Sunday, December 26, 2010

Crusty Turd: Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University

When it comes to TTR beat-downs, it is always better to give than to receive. The same goes for having TTTs named after you.

“In 1946, Cleveland Law School merged with the John Marshall School of Law, founded in 1916, to become Cleveland–Marshall College of Law. Cleveland-Marshall affiliated with Cleveland State University in 1969.”

John Marshall has yet another piece of trash named after him.

Tuition: An Ohio resident attending this public toilet on a full-time basis – for the 2010-2011 academic year – will be charged $18,200 in tuition and fees. An out-of-state, full-time student will be charged $24,975.60 in tuition and fees for the same academic year. I am certain the school is serious about that $0.60, by the way. My TTT actually was thrilled with my $0.08 donation last year.

Total Cost of Attendance: The school estimates that room & board; personal expenses; transportation; and books/supplies will account for an additional $16,296. This would bring the total COA – for an Ohio resident – to $34,496; for non-residents, this figure would amount to $41,271.60.

Rankings: There are nine law schools in the state. But this school’s solid reputation will allow me to compete in a crowded field, right?!?! Well, the school has a reputation as solid waste, i.e. US News & World Report lists this school in the filthy, foul third tier of U.S. law schools.

Job Prospects: Since these tramps don’t provide employment placement or starting salary figures, we go to an outside source for this information. According to Law School Numbers, 91.1% of this toilet’s Class of 2005 was supposedly employed within nine months of graduation.

Entering Student GPA and LSAT scores: LSN shows that the 75th percentile of entering students, for the Cleveland-Marshall Law Class of 2009, scored a 157 on the LSAT. Those in the 25th percentile had a score of 152. Those in the 75th percentile had a UGPA of 3.62, whereas those in the 25th percentile earned a stunning 2.95 GPA during undergrad. If you have similar numbers, you may end up at a third tier toilet such as this place.

Average Student Indebtedness: According to US News, the average student indebtedness for Class of 2009 Cleveland-Marshall Commode of Law grads who incurred law school debt was $61,500. Fully 80% of this particular graduating class took on law school debt.

Law Faculty Salaries: Go to this site, and using the drop-down boxes, enter “Cleveland State University” under school, “Law” under department, Year 2009, and Salary Range of $100,000+.

We can see that the following faculty members made out like bandits, in 2009: “professor and dean emeritus” Steven H. Steinglass made $163,905; “associate dean and professor” Heidi Gorovitz Robertson “earned” $145,725.59; and “professor” James G. Wilson raked in $241,778.08. (Who knew that teaching Con Law, Environmental Law and Admin Law could be such a LUCRATIVE position?!?!)

But that is not all! Interim Dean and “professor of law” Phyllis L. Crocker made $162,386.53 in 2009, while and former dean - and current university provost - Geoffrey Simonson Mearns cashed in $239,465.04.

Look at this outrageous header:

“If you don't go to Law School, will you always wish you had?”

After all, can one have a meaningful existence without taking out $70K-$100K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE student loans, for a TTT degree?!?! The shameless sales pitch then goes on to talk about how the commode was: the first law school in Ohio to admit women and minorities; offers joint degree programs and a Russian Studies Program; serves the community; cures cancer; etc.

Guess what this amounts to?! The third tier!!

Remember, bar passage is distinct from legal employment. Also, keep in mind that this 90 percent pass rate is based on a February exam.

Conclusion: While the cost of attendance may not quite as prohibitive as other diploma mills, keep in mind that the average student debt load from law school was $61,500 for the Class of 2009. Also, take your student loans from undergrad into account. A person could easily look at $90K+ in combined student loans. Do you really want to take out mountains of NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt so that these selfish faculty members can continue to make serious money?!?!


  1. That is one giant pile of shit. WHat is that? Whaleshit that was retrieved from the ocean?

  2. “If you don't go to Law School, will you always wish you had?”

    If I don't go, how will these law professors be able to make $241,000 a year and make valuable contributions to scholarly research?

  3. That's It!

    After reading this post, I am now motivated, more than ever, to write a check for the future and continued care and maintenance of the prestigious Phyllis L. Crocker Wing of this school's Men's Room Expansion Program.

    In re “If you don't go to Law School, will you always wish you had?”

    I particularly love this one. If the school needs to provide you with a reason to go to law school, you really need to reexamine your choices and the way you are making them. Can you imagine medicine or dentistry trying their asses off that way to hook any unsuspecting passerby into their schools?

    Didn't think so.

    Proud to do so.

  4. Fail. Compared to other schools, this one is affordable.

  5. ^compared to other schools this one is still a piece of shit. there are too many law schools in OH. and the graph lists ls debt only. i mean, would you take out $61K for a law degree from this dump?

  6. Nando, I wish you'd go back to toilet photos. Having said that, this looks like one more state insTTTiTTTuTTTion that needs to close.

  7. James Wilson also teaches Jurisprudence and Legal History. You forgot to mention that in your article. What do you have against these teachers making decent salaries.

  8. This school is actually not that expensive. If someone has no intention of going into biglaw, and only needs a piece of paper to say that he's a lawyer in order to practice small law, $60k for 3 years isn't that bad.

  9. If you want to go after a John Marshall, go after the one in Atlanta. They really deserve it.

  10. Re: "Compared to other schools, this one is affordable" and "$60k for 3 years isn't that bad."

    First of all, the mere fact that the private schools are ludicrously overpriced doesn't make this one "affordable." What your basically arguing for is a lesser-of-evils analysis. The fact is almost ALL of these places are overpriced, and that certainly includes the lower-tier publics.

    Why? Well, the most common rule of thumb I see is that to borrow responsibly, you shouldn't borrow more than you make in a calender year. For giggles, let's say it's responsible to borrow 150% of expected 1st-year earnings.

    COA at Cleveland St. Marshall is 34k a year for an Ohio resident. A student fresh out undergrad who borrows the full amount would need 102k. Let's say they work some/save some and get it down to 90k. That means they would need a 60k job upon graduation to be "responsible" under any guideline I've seen. Do you think they're going to get a 60k job?

    I don't. There's no way of escaping the fact that Cleveland-Marshall has a poor reputation. Places like Squire Sanders or Baker Hostetler cherry-pick from the summa cum laude/law review staff, but it's clearly a 3rd option locally behind OSU and Case Western. Outside of Ohio, if not Cleveland, the degree means absolutely nothing.

    Yet, to make that >60k job, you really need to get in with a good, stable firm or the government or other stable interest. With so much competition from OSU and Case Western (not to mention Capital, Akron, Toledo, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Pitt, Duqeunse, Ohio Northern, etc.) in a dying, irrelevant city, I find it hard to fathom that the average Cleveland State grad winds up north of 60k. Heck, I'd need proof to believe the average grad winds up north of 30k the first year.

    If you can go here and keep the final debt level below 35k, I would agree it's a good place, but everyone knows that's simply not the case for the majority of gung-ho, law-bound students.

  11. As a person who works in Cleveland for a large law firm, albeit not Squire Sanders or Jones Day, I can honestly say that this article is a little inaccurate. C-M grads face the same horrible job market as everyone else, but compared with Case Western grads carrying 120K plus in loans they are far better off. Further, Case's name is loosing credit as rapidly as people are defaulting on mortgages. Secondly, look up any mid-size to bigfirm and look at the attorneys. C-M grads are managing partners of a large percentage of all the firms in Cleveland from Small to Large. For an example, Calfee Halter & Griswold has seemed to prefer hiring C-M grads over other schools.

    I will not even pretend to say the comparing OSU to C-M is realistic, but coming out of law school with 60K in debt isn't terrible. Average first year salary for C-M grads is somewhere in the 60-70K range. There is unemployment in every field, and the legal industry is no exception. There is no justification for the misleading facts that are out there and the raping that some schools put on their students, but I think you missed the mark on this one.

  12. Another quick point - honestly a dean of Mearns' caliber being paid 240K - really! - this seems like a steal.

    Just from reading your reviews of other schools and seeing the faculty and dean salaries it appears the faculty here is paid fairly. FYI, Wilson also teaches Contracts and 1st Amendment. That puts him at teaching 6 classes total.

    Just another example that this review seems a little off the mark.

  13. "Average first year salary for C-M grads is somewhere in the 60-70K range."

    Do you have a source for this, anonymous poster who sounds like a C-M admissions employee trying desperately to hide said fact?

  14. I agree--this school's tuition is not egregiously excessive--it's in line with what I paid for 3L at UCLA in 2003. But given the current job market combined with the school's less than stellar reputation, it would still be a very poor economic and professional decision to attend.


  15. J-dog, I believe the salary information was posted in the magazine the National Jurist....maybe they skew the numbers as well. I will see if I kind find the volume. Sadly, I am not in C-M admissions, I was simply being fair.

    What is not examined is the goals of what I would guess are for 70% of the students. The typical C-M student is not planning on going big law in a big city. The typical student is planning on working local for one of the numerous small to midsize firms. Furthermore if you look in depth at the make up the school you will see a significant percentage of students are part-time (most likely meaning they are working full-time, have families, etc.) and are not incurring debt near other TTT and TTTT. Also, although people will knock part-time students it is notable that C-M part-time law school was ranked 39th by U.S. News.

    In todays shit job market I see more employers placing value on experience over class rank and school rank. I don't think a C-M grad faces a more difficult job market in Cleveland (note I am not extending C-M's reach) than the Ohio schools it competes with. I would even go as far to say that at most of the firms that are hiring, and since Big Law isn't hiring (the Class of 2008 is still on deferral at many of the large firms here in Cleveland), that the C-M grad may have an advantage because of the community ties.

    This has just been what I have observed. Nothing can really mask the reality that despite where you graduate from the market sucks. The only thing I would like for the school to be more candid about it is that C-M doesn't have any reach outside of Northern Ohio (although i think most students here aren't naive enough to believe they can turn a C-M degree into a gig at MoFo)


    Look! As a student at this amazing law school, you have the unparalleled opportunity to write on to the Journal of Law & Health!

    You can also join the prestigious Health Law Society.

    “This year the Society will bring speakers to the Law School through a Health Law Brown Bag Lunch series.”

    The students can then use that brown bag to cover their faces. After all, does anyone proudly claim to be a graduate of this dump?!

    “The Pro Bono Program also offers monthly community service opportunities such as building homes with Habitat for Humanity, serving lunch at a local soup kitchen, and planting a garden in the inner city of Cleveland.

    Students who volunteer a minimum of 40 hours a year (in the course of one or more placements) are recognized at the College of Law annual awards ceremony.”

    This is a nice project. Hopefully, the students in these clinics will not need to return as clients in need of a bowl of soup – or relying on food from the community garden.

    Things could be worse. Evidently, Cleveland-Marshall students are not required to perform pro bono hours. Those who volunteer for 40 hours in a year are recognized at their TTT’s annual awards ceremony.

    “It's tough for law students to find time for anything besides studying.

    But Charleston School of Law student Peter Kaufman managed to squeeze in 1,550 hours of pro bono public service in the 9th Circuit Solicitor's Office.”

    Take this idiot, for instance. Peter Kauffman, 38 year old student at TTTTT Charleston Sewer of Law, devoted more than 1500 hours of his life to pro bono work. Here is how the piece concludes:

    “But for now, he's going to study for the bar exam, which he'll take in February. Then he'll begin job hunting, he said.

    And he'd advise others to do public service even if they're also busy with other things. "Always try to pay it forward," he said. "You have to give it away to keep it."

    And I always figured that finding a job with a salary and benefits was more important!!

  17. J-dog, here is the link:

    Apparently C-M received an A- in 2010 for best value law school. The data provided states that the average starting salary for C-M grads in the public sector is $49K and $80K for private sector. I think that puts the average at $65K if the graduates are split 50-50 between the sectors.

  18. Nando,

    You choose such peculiar things to focus on. Yes, you can write on to the Journal of Law and Health. But who would of guessed you can write on to all the journals at Georgetow Law.

    "How many journals can I try to join?
    There are currently 11 separate law journals published at Georgetown Law: Georgetown Law Journal, American Criminal Law Review , The Tax Lawyer , Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics , Georgetown Journal of International Law (formerly Law and Policy in International Business), Georgetown International Environmental Law Review , Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy , Georgetown Immigration Law Journal , Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law , Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy , and Georgetown Journal of Law & Modern Critical Race Perspectives.

    Participants in the Write On competition indicate the journal(s) for which they wish to be considered by ranking those journals on the preferencing section of the Write On website. The preferencing area of the website will be open May 15th through mid-July, 2010."

    I am guessing that other prestigous schools also offer the ability to write on to their various journals. Then you knock probono programs and the idea of simply recognizing students for their volunteer work - how does this impact the school in any manner? I am sure that every school has some variation of recognition for probono or volunteer work.

    You need to stick to what you have been so good at and really dig up the truly misleading statistics and out of control that tuition that is being charged.


    You can click on the 1-page view tab, to gain a better view of the information. This article was published in the January 2008 edition of the NaTTTional JUri$TTT magazine. It was written by industry shill Ursula Furi-Perry, J.D. The piece is entitled, “How much will you earn?” and begins on page 31.

    Head over to the graph on page 33. On the right-hand column, you will see that the (purported) average starting salary for the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law is listed as $67,584. You can see that the source of this info is the Princeton Review Best 170 Law Schools 2008 Edition.

    “Of the 22,305 law school graduates, a remarkable 23% (5,130 members of the class of 2008) reported an entry-level salary of $160,000. In contrast, 42% of entry level lawyers reported salaries in the $40,000 to $65,000 range. Once again, the central tendencies are a poor guide to the distribution as a whole: whereas the mean salary is a $92,000, the median salary was $72,000. Further, the two modes ($50,000 and $160,000) are separated by $110,000.”

    Only 22,305 law school graduates – from the JD Class of 2008 - reported employment info. That is peculiar.

    The ABA shows that 43,588 law degrees were awarded for the 2007-2008 academic year. This means that roughly 51.2% of this graduating class provided salary info. DO YOU RECOGNIZE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS?!?!

    Even the salary mean of $72K is not very reliable, in light of this low response rate. It essentially means that half of the respondents made less than this figure, and half of the survey respondents earned more than this amount. Obviously, this does not take into account those who are making $25K as bouncers. However, these people do count for the purposes of “employment placement rates.”

    As I have stated before, these figures are skewed upward by the proud lawyers and JDs who are happy to report their $90K-$160K salaries to their schools and NALP. Those who are making $35K – or working as bartenders – are too ashamed and embarrassed to report their dismal salaries.

  20. I will agree with that Nando and I didn't realize the article two years old and I don't know who is in what pocket. Transparency needs to accomplished - and I am sure C-M employment statistics areinflated, but taking everything into account isn't it reasonable to say a first year salary as an attorney is somewhere between 60-70K. My point being that IF you are lucky enough to get a job as an attorney, then C-M doesn't seem to be a rip off at all. If you take the most pessimistic outlook then undergraduate and graduate school is a rip off when you evaluate the cost compared to the salary if you end up in a position such as bartender. You can spend 80-100K on your undergrad in say something generic like business management and end up in retail working the counter at Gap during the holdiays.

    I stand by my point that your profiling of this school is off the mark. Average debt of $60K and IF you are to land a job as an attorney a likely salary equivalent to your debt - seems fair. FYI - the public defenders and staff attorneys in Cleveland make 60K+ first year.

    Also, although you wouldn't be living the high life, getting a job paying 30-40K one should easily be able to handle 60K in student loans. People live in the "nicer" (it is still Cleveland) suburbs of Cleveland for $200-300/month. So with a loan payment included you are at roughly $700/month ($300 for rent + $400 for student loans). At 35K per year you should be bringing in around $2,000 a month, leaving $1,300 a month for bills, food, car. Anywhere in Ohio that is plenty. So maybe the school should say a good percentage of graduates, maybe 30%, will be unable to find a job as a attorney right away, but if you can land a job as a bartender making 35K a year and take out the average debt you should be able to live adequatly.

  21. the united states is a piece of shitDecember 27, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    I don't know why you even bother. I like the site and the bruising commentary. But this country is circling the drain. This country is a piece of fucking garbage. Trying to get a few kids to not throw their futures away is a nice goal. But it will not stop this country from sliding into the gutter.

  22. Well that was a littl harsh - although i don't agree with the C-M coverage, the site has received national attention (in the legal blogosphere at least)and I may be mistaken but the U.S. News agreed to modify how they report employment statistics. So i say keep up the good work and I am sure plently of people have found this site useful and informative.

  23. the united states is a pile of monkey shitDecember 27, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    I know these blogs have done some good. But this country is still a rapidly declining piece of shit. Why people are still clamoring to get to our shores I don't know. There aren't even enough jobs for Americans. This country is circling the fucking drain. If ls applications go down it will not change anything. The country is fucked. The shrinking middle class is fucked. Go to school = get fucked. Don't go to school = get fucked (but with less debt).

  24. "isn't it reasonable to say a first year salary as an attorney is somewhere between 60-70K."

    No! As Nando pointed out, that survey only had roughly a 50% response rate. Furthermore, it gave an average rather than a median. Let'splay with some simple known facts and see how this might play out:

    -In a top place at Cleveland, first-year associates make around 120k.
    -For 45k overall graduates of JD programs in 2009, only 28k took jobs as actual attorneys.
    -The survey response rate is 50% and ends with 67k as an average.

    Okay, now let's apply this to a hypothetical class at generic Cleveland State:

    Top 10% - BigLaw, make 120k in salary.
    Bottom 37% - unable to find work at attorneys, max salary likely around 30k.

    Assuming the Bottom 37% didn't report, that's another 13% who work as attorneys but didn't report. For that 13%, let's say the maximum salaries are in the 40k range (that's being generous).

    Okay - now we have 40% of the class left. 10% have already reported and they're in the clubhouse with a 120k salary. What salary do the rest need to make it average out to 67k to report?

    Answer: $53,700 [(120+4x)/5 = 67; x = 53.7].

    So to sum up:

    Top 10% = 120k average
    Next 40% = 53.7k average
    Next 13% = 40k average
    Next 37% = 30k average, not working as attorneys.

    Based on the data available, it is not reasonable to say the first-year salary for an Cleveland State attorney is 60-70k. For all we know, up to 90% of the graduates are making less than that, especially given the bimodal nature of salary distributions.

    Those employment numbers are grossly inflated by BigLaw's cherry-pickings. Poke around at job listings and you'll see that's not the reality for 85-90% of working attorneys.

  25. We will NEVER get a true damage report on the wreckage inflicted on society by the law school industrial complex due in no small part to the fact of the existence of shame and embarrassment. Graduates/new licensees who are driven to find other types of adequate employment in-between bouts of living with their parents/in-laws don't exactly rush to answer salary surveys. I would be surprised to find ANY enthusiasm whatsoever to participate in any tangible way with their former schools. For them, it is a painful process. It is only simple human nature which guarantees only the most self-satisfied will necessarily be the ones voluntarily, completely and robustly answering these salary and employment queries.

    Because of this, if anything, the picture we have of post-law-school outcomes may be too optimistic.

  26. Nando, you need to do your next profile on Capital University Law School a.k.a. "Crapital."

    It really is an abysmal law school.

  27. I grew up in Cleveland. Best thing my parents ever did, aside from having me, was to get the hell out of Cleveland, i.e., The Mistake by the Lake. My old girlfriend went to this school for undergrad. I've been there, and I can attest, it is a dump. Correction Nando - TTTT.

  28. It says something that those familiar with the area and school are coming on here and telling us what a miserable shithouse this law school is. This is a third tier state school that charges $18K and almost $25K in tuition. I imagine states are cuttign back expenses and students or parents are expected to pick up the slack. Is there a need for a public TTT in a state that has 8 or 9 law schools? Shut the fucking place down already! All you are accomplishing is contributing to the numbers of debt soaked attorneys.

  29. Keep Ohio State, Case-Western and U. Cincy, shut down the rest.

  30. "It says something that those familiar with the area and school are coming on here and telling us what a miserable shithouse this law school is."

    I have yet to see one student from C-M post on here about it being a "shithouse." The one poster you referenced has a girl friend who went to CSU undergrad - not even remotely the same.

    I make no arguement against there being too many law schools. For a Clevelandar who wants to work in Cleveland I would choose C-M over Case 10 times out 10. However, if you want to work out of sate the ONLY school I would schoose is OSU - Case is hanging on by a thread, the firms in Cleveland are giving Case students less and less value compared to their C-M peers and it I would bet that anywhere outside Ohio is doing the same. Go top 20 if you want big city life.

  31. J-Dog,

    Even accepting your statistics as fact you still didn't prove that C-M is a bad value. Under your stastics even in a worse case scenario of making 30K a person would still be able to handle the 60K in average debt.

    I thought the point of this blog was to point out EGREGIOUS tuitions and things of that nature. From what has been posted by you and Nando i still haven't seen anything that supports your poisitions.

    I know we all think that going to law school should enable us to be the next feature house on MTV Cribs (is that show even on anymore?), but it seems that even if you aren't able to find a job as an attorney you will still be able to live a happy modest life after graduating from C-M with the average debt of 60K.

  32. statistics*, positions* - i should proof read.

  33. To the Cleveland-Marshall TTT defender,

    "A good rule of thumb is that for the Stafford Loan, the manageable debt load is about the same as your starting salary."

    While this ostensibly pertains to undergrad loans, it also applies to all student loan debt.

    Princeton Review listed the average starting salary for Cleveland-Marshall College of Law grads as $67,584. US News & World Report listed the average student indebtedness for those Cleveland State JDs – who incurred law school debt – at $61,500.

    If the average starting salary information is accurate, this might not be a terrible investment. However, you act as if these people who took out student loans for law school did not take out student loans for undergrad. It is more likely than not that the bulk of these students also took on student debt, for their undergraduate degree. Whether they took out $10K or $40K for their Bachelor’s, this amount should be taken into account. In the real world, a lawyer or JD is not on the hook solely for his law school loans.

    I have already SHOWN you that only 51.17 percent of the JD Class of 2008 provided salary info to NALP. It is from these respondents that we derive a NATIONAL median starting salary of $72,000. Is it your position that Cleveland-Marshall TTT JDs made more than the national median figure? We are already aware that those who excelled in law school – and landed higher-paying positions – are MUCH more likely to report their employment status to their schools. They are also MUCH more likely to report their salaries to their CDOs.

    “I know we all think that going to law school should enable us to be the next feature house on MTV Cribs.”

    You have articulated your position that Cleveland-Marshall Commode of Law should not be featured on this site. Do not toss out such arguments, i.e. that we all desire to live in mansions. The fact remains that this school is a third tier commode. It also leaves many of its grads with more than $60K in debt; this does not count debt from undergrad. And the state has nine law schools. In sum, MANY of these JDs will not be able to find work as attorneys. Finally, these students will have one hell of a time finding non-legal employment. Read this piece from former Biglaw associate and current psychoanalyst Will Meyerhofer:

    “Psychotherapy is about owning your thoughts and feelings.

    Own this:

    A J.D. is not a versatile degree. Law is a specialized field which carries a heavy stigma beyond its own hermetic confines.”

  34. "Under your stastics even in a worse case scenario of making 30K a person would still be able to handle the 60K in average debt."

    Maybe (assuming one has no dependents or other significant obligations), but it's difficult to see how this hypothetical person would be better off in that situation than if they'd skipped law school, had zero debt, and gotten into a non-legal field.

  35. Fair points Nando - but now you including debt outside of law school into the analysis. This is a very important factor in a student making the decision, but imputing the possible debt from undergrad upon a law school is irrational.

    I think if a school can legitimately (which is questionable as you have pointed out) say that avg. starting salary exceeds average debt then it certainly isn't overpriced. But you can't say a school is not a good value because of likelihood of a incoming student bring their own debt. Law Schools lie and deceive, imputing the debt of a students undergraduate degree upon the law school to then come to the conclusion that is not affordable does not make sense. You have to look at the law school alone and independent of any debt a student is bringing in.

  36. How is it not important? When I make payments to my lender I need to include the total debt from undergrad and LS. This is true if you are single, married, have kids. Is there some unwritten rule that one should only consider LS debt? How does that make any sense? It takes a BS or BA to get into law school.

  37. It is very important, but I thought purpose of this blog was to point out the problems with law school tuition not the problems with the entire U.S. education system. If a student has 40, 50, 60, etc of loans before graduate school he/she needs to evaluate the realities of law school themselves taking into account the additional loan.

    I don't see a problem with a law school charging a tuition that seems reasonable based on the debt taken on by their students. If law schools, or any graduate school for that matter, took into account the possible undergrad loans you might as well tell every student to just stop at high school because nothing will ever be worth while.

    It isn't that undergrad debt shouldn't be considered, but I think it should be considered by the student not the school. The problem arises when a student ends up with 100K+ in loans from ONLY the law school with no reasonable job opportunities. I guess I differ in that I think 60K is manageable on just about any income over 30K per year (IN CLEVELAND ONLY).

    I know the rule of thumb is debt = salary, but in Cleveland the cost of living is so low it is extremely manageable, but not ideal. I actually think if you go to Case which is Tier 1 and end up with the 120K in loans you are in much worse shape because right now from Tier 1 to Tier 4 you are getting shit on in the job market.

  38. While I am not sure I agree with everything the CSU defender is saying, I applaud him for making rationally stated and reasonable arguments rather than simply attacking Nando personally. This sets him apart from the trolls who usually turn up here. I think the site would benefit from more give and take of this nature. As for CSU, their new slogan should be "we're better than Cooley."

  39. This public toilet may do okay in Cleveland. However given the level of lawyer oversaturation in this country, it seems certain many of these kids will graduate with $60K in law school loans with no goddamn job. What will they do with their law degrees then? Still a big risk even if it is a cheaper state school.

  40. "Even accepting your statistics as fact you still didn't prove that C-M is a bad value."

    The sole point of my previous post was to show that it was unreasonable for a C-M grad to make 60-70k.

    "Under your stastics even in a worse case scenario of making 30K a person would still be able to handle the 60K in average debt."

    But why would you (that's 1/6 of your gross income going to Sallie Mae, btw), even if you could? Law school is supposed to be an *investment* right? If your earning capability is 30k independent of the law (which it must be if you're earning that post-ls without using your law degree), then three years of law school cost you quite a bit. First is the 90k in lost opportunity costs. Second is the borrowed cost of tuition, which lets say is 60k. Third is the spent remaining c.o.l./tuition, which in this case is going to be around 40k for residents. You're going to spend 40k, willingly lose 90k in lost opportunity, and add a fixed expense of loan payments that will hamper cash flow for the next 30 years? For what? The chance at a moderate increase in earning power and a piece of paper?

    If you worked and didn't go to law school, you'd still have your 40k, you'd make 90k over the three year time span, and you wouldn't have a loan hampering cash flow. To make law school worthwhile, you'd have to wind up about +280k at the end of 30 years. With the way salaries are going compared to non-legal salaries, that's not a sure thing, and since most students are going to borrow that extra 40k, it's far from a good value.

    "I know we all think that going to law school should enable us to be the next feature house on MTV Cribs "

    ...and you just blew your cover, since I know NO ONE who went to law school thinking they would come out filthy rich.

  41. Why don't you ever address the squalor of the publicschool systems? I mean K-12. You have little black kids that never have a chance in Newark, Detroit, rural south, East. St. Louis, and Chicago. Many will not make it thru high school. Large segments will make it to prison instead. And you guys are only focusing on law school.

    1. Whose fault is it? This blog is not about public school. There are many high school grads who can't read their diplomas so don't cry to me about drop outs some of whom make good money.

  42. Former (thankfully) Cleveland guy here again. Simply stated, go to Cleveland State Law if you plan to stay in Cleveland for the rest of your life and aren't concerned with making it as an attorney elsewhere - because the odds are you won't make it elsewhere unless you start your own firm.

  43. Your asshole nemesis over on JDUnderground finally went there, Nando.


    jeremiahwright (Dec 29 - 10:04 am)

    Nando, in the three years I have been around, I have not played this card yet, but the last time I looked, the law school I went to was ninth (sixth if you count the Cooley ratings) and that dump (your words not mine) that you obviously couldn't finish in the top ten percent of (or you would be practicing big law instead of giving yourself a heart condition, high blood pressure, and a nervous condition, not to mention violating one of the seven deadly sins) is down there with such beauties such as Pace, Samford, Stetson, Suffolk, Southwestern and other schools that even a marginal law school defender like me believes have no reason to exist.


    "Who gives a shit about all of these TTT losers, I went to fucking Michigan!"

  44. jeremiahwright was an obvious AA admit. I've read his nonsense before and it does not seem like his IQ could be anywhere over 100. Thanks in advance for giving this AA lightweight an aneurism. He went to Michigan and he lives on JDU.

  45. Someone touched on this point in this thread--you also have to factor in that the JD is radioactive if you give up on law and attempt to do something else.

    I have been a hiring manager in marketing/IT roles for large corporations and agencies. Resumes with JDs go right in the trash, unless there is a strong personal recommendation from someone on the inside.

    The thinking--fair or not--is that something is wrong with the JD who is not practicing law. The perception still is out there that lawyers are all rich, so people think you're crazy if you got the JD and aren't practicing.

    No other degree is more toxic--liberal arts PhDs even can say that it's too hard to get a professor gig, I need a "real" job, and people accept that. People feel sorry for PhDs, assuming they're poor from all those years of living off fellowships.

    No one feels sorry for a JD (unless they're the more educated-about-reality-types that read these blogs).

    There is NO degree--when you factor in the cost--that has a higher penalty for failure than the JD.


    The morons on TLS are discussing the validity of Will Meyerhofer’s analysis on the JD not being versatile. User “TMal” seems to be one of the only voices of reason in that forum.

    One idiot, going by handle “vamedic03”, stated the following – after noting that there is no truly versatile graduate degree:

    “In many ways, a JD is still far more versatile than other graduate degrees. If a JD applicant in a non-legal job gets strange looks, imagine MD applicants. I've known a fair number of physicians who hate their jobs but are trapped in them because they feel there is nothing else they can do with their degree and they have significant debt loads.

    I think this comes down to the following: don't go into a professional education program unless you want to be that professional.”

    This tool apparently has not heard law schools billing themselves as offering a versatile credential to their students. Do medical schools tell their students that they are working towards a degree that will open so many doors to them?!?! Furthermore, the dung beetle does not understand that most people go to law school because they want to be attorneys. (Law school is an expensive ticket to the bar exam, after all.)

    The BIGGEST obstacle is the fact that this is a glutted industry. The JD Class of 2009 had 44,000 graduates competing for 28,901 jobs requiring bar passage.

    Law schools – at all levels – tell their students that they can use their skills and degree to land jobs in academia, government, business and as crime analysts, property managers, public utilities specialists, script-writers, etc.

    The South Texas Commode of Law – which is due for a TTR profile, by the way – provides this PDF. On page 4, you can see there is a list of “300+ THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH A LAW DEGREE”. This is such PATENT NONSENSE and BLATANT misrepresentation. How the hell is a TTT grad supposed to land a job as an “international tax analyst,” “political risk insurance officer” or “hidden assets investigator”?!?!

  47. "The shameless sales pitch then goes on to talk about how the commode was: the first law school in Ohio to admit women and minorities"

    Make no mistake: the school didn’t admit women and minorities out of a benevolent and progressive view toward civil rights. The school saw women and minorities as an untapped source of revenue--it has been a diploma mill since it opened.

  48. Yeah, hello Nando, you pitiful, self-loathing pathetic moron. Just wanted to say hello from my corner office of a V50 firm before I go home and count my millions of dollars I have made since graduating from CSU Law in the 90's. Thats all for now - just wanted to drop you a line. I better go home and get some sleep as I have a client meeting tomorrow morning to discuss a triangular merger with people who are paying me $700.00 an hour. Have fun blogging and struggling to make 38k :-).

  49. Hello, insecure ass-hat above. Have fun meeting with your client while your wife is on her belly, getting pounded from behind by a muscled-up pool boy.

    Why would she do that, you ask? Maybe she doesn't like pasty guys with prematurely thinning hair, a pot belly, slumped shoulders, a hairy back, and a 3" penis.

    Time Visitor Session Referrer
    Dec 29 2010 8:10pm 6 actions 22m 1s

    In those 22 minutes you wasted on this site, Pablo probably gave your wife 5 orgasms. She better sleep well tonight, too. After all, Hector the framer might want your wife to perform her "oral expertise" to his situation.

    How are things in Independence, Ohio? In the end, even if you have made millions of dollars, you are still a piece of trash. Also, nobody gives a damn if you work in a "V50" firm. Will people come out in droves to your funeral because you allegedly work in Biglaw?! Does this make your wife respect you? Keep slaving away, automaton.

    The only Cleveland firm I see on the list is Squire, Sanders & Dempsey.

    On this list, I see Jones Day in Cleveland is listed as the third largest law firm in the nation. Seeing that you are a tool, you would have said “V5” law firm.

    If you work for a V50 law firm in Cleveland, then you presumably work for Squire Sanders. Here are their profiles for CSU Commode of Law grads.

    Is this Ryan K. Callender or Joseph P. Rodgers? If so, you might want to let the firm know that they left out your experience in mergers. Could this be Michael K. French, 2001 CSU Law grad, with experience in mergers?

  50. For what it is worth, the JD is a toxic liability in the non-law world. Those sexy-sounding jobs one finds on the law school websites as "alternatives" are for those with SIGNIFICANT pre-law-school experiences, talents and contacts, NOT children who couldn't find a job with their non-elite JD.

    Further, while only anecdotal, I acknowledge that I have NEVER run across any ex-MD's/DO's/DDS's out there unloading trucks and waiting counters as I havd JD's. Never. Doctors are renowned for their bitching about the state of their profession, they always have, yet, they all know they fare far better than the average Joe. Not so the unemployed JD, who is anathema to non-law employers and is essentially trapped. The only docs I know of not practicing medicine are retired, lost their licenses, or are imprisoned.

    No comparison, really, to the toxicity of the JD.

  51. I think you're a little off on this one Nando. Just my opinion. The cost is reasonable.

  52. crude, foolish, and elementary.*

    By use of information I mean monitoring a users information that visits your website then publishing it then trying to actually identify him through a process of elimination and personally attacking that person. Very childish. I'd expect similar actions from my 18 year old sister who is hooked on the internet and blogs. Wait, should I bring my sister up or will she also be subjected to your published perverted delusions? Makes me sick.

  53. Didn't take you for one to exercise censorship on his blogs. Anyway keep up your better work and lay off the personal attacks. Look forward to reading again soon.

  54. You may want to look up the verb censor. If you are a law student or attorney, you should know the meaning of the word – especially when you are accusing another of engaging in this conduct. I did not delete a single post on this thread. In fact, I have not erased a comment in some time. I have occasionally deleted racist comments. I simply responded in kind to the idiot. And, sure, I delivered a stronger left hook than I received.

    Here is my philosophy on dealing with people. If someone is a convicted child molester and they act with some civility, I will set aside any judgments and treat them civilly. However, if someone with a BA, MA, MS, MBA, JD and Ph.D from Harvard comes on here and acts like a bitch, guess what? I am going to treat that person like a bitch.

    To wit:

    "Yeah, hello Nando, you pitiful, self-loathing pathetic moron. Just wanted to say hello from my corner office of a V50 firm before I go home and count my millions of dollars I have made since graduating from CSU Law in the 90's. Thats all for now - just wanted to drop you a line. I better go home and get some sleep as I have a client meeting tomorrow morning to discuss a triangular merger with people who are paying me $700.00 an hour. Have fun blogging and struggling to make 38k :-)."

    As you can see, the immature dolt who posted the comment on December 29, 2010 at 8:31 pm started off with an ad hominem attack. He has no substantive comment to offer. He apparently was unable to make a cogent argument as to why attending this toilet is a good decision for most law students.

    I do not turn the other cheek. If you follow that philosophy in life, those who offend you will strike your other cheek, as well. I will turn your cheek, if you offend me. (Just ask those idiots who have been back-handed by me, on this blog.) Do you understand that? Now, I apologize if I have offended your sensibilities.

    If you look at my earliest posts, you will see that I attempted to be congenial and self-reflective. What was my reward? Hostile comments from people telling me that I was a crybaby and that I should be stabbed with a pencil. I should have kept those aggressive comments.

    In sum, I did not censor the idiot. I prefer to keep their comments on this site. It shows that the law school industry apologists have nothing to offer – other than ad hominem attacks. Sure, I respond in kind but I also back up my case with the facts.

    Oh well. For all of my personal attacks and aggressive tone, the New York Times saw fit to quote me on this feature story. By the way, when someone participates in any public forum and acts like a bitch, they run the risk of being exposed and handled. Maybe, that idiot will think twice before shooting his mouth off.

  55. This article should be required reading for simpletons like myself who came to school thinking that it is the ticket to success and self-fulfillment:

    The $60K debt figure is great for those who live at home and have the benefit of parent-bought groceries and such.

    It sure is tough to reconcile the sunny 90%+ placement rate with the news of all the Cleveland firms downsizing (Thompson Hine, Roetzel & Andress, Calfee Halter, Squire Sanders, Benesch, Ulmer & Berne, Porter Wright, Weltman, etc.) As the article I linked says- lot of well-read baristas around nowadays...

  56. I see. I posted an initial comment then I posted another to correct my grammar in some places and add some things but by the time my 2nd comment was posted the first had disappeared (hence the third post). Weird. The first post was just pointing on that you did not even personally know the guy who posted and hence any personal attacks especially about ones wife come across as childish and make you seem less credible. Points come across much better when you stick to intellectual arguments to make people look silly (excessive swearing and crude just makes you look bad). I love saying things in a nice tone and just smiling to make a person feel dumb as shit and watch them struggle for words hahaha best feeling ever.

    That being said, I just found you maybe about 5 days ago and get a kick out of your law school profiling. I've made it through quite a bit of your stuff. Also, congrats on the NY times reference, I did notice their reference to you yesterday when the link was still working- I think you need be registered to read it now. Good to know that there is at least some level of awareness of this outside of the world of bitter law students.

    Stick to what you do best and even if punks go elementary on you at times try to not acknowledge it, saying nothing at all, or keeping it intellectual and diplomatic which is a bigger "fuck you" than anything else sometimes. One thing I wanted to point out...there is wayyyy more than just Jessica Alba and long as we are living in fantasy land we might as well change it up right?

    Nominees: Jessica Biel, Jessica Simpson, Megan Fox, Penelope Cruz, JLo, Eva Longoria, Mila Kunis, Anne Hathaway, Nicole Scherzinger, Halle Berry, scarlett, eva mendes are some names we would like to suggest.

    Yep the good life. Now back to reality and studying. Oh and since you are doing OH schools, can I request Case Western?

  57. 5:19

    good comment, although I'm pretty sure you swore more than nando has. Notice the lack of 'fuck' and 'shit' in his posts. Do you have similar criticisms for other scambloggers? I sometimes see excessive swearing on those sites on top of references to being anally raped. Just sayin'.

  58. hey man, good news- Yahoo reposted the NY times article so as soon as you enter you can see a link to the article that quotes you from Third Tier Reality.

    @above- there was 2, one of them was provided as a substitute to swearing, being crude or derogatory. Guess we all make mistakes- just not as graphic though lol as a muscled up poolboy giving somebodys wife multiple orgasms haha. Congrats Nando looks like your blog will be getting a lot more hits from now on

  59. C-M student here (posting from the library). I obviously am unsure if my experience is common for fellow students in general, but I can say a few things about school here.

    1. The quality of teaching here ranges from 'engaging' to 'I guess I'll have to teach myself this before I take the bar'. It's luck of the draw, and there seems to be no correlation between salary and ability (note- I've not had Prof. Wilson). Unless that site has a typo, one of my two best profs (I'm a 3L) made a little over $30K last year. It does appear that the school is hiring younger applicants for associate professorships.

    2. The admissions office seems to function more as a marketing department. From what I've read, this is the rule, not the exception. As with a poster above, I was fed the 90% placement rate, and didn't question it until it was too late.

    3. As a 3rd tier, the school prides itself on BS accomplishments. For example, C-M was just given some award for reaching out to minority applicants, and this resulted in much self-back patting through receptions and email blasts. As with everything in law school, reading between the lines tells a different story. Stand in the atrium on a given afternoon and count out the black faces. Hint- you'll run out of faces before you do fingers. It turns out that reaching out to black applicants doesn't mean granting them admission (since they generally have lower undergrad GPAs and LSAT scores, which makes them toxic for schools who are looking to increase profile through enrollment stats).

    4. C-M locks classrooms when they're not in use. Along with missing projection equipment, we've become the go-to sleep spot for near-eastside bums.

    5. You don't hear as much bragging about the bar passage rates lately, and indeed, I had to look them up because I couldn't find the info on the C-M site: 2009- 82%, 2008- 71%, 2007- 73%...

  60. To Anonymous 3L,

    I hope your skills in locating prior bar passage rates are not indicative of your legal research skills. Contrary to what you claim here is the cite to C-M past bar rates -

    Just to clear the air this past year was a horrible showing by C-M students with a 82% pass rate. Prior to this year C-M had finished in the top 3 in the state since 2007. Most notably is your 71% claim for 2008. Don't worry you are only 18% off. The true passing rate was 89% - second in Ohio for first time test takers.

  61. To 5:34 pm,

    Cleveland-Marshall College of Law is still a piece of shit. What good is a law license if you're selling insurance?

  62. Interesting how even when presented with evidence of mistateed facts the simple response is just lame insults.

    Look the facts are clear. C-M is 3rd tier. Unless you are in the top 10% your are not going big law without a little nepotism. C-M grads aren't going to be practicing in NYC, D.C. San Fran, etc. However, just because a law school doesn't carry weight in the big markets is a far cry from being useless. I would venture a guess that at least 90% of C-M grads never planned on leaving Ohio and 80% of that 90% probably were going to stay in North East Ohio.

    So 60K in debt for a job ranging from 50-70K starting salary doesn't seem to bad. Granted a C-M grad, like everyone else from Tier 1 to Tier 4, is facing a horrible job market. What is overlooked is that in Cleveland the law grads are not competing with Tier 1 or even Tier 2 schools. Case Western has essentially lost all credibility, Cinci grads aren't coming to Cleveland, and OSU grads are typically staying in Columbus or trying to make in a big market. So C-M's main competition is University of Dayton, University of Toledo, and University of Akron. I would take C-M any day, although Akron isn't that bad, especially its IP program.

    Either way to take a look at the school you have to actually take a look at what the students expect and/or know. In the Cleveland area there isn't a law school that carries more weight. If a Harvard grad comes in to compete -- YES - he/she will get picked over the C-M grad, but that simply doesn't happen (North East Ohio isn't really drawing in that pool of applicants).

    I have read through all of the comments and there are good points on both sides, but it seems to me like every time a logical point is made supporting C-M there isn't much of counter argument just more of the same.

    I think Nando is typically correct in his analysis, but hasn't really convinced me on this school. I think the school is reasonably priced vs. debt incurred and serves a valuable service to mid sized markets and small cities in North East Ohio.

  63. To anon from 1.11- I'm the anon from 1.20 and have not posted between then and now. Here is the link:

    The profile misdirects to Chapman U, but looking at the state passage rate, it appears that it is merely mislabeled.

    I stand by all other statements made, and reserve judgment on the passage rates. I'm as plugged into the local legal community as a student could be, and am unaware of a significant loss of credibility of Case grads in this market. I would also guess that OSU grads have widened their searches to include the Cleveland and Cincy markets too.

  64. To anon on 1-20:

    Here is another link regarding the 2008 passage rate.

    I could through out I worked for this firm, I work at that firm but it doesn't mean much over the internet. The simple truth is that ALL law grads face a horrible job market. When viewing a CLEVELAND law student who wishes to stay in CLEVELAND you have C-M at roughly 16K a year and Case 30k+. Students from both face the same obstacles yet one student has half the debt.

    My analysis is strictly regarding Cleveland. Outside of Cleveland I will say that Case grads have a better chance, but mind you Case grads still have little to no OSU grads or high t-1 schools..

  65. Apparently I forgot how to spell and how to form complete sentences.

  66. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


    Just if anyone is curious. Pretty much supports my statements above that Cleveland Marshall isn't such a bad investment. It also points out the ridiculous nature of the fact that law schools still report employment rates in the high 80-90% by not differentiating between jobs that require JD's and those that don't.

    But as I stated, in Ohio Cleveland Marshall is definitely a better choice than Case Western. Also, from these statistics it may even compare with Ohio State.

    There is still a fair argument that based on this data no law school in Ohio is a good investment. I mean 67% of graduates having jobs that require a JD is nothing special and it also doesn't give us the detail about how many students of teh class of 2010 replied.

  68. The reality is citing a source from the school is... Yeah everyone know's what it is.

    I am screwed either way. I am thinking of moving to Virginia and trying to pass the bar there. No law degree nor law study required.

    Hang my shingle and practice my plea-deal kung-fu. I know how to talk to criminals "Sir, I go home tonight, so I don't give a rat's anus what you do, but I think the 7 flat is a good idea. Personally stepping 7 off is like sitting on the shit-jacket for a long time. Just don't turn into a pressure punk, because you'll do more time then."

    The reality is there are so many crap-attorneys out there that the school doesn't matter. I know some very crappy ones from OSU and UC Berkely --you have to be crappy to be a public defender from Berkely ten years post graduation in a hick town.

    I comes down to this, if you have a law degree you can practice law. It does not matter where you get the law degree from, if you are going to be placing a shingle out. Put your name on the public defender list, pound the ground and scam the families of the people going to the joint --yes, ma'am I can take care of your son 5k. Don't do jack until pre-trial, where you find out you clients name, then don't do jack until trial. Tell your client your going to set them up for a good appeal and fall asleep a few times during trial-- be a scum bag all attorneys are.

    amen and good night. Remember screw the little people, small amounts 800 bucks for a domestic violence 4, and 2000 for a domestic violence 1.

  69. According to this article, Cleveland-Marshall came in 2nd among all Ohio law schools for the July 2013 bar exam passage rate. Their passage rate for first time takers was 93%. The only school that had a better passage rate at 95%, was Ohio State.

  70. This school claims to be diverse but look at the faces shown on their website. Not really diverse...

  71. If you want to practice law in Cleveland this is a better deal that Case-Western. I went here my third year as a visiting student, got a part-time job at a mid-level local firm while doing so, and ended up with a decent permanent position there after graduation.

    I am from Cleveland and wanted to work there, so it was a good outcome and investment for me.

    For just about any other demographic cohort - no, don't bother with this place. Or any other.


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