Sunday, November 15, 2015
Am Law Daily Asks Whether Washington is Tired of Feeding the Law School Pigs
More Bacon Served: On November 12, 2015, the American Lawyer published a Matt Leichter article that was entitled “Is Washington Finally Tired of Welfare for Law Schools?” He comes out swinging!
“Just as the academic year geared up this fall, both The Washington Post and The New York Times ran editorials sharply attacking the generous federal lending programs that law students depend on. The pieces came just months after an ABA task force charged with finding solutions to excessive law school debt issued its final report and recommendations. The report was a huge disappointment: Instead of calling for lending reforms, the task force trivialized the problem, pointing to income-based repayment plans and claiming that underemployed, indebted law school debtors would find highly paid work at an unspecified future date.
The Post and the Times weren't impressed either.
The Post's Charles Lane appropriately characterized the Grad PLUS Loan Program, which provides essentially unrestricted lending to graduate and professional students, as a "de facto bailout" for law schools. The schools capture the increased lending to law students and then perversely pass it back to them as higher tuition charges. Consequently, efforts to make legal education cheaper backfire, turning the federal loan program on its head. Eventually the government will write down the loans for what it intended to be a deficit reduction program.
The Times' editorial board struck with even more venom, calling the six for-profit law schools "scams" and accusing nonprofit and public schools of similar behavior. The culprits: warped incentives and unchecked Grad PLUS loans. The Times' solutions were to either extend to all law schools the gainful employment rule—which limits student loans based on graduate employment rates—or to cap the funding to graduate students. At the same time, the paper argued for diverting the money flowing to law schools to legal aid for the poor.
The drumbeat of editorials criticizing law schools and the ABA is not new, but the response from lawmakers, especially to the Times article, may signal a future shift in how the government lends to law students. Notably, senators from both parties are raising concerns. In a statement, Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) related conversations that he had with university presidents, who told him that they charge so much for law school because they can. They allegedly told him, "The students are applying, and they'll pay whatever we tell them." In a separate statement, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) remarked that federal lending puts law graduates in a position in which they might default on their loans, causing losses for taxpayers.” [Emphasis mine]
The law school cockroaches DO NOT GIVE ONE DAMN about their students or recent graduates. They care even less about the taxpayers. After all, they need those dupes to finance their overpaid, underworked carcasses. Scroll down two paragraphs to find this gem:
“In fact, most law graduates do not earn enough to cover their interest payments. With the advent of generous repayment terms, the default rate no longer matters, especially for law students. All law schools need to do is ensure that their graduates sign on to such plans, and effective defaults disappear.
Secondly, defenders of the current system misunderstand the income dilemma facing student borrowers. What is important is not people's incomes at a given amount of debt; rather it is people's debts at a given income. In other words, someone who only earns $20,000 per year will struggle to pay down her debt, whether it is $50,000 or $150,000. Indeed, the Government Accountability Office discovered that 70 percent of 1.46 million borrowers on the original income-based repayment plan make $20,000 or less. Only 2 percent make $80,000 or more. According to available information on law-graduate employment outcomes, higher debts do not correspond to higher incomes.” [Emphasis mine]
There are PLENTY of mental midgets and waterheads in this country who individually owe in excess of $200K, for a garbage law degree. If you think that paying $40K each year to attend a TTTT is a smart investment, then you do not have the intelligence required to operate a washing machine.
Other Coverage: Back on August 26, 2015, Charles Lane wrote an op-ed piece in the Washington Post, under the headline “How student loans help keep expensive schools in business.” Read the following portion:
“Nowhere has Grad PLUS had a greater impact than in the nation’s law schools. Law-student indebtedness grew from an average of $66,000 for public institutions in the 2005 academic year to $88,000 in 2012, according to a recent American Bar Association (ABA) task force report. The figures for private law schools were $102,000 in 2005 and $127,000 in 2012. More than half of law students use Grad PLUS.
These resources are flowing to institutions whose business model is geared to a bygone era. For the past quarter-century or so, law schools added expensive buildings and faculty to enhance their rankings — believing, correctly, that students would pay ever-increasing tuition for top-rated schools because a JD was the ticket to a high-paying career.
Then demand for lawyers collapsed, because of the “Great Recession” and structural changes in big-firm practice. Only about 60 percent of the Class of 2013’s law degrees landed immediate employment. The value of a law degree has plunged, and with it, law school enrollment.
The logical response would be a full-scale restructuring of legal academia, including pay trims or layoffs for the lawyers who teach and administer law schools, and whose salaries, generally well above the median national income, account for about a third of law-school overhead, according to the ABA.
Instead, the flow of easy taxpayer-backed loan money through Grad PLUS operated as a de facto bailout, enabling many law schools to maintain capacity and delay reforms, or settle for modest ones, while continuing to charge more or less the same high tuition.
In other words, much of the subsidy represented by Grad PLUS loans is getting captured by those who operate the schools, not those who attend them.” [Emphasis mine]
Frankly, “higher education” has been run for the benefit of administrators and faculty, for decades. It is more pronounced in law school. However, greed and graft permeate all of academia.
Conclusion: In the final analysis, the law school swine will not sit back and watch GRAD Plus or IBR be scaled back, even though that is the just course of action. The rodents care only about themselves. They don’t want students relying on private lenders, since this might cause even more lemmings to reconsider obtaining a “legal education.” The bitches and hags will do and say anything in order to keep the gravy train rolling along.
Posted by Nando at 5:59 AM