Monday, January 10, 2011

Law School Shills Featured in The New York Times

David Segal of the New York Times put together one hell of a piece in the Business section of the Sunday edition, with regard to the law school racket. Seeing that several administrators interviewed in this piece engaged in deception, it is only fitting that they be called out on this blog. By the way, I have emailed the law faculty members featured below a link to this blog entry. Let’s see if any of them have the balls to answer the call.

On page 5 of the electronic version, Steven Greenberger - assistant dean of faculty at DePaul University Commode of Law - states the following:

“Who’s to say to any particular student, ‘You won’t be the one to get the $160,000-a-year job,’ ” says Steven Greenberger, a dean at the DePaul College of Law. “I think they should have all the info, and the info should be accurate, but saying once they know that they shouldn’t be allowed to come, that’s predicated on the idea that students are really ignorant and don’t know what is best for them.”

Guess what, genius? MOST prospective law students - and American college students, in general - are ignorant of the job market for lawyers. Many are also unaware of the impact that NON-DISCHARGEABLE student loans will have on their lives. I suppose you have not seen this in a law review article, so it may be difficult for you to digest.

On page 45 of DePaul University’s 2009 IRS Tax Form 990, you can see that Glen Weissenberger, then-dean of the college of law, made $339,874 in base compensation - for 2008. He also made $52,500 in bonus & incentive compensation; 19,599 in “other“ compensation; $18,400 in deferred compensation; and $12,509 in non-taxable benefits - for the same year. In sum, Weissenberger made $442,882 in TOTAL COMPENSATION for 2008. I am sure that Steven Greenberger has many rea$on$ to keep the gravy train rolling.

On page 4 of the Times article, David N. Yellen, dean at the Loyola University-Chicago Sewer of Law, spewed forth this nonsense:

“We ought to be doing a better job for our students and spend less time worrying about whether another school is five spots ahead,” says David N. Yellen, dean of the Loyola University Chicago School of Law. “But in the real world you can’t escape from the pressures. We’re all sort of trapped. I don’t know if anyone is out-and-out lying, but I do know that a lot of schools are hyping a lot of misleading statistics. [Emphasis mine]

Oh, you feel trapped, David?!?! How do you think your grads feel when they are taking on an average of $89,786 in law school debt- with pathetic job prospects?! It’s no big deal, right?! After all, only 75% of the LUC Law Class of 2009 incurred such debt.

“When I was a candidate for this job,” said Phillip J. Closius, the dean of the University of Baltimore School of Law, “I said ‘I can talk for 10 minutes about the fallacies of the U.S. News rankings,’ but nobody wants to hear about fallacies. There are millions of dollars riding on students’ decisions about where to go to law school, and that creates real institutional pressures. [Emphasis mine]

Phillip J. Closius, dean of the University of Baltimore Sewer of Law goes onto say:

“You can call it massaging the data if you want, but I never saw it that way,” he says. Weaker students wound up with lighter course loads, which meant that fewer of them flunked out. In his estimation, a dean who pays attention to the U.S. News rankings isn’t gaming the system;he’s making the school better.

I wonder why you never saw this as dishonest, Phillip. (Exactly how does gaming the system make the school fundamentally better?) Then again, your students took out an average $86,133 in law school debt; and 84% of the Class of 2009 took on such debt. I wonder if your debt-soaked students would have taken on such debt, had you provided accurate info.

“A number of law schools hire their own graduates, some in hourly temp jobs that, as it turns out, coincide with the magical date. Last year, for instance, Georgetown Law sent an e-mail to alums who were “still seeking employment.” It announced three newly created jobs in admissions, paying $20 an hour. The jobs just happened to start on Feb. 1 and lasted six weeks.

A spokeswoman for the school said that none of these grads were counted as “employed” as a result of these hourly jobs. In a lengthy exchange of e-mails and calls, several different explanations were offered, the oddest of which came from Gihan Fernando, the assistant dean of career services. He said in an interview that Georgetown Law had “lost track” of two of the three alums, even though they were working at the very institution that was looking for them.”
[Emphasis mine]

On page 3, Gihan Fernando, assistant dean of career services at Georgetown University Law Center has the sheer audacity to claim that he cannot track down two of the grads that worked for the school. Right - and Salma Hayek just broke into my house, ripped my clothes off and pinned me up against the wall.

I have saved the most egregious example for last. From the third page of this article:

“Beth Kransberger, associate dean of student affairs at Thomas Jefferson, stands by that figure, noting that it includes 25 percent of those graduates who could not be located, as well as anyone who went on to other graduate studies — all perfectly kosher under the guidelines.

Like lots of administrators, she defends the figures she gathers and laments that so many other schools are manipulating results.

“You need to take the high road,” she said. “Schools that are behaving the most ethically want students who come to law school with their eyes open.”

Beth Kransberger, associate dean of student affairs at fourth tier trash heap TTTThoma$ Jeffer$on $chool of Law stands by the placement rate that her school published. That’s nice, isn’t it?! Beth, you work at one of the most sickening fourth tier toilets in the entire country. You can’t track down graduates?! No problem!! Just count them as “employed”!!

As you can see, those members of the TJ$L Class of 2009 who incurred law school debt took out an average of $131,800 in law school loans; furthermore, 95% of this unfortunate graduating class took on such debt. This is the highest debt figure and percentage - as listed by US News & World Report.

Go to page 25 of this festering commode’s 2009 Form 990, to see how well these gluttons are making out - on the federal teat.

In the final analysis, these administrators are too entrenched and $elf-intere$ted to evaluate the system objectively. Any meaningful change MUST come from outside pressure. The ABA does not have what it takes to limit the damage; in fact, they are more than happy to accredit pretty much accredit any proposed law school. Because that will help reduce the glut of attorneys, right?!


  1. Beautiful Nando! And a brilliant follow up to the Times Article.

    One of your best Posts yet.

    Outside Pressure is finally what it will come down to. With quotes like those from the Shills above, I don;t see any other way.

  2. The DePaul comment is awesome. My firm recruited at DePaul a few years ago, then the economy tanked and we pulled out. I'd be shocked if anyone can get a $160k job out of DePaul right now given that large firms have slashed class sizes and can fill up their classes with people exclusively from the T14 now.

  3. This is a strong follow up to the Times article.

    I graduated from law school several years ago. Even then it was a gamble. When kids come up to me and ask about the practice of law I don't even bother any more. I used to say that this is a cutthroat business. When things got worse with tuition I would tell them that it is increasinlgy hard to make it. (Tuition at my state school doubled between 1999 and 2006.)

    Kids don't want to hear the goddamn truth. You could be a lawyer with 20 years in the business and drive a Bentley and these punks would say, 'He's bitter.' Then they'll go over to someone else who'll tell themn what they want to hear. It's that simple really.

    Anyhow, I'm glad the Times covered this and that you guys have been trying to whittle away at the law schools. My advice? Partner with debt-soaked college grads, MBAs and PhDs. The public doesn't give a crap about lawyers. Thanks and take care.

  4. everything you say is important but until the application pool dries up, this will continue. Its like gambling for a lot of these kids. They dont want to work at the mall in some food court or in collections for a credit card company with their college degree and they dont have the ability to work in construction or computer type jobs, so they go to law school and hope they can realize the dream because there are lots of lawyers who make real good money albiet maybe not right away. Its like going to Vegas. Law is like what society and most jobs have become, its all or nothing. No middle. If you are already with nothing, you feel like you have nothing to lose so you apply and go rather then go be some camp counselor.

    The value of everything in this country is being reduced, but as most any college grad knows, the job market sucks so they are looking for that glimmer of hope that is law or mba. They dont expect to get some big salary when they graduate from a low level school. They just want to see if they can make real money down the road. Most fail and destroy themselves financially but many do fine over the course of their life.

    If you ran a law school, you will continue to do what you do until the demand dries up. Its not going to dry up when the economy continues to do what it is doing.

    If the law schools are actually lying about their employment statistics(yeah I know they dont tell everyones salary and sometimes are unable to get a response from everyone so is that really lying if you dont disclose everything) then they need to be sued for UDTP or something. What is the case law on that approach being succesful? Ultiamtely, it is up to the applicant to assess the big picture before deciding to go rather then relying on skewed statistics. If you are going to invest all that money without doing real homework as to the legal profession prospects, then you deserve what you get. If you research it and still go and fail, its on you. I think most people know the realities and just go hoping to postpone the negativity that is the job market.

    Early 20s is a tough age, especially if you are smart, hardworking, but otherwise not connected. You will take this risk and more often then not, its a bad move, but instead of blaming the schools and these high salaried administrators, we need to get the word out that its just not a good idea to go. If I had done my homework 20 years ago, I probably dont go, but I also know I have made more money in 20 years practicing law then I probably would have doing anything else I had the real possibility to do and no I am not rich. I understand why kids go, but recent times and drastic increases in tuition makes the decision to go to a third or fourth tier school even riskier.

    Getting people not to go to crappy law schools is always going to be a tough sell for so many reasons, but I commend you for educating folks and making them aware. The Law Schools certainly are not going to change what is a cash cow for them.

  5. Wonderful post, Nando. Be interesting to see if these pigs reply.

  6. I love how Kransberger and Yellen suggest the problem is with other schools. They're like parents whose kid has been caught red-handed somewhere. "We don't do that in OUR house."

    The rationalization and faux morality being passed around is impressive.

    I would love for just one of them to be totally honest about what they were doing and why, but frankly I don't think their psyches would allow it.

  7. Here's another take on the unbelievable denial of reality and flat out lying done by these criminals:

    Great post Nando!

  8. Have any deans contacted you? How come they havent posted coments here?

  9. Dear Deans & Profs,

    The time left on the gravy train is numbered. Your scam is getting more and more attention. It cannot be sustained. Soon, outside forces will begin to intervene. Those outside forces could come from a number of places, the only question is which will act first and which will deliver the death blow to the status quo.

    It could be that the market will deliver the blow. This New York Times article is currently the most emailed piece on their entire website right now. Do you know what that means Deans and Professors? Parents and friends of 0L's are sending this article out as a warning. Even as you read this, there are hundreds of 0L's who would have come to your school and supported your bloated salaries, but now, they will not. They have been warned.

    The ABA could take action, but, let's be honest, this is probably the least likely to happen. But they could. The ABA may decide to restore it's credibility, but don't count on it.

    State Bar Associations could take actions to limit the number of schools that meet application qualifications.

    The Department of Education could decide to audit schools, and default rates on loans. If institutions reach a threshold default rate, they would be cut off from federal loans. This would put most of you out of business. This is the one my money is on. This would put 1/3 of law schools out of business within a calendar year.

    It would be fantastic. For me. For nando. For lawyers. For America.

    But pretty bad for you.

    But, then again, you deserve it.

    Enjoy the gravy train while it lasts, because it's almost over!

  10. Nando, you need to contact your State's senators and request to speak to their education liaisons about the NY Times article given that the subject matter is still fresh in the media. Don't let this opportunity escape you. Like it or not, you are one of the faces of the scamblog movement. You have a duty to finish these schools off. The government needs to stop guaranteeing student loans to toilets that have high default rates and that are using fraudulent employment numbers to entice stupid college grads and leave the taxpayers with the bill. Demand Congressional hearings and bring these fucking deans and law professors before a committee so that they can justify the status quo. It is time to put these malevolent fuckers on the hot seat.

  11. Nando:
    You and the scambloggers deserve congratulations. Had it not been for your efforts, there would not have been a NY Times article.

    The whole thing is a vicious cycle. What the deans said is also true. They compete with each other for US News rankings. The first school to be honest will drop by a hundred points in USNWR. (You have 60% employment when all other law schools claim 99%) Ten years ago, my law school dropped in USNWR rankings and the Dean was promptly fired.

    When real earnings information becomes widely known, fewer people will become lawyers. Those that do become lawyers.

  12. To 11:44,

    I will contact their offices tomorrow. Both senators are lawyers, by the way. The next step is to organize. The reality is that lawyers and law students are not the most sympathetic group out there. Hell, fellow attorneys are not sympathetic to the plight of debt-soaked JDs. From my perspective, JDs will need to join forces with unemployed and underemployed Ph.Ds, MAs and debt-soaked college students. The added advantage is that there are LEGIONS of such people out there. Plus, it seems that most people personally know someone who is struggling with student loan debt.

    @ 2:09,

    Thank you for those kind words. It has been a worthwhile struggle. This NYT piece has vindicated these blogs. It was in-depth and addressed most of the key points. David Segal took his job as a reporter seriously - and did not simply take the law school administrators at their word. Trust has to EARNED, shills.

    Please check out this blog entry, by Knut at “First Tier Toilet.” He was contacted by Steven Gossett, Press Officer at Columbia Law School. Apparently, the school is not happy that Jason Bohn was featured in the article – and wanted Knut to back off. To his credit, he told the guy to produce hard proof that Bohn did not graduate from CLS. (For some reason, T14 schools are evidently unable to track down their recent grads. Look at the statements from those employed by Georgetown Law.) By the way, the school did not have the balls to contact David Segal at the Times – and request that he correct the alleged “error.”

    Earlier today, I also talked to a person who helped bring attention to the law school racket. This is a culmination of a lot of people. Once again, I give credit to “Skadden Farts,” “Loyola 2L,” Tom the Temp, “State of Beasley,” unperson at “Exposing the Law School Scam, and JDU – except for the nasty, industry apologist cockroaches on that forum.

    I am excited and grateful that JJD, Kimber, Angel, HardKnocks, Knut, J-Dog, LSTB, JD Painter, Demos and the others have joined this movement. The ONLY way things are going to change significantly is if we continue to pressure the ABA, NALP and US News. Meaningful change WILL NOT come from inside the ABA. The organization is too entrenched, and the law faculties basically run the law schools. (These idiots are too busy accrediting any building with running water, a fax machine, a few bookshelves and internet connection as a law school.) They want to keep the gravy train rolling. It is my job – and yours – to help put an end to this sick system.

    Credit also goes to those law professors who have looked out for law students, i.e. people such as William Henderson and Brian Tamanaha. Lastly, former lawyers and a few current legal practitioners have helped expose the law school scam.

  13. It irritated me that professor said, "Who are we to decide who should have a shot at the 160K job?" There are so many similarities to the massive real estate bubble. It is like a mortgage loan officer saying, "Who are we to decide that someone cannot afford a $500,000 mortgage?" I hate law professors.

  14. You guys have the sack to challenge these schools. Did anyone ever get back to you, btw? You gotta let us know if they did.

  15. Nando, I still want to go to Law School, but I want to be smarter about it- If I were to attend TTTT CUNY Law School, and only pay $5k a year, would it at least be worth it?

  16. 11:25

    Fantastic post!
    It's not just a Blog Post, it's a Human Rights Document.

    Keep up the great work everybody.

    As in the Pink Floyd tune.....they call it Riding the Gravy Train!

    Until they finally tear down the toilets!

  17. 4:03,


    No one is going to hire ANYONE from a TTTT right now. So any amount above $0 does not make sense.

  18. Nando:

    It might sound hard to understand to a lot of people, but for a long time after law school-more than a decade, I had lost all confidence in myself, and my intelligence, and my self image.

    The ever growing debt, and all of the frustration in effectively being shut out of the job market because of my left field JD resume, and then my eventual credit destruction (from the debt) sent me down a long road of self doubt and depression.

    And a very historically unique kind of hopeless depression, because it comes with the settled certainty that no 12 step group or no Psychiatrist can ever come up with a cure for the debt situation.

    Honest to God, I haven't attempted to write anything since my undergraduate days, because I really felt, after the academic devastation from my T4, that I was really stupid. And IO swear to almighty God I worked at my law school studies as hard as I could. I just could never "Get it"

    But not too long ago, I discovered Alan Collinges site. he was the first. And nest I discovered the Jobless Juris Doctor, and then Third Tier Reality, and then BIDER, SMS and FTT, and, Cryn Johanssen's Education Matters, and all the others.

    The weight of all of that shame and self-blame that I carried around for all those years started to lighten. I started to feel Hope again.

    As I have said: The light in the darkness.
    And the darkness shall not overcome it. (That's in the Bible somewhere)

    But it's not over yet. The Student Debt is the story of my Adult Life, and I hope to live to see enough Reform, political and/or Legal---so that future generations will not have to go through what I did.

  19. nando, I notice you gave credit to many individuals. Including some I never heard of. I think that shows real appreciation on your part. The word is getting out. Thank you for keeping the schools on a short leash. Even if you sometimes pull on that leash a little tight.

  20. You provide great information to people, but ultimately its the Capitalist System which will determine the fate of the law schools. As that NYT article mentioned, the kids applying knew that the odds were long and they thought they would be different. No amount of honest or lack thereof employment reporting by these schools would change their ability to fill their seats.

    Yes the information you and others provide will keep many people from attending law school that have no business going. If I had access to this information 20 years ago, I probably dont attend my 4th tier crapper. While not rich, I have probably made more in my shitlaw practice then I would have working my way up to manager at Applebees or being a camp counselor.

    As long as there are risk takers, these law schools will fill up. Most will fail but most businesses fail. When people are unwilling to take the risk of going, then the price will drop and the shit law schools will close.

    If you ran one of those schools, why would you drop the price if there are still plenty of people more then willing to buy the goodies.

    Todays students are so much smarter and more aware. Whether its the prestige or being a lawyer, thinking they will be the exception and do well, or if they just want to postpone the future, they will give it a go. Dont blame the law schools for creating an opportunity that exists for so many reasons.

    Capitalism pure and simple.

  21. You stated a valid point. This country does produce a plethora of idiots. However, kids are told, practically from Day One, that “Education is the key to your future. It will open up a world of possibility for you.”

    This message/dogma is CONSTANTLY reinforced by parents, siblings, extended family members, friends, neighbors, pre-school workers, teachers throughout K-12, high school counselors, politicians, policymakers, judges, business owners, co-workers, network TV, movies, newspapers, magazines, news anchors, mainstream economists, et al.

    When a co-worker says, “My daughter just got accepted to Pace Law School,” she says it with pride. If you choose to tell her that Pace is a third tier commode – which it is – then you run a serious risk of alienating your co-workers. If you try to take a more tactful approach, and tell her about the immense cost and the pathetic job prospects, you still make an enemy.

    Lemmings are impervious to reason, facts and logic – regarding the reality of law school and the job market for lawyers. You could make the most persuasive, well-intentioned case possible, and many will ignore you. Many will say something, along the lines of, “What? You think I’m an idiot? I can succeed. Those losers you mentioned didn’t try hard enough or earn excellent grades. I earned a 3.6 GPA in Political Science from Montana State University. Who are YOU to tell me I can’t pursue and reach my dreams?”

    I am being kind, by the way. They usually spew forth the following, “I worked hard, overcame a bunch of obstacles, and earned a college degree. Nothing’s gonna stand I my way. Nothing! My undergrad counselor thinks I can make it in law school. You mentioned guys who couldn’t hack it, in law. That won’t be me. I will bust my ass from the moment I arrive. I’ll outwork everyone else if I have to.” (Of course, they still fail to acknowledge that only 10% of the first year cohort can land in the top ten percent of their class. Pretty much 90 percent of the class is shooting for that goal. Even the alcoholics and potheads are going to work their ass to the bone, in order to attain the top slots.)

    We have cultivated to believe that those who work hard can achieve Horatio Alger levels of success. Young people have been trained to think that white-collar jobs are paradise. (Little do these kids understand just how easily white-collar/information jobs are outsourced or off-shored.)

    At least, manufacturing jobs require significant investments in new machinery, oil, tools, service, maintenance, transportation, warehouse space – and potentially large expenditures for heating, AC, gas and electricity. To offshore white-collar/office jobs, you simply need some computers, fax machines, a network, software, some programmers, etc. You can rent or lease office space for relatively cheap, also. Why would Company X want to pay an expensive lease in New York City – or even Detroit – when they can go to Mumbai, Jaipur, or Bangalore?!?!

    In the end, capitalism leads to a race to the bottom. If Asian Indians decide to organize and demand better pay and proper work conditions, these MNCs will simply move to an area that offers cheaper labor.

    Americans think they can simply put more credentials behind their name, and “make it.”

  22. 3:13.

    why is it everyone elses fault if you make a bad decision? It is not up to the law professors to decide who gets the 160k law jobs just like it is not the mortgage brokers job to decide if you can afford a mortgage.

    People make choices based on their own risk assesment. Some ignore the risks and just do it because they believe someone will bail them out whether it is bankruptcy or some other gvt program. If an idiot takes out a 500k mortage when he makes 25k a year, he deserves what he gets. If the mortgage companies make these loans because the government backs them or they will be bailed out when homeboy defaults, then it is the bailouts that are to blame.

    When you keep allowing people and businesses to escape their decisions, its the middle class tax payer who pays. Why do you think the middle class is dying out?

    Law school is a bad decision for most and blogs like this provide great info, but with all the info thats out there, if you choose to go, the risk in on you. The realities are well known and many ignore them.

    I hope there are no bailouts for student loans. Who pays but none other then the smart ones who didnt risk debt to get a law degree. If there are bailouts, the same people who bought houses they could not afford will take other peoples money and go to law school. If I made a mistake for taking out my law school loans, its on me. I dont know anyone in my class who went because they read the employment statistics and believed they would get a job at a certain salary. They took a risk and like everything else in life, some made it, most failed.

    Take some responsibility for yourself.

  23. 9:30 wrote

    'People make choices based on their own risk assesment. Some ignore the risks and just do it because they believe someone will bail them out whether it is bankruptcy or some other gvt program. If an idiot takes out a 500k mortage when he makes 25k a year, he deserves what he gets. If the mortgage companies make these loans because the government backs them or they will be bailed out when homeboy defaults, then it is the bailouts that are to blame.'

    So it is not the fault of the lending institutions or the bank executives? Thanks for clearing that up. The mortage lenders made bad loans. You can't blame it all on the guy making $25K. The bank had to approve his loan. They did for a lot of people who couldn't afford the McMansion.

  24. I just finished reading the article. This Wallerstein guy is an idiot. He say's "at least they can't put me in jail." That's currently the case, but debtors' prisons can easily be reinstituted with a legislative pen stroke. How are those overseas educational trips to Prague et al. feeling now? And $15,000 for bar study. When I graduated in the early 2000's, it was only $5,000 and I still didn't take it. You screwed yourself and made a bad decision (attending Thomas Jefferson) even worse by borrowing more money than you actually needed. I hope that guy you are watching in exchange for free housing doesn't kick the bucket because you will likely never qualify for a house based on your credit score, however dismal that may be at present.

  25. I understand the mentality of your typical 18 year old student or person in their early twenties making important life decisions. Unfortunately, kids at that age don't have a realistic basis for understanding the value of a dollar or how long it will take to pay back thousands of dollars. They don't take into account taxes, compound interest, cost of living, etc. I firmly believe that every kid in elementary school should have some exposure to the concept of compound interest. When you tell a kid that he has to pay back $100,000 at 8% interest, the full reality of meeting that monthly obligation cannot (in my opinion) be appreciated. Instead of focusing on some ridiculous humanities subject, maybe the schools should be teaching kids how not to become debt slaves.

  26. Sending people to a life of debt slavery serves a purpose. It keeps the pawns in line. They will be forced to work for shittier wages. And they'll be happy just to have a job and a roof over their head.

  27. I've been reading all these horrible stories voraciously these past few days since that NYT article came out. I'm not a JD, just an engineer with a BS making $120,00 + Bonus/ year, and was graduated with a 2.5 GPA near the bottom of my class. All I did was party in college and I don't take life very seriously even now---but I guess I made the right choices in life.

    But back to the guy with $300,000 in debt and no job. Have you ever thought about getting a different name, ID, different social security number and starting over in a different state? Murderers, criminals, and illegal aliens do it all the time. You can buy books on Amazon about how to do it. After all, didn't you see "Body Heat"?

  28. The main culprit here is clearly the ABA. They really have to regulate the supply and demand based on the job prospects for graduates. My wife works in admin at a dental school and the ADA ordered the school to "accept fewer students" during the economic downturn. We must also increase the difficulty of the bar exam, so that only 25% pass. We should also institute an attorney exam every couple of years to make sure the lawyers still possess the necessary "logic, reasoning, and common sense" (i.e. watch out shit-law PI attorneys). Lastly, the feds should requires a minimum quota of "inexpensive" legal education for each state. Those that charge current level of tuition should have to have 10-15% of their skin in the game and take a hit when a student defaults. Here in California, UCLA, Berkeley and others are charging 40-50k per year!

  29. The Bar exam is already hard enough. If there is a 25% pass rate, most law schools close. When they do the same for med school, i am all in.

    There is a market for Shit Law PI Lawyers. It keeps the insurance companies in check somewhat as most of those clients could never get help because the lawyers that are of that 25% wont talk to them.

    The issue is not whether there are too many lawyers. The market works that out as the bad ones go under real quick and even the good ones have a hard time surviving.

    While Capitalism is not perfect Nando, show me another system you would like to live in. Unless you are the rich in that system who dont live by their own philosophies ie share the wealth, you live a lot worse then you do in a capitalist system.

    As the world catches up in terms of awareness and there are more cheap workers in the marketplace, the value of everything american is going down including our standard of living, but its still better then any other place. Until you live in a socialist system as the every day person, dont say capitalism is the problem.

    As for the mortgage analagy, it is not up to the mortgage guy to decide what you can afford. If their business survival depends on the people they loan the money to to pay it back, then you can bet they will make better decisions. If they make bad loans and the gct bails them out, you can bet they will make the loans and take their profits and worry about defaults later. The person getting the mortgage takes the same approach. When people and companies are forced to pay for their own bad decisions, then many problems will resolve.

    No system is perfect and that includes Capitalism and law schools, but as the world changes and the cost of the education goes up while the job prospects go down, you have to rethink. Just because our parents told us in the 50s and 60s education was key to success and happiness etc, does not mean it still is. I dont want to hear from people who ruled the business world in the 50s, i want to hear from todays success stories and failures.

    Law schools will crumble when there are no more students. That will not happen any time soon despite the efforts to inform people of the bad future it holds for many. There will always be smart people who feel like their future job prospects for real money are dim, so they roll the dice of law school. What makes this country great is it gives people a chance. Ill take the warped capiralist approach to school over any socialist garbage anywhere and most people with a real work ethic would as well.

  30. ^^^^

    I couldn't disagree more: endless taxpayer dollars being funnelled into tuition for a "profession" which is already grossly overcrowded is hardly a good example of any type of rationality, let alone capitalism.

    What economic theory is behind such a grotesque waste of resources?

  31. @2:00:

    You seem to be under the delusion that capitalist market forces are functioning properly with respect to the legal field and legal education.

    That is not currently the case, nor has it been for some time.

  32. @2:00:

    It is the job of government to protect consumers/citizens and deal with market failures just as it deals with muggers, murderers and rapists. The situation with law schools is nothing but a gross market distortion and the failure of the market to self-correct demands that something be done.

    We live in a country where many industries are overseen and/or regulated by the government to protect just the kind of behavior perpetrated by law school administrators and so-called professors. There is no reason why this same approach cannot be applied to the legal education industry so that the burden placed on society by the funding of and oversupply of law students is corrected.

  33. @ 1:10

    I am willing to face ultimate debtors prison and die there if it comes to that, for my 300K of debt.

    But I feel lucky to have lived this long,(45) and my youth is all but over. And from what I have seen of old age, it Sucks!
    And old age with a huge debt burden? You have got to be kidding? So I'm better off dead now or in the near future in other words.

    But I am on IBR (Income Based Repayments) now.
    The way that works is I pay a percentage based on my income for the next 20 to 25 years.
    After that I pay a tax bill on the amount that is discharged.

    If I never pay todays balance down, I'll owe 1/3 I think, or 100K to the IRS at age 65 or 70.

    I do have an income. But it is low.

    If I do manage to make a lot of money someday, I could pay the debt off. Every day I rack my brains for a solution. How to make that money?

    "Work Hard" certainly. But just remember where "Hard Work" took me in Law School,and what it has led to. And I swear to God Almighty I did my very best and worked as hard as I could.

    You gotta mistrust a system that doesn't reward hard work. And maybe America did at one time, but things are different now. And I can see where Nando is coming from regarding Capitalism. Some people benefit, but a lot of people get hurt by it.

    For a lot of people their last hope is the Lottery. I saw a guy I knew of once pedal up to a 7-11 on a bike and spend 50 bucks of his welfare money on scratch off tickets.

    Sometimes I think along "Back to the Drawing Board" lines, as in:

    Here is a group of human beings. How do we create and execute the very best way for them to live together? Utopian thinking, in other words. I was taught that that was how America was settled by people from Europe.

    The indiginous people, lets face it, were swept aside.

    And now we are all being swept aside by global forces, and we don't like it.

    But America is my home. I have ancestors that served and fought in every War through Vietnam, including the American Revolution and the Civil War (For the Union).My roots are here, and I just don't want to leave.

    I think there is irony in the fact that if I was able to declare bankruptcy when my loan was at 200K, it would have saved the taxpayer the extra 100K that I owe today.

    It would have stopped the bleeding for the taxpayer in other words.

    But because bankruptcy is not allowed, my loan could grow to 750K or a million in 20 years, and the taxpayer will have to pay for it.

    Does that make good econimic sense?

  34. @ 3:05

    1:10 here.

    I am not quite sure what you trying to get at. There is always a fine balance between freedom of choice and regulation. All I am saying, we are too skewed on letting all the morally bankrupt "low lives" take advantage of the ignorant consumers, whatever the nature of the business transaction, including the education system of "pump and dump" which involves all the benefits to the educators and all the risk of default onto the taxpayers/students.

    Also, forget about "artificial concepts" such as national or geographic affiliation. Don't be fools guys, being a proud "U.S." citizen is meaningless. Anyone "born in the US" is a citizen (think the illegals). For all that we know Osama Bin Laden's kids can be US citizens as long as they were born here. There are ONLY THE STRONG AND THE WEAK. THE HAVE $ and NOT HAVE $. This goes irrespective of country!
    You should consider leaving the country as one way to escape your debts and start a new life.
    The US government is a piece of shit that has been selling lies to distract from the ugly reality. So, what is so wrong with having "standards"? Seriously.

  35. I worked for a Judge this past summer, and she told me to get out while I still could, so I did. What is happening before our very eyes is the same thing that happened to England, circa 1914. Our country has reached the zenith of it's power, and our citizens have reached the top ladder in terms of economic prosperity. This was inevitable, I honestly do not know why people are so shocked, The British Empire had it's day in the sun, and so did the American Empire.
    Until people realize that we are a second rate economic power, they will still think that we can come out of this hole. This is not so much the death of the American Dream, just merely, the NEW normal.
    What makes this situation worse is that we have an entire generation brought up under the self-esteem/entitlement movement that can not grapple with the fact that we are all not millionaires. Think I am some bitter old man. I'm 25. It is about time my generation grows up and learns to deal with the reality of the situation.

  36. "This is not so much the death of the American Dream, just merely, the NEW normal."

    The fall of the American Empire has been predicted in just about ever economic downturn. I am older than you 1:10. If there is one thing I have learned it is that when times are good, people cannot conceive of another scenario, and vice versa when times are bad.

    We live in a state of perpetual impermanence. Today's normal is tomorrow's history. No one knows what tomorrow will hold, but we can rest assured it won't be like today.

    The law school industry status quo is unsustainable. Outside forces will destroy it. It is inevitable. The only question now is what outside forces will act first and what will their effect be. I have previously argued that I believe that the market and new standards from the Department of Education will likely result from the current crisis.

    Law professors are oblivious to the changes that are coming. They will be indignant once the changes arrive at their doorstep, but by then, it will be too late for them. They won't be able to make 200k a year teaching 2 classes a semester and writing the ocsasisonal law review article.

    US News is thinking about ranking the third tier now. I hope they will rank them right up to 188 or 200 or whatever the number is now. That will empower the market to eliminate some of the crappy schools. US News won't rank the Fourth Tier right now because it doesn't want to allocate last place to anyone. This is absurd. Law schools have no problem ranking a PERSON as last in the class, why should the institution be treated any differently?

    Things are very bad. Very, very bad. But they won't always be this way. Things will change, and I believe for the better. We have nando and others to thank for this.

    But that doesn't help us much right now, does it?

  37. ^^Whaddya Mean!

    Teaching the Rule In Shelly's case is worth at LEAST 200K a year. And the rule in Dumphors case?
    Forget about it!

  38. Spelled it wrong.

    Dumpors Case. As in what's brown and sounds like a Bell?


  39. International Shoe! International Shoe!

    No wonder law schools are such a cash cow for the undergrad programs. What other graduate program can sustain itself by packing asses in the seats only to hear about Pennoyer v. Neff for about 87 straight years. All while graduating class after class of individuals incapable of closing on a house for someone.

    Teaching law is the ultimate gig. What a gravy job.

  40. I went to DePaul Law School and was and am unable to find a legal job. A lot of it has to with age. In your twenties you are so optimistic about life in general not to mention your own prospects. I worked very hard at DePaul but was in middle of the class.

    I remember a guy who was talking about buying a term paper to turn in one his classes. I looked down at his cheating and I spent many nights working on my paper checking and double-checking everything. I was proud of my paper and got a B.

    The guy who paid $50 or so for his paper probably received a B or an A.

    Thing is now I know how worthless both of them are.

  41. “Who’s to say to any particular student, ‘You won’t be the one to get the $160,000-a-year job,’ ” says Steven Greenberger, a dean at the DePaul College of Law.

    This is similar to telling someone to buy a lottery ticket because YOU may be the winner. Not only is it statistically unlikely but there are real factors that affect the statistics such as where you went to law school, ranking, etc.

  42. Congratulations Nando! I know this is a bit late, but it was great to finally see the mainstream address this issue.

  43. DePaul is a toilet. I think the woman in the Segal article mentioned she was law review at DePaul. Now she works in sales.

    The lawyer job market is shit. Its been that way for some time now. The recession has helped bring this home, 'cause even T14 grads are now facing unemployment. Now if you google 'law school or no' and 'should i go to law school' you will see links to the article from the New York Times.

    If nothing else, pre-law students should recognize there are strong reasons not to go.

  44. Nando--I believe you earlier said that many attorneys are not sympathetic to the plight of debt-soaked law grads. I disagree. I have been practicing now for nearly 24 years as a trial lawyers and I have seen what the over-abundance of lawyers has done to this profession. One of the most marked impacts of the over-abundance of lawyers is that plaintiff lawyers such as must advertise in order to obtain sufficient business to keep the doors open make a living. This was not the case 10 years ago. However with too many lawyers vying for too few cases, there really is no other way. Therefore, when law school deans and other apologists for law schools suggest one should hang out one's own shingle just out of law school, they are (deliberately, I think) missing the point that solo practice is a business that requires a large expenditure of money for advertising. Yet, I am quite sure, these same deans and professors decry the impact of lawyer advertising upon the dignity of the law. These deans and professor counter that one can survive on $50 dollar an hour apponitments. Assuming arguendo that this hourly rate can pay overhead, starting out taking appointments only is not a solution either. Again, there are too many young lawyers chasing a limited number of appointments.

    I salute what you and the other "scam-bloggers" are doing. Sadly, I realize we veteran lawyers (particularly the plaintiff's trial bar) should have shouldered this responsibility some time ago. I would be interested in knowing the position of the American Association for Justice on these issues. They should be naturally allies in this fight, as the bulk of their members are in very much like myself.

    Tricia Dennis
    Chattanooga, TN

  45. Please excuse the lack of editing of the above post.

    Tricia Dennis
    Chattanooga, TN

  46. Congrats to all the scamlaw bloggers. There's already a reply to the NYT article from Vault, basically saying that it's the fault of the students who did not research properly before going to Law School, but I wonder, how could they properly researched if the data is to say the least ''massaged'' (in the word of one Dean quoted in the NYT's article)

  47. In response to many of the posters here, every empire has its rise and fall. Amerika is no different. Even the legal market had its up and down in this country. Many law schools closed down in the 1800's, in particular the first law school in the country, Litchfield (in Connecticut). Let's stop folling ourselves, this is all about money, plain and simple. The pigs want to keep the gravy train rolling regardless of how many people are ultimately put out on the street. From a "resources" standpoint, I agree with some of the posters here that if taxpayer dollars are being used (and they are) for financing higher education (state schools or federally-backed student loans), then it doesn't make sense to keep throwing public money at something that is unsustainable, i.e., funding law students' education when the jobs are not available. Things will change, but by that time it will be too late - we'll be lucky to even have a functioning legal industry at that time. Courts will be closed due to lack of funding and things will revert back to the wild wild west. Just my opinion.

  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

  49. I personally think the capitalist system would take care of the problem on its own, but the fraudulent and misleading activities of the Cooleys of the world have corrupted and distorted the market. If Cooley was honest with its job placement data, no one would go there and it would close. Since no one takes it to account for the ways it skews its numbers, it finds a new group of suckers each year to go there.

  50. So how else do you suggest one become an attorney other than to attend law school? While the law school education may not teach everything you wish it did, it is a statutory requirement in nearly all states to obtain a bar license to practice law. I'll leave law school's "quality of education" for others to debate, but law school attendance is necessary to become an attorney. If you disagree with that, then take it up with your local legislature - and not the rest of the world.

  51. cruggs @ January 12, 2011 2:11 PM :

    I don't get it. What exactly is YOUR problem with the scamblogs pointing out to potential law students the very probable pitfalls of attending? Where in the scamblogs did anyone deny that it is a statutory prerequisite to attend law school, sham that it is nevertheless? What do YOU care? Are you an employee of one of these dumps? On what basis are you saying that scambloggers have no right to warn potential students of attempting entry into this sordidly crowded "profession", regardless of the fact such attendance is a requirement for licensing? n what ways do their warnings and admonishmments hinge on that fact, and thereby depend on it somehow for their validity?


    Article: Options for Student Borrowers: A Derivatives-Based Proposal to Protect Students and Control Debt-Fueled Inflation in the Higher Education Market.

    The basic gist of this 72-page article is that the burden should be placed on those who benefit from the system. Banks and law schools are in the position of the well-informed repeat player. They make serious cash, in the current system. Therefore, the student should not bear the brunt of the risk. They do not understand the job market, whereas the schools know the game. They can also fudge the numbers, and provide an overly-optimistic picture of the industry.

    On page 49 of the PDF – or page 115 of the journal – the authors write:

    “Just as businesses can reap profits from useful yet abnormally dangerous activities, the higher education enterprise of law schools and student loan lenders invariably profit from successive batches of virgin law students. Law schools and lenders are the sophisticated, well-informed, repeat players in this market.”

    By the way, I was cited as a reference in note 260 on page 52, which is page 118 of this journal edition.

    The reality of the situation is this: law schools are savvy, repeat offenders in this system. The student lending companies are likewise in the same boat. Currently, neither the banks nor the diploma mills have an incentive to change things. The “professors” and administrators get paid up front, in full – via federally-backed student loans. YOU will be the one who is left with 25-30 years of monthly payments to the lenders.

    The lenders give out money because the loans are non-dischargeable. If you default, they can add TENS OF THOUSANDS in fees, assessments, and penalties. By the way, the lenders can garnish your wages or SSI without a court order. For some reason, if you cannot make payments, the lender can sell your loans to another agency, i.e. the original student lending pigs are in the clear. In the very worst-case – and least likely – scenario of mass refusals to pay, the government will re-pay the loans.

    If you must defer re-payment, the lender will watch as interest accrues on your loan. You, the student, will watch helplessly as this occurs.

    To Tricia,

    Thanks for recognizing the bind recent JDs are in. Too often, I see older attorneys say, “Screw them. They took out the loans. The schools owe them nothing.” (Apparently, these older attorneys don’t feel that the schools owe a duty of candor.)

    Maybe these dolts should check out ABA Standard 509.

  53. I would even go so far as to say that there is a "Fiduciary" relationship owed to the student.

    I mean: the very real destruction of a the student's life is at stake.Ands the student really trusts and believes in the "Institutions"

    And as you say above, all of the Schools and Abnks are well aware of the job market and the risks.

    So i do not believe that calling it a Fiducary Duty is an extreme statement.

  54. this united states is dogshitJanuary 12, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    People need to wake up, man. This country is on the downnard spiral. yeah, big fucking surprise huh. Who could've figured sending the manufacturing jobs overseas and bringing in millions of illegals would have such a negative affect. Who'da thought turning the place into a giant shopping zone wouldn't lead to prosperity? Feel bad? Go shopping. Get a pedicure. Buy some ice cream. Buy another pair of 36 inch waist Dockers. Oh, tuition shot up 300 percent in the last 20 years. WHo cares? You;ve got shopping to do! Keep votin' Republican and Democrat. 'Cause that's worked out so well recently. Watch some more football. Eat another Snickers bar. Follow that shit up with another Kit Kat. Awww, fuck it. Stick another bag of fries in your face. Then go play more video games. And more TV. Don't forget that. Go to school while yer at it. Like a good little clone. After Poli Sci 1500 lets out, go eat at a chain restaurant. Help support those college grads working the counter and bussin' tables. That'll be your ass soon enough. Just wait til you get your hands on that college diploma. Your stupid fucking family in the bleachers watching you with tears in their eyes, so proud of you. Little do they know you'll be fucked when you try and enter the job market. And no one that told you that college = success will be held to account. No, no, you'll be the poor schlub tryin' to pay $100,000 in loans on your customer service rep job. Good luck. You'll need it. Have fun living in a run down, shitty-ass studio apartment at age 34. Watch as your hairline recedes a little, your waist expands and you get crows feet and wrinkles. Think that'll attract the ladies?

  55. @ Jan 12, 3:00pm: "On what basis are you saying that scambloggers have no right to warn potential students of attempting entry into this sordidly crowded "profession"..."

    The of right scambloggers is absolute, but they are foundationally unsound in substance:
    Just as scambloggers cite a lack of accurate data to impeach the law schools, the same scambloggers likewise fail to cite solid, accurate data which supports their own position. I mean, how can you take the position that the law schools are fudging the numbers when admittedly, it is the SCAMBLOGGERS who don't even know what the true numbers are either. How can one accuse the accuracy of information without knowing the correct information to begin with?

  56. (cont') Another point:

    The assertion that "there are no legal jobs" due to a "crowded legal field" is a logical fallacy. [I spent some time trying to find the term, and would require more time to find the exact fallacy term.] But it's like a "square logic" assertion which defeats itself.

    Basically, the assertion and the justification contradict. My response is: If the legal field is crowded, then there are legal jobs going on right now! Alternatively, if fewer law grads can get legal jobs, then eventually, the market will not be "crowded." Problem solved in any event. On to my next point...

  57. The fact that there ARE so many lawyers right now (as suggested by "scambloggers"), demonstrates how common it is to make a satisfying living in the legal profession as a lawyer.

    If one could not make a satisfying earning as a lawyer, then you just wouldn't see such an ocean of attorneys. In fact, why would ANYONE, lawyer or otherwise, be working for non-existent wages?

  58. Another last point:

    If I were the law schools, and heard the recent accusations of these "scambloggers," then as a law school, I would simply withdraw ALL employment information from publication. Period. I wouldn't try to put out accurate information; I would not put out ANY information.

    The reason is that law schools have no statutory or contractual obligation (if there is, I want to see the "writing") to publish ANY employment data, and I would urge them to refrain from doing so. Although I think if the schools choose to publish the information, then it should be accurate and verifiable.

    If a prospective law student asked a law school for such data, then the law school should tell the prospective to do his own independent research by asking data reporting organizations engaged in employment data reporting for the legal sector, if he/she could find any.

  59. Cruggs, not even Cooley would accept you and that is saying a lot.


  60. Cruggs has the same reasoning as that sick fuck in Tucson. Doubtless, the guy would add creepy music to his comments if he could.

    there are many lawyers. some of those lawyers are employed and making lots of money. therefore, being a lawyer is lucrative.

    states require you attend law school to sit for the bar. law school is necessary. hence, law school is a good idea.

    Cruggs is an idiot, plain and simple.

  61. Nando, thank you for your kind words. Actually, I think there is a great deal of sympathy out there in the plaintiff's bar for your cohort. I think the problem is those in the plaintiff's bar do not know how to focus their concern into meaningful change, even though the current oversupply of lawyers continues to have almost devastating impact upon the business of even established plaintiff lawyers. The ABA is fine with the system as is (never exactly a friend to the plaintiff or criminal bar); legislatures care little for the issue of too many law schools; and the American Association for Justice seems curiously detached from the issue (perhaps because it has ceded the issue to the ABA). I have spoken to several of my colleagues and we believe you are correct: stripping the ABA of accreditation power would be a start.

    Tricia Dennis

  62. @ Cruggs:

    “Morse acknowledged that some law schools game the rankings, which take into account the percentage of graduates with jobs at graduation and those with jobs nine months after graduation. However, he noted that U.S. News uses the same definition of employment — which includes those in non-legal jobs and temporary jobs created by law schools — as do the American Bar Association and the National Association for Law Placement. Those groups should take the lead in devising a new way to report employment data, he said.”

    “To that end, the Career Center launched the Bridge to Practice program, which offers an eight- to 12-week fellowship in a variety of legal positions. Graduates are paid a stipend, usually supported by alumni contributions, gain on-the-ground experience, and strengthen their lawyering skills. They also work throughout their fellowship with career counselors and mentors to continue their searches.”

    Check out the “Test Drive” program at SMU Dedman School of Law.

    “The most recent survey says 92 percent of Thomas Jefferson grads were employed nine months after they earned their degrees.

    Beth Kransberger, associate dean of student affairs at Thomas Jefferson, stands by that figure, noting that it includes 25 percent of those graduates who could not be located, as well as anyone who went on to other graduate studies — all perfectly kosher under the guidelines.”

    Look, North Dakota, Wyoming and University of St. Thomas all overstated the numbers of their grads who went into Article III clerkships, upon graduation.

    Do you get it now, Cruggs?!?! Do you understand that NALP, US News and the ABA count a JD working as a short-term research assistant as “employed”? This is also the case for lawyers working at Radio Shack.

  63. From that same NYT piece:

    “Enron-type accounting standards have become the norm,” says William Henderson of Indiana University, one of many exasperated law professors who are asking the ABA to overhaul the way law schools assess themselves. “Every time I look at this data, I feel dirty.”

    Here is Professor Brian Tamanaha’s take on things:

    “The law graduates posting on these sites know the score. They know that law schools pad their employment figures—96% employed—by counting as “employed” any job at all, legal or non-legal, including part time jobs, including unemployed graduates hired by the school as research assistants (or by excluding unemployed graduates “not currently seeking” a job, or by excluding graduates who do not supply employment information). They know that the gaudy salary numbers advertised on the career services page—“average starting salary $125,000 private full time employment”—are actually calculated based upon only about 25% of the graduating class (although you can’t easily figure this out from the information provided by the schools). They know all this because they know of too many classmates who didn’t get jobs or who got low paying jobs—the numbers don’t jibe with their first hand knowledge.”

    Here are some academic reports on how law school rankings schemes mislead:

    Cruggs, whenever you want your ass handed to you in a paper bag, feel free to come on here uninformed and yet shooting your mouth off. I will be happy to comply with your request.

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

  64. "If one could not make a satisfying earning as a lawyer, then you just wouldn't see such an ocean of attorneys. In fact, why would ANYONE, lawyer or otherwise, be working for non-existent wages?... Kaboom!"

    I can see your tail wagging as you make this point, and I'm sure you're proud. Let me get this straight... Your logic is that there are a lot of attorneys, thus, they must all... be... satisfied? Really? You kaboomed that logic?

    The ocean of attorneys represents PERCEPTION of quality of life. However, in ACTUALITY, many attorneys, especially young ones, are faced with the REALITY of having to choose between working at a soul crushing, 70 hour a week job that they find morally questionable at best... Or drowning in debt at a job they feel less immoral about.

    In REALITY, cruggs, most young lawyers know how to test well, but are tragically bad at predicting the future, or more specifically, whether they'll ever climb out of indentured servitude, aka unforgivable six figure student loans. Many of us end up working at jobs we hate just so we don't have to admit to everyone that it was a mistake to follow the crowd over the cliff of debt.

    My point is accentuated not by a flashy "kaboom," just the awkward silence of your tail no longer wagging. Welcome back to reality.

  65. Cruggs might be the dumbest commenter yet.

    "How can one accuse the accuracy of information without knowing the correct information to begin with?"

    "The fact that there ARE so many lawyers right now . . . demonstrates how common it is to make a satisfying living in the legal profession as a lawyer."

    Hilarious! Dude should go on tour with this stuff.

  66. Jan. 12 @ 6:12

    34 is a baby. Wait till you get older.
    It just gets worse.

    But I too look at the totality of life in America now. For anybody of even moddest intelligence, it should seem surreal and absurd.

    The pop culture,the sports. The Mass media and the dumbing down of the culture at large. The shopping malls. 1/3 of American adults are clinically obese.

    Go to College or Grad or Law school and end up impoverished. What the HEll is going on?

    Priorities are all skewed.

    I mean, if you want to take a family to Disney, it is more expensive than paying for an average wedding. Yet people do. because it's important. The kids just gotta see Mickey. Why?

    And Cruggs? he sounds young. Why don't the kids listen to the advice older people?

  67. "Why don't the kids listen to the advice older people?"

    Because they're the same ones who told us to "stay in school" and that education was the best investment we could make.

  68. I have over 20 years of experience in the legal profession. Here are my observations. About 35-40% of people that went to law school up until the late 1990s, became practicing attorneys. The rest just abandoned the dream of becoming a lawyer, taking up a low to mid-level corporate jobs (e.g., selling insurance with Prudential or doing document review for temp agencies) or transferring from the profession altogether. Now many of the people that couldn't make it as lawyers up to 10 years ago were ok. They could service their student loan obligations because the average law school debt back then was $30-40K. Even at a dead end job making $45K, you could service your law school loans. Fast forward 10 years later. Law school tuition nearly tripled, meaning that those that did not make it as lawyers were left with an average student loan bill of $90K to $120K (in some cases more, e.g., NY Bar applicant who failed C&F committee standard for not making a cent payment towards $430K of student loans). Meanwhile, the corporate fallback jobs of JDs are being shipped overseas (LPO) and in this economy, finding a job paying $45K out of law school seems to be lottery find rather than the norm. Add this to the fact that there are about 10K more law students being flushed into the market every year and you have armageddon. Law school, I am afraid, has always been a game. Except today, it is cost prohibitive to play the game and the chances are winning are slimmer than they were in the late 1990s.

    I find it ironic that CSO are telling their grads to try going solo. It is hillarious since law schools don't teach you how to practice law. For example, you can take a Wills & Trust class in law school but you won't know how to draft a will with a healthcare proxy. You won't even know how to draft a spendthrift trust that meets IRS guidelines. As a first year you take a property class and read about Greenacre but you won't even know how to fill out a RESPA statement or conduct a closing. So law schools are now telling kids who cannot find legal jobs to strike it on their own. This is what I have seen in the past 2 years. Many recent law grads cannot afford a brick and mortar office. So they meet clients at the local Starbucks where everyone can overhear your client bitch and moan about babymama drama and child support. Guess what? You have just waived the attorney-client privilege by conducting a consultation in a public forum. Heck, the attorney could call you as a witness and you won't be able to invoke privilege once you reveal you had the consultation at Starbucks. So you talk and when your client has to pay child support up the wazoo, guess what? Malpractice lawsuits and ethics complaints. Once the ethics committee suspends you, the discipline will tarnish your career and you will have to pay a huge premium for malpractice insurance. Also, you will have to disclose the disciplinary action to potential clients.

    Is law school a losing game? To some degree it always has been but at least many did well and those that didn't could still service their loans doing something else. Is that the case today? No. The game has changed. It has gotten more vicious and many kids are going to suffer.

    Many kids over the years look at me and say "I could do what this guy does and have a house on the hills, drive an S-Class and make half a mil every year." What these kids fail to realize is that I paid my dues working at firms that trained me. Guess what? Clients aren't paying law firms to train associates any more. The best days of this "profession" are long gone. Go to law school at your own peril.

  69. @ Cruggs -- "I mean, how can you take the position that the law schools are fudging the numbers when admittedly, it is the SCAMBLOGGERS who don't even know what the true numbers are either. How can one accuse the accuracy of information without knowing the correct information to begin with?"

    To offer an anecdote in support of Brian Tamanaha’s take on things...

    I am a 2010 grad of a TTTT. I was a member of the law review and finished top 5% of my class. Now, I make $40k per year. A few weeks before graduation, I sat in a room of about 100 students for loan repayment counseling. The woman giving the presentation asked those who had jobs lined up to raise their hands. Literally, 2 students put their hand in their air. Who knows if those jobs were even legal jobs. Meanwhile, I bet the average student sitting in that room had taken on an addition $100k or so of debt to attend law school.

    We are now about 8 months after graduation. Things haven't gotten much better. Every couple of months or so I hear of one of our grads finding employment; however, such jobs generally aren't lawyer jobs.

    Meanwhile, the interest keeps on ticking.. 6.8%+

  70. lol. good coverage getting mentioned in nytimes too nando. Probably your first convert haha :P


    :D rock on!

  71. penncruncher,

    It is good to hear from an early follower. I am glad that some of those readers still check out this site. I was pleasantly surprised the Times used such an aggressive quote, as well.

    I have no intention of letting up on these filthy commodes. They are still making serious bank off of the system - and consigning an entire generation to a lifetime of debt servitude. This will have serious repercussions on this nation - as many of these debt-soaked graduates will not be able to purchase a home, get married or start a family.

    I am aggressive in documenting the law school cartel, because the entrenched pigs at the ABA will not change the $y$tem, on their own. If any ABA swine are checking this site out - and you disagree with what I state on this blog - feel free to chime in.

  72. Dear 0L's,

    I wish I could transfer the feeling of desperation in my stomach to yours for just five minutes so you could understand the ramifications of attending law school. I am a 3L at a TT, Moot Court, a few CALI awards, impressive 2 year internship. In other words, while I am not law review, my credentials are respectable.

    And I am terrified. TERRIFIED.

    I have applied to HUNDREDS of firms across the country, and I have had a grand total of THREE interviews and NO JOBS.

    I have 77k in NON-DISCHARGEABLE DEBT. I have a baby on the way. I have no idea how I will pay for my baby's food and shelter.

    I look back at my previous life and it seems like another reality. I keep hoping that I will wake up from this bad dream, but it's not a dream. I feel like a total failure, that my life is forever lost.

    Attending law school is as dangerous for your health and long term well being as doing crystal meth. That is not hyperbole. At least the crystal meth addict has a chance at recovery and putting a life back together. At least they get a second chance. Me? I'm fucked.

    If someone you love is thinking about law school, please, please please please talk them out of it in the same way you would intervene if they were an addict. They will lose their life if you do not.

    Please, listen to these scam bloggers! I don't want anyone else to ruin their life! PLEASE LISTEN!

  73. @11:12

    Hang in there. You are not alone.

    There is going to be another, and better day for us.

    Things have to change.

    They've just got to.

  74. Kaboom!

    I know a Michigan law grad stuck in temp attorney hell regretting ever going to law school and the fact he is now "overqualified" for everything else.

    But because he is a "lawyer", therefore law has gotta be a great field? On what planet? If I had purchased a 1979 Yugo automobile, would that make it a great car due to the fact I bought one?


  75. P.S. I am a licensed attorney not working anywhere near the legal field.


    i.e., lotsa lawyers NOT lawyering.


  76. 1:35 and 1:39 = comments of the year (so far). My coworkers want to know why I am laughing so hard.

  77. You are awesome nando. You are an inspiration to me :)

    This is like you against the law school cartel.
    Put a FLAME THROWER to this place

    Clip from scene of a woman with Al pacino at trial.


  78. I always say that the biggest beneficiaries of law schools are NEVER the law graduates, but the law firms and other employers of law graduates.

    Another beneficiary of law schools is the faculty and the administration running the law schools.

    In this capitalistic society, why would the law school industry in general make the law graduates the biggest beneficiaries, when the people running the law industry are law firms, employers of law graduates, and the faculty??

    As a corollary, college education in the US mainly benefits corporate America, who are the employers of college graduates. Education in America produces workers for corporate America, not citizens for the society.


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