Thursday, May 28, 2015

First Tier Cougar Droppings: Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School

Tuition: Full-time law students who are members of the church that owns the school were only charged $11,620 for the 2014-2015 academic year. Non-Mormon law students at BYU paid double that amount, i.e. $23,240, in 2014-2015.  Here is how the school keeps tuition so low:

“The tuition at BYU Law School is among the lowest in the nation because more than 50 percent of the cost of operating the Law School is paid from the tithing contributions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All students benefit greatly from this support.”

Hell, the students who attend cheaply and cannot find decent employment upon graduation don’t exactly benefit greatly. Then again, the administrators and faculty do well – and that’s what matters, right?!?!

Ranking: According to US “News” & World Report, Brigham Young Univer$ity J. Reuben Clark Law $chool is rated as the co-34th greatest, most remarkable and splendid law school in the entire country. And it must be a truly grand institution, as it “only” shares this distinction with the following five commodes: Boston College, Fordham, Indiana University-Maurer, Ohio State, and UNC-Chapel Hill.

Employment “Placement” Statistics: Let’s check out the Employment Summary for 2014 Graduates. As you can see, there were 138 members of this BYU Law Class. Based on this chart, 128 of these JDs were employed within nine months of receiving their law degree. That equates to a 92.8% “placement” rate.

However, you will notice that 11 of these grads were in law school or university funded positions. At least, these were all full-time and long term posts. By the way, if these jobs were not included, the “placement” rate would have been a less than stellar 84.8 percent, i.e. 117/138. Those hires made quite a difference.

Go down to Employment Type. A total of 8 graduates landed article III clerkships. Remember that this is from the 34th most amazing law school in the entire nation, and that there are only two law schools in the state. Now, imagine your odds of landing such work, from a low-ranked toilet in a location that has several ABA-accredited diploma mills.

Out of 138 graduates from the 2014 class, 58 reported working in private law firms. That represents 42% of the cohort. Typically, private law offices pay more and – short of working for a federal agency in a good post – they are certainly held in higher esteem. Furthermore, people tend to go to law school so that they can make good money in a decent career – especially those with families or those looking to have kids. How many men and women attend supposed professional schools, with the intent to return to their old job or to make peanuts in a legal aid office?!?!

Also, out of the 58 BYU grads working in private law firms, only five landed posts in offices of 251-500 attorneys, while nine reported being hired by firms with 501 or more lawyers. Again, this is the 34th greatest law school in the United States. Those figures are pathetic! Could you imagine – for one second - if good American medical schools offered their graduates such weak job prospects?!

Average Law Student Indebtedness: USN&WR lists the average law student indebtedness - for those members of the J. Reuben Clark Class of 2014 who incurred debt for law school - as $54,203. In fact, 72% of this school’s 2014 cohort took on such foul debt. Don’t forget that this amount does not even include undergraduate debt – and also does not take accrued interest into account, while the student is enrolled. 

By the Numbers: Take a look at this profile from Law School Numbers.

“BYU Law School Admissions

BYU Law School is considered a Moderately Competitive law school, which accepts only 29% of its applicants. Comparatively, [BYU] is Significantly Lower than the average cost for law school.”

Class of 2018 figures:

25th percentile UGPA: 3.40
Median UGPA: 3.75
75th percentile UGPA: 3.85
25th percentile LSAT: 158
Median LSAT: 162
75th percentile LSAT: 165

Those are some serious entrance scores, in order to be considered for this school. Keep in mind that these numbers are often achieved by men and women who are married, have children, and hold down jobs. Many, if not most, also have impressive volunteer experience. Now, look at the employment outcomes for the BYU Law Class of 2014. It simply does not match up with the lofty admission standards. Now is a bad time to attend law school, even one with a good rating.

Conclusion: BYU Law $chool is one of those places that attracts people with strong academic credentials. Frankly, several members of each class crush the LSAT and have options to attend top law schools. However, many of these same people pray about where they should go, and they sometimes pick BYU over schools such as Stanford, Columbia, or Northwestern. The odd thing is that for a school with a relatively high ranking, typically half of the recent graduating classes cannot land decent employment after earning their degree. Lastly, when a school, located in a smaller state, with such a good ranking only “places” 42 percent of its grads in private law firms – and another 5.8% in federal clerkships – then you KNOW that this is a GLUTTED field.


  1. Well, the tuition is very reasonable for Mormons, I'll give it that. Might be a good choice for a FEW people.

  2. Utah is glutted with attorneys. The state only needs one law school (or two if both U of U and BYU both downsize considerably).

    1. What state isn't glutted with attorneys?

  3. Nando, your criticism of this school is misplaced. Don't you know that one of BYU Law's most famous alums is none other than multiple Super Bowl Champion, Steve Young? Steve Young was earning an average of $7M per year during the 90s. Don't you know that being an NFL quarterback is an often overlooked JD-Advantage job?

  4. This past weekend I went to my local home depot and noticed a familiar face wearing the orange home depot apron. As soon as he noticed me approach, he ran off to another aisle. I pursued him and found him in the tiles section but he had taken off the apron. He said hello and I greeted him as well. I asked him what he was up to and he played it off that he was shopping for bathroom fixtures. Before I walked away, another store employee walked by and asked my acquaintance "are you on break?" I walked away in a hurry to spare this guy of the embarrassment. And why should he be embarrassed you wonder? Well, at one point, this guy was the immigration bigshot lawyer in my jurisdiction. Now he is working at home depot. So much for the versatility of the JD degree.

  5. One of my old friends went to BYU law school. He lived with his sister in law and their kids. Before that he lived with his mom and wife. Oh and he had kids. And he was 30. Big winner.

  6. You see, kids, even IF you're one of the law school "winners" and actually get a law job after graduating from one of these schools, the fun is only about to begin.

    For example, at the shitlaw personal injury firm I worked at, you are sent to court the very first day of work with no guidance or instruction whatsoever. Sure it was only a preliminary conference and a motion that stipped out, but understand that no one has the time or inclination for hand holding & formal training in shitlaw. You're just thrown to the wolves & it's sink or swim.

    At this shitlaw office the partners were very macho and viewed asking questions as a sign of weakness/incompetence. The trial partner even told me he "doesn't like being asked a million questions" and mocking shit like "are you suckling babies gonna come in here every 5 minutes and say "Mr. Partner, my pen ran out of ink- should I get a new one?" He said "learn by doing."

    I was stuck in front of the notorious NY County Judge Ira Gammerman (known as Get 'Em Picked Gammerman" )one day and a case we wanted to adjourn of course wasn't. I called the office to say I'd be gone all afternoon as we were slated for jury selection at 1 pm. I kinda hinted at like "er, what do I do?" but the partner just said "OK well start picking then" and that was that.

    So I had to "wing" it, and actually did OK. My adversary was a nice guy and actually gave me some tips (he was from NYC Law Dept and could've given a shit less about this loser case). That was a good thing, as I had no idea how many preemptory challenges I had, or how to use them, or really how to do anything. I was only admitted to the bar a few weeks earlier and had done nothing before this gig but doc review.

    Of course a day or two to learn the law and prepare would be nice, but that's a luxury you won't have in shitlaw. Like McDonald's, they make $$$ on volume and there just isn't any time to properly prepare or work up a file. You just have to wing it and hope for the best, and get whatever $$$ you can before moving on to the next case.

    Given the above, try and find a shitlaw place that will let you shadow some lawyers in shitcourt and spend as much time at the office as possible and "learn the ropes" before bar admission. It really will help a lot getting that first personal injury, landlord tenant, or other shitlaw gig. This is a far better use of your time & effort than writing on to Sports Law Journal or some other joke law review wanna-be rag and studying the 2 L bullshit, which is 10 X more boring than first year. Treat your shitlaw internship like a full time job and avoid even going to class or studying altogether. It's almost impossible to get lower than a C- in any lawschool class, even if you don't study at all. There were 2 and 3 L classes where I literally never went to a single class and couldn't pick the prof. out of a lineup. Just pick up some study ads and cram the night before, toss in some buzzwords, take your C- and say fuck it.

    1. If your story is not bs, I would have loved to have represented your client in a legal malpractice case against your firm. Easy money. Even if you won your jury trial, I would have alleged it was worth ten times as much.

  7. I was downright incredulous to see 2 and 3 L friends who struck out at OCI still studying balls and outlining like it was first semester of One L. These fools just didn't get it that the contest was over, and no matter how many times they checked their ticket, they didn't have the winning numbers. For shitlaw no one ever asks about grades or where you went to school, because most shitlaw "lawyers" are businessmen first and foremost. They spend 100% of their time networking with runners, designing ads, and hustling for files. They're smart enough to know that the "law" is a joke and can be cut n' pasted by any mouth-breathing monkey. There is no research and absolutely no original writing- every single pleading and motion is pure cut n' paste.

    In the extremely rare event that a shitlaw case is worth appealing, the savvy shitlawyer farms it out to a per diem (usually a single mom type or retiree who works from home), gives them the file, and a few hundred bucks later gets it dropped off and filed. There is no time whatsoever for associates to do this type of work, since you're in court every morning & at depositions every afternoon. Shitlaw (esp personal injury work) is a real grind, and exhausting with all the running around etc.

    My typical day was getting up at 8 am, shower & suit up, get on subway to court in Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, or Manhattan around 9:15 to 9:30, then running to the 5 or 6 different courtrooms where we had motions or conferences scheduled. You find your case on the calendar outside the courtroom, circle the plaintiff's name, and write your cell # over it so your adversary will know that you are somewhere else and can adjourn it if you can't make it on time or call you to see when you'll be down. Everything is heard on a first-come, first served basis. This isn't "court" like on TV, it's a tiny room with 50 to 100 people reading newspapers, yakking on the phone, talking about last nights Mets game, etc. Most shitlaw motions and conferences are heard by clerks who sit at little card tables. The judge usually never leaves their office- if something is really important you have to ask to see them and get called back there, which can take a loooong time. They are usually very pissed off when things can't be settled or worked out and they have to get involved, so best not to make a habit of bothering them with nonsense.

    Usually court wraps up around 11 to 12 noon. Then a quick lunch and off to one of the stenographer offices at Diamond Reporting, Veri-Text, Dietz, or the other shithole broom closets for a deposition. You have to spend at least 1/2 hour prepping the client and getting them ready to answer questions, tell how things happened, etc. Usually they don't speak English so you have to call the office and have secretary interpret via phone while you prep (can't use court interpreter b/c it breaks a/c privilege). Also these "preps" (wink wink) often skirt the boundaries of.... well, let's not go there.

  8. Understand that when you meet the client is the first time you've even heard of their case- as I said, there's no time for preparation or file review or anything like that. You meet them there at the reporter's office, they tell you the story, and then it's off to the races. At most you'll have a copy of the complaint but that's about it.

    These depositions are sheer torture, with idiotic questions like "what part of your left foot first came into contact with the puddle of urine you slipped on" and "were you wearing flip-flops or Roman Sandals", shit like that. Then all their medical treatment and aches and pains, etc. Usually the clients fuck up the story since most of them are complete retards, and often they get that "retard anger" after half hour or so and start making threats and calling your adversary a "motherfucker" and just rant that "my shit fucking hurts asshole and I want big money for dis" and so on. Pretty much a complete circus.

    Usually after a few cigarettes you limp back to the office by 4 pm, just in time for "calendar meeting" where you get the next day's assignments and scratch together whatever shitpaper documents you need for court. If there's time you make a few phone calls and try to settle some turd cases that the partner left on your desk with a huge "S-ASAP" written in sharpie, which means settle this crap ASAP over the phone for whatever you can get, since it's not worth going the $250 to file a complaint on. Usually you can get $500 or even $750 on these depending on how shitty they are. One we had that was really funny was a homeless lady who walked on foot up to the Wendy's drive-thru window and tripped while getting her food. She got a few bruises and Wendy's forked over $800 bucks to make it go away (they are self-insured so they really don't fight any but the really big claims).

  9. Ranked 34th = shit

    1. Agreed. Not good enough. And I'm not sure but the .. I guess.. "religious stigma" I suppose would attach from this school I wouldn't care to deal with over a career. I would guess that it hurts someone more than helps them in the legal field.

      34th? Irrelevant. May as well be 134th. T10 or Bust.

  10. Wow.

    I don;t recognize any of these scenarios-and I am so thankful.

    I don't practice this way, and would never do so.

    There are so many ethical violations, where does one start???

    (sorry gribble, I am not entirely gone)

    38 year solo (Cincinnatus(

    1. Good to see that you are staying.

      Incidentally, I'm not sure if you implied it, but none of the posts above are from me.

      I am aware of the realities that person mentions, but I have not done volume work.

      I really don't understand why people are still applying to law school. Those numbers listed in Nando's post are fairly solid numbers, the median and 75th percentiles anyway, those were T14 numbers 25 years ago.

      That means too many people are still going. Unless everyone with the median and higher is getting a full scholarship (in which case the school can't function, unless they've really been gouging their students all this time I suppose) those numbers are too high to be going to a garbage law school at this point in time.

      T5, maybe T8 with money, and that's all that is worth going to. And even then when you really get down to it, HYS isn't even worth going to. The field is dying. If it isn't already dead.

    2. I'm with gribble; it makes no sense to apply to most law schools, period full stop.

    3. Congratulations on being spared what so many have to go through!

    4. gribble-did not mean to imply that the above posts were from you, just that I was not "scared off," but rather discouraged with the accounting student who would not listen and wondering if any 0L's are listening.

      (That student needs another 30 hours-a master's degree essentially-to sit for the
      CPA exam, yet is not pursuing that to go to a 125 or worse ranked law school. My recommendation was to get the master's, get the CPA, get a CPA job, then see if the employer will pay for the law degree. Thinking that the CPA certification has value-and I believe it does, certainly more than a J.D. AND that if the employer values the J.D., then it is free, and if the employer does not value the J.D. then the student I was counseling would see that the J.D. degree is NOT valued, and drop its pursuit.)

      It ought to be telling, I think, that I have a going concern firm I could GIVE to a son (I have 3 sons, and no slight to daughters which I do not have) and I won't, in good conscience, do that to them.

      0L's apparently do not understand the agony of a parent trying to communicate life lessons to their children, life altering, critical, early life decisions, which the parent's child cannot understand.

      I consider myself particularly adept at expressing ideas to my audience in terms that my audience can understand. I guess, my success in this regard has been with respect to less complex issues than the collapse of the legal industry for the common J.D. holders.

      I am beginning to believe that the "special snowflake syndrome" is particularly resistant to LOGIC, REASON, and especially, COMMON SENSE.

      It is particularly distressing that the accounting major I counseled is from a top U.S. accounting, Land Grant University-accounting folks generally understand NUMBERS and PERCENTAGES, and RATIOS.

      I referenced this blog. But to no effect. Not that the loss of a single 0L is a huge loss to the universe, but it does demonstrate the resistance of the special snowflake syndrome to reason even with respect to those who have the mental predilection and training to reason analytically.

      If such a student incapable of comprehending what is posted here, is anybody listening?

      I want to note, as I may have done previously here or on other blogs, that my mother had a Bachelor's in Mathematics (Statistics) and I have two sisters with 2 Bachelor's degrees and a Master's degree between them. My mother was Salutatorian of her high school class, one sister was tied for 10th in her high school class, and I am not sure what the other sister's standing was. I draw no distinction between male and female, and my experience has been that the women in my family were very accomplished academics. My father was probably 3rd in his H.S. school of 600, and earned a Mechanical Engineering degree, and my older brother earned a Bachelor's degree in chemistry, having missed 3 questions on the SAT. Whew!!! (He is smarter than anyone in the family.)

      With that said, I am an idiot in comparison. But, I have some measure of perspective and judgment. (And, me, a top 25% placing at a top 20 law school in 197... 6-7-8)

      I pour this out to the "cloud" to innocent folks looking for guidance so as to give perspective by which to judge my opinion.

      Curiously, my family's academic accomplishments started with my parents. Their parents were a train conductor on my mother's side, and a maintenance person/shopworker on my father's side.

      0L's, you need to listen to those of us who are, in my case 38 years, ahead of you.

      38 year solo

  11. gribble, as "Cincinnatus" I defeated the Boy Scouts Of America at the national level. I do not fear yadrocs, damaged or otherwise.

    1. Huh?

      Look, the Boomers formed an odd demographic - i.e. a Big One, sandwiched between smaller demographic generations and they voted to take - Republican and Democrat alike, they voted for themselves at the expense of others. When you get a balloon generation in the demographics that's what happens. It has happened in the UK, it has happened in Japan, and it is happening in the USA.

      True, not all Boomers are evil, blood-sucking leeches. Some beneficiaries are innocent of the charge of intending to rip off the next generation.

      However, as things stand in the good ol' US of A, our political and economic systems serve mostly to transfer income from the younger generation to the older. Indeed, I think a bunch of Boomers would freak the fuck out if you suggested to them that the older persons should give 12.3 cents of every dollar of productivity they generate to give an income and healthcare to the young, because you know, they're young and vulnerable.

      And, in fact, every major overhaul during the Obama administration has compounded the problem. The ACA makes young, healthy people pay premiums that get redistributed to the old. The student lending system since 2010 has used debt-financed dollars (dollars borrowed by the US Treasury at basically zero cost until today) to finance lending to students, which creates a debt obligation, which is then used to take a share of their income and spend it today (the DOE does not pay the Treasury to pay down the national debt that financed loans to begin with).

      So, here, again, everything about the financial structure of the USA is about transferring money (productivity) of the young to the old.

      Why should the people who are disadvantaged by that not get mad as hell about it, particularly when the younger set cannot take the balm of continuing the cycle of abuse. That is, we are the hook for broke SS and Medicare, broke Obamacare, broke federal student lending, etc.

      We are not treated equally. So Gribble should start advocating for true Equal Protection of the law or the younger set or STFU and face the wrath of the next generation.

    2. Who voted for Obamacare again? Not the Boomers, they were voting GOP. It's the Millennials that voted in their "savior" King Obama. They wanted Obamacare, they wanted gay rights, they wanted "access to education."

      It's ironic that a Millennial would now whine about Obamacare, after everyone with a brain told them not to vote Obama. Young people as well as Blacks and women generally vote Democrat.

      Incidentally, I am 32 years old, so I would be at the tail end of being a Millennial. Instead of whining about things however, I bucked up and took care of what I needed to.

      The difference between us is that while you're busy whining about how unfair things are and looking to politicians to save you, I blame the government for everything and don't trust them one bit. I know they won't help me, so I help myself. The solution is never more government regulation and action. The solution is less. Maybe in another 10 years you'll figure that out.

    3. @234,

      "Everything about the financial structure of the USA is about transferring money (productivity) of the young to the old."

      False. It's all about transferring money from people who work to people who DON'T work.

      I'm not with the Census Bureau or anything, but I'd estimate that about half of the "Boomers" are retired. Most of those are from the older half (i.e., Boomers who were born in 1946, rather than 1959). That is to say, they are "retired."

      The FUNNY thing is that about half of the people in their 20s and 30s aren't working, either - but the Government is somehow ensuring that they don't go hungry.

      So you tell me who's worse - a Boomer who paid into the system for 40 years and retired in his 60s? Or a 25 year-old roachie who refuses to work, and refuses to take a job that is "beneath" him (i.e., one that would require actual work or manual labor)? Most of these motherfuckers (who do, after all, LIVE with their mothers) "retired" in their 20s.

      Which one is worse?

      P.S. I recognize your writing style. You're the "Fuck America"/"rigged system" commenter. I keep forgetting: when were you planning to leave America and move to a more deserving country, again?


    4. Hey I went to an overpriced shithole in an expensive city. I treid to be a lawyer. I failed the NY bar exam. And I still made a good faith effort to find work. I even tried my hand at that menial work you think I think's beneath me. And it just wasn't for me. But it's tough out there. Okay fucker. Why should I (with a law degree) have to work at a shitty job that HS grads work at? So fuck you and America.

    5. @1006,

      "Why should I (with a law degree) have to work at a shitty job that HS grads work at? So fuck you and America."

      WHY? Um, because you aren't smart enough to get hired doing anything else, I'm guessing?

      How very surprising to hear that manual labor isn't your "thing."

      When are you leaving America? When's the flight? With a work ethic like yours, I'm sure that any other country would LOVE to have you move there. LOL

  12. If you can pay just $11,620 a year, and are reasonably well-connected in the LDS hierarchy (hint: make sure you convert a lot of people during your missionary year), it may not turn out too badly.

    In any case, if you are LDS, it's like going to law school in the old days - you aren't utterly ruining your life if the JD proves not to be too useful, unlike going to a $45,000 a year law school.

    1. The LDS people are going to get hired by Utah's law firms. They'll be ok. The's a toss up.

  13. I always enjoy these Scotty Bullock-like war stories from the annals of shitlaw.

    Civilians (i.e., non-lawyers) really DO think that law school is vocational in the sense that medical, dental, and other professional schools are. They really don't know that law school turns countless hapless grads out into the streets EVERY YEAR who attempt at great peril to solo it with absolutely, positively no concept of what they're doing whatsoever.

    Your Uncle Bob who you will see at Thanksgiving will be on your ass about why you don't have your first new Mercedes yet or why you "just don't hang a shingle..."

    Be prepared for this kids. It will be most of you...


    Take a look at this LSAT score chart, furnished by Cambridge LSAT. Read the preamble first. It is simply labeled “LSAT Percentiles Table.”

    “LSAT percentiles are an important metric in evaluating your overall competitiveness in the law school admissions process. For each admissions cycle (June through February of the following year), LSAC releases a new table which gives the aggregate percentiles for the prior three cycles. For example, test takers in the 2014–2015 cycle are given the numbers on the far right. The numbers in the table reflect the percentage of test takers who scored below each listed score during that three-year span. When you are targeting schools, be sure to check their median LSAT scores for the previous cycle and verify that you are within their 25th–75th percentiles for both your LSAT and your GPA.

    We have included the historical data to give some perspective on how the percentiles shift over time. For the most part, the numbers remain pretty steady from year to year. However, there are some noticeable differences in certain parts of the score band. For instance, the percentile corresponding to a scaled score of 158 has dropped from 75.4 to 73.5 during the time period covered. That is a drop of almost two percentile points! Going back even further, for the years 1996 through 1999 (not shown), a 158 corresponded to a percentile of 77.7. Some hypothesize that the downward-trending shifts in the percentiles are a reflection of test takers being better prepared in recent years, as LSAC equates each test form.”

    Scroll down and focus on the far right column, 2011-2014. For that three-year span, 91.4% of test-takers scored below 165. This is the 75th percentile for the Brigham Young Univer$ity J. Reuben Clark Law Sewer, for the Class of 2018. These people typically had MUCH better options than this toilet. You can bet your ass that there are several enrolled students there with LSAT scores of 170 or higher.

    Frankly, you cannot feel too bad for these people. However, the numbers provided by the school show that only 58 grads - out of 138 – landed positions in private law firms. Only 14 members of the 2014 JD Class reported being employed in law offices of 250 or more attorneys. That is not even 10 percent of the group. How in the hell is this dung heap rated 34th “best” by US “News” & World Report?!?!

    Again, those BYU law students with high LSAT scores are probably not financially ruined because of their choice. Tuition for LDS students at this in$titution was $11,620 in 2014-2015. Plus, many of the top pupils likely received scholarship money. However, I personally know one guy who scored just under 170 on the LSAT. He cannot even afford an apartment, and this man has a family to support.

    Those not familiar with this culture may not realize that many LDS students are driven to succeed academically and personally, from an early stage. These are not idle people. Plus, when you are married and have children at a young age – and you are enrolled in school, working and volunteering – you have extra motivation to achieve your goal. You sure as hell don’t score 165 or 170 on the LSAT, with the intention of working in a toiletlaw office, making $45K per year.


    Here is the acceptance criteria for BYU Law $chool, in the pigs’ own words:

    “Acceptance Criteria

    The number of well-qualified applicants to the BYU Law School is beyond its capacity. The policy of the Law School is to select the most highly qualified applicants, based upon college grades, scores on the LSAT, and other evidence of probable success as a law student and as a lawyer. The BYU Law School Admissions Committee, a faculty committee, reaches decisions about applicants who will receive offers of admission. The chair of the Admissions Committee conducts interviews with applicants by invitation of the Admissions Committee.

    When an application is submitted, it is reviewed by members of the Law School Admissions Committee, who decide which of the qualified applicants will be given offers of admission to the BYU Law School, which applicants will be placed on the waiting list, and which are to be denied admission.

    Some applicants who are offered admission will elect not to attend the BYU Law School. When a sufficient number of those accepted have notified the Law School that they will not be attending, additional offers of admission are made to applicants who were placed on the waiting list. When all the available places in the Law School are committed, any applicants who are then on the waiting list are notified that they will not be offered admission.”

    Now, check out the following chart from the same page:

    Statistics on Admitted Class in 2014

    LSAT 75th percentile 164
    Median LSAT 162
    LSAT 25th percentile 156
    GPA 75th percentile 3.85
    Median GPA 3.77
    GPA 25th percentile 3.52
    Average Age 26
    Age Range 19-42
    Women 43%
    Minority Students 18.5%
    Class Size 126

    How do your numbers measure up against these, Lemming?!?! You will note that there were people who started law school as young as 19 years old. I’m sure that is an outlier, but still that is a little impressive. Do you have a 3.85 UGPA or did you manage to score 164 on the LSAT? Thanks to the two year volunteer mission that most LDS men undertake, MANY students at BYU also speak a second language fluently.

    Now, look back at the employment outlook for the J. Reuben Clark Law Sewer Class of 2014. It DOES NOT COME CLOSE to matching the admission requirements! Keep in mind that highly-motivated, young Mormon students or attorneys are not going to be dissuaded from having kids, simply because they have an ass-load of NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt.

  16. Having practiced law for over 2 decades, I can vouch for the "war stories" relating to shitlaw and PI cases. It is interesting to note that nowadays, PI doesn't even pay unless you have a client who became a quadriplegic as a result of an accident involving deep pocket insurers and liability coverage. Gone are the days when you could get $25K for a soft tissue BS or whiplash injuries from a fender bender.

    Since we are talking about war stories, I want to share my one concerning an old colleague who I shall call "Jeffrey." From 2002-2008, Jeff made a killing in the real estate market, both as an investor and real estate attorney.

    When interest rates lowered to historical lows in 2002, everyone who owned property tried to cash out by selling their properties for a a high premium. For example, in 1996, I bought a two bedroom condo near NYC for $85K. In 2004, I sold that same condo for $360K. It was great return on my 8 year investment.

    So around 2002 folks started to list properties for $500K having acquired them for around $150-300K a couple of years earlier. Real estate brokers got in on the action by getting people to buy rundown properties aka "handyman specials," fix them and then flip them. So it would work like this: an investor would buy a shitty property for $50K. The property would have mold or a leaky underground oil tank. The broker would get his cousin (usually an unlicensed "contractor") to remove the mold and fill the tank with sand. Want to know how they removed the mold? The contractor would hire dayworkers (illegal aliens) that he would pick up at the home depot parking lot and he would have them remove the mold with moist towels. After removing the mold, he would slap a coat of cheap non-gloss paint on the walls/ceilings and voila: mold problem gone. That is, until the unsuspecting buyer develops breathing problems or contracts a deadly pulmonary disease (like Brittany Murphy and her husband--both died by inhaling the mold in their multimillion dollar home).

    After the paint job and maybe some new fixtures, the investor would flip the property for anywhere between an 80-200% markup. During 2002-2008, Jeff bought and flipped many handyman homes. He told me that in 2007, he cleared over $2M in profits from selling shitty homes that he would rehab on the cheap.

    In early 2003, Jeff met a lovely Brazilian real estate broker. Her name was Bianca. Bianca seduced Jeff and convinced him to be her go to real estate guy. Bianca promised Jeff anywhere from 30-40 closings a month. Jeff charged about $1,200 per closing so do the math kids, Jeff was clearing $36-48K a month just on real estate closings. Now for those that don't know, real estate closings are a joke. The paralegal does all the work and all the attorney does is show up at the closing to exchange paperwork (deeds, affidavit of titles, HUD statements and proceeds checks). Jeff would do about 5 closings a day. He had 3 paralegals who he paid $12/hr. with no benefits.

    Jeff was making a killing, especially with his side home flipping gig. Very shortly, Jeff started to get in trouble with his clients. Often times, as a buyer's attorney, you have to advise your client to get a home inspection. In order to get suckers to buy these rundown shacks, Bianca would tell Jeff to advise his clients not to get home inspections because it would drag or kill the deal. Jeff was in love with Bianca and did not want the 30-40 closings to stop so he complied.

    Within a few months after purchasing their homes, some of Jeff's clients filed malpractice claims against him. There was even one case where the roof collapsed on an elderly man and killed him. Jeff was blamed for all these problems.

    Now you see kids, notice the broker Bianca didn't get in trouble? She would show up at the closing and collect a huge commission check for 6% (on a $500K home that is a cool $30K--not a bad chunk of change for just showing a home) while Jeff took a measly $1,200 from the transaction.

  17. continued

    To make matters worse, Jeff's paralegals began skimming from clients by putting bullshit admin fees on the HUD and then cutting checks to themselves for these fees. An ethics investigation uncovered that Jeff's paralegals were skimming an average of $300 per closing for themselves. They also found that his paralegals had skimmed in about 700 closings. Do the math again kids, that is about $210K that the paralegals stole from Jeff. Of course when the shit hit the fan, Jeff was suspended from the bar for 18 months, had to repay back $250K to his clients and was forced to close his office. Bianca is doing well these days. She lives in a $1.5M mansion and drives around in G550 Mercedes Benz. Last I heard she "helps" people modify their mortgages for $20K a pop. Not bad for an unlicensed lawyer who didn't waste 3 years at a shit law school and incurred 6 figures of non-dischargeable debt.

    Although Jeff served his suspension, he doesn't practice law today. You see, after he served his suspension, he re-acquired his license in 2009. By that point, the real estate market dried up. To make matters worse, Jeff had been sued multiple times for malpractice. He had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to shield himself from claims that were not covered by his professional insurance carriers. Upon regaining his law license, no carrier wanted to insure Jeff for less than an $85K annual premium. He couldn't afford it so he left the law practice.

    He now sells disability insurance for Northwestern Mutual or some other company. He lives in his parents' home (Jeff is now 48 years old) and drives a 1991 Honda CRX coupe.

    Now before you lemmings get excited about the real estate market making a comeback, let me break reality to you. Real estate deals today have essentially cut out the middleman aka "the lawyer." You see, title companies now do the closing for about $300 per deal. So folks aren't going to pay a lawyer $1,200 to do a closing when it can be done for a fraction of the cost or 25%. Clients are always looking for ways to save a buck so unless you are willing to compete with title companies and charge $300 per closing and pay a hefty malpractice insurance premium, you will not be able to earn a decent practice from real estate. Sorry kids but you missed the boat.

  18. I forgot to mention that Civil Kings in Brooklyn was perhaps the filthiest, most decrepit courthouse in America. It's a virtual beehive of shitlaw: this is where landlord/tenant cases are heard, as well as small claims, collections, and no-fault auto cases. Half the litigants there are crackheads who haven't bathed in weeks, and you have to "run the gantlet" thru the hallways b/c if you have a suit on, all the landlord/tenant deadbeats beg you for free advice and like grab hold of your sleeves and shit. Once I was sitting on the bench nursing a hangover & this old lady kept telling me how much she liked me necktie, and how her son needed a suit for job interviews, so I took it off and gave it to her. It was from Century 21 anyway so no biggie.

    The only good part about No-Fault was John, the calendar clerk. He was a semi-retired court officer with a huge mustache and an old-school NY attitude, kinda looked like Dennis Franz from NYPD Blue. Rather than a holster, he kept a huge .357 magnum tucked in the waistband of his trousers. It was all rusty from where his ass like sweated against it. Understand that this "courtroom" is kinda similar to a YMCA locker room: the hungover shitlawyers are washing up in the water fountain, putting on deodorant in the hallway, cleaning puke off their ties/shoes, etc. It's very loud because everyone is basically an asshole and it's so crowded you have to scream the name of your case to find your adversary. John didn't take a lot of shit, so when it got REALLY loud he's bang a stapler inside a metal trash can and say "next motherfucker who opens his mouth is getting a night in jail." I encourage all Brooklyn 0 L's to go check out King's Civil first thing Monday morning- it's at 141 Livingston Street a couple blocks from the school. 'Bozo and NYLS losers should get the "10 cent tour" as well. Hell, I'll lead it. It could be like those "scared straight" programs where teenagers visit Rikers to get on the beam.

    It's kinda what you always pictured courtrooms in Rwanda are probably like. There's also a set of fire stairs next to the bathroom that have an outdoor landing where everyone smokes. You could get cancer just standing out there for a few minutes. The bench where the judge is supposed to sit is covered with 88,000 tons of cut n' pasted shitmotions and old milk crates, etc, so he/she sits in a little card table in an alcove in the back. The "courtroom" proper would be too loud to do business in anyway, since everyone is "negotiating" their cases while waiting to get called back to argue these turds.

    Sadly, John the calendar clerk did get eventually get throat cancer. Each week his voice got raspier and raspier, and he was hocking up blood while out smoking with the gang. He never said anything, but we all knew what was up. He hung on as calendar clerk until all he could do was rasp and pound his fist on the table, and smash his stapler when he got pissed, which was pretty much all the time. He finally died and went to that big shit-court in the sky. RIP John. (He always got a kick out of all my bitching, and once told a gang of shitlawyers that if we ever form a union, I should be shop steward). I believe he smoked Winstons.

  19. God those shitload stories sound like a nightmare. Makes me thankful for my boring desk job.

  20. I meant shitlaw. Stupid auto correct.

    1. So your spellchecker corrected "shitlaw" to "shitload?" Things must have gotten rather informal lately.

  21. Gee, I was always ashamed of never practicing law. Graduating bottom half of a tier 2 school 30 years ago wasn’t a recipe for legal employment. Struck out on my own in real estate management & small scale residential rehab—even built up a small business with a few maintenance techs and a part time bookkeeper. The money was pretty modest, but at least the hours were sane and little of the pressures endemic to big firm or shit law practice. Thing is the law degree was completely useless. Could have saved the law school tuition—much lower then—and financed purchase of some additional rental properties. The only academic course that was the least bit helpful in running the business was an undergrad accounting class. Just about everyone I know from my regional law school, even those that won the lottery and were law review, have been washed out of law practice and now involved in some kind of business, or are unemployed.

    You see lemmings, any substantial firm wants the prestige of a T-12 law degree for its equity partners. (Maybe some exceptions in specialized situations like patent law for hard science or engineering undergrad degrees combined with a law degree). Generally non elite grads will be worked to death and spit out after a few years…
    There are plenty of better options than law, like teaching private school, nursing, learning a trade, or real estate. I wish I had received better career counseling as a naïve college student.


    Courtesy of the cockroaches at Lewis & Clark Law Sewer:

    "J. Reuben Clark Law Society

    J. Reuben Clark's Biography

    Joshua Reuben Clark was born on September 1, 1871 , in the small farming town of Grantsville , a Mormon settlement thirty-five miles southwest of Salt Lake City . Although he did not begin his formal education until he was ten years old, young Reuben had been tutored at home by his mother and had developed a love for learning that lasted his entire life.

    He had not been able to attend high school, but by 1898, after four years at the University of Utah , Reuben completed all the requirements for both his high school diploma and his bachelor of science degree. He graduated first in his class—in addition to having served as student-body president, managing editor of the student newspaper, and secretary to Dr. James E. Talmage, who was president of the university.

    On September 14, 1898 , J. Reuben Clark married Luacine Annetta Savage in the Salt Lake Temple , with Dr. Talmage officiating at the ceremony. For the next four years he held various positions around the state as a teacher and administrator on both high school and college levels.

    In 1903 the Clarks, including two small children (two more were to follow), moved to New York City , where Reuben entered law school at Columbia University . His first year's work was of such high quality that he was among the three second-year students elected to the editorial board of the Columbia Law Review. By the end of his second year he was admitted to the New York Bar. He received an LL.B. degree in 1906.

    Three months after graduating from law school, Reuben Clark was appointed assistant solicitor of the State Department by Elihu Root, secretary of state under President Theodore Roosevelt. Shortly thereafter he was also named an assistant professor of law at George Washington University , where he taught until 1908.

    In July 1910, under the administration of President William Howard Taft, Mr. Clark was appointed solicitor of the State Department. As part of his responsibilities he represented the United States in a dispute with Chile . The king of England , serving as arbitrator, ruled in favor of the United States and granted one of the largest international awards up to that time—nearly a million dollars. Also during his solicitorship, Clark published his classic “Memorandum on the Right to Protect Citizens in Foreign Countries by Landing Forces.” Secretary of State Philander C. Knox declared of Mr. Clark: “I am doing him but justice in saying that for natural ability, integrity, loyalty, and industry, I have not in a long professional and public service met his superior and rarely his equal.”

    J. Reuben Clark left the State Department in 1913 to open law offices in Washington , D.C. , specializing in municipal and international law. His clients included the Japanese Embassy, Philander C. Knox, the Cuban Legation, the Guatemalan Ministry, J.P. Morgan & Company, and the Equitable Life Assurance Society."

    Joshua Reuben Clark, Jr. had significant careers in private legal practice, government “service” and in church callings. By the way, he also went to Columbia Law School. Do not pretend that you have a chance at replicating any of his success, in today’s GLUTTED “profession” – especially if you are not a graduate of Harvard, Yale or Stanford.

  23. We can all hope that with the more widespread knowledge out there of the existence of the LAW SCHOOL SCAM, that more of the kids will see some of these stories from the world of sh!tlaw and take heed, or at the very least, have a realistic view on the world of the non-elite and non-connected in law.

    Fact is, there isn't much of a market for people with no useful business experience, a TTT law degree, and a resume with about 30 different temp jobs over 5 years time. Plus, with substantial student debt, one often can't really afford to "start from the bottom" and make 25-30 K a year in another business or industry.

    More and more, businesses & people are phasing out lawyers wherever they can. I covered a traffic court appearance for a buddy some time ago and, of the 200 or so people there, only 4 had attorneys with them. (And no, you can't go up to people in court and ask them to hire you- it's against the ethics rules and can get you in trouble). A couple people actually did ask if I was a lawyer, and they wanted to discuss their cases, but of course had no $$$. From TV shows and such, the general public have become enamored with the idea that lawyers are provided free to everyone for every problem.

    Even personal injury, once the "golden ticket" for TTT grads, is really, really tough nowadays. The carriers will NOT settle any car accident cases without bone fractures, and fight to the death over all the herniated disc cases and such. You can do OK with employment law- I did settle a sexual harassment case for my sister's friend for 18 K with a letter and half dozen phone calls. But to get enough cases like that to earn a steady living is very, very hard unless you already have a "spare" 50 K or so laying around for google adwords or your own sleazy TV commercial, etc. The typical newbie solo gets only drips & drabs, hence their constantly running back to these temporary doc review projects to supplement their meager incomes from their own "practice." NYC and NJ are really just too saturated with lawyers to make a go of it as a solo, most are too ground down by this industry to sit another bar and relocate to another state. At this point it just isn't worth it.

    Non-legal employers don't understand the world of doc review, and often ask "why were you never made permanent anywhere" and things like that. They don't understand that doc review is transient work, and that lowlife TTT coders like me are not offered associate positions no matter how many docs you code.

    Another thing I forgot to mention is that most firms make you sign a paper before you start the temp job which states you may NOT put the firm's name on your resume or do anything to make others think you actually worked there. God forbid a bunch of TTT grads were shopping their SullCrom or Paul Weiss resumes around! Instead, you are only allowed to put the name of your temp. agency (like HireCounsel, Lexolution, Update Legal, etc) and the duration of the project. The firms want to make damn sure some TTT'er doesn't soil their name by putting it on their garbage resume.

  24. Myonly substantive experience was in personal injury law. Understand that most injury lawyers who don't advertise on TV bribe "runners" to get cases for them- like hospital orderlies, nurses, ambulance drivers, etc. Here's how it works: the runner gives an accident victim the lawyer's card with a $20 bill wrapped around it and says "call that # and you'll get another $100 later today." The runners do this to people they "know" will not think it's anything unusual, like someone who's homeless or otherwise not very educated (most of the really good cases come from very poor urban areas- they tend to have more accidents since they frequent places which are in bad repair- housing projects, dive bars- and also tend to not wear seat belts or have cars with airbags).

    So when the accident victim calls, the lawyer sends another dude out to the hospital (or their apt. or house if they've been discharged), gives them the $100, and has them sign a retainer. Bingo- they get a case worth thousands in lawyer fees for fronting the client $120 bucks. The runner gets paid a "commission" based on the quality of cases he/she brings in.

    This isn't some TV show script, it's business as usual for NYC/NJ personal injury. At least it was a few years back anyway. How the hell else do you think some solo in Brooklyn or Queens you've never heard of makes big $$$ doing PI? Hardly anyone ever gets caught, about twice a year the AG's office plants some undercover folks in the ER to catch a few ambulance chasers, but mostly it gets ignored.

    The other way these places get cases is by paying sleazy "medical mills" in the outer boroughs to "refer" cases to them. If someone is treating at a walk-in clinic and the "doctor" learns they were in an accident, he calls the PI lawyer and offers him the case. The catch is that the fee for the "medical reports" (wink wink) vary based on the injury. For sprains and soft tissue cases, it's usually 1200-1500 bucks, for a fracture it can be like 3 K or more. It's really sleazy shit and most of the clinics are run by Russian mobsters. To play this game you have to have enough cash to get the "medical reports," which is more expensive than paying runners. But there is much less chance of getting busted.

    So for anyone considering a career in personal injury law, that's the 5 minute primer. You can see now why associates in this area are paid almost nothing: they don't bring anything to the table. Getting the case is all that matters: the "legal work" is mostly cut and pasted stock pleadings and depositions where you try your best to get these illiterate, often crack-addicted clients to put some kind of coherent story together about the puddle of urine they slipped on at Roy's Billiard Hall or wherever. Trials are very, very rare and mostly are reserved only for VERY high value cases (like 200 K+). Usually the trials are "farmed out" to a stable of silver-haired shysters who are very slick at getting juries to open the floodgates and get a huge payday. The per-diem trial guys get a 1/3 curt of any verdict they get. No lawyer in their right mind would let a young associate do a trial, because when you guy to trial you have to pay for the doctor upfront to testify, which is 5 K or more. And this money is coming from the firm's pocket since these are contingency cases (YOU DON'T PAY UNLESS WE WIN!- you've all seen the commercials lol).

    The "typical" auto or trip n' slip case you just scrounge whatever you can from the insurance company and move on. It's a volume business, as that's the only way to make $$$.

  25. "Understand that most injury lawyers who don't advertise on TV bribe "runners" to get cases for them"

    Complete crap. I do PI and know many lawyers who do. Not a one uses runners. Most of us earn a reputation for competence and the cases come our way. On average, over the last twenty years, I have earned about 250K per year. I have had many 500K years, a few 750K years (we are talking net after expenses, etc.) and one recent 1.25 million year. How did I pull it off? I became competent at what I did, I was willing to try cases and I did so where it was necessary. Practicing in Florida does, admittedly, have some advantages. There are many ways in Florida to be paid your attorney fees, often an insurance company, if you are the prevailing party. So I have turned $500.00 bullshit insurance cases into $200K fees. Those who use runners are the sleaziest of the sleaze and deserve to be disbarred when caught. The most successful lawyers in our State are a firm that handles catastrophic type injuries. A good friend of mine jointly prosecuted with this firm a baby death / quad case against an auto manufacturer for crash issues and settled for 40 Million. Another good friend's firm (in which he was a partner), was one of 12 in the State in shared in fees of about 250 Million each for successfully taking on big tobacco. Any lawyer worth spit can make decent money in PI if they are intelligent and willing to try cases.

    I've heard about how sleazy law practice in NYC. But I think most of the crap you read on this board is total Bull Shit. Those who try out PI end up doing something else if they aren't cut out for the business. There is always insurance defense law, where all you need do is hire the prostitute doctors to say there is no injury from the accident.

    1. Thanks for your Florida opinion on how things work, or worked, in NYC!

    2. You either don't really know many PI lawyers at all, or you've certainly never practiced in a major urban area.

      One of those is the case here, maybe both.

    3. What I find highly doubtful, maybe even "complete crap" is not the existence of runners in NYC (they certainly are used) but that someone who has 1.25M years hangs out on a scamblog.!

    4. Competence is overrated.

      I am totally incompetent and make so much money, that we have run out of storage, so the staff burns it in the parking lot starting at noon on most Fridays. We pay security personnel from our "garbage," so it works out well.

      Just kidding. The original poster is entirely correct. Competence draws business, and the sleaze balls are well-known, and avoided.

      38 years of this stuff.

  26. Com one dude. I'm usually on board with you taking these schools to task. And I'm not saying things are all sunshine for Brigham Young graduates. But the employment picture is almost certainly principally caused by the fact that most students are Mormons and want to stay in Utah. How many Biglaw firms or large law firms do you think there are in Utah? Not too many.

    1. I agree. Like it or not, BYU is "different" from most law schools. Those connected to the church (which is most students) can often find gainful legal employment if they want it. LDS members very much have a "we take care of our own" mentality.

      I'd also add two mitigating factors Nando didn't discuss. The first is that a fair number of BYU law students actually DON'T particularly care if they wind up practicing law. I know some who successfully went into various business enterprises upon graduating. So why did they go to law school? Simple: (1) It was cheap and/or they received substantial financial help from the school and/or family, and (2) they actually wanted the education for the sake of the education. Strange, I know. But it happens.

      The second factor is that plenty of BYU grads do an extra "mission" after graduating. They don't even attempt to find employment until they've been 18 months out from school. And they can do this because after the mission, they'll usually have a job lined up through their church connections.

      If these factors were included in the data, I think you'd find the ROI of a BYU Law education isn't as fear-inducing as it might seem.

      And no, I didn't go to BYU. But having lived in Boise for several years I knew and befriended plenty of BYU Law grads. The vast majority of them were doing perfectly fine for themselves. And again, a lot of it had to do with their church connections in a dynamic that doesn't really apply to or exist at other schools.

      I'll concede that if you aren't part of the church, none of this applies. Then again, I suspect the number of non-LDS BYU Law students can be counted on two hands. And perhaps a foot or two.

    2. This is a fair point. Though I loathe the law school scam, I would have to think opportunities overall must be limited there.


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