, Harvard nor Yale were bringing in accolades for their courtroom capabilities.

    Cumberland is the 11th oldest law school in the country, and it actually manages to spit out some damn-fine lawyers. If you wanna talk about over-saturation, look at all the other non-accredited law schools in the state. Hell, look at Jones in Montgomery. Jones got fully accredited LAST YEAR and already has a tuition that is basically the same as Cumberland's without any of the in-state cred.

    Lastly, and probably most importantly, tone back the feigned outrage. As a fellow wannabe blogger, I get the need for material, but just because you bold things in yellow doesn't mean they instantaneously become remarkable or earth-shattering. And if you are going to question reported facts, you better as hell have some of your own to negate them. "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but no one is entitled to their own facts."

  58. Cumberland Skool of Law is a piece of shit. Sorry to break the news to the trolls above. Nobody cares if this dung pile is the 11th oldest in the nation.

  59. @5:12

    OK, OK, I take back all the Cucumber jokes.

    I mean, Kevin is a pretty sharp Cucumber, and has a lot of fans:

  60. 10:26 wrote:

    “Moreover, two Supreme Court justices count Cumberland as their alma mater; that's the same number as Northwestern, Stanford, UVA, and Northwestern.”

    You listed Northwestern twice, moron. With your impeccable aptitude, you must be making a killing as a lawyer, right?!?!

    Yes, who could possibly forget that Horace Harmon Lurton spent four years as a U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” - from 1910 to 1914?

    Likewise, who can admit to not knowing about Howell Edmunds Jackson?! He was a member of the Supremes from February 18, 1893-August 8, 1895, upon ending up in a wooden coat.

    Also, if you failed to notice, I have raked plenty of law school administrators and “law professors” over the coals for pulling down SERIOUS CASH while they pump out more TTT grads, into a grossly oversaturated lawyer job market.

    Furthermore, John Carroll is a tool. Going by “The Honorable” is proof of his pettiness and fragile ego. It is akin to Andrew Young’s child-like insistence on being referred to as “Ambassador” Young - even though the bastard has not been an ambassador to the UN in over 30 years.

    You figured out that elite law schools do not produce the best lawyers. Congratulations. I hope you didn’t tax your brain too much coming up with that nugget of wisdom. However, law is based on “prestige.” Biglaw firms and federal government agencies will gladly take a graduate from a highly-ranked law school, while avoiding graduates of lower-ranked schools like the plague.

    Lastly, I have a job, moron. I found a non-legal job, within two months of graduating from Third Tier Drake. I only took on an additional $37K in student loan debt from law school. Maybe if you had bothered to read more than this one entry, you would have realized that. I guess that makes be bitter and employed. However, this does not change the fact that the law school industry – and the Higher Education Industrial Complex - is consigning an entire generation of young graduates to a lifetime of debt servitude, depression and anxiety. This may be a punch-line to you, but that is the cold, hard reality of the situation.

    Ask yourself how producing LEGIONS of highly-educated debt slaves serves the public? How many of these people will be unable to reach the following life milestones, due to their toxic student debt: marriage, raising kids and purchasing a home? You are welcome for the beatdown, by the way.

  61. @ 5:12 am,

    You can question the facts, idiot. Perhaps you have never questioned authority, so you are not familiar with the concept. In this specific case, this third tier commode has ASSERTED that 94.8% of its Class of 2009 was employed or enrolled in an advanced degree program, within nine months of graduation.

    Did you see a numerical breakdown for this figure?!?! Did the school publish the number of responses to its survey? Did the commode note that graduates who are employed are much more likely to respond than those who are unemployed - or selling insurance? In sum, the school has not even attempted to back up its claim. It is sad that you are foolish enough to believe these numbers. Apparently, you do so because they came from the $elf-intere$ted party itself. So much for “critical thinking,” I guess.

    I don’t care if this man was “Legal Director” of the political organization known as the Southern Poverty Law Center. This does not change the fact that he made $279,545 in TOTAL COMPENSATION for 2008, as dean of a third tier toilet! The fact that this school is the eleventh-oldest law school in the country, which produced two short-serving members on the Supremes in the 1890s and 1910s, does not mean that this school is on par with Stanford, Northwestern or Virginia. Get up to speed with reality, kid.

    The fact remains that the average student indebtedness for the Faulkner JD Class of 2009 stood at $102,106 – or that 80 percent of that particular class took on student loan debt for law school. The fact is the school charges $32,900 for a third tier “legal education.” Do you understand that legal employers care about (a) prestige of the degree; and (b) class rank? Furthermore, is your anemic brain capable of recognizing that the lower-ranked the law school one graduates from, the higher that person must rank in his class?

    Also, there is nothing feigned about my outrage, idiot. I am going with my ethical anger. Only a damn fool or a shill would not be outraged by the misconduct of the law school industry. There is a glut of attorneys in the United States. Maybe you have about that reality, Moron.

    Yet, the ABA has permitted U.S. law firms to hire foreign lawyers and non-lawyers to engage in American legal discovery work.

    The ABA is now considering whether to accredit foreign law schools.

    And finally, Kaplan is looking at real estate in Washington, DC so that they can find a home for another TTTT law school.

    Do you see why someone might be outraged by the situation, Dumbass?!?!

    1. Yes, unfortunately I am one of the class of 2006 that was employed within 9 retail.

  62. I love the two Cumberland professors or graduates posts. I'm from Birmingham myself and know plenty of attorneys at Sirote, Burr and Balch and hate to break the news to you - Cumberland graduates are pity hires. If you're from a good family, i.e. from Mountain Brook and/or have a high LSAT score, you don't go to Cumberland. Alabama is also a po-dunky dunk school - just ask any attorney at a V-20 firm.

  63. Do a quick search on the Alabama bar's website and you will notice that the bulk of Cumberland graduates are scraping by at solo/small shops and/or slinging insurance, financial services and Homewood real estate. Cumberland is a joke, but Samford has a pretty campus. Yup, them is some damn good lawyers (followed by a rebel yell).

  64. Dear Shills/Trolls/Cumberland Apologists:

    Once again, and I cannot state this more clearly, simply or directly: NO ONE is telling anyone not to go to law school. Period.

    The scamblogs merely point out the dismal realities wherein legions of unconnected kids, unsure of what to do with a useless liberal arts degree, default into law school, coming out deeply in debt and living in their parents' pasements for lack of sufficient numbers of openings relative to number of graduates.

    How simple is that? If YOU personally are proud of where you went to school, and it worked out for you, bully for you, and, sincerest congratulations.

    The scambloggers are merely pointing out the hazards of the non-elite JD for many, if not most, current grads.

    Get off your collective high horses. If you are truly busy practicing law, you should have absolutely NO time to be here in the first place. Your views do not in any way negate the FACT that most law schools, for many if not most students, are a bad investment right now.

  65. Pasements? Yah, I know.

  66. I bet lots and lots of starving JD's that are living in their parent's basements know very well who this horrible guy is:

    I sometimes have nightmares about them crawling all over me. And they love to come out at night.

    They can jump up to 5 feet high, and they are so big and heavy they land with an audible noise.

    Your buddy for life, and your student Loan Promissory note didn't mention him.

    Someone told me to get an exterminator, then keep glue traps all around.

    But just like bedbugs, they keep coming back. Someone told me to get a Gekko and let him run around the basement apartment, and that he'll eat any that he finds. If he can catch them. They are damn quick.

  67. "I'm not really sure what that means when Justice Scalia has been quoted as saying Harvard and Yale don't even provide the best education."

    November 30, 2010 10:26 PM

    However, ever notce where said Scalia went to school? That's why he has the luxury, and the pulpit, from which to express that opinion.

    And it IS merely opinion, after all, because legal employers of any repute want PRESTIGE, period. I don't give a mouse's patoot about some 1806 graduate who studied law under the moonlight in grandpappy's basement or at some half-ass unknown school, when, after all, the "profession" had about six persons a year entering it. I am talking about today's reality.

    Scalia's statement kind of remids me of how rich people always tell others to "give back" and to not "concentrate on money, but on higher things." Wanna know why? Because they don't have to worry about that shit, that's why. They are in the club for life, you are not, and neither am I.

  68. A non-Article III retired judge that insists on being addressed "honorable" is an uber douche in my book.


    Look at this stellar advice Antonin Gregory Scalia gave to an American University law student:

    “U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was his usual blunt self last month when he responded to a law student’s question on how to become “outrageously successful” despite a lack of connections and elite degrees.

    At first, Scalia gave the American University law student some general advice, the New York Times reports. “Just work hard and be very good,” Scalia said.”

    You talk about great insight, huh?! The conservative ACTIVIST JUDGE went on to say:

    “I wouldn’t have hired Jeff Sutton,” Scalia said. “For God’s sake, he went Ohio State! And he’s one of the very best law clerks I ever had.”

    If anyone cares to know, Ohio State’s law school is the 34th ranked law school in the United States – according to USN&WR. At the time of this article, American University was ranked as the 45th best law school in the land; today, it is ranked 48th, by the same publication.

    If these guys don’t have respect for these somewhat-decent law schools, how the hell does someone from a third tier toilet have a chance at landing a clerkship for The Supremes?!?! And lemmings still believe that if they work hard - and graduate from third tier trash cans such as Cumberland $chool of Law at $amford Univer$iTTTy – that they will be on the road to happy destiny!

    That’s right – “just work hard and be very good.” It came from the mouth of a fat pig/politician in a black robe, therefore it MUST be true, right?!?! That is the secret to success, in this dwindling “profession.”

  70. "Bottom line is that you get the education you want. Everyone reads the same books, the same opinions, etc. You decide what you want to learn."

    So what do you tell all the people who went to Tier 3/4 schools and decided they wanted to be experts in ____ field of law and are now unemployable? That they chose the wrong field, or that they didn't learn enough?

    We have to slaughter this silly idea that hard work and dedication - independent of anything else - lead to personal success. It's a fallacy on par with believing the world is flat and the sun revolves around it.

  71. Work hard, be good, network, believe in yourself, hand out business cards,go to mixers with lawyers, advertise in laundromats, believe in yourself, have faith in the free market, toss some salt over your shoulder, kiss an Irishman, etc., etc., etc. And it will all work out for you in the end.

  72. Working for it; not blogging about itDecember 1, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    Maybe it's just the Christmas season, but I can't help but read what you've wrote and think of my favorite seasonal movie quote: You're an angry little elf! Hint: It’s Elf.

    First, Mr. Carroll does not actually answer to the honorable; it’s simply what’s on the Web site. He answers to Judge or to Dean; I did not think that I needed to spell that out, but perhaps I was remiss in thinking that in my justifying his label on the Web site I also needed to clarify how people address him in person. But alas, you must believe everything you read online.

    Second, your doomsday theory deserves some mention. What’s most marvelous about it is that it involves legions of “highly educated youths.” What horror! You’re right that some of them are in significant debt, but yet remarkably, many Cumberland graduates and current students have somehow managed to get married, to have kids, and to purchase a home; that’s some trifecta. Everyone knows the world is not going to end because of too much education; if anything, it’ll be because of ignorance—or zombies.

    I must agree—zing!—you got me; I wrote Northwestern twice. My use of Supreme Court statistics was not intended to suggest that Cumberland is the jurisprudential equal of Northwestern, UVA, Stanford, or (Northwestern!), but rather, was merely intended to show that Cumberland is not a school where legal scholarship goes to die. Admittedly, these two jurists don’t match up to the Stanford pair of Rehnquist and O’Connor, but there are approximately one hundred and eighty schools still waiting for their first entrant into this exclusive club.

    Finally, you failed to address my suggestion that you get to know the people and the region before you disparage the school. While the big law firms in New York may not hire many Cumberland graduates, I recommend that you peruse the law firm listings in Birmingham; you’ll find many successful Cumberland grads.

    In a similar vein, I’m not the least bit concerned with what Kaplan is doing in D.C. or what the ABA is doing across oceans; Cumberland School of Law has done and will continue to do a fine job producing esteemed lawyers in the southeast and beyond.

  73. That's a lot of effort invested in the defense of a school that supposedly doesn't need defending--and on a scamblog to boot!

    Geez, what IS your stake in this thing, 6:16, in trying to convince dedicated SCAMBLOGGERS of the relative value of a non-elite JD? The whole point of which blogs is to simply send the message that, for many if not most, a non-elite JD just isn't worth the price. If it works out for you, great. That doesn't change the fact it is for so many a shitty investment. What on Earth is your problem with kids knwing that this is no longer, if it ever was, an overall attractive profession?

    Again, you should be way too busy practicing law to hang out at, of all things, a site devoted to busting the law school scam.

  74. P.S.: And, finally, let go of this "Mr. Carroll" or whatever the hell he goes by; no one cares.

  75. I have a question for unemployed new TTTT grads who comment on this blog:

    What if a fairy godmother magically gave you the skills and knowledge of a great attorney? What if you woke up tomorrow morning and magically had the ability write briefs as good as David Boies, cross examine as well as Johnnie Cochrane, close a jury as well as Joseph Jamail, etc. ?
    But the fairy godmother neglected to change your paper credentials, so you still graduated last in your class from TTTTT.

    What would happen to your career? How long would it take, if ever, to make $100,000, $1 million, $10 million, etc?

    This hypothetical is a sincere and honest question. I know that you can’t acquire 20 years of dedicated experience in one day. This also doesn’t take away from the good points that Nando makes about lawyer oversupply, law school dishonesty, etc.

    But I am curious how you guys view the effect of paper credentials/prestige and the effect of actual legal skill in determining the course of a career.

  76. @7:07
    First you ask: what if a T4 new grad woke up tomorrow with the skills and knowledge of a great attorney.

    So you are implying or suggesting that the T4 law schools cannot teach what it takes to be a great attorney to those at the top or the bottom of the class.

    Then you seem to be indicating that a failry godmother can't do it all in one day, and that it will in fact take 20 years for this to happen.

    If that was your meaning, then the answer is simple. The massive student loan debt will bankrupt the T4 grad and destroy his or her credit and career and marriage long before 20 years are up. Perhaps less than 5 years is all it will take.

    Then, for good measure, the student loan people will revoke the law license for not paying the loan on time.

    In conclusion, you seem to be helping the argument that law schools, or at least T4's do not teach people how to be good lawyers, and are in fact harming the students rather than preparing them for a career.

  77. Those paper credentials determine who you will be mentored by, unless of course you are already connected. That's why the law school scam blogs have made quite clear to the kids that for MOST, the non-elite JD is a bad gamble. We already know there will always be anecdotal successes.

    And lotto winners too.

  78. @ 7:28 & @8:09:

    Thank you for your responses. Respectfully, you have not answered the question, which is:

    "What if a fairy godmother magically gave you the skills and knowledge of a great attorney? How long would it take, if ever, to make $100,000, $1 million, $10 million, etc?"

    The attitude of many commentors seems to be that actual skill doesn't matter, only paper credentials do. If you agree that skill matters, and matters immensely, let's shift the conversation to how you can actually acquire great legal skills after you're no longer eligible for biglaw.

    @ 7:28 No law school (Yale or TTTTT) teaches you anything. Scalia just acknowledged what we all know. You, and Nando, are right that it is important to manage debt or it'll kill you before you have a chance.

    @ 8:09: You are absolutely right that mentoring, especially a good job, is the best way to acquire legal skills. But it is not the only way. And there are ways to seek mentors. I spoke with a young lawyer today who is sharing cases, and money, with me while he 2nd chairs his cases. It's not as good as a job, but he'll pick it up soon.

    @8:09: how do define "anectdotal successes". Most of the lawyers who I know never bother to excell, learn more sophisticated practice areas, read PACER or watch trials, chase business, etc. Is a guy who does all of the above classified as an "anectodal succuss".

    BTW, I agree with Nando. I'm not presenting this to dispute Nando's central thesis. I'm disputing the notion that lacking good paper credentials means that you are destined to fail.

  79. @8:53

    I don't know how long you have been out of school, but the debt is NOT manageable. That is the point.

    It is impossible debt. Normal debt, like fire can burn out of control, but it can also be tamed.

    Student Loan debt is like phosphorous. It just keeps burning, even under water.

    So the paper credential notion or lack thereof will never even become disputed. In other words the question is moot.

    The debt is Sissyphean. As in "I sold my soul to the Company Store?"

    But if, and that is a big and impossible in this day and age "IF", Law School was affordable, and the Government got the hell out of Student Lending, then of course your talented, hypothetical student could leave a tooth under his pillow and wake up debt-free and even make a good living to boot.

    I believe it was once that way in the profession of Law some 20 or more years ago.

  80. You're right; a toilet degree does not mean a person is destined to be unsuccessful. Just like being born with one hand doesn't mean that a person can never become a major league baseball player--Jim Abbott did it. Similarly, an ivy degree is not a ticket to fame, success, notoriety or anything else. People who drop out of high school can become wildly successful. Great. The bottom line is there is a difference between possibility an probability. All personal attributes being even, e.g., intelligence, drive, etc., an ivy grad has a MUCH better chance of finding success. They are in the club. They are given a chance. This is indisputable. Now, face the reality that many ivys are connected and many toilet lawyers are not. Of course, now toilets are charging the same amount of $ as the ivys. All this has accomplished is to cripple more toilet grads, to decrease the grads' chances of living a happy and successful life. Sure, 1, 2 maybe 3 can hit big law or land a great gov gig. Focusing on the few misses the point. What about the other 250?

  81. @ 9:34

    Very well stated.

    And as for the other 250, they become part of the Peanut Gallery and will have to content themselves, for the rest of their lives, as a captive audience to Howdy Doody, Buffalo Bob Smith, and Clarabel the Clown.

    But what the Hell! A ticket to the Howdy Doody Show costs only 100 thousand or more.

  82. Once again, it is true that a few Birmingham firms will hire a couple of law review members from Cumberland, but when it comes down to it if I walk in with my top tier degree I win, hands down. How do I know this, well, I applied and got offers over all of my Cumberland law review friends. I was not even remotely on law review, just a top half guy with a good family name. I did not take the offer because Birmingham is a little too sleepy for my tastes, so I went to Atlanta instead. There you will find regional offices of decent firms such as Jones Day. By the way, my firm, which was of similar caliber, frequently stole clients from shit hole Birmingham firms like B&B and BF. Why - we were stocked with Ivy. So sit back and ponder that while you hang out at Innisfree.

    Once again, check the Alabama bar directory for RECENT graduates (2004 - present); look at all the graduates working as financial advisers at Regions, in insurance sales or at some shit law insurance/PI firm. Cumberland School of Law is a shit hole. Birmingham Big Law is equally as pitiful.

  83. 8:53: The poster at 8:09 clearly mentioned anecdotal successes. And analogs to lotto winners. No one here, that I have seen, said EVERYONE would fail if non-elite.

    It's all about probabilities and always has been. And, an elite background enhances, dramatically, those probabilities.


  84. "The attitude of many commentors seems to be that actual skill doesn't matter, only paper credentials do. If you agree that skill matters, and matters immensely, let's shift the conversation to how you can actually acquire great legal skills after you're no longer eligible for biglaw."

    The problem is that there are already thousands and thousands of attorneys filling those spots and that even if you had the skills, there's no way to make money with them with no clients.

    Some of you act as if great skills make someone a successful lawyer. That's simply not the case anymore.

  85. Cumberland is way over priced and so is Faulkner. These kids coming out better learn how to hustle and round up clients and make a liiving or they will choke. Trust me i graduated from one of these fluffed up bs schools with no connections upon graduation and all my success is due to myself not some bs professor i could run circles around with my eyes closed in the courtroom that has never practiced sitting around eating twinkies. These young people should be informed of the world outside of the law school walls and not buy into this shit.

    if you want to practice law in bama for yourself or at a small firm in a small town for gods sake save yourself Money and go to Birmingham School of law and save yourself 100K. Now there is an fing tip i should get a referrall fee on.

    Your grades don't mean crap outside of a first job. I've seen grads from top schools that i wouldn't hire to babysit my dog much less represent me. Law is now a busn.., treat it like a busn decision. Somehow i found this blog while hunting CLE's on Cumberland's website, they luv making money on those SOB's. Good luck to potential 1L's. later

  86. CBS show "Good Wife", Season 1, Episode "Unorthodox": a character is a graduate of Samford who didn't pass the bar exam.

  87. For what it's worth, I graduated top of my class at Cumberland and I was able to choose between two large Birmingham firms. My starting salary was in excess of $100,000. I chose not to go to Teir I Alabama, or any other Teir I school, because my wife works in Bimingham and I didn't want to commute or be away from her. My experience at Cumberland exceeded my expectations. I know it probably won't make a difference to all you previous posters (who, by the the way, just sound pathetically bitter) but for anyone else who might stumble across this blog, as I did, I felt the need to post. Yes, it's true that many of my classmates graduated without jobs and $100k plus in debt; however, many (like myself) graduated and went on to well paying, fulfilling jobs at large regional firms. I love Cumberland and I would not have changed by experience there for anything. As a final note: I encourage original poster and some of you others to visit our campus. I think you'll find it quite the opposite of a "corroded excrement." If you don't have time to visit in person, check our some of the pictures of our campus, call a Cumberland EE or professor, I am sure you will be surprised at what you find. One final note, it hasn't been mentioned, but it should have been: Cumberland placed first and second this year at the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Regional Student Trial Advocacy Competition -- and made a strong showing at nationals. Not bad for a TTT, no? [Steps down off soapbox.]

  88. May 26, 2011 5:48 PM:

    That's good to hear and congratulations on your success, sincerely.

    Nonetheless, that does not change the FACT that for many if not most persons, attending one of these non-elite law schools in this climate is too high a risk to take for the price.

    You yourself state that many of your classmates are graduating 100K in debt and no job. Do you submit that they are all a bunch of lazy no-good slackers who didn't "try hard enough" or didn't "network"? Does Cumberland therefore attract this magnitude of slackness such that so many of your classmates, by your own assertion, have no prospects at graduation as would justify being 100k in debt? Does that sound like a good risk to you? If it's that great a school, why so many without jobs?

    How many graduates from medical or dental schools do you think are coming out of any given class without prospects of any kind of employment?

    The scamblogs merely seek to point out, and they do it well, I think, that for many, if not most people, attending on of these non-elite schools is an unacceptable risk. Glad it worked out for you, and I'm sure the grounds and the physical plant at your alma mater are just fine. Nonetheless, none of that, nor your personal success, changes any of the validity of what the scambloggers are pointing out. And, Cumberland is obviously, by your own admission, no exception to that.

  89. I am an undergrad at UAB. The school itself is average academically, my grades are also only average. Thank you for these blogs. I do not agree with everything posted, but who does. I believe the purpose is to present the often neglected "other side" of the story. The positives of law school ARE often inflated, focusing only on the successes. This blog falls on the opposite side of the polarity, focusing on the negative. Both are needed. Weigh the risk and THEN make your decision. Personally, I know that connections are essential, and I have had to intern at several offices in various legal fields to try and remedy my par grades. For those who know their risk and have few alternatives, Cumberland can be ok. Obviously there IS a flipside, and unemployment or employment outside the law will be a reality for many.

    However, the law is what I want to do. Strong grades at a T3 school and alot of ties in the community are very important at a school like Cumberland. Have no misconception, generalizing law school as heaven or hell is not the way to do it. Decisions should be made on an individual basis. Looking at the statistics for the general population of a school should be a part of your decision, but not the sole factor.

    Yes there is generally much better bang for your buck out there, but this blog has mostly neglected talk of scholarship. Everyone has focused on debt, and they should. It can be a burden your entire life. BUTTTTTT.....many who have the grades to get into T1 or T2 law schools can have their education fully paid for at a school like cumberland. Consider that many of those barely accepted at a T1 at full price often have a large scholarship to a school like Cumberland; and, given the market, it may be in your best interest to take the full ride. Sure, there are Florida Coastals out there that curve out the majority of their class in order to maintain decent bar pass rates, but several schools like Cumberland do not. The fact of the matter is, in Alabama, nearly 70% of attorneys work in "firms" of 5 persons or less. Regardless of your school, most JD's in the state end up hanging a shingle. Jefferson County, where Cumberland is located, accounts for nearly half of all legal employment in the entire state, so it is a fair market with plenty of opportunity to connect.

    Cumberland as all others has both successes and failures, and this site is a good reminder that for every success story there are two equivalent tales of failure. Those peruzing this blog, do not immediately be scared of the legal field, especially if it is your passion, but DO understand that it can often be high-risk high-reward. Make sure you do your homework before making your decision. Law School, like anything involving debt, WILL significantly alter your future.

  90. All me know is dat the dadgummed best layer in Sycamore alabama went to Cucumber so dat where me gonnna go two.

  91. I graduated from Cumberland. It was a joke. Like graduates of most every other law school out there, regardless of rank, I learned nothing about the practice of law (or how to pass the bar exam) when I was at Cumberland. The professors including those mentioned SUCKED as teachers (I had them)--and as scholars, from what I can tell. Since graduating from Cumberland I have been employed (employable) as a lawyer for only 6 of the past 15 years. Needless to say I am drowning in debt. During two periods of unemployment I reached out to alumni but found that many had never practiced law or had stopped practicing because they could not find a job or career longevity with their Cumberland credentials. Some do well after Cumberland: Those that have family money and connections in the law and a handful of others. But the education you will receive is very, very poor, and the market value of the degree is even worse. STAY AWAY. Overheard (by me) while at Cumberland: Professor Goodwin (Criminal Law, Evidence): "The Dean (Carrol) has told us (faculty) that 'if these idiot kids want to pay $100,000 for a law degree we're going to give it to them [regardless], and we'll let God and the state bar sort them out later.'" Enough said. Cumberland Swine.

  92. My ongoing concern and fear is that aspiring law applicants are still not getting the message about how very risky and unwise it is to invest in legal education (and maybe even college, in general), regardless of school rank. The jobs are not there, and would be law students must stop being so overly optimistic in thinking that they will be different and successful where so many others have failed. They will not be different, unless they are in the top 10 percent of their class at a T1 or T2 school, and even that is in doubt. Worse, the fallback position regarding "the (other worldly) value of a law degree (to other professions)" is complete and utter B.S. Non-legal employers typically DO NOT VALUE JD's -- unless the employer is an insurance company, which only views your JD credential as an indicator of your ability to pass yet more standardized tests and to acquire financial services credentials and certifications requisite for selling financial services "products," i.e. insurance policies to all of your closest friends. NEARLY ALL OTHER EMPLOYERS will view your unused JD degree as an indicator that you are a "loser lawyer," i.e., that you couldn't make it in law (which may be true) or that you are "confused," or "too unfocused," and/or that you are "not a good steward of money" (since you threw yours away on a useless professional credential), and/or that you have bad judgment because you have completely buried your head in the sand and ignored all of the information NOW available TODAY about what a BAD INVESTMENT law school is for most people (and you still did it ANYWAY); or more positively, non-legal employers may think that if they DO hire you, you "will only leave [our] business as soon as [you] pass the bar." In short, non-legal employers will simply not get why you have a JD if you are not a lawyer or not trying to be lawyer. Translation: There is NO VALUE IN A LAW DEGREE unless you are going to be a lawyer for sure, and these days, that's far from a sure bet. If you are thinking about going to law school, don't. If you are in law school now, rent and watch Rounders, cash the tuition check, and go on the Texas Hold'em circuit, or quit and cut your losses. If you have a JD you aren't using, follow the advice of the guy above and take it off your resume. As painful as this is to hear: The JD credential is only hurting your chances of moving on. You may notice that I use the word "credential" a lot. That is what American education including hirer education has become: The mindless pursuit of a collection of nearly useless, expensive credentials--and the most expensive 4-7 year cocktail party you will ever attend (not true for everyone, but most; understood). Law Schools are no different. How many of your peers and colleagues complain about how law school does not prepare one for the bar, or for law practice? Then for what, then? To help one learn "how to think." Beware of anyone that tells you that law school taught them how to think. Translation: "I spent seven years and $200,000 to develop analytical skills. Boy was I stupid. And clearly, I still am."

    Said (to me) while attending Cumberland (by Prof. Stone, Contracts): "Students have asked me about doing more in my courses to help students prepare for the bar exam, and for practice. That's not my job. We're not a trade school. Ya know, I don't even think there should be a bar exam. Besides, you've got BARBRI and life for that, right?"

    Enough said. Cumberland Swine.

  93. Only consider this school if you are one of 5-7 students who get a full ride. A diploma mill with such a poor overall record should graduate no more than 10 people per year since the rest f the cucumber crop will eventually be burned because it failed to bear good fruit.

  94. The only folks that think Cumberland is worth a damn are Cumberland graduates. Go figure. And most of them are not practicing law anymore, if they ever did. They sure can sell insurance though! Or set up websites and pretend to practice law! Ha. Of course, you don't need a $150K professional "education" to do that.

    Of course, if someone else is paying for your Cumberland degree I would pitch this idea to them instead: "Well, you COULD pay for my Cumberland degree, resulting in my future unemployment, failure, etc. OR you could give me the $150k for a down payment on a home OR better yet, to start (or contribute to) my investment account, instead, so that I will actually HAVE a financial future worth living for."

  95. Just ran the numbers for very large southern city using state bar site: seven percent (7%) of Cumberland graduates are DEAD; six percent (6%) are officially listed as "inactive"; three percent (3%) percent have been disbarred; two percent (2%) have been suspended; fifteen percent (15%) are not practicing law at all; another eleven percent (11%)do not claim ANY firm or business affiliation of any kind and their contact information shows personal addresses and e-mails, not professional (highly suggestive that they are not employed and/or that they are not employed in the law); another eighteen percent (18%)indicate that they own and operate their own, 1-attorney practice. Four percent (4%) work in government. The rest appear to be associated with a firm with TWO (2) or more attorneys. 33% are not practicing law AT ALL. 44% are either not practicing at all or they are faking it by remaining "active" by paying their dues and staying out of trouble. Sixty six percent (66%) are, therefore, either (1) not practicing at all; (2) faking it by remaining "active" by paying dues and staying out of trouble; 3) operating their own law practice [and slugging it out with one attorney (themselves) with widely varying degrees of success and profitability, no doubt]; or 4) working for the government. So, only roughly 33% work (in law) for firms of 2 attorneys or more. From the standpoint of a new graduate trying to network pre- or post-grad. with Cumberland's allegedly "extensive Alumni network" (a big SELLIN point at Cucumber U), in hopes of landing a job, the THIRD TIER REALITY is that at least 66% of Cumberland grads will likely be of NO HELP TO YOU at all because they are frankly NOT in the game. Worse, looking at the 33% . . . by the time you factor out those members of the 33 percent who are too busy, or who have their heads too far up their butts to help you (true of a lot of folks these days, regardless of school), those who practice different areas of law from your target area of interest or expertise, and those who lack the experience, career trajectory, or connections, of a seasoned decision maker, i.e. someone who is actually in the position to hire you, well . . . you may find that the $100,000 + price you paid for your Cumberland ed-u-muh-k-shun, and all of those "connections" just wasn't worth it, after all. Don't rely on a profit-driven diploma mill like Cumberland for your numbers. Run your own. Pretty sad, but better to know before you go and do something stupid.

  96. I graduated from Cumberland with hefty debt, yes. But I paid it off in about 12 years with very manageable payments. I struggled with a mid-salaried job for about three years and then got a job with a public agency with a near six-figure salary and full medical benefits. I am certainly not rich, but reasonably comfortable. I thought Cumberland to be an excellent law school, although I thought it put a little too much emphasis on litigation preparation. Cumberland also does not suffer from the insane cut-throat competition present at other schools. There is a sense of partnership, to a degree, that we were all in this together. Cumberland emphasized that law is not always conflict.

  97. Cucumber School of Law is a shithole. If no one outside the block has heard of your law school it's a piece of shit.

  98. Attending this school is the same as committing financial suicide.

  99. F shyster judge Carroll, champion of Obama constituents, and F senile deaf professor emeritus Frank Donelson. Neither should have been a teacher. Carroll should have moved to SanFran and Donelson should have stayed on the farm where he'd fit in perfectly as another vegetable.

  100. If u wanna be a trial lawyer, go to cumberland. If not, dont. Simple. Their trial program is superior than 99% of law schools.

  101. Meh. It's about who you know more than what you know. I have two friends. One majored in political science and the onther in electrical engineering. The engineer had a 4.0 while the other friend had about a 3.8, so they had fairly comparable GPAs. Guess who got a job first? The poly-sci guy got a job working for the GOP right after graduation. The other guy is still looking for meaningful employment, it has been a year. Love it or hate it we are social creatures and networking is key to your survival in any human society.

  102. I worked at a 200-lawyer firm in Birmingham for several years. They were nice enough to let me, a Cumberland grad, get their coffee and get their faxes. They had good jobs. Not me. I was the loser making $20K a year. Don’t go to this dump. It's even worse than this article says.

  103. So many losers here. The men (?) obviously have "performance" issues.

    1. Losers such as the men who impregnated your wife, bitch? Have fun raising another man's kid.

      By the way, waterhead: as of today, your precious school is still rated as a FOURTH TIER TRASH PIT - by US "News" & World Report. Then again, what did you expect? After all, Cumberland Sewer of Law at $amford Univer$iTTTTy is a mouthful - even for you!


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