Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fourth Tier Trash Can: St. Thomas University School of Law



Today, we make a brief stop in crime-infested Miami Gardens to take a look at St. Thomas University School of Law – NOT to be confused with this festering pile of crap, i.e. the University of St. Thomas School of Law, based out of St. Paul, Minnesota. I understand the confusion. Both are overpriced Catholic commodes of law; the school colors for both are purple and white; and both institutions place special emphasis on diversity and “public service”. However, the main differences are geography, and the fact that UST is a TTT, and not a TTTT.

http://stu.edu/AdmissionsFinancialAid/TuitionFinancingYourEducation/tabid/914/TuitionFeesforallPrograms/tabid/915/Default.aspx

Tuition: A full-time student at this truly prestigious law school will be charged $33,082 in tuition and fees for the 2010-2011 academic year. But hey, who wouldn’t mind making the daily grinding commute from Davie, Fort Lauderdale or Coral Gables to attend this fine, upstanding “institution of higher learning”, right?!

http://thestulawstudent.blogspot.com/2010/03/moot-court-team.html

“Our team won 2 of their 3 oral argument rounds and just missed advancing to the round of 16 by fractions of a point. Although the near-miss was disappointing, the two competitors, the student-coach, our faculty advisor, the second research assistant, and I were very excited to have achieved success in the competition, and were grateful for the opportunity to compete! Our participation in this prestigious national championship competition for the first time does wonders to enhance the reputation of our school!”

Congratulations on your hard work and dedication leading to your Moot Court team just missing the round of 16. Your parents must be very proud. All your effort sure paid off – just like it will when you are looking for work after graduation. Also, when does getting bounced out in the round of 32 of a regional Moot Court competition enhance the reputation of a law school?!?!

At least, this student blog actually allows comments from viewers. That is better than the diploma mills at Drake and Michigan State can offer. I am still trying to figure out why the student author of this entry is THRILLED that the toilet of law’s Moot Court team *barely* missed the round of 16 by “fractions of a point.” Make sure to comment on her post, and ask her if she is still excited by this close finish. See if this competition has helped with her job search.

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/rankings/page+7

Ranking: Okay, so the cost of tuition may be a little high. Surely, the school’s reputation will make up for this, right?! What’s that you say? The law school is ranked in the fourth tier?!

http://stu.edu/Home/CareerServices/ServicesforJDStudents/tabid/928/Default.aspx

Employment and Starting Salary Figures: This is the extent of the placement and salary info, i.e. links to the following areas: Simplicity, Career Counseling, How to Draft Resumes and Cover Letter, Career Tips and Timelines, OCI Programs, Alternative Careers, Judicial Clerkships, Survey Forms, NALP “Principles and Standards”, Externships, STU Clinics and Judicial Internships, and something called the Professional Organization Resource List.

Does “Career Counseling” mean that Career Services will coach you on how to “network”, smile and attend pointless law school mixers with broke-ass local toiletlawyers – who are there for the free booze, cheese and crackers? Does “Alternative Careers” include a “workshop” on how to fill out Wal-Mart’s computer screen job application – or how to properly serve a mojito at the Miami hot-spots?!

http://stu.edu/Home/AlumniFriends/CareerServices/ServicesforJDStudents/AlternativeCareers/tabid/770/Default.aspx

Actually, here is what I found when I clicked on the link to Alternative Careers:

“Read the well-known book “What Can You Do with a Law Degree” by Deborah Aaron (available in the CSO library). Aaron’s book will familiarize you with approaches for seeking and obtaining a nontraditional legal job.”

Yes, stellar career advice!! You know what else you can do with a law degree? You can wipe your ass with it – ESPECIALLY if it came from a fourth tier trash can!!

http://stu.edu/aboutstulaw/deansmessage/tabid/839/Default.aspx

“At St. Thomas University School of Law, we are grounded in the Catholic traditions of service, social justice, and ethical behavior. Our steadfast commitment to services is manifested in all we do, including our Pro Bono program, one of only a handful of such programs in the country.”

[Read: We are also proud to charge $33,082 in tuition and fees per year. Now, give me your wallet!]

Conclusion: This school is a steaming pile of cockroach dung. This commode charges its students $33,082 for one single year of TTTT education – and it can’t be bothered to provide basic consumer information on its site?!?! As we have noted before, the Florida legal market is swamped. There are 11 law schools in the state. And you think attending this toilet will increase your earning potential?!?! In actuality, it WILL simply increase your level of NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt. After all, one could rack up in excess of $155K by attending this trash pit.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Let It Air Out: the Excrementitious NALP Class of 2009 Employment Report



http://nalp.org/uploads/NatlSummaryChartClassof09.pdf

NALP reports an 88.3% employment rate for the Class of 2009 – for those of whom employment status was known. Page 1 shows 36,046 reported jobs, out of 40,833 responses. Of this figure, only 35,002 responded to whether their job was full or part-time. Who knows? Maybe the 1,044 people who did not respond to this question were too embarrassed to report that they were working 80 hour weeks and pulling in $160K per year, right?!

Look! Solo practitioners make up 1,058 of the law firm jobs – out of the 20,145 who reported being in private practice. This means that such solos made up 5.3 percent of the private practice jobs for this graduating class. Another 6,749 graduates report working in firms of 2-10 lawyers – accounting for 33.5% of the private practice jobs.

On page two of this PDF, scroll down to Job Characteristics by Employer Type. There, we can see that 10.3 percent of all jobs listed – legal and non-legal positions – were reported as Part Time!! On the same chart, it shows that fully 24.9 percent of all jobs were reported as temporary positions!!

Now, head over to Source of Job – also on page 2. It shows that those who returned to their prior job constituted 7.7% of the total jobs for this graduating class. Yes, that law degree REALLY helped these people out, didn’t it?!?! Oh well, at least these people inadvertently helped their law school – and the NALP – reach a higher “job placement” rate! And that is what matters, after all. Referrals accounted for 15.1 percent of jobs reported. See, that is what real networking entails, i.e. taking advantage of one’s personal, business and political connections to land a job.

http://nalp.org/uploads/09SelectedFindingsPressRelease.pdf

“For instance, a different survey conducted by NALP found that between 3,200 and 3,700 graduates with jobs in law firms had their start dates deferred beyond December 1, 2009, with many deferred well into 2010.”

Hmmm, for $ome rea$on, NALP counted these people as employed. Well, that makes the stats look nice, but how does allow the attorney to pay his bills and buy food? Also, how many of these were Biglaw deferments? After all, only 8,026 respondents, i.e. 39.84% of those in private practice, reported being hired by firms with 100+ attorneys.

“Separate research conducted by NALP revealed that law schools were very active in trying to mitigate the impact of the recession, with 42% of the law schools reporting that they provided on-campus post-graduate jobs for their students. This helps account for the fact that 3.5% of the jobs reported by the Class of 2009 were characterized as academic, compared to 2.3% for the Class of 2008. Overall, 69% of the academic jobs reported by the Class of 2009 were reported as temporary.[Emphasis mine]

Yes, the law schools – at all levels of prestige – love to game the rankings by providing their grads with dead-end, temporary jobs in the law school.

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/05/nalp-2010-nalp-executive-director-james-leipold-talks-to-the-lost-generation/

Check out the following statement made by James Leipold, Executive Shill at NALP, at the 2010 NALP Annual Education Conference:

“But Leipold told us that NALP is also counting deferred students as employed — even though NALP knows that some deferrals will never result in actual employment.

Since it was me, Leipold, and 11 other people who didn’t want to look tanned when they got back to work on Monday, I decided it was appropriate to question Leipold about this. Why was NALP providing “cover” for law schools when we all know that prospective law students will believe these inflated numbers? Doesn’t this make NALP complicit in this law school scam? To Leipold’s credit, he answered truthfully:

“If we said to law schools you have to report a significant percentage of your graduates as ‘unemployed,’ they wouldn’t do it.” [Emphases mine]

In the last analysis, NALP is complicit in this scam. It does not audit the schools’ figures. Likewise, the gutless, spineless, ball-less ABA does not require any outside, independent audit of employment and salary figures – as part of the accreditation process. The NALP does not even verify whether the schools are confirming what their graduates are reporting. And we already know that the law schools will NOT question their respondents’ info.

http://thirdtierreality.blogspot.com/2009/12/open-letter-to-iowas-law-dean-and-her.html

“Thank you for your note regarding salaries for our law school graduates. The very high salary you note is quite high, but it is what was reported to us.”

Dean Carolyn Jones at the University of Iowa College of Law responded to me, after I emailed her with regard to the reported high salary of $750,000 – for the Class of 2008. Apparently, you can report that you are making $1.2 million and the school will accept that figure as gospel and publish it. I guess they don’t have a duty to investigate such claims.

After looking at these figures, ask yourself what the 88.3% reported employment rate for the law school Class of 2009 REALLY looks like. Looking at these numbers, would YOU encourage or recommend a family member, close friend or co-worker - of modest means - to apply to law school?!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The 44,000




According to the NALP, the law school Class of 2009 was 44,000 “strong” – meaning that ABA-accredited law schools pumped out 44,000 new graduates for the Class of 2009. Yes, you read that right. There were FORTY FOUR THOUSAND new law graduates for 2009. At least, that is a nice round figure isn’t it? I mean, certainly there MUST have been 44,000 attorney or law-related job openings in 2009, right?!?! Actually…

http://www.nalp.org/uploads/Class_of_2009_Selected_Findings.pdf

Page one of this document also notes that the employment rate – for those of whom employment status was known – was 88.3% for the Class of 2009. Now, head over to the first chart on page 2 of this PDF. Of the 44,000 new law grads, 40,833 responded to the graduate surveys from their particular law school. Apparently, 3,167 people had something better to do than reply to their school’s graduate survey. They may have been too busy looking for work. Also, as we all know, those who are working in their desired field and making decent money are MUCH more likely to respond to such surveys.

Of these 40,833 souls, 70.8 percent reported being employed in jobs that required bar passage. Do you understand the implications of that, lemmings?! That means that roughly 28,910 of these jobs required bar passage, i.e. 40,833*.883. It seems that there were approximately 15,090 TOO MANY law graduates for the available number of attorney positions! Who knows? Maybe those 15,090 people simply wanted to forego three years of income, take on significant NON-DISCHARGEABLE student debt, increase their stress levels, and earn a JD so that they could land jobs that don’t require a law degree?!?!

Here is some more food for thought: How many of those bar-required positions were for document review/contract attorney work? How many of these spots went to law students who already had legal employment lined up – due to family, business or political connections? How many desperate JDs decided to hang out their own shingle, upon graduation?

For info on the last category, go onto page 3 of this PDF.

“For the Class of 2009, the number of solo practitioners reported is well over 1,000 and represents more than 5% of law firm jobs reported, compared with 3.3% for the Class of 2008. In raw numbers, there were about 375 more solo practitioners reported for the Class of 2009 than for the Class of 2008, a jump than in itself accounts for nearly a full percentage point of the employment rate. Solo practitioners represent 2.9% of all jobs reported for the Class of 2009, compared to 1.9% for the previous class.” [Emphasis mine]

This means that the overall employment rate would be closer to 85.4 percent if solo practitioner were not listed as viable employment. Surely, some of these people will eventually make a living as solos. However, they will be competing directly against TONS of established law firms and experienced attorneys for the shrinking pool of clients who are willing to pay for legal services. Many recent toiletlaw attorneys are now relegated to taking on entire cases – from beginning to final disposition – for the huge sum of $300.


“Another marker of the weakness of the job market is that a much higher percentage of this class reported that even though they were employed, they were still looking for work (almost 22% of the Class of 2009 compared to 16% of the previous class), suggesting that graduates took jobs they may not have been satisfied with simply to be able to earn money to offset living expenses and student debt.” [Emphasis mine]

This may be you in a few years, delusional lemming!

http://nalp.org/uploads/09SelectedFindingsPressRelease.pdf

“In addition, a far higher percentage of this class reported employment that was temporary, with 41% of all of the public service jobs being reported as temporary, 30% of all business jobs being reported as temporary, and even 8% of the private practice jobs being reported as temporary. Overall, nearly 25% of all jobs were reported as temporary, a figure which includes judicial clerkships.

[M]any schools have “jobs programs” of some sort for new graduates, and many of them predate the recession. For the Class of 2009, it is estimated that these jobs provided over 800 jobs, accounting for a full 2 percentage points in the employment rate. At the high end, these jobs programs can account for up to 50 jobs on a single campus.

Members of the Class of 2009 were also working more often in part-time jobs than their predecessors, with 56% of the academic jobs reported as part-time, 20% of business jobs being reported as part-time, and more than 10% of all jobs reported as part-time – up from 6% for the previous class.” [Emphases mine]

Think of the true employment picture for the Class of 2009. You see how the law schools count solos, part-time employees – including those who are working as part-time researchers at their school, and JDs in non-legal positions to reach an overall employment rate of 88.3 percent. Furthermore, many of these positions are in doc review. MANY of these jobs are temporary. How will these grads fare when the industry pumps out another 44,000+ JDs each year, for 2010, 2011 and 2012?!

In light of the above information, do the law school industry apologist cockroaches want to tackle this subject – and explain how law schools are not producing too many JDs?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Noxious Waste Site: Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center





Today, we pull over in Fort Lauderdale for a quick restroom break. With your digestive system processing buttery alligator bites – combined with the humidity of South Florida – we might need to let this turd air out for a while.

http://www.nsulaw.nova.edu/students/prospective/fees.cfm#tuition

Tuition: For the 2010-2011 academic year, a full-time law student at Nova Southeastern will pay $30,472 in tuition and fees – for the honor of attending this august institution of higher learning. Part-time law students will only pay $22,978 for the same school year.

http://www.nsulaw.nova.edu/students/prospective/documents/ABA%20Official%20Guide.pdf

Total Cost of Attendance: Using the worst-case scenario, i.e. a single adult living off-campus, the school estimates that living expenses will amount to $22,573 for the upcoming school year. This would bring the total COA – for one single, solitary year of “legal education” – to $53,045! I mean, who wouldn’t take out this amount of money to attend this preeminent law school, right?!

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/rankings/page+7

Ranking: Somehow, this school managed to be one of the SEVEN Florida law schools to splash into the murky fourth tier – using the rankings from U.S. News & World Report. Imagine that! Then again, a taco stand with a laptop would have more prestige than this dump.

http://www.nsulaw.nova.edu/career/cs/documents/publications/Employment%20Report%202008%20NSU%20Law%20Center.pdf

Employment and Starting Salary Info: The school reports a job placement rate – for the Class of 2008 – of 81.57 percent! Certainly, well worth your pricey investment, huh?!?! The fifth page of this report lists an average starting salary of $59,078 – which is not much more than the total COA for one year at this fine school. Also, note the following:

“Of the 208 graduates who reported being employed, 143 agreed to disclose their salary information. The remaining 65 provided information regarding their employment status, but refused to disclose salary data. The following statistics are compiled from the 143 responses with salary information.”

This means that these figures are based on the 68.75% of respondents who furnished salary info to the school. Maybe the remaining 31.25 percent were making so much money, after graduating from this trash pit, that they were embarrassed to provide their income. Yeah, and maybe Salma Hayek wants me to invite Jessica Alba to our next sleepover.

Also, go to the fourth page, where the school notes that there were 258 members of the 2008 graduating class – of which 255 reported employment status. So these salary figures ONLY take into account those who are employed – the school apparently does not feel that adding 47 unemployed grads to the calculations would benefit the institution.

The third page of this PDF states:

“In recent years, there have been a rising number of firm mergers and dissolutions, and more general movement of lawyers in and out of law firms. Entry-level attorney hiring statistics are directly impacted by instability in the legal market place. The South Florida legal job market seems to be consistent with legal job markets throughout the country. Some legal employers are not hiring, and some are hiring fewer Attorneys than in past years.

For the most part, NSU Law’s employment data are also consistent with similar legal markets throughout the country. The statistics for the class of 2008 reflect a slight decrease in employment rates, with 81.57% of graduates reporting employment compared 83.68% who reported being employed in 2007. While down slightly from 2007, the 2008 figure was within the typical range of recent years (82.1% reported being employed in 2006, 80.8% in 2005, and 82.7% in 2004.) Percentages are based upon graduates that reported their status.”

http://www.nsulaw.nova.edu/career/cs/publications.cfm

More info from the Career Development Office – in the form of handouts and publications designed to help one on how to start their own practice, networking, and writing samples.

http://www.nsulaw.nova.edu/students/prospective/disclosure.cfm


Disclosure Information


“Candor and truthfulness are the hallmarks of the legal profession. State Bar officials will review your law school application before granting you a license to practice law. In most cases your complete candor in answering law school application questions says more about your character and fitness to become a member of the Law Center student body and the Bar than anything you disclose - please be complete.”


Apparently, this duty of candor and truthfulness does not extend or apply to the law school industry. What a bunch of hypocrites!

Conclusion: One could EASILY end up with $165K in debt by attending this fourth tier trash can. Attending this school can be dangerous to one's financial health. Would you ask YOUR kid to take out this amount of non-dischargeable debt for a TTTT law degree – and accompanying TTTT job prospects? Hell, the school published that the job placement rate – for its Class of 2008 - was 81.57 percent. What rational person would take these chances?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Overflowing, Obscure Toilet: Barry University School of Law



The TTR Express is now making an extended stay in the Sunshine State. Florida is a great place to visit, but it is home to eleven ABA-accredited law schools. Of these, the highest-ranked school is the University of Florida at 47 – according to US News & World Report. That is the good news. The state has one TTT, Stetson University COL in Gulfport, and SEVEN fourth tier pieces of trash. You read that right – there are indeed 7 TTTTs in Florida. So grab your beach sandals, some swimming trunks/swimsuit, and plenty of sunscreen – we are headed to the $un$hine $TTTTaTTTTe!! Today’s destination is Orlando, home to Barry Univer$iTTTTy $chool of Law!

http://www.barry.edu/law/future/AboutUs/default.htm

“PURPOSE: The primary purpose of Barry University, as stated in the Charter, is to offer its students a quality education. Furthermore, Barry University commits itself to assuring a religious dimension and to providing community service and presence within a more caring environment.”

http://www.barry.edu/law/future/FinancialServices/Cost.htm

Tuition: Yeah, this school cares so much about fostering a sense of community service in its students that it only charges them $32,650, in full-time tuition, for the 2010-2011 school year. Part-time law students at Barry University Sewer of Law only pay $24,640 for the same academic year. I guess the school feels that the best way for lawyers to represent poor people is for them to be in the same economic bracket as their clients.

Total Cost of Attendance: This festering stink pit is nice enough to provide estimated living expenses – for the 2008-2009 academic year! They estimate that room/board, books, personal and transportation costs will add another $24,150 (in 2008-2009) to the tab. Hell, if the cost of living has not gone up in Orlando over the last two years, that would still bring the total COA for a full-time law student at Barry to $56,800 for a single school year.

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/rankings/page+6

Ranking: Surely, the school’s reputation will make up for the high cost of attendance right? What’s that you say? Barry Univer$iTTTTy $chool of Law is in fourth tier wasteland?! Damn! Well, maybe it will float up to the third tier, when USN&WR’s law school rankings come out next year.

http://www.barry.edu/law/future/CareerServices/default.htm

Employment and Salary Figures: Look at the extent of the info provided by Barry’s Career Services Office. I guess you can only expect so much, if you are spending a mere $32,650 on a single year of “legal education.”

“Career Services maintains an extensive online database, which contains job postings, fellowship and internship opportunities, resume and cover letter writing guides and samples, salary information, links to career-related websites, and various other resources.

The CSO library, located in our office suite, is available to students and contains a wide variety of publications and resource materials on career issues and self-assessment, alternative career paths, interviewing techniques and many other subjects. In addition, we maintain a number of directories listing attorneys, firms, corporate counsel, and public interest and governmental organizations. The library also houses a computer, printer and fax machine for student use, at no charge if directly related to job searching.”

No placement figures or info on starting salary for recent graduates. Wow! The law school houses a computer, printer and fax machine for student use in finding employment. It even maintains a number of directories. I’ll bet they even have running water and restrooms. This MUST be a prominent law school, after all!

http://www.barry.edu/law/future/AcademicProgram/EarthJurisprudence.htm

Well, at least you can take part in the toilet’s “Center for Earth Jurisprudence”, where you can take on climate change and “support the well-being of the entire Earth community.”

Conclusion: Barry is an embarrassment to American “legal education”. Of course, that did not stop the racketeer influenced and corrupt organization known as the ABA from approving this dump site as a law school. Save yourself $180K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE student loan debt – plus a lifetime of agony and debt servitude – and pass on this commode. Frankly, if this is the best school you can get into, then you need to keep your job and work towards earning a promotion; you might even want to make some industry contacts. Or, if you ABSOLUTELY must go to law school, then re-take the LSAT and try to get into one of the top public schools in the state.

Do not fall into the following mind trap: “If I never go, I will regret it for the rest of my life.” (Why not tell yourself the same thing if you don’t try out for the NFL or audition for the lead in the next Hollywood blockbuster? Because NFL teams are in desperate need of slow, non-athletic white guys who can run a 6.4 second, 40-yard dash, right? Plus, surely you can sell more movie tickets and popcorn than Robert Downey, Jr. or Bruce Willis.) Listen, you WILL REGRET taking on too much non-dischargeable debt for a worthless law degree that lands you a job as a greeter for Disneyworld. Get the picture?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Stifling, Sweltering Commode: Michigan State University College of Law



http://www.law.msu.edu/finaid/budgets-09-10.html

Tuition: For the 2009-2010 academic year, tuition for a full-time student at this commode of law amounted to $32,828.

Total Cost of Attendance: The school estimates that fees, books, room and board, transportation, insurance, and personal expenses will add another $16,698 to the tab. This would bring us to a grand total of $49,526 – for one year’s cumulative COA at this magnanimous institution of higher learning. Hell, this amount alone is more than most of the JDs from this school can look forward to earning, upon graduation.

http://www.law.msu.edu/affiliation.html

In case anyone is wondering why in-state tuition is not listed, the commode of law is a PRIVATE SCHOOL that is affiliated with a public university. What an arrangement!

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/rankings/page+5

Ranking: Ooh! Michigan $TTTaTTTe UNiver$iTTTy College of Law is ranked in the illustrious, grandiose third tier of American law schools – by U.S. News & World Report. Yes, I am sure these students will become titans of the legal industry.

http://www.law.msu.edu/career/placement-data.html

Employment and Starting Salary Info: Look carefully at the verbiage listed under the link for the Graduate Employment Survey:

“Please report any job, whether legal or non-legal, whether full-time or part-time. Please be assured that any information you provide us will be used in the aggregatet [sic]. No one will be able to determine either your job status or salary level. Your individual response is kept confidential by Career Services and is not shared with any other person or department.” [Emphasis mine]

The commode of law DOES NOT PROVIDE hard numbers on job placement or starting salary, under its “Reporting & Placement Data” page. But, it does EXPLICITLY tell recent graduates to report ANY job – whether legal or non law-related, whether full-time or part-time. How is that for transparency?!

As reported by the lovely JJD, back on May 10, 2010, MSU pays its students to post positive comments about the law school.

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/msu_promotes_new_student_blog_to_give_applicants_a_flavor_of_law_school_lif/

“About nine of the 18 law students who applied were accepted as bloggers and are now paid $250 to write at least two posts monthly, reports the Associated Press in an article reprinted in New York Lawyer. [Emphasis mine]


Although posts are initially unedited before they go up, they may subsequently be revised. One blogger, 22-year-old Brett Manchel, was asked to edit a post that criticized East Lansing, compared to Ann Arbor.”

Of course, this idea was the “brainchild” of someone in the law school’s marketing and communications department. Remember, they want to attract more paying customers.

Here is a closer look at SpartanBlawg:

http://www.law.msu.edu/blogs/students/

See where the school has closed off comments on posts? Perhaps the school is concerned that too many former law students will post over-the-top, glowing comments about this pre$TTTigiou$ toilet. If you feel like wasting time and seeing your IQ drop – at the same time – go ahead and read these blog entries. Watch out! One of these students may end up winning a Pulitzer or a Nobel Prize in Literature. (Yeah, right about the same time Jessica Alba climbs on top of me in a crowded restaurant.)

Conclusion: In the final analysis, this middling, trifling “independent” law school WILL NOT provide the bulk of its students with a realistic chance to repay their student loans and make a positive return on investment. A student attending this festering piece of fecal matter could walk away from law school with an additional $150K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt.

Yeah, that is a great recipe for personal and financial success!!

And will the industry apologist cockroaches stop pointing out that “Because some, i.e. few, students will do well for themselves, that means this school is serving the interests of its students”? Going with this logic, does this mean that because a few people actually win jackpots or beat the dealer at blackjack, that gambling in Las Vegas is a good investment?

Hell, the school pays its current law students to blog and post positive things about the institution!! The school is ranked as a third tier commode. The VAST majority of its graduates will not earn Biglaw salaries. Do these things give you the impression that this is a top-notch law school? Do yourself a favor and avoid this dump. Save yourself a lifetime of low wages, mountains of debt, disillusionment, and angst. If your family or friends insist on you attending law school, tell them to pay for it! Remember, these people will not be the ones stuck with large monthly, student loan payments for the next 25-30 years.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pinch a Loaf: University of Pittsburgh School of Law



http://www.law.pitt.edu/financialaid/costs

Tuition: For in-state residents attending this school on a full-time basis, tuition came out to $24,368 for the 2009-2010 academic year. For non-residents, tuition amounted to $32,364 for the same academic year.

Total Cost of Attendance: According to this same page, the school estimates that nine-months of living expenses, books/supplies, estimated fees will add another $17,684 to the price tag for a year of “legal education” at this pre$TTigiou$ law school. This would bring the total COA, for a Pennsylvania resident, to $42,052 – for one damn year of law school. For out-of-state students attending PiTT, the total COA came out to $50,048. After all, who doesn’t have $50K socked away for such an endeavor?

Accurate Total COA: Seeing that actual law students will have to pay rent for twelve months – and not nine months – we will provide a more accurate figure. It also seems that landlords prefer to be paid each month out of the year. The school estimates that living expenses for nine months will come out to $15,054 – or $1672.66 per month. This would mean that living expenses, for an entire year, would amount to $20,072. This would bring the total COA for an out-of-state student at PiTT, to $55,066. For in-state students, this would “only” amount to $47,070.

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/rankings/page+3

Ranking: Look – PiTT is ranked as the 67th most amazing, mesmerizing, incredible, breathtaking law school in the United States – according to US News & World Report. Wow! What a steal, right?! I mean, who wouldn’t want to pay $24,368 – or $32,364 – for one year’s tuition?! It even happens to be the third cheapest of the 67th place law schools – among the five commodes tied for this honor.

http://www.law.pitt.edu/career

Employment and Starting Salary Figures: Apparently, the school does not provide a breakdown of job placement or salary figures, for its graduates. Who knows? Maybe PiTT JDs earn so much money upon graduation, that the school is too embarrassed to publish these numbers.

http://www.law.pitt.edu/career/gradplacement

Instead, the school provides a sampling of where its grads end up. They conveniently left out the following jobs/firms: “security associate” at Toxic Bar & Grill; “identification reviewer/process server” with Club Zoo; “cocktail counsel” for Cheerleaders Gentlemen’s Club; and “cleanup associate” at Wal-Mart.

Well, at least the school is nice enough to list links to Recruiting Events, Interviewing Tips, Job Fairs, “Networking” workshops, access to Simplicity, and info on “How to Look for a Job”. I guess you can only expect so much information for the low price of $24,368 – or $32,364 – per year in tuition.

http://tlp.law.pitt.edu/

Hey, if you can manage to get into this pre$TTigiou$ school, you might even have a chance to write onto the Univer$iTTy of PiTT$burgh Journal of Technology Law and Policy. What employer wouldn’t want to hire such a heavyweight of the legal industry, huh?! Surely, placement on this journal will give you the advantage over T14 grads in the region, right?!

Conclusion: This school is overpriced, and it happens to be located in the over-saturated Pennsylvania legal job market. An in-state student at this public law school could EASILY end up $140K in debt! Those unfortunate souls who decide to attend this school as non-residents, could end up with an additional $165K in non-dischargeable student debt.

Biglaw cares about pedigree of law degree, and class rank. If you are taking on six-figure debt for this credential, you will need to make a Biglaw salary in order to make a positive return on your investment. [Third Tier Reality Check: Attending and graduating from PiTT will NOT provide you with much chance of earning Biglaw money.] FinAid’s advice on the appropriate amount of total student debt to take out:

http://www.finaid.org/calculators/scripts/loanpayments.cgi

“A good rule of thumb is that your total education debt SHOULD BE LESS THAN your expected starting salary. If you borrow more than twice your expected starting salary you will find it extremely difficult to repay the debt.” [Emphasis mine]

http://www.kantrowitz.com/kantrowitz/mark.html

For you delusional pre-law lemmings out there, Mark Kantrowitz is the publisher and founder of this organization. Surely, he understands finance and education debt better than you. He does have a degree in mathematics from MIT, after all. (In fact, he appears to be a cheerleader for the higher education industry, and FinAid still recommends that you take out no more – in total student debt – than your expected first year starting salary.) Or, if you prefer, you can tell yourself that you are special and will be the exception to the rule – in which case, I will look forward to reading your law school scam-blog in a few years.
 
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