Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fourth Tier Stench Pile: Golden Gate University School of Law

Tuition: The school lists tuition as $1270 per unit. This means that a full-time law student at Golden Gate “University” will be charged $38,100 - for the 2010-2011 academic year! And who doesn’t have that amount to spend on “education”?

Total Cost of Attendance: The school estimates that registration fees; room and board; books; transportation; health insurance; and personal expenses will add another $23,919 to the tab. This would bring the total, annual estimated COA to $62,019 - for a full-time student. For part-time students, the cost is only $53,129.

By the way, you can be certain that the school is only considering room and board, transportation and personal expenses, in terms of 9 months. Taking this into account, we should add $7,005 to the school’s nine-month estimate. This would take the total COA - for a full time student for the 2010-2011 school year - to $69,024.

Ranking: Okay, the cost of attendance is steep. Plus, San Francisco is a pricey locale. But the school’s distinguished reputation will more than make up for this immense investment, right?!?! Too bad the school has the distinction of being a fourth tier piece of trash - according to US News & World Report.

Alleged Employment Placement and Starting Salary Statistics: In its employment summary, the commode claims the following: 90.9% of the class of 2009 reported that they were working or pursuing an advanced degree within nine months of graduation.”

Yeah, sure it was - and Lauren Graham is still convulsing, while resting her calves and ankles on my shoulders, as I write this entry. Somehow, this fourth tier trash can was able to exceed the NALP overall employment rate of 88.3%. The toilet also asserts that the average starting salary reported by their graduates was $86,166.

By the way, on the bottom of page 2, you can see that 70.7 percent of those who went into private law practice worked in law firms of 2-10 attorneys. How much do you think these fresh toilet-lawyers are making?!

Average Student Indebtedness: USN&WR lists the average student indebtedness - for those members of the Golden GaTTTTe Univer$iTTTTy Law Class of 2009 who incurred law school debt - as $118,429!! A mere 88% of this commode’s particular graduating class took on such debt.

Faculty Salaries: Such levels of student debt make one curious as to how much the faculty is raking in. After all, “educators” care about their students, right?!?! Plus, this school places so much emphasis on “public interest.”

On page 7 of Golden Gate University’s 2009 IRS Form 990, we can see that the following “law professors” made out like bandits - in 2008. These figures represent TOTAL COMPENSATION for each particular “professor”: associate dean for graduate programs and “professor of law” Jon Sylvester, $201,571; “professor of law” and dean emeritus Peter Keane, $207,960; “professor of law” and director of the JD and LLM Environmental Law Program Alan Ramo, $168,695; and associate dean of academic affairs and “professor of law” Rachel Van Cleave, $185,006. Now, you can see why these people value “higher education” so much.

Entering Student GPA and LSAT Scores: We can see that the 75th percentile of entering students scored a 156 on the LSAT. Those in the 25th percentile had a score of 151. Those in the 75th percentile had a UGPA of 3.40, whereas those in the 25th percentile earned a 2.84 GPA during undergrad. If you have similar numbers, then you may end up at a fourth tier piece of trash. This is in regards to the full-time Day Program!

The school is bringing in kids who have no shot in hell of ever practicing law. Remember, under the current $tudent loan $y$tem, the school has an incentive to bring in as many students as they can. It bears no risk of its greedy, foolish decisions.

Well, the sewer of law does have the 39th best public interest program - according to NaTTTional Juri$TTT magazine.

Conclusion: This school is a waste of space. The commode is ranked in the FOURTH TIER, and yet has the unmitigated gall to charge its students $38,100 per year in tuition. If you want to go in public interest, you DO NOT need to incur an additional $120K-$180K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt, in order to do so.

If you do not mind making $35K per year, and living in a ratty-ass studio apartment at age 35, then go ahead. If you are fine with a high-sodium diet of Ramen Noodles - and with never owning a home or starting a family - then, by all means, sign on the dotted line. On second thought, if the thought of owing MASSIVE amounts of student loans - coupled with TTTT job prospects - does not keep you up at night, then please voluntarily commit yourself to the nearest mental hospital.


  1. I have 3 coworkers who went to GGU, and one former that lateraled away. They are the 6 figure rarities that I'm sure the school pumps to prospective 0Ls. However, each has several classmates that they keep in touch with that have no job and no prospects 2-3 years after graduation. To be fair, we're patent attorneys, so we have another layer of qualification that sets us aside, and employers value technical experience over legal experience because they'd prefer to train you themselves anyway.

    In any event, unless you've otherwise got a "plan" for employment; i.e. you have significant experience in a niche field, oh my god avoid this place.

    Also, you're competing with USF, Cal, Hastings, Stanford, UC Davis, McGeorge and SCU grads for jobs.

  2. Isn't there some responsibility for people thinking of going to law school to research these places thoroughly? Come on, if you're stupid enough to shell out 38K a year for "The Golden Gate University School of Law" isn't it largely your fault that you're screwed afterwards? Even if they have some brochure with nice statistics, wouldn't anyone with half a brain find accurate job placement data before committing their lives to this place? I can't believe it's that it's very hard to figure out places like this law school are a waste of money.

    I am not disagreeing that these joke law schools along with the federal government are wrong for doing what they're doing. But you and the other scambloggers act as if the students are very little at fault here. Come on, 38K for some obscure law school no one has heard of? It's like they're carrying a sign saying "We want to steal your money!! Act now!!!"

    1. So true. But much better --- marry well. And, gosh, NOT a lawyer.......scam!!!

  3. "Even if they have some brochure with nice statistics, wouldn't anyone with half a brain find accurate job placement data before committing their lives to this place? I can't believe it's that it's very hard to figure out places like this law school are a waste of money."

    So, what are the real employment statistics? We know the official stats are bullshit, but not every prospective student does.

    If you're going to lay the blame fully on the student rather than the school, find some accurate and publicly available stats.

  4. "Come on, 38K for some obscure law school no one has heard of? It's like they're carrying a sign saying "We want to steal your money!!"

    Quick: how many dental and medical schools can you name?

    Unless you're in the industry, you've heard of relatively few of them, and yet they all offer great returns on investment. Law school used to be the exact same way. You used to be able to go to obscure schools, but because they were in regulated professions, the end result was almost always a better career.

    The fundamental problem is that it's hard to expect people to research places thoroughly when the schools, with the ABA's stamp of approval, have flooded the marketplace with inaccurate data. Situations such as this, where it is hard for consumers to obtain accurate information on their own, are precisely why consumer protections with respect to advertising have been developed in other areas; why is legal education - which certainly has more ethical concerns than the average industry - exempt?

  5. Until I read this entry, I was unaware of how truly desperate kids are to become lawyers. You have heard of drug fiends killing another human being to take a hit off of heroin. Kids dropping $70K a year (with COL) to attend this fucking dump? Shit I have never even heard of this school and I have been in the legal industry for 20 years. I don't care if the JD degree you receive from this heap of rubbish is etched on a gold bullion, it won't make you prestigious (see: Michael Wallerstein).

  6. Nando, we know that the school game the employment data, but do you know anything about debt figures? Some of these debt figures seem low, relatively speaking, and I wonder if the schools can game this too. Like the top of the class responds to some debt survey, those more likely to have scholarships and higher response rates, similar to the games they play with post-graduation employment surveys. Since these pigs massage the employment stats it would be conceivable that they paint all too rosy debt scenarios (like 90k is nothing!). When you look at the number of students receiving scholarships at these pits it just seems the debt is too low. Like Golden Gate University, only 42 percent received grants/scholarships in the full time program, and it is a paltry 7500 dollar median amount. What is sad about these schools is that many are located in economic dead zones (Akron, Toledo, Dayton) but many, many others are in hyper-competitive markets with extremely high cost of living (JM Chicago, Golden Gate, etc.) I went through a list of all the ABA approved law schools and it is a damn crime that there are so many of the bastards able to operate. You could easily close down 50 of them but we all know that ain't gonna happen.

  7. There are a lot of TTT dumps out there, and I understand how some TTTs might be mistaken for a good law school. Primarily, these include law schools that are affiliated with a well-respected undergraduate university (e.g. Villanova).

    However, there is simply NO EXCUSE for attending a law school that is not part of a larger university. Name one law school that is not a TTT shit stain that is not part of large university. Schools like Cooley, Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and (I believe, although I could be mistaken) Golden Gate simply should not exist. How anyone could possibly think that a law school that literally popped out of nowhere would be a good investment is beyond me.

  8. Peter Keane is a superstar crim pro professor who could land a job at any law school. People fall all over themselves to take his class when he teaches at Hastings. This isn't a reason to go to Golden Gate but all isn't so shitty there.

  9. wallerstein is a dumbassJanuary 23, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    This toilet was decimated by nando. Where will all that shit land?

    I was thinking those debt numbers look low too. How can schools that charge $40,000 in tuition lead to their students with only $100K in average debt? Doesn't make sense.

    Oh well. Keep knocking the fuck out of these toilets.

  10. Anon @ 8:34, "But you and the other scambloggers act as if the students are very little at fault here. Come on, 38K for some obscure law school no one has heard of? It's like they're carrying a sign saying "We want to steal your money!! Act now!!!""

    It's a great point you're making here. Students like myself are absolutely at fault, and fittingly, they're stuck with the non-dischargeable debt.

    I urge you not to underestimate a person's ability to deny obvious truth. I can't tell you how many law students I've spoken with who have the "don't think about it" attitude. I'm not kidding. They're all in a hyper-competitive environment, and they're constantly in survival mode. Optimism is a survival strategy, and this often means shutting one's self off to obvious truth.

    It's scary as hell for me to imagine what my life would be like 2-3 years out of law school, 100k in debt, and no real job prospects. The significant likelihood of this scenario is enough to scare me away, and thus I've dropped out. Yet many of my classmates still urge me to get back in. Fuck that.

  11. @10:21

    Well, Professor Keane better teach one hell of a criminal procedure class. It's going to cost you 40K a year for the privilege to take it.

    But who am I to lecture people on how to spend their money. If you want to take out over 100K in non-dischargeable debt to take a criminal procedure class from a "superstar" professor, then by all means, do it.

    And FWIW, I looked at Professor Keane's c.v. Suffice it to say that he could not land a job at any law school. He has a JD from a mediocre school, (from what I can tell) did not clerk for a top federal judge, and has minimal legal publications - and no publications in a top law review. Legal academia is more credential based than Biglaw. As someone who went to a top 20 law school, every tenured professor I clerked for a federal appellate court for SCOTUS judge and has been extensively published in top law reviews (whether this makes someone a good professor is another discussion, but it is how academic legal world works).

    I know you're trying to defend your school, but don't be divorced from reality. I'm sure he is a fine professor. But he is not a legal academic superstar.

  12. Why do kids drop so much money for this and other pieces of shit?

    Because it gives them hope that their law degree will propel them into a more comfortable life than their current useless college degrees (history, art, English, pol sci, etc). The scary thing is that the "more useful" degrees (engineering/math/science) are also staring to become useless. If you want a job in the future, you are better off heading to McDonald's university.

    The choice now has become between risking 100K for a chance to make it worthwhile later on, or keep sinking in life with a dead-end job. I call that the American Nightmare...

  13. "Isn't there some responsibility for people thinking of going to law school to research these places thoroughly?"

    January 23, 2011 8:41 AM

    Thanks largely to the scamblogs, the kids should be starting to catch on.

    Nevertheless, I have trouble pinning the blame on them due to the fact student loan debt is treated so much differently than other idiotically-acquired debt. Like credit card debt, for example. It is okay for THOSE people to rack up tens of thousands of dollars they can't afford on credit cards, then get it discharged in bankruptcy. However, people who are little more than CHILDREN are free to rack up ungodly amounts of student loan debt, for which there is no possibility of discharge in bankruptcy. At least the latter are maiking an attempt, arguably, at improving themselves, albeit in an increasingly-shitty legal job market.

    Yes, I put more of the onus on the schools than the students, given that grotesque differentiation in treatment of the underlying debt incurred.

  14. "Until I read this entry, I was unaware of how truly desperate kids are to become lawyers."

    January 23, 2011 9:52 AM

    Unfortunately, this is largely due to the fact there is a cognitive time lag affecting their Boomer parents. Parents, particularly early Boomers, still think a grad school or (non-medical)professional degree is still worth what it was to THEIR generation. They are still in love with the concept of "correcting" a worthless undergrad BA by topping it off with a law degree. The problem is that the sheer numbers of kids still trying to pull this off by attending non-elite law schools is now far-exceeding the demand, and in fact has been for some time. Couple this with the recent ABA pronouncements encouraging law firms to relocate the grunt-work overseas, and you have a recipe for disaster. Coupled with the fact law schools still do not teach people how to practice law, soloing is thereby fraught with hazards of malpractice and discipline that one can only imagine. It creates a nearly impossible situation. Plus, the JD is toxic in the non-legal world, as those unable to make any way in law willl find non-law employers incredibly hostile and suspicious of their JD.

  15. Anon 8:34 here. Maybe some official organization should find these job placement statistics on their own and then arrange to include them in score reports for the LSAT. I have a feeling though, human nature is such that most students will still think that they'll beat the odds (or not care), but it might reduce the problem to some degree.

  16. Loved the comment at 10:10. I can't stand these unaffiliated, stand alone law schools. They have no reason to exist. It just goes to show that all it takes to open a law school is some rooms, some desks, a fax machine (of course), and a couple of hundred suckers. Compare this to a medical school, which requires years of preparation, effort and investment to establish.

  17. Golden Gate Law School is a pure fucking money pit. $38K for 1 a TTTT. Look at how few reported income to the school. Yet the school says 90% employment and a starting salary of more than $86K. BULLSHIT. How can this shithouse even get away with this?

    1. Renata Bogomolnaya, JD, is a product of this shithouse.

  18. Hey kids, come to Golden Gate and earn your TTTT law degree. You can wind up living in a trailer park on the brink of becoming homeless like this fellow Golden Gate Law grad:

    1. TO ALL IN SUNDRY: I went to Concord Law School - Yes.. it is an ONLINE law school located in Beverly Hills owned by the same owners of Kaplan / Washington Post and now AMAZON (??) Guess what happened to me: I got a "fucking job" during 3L at the PD's office and then became a Court Administrator after graduating at the rate of $88K p.a. You're right its is not six fig yet [but] I do not have any student loan debt to bitch about. It sure feels like I am racking in $10K per month. Idiots go to brick and mortar nowadays.

  19. The comment at 12:45 is the most brilliant (and concise!) statement about this problem I've read to date. Kudos! I too tried to fix my worthless undergrad degree (Spanish lit.) by adding a JD. Unlike many in today's job market, I was able to find a job right out of school in a "prestigious" law firm. Talk about oxymoron! I slaved away in that cesspit of a profession until my early thirties. It drained my soul. It blows my mind that all these kids are coming out in droves from no name law schools with enough debt to buy a McMansion, zero job prospects in a field that is the most academically elitist of all by far and, as another commenter noted, a degree that will be held against them in much of the nonlegal workplace. And they aspire to a life that truly sucks! This situation is insane! It's only a matter of time before a class action lawsuit is filed against the ABA and these TTToilets. It's going to be awesome to see lawyers cannibalizing their own!

  20. "Isn't there some responsibility for people thinking of going to law school to research these places thoroughly?"

    Of course. That's why this blog exists.

  21. Here is a nice summation of Golden Gate University’s repuTTTTaTTTTion:

    GGU Law graduate who was on the verge of homelessness.

    Back in February 2008, TaxProf noted that Golden Gate was one of seven piles of excrement in danger of failing the ABA’s bar passage accreditation standard. Of course, the odds of the ABA pulling a commode’s accreditation are about the same likelihood that I would turn down a request from Salma Hayek to climb on top of me.

    Here is a letter to GGU Sewer of Law alumni, from the dean, informing them that the ABA had taken the school off probation – for low bar passage rates. This letter was sent out on December 4, 2007. It is probably not a good idea to attend an over-priced piece of trash that was recently placed on probation by the lax ABA.

    “Dear GGU Law Alumni:

    You may recall that two years ago I reported to you that the ABA Accreditation Committee just had placed GGU Law on two years probation for low bar passage rates. We here at GGU Law were shocked and disappointed by the news, and we were concerned about its effect on our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and friends.”

    The ONLY thing this trash heap was concerned about was losing its meal ticket, i.e. debt-soaked students and graduates.

    “Welcome to TLS, JT0808!

    Its good to hear that GGU is off probation but my first question is how did they raise their bar passage rate so quickly, so soon without drastically improving their faculty or student body? Many would suggest that it is due to their policy of imposing ruthless curves and then cutting the bottom of the class each year. Thus, only the best students make it to the Bar. If you look at it that way, 68% is still not great (though it is higher than the statewide results, I realize this).

    My point is not to bash GGU but to point out that 2005 is hardly ancient history and that the school rep has been deeply damaged by the probation. I was told by a law school insider that it is becoming very difficult to even transfer out of GGU because the caliber of the education is not considered comparable to T-100's. If you do attend, I hope you are offered a scholarship and have good connections in the area that will assist you in finding a position after school. Best of luck!”

    TLS user “prettypithy” brought up some good points. Perhaps, we should look up the attrition rate at this filthy, festering, decrepit dung pile.

  22. What a shithole. This school was on probation, for heaven's sake. That is like getting turned down by a $2 tramp. Close this place down, ABA.

  23. Study Hard Kids:


    Buckle down, Winsocki
    Buckle down
    You can win, Winsocki
    If you knuckle down
    If you break their necks
    If you make them wrecks
    You can break the hex,
    So buckle down,
    Make 'em yell Winsocki, make 'em yell.
    You can win, Winsocki
    If you give 'em hell
    It you don't give in take it on the chin
    You are bound to win, it you will only buckle down,
    If you fight you'll chuckle at defeat.
    If you fight your luck'll not retreat
    Knuckle down Winsocki
    Knuckle down.
    You can win, Winsocki
    If you buckle down
    If you mow them down
    If you go to town
    You can wear the crown
    If you will only buckle down.

  24. This dumpster had a 37% attrition rate! How can the ABA allow that?

  25. Guys, you might enjoy this article on CNBC

    It arguments that what happened in Tunisia was partly the result of a "higher education bubble" where many college grads were unable to find employment, leading in turn to massive dissatisfaction. Sounds familiar?

    Maybe Nando should contact the author to share with the author what's going on with the legal services labor force.

  26. my buddy the Zodiac killer got accepted to this place after he realized he needed to be serious about what he was going to do with his life. Maybe that explains the 37% attrition rate.

  27. Nando, I posted a new entry in my blog that will make you laugh hysterically. Apparently, the ABA Journal now questions if the scam bloggers are "Telling the truth about the legal profession"


    You deserve the Nobel Prize in Economics for revealing the ugly financial realities of law school debt, pathetic salaries and high interest loans on your wonderful blog!

  28. What about a Pulitzer for nando?



    This dump is attached to an actual university.

    According to Law School Numbers, the school had a 36.9% attrition rate among its first year students in the Class of 2008. That is a nice strategy for improving a toilet’s overall bar passage rate. Furthermore, the commode offered full-tuition scholarships to 2.4% and half-tuition scholarships to 4 percent of its students.

    “Founded in 2006, the Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal (ELJ) is a scholarly legal publication. The ELJ is part of Golden Gate University (GGU) Law's nationally-regarded environmental law program, which includes the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic, the JD certificate program in environmental law, and a graduate Environmental Law LLM program. We publish two issues each year: the Symposium Edition, which focuses on a pre-selected theme, and the Pacific Region Edition, which focuses on environmental law and policy issues affecting the North American Pacific region and the Asian Pacific Rim and Basin.”

    Do you see where this prestigious journal has been around since 2006?!?! I am sure legal employers will be deeply impressed by a staff writer or editor of this rag.

    You can also write onto the phenomenal “Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law.” Yeah, that will drive the women crazy! They will be pulling their clothes off when you enter a room. Employers will throw money at you.

    Check out this comment from user “CleverLoginName”:

    It's a TTTT with a tenuous grasp on accreditation in one of the most expensive cities in the United States.

    On top of that, the SF Bay Area has two T10 schools (Standford, Berkeley), along with three other schools in the top 100: Hastings, USF, and Santa Clara.

    So, right in your backyard you've got 5 schools with infinitely better reputations (not that any of them, with the possible exceptions of Stanford and Berkeley, are good bets, either) than the toilet you'll be attending.

    Additionally, lots of graduates from other high-ranked schools seek out work in the Bay Area. It's a nice place to live, after all.

    And GGU is notorious for having an extremely difficult curve, so there's a very good chance that you'll lose your scholarship after your first year."

    1. Heeeeyy!!!! Renata Lazarevna Bogomolnaya got her JD from GGU law school!!! I am sure she is a fiiiiineeeeee laaaawwwyyyeeerrrrrr......

  31. Sigh. I predict Obama will stress "more education" or "having a highly educated workforce is the key to getting ahead in the global economy" bullshit soundbites at the State of the Union Address. Yes Obama, we need a highly educated and indentured class to get ahead.

  32. 5:32PM here.

    Five minutes into the SOTU, Obama proclaimed we need to outeducate the world. Was the SOTU sponsored by Sallie Mae or Mr. Al Lord?

  33. we have to outeducate the world so we can pay for our poor to continue to do nothing with their lives but vote democrat.

    I think I got a degree from this crapper as a reward in Mafia Wars for completing a level in Vegas.

  34. It's easy for these "leaders" to push the "not enough college" line rather than to reexamine their own disastrous policies and the fact they all have bought up by businesses. And to think that I was so excited about Obama... He's been a complete disappointment.

  35. The SOTU address proves we are FUCKED. Obama spewed nothing but disingenuous platitudes about more education, alternative energy, tax cuts, bi-partisanship, etc. A poor dog and pony show with nothing but circle jerk praise. Bottom line: Congress and POTUS has failed us.

  36. I don't dislike Obama, but I feel that he is nothing more than a talking head for the Powers That Be. Probably every president for the last 40 years falls in that category, except maybe Kennedy. We need to stop voting Repub/Democrat and vote independent. That is NOT to say that we should vote for the Tea Party. To me, that is just another Republican charade in the making. You can't expect one guy (the president) to have that much impact on our sorry state of affairs in this country. Yet, too many people in this country believe that the president can really change things. Get real. These politicians will keep spouting the same old arguments (and not doing anything about the real problems) until this country reaches 3rd World status. This is all smoke and mirrors.

  37. Obama and his wife are jokes. They get the best education on the affirmative action program(or in Baracks case probably the foreign student plan), and then show their talents to be those of many who attend these 4th tier crappers only to give up all their educations by turning in their Bar licenses because they are a bunch of lying criminals who couldnt cut it.

    That speech was basically his latest attempt to tell people to do as he says and not as he does. Asshat.

  38. Obama is a corporate-centrist tool. Hell, just look at the people he surrounded himself with - the moment he won the election. He named financial thugs to his Cabinet. The man changed his tone, after he started winning primaries.

    Frankly, I was not surprised by his message, last night. The Democrats have been co-opted by Big Industry. After the courts started saying that “campaign donations = free speech,” the party has chased those large dollars. Take a look at the Democratic “Leadership” Council.

    Obama blathered on about “more education.” He made reference to making college affordable – without noting how he would seek to achieve this objective.

    Some excerpts from Pussy Boy’s address:

    “So, yes, the world has changed. The competition for jobs is real. But this shouldn’t discourage us. It should challenge us.”

    Yeah, I suppose sending millions of jobs overseas – over the past 30-40 years – presents a problem for Americans seeking jobs.

    “And now it’s our turn. We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.”

    Yes, we need MORE members of the debt-soaked, educated working class.

    “Over the next 10 years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school education.”

    Would you care to tell us what those “jobs of the future” will look like – or entail? I have reviewed several RDA plans, in this area. The vast majority of these new jobs are in low-wage retail and customer service jobs. I see plenty of cities giving tax breaks so developers can build more Subways, Burger Kings, movie theaters, Target locations, Wal-Mart stores, call centers, gas stations, hotels, etc. Get the picture, Numbskull?!?! I do not see a ton of jobs that require a college education.

    Maybe you should check out this story in the “Chronicle of Higher Education,” Obama. Richard Vedder of Ohio State University notes that 17 million college-educated Americans are working in jobs that DO NOT REQUIRE a college education. I personally know SEVERAL people with advanced degrees who are not working in their field. I know MBAs working as customer service reps; JDs employed as grade school teachers; MAs working as “freelance editors” for peanuts; M.S.-holders working for $10-$12 an hour; etc.

    Simply put, MORE education is NOT the answer. There are not enough positions requiring a four year degree. Why encourage more people to chase this elusive “dream” - and take on tons of non-dischargeable debt, in the process? As it stands, “higher education” in America is a big money pit – for millions of people!

  39. A large part of the problem is that colleges and universities bear no responsibility for what they offer society. To them, as long as somebody has a pulse and can get a student loan, it's all OK. But by doing so, they misallocate human capital into useless enterprises, like law, theater, sociology, etc. If they would force to take responsibility for what they create, then they would start pushing students into fields where there is a real need, like computers, software, engineering, etc. I think the best way to accomplish that would be make them pay a fine or share some of the payments of student loans when in default. Right now, the only incentive higher education has is to fill up the class rooms.

  40. This country is supposed to out educate, out innovate and outwork the rest of the world? How the fuck we gonna do that, when all the jobs are being wiped out by technology? Do these policy fuckers understand that paradox?

    (a) More technology leads to (b) less jobs. Yes. The machines reduced the need for human labor during the industrial age. Less motherfuckers could do the work of 50 men just by operating the machines. In this information age, computers and wireless connnections cut down on manpower. This is why companies invest in tech. So they can save money. Sure, the initial costs are high. But they make that up and then some pretty quick. Next, out-educate? We already have too many college fucks working at shit companies making shit per hour. We need more broke-asses with college degrees pumping gas? Get the fuck out of here Obama. We are down to 9th in college educated per capita. Who gives a shit? Most of these college graduates can barely read a fucking bus schedule. And we need more of them. My ass.

    How're we supposed to outwork motherfuckers in third world shitholes who will do just as good a job as rednecks in Indiana for a fraction of the cost? If you participate in these sham elections go slap yourself. You're just contributing to this mess by legitimizing what these assholes are doing.

  41. To anonymous at 1/26/11 6:32pm, while I understand your sentiment regarding other countries, I do not agree with your comment that (a) more technology leads to (b) less jobs. Please refer to the chapter entitled "The Curse of Machinery" in the book Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. I quote from that chapter, "Not only must we be causing unemployment with every technological improvement we make today, but primitive man must have started causing it with the first efforts he made to save himself from needless toil and sweat."

    For your convenience, the full text of that chapter is available at:

  42. While I agree that the tuition is outrageous, I do not agree with these attacks on the professors. I can tell you from having been in their courses that Professor Keane and Professor Sylvester are worth every penny (assuming the figures provided are accurate). $200,000 might sound like a lot of money but keep in mind this is San Francisco, the cost of living is not cheap. They are exceptional professors and their contributions to the school cannot even be measured.

  43. @ 2:01 am,

    Thank you for your contribution, shill. On the main entry, I furnished you with a link to Golden Gate University's IRS Tax Form 990, for 2009. The figures are for 2008. Why would you need to "assume" that the figures provided are correct?

    Click on the link, and see for yourself. If the figures are incorrect, that is on the university, not me. I simply reported the salaries, as they were listed.

    You can defend these overpriced "professors," if you want. Just recognize that 88% of GGU Law's Class of 2009 incurred - on average - $118,429 in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt, in order to earn their TTTT law degree from this dump site. "Professor" salaries play a big role in that.

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

  45. This is the most pathetic blog I have ever read. Get a life.

  46. To the dung-covered cockroach who chirped on June 28, 2011 at 9:03 pm,

    YOU are the most pathetic specimen on the planet. You made a conclusory, false statement - and you did even attempt to back up your "argument" with facts or reason. Your mother must be very proud.

    Here is a lesson for you, eunuch: this blog has credibility because it relies on facts, charts, industry statements, etc. to prove its central premise. You, on the other hand, prefer to act like a bitch.

    Back on July 30, 2010 at 9:24 pm, Professor J. Gordon Hylton at Marquette Law School said the following, about Third Tier Reality:

    “For a thought-provoking (and sobering) blog devoted to the realities of legal education in the 21st century, one should check out Third Tier Reality”

    Check out this law review article, cretin. (As if YOU actually read anything substantive, mental deficient.) The focus of the piece is how the scam-blogs have helped spread the word about this cartel - and attracted the attention of larger media outlets.

    “Avoid this overpriced sewer pit as if your life depended on it,” writes the anonymous author of the blog Third Tier Reality — a reference to the second-to-bottom tier of the U.S. News rankings — in a typically scatological review. “Unless, of course, you think that you will be better off with $110k-$190k in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt for a degree that qualifies you to wait tables at the Battery Park Bar and Lounge.”

    When is the last time YOU were quoted in the New York Times Sunday edition, you miserable piece of trash?!?!

    You are welcome for the thorough beatdown, cretin. There is no need to thank me for flushing your face and ass down the commode. I did that as a courtesy.

  47. Why focus on GGU? And I see you went to Drake. Is there a particular beef you have with GGU? Do you think there was at least one brighter student than you were when you graduated who graduated from GGU when you graduated from Drake? If so, then what does that mean to you?

  48. All,
    Making arguments that attending GGU is not a good investment is one thing, but mocking the efforts of its students, faculty and (much of) its staff is quite another thing and is misplaced.

    I found much of the student body to be highly engaged in learning. Those who just weren't very bright didn't make it past 1L. While taking someone's money who likely cannot hack it, seems unfair there is always the chance that some underqualified students will make it. Historically, this "sink or swim" model is how all law school's operated until the early 60's or so, and I would defend GGU's giving a chance to be lawyers to people who wouldn't get that shot. As an aside, Professors Sylvester and Keane are two of the smartest people I have ever met, and both care deeply about the success of their students.

    I also wanted to correct some misrepresentations up thread, GGU did not pop out of nowhere, it was founded by the YMCA in 1901 (which back then functioned like the urban league does today) so that people who were working-class, Catholic, Jewish etc. could get an education in the law, and I would argue that to a limited extent (constrained by market forces and the ABA) GGU still performs this function. GGU is infact part of a university, abeit one that is almost entirely oriented towards professional degrees, in law, accounting, tax and business; with only about 600 undergrad students most of whom take classes entirely online.

    I think the question you should ask if you are considering GGU is why do I want to go to law school? If it's to make lots of money, don't go to GGu, or if you find law would be helpful in your future be it in law/real estate/accounting whatever, then I would say come to GGU and give it a try. Most lawyers nationally, do not work in biglaw (and most people who do eventually leave it.) People spend more time at work than anywhere else in their waking life, so if you find a legal job, the debt should be a secondary consideration.

    As a recent grad, I am fortunate in this ecconomy to have a legal job (a low paying one, but in the law nonetheless), and also fortunate that I only about half the median debt in loans. I'm proud of my GGU diploma, and proud of my former classmates.

  49. "As an aside, Professors Sylvester and Keane are two of the smartest people I have ever met, and both care deeply about the success of their students."

    They must be pretty cagey. After all, they make out very well, sucking on the federal teat - by consigning their students to a lifetime of debt servitude, and TTTT job prospects. Yet, the stupid victims will defend those perpetrating the fraud.

    For instance, associate dean for graduate programs and “professor of law” Jon Sylvester, made $201,571 in TOTAL COMPENSATION, for 2008. Peter Keane, “professor of law” and dean emeritus, "earned" $207,960 in TOTAL COMPENSATION - for the same year.

  50. STEM majors are no panacea. I have to laugh when I see people on non-science blogs casually suggesting that "sociology" majors ought to switch to "computer science," and then clicking on over to DICE (tech job Web site) to read engineering and computer science majors complaining about their difficulties in the current landscape. Jobs are scarce and difficult to find without the proper connections. There are more technical jobs than in previous times, and people in non-technical jobs need to know more about technology than in the past.

    However, the common wisdom on majors shows ignorance about both majors and the job market. Low -hanging fruit example: sociology is a quantitatively oriented major. It could provide good-fit preparation for a role like analyzing social media impact in real dollar terms.

  51. I had to point out a few things regarding GGU and San Francisco to add some sense to this chain. I personally attended Hastings, but worked with many fine GGU Law grads and even ended up marrying one, which gives me some insight into the school. Now I have also seen some idiots from GGU. I obviously worked with many great people from Hastings, but there are some idiots from Hastings. It just goes to show no matter what law school you went to at least in the Bay you either get it done or you don't.

    I also wanted to clarify the salaries. I am actually shocked that Peter Keane & Jon Sylvester don't make more than 200k a year. San Francisco gives the highest salaries in America. Minimum wage is 10.24 per hr. This means the guy at McDonald working 40hrs a week brings in $21,300 a year. Peter Keane and Jon Sylvester well respected lawyers in the Bay Area only make 10x more than a 16 year old dropout fry cook

    Then to show the salaries for real jobs in San Francisco Police Officers without a college degree make 80-105k. There is the cite to prove it. So Jon Sylvester a Harvard Law Grad who has been teaching at the school for twenty some years makes only twice as much as an entry-level police officer. So he really isn’t ripping people off he is making a low salary comparatively I was really shocked to learn that is all he makes.

    As to Peter Keane's qualifications he taught at Hastings and was amazing. He is very well respected in the Bay Area and almost every judge knows him. I don't know if he could get a job anywhere in America as one poster suggested, but in the Bay Area he is a very important and well respected figure in the legal community.

    I think I noticed one of the main posters Nando attended Drake, which is in Iowa. So I imagine 200k to someone in Iowa would like a lot of money, but it really isn’t in San Francisco. Obviously 200k is nothing to scoff at, but in San Francisco it is really not as eye popping as this post makes it out to be.

    I also saw someone say GGU just popped out of nowhere, but it has been in existence for 110 years.

    The reported attrition rate is also misleading. In 2011 it was 22%, but about 50% of these were transfers so only 10% actually failed out. You can see 32 people were academically disqualified, 26 left for other reasons. 16 of those 26 were transfers. I am speculating that many of the academic disqualifications came from the night program. Many people in the Bay Area try to keep a career and law school. I think GGU is one of the only places in San Francisco that has a part time program, I know Hastings didn't. Anyways, I imagine night students are also a big reason for the academic attrition.

  52. Continuation of Prior Post

    Now GGU is certainly not Harvard, but neither is Hastings, Santa Clara, or USF. I went to a low tier 1 school and didn't get a clerkship, big law job offer, etc. A lot of Harvard, Yale, UCLA, Stanford, etc grads want to be in San Francisco and that is who I competed with and lost to. Hastings certainly competes better than GGU for these elite positions, but in the end a degree from Hastings or GGU loses out by a mile to Stanford or Harvard. I started in an 8 lawyer firm and made 90k a year. So The 2-10 firms in the bay area do often pay quite well at least in the Bay Area. I did graduate before the whole rescission hit so maybe things have changed.

    2005 PROBATION
    Those are positive comments about GGU, but there are negatives to the school as well. The probation is a black eye to the school. In the Bay Area I don't think it is a big deal, but if you go anywhere else and they see ABA probation it would look very suspect. It didn't have much clout outside of the Bay Area to begin with, and that really took the wind out of people's sails.

    GGU also despite being a "non-profit" school, costs about the same amount as the other Bay Area Schools. GGU is also the least respected of the ABA schools, but it does have an edge over all the CBA schools JFK, New Mission, Lincoln Law School etc. However, even those schools have successful grads.

    The real fact and point of my entire post is that law school is what you make of it. It is a difficult profession that puts you under a lot of pressure. Harvard and Cooley grads alike sink or swim in it. I was in court once when a Berkeley grad had no idea what a proof of service was and the judge who actually happened to be from GGU ripped her apart. I have also seen GGU grads pull some mind-boggling moves. However, really experienced and good lawyers screw up, even me . Really bad lawyers sometimes have a great day. The legal profession is difficult and your school will open some doors, but whether you sink or swim will be a lot more up to than whatever words are stamped on your J.D.

    GGU is not Harvard, but it is an ABA school that has successful alumni in the Bay Area. A few "Super Lawyers" that magazine is kind of a joke, but there are 226 grads that are employed.

    However, they can't compete with Hasting's SuperLawyers. 1356

    It might have something to do with Hastings handing out 416 JD's. Compared to GGU only handing out 184.

    . Anyways, point of this post is GGU is not a shitpile, but be realistic. Also be realistic if you go to Hastings or anywhere that isn't a T14. It is a competitive market, and law has always been a competitive profession. If you think you can handle it then go to law school. GGU can work out and does work out for many graduates. It can also be a horrible decision. Same thing applies to Hastings grads. I have had many friends do well, but one of my good friends failed the bar 5 times, and never passed. She was a great person, but she couldn’t pass the bar. It really doesn’t matter what school you went to if you can’t pass that.

  53. Anonymous (above) is right. There should be a bit of balance in this report. Golden Gate began as the "poor boy" school of law well over 100 years ago. In those days it was situated in tents and associated with the YMCA. Over the last century it has produced a significant number of Bay Area judges and lawyers. Where they ran into trouble was when the original school of law became supplanted with a broader university mission resulting in cuts to the program.

    Law Schools differ little in the approach to education that they take. The same casebooks are used everywhere, the same standards apply to exams and writing assignments and as long as the professors can walk and talk you are likely to get similar presentations of the material.

    Sylvester has come up in this post as being somehow "overpaid". A ridiculous assertion given the mans standing in the world of commercial law. A Fullbright scholar who, in his spare time, helps developing nations create constitutions and still opts to teach at this "toilet" school has something going on the original poster has missed.

    That something is a commitment to more than just blindly pursuing prestige or income with a degree in law. It is a commitment to public service that is sadly lacking at top-tier institutions. At Golden Gate the emphasis, notwithstanding the Federalist Society trying to make inroads, is squarely on public service, ethics and improving the reputation of our profession.

    As for the night school, there are precious few institutions that offer night-programs in the Bay-Area and that limits the choices of those who are working to improve their lives with a JD. In general the night-students tend to be brighter and more committed than the day students and have excellent outcomes.

  54. This is not to say that GGU is the most stellar of destinations for those pursuing a career in law. There are many problems that go along with its accessibility to those who, shall we say, don't exactly hit the LSAT our of the park.

    A few professors may be a bit burned out, the parking is non-existent for commuters and student services though well-meaning are lacking in many respects. In addition, there may well be hundreds of alumni holding good positions throughout Northern California-including the 9th Circuit, the various district courts and courthouses all over San Francisco and the greater Ba but the networking opportunities are abysmal compared with Hastings, Boalt or Stanford.

    In many respects GGU suffers due to being surrounded by extraordinary institutions with deep pockets and armies of ambitious and highly successful elites. If it were situated somewhere else it may well attract better students and thus rise in the all important though admittedly ludicrous "rankings".

    With all of that being said if your desired outcome is to suck it up for a decade in big-law waiting for that partnership deal and gradually devolving into a personal hell of moral and ethical deprivation soothed only by conspicuous consumption and rampant alcoholism then by all means take the 179 LSAT score and go to a top-tier school.

    If, on the other hand, you are looking to simply improve your ability to do some good in the world and make a living practicing law you could do worse. In the end the institution is not nearly as important as the individual. Individual commitment, effort and imagination will win out over "what school did you go to?" questions in the end. The latter may be important for landing that first job but as a lawyer you will stand alone and will be judged by the quality of your work-not of your school.

    The bottom line for all of this is that if someone is contemplating getting a law degree, especially with the market for jobs being what it is, they had best be seeking that distinction for reasons beyond prestige and money. It is expensive no matter where you go and if you don't have the mind or stomach for the subject and a drive to succeed that transcends common desires you will be wasting the time of all involved and will end up becoming at best a liability to the profession.

  55. GGU is a piece of shit. I wouldn't hire a GGU grad as a janitor.

  56. I have a question for GGU Law grads. I'm not a student there (thank god!), but the crazy woman who lives above me is. In the year she's been living in her $2000k/month (paid for by mommy and daddy) apartment, she's constantly woken me up with her screaming and crying because she keeps flunking. She didn't get a 1L internship, but is in summer school retaking the classes she failed. I know that GGU isn't exactly academically rigorous, but how many chances do students get before they're academically disqualified? I can't take two more years of living below this nutcase and my landlord refuses to believe that she's as obnoxious as she is.

    1. so because she is in school and is in a better position than you, she is a nutcase?

  57. I was accepted to three top 100 ABA law Schools, University of Santa Clara, University of San Francisco, and University of the Pacific. They all offered me scholarships, but the amounts were minimal compared to the total cost of a Law degree. GGU offered me a full ride. I did my home work and reached out to some of the lawyers I know. Of the 14 who set down with me and provided an insight into the industry, 12 of them urge me to take the free ride. This included attorneys with degrees from Chicago, UCLA, Loyola, and Boalt. The Chicago alumnus actually wishes she would have applied to some lower ranking schools and explored the possibility of having her Law school paid for. I am not discouraged by this blog and look fwd to my $0 investment into a TTTT.

  58. Not only the cost, but the school lies to you. They say they will fix your grade on a test if they marked it incorrectly. They won't. They will not mark an answer right that they have marked wrong. And they had a class (while I was there 2003-2006) that were cheating on exams while in the bathroom. That class was not punished in any way. GGU faculty lives on denial and lies. Never attend GGU. The stupid thrive and those with brains do not get the highest grades. Forget all about IRAC'ing on a test. All the teachers say they want it, but they give the babblers the highest grades.

  59. Sounds like Katherine just got bad grades and is bitter.

  60. Would like to see a profile on USF and Hastings too!

  61. I graduated from GGU 2007, passed the bar, and returned to work full time in tech because the opportunities in law wouldn't pay enough for me to pay back my loans ($100k fed @ 6.5% 50k private @ 5%, and I worked part-time during 2L and 3L).

    GGU used my salary in its law student placement survey for 2007 graduates. It was the highest data point for GGU grads, but my job was not in law and not because of GGU.

    I went to a top 5 undergrad school, so I understand quality. At GGU, I had 2 excellent lecturers (Keane and Calhoun) and one excellent teacher (Sucharitkul). The unacceptably poor teachers are no longer there, so no point in naming names, but there were 10 of them, and their classes cost me $36,000. I tried to drop my Contacts professor and take it with Sylvester, but the administration denied my request, requiring me to take the block of class assignments in 1L. I ended up paying more than $6k to take Contracts from a teacher who did not prepare or understand the material. With interest, I will pay more than $20,000 to have had that experience.

    In my years there, 3 or 4 of the required claases per term had around 100 students in them. We got 1 turn per term to be tested by socratic method. No comments on exams. We were told they graded them like bar exams: 3 minutes per exam, so make your IRAC points clear so they would be counted. The opportunity to learn in this environment was really poor.

    For the record, they did use the 3 minute per exam evaluation to draw a bell curve in all 1L and all non-elective classes--equal number As and Fs, Bs and Ds, the rest Cs. The result was 1/3 attrition at the end of 1L, and some explaining to do for people who remained. Compare this to Stanford--the instruction, the attrition, the grades. Stanford weeds you out in the application process; if admitted, you are supported, and you succeed. GGU admits you based on your credit report (true, they run it to see if you will have a problem borrowing $250k for 3-4 years of law school). They weed out after 1L to improve the bar passage report. They do not believe in their own ability to teach students up.

    I was unlucky enough to have done well enough to keep playing and paying. The ones who got weeded out only lost $40-50k.

    I appreciate the earlier comment in this thread that optimism is a survival strategy that ultimately makes fools of us. It applies to law school, but also to what the law really is. I kept going because I wanted to make a difference in people's lives. I imagined I would hang my own shingle if I had to. But after reading around 2,000 cases and socializing with lawyers and judges for 3 years, I ultimately concluded (for now) that the law is not on the side of the people I want to help. I have an active bar membership and stay current on tort and government cases--it's tortured, wrong, and rigged against the little guy. Among corporations, it's Bleak House. So I'm not inclined to practice as long as I can earn a living another way. I wish there were a free way to have learned that lesson. The debt does limit me so much as to define my existence as a fool, now so dispirited that he wants to tell the little guy "accept injustice, pay the fine, and try to move on."

  62. well Schools don't get you a job. The school has been around forever since 1901. My brother has heard of the school. This is just your personal view. If you look at statistics closely, students graduate from well-known brand don't have a job yet. If you really look at the rate it is only 21 percent of graduates will get a job. Thus, It depends on you and how you market yourself, not the school. Also, there is no such thing scam.

    you to big brand name schools are a number. While schools like this care about you. It's unfortunate you people make up this site and talk trash about a school that has been around for a while.

    Also, I have some friends who are lawyers. They said industry's turn over rate for lawyer is high because you will have to be broke before making anything. Also, there are too many lawyers out there. In addition, it is hard to find a job regardless of where you go.

    About whether you graduate from Havard and Standford or whatever, it comes down to " Can you do the job?" Also, some kids graduate from the top school can't even do a simple job. Graduate from top tier school doesn't mean you're smart. If you talk about 38000 at GGU is a rip off. well try to contact Northeastern and other schools. Their tuition are high. I ran into one that cost 240k.

  63. The Dean of this fine institution, Rachel Van Cleave, wrote to an airline magazine where she awkwardly worked a plug for her school into a letter about an Angelina Jolie movie. GGU proudly lists this letter on their publications site: Not only is Van Cleve making bundles as Dean of this school, she got 100,000 free airline miles for publishing!

  64. In 1981, I dated, for two months a graduate of Golden Gate school of law. The doors at this school swung wide open for him once they saw his lackluster grades in the field of communication at cal state fullerton and his minority(diversity) designation. And it only took Fling four tries before he passed the California bar. In 1983, from mutual friends, I found out Fling was heavily into cocaine and used his desk as a mattress when seeing his minority, high school drop out, female clients. Lucky for society, Fling can practice his nuts and bolts law anywhere in California.

  65. 'What law school did you graduate from counselor?' said no judge ever.

    Like many have said, GGU isn't Harvard but it'll get you a law degree and a seat at the bar exam... The rest is up to you. Anyone who thinks getting a law degree is a ticket to a six figure job day one after passing the bar is delusional. But by all means keep pissing and moaning about your own failures, I'm sure it will help.

  66. I do not know you, but I found your blog and love it. I am actually a GGU Masters program hopeful - I roll while reading your blog!

  67. I graduated GGU in 1993. Conditions--and outcomes, were much better during that time. (I believe the Bar Pass Rate was close to 60% then; not bad for California.)

    Tuition was extremely reasonable; as a working guy, I was able to pay as I went. Boy am I glad I didn't go for the loans.

    Still, as a 40 year old cop going to night school, I could see the writing on the wall. The TV series "L.A. Law" had filled every law school everywhere with young people wanting part of the dream. Some would make it--even from Golden Gate. But I was seeing the start of a glut of young lawyers who would have to learn how to claw to make nearly nothing.

    I decided to remain a cop and finished out a career that for all of its perils, at least enabled me to make a living. I'm sorry that the Profession didn't do more to keep schools like Golden Gate from losing their way.

    There were many judges, district attorneys and defense counsellors back then who had been able to work their way through Law School and be decent practitioners. I'm really sorry how things have gone


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