Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Michael Olivas, Nelson P. Miller and Brian Leiter: Mental Midgets or Pathologically Dishonest Academics?

Michael Olivas Doesn’t Understand That Car Loans Differ From Student Loans?!:

On December 2, 2011, Jonathan Berr wrote a piece for Daily Finance entitled “Should Law Schools Pay Some Students to Drop Out?”

“Should law school students be eligible for tuition refunds if they decide they'd rather not accumulate six-figures in debt studying for a career in which job prospects are dismal? That's what two Yale University professors recently argued in Slate. The National Association of Law Schools, not surprisingly, rejected the idea.

"The hypothetical was an absurd one," said Michael A. Olivas, the association's president, adding that he is not aware of any law students who have actually made such a request. "We have never guaranteed that our graduates will have jobs."

Olivas, a law professor at the University of Houston, makes a persuasive case that letting law school students escape their debts is a bad idea. After all, he notes that people have to pay off their car loans even if they grow tired of their vehicles.” [Emphasis mine]

Of course, Olivas the Shill vehemently disagrees with this analysis. Self interest typically trumps everything else. I understand why he would claim that his association has never guaranteed that law graduates will find employment. Technically, he is not lying - at this point. Then again, the law school pigs publish inflated employment numbers. However, this bearded fool engages in INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY when he tries to equate student debt with a car loan.

Let me point out the following to you, Michael: you can walk away from a car loan. The dealer can repossess the automobile - and perhaps move for damages and attorney’s fees. However, the loan will not cost six figures or financially ruin the borrower for the next 25-30 years. Furthermore, the dealer or bank bears some of the risk of making stupid loans. As you are aware, Ass-Clown, student loans are NON-DISCHARGEABLE.

Nelson P. Miller Engages in Statistical Nonsense:

On December 9, 2011, Paul Campos, law professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, wrote a scathing indictment on Nelson P. Miller of TTTThoma$ M. Cooley Law $chool. His entry was labeled “I can’t believe it’s a law dean.”

“If I were the dean of a law school that was getting sued for luring students to my school via wildly misleading employment and salary figures, here's what Item One on my day planner would not be: "Publish op-ed full of wildly misleading employment figures in legal employment magazine."

But I'm not Nelson Miller, dean of the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law's Grand Rapids campus. The charitable interpretation of Miller's defense of legal education as a "value proposition," as they say in the B-school literature, is that he is a profoundly stupid man who is incapable of understanding even the simplest statistical arguments. The realistic interpretation is that he is a profoundly dishonest man, who is quite capable of making what he fully realizes are utterly misleading arguments, if doing so is necessary, in his calculated view, to preserve his salary.”
[Emphasis mine]

Campos is referring to this piece of drivel, which was written by Nelson Miller and sent to Vivia Chen of The Careerist. Here is an excrementitiously foul excerpt:

“The national economic downturn hurt the legal profession, but lawyers clearly fared well compared to the general population and other management and professional occupations. Recent law graduates have not fared as well as more experienced lawyers, but they still fare better than the general population.”

Such asinine “arguments” indicate that Nelson P. Miller is: (a) clueless; or (b) patently dishonest. An unemployed pizza delivery guy does not need to spend seven years of his life - plus $100K in student loans - for such a position.

Brian Leiter’s Vagina Still Hurts Because of the New York Times:

Brian Leiter has posted no less than seven bitch responses to David Segals’ November 19, 2011 New York Times piece above, which was entitled “What They Don’t Teach Law Students: Lawyering.” This latest Segal article on U.S. "legal education" obviously burned Leiter's ass. Apparently, it has affected his nether regions, as well. Try applying some Vagisil to the area, Brian. Then take a cue from your colleague, Emory “law professor” Sarah K. Stadler and “Get over it!!” After all, you are not the one incurring six figures in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt - while facing an anemic legal job market.

According to his faculty bio, Michael Olivas has received an extensive education. In fact, he has an M.A. and Ph.D. from Ohio State University, and a law degree from Georgetown. Nelson P. Miller, associate dean at the Grand Rapids campus of Fourth Tier Trash Pit Thomas M. Cooley Law School, earned a B.A. from Indiana University “with highest honors.” He also graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. Lastly, Brian Leiter graduated from Princeton, before attaining a JD and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Conclusion: I leave it up to you to decide whether these $elf-intere$ted academics are (a) completely clueless ass-hats; or (b) intentionally dishonest pigs. Anyone with an IQ above 80 - and one ounce of integrity - can figure this out. To paraphrase Paul Campos:

The kind interpretation of their idiotic defenses of “legal education” is that these three “educators” are profoundly stupid men who are incapable of understanding even the simplest statistical arguments. The realistic interpretation is that they are profoundly dishonest men, who are quite capable of making what they fully realize are utterly misleading arguments, if doing so is necessary, in their calculated view, to preserve their big-ass salaries.


  1. Nando:

    Great work. I am curious, do you think these jackasses ever read what is written here? In other words, is there a way to track whether or not they look at this site or do you send the article to them?

  2. Campos has a funny piece called on bullshit and law schools. I don't know why the scamblogs don't put it on the blog listings. You guys have a law professor calling it a scam. What more do you need? John Roberts and other federal court judges writing about the law school scam?

  3. This is a good post Nando. It was absurd of Olivas to compare a student loan to a car note. Ask any bankruptcy lawyer and they will tell you that student loans survive bankruptcy while the car loan gets discharged. As for Brian Leiter, no judge or practicing lawyer gives a shit about Kant or Rawls. In 20 years of practice, I have yet to cite in any of my briefs, Kant, Hegel or is law review article. These are useless tools in the practice of law. Come to think of it, I have not utilized anything I learned in law school while I have been practicing law. Law school will be for most, an expensive exercise in futility.

  4. Just a bunch of old men trying to justify their inflated salaries. It's obvious they don't give a shit about the students. More cannon fodder for the schools. And thank God the NYT decided to look into the law schools. You know a reporter's doing his job when he presents facts and in the process pisses off the very people benefitting from the system.

  5. 3 with a single blow! Nando the Giant Killer!

  6. 6:08,

    Brian Leiter is infamous for monitoring every comment made about him on the web (presumably through Google Alerts). You can bet your sweet indebted ass that he read or will read this post. And every single comment.


  7. If he monitors everythign written about him on the web, why does he say such outlandish things? The guy is a philosophy professor who teaches at a law school. Which means he makes big bucks. Think he gives two shits about law students?

  8. I would gladly give up driving a car for the rest of my life;

    give up my law school diploma (Besides, I ripped it up and threw it in the barbecue coals after my SL debt passed 200K a number of years ago);

    give up my right arm as they say....

    to be out of my horible nightmare debt from a law school.

    Dear God how I wish I never went to a law school. By now I am completely stuck and cannot go ahead and cannot go back.

    I am completely and hopelessly lost and deeply punished with debt for the rest of my natural life.

    As for Olivas? Like George Carlin said: he has more degrees than a rectal thermometer.

    Leiter is a quasi intellectual, like me, and it takes one to know one.

    Miller is a slick salesman, beyond category, and riding out there in the vast wild blue yonder on nothing more than a shoeshine and a smile.

  9. Walter Scott also said:

    "More know Tom Fool than Tom Fool knows!"

    A Trinty of inhumane fools sucking on the lending teat for all it is worth.

    What a country when almost all of the institutional academics are corrupt as hell, and motivated by financial self interest.

    An awful picture right?

    The supposed people with all the "knowledge" in the society. This society. Are more rapacious and greedy in many ways than the banking system that can be said to have brought them into existence.


    Brian Leiter
    Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence and Director, Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values
    1111 E. 60th St., Room 425
    Chicago, IL 60637

    AB, 1984, Princeton University; JD, 1987, PhD (philosophy), 1995, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

    Michael A. Olivas
    William B. Bates Distinguished Chair of Law
    Director, Institute of Higher Education Law & Governance
    201G TUII

    B.A., Pontifical College Josephinum; M.A. and Ph.D., Ohio State University; J.D., Georgetown University
    Nelson P. Miller
    Associate Dean for the Grand Rapids Campus and Professor

    B.A., highest honors, Indiana University 1984
    J.D., cum laude, University of Michigan Law School 1987

    Does anyone in their right mind believe that these three men are as STUPID as they are pretending to be – even for one moment?!?! Hell, even the mild-mannered guys at Law School Transparency took a jab at Nelson P. Miller’s beak:

    "We will not spend much time discrediting Dean Miller’s “data-based” arguments, including Cooley’s Report One, which is the basis of this latest editorial. (That report has been thoroughly and thoughtfully discredited in an article by Matt Leichter.) To make a long story short, the underlying data upon which Report One depends excludes at least one broad segment of law school graduates: People who never became lawyers in the first place because they couldn’t find legal jobs.

    So what is Miller’s editorial really about? Is it just an honest attempt by a law school administrator to educate students and allay unfounded fears propagated through the media? We don’t think so."

  11. When I look at images of Leiter and Olivas, I feel that God collected all waste and garbage he had to make them. The sole purpose of Leiter's and Olivas' existence is to mark the lowest point of human descend. They live so we look at them and try not to be what they are.

  12. Three bastards in one shot. Good work.

  13. These blowhards don't care about training people how to practice law. If they did, they would move to change the curriculum. But they choose to keep the system as it is. When someone mentions bringing in more clinics many professors cry that it will raise tuition further. Well, the tuition rates are already doing that. Based on all the things wrong with legal education, only uninformed idiots and rich people with connections would choose to go to law school today.

  14. Asshat Leiter should go teach philosophy at a community college. That'll shut him up.

  15. ^problem is he won't be making six figures teaching at a community college. On his stupid blog he makes sure to show what he expects as a tenured professor.

  16. It is amazing the contempt that these philosophers-who-have-no-business-being-on-a-law-faculty have for the actual practice of law.

    Stanley Fish (a nonlawyer law Professor), in his NYT piece, characterizes legal practice as "tricks," which he contrasts to the lofty "knowledge that becomes yours by pondering abstract, hypothetical questions," which law students derive, of course, by attending Fish's lectures.

    Prof. James Kwak, whose practical legal experience apparently consists of one summer internship at legal aid, mocks knowledge derived from legal practice rather than the classroom as consisting of learning to fill out "Forms 101 and Forms 201" and figuring out how to use "those funny folders that have two metal prongs sticking up."

    Prof. Brian Leiter, that Nietszchean ubermensch of academic scammers, throws some philosophical dust in our eyes, saying that "law schools are good at teaching what philosophers call "knowing that" (propositional knowledge)" and then noting that law schools do, indeed, teach legal doctrine. He hopes you don't notice that law schools are profoundly and deliberately inefficient in the way they teach doctrine-- stretching out a few months worth of material into three years. (entry of November 20, 2011)

    Prof. Larry Ribstein brushes aside complaints that newly-minted doctors of law know zilch about practicing law. He says that law professors offer more to their students by "teaching theory rather than the way to the courthouse."

    Law students can no longer afford to waste three years and a small fortune being taught by these rarefied thinkers who have never seen the inside of a courtroom! Law is a learn-by-doing profession. Law school should begin with a crash bar-review-like course to teach the doctrinal framework of core subjects and a few courses in legal writing and research. After that, law school should consist of a structured series of clinics and externships, under the supervision of actual practitioners, designed to train law students to try a case, to write an appeal, and to represent clients in several practice areas of the student's choice.

  17. December 14, 2011 2:50 PM

    What you have to understand is that Brian Leiter is very, extremely much obsessed with prestige. He envisions part of his job, in addition to blogging and writing law reviews, maintaining two sets of academic rankings. One for philosophy departments and one for law schools. The philosophy rankings he has maintained in some form since he was a graduate student.
    Brian Leiter has worked hard to advance the art of measuring prestige He can track prestige in minute amounts, Every time a professor leaves for one place and gets hired by another place? Leiter knows. Every law review article? Leiter knows (Not the actual content, that is impossible, but rather how much it will affect citation counts and prestige). Soon I imagine we will know up to the minute how much prestige the top law schools have, with probably a week or two delay for all other schools depending on how low on the totem pole they are.
    But I digress.

    The reason why Brian Leiter doesn't really like this place is because having his name and arguments critiqued here lowers his own prestige.
    Consider, in the thinking of the prestige conscious, more prestigious people are always right and less prestigious people are always wrong. Nando (And I mean no insult here) holds a J.D. From Third Tier Drake and runs a blog with pictures of feces on it. His arguments therefore should be wrong when compared to the arguments of a "Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence and Director, Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values". However Nando's logic is defeating Leiter's logic. This lowers Leiter's prestige, especially amongst everyone who is reading these entries, which is as many people as read the Harvard Law Review.

  18. well stated. The man deals with and is concerned with prestige. That much is clear. The guy at two comments ago does a nice job of showing professorial hypocrisy. Truth be told you could list 1,000 stupid things (with links) law professors have said in defense of this shit-ass industry.

  19. Brian Leiter and Michael Olivas are two moist puddles of cow shit. They never will become solid pieces of shit like, for example, Bob Morse. If Darwin would be alive, he would mark Leiter and Olivas as the point of absolute human descend. These two substances are so low on the the totem pole of mammals and so ugly internally and externally that even Greyhound station whores would refuse to serve them.

  20. To the first commenter:

    OrgName: University of Houston
    OrgId: UNIVER-239
    Address: Information Technology
    Address: 4213 Elgin Blvd
    City: Houston
    StateProv: TX
    PostalCode: 77204-1010
    Country: US
    RegDate: 1987-06-16
    Updated: 2011-07-14

    From analytics:

    Visitor detail
    IP address:
    IP lookup: ARIN / RIPE
    Unique ID: 2594059546828324130
    First visit: Sun Nov 7 2010 8:40am
    Visits: 138
    Language: English
    Location: Houston, TX, USA
    Operating system: Mac OS X
    Web browser: Safari 5.0
    Resolution: 1280x800
    Javascript: Enabled

    Time Visitor Session Referrer
    Dec 14 2011 8:40am 1 action 10s

    Someone at the University of Houston has been checking this blog out.

  21. Nando,

    Great work. Keep up the Fire! We need to keep the pressure on these snakes. I think we are getting some traction, so I would humbly ask that you use the next few posts to really hone in on the hucksters defending the legal education status quo (hint: the clowns at PrawfsBlawg are good secondary targets). As others have suggested, these elitist academics are obsessed with their image and prestige. Let's take them on where the are most vulnerable!

    Through a concerted effort, we can make them radioactive. This would do a good deal to take them down a notch. A good place to start would be drawing attention to the next generation of pseudo-philosophers Brian Leiter is trying to foist on law schools. Here's a link to the proteges he is trying to help get hired.

    Let's start with Michael Sevel. This JD/PhD, has never practiced law. He is a Leiter protege from his days at UT-Austin. Before he removed it, Sevel had a clip of a lecture he gave to demonstrate his "teaching" ability - it was awful. He made some inane analogy to a lunch line with peas and carrots that was difficult to follow. Given his lack of any experience as a lawyer, and his subpar teaching style, Sevel shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a tenure-track professorship.

    By bringing heat on Leiter's proteges, he can become radioactive. This would be all to the greater good.

    What is there to say about Olivas? The guy got his JD in the 80's from "night school" at Georgetown. Given his pedigree, he would have a hard time getting an offer for a summer associate position from an AM Law 25 firm today, but he is the head of AALS and uses the ruse that law professors "sacrifice" big law salaries to teach. This clown couldn't even get into big law - let alone make partner. Could anyone imagine Leiter and Olivas at a law firm?

  22. Imagine Leiter was working litigation at Debevoise and he had two partners bitching at him, criticizing his stuff, and yelling at him. He would probably start crying.

  23. But he's doing public service! This ass would never make it in a law firm. When you're dealing with impatient businessmen and corporate managers, they won't put up with academic discussion of Hegelian ethics or utilitarianism. Certainly not on company time. This is why the doofus is doing everything he can to make sure legal education is untouched.

  24. The picture associated with this post says practice makes perfect when it comes to lying. If that's the case why are these three tools so bad at telling lies?

  25. The income-based repayment program is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). If the Supreme Court finds this Act unconstitutional, will IBR cease to exist?

  26. December 16, 2011 8:09 AM and December 16, 2011 11:19 AM

    Truth be told, I cannot imagine Brian Leiter as a real lawyer. Really, if the law schools never hired people like Leiter, his job would probably end up being to find ways to calculate 11 way ties for 84th best (whatever)school for U.S. "News" and World Report.

  27. 8:31 pm,

    They could find parts of the act unconstitutional. At any rate, not very many people qualify for IBR. If your total household income is too high, you can't qualify. I was looking into it. With an income of about $48,000, you'd be right on the cusp of earning too much to qualify.

  28. 9:07,

    I don't think you understand IBR. I make more than $70,000.00 a year and I qualify for IBR (barely) because of the size of my family. I am using it because the government pays the unpaid interest on my Subsidized loans for the first three years. Meanwhile, I am piling on extra payments to my GRAD Plus loans which are at an abhorrent 7.8%.

    They would be crazy to get rid of IBR as it would send tens of thousands into immediate default. It will be around for a long time. The paradox is that the IBR allows grads to stay afloat, while at the same time it keeps the higher ed and law school scams going, creating more indentured servants.

  29. 8:31pm here.

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act does not have a severability clause. Therefore, it is my understanding that if the Act's requirement for Americans to buy health insurance goes down, then IBR goes down as well.

    To 9:07am-

    An income of $48,000 is hitting the jackpot for the majority of law grads. In today's job market, a 3L (male or female) would blow a syphallitic meth addict behind a 7-Eleven for the mere opportunity to interview for a $48,000 crap law job. Without IBR, tens of thousands of toilet graduates working minimum wage would default. Personally, I am looking forward to the riots that would ensue.

  30. Are we sure IBR is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? Can someone provide a link to verify this?


    12:00 PM.


    Will IBR and Public Service Loan Forgiveness remain available in the future, or could these programs be somehow taken away?

    IBR and Public Service Loan Forgiveness were passed into law through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, and any major changes to these programs would require new legislation to be passed by Congress and signed by the president. This is highly unlikely to occur in the foreseeable future, and we recommend that borrowers proceed with confidence.

  32. Re: IBR

    What thegovernment giveth, the government can take away.

  33. 8:31pm again.

    Thanks for your research 7:58pm. Don't know where I ever got the idea that IBR was a rider to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Sorry for the scare.

  34. Rockstar05 backhands Cooley once again! Check out his November 16, 2011 post entitled “Cooley Deans Out in Full Force Policing the Internet and Spreading Propaganda”:

    “Last I heard, the Deans of multiple Cooley campuses are actually REPLYING on comment threads on the link at the bottom of this page. Needless to say, when someone points out the faulty logic, circular and elementary Cooley reasoning, and other gaping holes in their propaganda, they just choose to ignore it. Apparently they have better things to do than actually TEACHING somebody something- marketing and recruitment OF COURSE!! After all, the resources at Cooley are already being efficiently utilized to make sure this is a top rate school, its students are prepared for the bar and the legal profession, and that they find lucrative and rewarding employment (??!!!!) . Check out the Cooley rankings where where Cooley ranks itself as the second best law school in the country according to objective data despite ranking itself 181 out of 193 law school in terms of percentage of graduates employed, 191 out of 193 law schools in terms of student-faculty ratio, and 160 out of 193 schools ranked in bar passage rates ( page 395/424). When the Dean's are simply front-liners trying to sell you the Cooley law proposition with no accountability for the end result (read: six digits of debt and no employment), it is not a surprise they are focusing their time, efforts, and resources on keeping enrollment up and not on what on the fate of their students or the legal profession will be three years down the line.

    Perhaps they feel threatened their lucrative positions as law school Deans are at stake. After all Cooley made $271,139,283 in 2009 (, that's two hundred seventy one million dollars one hundred and thirty nine thousand two hundred and eighty three dollars- which they apparently are not content with. Either way, Cooley Deans can add one more role to their positions, "Actively surveying and monitoring the internet for negative reports regarding Cooley Law School and countering it with meaningless and intellectually insulting propaganda in an attempt to maximize incentive compensation by increasing student enrollment and retention." The RETIRED FOUNDER of Cooley, Thomas E. Brennan even went out his way to comment on this article to defend Cooley. Perhaps now he can justify why he gets paid $368,581 (Page 39- year to otherwise literally DO NOTHING in his position as "Professor Emeritus" (”

    Those are his claims. For those unfamiliar with this pathetic mess, the FOURTH TIER LAW SCHOOL/SEWAGE PIT is suing this supposed former Cooley student for defamation.

  35. I went to Cooley for a couple of semesters. It's as bad as they say. They drink the Kool-Aid daily. Most of the kids there are lost. The faculty doesn't care. The administration is a joke. But they have a baseball stadium. That's important. I walked away. Best decision I've made in a while. It was fun, much like playing in traffic is fun, but it was time to leave.


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