Monday, April 6, 2015

Widener University School of Law is Splitting Its TTTT Campuses and Renaming Them

The TTTT's AnnouncemenTTTT: Check out this portion of the stench pit’s press release:

“Widener University is pleased to announce the American Bar Association has approved its application to split its [Sewer] of Law, which has campuses in Harrisburg, Pa. and Wilmington, Del., into separate law schools that will operate independently of each other, but remain part of the university. They will be led by separate deans. 

Rod Smolla will serve as dean of Widener University Delaware Law School, the name for the school in Wilmington, Del. 

Christian A. Johnson will serve as dean of Widener University Commonwealth Law School, the name for the school in Harrisburg, Pa. 

The change in status and new names will take effect July 1, the day both deans begin their tenures. New websites for the schools debuted today at and 

“This is an exciting time for Widener University and its law schools,” Widener President James T. Harris III said. “The Widener School of Law has offered exceptional legal education for over 40 years. During that time, the two law campuses have grown and developed their own strengths and unique identities. Both schools will benefit from this change as it will allow each campus to showcase their strengths and individuality. This change will allow us to enhance our student services and educational offerings, with separate law school administrations dedicated to the different locations.” [Emphasis mine]

Anyone with an IQ above room temperature can see through this pathetic spin job. By the way, when have the ABA cockroaches not approved an accredited cesspool’s application?

Other Coverage: On March 31, 2015, the News Journal featured a Matthew Albright piece entitled “Widener’s Delaware law school to get its own identity.”  Look at this excerpt:

“Widener University's law school campus in Delaware will once again be called the Delaware Law School and will have a separate identity and dean from the Harrisburg campus, school officials announced Friday. 

"The Widener Law School has offered exceptional legal education for over 40 years. During that time, the two law campuses have grown and developed their own unique strengths," Widener President James Harris said. "Both schools will benefit from this change as it will allow each campus to showcase their strengths and individuality. This change will allow us to enhance our student services and educational offerings." 

Harris announced that the school's new dean will be Rod Smolla, a visiting professor of law at the University of Georgia, who has previously served as dean of the law schools of the University of Richmond and Washington and Lee University and was president of Furman University. 

Smolla noted Delaware's outsized influence on the country's legal system, especially its corporate law, and praised the "Delaware Way" tradition of "civility, honor and professionalism" in the legal community. 

"As the only law school in the state, we have a special responsibility and a special relationship with the Delaware legal community," Smolla said. 

Delaware Law School opened in 1971. Widener added the Harrisburg campus in 1989, and the schools have jointly operated as the Widener School of Law.” [Emphasis mine]

The article continued:

“The American Bar Association has approved allowing the two campuses to be split into separately accredited entities within the university. School leaders say that will allow the schools to focus on specialties they have developed. The Delaware branch, for example, has a reputation for its programs in corporate and business law, family and health law and environmental law and advocacy.  

The Harrisburg campus will be called Commonwealth Law School. 

Widener Law has about 700 students pursuing Juris Doctor degrees. The Delaware location also offers legal graduate, compliance certificate, paralegal and legal nurse consulting programs.” [Emphasis mine]

Faculty Buyouts Included?: According to this June 5, 2013 entry from Dan Filler, this has been in the works for some time. The post was labeled “Widener Law May Slim Down & Split Into Two Law Schools.” Here is the entire text:

“According to a recent news report, Widener Law is considering following the path of Penn State Law and splitting into two separately accredited law schools: one in Delaware and one in Harrisburg, PA. If both plans come to pass, there will be two new law schools - both located in metro Harrisburg. Hmmm... 

In separate news, but from the same news report, Widener offered 21 law faculty members a buyout. No details on the number who accepted.” [Emphasis mine]

Yes, this school seems to be thriving, huh?!?! Who wouldn’t want to attend this fine in$TTTTiTTTTuTTTTion?

Conclusion: Anyone dumb enough to enroll in this sinking pile of excrement deserves their fate. Do you think – for one damn second – that employers will care whether your TTTTdiploma says Widener or Widener Delaware?! After all, this school is currently ranked as a fourth tier piece of trash – by US “News” & World Report. A name change is not going to improve this toilet’s repuTTTTaTTTTion.


  1. Mmmmm...the scent of slow roasted pork

    1. Reminds me of a luau for some reason.

  2. My guess is they are splitting the campuses as a first step to closing the Harrisburg campus, just as I think (but do not know for a fact) that Penn State split its campuses as a first step to closing the Dickinson campus.

    1. ^^^ A good possibility.

  3. Shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    This change will serve primarily to increase the costs of running these toilets—and to run them out of money sooner.

    Old Guy

    1. OId Guy, you are 100% right. We are witnessing the rats scurrying to save themselves every dollar they can get until the ship sinks. It's going to sooner than later. I cannot wait for the 60 minutes episode.

    2. Running them out of money may be the pretext to void tenure obligations and "shut them down cleanly."

  4. The more I think about things, the more I'm starting to believe that the United States needs more law schools and more lawyers. The sooner the ABA kills the noble profession, the sooner we'll see some sort of reform.

    That said, how do create my own law school? Hell, I could only charge $20K/year and still make more money than I'm making as an attorney.

  5. Well, it's obvious that they're buying out professors so they can afford to pay two sets of deans in the future. Disgusting.

  6. So I don't get it, what could possibly be the point of this move? Cut off a limb to more easily allow it to die? Stuff in a few more highly paid administrators before one or both of the schools go under?

  7. This is unusual. You'd think law schools would start merging with one another. Here, you have law schools splitting up.

    1. The next step will be for Widener Harrisburg and Penn State Dickinson to merge.

  8. Delaware is certainly well known for its corporate law. If you think that means that Fortune 500 companies are eagerly scooping up Widener grads to do their corporate law work, you are a reTTTTard.

    1. Penn and Columbia have the Delaware corporate market covered and then some.

  9. Video 1 is the school announcement, plus other items.

  10. In case anyone still doubts what Higher Education is all about, I missed this gem on OSTLSS:



    Unemployed NortheasternMarch 31, 2015 at 10:10 PM

    Just want to point out the irony/hypocrisy that Michael Simkovic himself has gone on the warpath multiple times about how funding from the Lumina Foundation, which Sallie Mae cofounded and gave $700 million in funding, drives think tanks like Brookings and New America Foundation to create neoliberal studies that recommend federal lending be curtailed, PSLF be repealed, and PAYE be jettisoned in favor of old IBR. See, for instance:

    1. "“It’s hard to make sense of a lot of what Lumina is advocating on student loans unless you think of how it would benefit Sallie Mae,” says Michael Simkovic, an associate professor at Seton Hall." [the linked article relates how Lumina, which was cofounded and solely funded by Sallie Mae, gave New America $3 million and now NA rails against PSLF and federal student lending]

    2. "Michael Simkovic, a visiting associate professor of law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an expert on lending issues, said that if Brookings’s reports on student debt were to dictate policy, they would “boost the profits of the student lenders like Sallie Mae.”" [article relates how Lumina gave Brookings $1.9 million and now Brookings claims there is no student loan crisis]

    And here he is, taking in hundreds of thousands of dollars from entities with direct stakes in the law school revenue game and writing studies that claim that law school graduates are immune to the laws of supply and demand, wage suppression, bear markets, elitism, etc. As if. To spell it out really clearly for anyone still confused about Access Group, it was a student lender. Back in the dark ages before GradPLUS (2006, I think), a law student could only borrow about $60,000 in federal loans for law school. Access Group competed with Sallie Mae, Nelnet, Citibank, etc. for the ability to extend $80,000 or $100,000 in private student loans to make up the difference. They would bundle those loans into Student Loan Asset-Backed Securities and sell them on Wall Street, of course. Yes, the law schools jointly own a student lending company, albeit a non-profit one (that sits on about $300 million in cash, if I am reading their 990s correctly). As far as I can tell, they haven't lent money in years, have outsourced their loan administration to third parties, and seem to exist only to provide salaries for their executives.


    Go to the Access Group Website and take a glance at their Board of Directors. You'll see some familiar names.

    "Non-profit" my ass...

    "Mission-driven" - you bet. To make gobs of money off the backs of debt-crippled, life-indentured students.

    1. It's really a completely different world for the connected vs. the unconnected. Connected people always think work is easy to find and easy to do, because for them it is. The entire system is designed for them to be taken care of. So they have this delusional view that all someone has to do is show up and not be drunk or a drug addict to make money. Because for them that really is all they have to do, just show up most of the time, goof off, then go home and collect a big salary and a bonus.

      When you go down the rabbit hole it's actually amazing. Student loans aren't the only type of asset or industry where this happens.

      If you look at various brokerages and trading funds, it's the same. There are so many different funds, hedge funds and the like, all funneling money into each other, some playing the churn and others in the same low risk securities and asset baskets. And the people working at a lot of these firms are literally members of the world aristocracy, there are honest to goodness princes and princesses for these funds, who generally do nothing but go out and have a good time with clients. Just a completely different world.

      Meanwhile the suckers at the ground level, we're all doing grunt work and worrying about how to make money, where the next contract is, and are always first on the chopping block. If we're working for employers we have to constantly show the "value" we bring, get micromanaged, have strict scrutiny on hours and the workplace environment can also change on a dime.

      It's just kind of funny if you've been exposed to the different levels. Of course these Access Group directors are getting paid and have those connections. And no, it doesn't matter how hard a person that isn't part of that group "works" and strives, there really isn't an entry policy to those levels. These people no matter what are going to always make sure they are getting taken care of. Merger, lack of business, no matter what it is, the people at the top look out for each other and prioritize themselves getting paid.

      Bear Sterns was a good example, same with Washington Mutual and many others. TARP essentially was designed just to make sure the elites got their 6 and 7 figure bonuses, not to actually keep the lights on or anything like that.

      I can't imagine any student loan reform or the law schools actually being reformed because they're a part of that aristocracy. I doubt just anyone can open a law school and get access to the loan money and what not. The day you see the non-connected getting on the scam is the day you should probably seriously worry about a collapse.

    2. @238,

      So what is the moral of your story, exactly? That people should never work, because it will never matter?

      On a planet with 7 billion people, it is quite mathematically impossible for everyone to be what you think of as "rich" or "connected." There simply aren't enough resources.

      So why begrudge the rich? Are you jealous? If there really is a class of "idle rich," how are they harming you? If you somehow confiscated all their wealth, your own outlook might improve by 50 cents or so (and that's assuming you would get anything at all - it's far more likely that the person doing the confiscating would just keep all the money for himself).

      Incidentally, how do you think that the "connected" (or their grandparents, or their ancient ancestors from the Bronze Age) attained that status? Did they arrive here on fucking spaceships made out of gold?

    3. The 5 Colleges That Leave the Most Students Crippled By Debt

      The Education Scam begins well before law school.

    4. @ 6:36

      Gee, I wonder why anyone would infer in this day and age that great wealth must have been acquired through illegitimate means.

      Maybe he thinks that because there's trillions of dollars in public debt that was borrowed to pay off banks who defrauded their customers and extorted the nation. And trillions more for defense contractors and war pigs. And the trillions more for purchasing residential mortgage backed securities to bailout banks yet again.

      And the personal wealth that members of Congress seem to just fall into once they become members of Congress, who really still are permitted to insider trade.

      It goes on and on.

      Do you think Mitt Romney really made his fortune on the up and up meritocracy?

      How about law schools and higher education generally? That was all deserved and sweated for in a free market toil?

      Funny stuff.

    5. Ah it's the psychopath debt collector trying to passively aggressively insult me!

      You don't have any morals, so why are you looking for any in someone's writing?

      Just see if you can learn something. Nando pointed out Access Group continued to exist purely to give their executives salaries for doing nothing. I expanded on his idea and showed that it exists everywhere. This is how rational adults communicate. You aren't at the table because you're an idiot.

    6. 205/958,

      You two shitheads are every bit as bad as the "pigs" you decry. You just want YOUR "trillions of dollars," don't you?

      You clearly want to suck the taxpayers' butts yourselves - the ONLY difference between you and the banks, Congressmen, fucking Lizard People, or whatever, is that you are too fucking impotent and incompetent to actually succeed in forming a seal on that taxpayer butthole - thank God.

      And YOU pontificate about "morals." What a laugh!

      With attitudes like yours, I am AMAZED that you are bitter failures instead of great financial success stories. What were the odds? (HINT: 100 percent)

      As for Romney, I don't know if he "earned" his money on a level playing field or not - but I'll bet SOMEONE in his family did ... and probably within the last 3 generations or so. It's actually quite difficult to maintain a multi-generational fortune, what with all the butt-sucking vampires like you voting every two years. You know, lazy motherfuckers who think that other people are their personal genies.

    7. 8:00:

      Anyone stupid enough to go to law school because they believe the garbage you just spewed deserves what's coming to them.

      The entire game is rigged. If you're stupid enough to play a rigged game, debt financed no less, and still can't figure it out afterwards, you're never going to get out of debt and never even be able to get ahead in any way.

      You'll just sit on this blog, post angry comments at people, and attack everyone that posts with your poor reading comprehension and awful grasp of basic concepts.

  11. Looks like they're planning to get rid of some shitty assets. Good for them.

  12. Consider me among the group above expressing confusion. What's the angle here? This only increases administrative costs, right?

    1. Change for change sake only.

    2. I'm not sure. Maybe splitting the lol school is part of a plan to fully spin it off. The university has little financial motivation to keep itself close to this fourth-tier festering pusbucket.

    3. I think they will flag one school as the "survivor" and the other as "expendable" and will shift winning teachers to the survivor, claim the expendable school is in financial crisis, shut down the expendable school, dump the law professors there, and thereby complete the downsizing.


    We will now head over to Law School Numbers, in order to gain some perspective on this festering, fourth tier dung pit. Look at these impressive figures:


    Widener Law School is considered a Somewhat Competitive law school, which accepts only 56% of its applicants. Comparatively, Widener is Higher than the average cost for law school.”

    Class of 2018:

    Applications: 1,869
    Offers: 1,033 (55.27%)
    Matriculated: 221 (11.8%)

    25th percentile UGPA: 2.85
    Median UGPA: 3.09
    75th percentile UGPA: 3.44

    25th percentile LSAT: 148
    Median LSAT: 150
    75th percentile LSAT: 153

    Yes, what a “prestigious” law school, huh?!?! Hell, if you showed up drunk to the LSAT testing center, you could pull off better numbers.

    Now, scroll down to this important section:


    Deciding to attend law school requires a large financial investment with the goal of securing employment upon graduation. The Widener University class of 2013 had an employment rate of 80% with 1% pursuing an additional degree.”

    Don’t forget that this metric includes those working part-time, full-time, long term, short term, in law jobs and non-legal positions. Everyone familiar with the law school scam knows that these pigs count you as “employed” if you work as a bartender, insurance salesman, or if you are on the street corner, dancing while holding up a Little Caesar’s Pizza sign.

    For $ome rea$on, the law school swine have no shame – or reservations – about counting such jobs in their “placement” statistics. After all, who in their right mind decides to incur MASSIVE amounts of NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt for a law degree, only to become a “sandwich artist” or barista?!?! High school students can perform that work!

  14. You say tomayto and I say tomahto but both are rotten tomatoes.

  15. Pretty well-explained here:

    For now, any Lemmings going there are idiots of the highest order. All they are doing is providing Golden Parachutes for the Harrisburg folks.

  16. Burn baby burn.


    On March 30, 2015, the Legal Intelligencer re-published a Delaware Law Weekly piece from Gina Passarella, which was entitled “Widener Splits, Renames Delaware, Pa. Law Schools.” Check out this opening:

    “Widener University has officially split its Wilmington, Delaware, and Harrisburg law school campuses into two law schools, each with different names and different deans.

    The move is months in the making and comes after the American Bar Association approved the university's application to make the split. Both law schools will still operate under the Widener University umbrella.

    The Delaware law school will become Widener University Delaware Law School and will be led by a new dean, Rod Smolla, the university announced the afternoon of March 27. Smolla was the president of Furman University from 2010 to 2013 and has served on the faculty of a number of law schools. A noted author, Smolla has served as dean of Washington and Lee University School of Law and the University of Richmond School of Law and as director of the Institute of Bill of Rights Law at the College of William & Mary. Smolla is currently a visiting professor at University of Georgia School of Law.

    The university said the morning of March 27 that the Harrisburg campus will now be named the Widener University Commonwealth Law School. Christian A. Johnson, a law professor with the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, will serve as the new dean of the law school. Johnson has been on the Utah faculty since 2008, and prior to that spent 13 years on the faculty of Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

    All of the changes to both law schools will take effect July 1, when both deans will begin in their new roles.

    "This is an exciting time for Widener University and its law schools," university president James T. Harris III said in a statement. "The campuses have grown with their own unique identities, and are ready to stand apart from each other and showcase their strengths and individuality. This change will allow us to enhance our student services and educational offerings, with separate law school administrations dedicated to the different locations."

    Erin Daly had been serving as interim dean of the Delaware law school campus since early 2014 after longtime Dean Linda Ammons announced her retirement in April. Robyn Meadows served as interim dean of the Harrisburg law school campus during that time.”

    If you go to the article, you can see that Johnson hasn’t missed many meals. It must be nice to make $150K+ for “working” 4-6 hours per week. By the way, does anyone find it coincidental that longtime TTTT dean Linda Ammons announced her supposed retirement in April 2014, not long before this deal went through?!?!

  18. Anyone got the inside scoop on why Rod Smolla left the world's cushiest job at Furman? I heard rumors that he was forced out, but not sure why. Any Furman folk who wish to spill some beans?

  19. These law schools that are merging and splitting remind me of the behavior of parasitic bacteria and viruses trying to survive. Their hosts are people willing to take out student loans. They will say any lie and spin the truth to keep tuition $$$ rolling in. Law schools would admit farm animals and amoebas if they could get student loans.

  20. How are law deans and the anti-christ similar?

    They will appear and deceive countless people.

  21. Two law schools, double your pleasure.


    Back on October 7, 2014, Staci Zaretski posted an ATL entry labeled “Law School Seems Too Eager To Change Its Name.” Take a look at the following excerpt:

    “Here in the “new normal,” it seems that law schools are willing to give anything a try if it will mean putting more students’ butts in seats, including, but not limited to, splitting their branch campuses into entirely separate schools. In fact, as long as the ABA is poised to approve the split, why not just give both schools a new name entirely?

    That’s exactly what one law school is trying to do.

    Can you guess which one?

    In anticipation of its proposed campus split, Widener University School of Law has hired a marketing and public relations firm to ask the law school community — including students, faculty, and staff — what they think about a new name for the school. Here’s some additional information from Delaware Law Weekly:

    An email sent out … from Lou Anne Bulik, assistant vice president for university relations, described the meetings as “listening sessions” for members of the Wilmington community to “voice their thoughts concerning a future name and see if common threads concerning a new name seem to rise to the surface.”

    “The consultants will not be giving a presentation or presenting data; they will be here to listen to your thoughts and suggestions concerning a potential future name for Widener University School of Law in Delaware,” Bulik wrote in the email sent to Delaware-based students, faculty and staff.

    We wonder what good could possibly come from these “listening sessions,” especially since the school will likely only listen to what its business partners tell it to do. Why so eager to change the school’s name? Surely the administration won’t want to waste all of the positive publicity gained by being one of the only schools unable to shake a class-action lawsuit about its allegedly deceptive employment statistics.”

    Yes, what an eliTTTTe in$TTTTiTTTTuTTTTion, huh?!?! The administrators should change the commode’s name to the Wipe Thoroughly School of Law. What's sad is that plenty of morons would still apply to the dung heap, if that was the official moniker.

  23. Actually, it looks like these parasites, instead of folding, are doubling down. And it's easy to see why. With admissions standards dropping steadily, and Bar results heading south, too, you'd think the con artists who run the schools would be in trouble.
    The reality is they view the drop-off of the past couple of years as an aberration, and fat times are ahead. Sadly, they may be right.
    First, the ABA has stood by wordlessly as admission standards have dropped, to depths where for many of the TTTT, it's just about open admissions.
    Second, as Law School Lemmings has made clear, there is apparently an inexhaustible supply of cement heads who recognize they'll incur massive debt for poor job prospects-and still do so!!! Law schools are banking on this; the only way it will stop is if the loan guarantees stop-period.
    And I wish I was wrong-but why is Indiana Tech still open? It's clear they are betting on better times with no admissions standards, an eviscerated Bar exam, and the ABA cheering them on.
    The money is still rolling in; the lies are still being spread, and it seems as if all the dolts applying know the odds are against them-but they play the game anyway-after all, it's not their money.

    1. Geez, at least Wall St. doesn't need to indebt an entire generation to secure its ill begotten gains, they just get printed money directly handed to them.

      These law schools are even worse. Not only is the money printed, but they also dump their students with debt on top of that.

      It would be pretty funny though if the Federal Reserve sent a debt note to every US taxpayer every year for all the printing its done. I wonder if the bill would be greater or smaller than the debt for law school haha.

    2. Agreed. You're all wasting your time. Enjoy your life.

    3. Elizabeth Warren / Native American Cheekbone Warrior Princess @155,

      If the Fed sent YOU a "debt note," we all know that your amount would be a big goose egg. LOL, they could put your welfare check in the same envelope. Or enclose instructions on how to recharge your EBT card, at least.

    4. I list my name in my comments you little piece of crap. Use my actual name instead of a time.

      Who do you think you are writing to? Write up your address, I'll come by and beat the crap out of you.

    5. @1029,

      LOL, the Elizabeth Warren Faux Warrior Princess has apparently sprouted a microscopic set of stainless steel balls.

      What a terrifying threat. Are you going to come over and, like, fellate me to death? I'm guessing that would be your "signature move." Yeah, you'll turn me into a pile of fucking SAND, won't you, you little cum-thief?


    6. Who do you think you are impressing? I will fuck you up, that's a promise. Make sure you never show yourself in daylight little troll. Keep hiding in your mother's basement typing angry messages and trying to play a bigshot.

      The second you step out I will destroy you.

  24. OMG gribble from JDU shows on TTR! Biggest tard I ever saw on that site! Welcome bro.


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