Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Paul Campos Flushes Florida Coastal School of Law Down the Drain


http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/08/the-law-school-scam/375069/

An Epic Slapdown: On August 13, 2014, the Atlantic published a Paul Campos piece simply entitled “The Law-School Scam.” He comes out swinging against InfiLaw. Check out this excerpt:

“From the perspective of graduates who can’t pay back their loans, however, this dream is very much a nightmare. Indeed, it’s easy to make the case that these students wind up in far worse shape than defaulting homeowners do, thanks to two other differences between subprime mortgages and educational loans. First, educational debt, unlike mortgages, can almost never be discharged in bankruptcy, and will continue to follow borrowers throughout their adult lives. And second, mortgages are collateralized by an asset—that is, a house—that usually retains significant value. By contrast, anecdotal evidence suggests that many law degrees that do not lead to legal careers have a negative value, because most employers outside the legal profession don’t like to hire failed lawyers.

How much debt do graduates of the three InfiLaw schools incur? The numbers are startling. According to data from the schools themselves, more than 90 percent of the 1,191 students who graduated from InfiLaw schools in 2013 carried educational debt, with a median amount, by my calculation, of approximately $204,000, when accounting for interest accrued within six months of graduation—meaning that a single year’s graduating class from these three schools was likely carrying about a quarter of a billion dollars of high-interest, non-dischargeable, taxpayer-backed debt.

And what sort of employment outcomes are these staggering debt totals producing? According to mandatory reports that the schools filed with the ABA, of those 1,191 InfiLaw graduates, 270—nearly one-quarter—were unemployed in February of this year, nine months after graduation. And even this figure is, as a practical matter, an understatement: approximately one in eight of their putatively employed graduates were in temporary jobs created by the schools and usually funded by tuition from current students. InfiLaw is not alone in this practice: many law schools design the brief tenure of such “jobs” to coincide precisely with the ABA’s nine-month employment-status reporting deadline. In essence, the schools are requiring current students to fund temporary jobs for new graduates in order to produce deceptive employment rates that will entice potential future students to enroll. (InfiLaw argues that these jobs have “proven to be an effective springboard for unemployed graduates to gain experience and secure long-term employment.”)” [Emphasis mine]

Do you still want to attend this for-profit trash pit, Lemming?!?! If so, then I suggest that you do the following: go to the nearest payday predatory lender, pull out $2,000 in cash, and give me that money – so I can kick you square in the nuts. It will be a much better “investment in yourself,” dumbass. At least, the pain will be temporary – and you will not be FINANCIALLY RUINED for life.

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2014-08-18/story/atlantic-essay-accuses-florida-coastal-school-law-overcharging-tuition

Other Coverage: On August 18, 2014, the Florida Times-Union posted a piece from Andrew Pantazi, under the headline “The Atlantic essay accuses Florida Coastal School of Law of overcharging tuition, providing poor education.” Look at this opening:

“Florida Coastal School of Law is accepting too many students, saddling them with too much debt but not enough jobs, argued a scathing essay published last week in The Atlantic magazine.

But the school’s top administration said Monday the 5000-word essay wasn’t fair or true, saying the author, University of Colorado law professor Paul Campos, didn’t rely on accurate data.”

For $ome rea$on, the bitches and hags do not even attempt to show how Campos relied on inaccurate information. If the for-profit dung beetles who operate this toilet cannot muster a tepid defense, then imagine the type of “education” that the students are receiving at this stench pit.

Now, scroll down to the author’s conclusion:

“The world of for-profit law schools, Campos wrote, “is one in which schools accredited by the American Bar Association admit large numbers of severely underqualified students; these students in turn take out hundreds of millions of dollars in loans annually, much of which they will never be able to repay. Eventually, federal taxpayers will be stuck with the tab, even as the schools themselves continue to reap enormous profits.” [Emphasis mine]

Idiot Pantazi seems to take the vultures at their word. I wouldn’t be surprised if the PR hacks wrote the first draft of the article, and then proceeded to stuff their hand up Pantazi’s ass.

Conclusion: In the final analysis, the law school pigs are lower than whale excrement. These bastards DO NOT GIVE ONE DAMN about their students or recent graduates. To them, these young men and women are mere marks to be exploited. After all, the “professors” are not going to be hired by federal agencies or law firms. Do you think – for one second – that managing partners will take these “scholars” seriously as job candidates?!?!

In the real world, one needs to perform more than 6-10 hours of labor per week. Furthermore, writing non-peer reviewed articles in obscure journals and bloviating on the effect of wheat production on the Commerce Clause is not considered “work.” This is the equivalent of a toddler scribbling over a picture with crayon. A parent might hang this on the fridge, but mostly to be kind or because the child is starting to develop fine motor skills. No one would pay for this product, and the same goes for idiotic law review pieces.

75 comments:

  1. Great post, Nando!

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  2. These fuckers sure know how to make it rain.. For themselves. We've reached an average of low six figures starting with a "2" in front now?

    Epic.

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  3. guys.. please remember that student loans backed by the federal government are forgiven after 25 years...(private loans not included)..... with the remaining balance being a tax issue....

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    Replies
    1. The debt is STILL hanging over the graduates during those two decades. They will be unable to get credit for anything. Their debt to income ratio will make obtaining any type of credit (e.g. credit card, car loans, mortgage, etc..) almost impossible (unless the grad gets a 6 figure job). And the "forgiveness" is a giveaway to the law schools. Why should the taxpayers be stuck footing the bill for these trash pits? I fully support forgiving the debt to relieve those burdened by it, but we need to cut off the flow of federal dollars to these toilet trash pits. It is absolutely reprehensible that these "schools" are charging as much as they are for such shitty outcomes. It doesn't matter if they loans will be forgiven, that just leaves the tax payers paying for something that is at best a bag of goods and at worst a life sentence of debt and decreased employability (since a JD will over qualify you for most jobs). Using the argument that the loans will be forgiven is the kind of crap that the trash pits engage in when they try to entice naive young people to sign away three years of their life and be sentenced two decades (one of you do public service) of debtor's prison. Also, the forgiveness is not guarantees, Congress can revoke it at any time. Finally, the fact that the students won't have to pay most of this back entices the trash pits to raise tuition every year to keep padding the pockets of the worthless professors and administrators. This is a broken system that needs to be eradicated.

      Delete
    2. Riiiight...

      So, when you're 50-Something, past your peak earning years, by far, and approaching retirement - assuming you have a retirement given a lifetime of under-employment and sub-par wages - you get slammed with a huge tax bill from the IRS for your discharged student loan debt.

      Sounds like a good plan (cough!)..

      And the above is likely close to the best case scenario.

      Delete
    3. So.. .no mortgage, no new car, no good vacations, and nobody will touch your penis until you are 50, but law school is still a great idea!

      Delete
    4. There's a pretty good chance the forgiveness gets capped or limited to public service jobs. But if law grads could get public service jobs in the first place they'd be okay. Those tend to pay decently enough and have good job security.

      The era of high private sector jobs has been over for awhile now. I do wonder if it will come back.

      Delete
  4. If the profit is privatized, the funding should be as well. It is ridiculous to allow profiteers seeking to make money to run law schools. I know that's basically what so called "non-profits" like Cooley do, but at least they are governed by the laws of non-profits and cannot distribute "profits" to "shareholders." Phoenix Law School told their students that they would raise tuition because the investors needed a return on their investment. For $ome rea$on, they failed to mention their $tudents or the taxpayer$ getting a return. It is time to: (1) Immediately stop all federal aid to the for profit "colleges." (2) Require that all schools that receive federal funding decrease tuition by 15% at least, refrain from raising it for 5 years and then limit raises to inflation minus 1%. (3) Cap how much money can go to administration and professor pay. (4) Require schools to clearly state the average debt taken out by its students and most importantly (5) Hold schools accountable for their students outcomes by penalizing schools whose students don't get good jobs, default on their loans and try to get their loans discharged in bankruptcy.

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  5. Knowing this, why would anyone go to this law school?

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    Replies
    1. Because it's gotten to the point with these TTTT schools only two types attend:
      1. The really naïve or stupid or both and/or
      2. The Special Snowflakes-yeah, they know about the scam, but law school's always been their dream so don't be negative, it's not going to happen to them, yada yada yada.
      Both 1:48 and 2:04 are correct-it's time for the taxpayers to stop funding this nonsense. The minute federally insured loans stop, one-third of these schools cease to exist. Frankly until that happens the scam will continue to live as in this country of 300 million where everybody goes to college, there are plenty of naïve/stupid/Special people.

      Delete
    2. You could say this about any grad program. I suppose the main difference is that there are less misinformed people.

      Delete
  6. FCSL is a certified shithole. This is the type of school admitting kids with 141 LSATs. Why should the taxpayers fund this nonsense?

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  7. "If so, then I suggest that you do the following: go to the nearest payday predatory lender, pull out $2,000 in cash, and give me that money – so I can kick you square in the nuts. It will be a much better “investment in yourself,” dumbass."

    -this made my pointless 3L day, many thanks

    ReplyDelete
  8. http://jdunderground.com/all/thread.php?threadId=75431#post1041321

    In a JDU thread labeled “Professor Campos' article on the Law School scam in Atlantic Monthly,” user “ichininosan” calls out the PR shills and cockroaches who hijacked the comments section in the Atlantic article. On August 14, 2014 at 11:58 am, he wrote this post:

    “This article is a very good primer for anybody who wants to understand the scam and its insidious ways. Speaking of insidious ways, take a look at the creatures in the comments section of the article:

    1. "Mia" is a commenter who appears to have joined the Internet today for the sole purpose of arguing that graduates of Infilaw schools have a positive return on investment.

    2. "Shabazz El Arribaq," another commenter that joined the Internet today recites the "million dollar law degree" fallacy and touts the sublime virtues of life on PAYE.

    3. "MilaLaw" also (you guessed it) new to the Internet, is tasked with concocting baseless ad hominem attacks about the author.

    4. Then there is "Mark" the sock-puppet (also new to the Internet). In addition to graciously explaining what ad hominem attack is, Mark is apparently a big-fan of "a University of Chicago law professor (Brian Leiter) who runs the school's Center for Law, Philosophy and Values"

    5. Finally, meet "Michael." "I'm an administrator at Florida Coastal..." [Emphasis mine]

    As scambloggers and other just critics of U.S. “legal education” have noted - for years – the swine will do, say and resort to anything, in order to keep perpetrating the scam. Hell, nothing is beneath these vile dogs. Remember, we are talking about academic thieves who have ZERO integrity.

    http://thirdtierreality.blogspot.com/2014/08/fourth-tier-thomas-m-cooley-law-school.html?showComment=1408653104483#c904416921527720381

    Make sure to thank this poster for his John the Baptist remark, in reference to my work – in my prior entry. He may have bought you guys another year of TTR. Buy him a beer or a T-bone steak, if you have the chance. I want to take this moment to express my appreciation for that comment. You have encouraged me to keep stomping the law school pigs for a while longer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As the Greatest Lawland Prophet known, I have, in the past, been referred to John The Baptist when it comes to calling out the scams that are law and law school. Having said that, Nando, you should be sainted for the God's work that you have done in systematically and methodically exposing and detailing the scam that is law school. May God bless you for God has blessed many through the work that you have done. There is no doubt that you have saved many from ruining their lives by succumbing to the law school scam. - The Infamous John J. Bungsolaphagus, the Greatest Lawland Poster Known.

      Delete
  9. Sad,a law school in Hawaii just recently announced they had a record incoming class. Look it up. Seems like there is never an under supply of lemmings who will take the plunge. These students are more brainwashed than Joseph Goebbels could ever imagine people to be brainwashed

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  10. Business Journal just published a day ago the University of Hawaii has a record enrollment. How the hell did they manage that?

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    Replies
    1. Funny too because that shitpile was just profiled here.. Obv. the deluded 0/1L's refuse to see reality and were lured in by the promises of sun, fun, and future career bliss.

      Oh wellz..

      They'll find out in 3+ years from now. The hard way. Just like most of us did before them.

      Delete
  11. Why would anyone and I mean anyone attend a for profit shit heap that's in tier 4?

    It's obvious before your first day there that your career options coming out of such a dump are terrible. Be a low income street lawyer or work in non law in a job making $40k. The first option is tough because there are already tons of lawyers doing that work. The pay is weak. And the job market is flooded. The second option you can do without a law degree and all the debt that comes with it.

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    Replies
    1. Because Generation Millennial has been told from Day 1 that they are Special Snowflakes and can do anything they want.

      They are clones - updated clones - of the 60's Boomer Generation (generation "Me") who, ironically, are the great majority of the cohort which is only too happy to exploit them.

      They were raised by this generation and are following closely in their footsteps. They are heavily brainwashed by both their idiot parents and the Establishment which would appear to be a contradiction, or should logically be a contradiction given the generations involved but is not when you realize that the Me Generation sold out a long time ago to the Establishment.

      In sum, fuck them. This generation can be summed up succinctly: Brainwashed, ignorant - and arrogant.

      Delete
    2. Me no idiot. Told my sons, 3 of them, 20 years ago that they would not be lawyers. I would not approve it, would not fund it and if they did it anyway, it was their own fault. 1 is M.D. 1 is civil engineer. Other is in H.S. I am first and hopefully the last in my family tree to her an attorney.

      Delete
    3. Why did you deprive them of financial serfdom?

      Just kidding.. Good job!

      Delete
    4. The only people who should attend a fourth tier school are rich kids with connections. Anyone else is making too risky a bet.

      Delete
  12. A reminder, from the Complaint in Casey et al v. Florida Coastal School of Law, Inc (filed Feb. 1, 2012) of how these profiteers have allegedly behaved, and the great respect they display for their students, alumni, and the public:

    "For the class of 2010, Florida Coastal concedes that the mean salary information is based on the responses of 29 percent of students who are actually employed, or 23 percent of the total class. . . Florida Coastal also inflates salary information by specifically directing -- through a barrage of phone calls and follow-up emails -- the choice few graduates in high-paying jobs to respond to its job survey while ignoring all other graduates. Florida Coastal. . . omits the salaries of graduates who have secured only temporary or part-time employment from its official marketing material. This material nondisclosure has the effect of "goosing" the numbers, making it appear their graduates earn substantially more money than the reality of the situation. In actuality, many Florida Coastal graduates are in dire financial straits..." Compl., ¶ 67-70.

    http://www.anziskalaw.com/uploads/Filed_Florida_Coastal_Complaint.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  13. Any updates on Joshua ray Adams? Did he go underground?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At the beginning of August, he was looking at being a trucker.
      http://www.jdunderground.com/alt/thread.php?threadId=75079

      Delete
    2. @6:01

      My bad. I totally misinterpreted that thread. I thought he was looking to be a lot lizard.

      Delete
    3. At Brooklyn Law School, Mr. Infinity was trained by scammers to be a scammer. Whatever he finally decides to do will undoubtedly be a scam.

      Delete
    4. He likely won't do anything. His entire history is one of half-to no-effort scenarios.

      The funny part, if you can call it that, is that he's a JDP in Training. He doesn't realize that times slips by you all too fast. He'll hit 30 soon. Very soon. Then 35. Then 40, etc.

      And the debt will have been there all that time, accruing interest on interest.

      Delete
    5. Actually, I heard that JRA divorced his wife and married JD Painter. The wedding took place about a month ago at the house of JDP's parents. The two lovebirds simply went upstairs for their honeymoon. They both "share" a house with Painter's parents; and John Koch just enrolled at Touro Law for a SECOND J.D. degree.

      Some people never learn.

      Delete
    6. @6:05 PM

      I'm sure that he could be both, although to be a lot lizard he could only do it at night when it is really dark.

      Delete
  14. Spot on conclusion, Nando, and it's worth repeating:

    "In the final analysis, the law school pigs are lower than whale excrement. These bastards DO NOT GIVE ONE DAMN about their students or recent graduates. To them, these young men and women are mere marks to be exploited. After all, the “professors” are not going to be hired by federal agencies or law firms."

    Education, as a whole, has become one giant predatory lending scheme. Legal education is just the most unethical and soulless exponent of this racket, and it's going to end up not only taking down the legal profession, but a good part of the U.S. economy with it.

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    Replies
    1. The Greatest Poster Known loves the "whale excrement" phrase! Great Job! God bless!

      Delete
  15. Higher ed as a whole is a great giant fraud. Think of all the dumbasses out there with MAs in Feminist Studies or BAs in Film History.

    Ya think the large banks would lend money to these idiots if the taxpayers weren't on the hook for all this shit?

    ReplyDelete
  16. 5:52 is spot-on-if people want to make bad decisions-and attending law school for most certainly is a bad decision-then so be it. But enough of having the taxpayers foot the bill.
    It's time for-EGADS!-political action. Unless and until Washington develops a backbone, the scam will continue for the reasons so eloquently stated in the above posts.

    ReplyDelete
  17. 5:00,

    Not sure about Adams, but I hear his buddy John Koch recently re-enrolled at Touro, and is now working toward a SECOND fucking law degree!

    Some people are quite simply unteachable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Greatest Poster Known asks: You are shitting me right? That cannot even be legal or something. God bless!

      Delete
  18. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoxCeioOhPk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, "Johnny" - how 'bout that $1000?

      Maybe it's time to put JRA's stupid picture back on the wall of shame?

      Delete
  19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uKbIkYGsIg

    Or if you prefer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey 559,

      THIS little YouTube link goes out to YOU:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guUS3_h2Ybc

      Don't you just LOVE to watch YouTube videos that other people pick out for you? Don'tcha, Johnny?

      Delete
  20. http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2014-08-18/story/atlantic-essay-accuses-florida-coastal-school-law-overcharging-tuition

    The Florida Times-Union article cited in the main entry also contained this nugget:

    “At Florida Coastal, Campos said, there are too many graduates and not enough jobs.

    This, Campos said Monday, was the main point of his essay.

    Students are graduating with ever-increasing debt — $204,000 on average by his calculation — and fewer opportunities to find high-paying work.

    School officials say his debt calculation isn’t fair, and that they’d calculate it at between $150,000 and $160,000, according to Dean Chidi Ogene.

    Claire Goforth Reed graduated from Florida Coastal School of Law in 2008, and though she was in the top 26 percent of her class, she said the job market was brutal to the point that she gave up the idea of practicing law.

    Now, she’s a freelance writer whose work sometimes appears in Folio Weekly and who writes The Florida Times-Union’s weekly “I Do” column.”

    What a great outcome, huh?!?! Who wouldn’t want to take out a king’s ransom to attend such a FOURTH TIER TRASH PIT, for such wondrous job prospects?!

    I laughed until I almost cried, when I saw that estimate from Chidi Ogene. The dolt is upset and butthurt because Paul Campos is supposedly off by $40K, with regards to the average student debt total for Florida Coa$TTTTal Sewer of Law grads. If you incur an additional $150K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt, for a TTTT law degree, then your life is financially ruined.

    By the way, this pig is listed as the interim dean for this garbage heap. Apparently, Ass-Hat Pantazi doesn’t know how to properly refer to a cockroach.

    http://www.fcsl.edu/employee/chidi-ogene

    Lastly, doesn’t this bastard bear an uncanny resemblance to former Ugandan pig Idi Amin? Hell, even the names sound similar. At least, Amin had the balls to do the dirty work of ruthlessly stacking up bodies – and he didn’t pretend to be performing a “public service.” Plus, he didn’t rely on federally-backed student loan schemes to accomplish his depravities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is what we're up against.

      From the article:

      Chief Judge Donald Moran said he doesn’t notice where lawyers graduated law school so he can’t comment whether Florida Coastal is good at providing an education, but he said if his children were deciding on a law school, he’d weigh the cost of tuition.

      “It doesn’t matter where you went to law school,” Moran said about new lawyers. “You start with a blank slate.”

      The world of for-profit law schools, Campos wrote, “is one in which schools accredited by the American Bar Association admit large numbers of severely underqualified students; these students in turn take out hundreds of millions of dollars in loans annually, much of which they will never be able to repay. Eventually, federal taxpayers will be stuck with the tab, even as the schools themselves continue to reap enormous profits.”

      ---------------------------------------------------------------

      Looking at his bio:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Moran

      This dude hasn't stepped out into the Real World since landing his sheltered gig in 1983.. He has zero idea about what today's young lawyers face in terms of both crushing debt and brutal competition.

      The above is just another Selected Idiot Comment from my favoritist of all of my favorite groups: The Boomers.

      Un-fucking-believable..

      Delete
  21. Dedicated to JDP:

    I don't wanna work
    I just wanna bang my monkey all day
    I don't wanna work
    I just wanna slap my monkey all day

    ReplyDelete
  22. The fact that institutions this crappy still exist, still receive taxpayer money and still have people who are willing to go is a strong indicator that TTR is still desperately needed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That it is. I completely agree.

      Delete
    2. I agree. My son is an M.D., not a lawyer. He is in 2nd year of residency. He was reading a job offering to me for an interventional radiologist. Granted he will have beaucoup more education than a law grad/beginning attorney, but a STARTING salary of $350,000 with a minimum of 8 weeks vacation.
      The 0L's need to understand none of them will see those starting incomes and only 3 or 5% will see that, at least as a salary, after years of practice. Those who can establish a personal injury or workers compensation practice have a shot at that level of income, but competition for that work is FIERCE. There are many other ways to make more money with less education and much less tuition debt.

      Delete
  23. My law school tuition in 1974 was $1,100 per credit hour.

    No, not really. PER YEAR. Public, land grant state university. Top 21 to 24.

    I graduated law school in top 1/4th. No job for 2.5 years. (I was offered partnership before my second anniversary with the firm.) My total college debt was $1,500. (That was not my monthly payment, but total debt-my monthly payment was $35.92 per month.)

    Several points:

    1. Law school was CHEAP, compared to parental incomes then, and compared to a law student's income earning capacity during the summer.

    2. It was a low risk proposition, financially. 3 years gone, but financially, not too much expended, compared to typical income levels.

    3. My generation, really had it good. We didn't ask for it. We didn't plan it nor create those conditions. They were what were offered at that time, by the folks who had contro-a generation earlier than mine. I didn't really recognize the tremendous financial benefit for some years after graduation. I had a sense of that the education was not very expensive, but historical perspective clouds things.

    For example, my father's salary as a mechanical engineer, then, according to my mother, was in the top 1/2 of 1% of salaried people in the country. She would know. He made $35,000 per year, then.

    My office rent, today, is ONE HALF his annual income. My mom, a mathematics degreed individual, had a hard time understanding, how I could spend $190 per month for mere postage at the office, as that was her house payment on her two-story, 3,200 square foot brick home on a 3 acre wooded lot. The Depression altered her perspective.

    My son #2, at his undergraduate, private university, in engineering, had a tuition of $26,000 or so. Compared to my father, I would need to make $839,000 or so, to have KEPT EVEN with his situation.

    Really???

    ReplyDelete
  24. PART 2 (MY COMMENT WAS TOO LONG TO PUBLISH IN ONE PART.)

    Well, and I have posted elsewhere and anyone paying attention will recognize, but I, after 38 years NOW EARN only a fraction of what my M.D. son will earn when he is about 30.

    I am trying to give 0L's real world figures, and some perspective, from someone nearing the end of the endurance test.

    MY children will NOT be lawyers. Though there may be success stories, and frankly, I consider myself, in some perverted way, a success story, most lawyers work very, very hard, and make just a reasonable living. There are many avenues for making more money (not my priority), working less, building a retirement fund/pension, having vacation.

    After 38 years, I have had 28 weeks vacation. (Don't worry for me, I did take off weekends, sometimes.)

    Another "secret" of the profession, at least in my community of 350,000 souls, with 850 or so attorneys is that virtually all attorneys in firms of 2 to 6 or 8 attorneys are solo practitioners merely sharing expenses.

    So, who cares???

    It MEANS that you only earn some portion of the revenue you bring in. So??? Other lawyers in the "firm" work on what they bring in, and you work on what you bring in. No other lawyer is likely to refer a personal injury case with a huge fee potential to you. If you can't find the work, you don't HAVE work.

    So???? If you do not have the personal skills, friendliness, ease in social gatherings, (don't eat with your feet in public), pleasant demeanor, fairly good looks, etc., sense of humor, your ability to attract clients is diminished, and so is your income. Period. No one is bringing your clients to the ER in distress, thankful for anyone who can ease their pain. If you don't have really good (I hate the word "really") personal skills, you have a huge impediment to making a living. Teach law classes at a junior/community college to get experience answering questions, putting yourself on the spot, gaining ease in dealing with folks-it will help you.

    For those who look for look some point of weakness to make personal attacks.

    1. I don't care. My purpose is to give 0L's real life info. I could give a going concern law practice to a son. I plan to kill my practice the day I quit. (None of them are as tough as me.)

    2. If some fool gets really vicious, I will post some of the things I have done. At this point, I have run a solo practice for 34 years, raised 3 sons, still have the same wife, house on wooded lot, some money for retirement, and, as an Eagle Scout and Philmont Ranger always conducted myself so with clients and the opposition alike. You need to be tough to do this, and you will not start tough, but you must learn, like I had to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With current conditions, and given tuition levels at this point, here's my Real Simple Analysis:

      I don't think The Game is winnable at this point for 95%+ of those who attempt it.

      Delete
    2. Why would anyone on this site "attack" you, exactly?

      You aren't demanding that the taxpayers give you a big-ass handout.

      And it doesn't appear that you have spent your entire life refusing to work.

      You're a little bit paranoid.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for this. I especially agree that most lawyers in firms fewer than 10 lawyers are just solos sharing expenses. You are also correct that you have to spend time developing relationships to get work. The lawyer also does the work and takes all customer complaints. In most businesses those are three distinct functions: sales, operations, customer support.

      Delete
    4. OK, I agree, "attack" is far too strong. Generally, my word control is exquisite. Sorry.

      I just see no value in some posts "going after" other posters.

      Who I am, and how I managed my "career" really is irrelevant-the facts I state, are true and worthy of note. I just wanted to preempt folks, from the mindless taunting of whatever.

      I am just a solo, having worked hard and made a reasonable living. But I do think I am on the high end of perceptive and observant.

      Our job here is to provide useful information to 0L's prior to their running their lives. Hopefully, something they can "grasp" in their own mind and relate to. (How lame a statement, ugh.) But these kids are like I was, they have no damn idea.

      "Become a lawyer. Won't the folks be proud?"

      My parents both had Bachelor's degrees, the first in their families to go to college. I do not believe that any of their parents graduated high school. Both of them were very bright.

      So, I digress--parents my well love your law school degree-YOU will not unless you are VERY lucky.

      I would never go to law school, had I the choice again. My sons will not go to law school. I will collapse my practice the day I walk out the door of my office and kill it.

      So, ask me, why should YOU go to law school?


      Delete
    5. With all do respect, medicine is a long, soul destroying road. Incidentally, I have found that not all medical schools are the same and some are more doable. Just saying, medical schools lie about attritionj rates too. Ask the admissions office about total percent of matriculants not graduating on time. Some schools it's over ten percent and we're talking the top students... People never rebound after eight years of that hell

      Delete
  25. Nando makes a number of points (and if I misquote or mis-state his intent/meaning, blame me) that should not be lost in the fog of the discussion, points I know to be true after my 38 years of this.

    1. The debt is massive, non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, and the fine print in the loan agreements is not your friend. If you think the principal balance is bad, just wait until penalties, additional interest and fees are added.

    2. Debt discharged is a taxable event, so you trade a lender for the IRS. What fun.

    3. A law degree is a negative if you seek to go elsewhere other than practicing law-I have had folks say to me, "Why are you not practicing law-you will certainly keep looking and leave the minute you get an offer-why should I hire you?" I did not get the job.

    4. Going to law school now is an extremely problematic decision. I have no experience with the top 10 or 15 schools. Nor big law. I am confident that the top few in my class started in big law at about $70,000. My first job offer was $9,600. I finally got a job at $12,400. I was in top 1/4. The initial income potential dropped DRAMATICALLY from 1st in the class to 50th. I do not know what that curve is today, but YOU should know. Many comments elsewhere, indicate that it still falls precipitously.


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  26. My M.D. son has about 290,000 in school debt.

    He should be able to pay that off, in 3 years once he becomes an attending physician.

    REALLY???

    Yeah.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Part A.

    So, I have addressed many of the comments made by others, with my 38 year perspective, as such. (I do not have all of the answers, but I watch and learn.)

    I came to many of the conclusions that the cadre of scambloggers have raised in the last few years. When I graduated from law school, there was no internet-and not much in the way of computers, either…NO, not the Dark Ages, but close.

    So, now a few things that interest me, and since I am there, now, practicing...

    I am a very strong believer in comparative analysis, in my humble way of thinking. My son's experience in medical school has added to my opinions regarding the practice of law.

    I must admit that I do not know the particulars of ABA requirements regarding accreditation of law schools. There appears to be a bias toward what I call "academic issues" and little of practical use. It seems to be the "tradition" in legal education. I view this as the “If you can think it, you can do it,” mentality. (I can “think” of going to the Moon...I still write to you from Earth.)

    I have a very strong opinion on this: It is much easier to teach if you don’t actually have to teach folks HOW to do the job, that is, teaching principals is child’s work, teaching HOW to do it takes skills, and I believe that the ABA and the professors have taken advantage of that.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Part B.

    So, back to the comparative part of this.

    My M.D. son, during medical school, actually learned to tie surgeon’s knots. He had a to practice them. Why? Because, during surgery, he had to tie them to do a surgeon’s work.

    In law school, again, top 21-24 school, (and I only mention the ranking then is to emphasize it was no low level institution, but one at the top end, more or less and purporting to provide a top legal education), I never, NEVER saw a Will, or a Motion, or a Complaint, or a demand letter to the opposition, or promissory note, or a mortgage or an assignment, or a..., well, Summons, Subpoena, Continuance Order, Lease, Real Estate Purchase Agreement, Codicil, Bill of Sale, Trust (of any sort), nor an Amendment or Revocation of any type of document, nor... What does it matter? I did see a deed form, but no discussion on how to prepare it or the considerations that are involved in preparing it. I think that the deed was the only “legal document” I ever saw in law school.

    So, back to the “principal:” If you can conceive of it, it will happen.”

    Back to medicine.

    Do you want your surgeon, before going under the knife, to have actually CUT something during medical school, before he or she removes your brain, or whatever? Perhaps a chicken for the grill? Anything??? “OK, the patient does not have wings...” a chicken would at least be a “point of reference” but that was denied law students (at least of my day.)

    Or, that your dentist has actually drilled a hole in something during dental school? Well, a dental student having drilled a 1 inch hole in a board with a spade bit has more practical experience than I upon graduation from my law school.

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    Replies
    1. I too have been practicing for thirty years or so, and I still have never seen most of those documents. I know what I know, which is litigation, and I learned that from other lawyers working in Mid-Law and from very good CLE courses. But you have to be a practicing lawyer in litigation to understand just how nasty and deceitful the profession.

      Delete
    2. Me again-and this is a TINY list of the documents I have created and keep as masters on my computer. I must have 2,000 or 3,000 master documents.

      Delete
  29. Part C.

    WHY do law schools conduct themselves so?

    MY opinion:

    1. Most professors have no practice experience, having gone from the top of the class at a top 3 or 4 school directly to academia, and don’t know how nor have ever practiced law nor done the work the typical student at most law schools will actually end up doing.

    2. It is actually WORK to teach students how to do things. Why work? If you have never drafted a Will, Deed, and so on, how can you teach it? You can’t . (And there is the Maynard G. Crebs mentaility.) I have an extremely meticulous procedure for keeping my master set of forms up to date. One might say “obsessive” but, in a world, such as mine, where ZERO DEFECT is the standard, there is no “obsessive.” Just a couple of months ago I received a deed from an attorney downstate which had some very interesting language in it which I have adopted and am probably the only attorney in my community using it.

    3. “Let their first employer teach them how to actually practice law.” So, if we scrap the Socratic Method, forgive me Socrates, can we not pack the principals of the law, into a mini-mester? OK, maybe two of them? “Baseball”-2 hours of excitement packed into 4 hours. (And if you are a “solo” who is your “first employer?”) You INVENT. When folks ask me “What firm are you with?” I tell them that I have my own firm--and that DaVinci was a solo practitoner.

    About a year ago, I tripped in the garage while cleaning it and broke my left knee cap and a small bone in my left wrist. Not so good.

    After about 18 weeks seeing the orthopedic surgeon, etc., my knee having already been in physical therapy for several weeks, my wrist following several weeks later in recovery, I asked the surgeon whether I could get orders for physical therapy for my wrist. He frowned, like it was not needed. I could bend my left wrist about 3 degrees, and my right wrist 110 degrees. Really??? Reluctantly, he ordered therapy and I have recovered.

    The “comparative” point? The surgeon was “happy” with the views on the x-rays. All had “healed” and therefore, my wrist had “healed.” Well, it did not bend like it did prior to the injury. Calling it healed does not make it healed. (There is a poem about the “Unknown Citizen” you all should look up.)

    Like the law professors, he took no notice of whether what I, the CUSTOMER, wanted had been delivered. My x-rays were fine, so the patient HAD to be fine. NO. I want a RESULT not a page of statistics within the norm.

    “We have taught them all the legal principals, so they are ‘educated.’”

    Well, hello, we want to PRACTICE law, not parse the Rule in Shelley’s Case, next to the grave of Richard III. Clients will not pay us for that.

    The ABS will have to change. Those who are law professors will have to change. The battle has only started.

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    Replies
    1. ABA, not ABS-I hate auto correct.

      Delete
  30. On August 18, 2014, the Faculty Lounge pigs published an op-ed from David Frakt, which was labeled “David Frakt on His Shorter Than Expected Presentation at Florida Coastal School of Law.” Look at this opening:

    http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2014/08/david-frakt-on-his-shorter-than-expected-presentation-at-florida-coastal-school-of-law.html

    “Yes, it is true. As the recent story in the Atlantic by Paul Campos accurately reports, I was the dean candidate who was asked to leave Florida Coastal School of Law by school President Dennis Stone in the middle of my presentation to the faculty. Since the story came out, I’ve been contacted by many law faculty members wanting to know the whole story. I’ve also seen a fair amount of uninformed speculation on the topic floating around the blogosphere. So, I have decided to write about what happened in the hopes that I can put all the speculation to rest and move on.”

    Unbelievably, this idiot goes on to defend the for-profit trash pit; in fact, he does so for all three commodes as well as InfiLaw. Apparently, winning releases for prisoners at Guantanamo is not great for one’s legal career. Why else would this fool be so desperate to “teach law” or “serve” as a dean at a fourth tier pile of waste?!?!

    To wit:

    “Let me start by saying that just because I appear in Paul Campos’ article does not mean that I endorse Paul Campos’ point of view about Florida Coastal School of Law, InfiLaw, for-profit law schools, or the “law school scam” theory in general. I believe Paul raises a lot of serious and important issues, and makes several valid points, but the views expressed in the article are his, not mine. Dan Filler has graciously offered me the opportunity to expand on my own views on legal education here at The Faculty Lounge, and I will do so in future posts. (And thank you for the kind introduction, Dan.)

    I also want to make it clear at the outset that I do not agree with the view expressed by some commentators that Florida Coastal School of Law, Charlotte Law, or Arizona Summit School of Law are “diploma mills.” I believe that each of these schools provides a solid legal education, on par with many of their peer schools. The truth is that the faculty hiring market has become so competitive that all three of these schools have been able to hire many highly qualified and distinguished lawyers and scholars as faculty members. I have friends on the faculty of all three schools whom I know to be fine teachers and scholars who would be a credit to any law school faculty in the country. I have seen no evidence that the educational program at InfiLaw is any less rigorous than the typical J.D. program.”

    In the end, David Frakt is not trying to bring attention to the low LSAT and UGPA scores, out of a sense of righteousness or nobility. He wants to partake in the law school scam - as a dean. For some foolish reason, he felt that pointing out that the school was admitting borderline retards - at a faculty meeting - would distinguish him from the other applicants.

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  31. Toward the end of his lengthy piece, Frakt wrote the following:

    “Based on my experience teaching at a wide range of schools, and my study of LSAC publications and other scholarship in the area, I have determined the following rough breakdown of LSAT scores in relation to chances of success in law school and on the bar:

    LSAT Scores

    156+ High Aptitude/Minimal Risk
    153-5 Solid Aptitude/Low Risk
    150-152 (44-52%) Reasonable Aptitude/Modest Risk
    147-149 (33-40%) Modest Aptitude/High Risk
    145-146 (26-30%) Marginal Aptitude/Very High Risk
    144 and below (>23%) Poor Aptitude/Extreme Risk

    I presented this table at Florida Coastal during my discussion with the faculty. I explained that, according to my interpretation of LSAT scores, this placed over half of the students in the 2013 entering class at FCSL in the “extreme risk” of failure category. Even the top quartile of students were, in my view, at high risk of failure. In my talk, I suggested that it was unfair, ethically questionable, and a potential violation of ABA standards to admit students with such poor aptitude for the study of law. Furthermore, a policy that resulted in the matriculation of a class made up almost entirely of high to extremely high risk students was a recipe for disaster for the school’s bar passage rates. Another concern that I raised was that the mandatory grading curve put in place when the entering classes had much stronger credentials might be unsuitable for students with far lower predictors, and might have the unintended effect of forcing grade inflation. Based upon long-standing ABA accreditation practices, I predicted that to continue the current admission practices, exacerbated by substantial transfer attrition from the top of the class, would lead to bar passage rates that might result in being placed on probation by the ABA. I further predicted that if FCSL were placed on probation, many students in good standing would seek to transfer and applications from qualified prospective students would decline very rapidly, resulting in further significant faculty reductions, and raising questions about institutional viability.”

    http://www.fcsl.edu/employee/dennis-j-stone

    Lastly, Douchebag Frakt: quit referring to Cockroach Dennis Stone as “president.” It makes you appear weak. Do you want to be seen as a sycophant with no balls and no backbone?!?!

    http://www.infilaw.com/about/dennis-stone

    If you had any self-respect or integrity, you would not defend the filthy rodents at InfiLaw – especially after Pig Stone embarrassed you in front of the FCSL faculTTTTy. Then again, a real man would not even consider working at a place that exploits young idiots, by strapping them down with mountains of NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt – for a garbage “credential.” Also, if you want to be a “businessman,” then have the nuts to do so at a company that doesn’t leech off the federal government for the bulk of its funds.

    ReplyDelete
  32. 0Ls, if you really know that you want to be a lawyer, here are the steps to follow. It sounds strict, but frankly, lawyers lead working lives that have zero room for error. When you make a mistake as a lawyer, you risk being sued, losing your job, or even losing your career.

    1. Graduate with a Bachelor's Degree with a GPA of 3.7 or higher. I'm not kidding. Don't be a lazy ass, and don't waste four years of college by not going to class or studying hard. You're there for a reason.

    2. Attain an LSAT score in the 90th percentile or higher (164+, currently.) A 167+ is optimal. The LSAT is an extremely learnable test. Study for a full year doing dozens upon dozens of practice tests, if that's what it takes. LSAT Prep Courses are expensive, but they can be very helpful. You need a high score, for several reasons.

    3. Determine a handful of regions of the country you will be happy spending the rest of your professional life living in. The more connections you have to a given region, the smarter it is to work there. Very few law schools are "national" in terms of job placement. Get your head out of your ass.

    4. Go to Law School Transparency and study the job placements of various schools in those regions. Do not attend any law school with an LST "score" of less than 60%, though 70% would be much smarter. Aim for such a school in which your GPA/LSAT combination beats the 75th percentile of the average class profile for that school (reasons below.)

    5. If you beat the 75th percentile LSAT/GPA scores of the average class of a law school, you'll likely get offers of close to, if not full, tuition discounts. You can negotiate tuition discount "scholarships" as well, and considering the drop in enrollment, it would be wise to play "hard ball" in that sense. Law schools want asses in seats, period. Mitigate your law school debt to three years' living expenses, if you can. Live like a cheap bastard in school, so you don't have to live like a cheap bastard after school.

    6. Do some pro forma budgeting to paint a picture of what your financial reality is going to be for the first several years after passing the Bar Exam. Use student loan calculators to do so. Remember, earning a salary of $40,000 annually is a realistic outcome even from top schools. If your total student debt load is equal to 1x a year's salary, and absolutely no greater than 1.5x a year's salary, you will likely avoid financial crisis - living tightly, of course. The money you aren't spending now will be money you can spend in the future.

    7. If your goal, for whatever absurd reason, is a job in "Big Law", then drop out if you fail to finish your first year in the top third of your class. Or, change your career goals to something more realistic. Even if you get a Big Law job, it won't last for more than three years in most cases, and the days of easy segue into In-House corporate positions are over. You will be unemployed for a concern-worthy period of time.

    8. Understand that you might hate being a lawyer, that might hate your financial situation, and that you might hate the very clients that pay your bills (whether small law or Big Law). Unlike most other professions, lawyers have very few "exit options" from practicing law. You will be overqualified for almost every other job in the country.

    If you take my advice, graduate with solid grades from a top law school that you went to for only the cost of three years' living expenses, you should have a positive outcome in terms of job accessibility and financial management. Please heed my words… It's for your own good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. (38 year practitioner here).

      Delete
    2. I agree with all no. 7. Top 1/3 will get you big law only if you go to t-14. Outside of that you probably need to be in the top 15% and maybe top 10%

      Delete
    3. Wrong. Because of omission of consideration of debt. Close, close.. I'll grant you that. But with current tuition levels, should one not have close to a full free ride - and fall off the Golden Path of Biglaw and, God Forbid, have *any*, even the slightest bit of the stain of unemployment about them, then they will likely not have the future ability to pay off the debt from law school and will not have the skills needed to enter other careers which might allow them to do so.

      And see below the comments about depression. The field is rife with pitfalls. The above analysis does not take the Debt Factor into account nor any longitudinal analysis to any great degree and those 2 things, even with the above being 95% correct, are quite enough to kill even those at the high end starting gates.

      Delete
    4. Granted, I don't think anybody considering law school could predict the likelihood that the career itself will result in a degradation of their personal or psychological well-being. There are many careers with serious long-term negative consequences on mental health, including police officers. We still need cops and yes, we do technically still need lawyers (just many less of them than we're getting.) I'm only commenting on the logistics of job accessibility/debt. Mental health care is a national/social problem, not just a lawyer problem. America as a society needs to better equip itself to help people with mental health problems. It's a work in (slow) progress.

      And yes, I did hit on the debt situation, no offense. Please re-read my points #5 and #6 again. I suggest only attending law school if you can attend a top school (in terms of measurable job placement) with, preferably, no more debt than three years' living expenses. If a law student borrows only for living expenses, that's between $50,000-60,000 for the vast majority of law schools, which would be under the Stafford interest rates (assuming they qualify for Federal loans) around 7%-ish, currently. Most financial experts would agree that such a debt load would not be unmanageable for the majority of realistic lawyer job salaries, assuming no other significant, out-of-the-ordinary expenses.

      Even Nando states "don't attend law school UNLESS you have a full tuition scholarship" as a minimum qualifier. I fully agree.

      No student in the right mind should even think about paying "sticker" at any law school, "even at a Harvard or a Yale", according to several of my friends in Big Law, including a couple Partners, each with many years experience. The cat's fully out of the bag regarding the law school debt situation.

      Delete
    5. As far as being happy in the long-term practice of law, I know many, many lawyers. I know long-term corporate Big Law cats, I know folks in smaller family/divorce/bankruptcy firms, I know slicker-than-oil injury lawyers, and I know folks in public interest/DA/PD positions. The happiest lawyers by far are the ones earning the arguably "low" attorney salaries in small firms or public interest positions.

      I would say to any 0L who wants to go to law school for no reason other than to "make money", go into finance/get your MBA and take it into banking. Spare the legal profession of you.

      Delete
  33. Nando, I am not sure if you covered this but it is worth mentioning again. The legal profession is portrayed by Hollywood in an unrealistically glamorous lifestyle. It is far from that. I hate being a lawyer but as others have correctly pointed out, there are few exit options for lawyer. The one option that terrified me is suicide. The reality is the practice of law is full of drudgery and the work itself is rarely rewarding. Right now I am on Paxil because the profession made me depressed and I lost many friends because I became distrustful and paranoid of people. This profession brings out the worst in humanity and seeing lawyers backstab each other on a daily basis can wear your soul down. Perhaps some of your readers can learn about depression, suicide and the law as it was covered earlier this year in this thought provoking article:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/cnn-article-on-lawyer-depression-and-suicide-2014-1

    Kids, law school isn't worth it, financially or emotionally.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You hang in there. (I am in line with you, sadly, but beginning to see the better things around me. I am not out of the woods, but improving.)

      A friend of mine, quite alarmed at my state of mind lately, said, "No job is worth your life."

      He is right, and things turned around for me when he said that.

      Merely "turning around" and "things being fixed" are quite different, but the view is forward not backward, at least.

      Stay in contact here or somewhere, for support. I will keep an eye out. I will respond. Perhaps we can help each other. (I am very tough, but also tired-I can't let my fatigue cost me my life.)

      Frankly, I am so d***m mad at what the law has done to my life, that I don't want to let the b*******ds win, so to speak. (And, really, at my stage of life, I have NO objective reason to be unhappy. But the emotional price has been very, very steep. No one around me understands the tremendous emotional load I have carried for decades.

      General Joe Stilwell, a favorite of mine, and one of my favorite quotes:

      Illegitimis non carborundum.

      (Don't let the bastards grind you down.)

      So hang in there and let's put a bit of humor into this nightmare.

      My other favorite quote had to do with an officer in some class Gen. Stilwell was teaching, asking, What is the future of the horse in the military?"

      Stilwell responded: "Good eating, if you are hungry."


      A friend.

      Delete
    2. And you 0L's, should take note of THIS discussion.

      Such is "success" in the law.

      (Nando, whomever you be, may actually save lives.)

      To the rest, what Nando has accomplished here on his blog is of national importance to prospective law students (victims) and those now practicing.

      Nando has created a forum of national importance and it will change the face of the law school nightmare.

      Delete
  34. By the way, most of my list comes directly from a family friend who graduated from Northwestern in 1992, and has worked his entire life at the biggest law firms in the nation. He's spent the last fourteen years as a managing partner at one of them. He offered his personal feelings about being a lawyer for such a long time in corporate practice… They weren't positive… The word "miserable" was used...

    ReplyDelete
  35. your photo of feces is vulgar and detracts from the validity of the cause and posts.

    ReplyDelete

 
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