Tuesday, March 24, 2015

News Flash: Legal Academics Will Gladly Admit Less Qualified Students, Because Larger Enrollment Equals More Student Loan Dollars


ABA Commodes Sinking Even Lower: On March 20, 2015, Tamara Tabo posted a Mimesis Law article entitled “Inefficient Markets Are Inefficient: What Behavioral Econ Says About Why Some Law Schools Fail.” Read the following excerpt:

“Sow’s Ears and Silk Purses and All of That

A law school’s admissions policy is crucial to its bar passage rate. Even the best teachers must work with the students who appear in their classrooms. So, let’s focus on the relationship between admissions and bar exam outcomes. 

As law school applications drop nationwide, a lot of schools have been maintaining their class sizes by accepting applicants with lower GPAs, LSAT scores, and other admissions metrics. But what if a school is already taking chances on applicants whose numbers are rock-bottom? Law schools with already-low standards are caught on the horns of a dilemma: 

(1) Maintain standards, though that means enrolling fewer students. Fewer enrolled students mean fewer tuition dollars funding the school’s operating costs. Deep cuts mean hiring freezes, pay reductions, and even eventual lay-offs. 

(2) Lower admissions standards. Put warm bodies in seats — and money in coffers — by any means necessary. But what happens in three years when those students sit for the bar exam? If a school’s bar passage rate has been in the sewer for years, to what depths will it sink when a crop of ostensibly less-qualified students face the exam? Abysmal bar numbers threaten a school’s ABA accreditation. So, an admissions policy prioritizing enrollment over student success sidesteps next year’s financial crisis but it might doom the entire institution several years in the future. 

Unfortunately, a lot of schools with low bar passage rates have been taking what’s behind Door #2. Why? 

Perverse Incentives Are Perverse. 

Perverse incentives create adverse consequences by unintentionally rewarding bad behavior. At most law schools, admissions policies are set by faculty vote or by the dean, with faculty approval. The people deciding are the same people whose paychecks could take a hit if next year’s incoming class is down 40%. 

Faculty participation is supposed to make sure that the people closest to the consequences of the policy are the ones who set the standards. Unfortunately, the system unintentionally rewards faculty for putting their own financial interests before the good of the school.” [Emphasis mine]

Admi$$ion$ commiTTTies at ABA-accredited toilets are comprised of law faculty members and usually an ass-wipe assistant dean. These are the same people who tell you how intelligent you are and what a great decision you have made – throughout the application process and during orientation.

Of course, when YOU have not secured decent employment in three years – due primarily to the GLUT of lawyers in this country – these same cockroaches often turn around and blame you for being an entitled brat or a lazy bastard who didn’t apply himself. Actually, if you are outside the top 10% of your class after first semester or first year, then you are typically dismissed by these academic thieves as a loser.


Other Coverage: On March 22, 2015, Paul Caron reported on this development in an entry labeled “Behavioral Economics and Law School Failure: Tie Faculty Salaries to Student Bar Exam Performance.” He provides this portion from the Tabo piece:

“Low enrollment today frightens many law schools more than low bar passage rates three years from now. The reward of funding the current budget is a small reward compared to better bar passage and keeping the law school out of trouble with the ABA. But schools get that smaller reward right away. The reward of maintaining standards and ensuring the school’s future is greater overall, but schools won’t get that reward for several years, when the class of students admitted under the policy reaches the bar exam. 

It’s not that professors don’t care about students passing the bar. It’s just that they care about cuts to next year’s budget more.” [Emphasis mine]

Frankly, the author is far too kind to the failed lawyers known as “legal educators.” It is ALL about the money – and that was always the case. The pigs simply squealed terms such as “public service” and “giving back” in order to pull the wool over your eyes. By the way, now that fewer people are applying to law school, many of these rodents will have the opportunity to prove whether they can indeed land huge salaries that they supposedly turned down for the sake of their precious students.

Conclusion: You can bet your ass that MANY of these commodes will continue to lower their “standards.” After all, they need more warm bodies in seats so they can get their hooves on all that federal student loan money. They get paid up front, in full – while YOU, the student, are left holding the massive bag of NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt. Hell, before long, these cesspools will start accepting those with an IQ in the Uncle Grandpa range. At this point, making consecutive three-pointers is more impressive than earning a damn law degree.


  1. Lets go to Law School transparency to see just how bad the cancer of lowered admissions standards and abysmal employment outcomes has metastasized. There are only 21 law schools in country that have over 75% of their most recent graduates employed in full time long term bar-passage required jobs. There are an additional 20 schools that have over 67% employed. ALL the rest fall (78% of all law Schools in the Country) fall quickly into the abyss.

    Even formerly strong regional schools like Washington & Lee and Case Western have long term bar passage required employment rates somewhere in the 50% range. The pathology extends even to National schools like U. of Wisconsin (57%). What lemming in is right mind would attend a non T-7 school without a full scholarship?

    1. U. of Wisconsin's law school was never really a "national school" any more than any other midwestern state flagship U. Wisconsin is a predominantly rural and small town state with a tiny biglaw presence. The rest of your points are legit though.

  2. Law schools used to be able to fall back on their bar passage rates as a metric for success. Now, it appears that even that benchmark won't be applicable anymore as those numbers continue to plummet outside the top tier.

    Meanwhile, the sound of crickets continuing their chirp over at the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

    This profession is managed and regulated by genuine sociopaths.

  3. Do the law schools, ABA or anyone else have enough power to control bar exam standards? The reason I ask is because if admission standards are lower then the obvious solution is to make the bar exam easier.

  4. Hey Nando, the fur is beginning to fly up at the "University of New Hampshire" School of Law's Rudman CenTTTer, where a former Chief Justice of the N.H. Supreme Court lent his august liberal image to the racket, and now is "banned" from the CenTTTer due to a staffing and perks kerfuffle....


  5. The quality of grads coming out of law school is so terrible today, that I would rather (of course I can't) send in my paralegal to court to cover a routine motion.

    The cover letters and resumes I receive from recent law grads are replete with grammatical and syntactical errors that I am shocked these kids received a high school diploma. What kind of morons are these schools letting in? If anything, the lowering of admissions standards to law schools reveals what the mission statement is about: MAKING MONEY FOR THE IVORY TOWER DWELLERS!

    1. Here's the punchline: Because my legal career went nowhere over the last 5 years, I'm a considered a natural-born loser, so those wildly unskilled graduates are still more employable than me!

    2. ^lol this.

      The timing is seriously far more important than how smart you are or how hard you work or anything else.

      Back in the 08-09 crash it didn't matter what you did, there just weren't any jobs, and if you didn't have the connections or missed the lottery you were out of luck. And that compounds as the years go by, because you don't have the employment history or career trajectory to get a second look. It becomes obvious that nobody actually cares what you can do, your "career window" is gone. And since law schools always had a coin flip chance even in good economies, that's a heck of a lot of people with really bad outcomes 5-10 years later. That first job is important in every industry, and law is an industry where even a great first job doesn't protect you much.

      People that graduate in strong economies will do a lot better with garbage degrees and mediocre performance than stronger performing graduates in bad economies.

      But really, if you think about it, it doesn't matter too much anyway. Timing, the connections you are born into, your intelligence, your looks, whatever trait you can think of, it's luck or God given to begin with. I kind of feel sorry for the people that don't believe in an afterlife that don't hit the genetic or job lottery. When the realization hits you that it's all either random or predetermined, what can you do?

    3. So much of it is luck...in any industry.

      Right now, law is a dying industry. I don't even tell people I went to law school. At parties, if it comes up (usually because some asshole mentions it), no one -- literally no one -- gives two shits. And no one is impressed by my education. I even get the occasional look that says Oh, I'm sorry.

      When anyone does take the slightest interest (or pretends like they do), they usually just try to hit me up for free legal advice. And when I don't give it away for free they look at me like I'm the biggest asshole in the room. What's funny is you know none of these people hit up their plumber for free advice. They wouldn’t even think of doing that.

      Maybe 20 years ago if you told people you were a lawyer, they might be impressed or at least they'd view you as an educated person. Now the pretty women in the room look at you like your a piece of gum on the bottom of their shoe. The thing is I only even go to these fucking boring parties for the free booze and crackers. And before you laugh I see other lawyers going to these shindigs for the same fucking reason, the food. That’s it. They’re just trying not to starve.

      This chick I was banging a while back worked in a call center and she made what I made. But she had health insurance. And she looked down on me like I was a bum. And her fiance was working in a warehouse. That’s where we’re at. It’s a shit profession. Don’t even think of joining.

    4. "..they usually just try to hit me up for free legal advice." Exactly. All the time. And if they are friends of the family (aka dirtbag boomers), they want free work not just free advice.

      This is the equivalent of walking up to someone you do not know and when you find out he is a boxer, asking him to go hit someone in the face for you, for free.

      Apparently it is the height of rudeness and niggardly to tell someone to fight his own damn fight if he likes it so much.

    5. @10:57,

      NIGGARDLY, you say?

      SUMMON the Civil Rights Roach! AND the Message Discipline Troll!

      Lily-white Anglo-Saxon race warriors, HO!!!!!

    6. Dude, are you aware of the syntactical errors in your own post? You must have graduated when dummies could still get hired out of law school. Fortunately, those days are gone forever.

  6. The ABA is corrupt. Law schools have no morality. They keep the $$$ rolling in no matter what. AARP and AAA have more rigorous admission standards than many of these law schools.

    1. Shit, AAA wouldn't accredit 1/4 of the law schools the ABA does. They actually have standards.

  7. West Virginia College of Law grad here. After putting in 70-80 hours a week driving a cab (w/my net hourly earnings being slightly less than minimum wage), I decided it was time for a change in jobs. Thankfully, I now work full-time at a call center (w/health insurance), and now make about $11 an hour. Interestingly enough, I was told the main reason why I got the job was simply because my education level is at least that of an associates degree.

    1. Call centers, sales, retail, driving a cab, bartending. These seem to be the types of jobs most college grads and law grads get.

      I don't understand why, if those are the only jobs most people can get, that they need to first go into debt and waste years of their lives on worthless "education." Might as well cut high school too, you only need a junior high school education at most for these types of jobs.

  8. The dirty little secret is that on average less than sixty percent of people graduating from all but elite schools ever practiced, going back at least to graduates of the mid 1980s. I remember a good many failed attorneys working in non-legal jobs back in the late seventies for Federal and State bureaucracies. (Back when they were hiring). Heck Woodrow Wilson attended the University of Virginia law school, and failed as a lawyer. (He then went back to Johns Hopkins got his PHD in political science, and became President of Princeton).

    At my toilet regional law school, prior to the early 1970s, the then lowest one third of the class was expelled at the end the 1st and 2nd year. In retrospect this draconian use of the knife was probably more humane than letting students continue to pay tuition for a job that would never exist. Back in the day before the Internet the scam and shame were hidden. Although career prospects have deteriorated, at least any reasonable intelligent undergrad should now be well aware that the majority of law grads would never have successful long-term careers as attorneys.

  9. Although this is off-topic, I think it should be shared. University of Phoenix is dying. 50% enrollment decline in 5 years, and today alone lost 30% on its share price.

    Somewhere a law dean is cursing because the University of Phony-Shit will not be cranking out hundreds of thousands of people with undergraduate degrees who are therefore eligible to go to law school.

    The 3x3 programs of scammers, like University of California - Hastings, already recruit at junior colleges and are seeking to erode the undergrad degree requirement (which is actually dumb) but only for the sake of asses in seats! Asses in seats!

    May the whole higher education bubble go the way of the Hindenburg!

    1. I know a guy who borrowed at least $80,000 to get a degree in "human services" from the University of Phoenix. He never held a job in that field. He recently admitted that he is autistic and is currently taking classes at the local JC, hoping to become an astronomer. His wife is making his loan payments.

  10. Cheer up Gents! Things will turn around, this is the cycle working. There is loan forgiveness, IBR, and even an education loan debt charge off after 20 years (for gov. loans).

    Stay hopeful ... with 2 years of community free, maybe law school will see a piece of the reform !!!

    I know a guy who went to Boston College Law and due to the high loan repayment pressure, deviated into criminal activities and ended up in jail and losing his Bar license. The sham is such a shame!

  11. Don't forget.. there is always the LLB route via UK. Cheaper and at an undergrad level. Only takes 2 years, and the only catch is you will have to get an LLM and the only friendly states in the US are NY and California. But this route only cost between 15K and 25k.... Hail to the Queen !!!

  12. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/law-schools-are-admitting-students-they-would-have-rejected-years-ago/

    CBS Moneywatch published a Jonathan Berr piece entitled “Are law school admission standards slipping?” – back on January 21, 2015. Check out this opening:

    "Good news for aspiring lawyers: It's getting easier to get into law school, and the legal job market is showing some signs of improvement. The bad news: Many experts worry that unqualified entrants will have little chance to pass the bar exam and will be saddled with unaffordable levels of debt.

    According to an analysis by Jerome Organ, a professor at the University of St. Thomas, 33 percent of law school entrants had median LSAT scores of 160 or higher in 2013, compared with 40.8 percent in 2010 (the LSAT is scored on a scale between 120 and 180). Conversely, first-year students with scores of 149 or lower rose from 14.2 percent to 22.5 percent.

    "Not all law schools are lowering admission standards," wrote Wendy Margolis of the Law School Admissions Council in an email. "If some of them are, you would need to ask them about their individual reasons. Actually, enrollment did not start to really decline until after the recovery began. There was a lag. We really have no way of knowing what will happen in the future."

    In an interview, Organ said his colleagues at other schools have noticed a decline in the quality of their students, though he hasn't noticed it at his university, which is in St. Paul, Minnesota.

    "It is a refrain that I hear with some frequency," he said. "The quality of students isn't what it was two or three years ago."

    It’s funny to hear Organ note that the quality of students has decreased over the last few years, but not at his institution. He teaches at the 135th “best” law school in the country, i.e. the Univer$iTTTy of $TTT. TTThoma$ Sewer of Law. Then again, his commode has apparently been admitting and enrolling morons for quite some time.


    1. St. Thomas' LSAT scores have slipped - how the professor miss that?

      2011 LSAT percentiles were 161,156,153. In raw score that translates to 75, 66, 61 correct.

      2014 LSAT percentiles were 158,154,150. In raw score, that translates to 68, 62, 55.

      In the real world that means their best students went from about a C to D but the 25th percentile is F.

  13. Dear Nando, I urgently need to talk to you about what they did to me at JMLS in Chicago. Please contact me at gossipgirl5688@gmail.com I hope to give you some info about the school so you can maybe write a blog post about it so more people will not be enticed to attend this awful, evil school. They are just money hungry and are only helpful when you are a prospective student. Once you are a student, they don't care. Anyway, lots of terrible things happened at this school. Please email me and I hope to give you my number or Skype so we can chat more. Maybe I can even get some advice from you because you seem like the expert at dealing with these toilets and exposing these monsters.

    1. ∆110% this.

    2. I fear that there may be a terribly long line ahead of you.

    3. Why don't you just tell us? You're among friends here....

  14. ABA will simply make the bar passage rate accreditation policy more lax.

  15. Anyone check out the Thomas Jefferson Law School website recently? Take a look . . . . .

    1. The bondholders-turned-landlords of the school need to read that ASAP.

    2. Shut this festering shithole down! It's a glorified Ponzi scheme. Fuck the ABA.

    3. All the turd polishing in the world won't save that piece of crap. They need to fold now and save their investors any further damage.

    4. Holy crap! How could someone even consider applying to a school that admits on its home page that it has a bad reputation?

  16. Celina, why don't you tell us what they did to you at that school. We would all like to know, helps to get the work out!

  17. http://outsidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2015/03/where-even-lemmings-fear-to-leap-which.html

    Earlier today, dybbuk posted a gem on OTLSS, under the headline “Where even lemmings fear to leap: Which ABA-accredited law schools have experienced the steepest decline in applications, 2011-2014.” Here is the full text of the article:

    "In 2011, there were 535,000 applications to ABA accredited law schools (mind: I refer to applications, not applicants). In 2014, there were 355,100 applications, a hefty decline of 33.6% from three years earlier. But, of course, this decline was not evenly distributed among the 200+ ABA-accredited law schools. 40 schools saw their application pool shrink by half or more, while a handful of outliers actually experienced an increase. What follows is a chart showing the number of law schools that experienced particular levels of change in applications, by percentage, between 2011 to 2014, followed by a list of the 65 law school that experienced a decline in applications of 45% or more.

    It may be that a particularly steep decline in applications provides a hint as to which law schools are sailing into trouble of an existence-threatening sort. I mean, these are the schools that have clearly lost their consumer appeal, even against the general backdrop of the fading law school mystique. Avowed lemmings no longer apply to these places even as their safeties.

    Consider that Hamline experienced the 16th steepest drop in applications (56.8%) among the nation’s ABA accredited schools in the last three years, and soon that school may exist only as a phantom limb of William Mitchell. The finest law school in Grundy, VA experienced the 12th steepest drop (58.0%), and it is on the financial ropes, having shed half of its faculty. Cooley experienced the 4th biggest drop in applications (63.2%), and it closed down one of its four campuses. Here is hoping that the crash in consumer demand foreshadows a wave of faculty downsizing and law school closures.

    Long-time posters and lurkers at JD Underground will surely appreciate which school experienced the biggest decline in applications from 2011 to 2014, a staggering 69.2% drop. MCGEORGE DOMINATES! (and you, Scamming Illini, quite definitely dominate the first tier)." [Internal citation removed]

    Make sure to view the charts on this entry. As you can see, even lemmings are starting to avoid trap schools that they used as safety toilets a few years ago. This is a truly great development, people! Let's keep pushing the pigs' snouts in their own filth.


    1. My scama mater made the Top 10. OH YEAH!

  18. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-06/getting-into-law-school-is-easier-than-it-used-to-be-and-thats-not-good

    On January 6, 2015, Bloomberg Business published a report from Natalie Kitroeff, entitled "Getting Into Law School Is Easier Than It Used to Be, and That's Not Good." Look at this opening:

    "Getting into law school with low test scores is easier than it used to be.

    Low scores on the Law School Admission Test have dipped at most schools in recent years, a new report shows. A paper released last month by the National Conference of Bar Examiners, the nonprofit that creates part of the bar exam, shows that since 2010, 95 percent of the 196 U.S. law schools at least partially accredited by the American Bar Association for which the NCBE had data lowered their standards for students near the bottom of the pack. The NCBE compiled data from the American Bar Association and the Law School Admission Council, the group that administers the LSAT, to illustrate the decline in LSAT scores for students at the 25th percentile—meaning, the students who were at the very top of the bottom quartile of students.

    Standards aren't just falling at lower-tier schools—Emory University, ranked among the top 20 U.S. law schools by U.S. News and World Report, had the single largest drop in LSAT scores for this group, enrolling bottom-tier students who'd scored nine points worse than three years earlier (on a test where 120 is the lowest score and 180 is the highest score.) In fact, 20 of the 22 U.S. News top-20 schools—there was a three-way tie for 20th place—were enrolling students with lower test scores. Across all schools, LSAT scores for the 25th percentile dropped an average of three points.

    LSAT scores matter because they tend to correlate closely with scores on one section of the bar exam, so when schools admit lower-scoring students on the former test, they risk producing more graduates who have a hard time passing the bar. The median LSAT score across all schools has also declined, by 1.7 points from 2010-13, according to the LSAC. Academically weaker students aren't the only thing threatening U.S. law schools—first-year enrollment is down 28 percent across ABA-accredited schools since 2010. Emory's enrollment declined 21 percent from 2010 to 2013."

    In short, beating your uncle and brother in law at chess is more impressive than getting into an ABA-accredited toilet. Do you still want to pursue this route, Dumbass?!?!

  19. CUNY LAW, FUCK THEM AND STAY AWAY! Dean Glen, Dean Bilek, Dean Andrews all scampered away in recent times, the school blows whether Flushing or Long Island City location. At least Dean Glen is a judge, can't really fuck up estate law cases as a probate judge, and neither can Dean Andrews who fled Albany Law School. Dean Bilek is next up, can't save that sinking ship at UMASS Amherst, nor can she stay far from her husband and their favored NYC locale.


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