Wednesday, September 24, 2014

TTT Smells of Desperation: Vermont Law School Edition


http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/the-trials-of-vermont-law-school/Content?oid=2435029

Slow Times at Dung Pit Central: On September 10, 2014, Kathryn Flagg wrote a Seven Days piece entitled “The Trials of Vermont Law School.” Look at this opening:

“Empty offices and unoccupied desks — Brett Hubbard noticed both when she enrolled at Vermont Law School in South Royalton last year.

Now a second-year student in an accelerated juris doctor program, she recalled her line of inquiry. "I'd ask because I'm nosy," said Hubbard. What was up with the deserted desks?

The answer: It had been a rough couple of years, punctuated by cutbacks, a few layoffs and voluntary employee buyouts at the only law school in Vermont.” [Emphasis mine]

Some idiots are undeterred, when facing excrementitious odds. This speaks volumes about their mental state and level of “intelligence.” Later on, the reporter notes the following:

“VLS has a stellar reputation for environmental law; its program ranks first in the country in U.S. News & World Report. But it's also an independent school without the backstop of a larger university to cover costs — and its location in South Royalton, a village of fewer than 700 people, can be a tough sell for some would-be students.

"It's a pretty shoestring school," said Sarah Buxton, a VLS grad, former employee, and now state representative for Royalton and Tunbridge. Relying so heavily on tuition dollars — more than 83 percent of its revenues were derived from tuition in 2013, according to an independent audit — in a shrinking market has placed VLS in a precarious position.

In April, Moody's downgraded the school's revenue bonds from a Baa2 to a Ba1 rating — which represents the "speculative" bracket of Moody's investment rankings.

The downgrade triggered a technical default on a $10.7 million revenue bond held by TD Bank. VLS entered into an agreement with the bank in May, promising to provide the lender with quarterly financial statements, a consultant's report about the school's finances, a "plan of action" and a worst-case scenario budget assuming just 110 new students.” [Emphasis mine]

Yes, this in$TTTiTTTuTTTion is the definition of success, right?!?! Hell, I’m surprised that the swine don’t set fire to campus structures – in order to collect on any insurance policies in place. Notice that the cockroaches depend on tuition dollars for more than 83% of revenues. In sum, the bastards desperately need asses in seats – in order to stay in operation.

https://app.box.com/s/0oc3vt194wdhfdo0xtbk

Information from a Former VLS Student: In the comments section to the Flagg article, I noticed a remark from a young man claiming to be a former SBA senator. I then read the full text of his Tuition Report. On page 10 of this document, you will see this gem:

“VLS Debt and Finances

It seems intuitive that VLS revenues would increase when enrollment exceeds expectations in the years immediately following a nearly 22 percent increase in tuition. However, because increased enrollments are generally the result of students receiving large merit-based scholarships, in-coming class sizes have little direct relation to available revenues. VP Atwood provided several examples:

• In FY2010, actual enrollments exceeded expected enrollments by 36 students, resulting in an additional $1,429,820 in revenue. But, the extra enrollments cost $1,175,851 in merit-based scholarship, leaving a net increase in revenues of only $253,969.

• In FY2011, actual enrollments exceeded expected enrollments by 7 students. But those 7 students cost $663,046 extra dollars of merit-based aid. As a result, the school faced a revenue deficit of $340,481.” [Emphasis mine - internal citations removed]

Read former VLS student Chris Cooper’s entire 12 page analysis. The point is that the commode devoted a ton of resources toward improving its US “News” & World Report ranking – and it failed in that objective. The trash pit ended up spending more money to attract students with higher LSAT scores, and the school is still rated as a third tier toilet. What a tremendous accomplishment, huh?!?!

http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2012/237/251/2012-237251952-09825247-9.pdf

The Cesspool’s Tiny-Ass Endowment: Let’s take a peek at the 2012 Form 990 for Employer ID No. 23-7251952, i.e. Vermont Law “School.” On lines 20-22 of page one, you will see the garbage heap had $46,105,174 in total, end of year, net assets – offset by $19,133,361 in total, end of year, net liabilities. As of June 30, 2012, VL$ had a mere $26,971,813 in net assets. If you go to line 19 for the prior year, you will notice that the filth pit actually spent more than they received in revenues – by $93,611. This is an indication that the pigs cannot afford smaller class sizes.

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/local/2014/09/17/officials-vt-law-school-student-kills-mom-self/15811161/

VLS Student Commits Murder/Suicide: Mike Donaghue wrote a Burlington Free Press story, which was headlined “Officials: Vt. Law student kills mother, self” – on September 17, 2014. Check out this excerpt:

“A Vermont Law School student fatally shot his mother with an AK-47 assault rifle before turning the gun on himself in Amherst, N.H., authorities said.

Elizabeth Trombly, 69, died from multiple gunshot wounds, while her son John D. Trombly, 35, died from a single-gunshot, New Hampshire and Amherst Police said.”

This is a tragedy, of course. However, that can’t be good for the PR cockroaches at this trash can. Plus, Cheryl Hanna – a VLS “professor” – died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, on July 27, 2014.

Conclusion: VermonTTT Law Sewer is a sinking turd. Back in April 2014, the pigs defaulted on a $10.7 million revenue bond held by TD Bank. The school is independent, and is located in South Royalton – which features a population of less than 700 souls. Despite trying to game the USN&WR scheme, it is listed as the 129nd greatest, most magnificent law school in the country. Furthermore, the commode had less than $27 million in net assets – as of June 30, 2012. According to several reports earlier this year, VL$ wants to merge with a larger university. Who in their right mind would even consider applying to this pile of putrid waste?!?!

43 comments:

  1. Stories about law schools struggling are a result of cause and effect. There are too many of them, they are too costly and not enough worthwhile employment in the legal profession.

    ReplyDelete
  2. One of the truly disgusting things about this literal death-trap of a law school is that it makes a big effort to target young idealists, environmentalists, and assorted change-the-world do-gooders for its ruinously expensive degree.

    http://outsidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2013/07/upstairs-downstairs-at-vermont-law.html

    Another disgusting thing is that its response to the downturn in applications was to dramatically slash admissions standards even in comparison to other law schools. Since 2010, the median LSAT for the entering class has declined by five points, from 156 (67th percentile of test takers) to 151 (48th percentile of test takers).

    http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/vermont/2013/



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I expect the median LSAT will be down appreciably for the 2014 class. How else could they increase enrollment?

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    2. If this toilet were a haven for idealism, it would operate on a shoestring budget and charge very little tuition—maybe none at all. It could then afford to be selective, choosing students for their aspirations and their intellect rather than for their non-zero pulse and their ability to put a signature or a mark on fat checks.

      But it's just another toilet, and the green-tinted idealism is nothing but niche marketing.

      Old Guy

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  3. I don't understand how a state of less than 650,000 people needs its own law school (stand alone, no less), especially with the glut of lawyers in the NE US. It should say something when the flagship state U doesn't see the wisdom or necessity of having a law school.

    Also lol @ a TTT's focus on environmental law; we all know the only people practicing environment law are biglaw lawyers representing the polluters and the few HYS grads that get hired by environmental non-profits.

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    Replies
    1. Bingo.

      Vermont doesn't need a law school. Nor did Nevada, where 85% of the land is owned by the Federal government.

      Delete
  4. VLS's emphasis on environmental law is ironic considering that the "school" is one huge toxic waste dump with a few fucktard "professors" showing up in hazmat suits to collect their fat-but-soon-to-be-disappearing paychecks.

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  5. And here's your federal gubmit coming to the rescue of this shit pit.

    h/t depressedandhungry over on JDU for sharing this...

    Sen. Leahy Kicks $800,000 of taxpayer pork into Vermont Law School

    http://vtdigger.org/2014/09/24/sen-leahy-announce-759000-usda-funding-vermont-law-school-center-agriculture-food-systems/

    These pigs have no shame whatsoever.

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    Replies
    1. The good news is that $800,000 is just a drop in the bucket. It (without more) won't do anything to rescue this place.

      Delete
    2. That is awful that Leahy wants money for the pigs but not for forgiveness of student debt. No votes for him.

      Delete
  6. I don't know about you guys, but I'm getting all jittery about seeing one of these toilet schools shutting down.

    When just one closes, about 20 or so will soon follow. But 20 law schools shutting down is about all that will close, until the student loan system is changed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely right! It seems lots of schools are on the brink but not one has closed yet. Even Indiana Tech is still in business. When one goes, many will go...but until that one goes all of them will be preying on the gullible.

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  7. Close this shitter down. Turn it into a museum for all I care.

    ReplyDelete
  8. A few of these shithouses will go down. But there's a lot of (fragile) egos involved. No one wants to be the first to go down.

    That's why you're seeing these shitholes trying to merge (or associate with) a larger university. Texas A & M bought one. Western Michigan formed with Cooley. They don't want to be the first ABA school to close their doors.

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    Replies
    1. Western Michigan has a very loose association with Cooley. Cooley students do not get in-state tuition or any subsidy. It is a marketing gimmick. Hopefully no on falls for it.

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    2. Currently, Texas A & M Law students do NOT get any in-state tuition benefit. Maybe some are applying hoping that changes. Fools.

      Delete
  9. I promise each of you that the average student at such a school barely studied, if at all, for the LSAT, and also likely did next to no research into law schools themselves, their debt-reward calculus or what jobs (if any…) can be reasonably attained from such schools.

    In short, the exact kind of human being that the TTT hopes to attract. Because as we all know, lawyers all make money fighting for justice or some such nonsense.

    Lawyers serve clients. Typically, so far as I can tell, they serve clients they probably despise on a personal level. Rich lawyers - fucking millionaire lawyers - still hate their jobs.

    There are maybe - maybe - two dozen or more law schools worth attending, and only if you know you can stomach being a lawyer long term and only if you can minimize the debt.

    The legal industry is imploding, law schools are failing, why play a losing game? There are plenty of ways for an intelligent idealist to make his or her mark on the world while earning a decent buck. Law doesn't have to be your one and only bet (for which there is no real hedge.)

    ReplyDelete
  10. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/grad-debt-rankings

    Average Law Student Indebtedness: US “News” lists the average law student indebtedness - for those members of the VermonTTT Law Sewer Class of 2013 who incurred debt for law school - as $139,000. In addition, 87 percent of this vile garbage heap’s 2013 cohort took on such toxic debt. Remember that this figure does not include undergraduate debt – and also does not take accrued interest into account, while the student is enrolled.

    Check out these figures from Law School Numbers. What a great in$TTTiTTTuTTTion, huh?!?!

    http://vermont.lawschoolnumbers.com/

    “VERMONT LAW SCHOOL

    Vermont Law School (VLS) is a private law school located in South Royalton, Vermont (a village of Royalton, Vermont). The school has one of the United States' leading programs in environmental law. The White River flows past the school and provides the law school community with a lovely place to paddle, swim, and fish.”

    Who gives a damn if this third tier commode is located by something called the White River?!?! After graduating from this stench pit, you’ll likely be living in a van…down by the river!

    http://www.hulu.com/watch/4183

    On the right hand side of this page, you will note the following:

    “Median LSAT: 152
    Median UGPA: 3.21
    Acceptance Rate: 83%”

    Hell, 210 pound prostitutes are more selective! Now, take a look at the employment outlook for VLS grads.

    “VERMONT LAW SCHOOL EMPLOYMENT

    Deciding to attend law school requires a large financial investment with the goal of securing employment upon graduation. The Vermont Law School class of 2013 had an employment rate of 77% with 4% pursuing an additional degree.”

    Yes, what great employment prospects for debt-strapped students, right?!?! Then again, where else would you go, if you desire to be a “top-flight” environmental lawyer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's funny is that Chris Farley's character is wearing a green tie and he lives down by the river. Environmental law tie in.

      Mind. Blown.

      Delete
  11. Vermont winters get old. If you cannot get a decent job, what is the point of taking on all that debt. Vermont Law School has a "non-competitive" environment in admissions.

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  12. I wonder how many of their graduates in the past five years have gotten full time, long term, JD required jobs that are even arguably environment law? I bet you could count them on two hands.

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  13. My God… LST says that less than 17% of this schools' law grads stay in the State of Vermont. Where are they going? Anywhere else, apparently. And what kind of jobs are they getting? Shit gov't gigs, "public interest" probably for poverty level salaries or working for solos for $40k a year, doing work they never, ever wanted to do.

    Now, my real question - Law School Transparency lists the Cost of Living at this school at $23,692. How the fuck are you spending that much to live in some nothing town in Vermont?

    Shit, now I feel bad for everybody that lives there, law student or not.

    P.S. this law schools' website makes me want to punch myself in the face. Usually I try to stay rational when commenting on law schools, but this particular case just fucking sucks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know!! lol! Fucking ridiculous. I saw it before. They trot out every damn thing they can to get the starry / dreamy-eyed Lemmings who are craaazy about "Environmental Law" and stuffs to apply. I mean, in other words, it's BLATANT. Blatant in-your-face hucksterism polished to a high shine.

      And - you had better have a car. Winters, remember? And no COL isn't that cheap.. Everything in Vermont is far away from everything else.

      Delete
    2. The nearest grocery store to Vermont Law School is half an hour away by car—in New Hampshire.

      Old Guy

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    3. International Sexuality Environmental Food Space Law from a Feminist Perspective...

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    4. They're going wherever their parents are. And if they don't have parents with houses, well, then they're well and truly fucked.

      Heck even the one guy I know in Big Law who is making bank lived with his parents for a few years out of law school, and is in constant fear of losing his job.

      Law is a loser's bet. The only people that have any type of odds are the people that could be making a lot more money in another field, including medicine. It's actually easier to get into medical school than it is to make HYS.

      Delete
  14. Thinker - as to cost of living. VLS is in a very small town. Likely not much housing available. Yes that would drive up costs. It would be tough to get by without a car.

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  15. This school's endowment is ~ $26 million and they technically defaulted on a 10.7 million bond? What happens when the pigs want to construct a new building to move up the rankings?

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  16. The U. of Vermont doesn't even have a law school. That should tell you something. VLS has been around since the early 70s. The state didn't think enough to start a law school.

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  17. I will now focus on the tuition charges at Vermont Law Sewer.

    http://www.vermontlaw.edu/admissions/tuition-and-financial-aid/tuition-fees

    As you can see, full-time students at VL$ face annual tuition of $46,110. Those enrolled in the LLM for “American Legal Studies” will only face charges of $40,345. The latter rate also applies to the Master’s Program and Distance Learning Program.

    https://app.box.com/s/0oc3vt194wdhfdo0xtbk

    Now, let’s return to Chris Cooper’s “Report to the Student Bar Association Senate” at this dung pit. At the time, Cooper was a third year student at VL$. From pages two and three:

    “Tuition Increases (2005-2013)

    Since 2005, annual tuition at Vermont Law School (not including fees and living expenses) for full-time, JD-enrolled students rose from $26,522 to $45,207. This 70.5% increase was greater than all but one school among the 13 independent law schools VLS typically uses to compare itself (see Table 2).

    Among this cohort, VLS tuition rose nearly 18 percent more than the median tuition increase of 52.6 percent. Within this group, VLS is now the third most expensive school, after Brooklyn and New York.

    Over the same period, inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index) rose by 17.6 percent. In comparison, tuition at VLS has grown at more than quadruple the rate of inflation since 2005 (see Table 1).” [Internal citations removed]

    Again, the law school pigs DO NOT GIVE ONE DAMN about their students/marks. Take a look at the sickening tables on pages four and five of this document. Then, scroll down to page six for the following info:

    “The 2008 Tuition Increase

    In 2008, upon the recommendation of the administration, the Board of Trustees approved raising tuition by $6,894, an increase of 21.88 percent in one year. However, the Board decided that this increase would be phased-in by imposing it only on incoming classes, beginning with the class enrolling in 2009. Acknowledging the large tuition gap this increase would create, existing VLS students were admonished to “be sensitive” to the difference in tuition being paid by in-coming students “to help us all get along.”

    The 21.88 percent increase was not intended to address any revenue shortfall or fiscal downturn that the school was facing.” [Internal citations removed]

    The “professors” and administrators at this third tier toilet simply want MORE money, for themselves! They do not care that winning a high school chess tournament is considered a bigger accomplishment than earning a law degree from the putrid in$TTTiTTTuTTTion known as Vermont Law “School.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The comparison with other stand alone law schools is informative. Costs at VLS should be much less than at Brooklyn or NYLS. These schools are located in a high cost of living area.

      Delete
  18. I just noticed that about 1/4 of their entire student body is in the online only Masters / LLM program. Definitely the mark of quality institution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is awful that the ABA allows this - it means those people will qualify for H-1B visas, can come here and increase opportunities even more. And Leahy supports this. Boo on him.

      Delete
    2. Meant decrease opportunities (for US lawyers) even more.

      Delete
  19. Two years ago, a buddy of mine begged me to interview a graduate of this school. I asked him "why won't your firm hire her?" He replied "our firm doesn't hire from Vermont Law School." I run a small firm with 8 attorneys so I told my buddy that I would give his friend an interview with no obligation in exchange for a bottle of Blue Label. He agreed. I suspect he was having sex with the VLS grad and wanted to repay the favor.

    On the day of the interview, the VLS grad came in dressed nicely. She was blonde, had nice legs and was tall (6"0"). After a pleasant interview, I asked the VLS what her salary requirement was. She wanted $80K a year, 3 weeks paid vacation, a 401K plan and full medical insurance. I wanted to erupt in laughter as I thought the candidate displayed audacity, especially coming from a school such as VLS. Needless to say she didn't get an offer and to this day I am still waiting for my bottle of Blue Label.

    I went to law school in the '80s so I don't know what pack of lies the law schools sell nowadays but can anyone tell me why a recent grad of a 4th tier school would demand $80K a year with a generous benefits package? It's not like I am running an AMLaw 100 or Fortune 500 company.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry.. Her fallback plan is the same one 99.999% of women use. And with her looks, she may get it, that being: Marry some rich sucker. Have kids. Never work again.

      With her spunky, aggressive, demanding attitude, I'll wager my hypothesis is not too far from the truth.

      Delete
  20. JDU’s dybbuk started a hilarious thread labeled “Enroll in Vermont Law School and Receive FREE Maple Syrup” – on September 11, 2014. Here is the original post, in its entirety:

    http://jdunderground.com/scam/thread.php?threadId=77374

    “If you enroll in Vermont Law School (VLS), you will score free maple syrup. Yes! If you are only thinking about attending VLS, they will take you on an apple-picking outing.

    But all is not syrup and apples at this rustic palace of legal learning. The linked article provides a fine overview of VLS's recent financial troubles-- its "technical default" on a 10.7 million dollar revenue bond, its significant faculty and staff cuts, and its failure to negotiate a merger with UVM. The article notes that enrollment has increased this year, a sign of hope for the embattled school. (But it does not say why-- a drastic reduction in student quality, with the median LSAT falling by five points, from 156 to 151, in only three years).

    http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/the-trials-of-vermont-law-school/Content?oid=2435029

    VLS's marketing approach is to appeal to the change-the-world fantasies of progressive college kids. Its slogan: "A small, committed law school in rural Vermont is quietly changing the world. Join us."

    VLS's placement stats are deplorable-- somewhat surprisingly, since it is the only law school in the state-- and its tuition is $46,110/ yr. I understand that sweet maple syrup and tasty red apples do not come cheap, but you would think that a school that makes such a big production about its progressive commitment would not be quite so ostentatiously mercenary. I suppose that, while other law schools scam the ambitious, VLS's special niche is to scam idealists.”

    Now, read this excellent comment from “eddiemunster” – from September 11, 2014 at 12:38 pm:

    "I know how much debt I'm getting myself into," said third-year student Jeremy Walker, who is paying $46,110 to go to VLS this year, the same as last year. "You sort of resign yourself to the debt," agreed his classmate Stetser.

    Yeah, um.... are you resigned to the accrued interest that goes along with it? Or did you even calculate that into the picture? Bet both of them and the school are counting on the middle class welfare program of IBR.”

    This provoked this spot-on response from user “lolskewl” – from the same day at 1:56 pm:

    “I bet the idea of retaking the LSAT and getting more scholarship money never occurred to these geniuses. The environment is f-d if these are the kind of lawyers it's gonna have on its side.”

    As these commenters note, VermonTTT Law Sewer is taking advantage of idealistic fools. Do these young men and women honestly believe that THEY are going to practice “environmental law” – with a degree from a third tier stench pit?!?! I suppose they think that they will represent the underdog, while fighting agaisnt Exxon and other corporate polluter pigs. Little do these dolts realize that these jobs exist in tiny numbers.

    ReplyDelete
  21. A homeless guy collecting soda cans for a recycling credit will have a more positive impact on the environment than any law grad from Vermont lol skool.

    ReplyDelete
  22. A homeless guy who's a VLS grad and collecting soda cans for recycling credit will be considered employed for the sake of NALP's stats.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup. Absolutely.

      They would count him as FT employed.

      22% tuition increase in one year. Wow! Hey VLS grads and students - and especially any potential lemmings thinking of going to this school: Good luck ever paying down your student loans. And, btw, you don't need luck. You'll need a Miracle.

      Delete
  23. You are all fucking haters. If you have nothing nice to say don't say it. What kind of loser takes time out of his/her day to rip on a school? Chill out it's a terrible economy and people at this school care about the worlds problems. Elitist ivy league grads go out and represent the assholes of the world

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They prey upon children and are thieves.

      They should be exposed and condemned.

      Some say it more in a more sophisticated manner than others, but those who steal from children should be condemned and expunged from civil society, which now seems to encompass law professors and the administrators who lure those children to their paychecks.

      Delete
  24. Professor Hanna was an incredible professor, without need for quitations. Shame on you for using her struggle with mental illness as fodder for your rage against VLS. She was an inspirational figure for the VLS community and it was a huge loss when she passed last year. This is coming from a grad who is doing do-good work as an attorney, which i imagine is less than what many of you can say for yourselves. Life is what you make of it. It is important to be knowlegable of comsumer choices we make, but ultimately it is the economy, our choices, and how we treat each other that determines our lives. Guessing by how wantonly you can judge a stranger's life, perhaps you have contributed more to your present state in life more than a TTT or even the economy has.

    ReplyDelete

 
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