Sunday, September 27, 2015

Law School Pigs Debate Whether Getting Into Law School is Too Damn Easy

Setting the Stage: On September 24, 2015, the New York Times featured a discussion in the opinion section, labeled “Is the Bar Too Low to Get Into Law School?” The pieces were furnished by four academics and one legal practitioner. We will focus on the arguments of two of these “educators.”

Jerome Organ of the University of St. Thomas: In his article, “Incoming Law Students Have Weaker Credentials,” Organ admits that ABA-accredited commodes are admitting morons:

“[B]eginning in 2011, there also has been a continuing decline in the median LSAT scores of each entering class of law students.

This is probably a response to the weakened economy. Starting in 2011, with increased transparency about employment outcomes, it became clear that there were more law graduates than there were law jobs. That knowledge appears to have led many prospective law students to reassess whether the investment of time and money in a legal education made sense. 

But for reasons that are hard to document empirically, graduates of elite colleges and universities with strong LSAT scores (who would likely still get good jobs upon graduation) have not been drawn to law school. Meanwhile, graduates of less elite schools, with weaker LSAT scores, have continued to enroll. Thus, law schools not only have enrolled fewer students over the last few years, they have also enrolled students with weaker test credentials.” [Emphasis mine]

Organ makes some excellent points. However, he fails to consider that many graduates of top college$ and univer$itie$ are typically bright enough to realize that the U.S. lawyer job market is GLUTTED – without having to step foot inside an ABA-accredited diploma mill. They can easily figure out that it is not worth incurring an additional $150K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt, for a chance to enter a declining “profession” is a piss poor investment. They know the score, regarding outsourcing, automation, predictive coding, the rise of flat fees, Biglaw clients moving away from the billable hour, etc.

Cockroach Nicholas Allard of Crooklyn Law School: In his $elf-$erving opinion fluff piece, “The Bar Exam is Not the Best Test of a Good Lawyer,” Allard deposits the following verbal excrement:

“No one who graduates from an A.B.A.-accredited law school with a strong G.P.A. should have to take the bar exam. The current exam is very expensive, and not a great measure of competence to actually practice law.

At Brooklyn Law School — where the performance of graduates on the bar exam is consistently among the highest in New York and the US — we know from years of data that our students who perform well in law school, and get grades within the top 80 percent of their class, will almost always pass the bar. Their high G.P.A.s are more reliable predictors of professional success than their old LSAT scores, though the National Conference of Bar Examiners (N.C.B.E.) asserts the opposite without data. 

Our students study exactly what the American Bar Association, the state courts and our faculty require — a process that includes constant testing, grading, calculation of class rank and supervised practical training. So why should our most ready-to-practice graduates, who will pass the bar anyway, spend the time, effort and money ($50,000 to $100,000 or more in lost wages and bar prep courses) on an outdated, unnecessary rite of passage controlled by the powerful N.C.B.E.?” [Emphasis mine]

It’s funny that this rodent NEVER made this case, until after the huge declines in bar passage rates starting in 2014. If he felt that strongly about this arrangement, then he should have argued this point earlier. By the way, does anyone think that another $2,000 for bar prep is more financially burdensome than $124,376.15 in student loans – for a TTT law degree?!?!

The Numbers: On August 25, 2015, Paul Campos posted an LST entry labeled “Has the deline in law school applications bottomed out?” Scroll down to see how easy it has become to gain admi$$ion to ABA schools – in the span of a decade:

“Since the ABA Section of Legal Education saw fit to approve 17 (!) new law schools over the past decade, increasing the number of ABA law schools by nearly 10%, the ratio of total applicants to ABA law schools has declined even more, from 535 to 1 to 262 to 1. Total 1L enrollment this fall, if we assume that last year’s 80% acceptance rate can’t go any higher, will be around 37,200, meaning that first year enrollment will be down 30% from its 2010 peak, despite a sharp drop in admissions standards. Here’s the percentage of applicants admitted to at least one ABA school over the past ten years:

2004: 55.6% 
2005: 58.6% 
2006: 63.1% 
2007: 66.1% 
2008: 66.5% 
2009: 67.4% 
2010: 68.7% 
2011: 71.1% 
2012: 74.5% 
2013: 76.8% 
2014: 79.8%” [Emphasis mine]

Imagine if it was half that simple to get into medical school or dental school, in this country. Professions are supposed to have real standards, in order to protect practitioners and the general public.

Conclusion: Only law school swine could even pretend to debate the obvious: it is ridiculously easy to get into law school, especially in comparison to medical school or dental school admission requirements. Hell, you can receive a degree from a tiny Bible college, or earn a BA in Film Studies from a party school, and be accepted to a number of ABA toilets. In the final analysis, the pigs will do and say anything – in order to keep the gravy train of federal student loans rolling along. They DO NOT GIVE ONE GODDAMN ABOUT YOU, the student or recent graduate.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Early Results Show Another Big-Ass Drop in Bar Passage Rates: MBE Scores Reach 27 Year Low

Test Scores Sink Further: On September 17, 2015, BloombergBusiness published a Natalie Kitroeff article entitled “Bar Exam Scores Drop to Their Lowest Point in Decades.” Take a look at this epic opening:

“American law graduates are increasingly getting a taste of failure before they start their careers. Performance on the bar exam has continued to slip, early results show.

The average score on the multiple-choice portion of the July test fell 1.6 points from the previous year, reaching its lowest level since 1988, according to data provided to Bloomberg by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The mean score on this summer's exam was 139.9, down from 141.5 in July 2014. 

"It was not unexpected," says Erica Moeser, the president of the NCBE, which creates the multiple choice part of the test. "We are in a period where we can expect to see some decline, until the market for going to law school improves."

Law schools have been admitting students with lower qualifications who "may encounter difficulty" when taking the bar, Moeser says.

About a dozen states have published their pass rates, and the numbers are even worse than last year, when graduates performed historically badly. Pass rates for students who took the test in July were down in most states that have reported results.

“The decline in student quality continues to affect the results,” says Derek Muller, a professor at Pepperdine University School of Law. As fewer people apply to law schools, the programs have started filling their campuses with students who aren’t as qualified as they used to be. That strategy produced a crisis in 2014, when scores on the multiple-choice portion of the test registered their largest year-over-year drop in four decades.” [Emphasis mine]

What could have possibly led to these lower bar exam scores, for the past two years? Surely, the law school pigs cannot be blamed for admitting morons and waterheads with 148 LSAT scores, right?!?! After all, the “educators” are merely trying to open the doors of the “profession” to histrorically under-represented groups – even if it means saddling these men and women down with crushing levels of NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt.

The Role of Lower Admissions Standards: Back on January 16, 2015, CBS News featured a story, from Jonathan Berr, labeled “Are law school admission standards slipping?” Take a look at the following segment:

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

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

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

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

As you can see, the cockroaches decided to lower their admi$$ion$ “standards” even further, in response to fewer applicants. What beacons of integrity, huh?!?! Hell, in the span of three years, the swine accepted 58.45% more waterheads, i.e. those with 149 LSAT scores or below. While lawyers supposedly suck at math, the formula is easy, i.e. (22.5-14.2/14.2)100. Imagine if accredited medical schools engaged in this conduct, in order to keep up enrollment.

Other Coverage: Staci Zaretsky pointed out the following, in her September 19, 2015 ATL entry, “As Bar Exam Scores Continue To Plummet, Early Results Reveal Worst Performance in Decades”:

“As we’ve discussed ad nauseam, many law schools have lowered their admissions standards to combat the nationwide decline in applicants and fill their seats, but now administrators are shocked their less-qualified graduates are unable to pass the bar exam.”

This observation is spot on and gets to the heart of the matter.  Clearly, "law professors" and deans are charlatans.  I guess they would rather play stupid than admit that they have enrolled weaker students than they have in past cycles.

Conclusion: The law school pigs KNOWINGLY and WILLINGLY lowered their admi$$ion$ “standards” – for the purpose of putting asses in seats, while receiving fewer applications. Again, these academic thieves DO NOT GIVE ONE DAMN about these students’ job prospects. The bitches and hags are only concerned with one thing, i.e. getting their filthy hooves on large sums of federal student loan dollars. Now that the easily foreseeable has occurred, the swine are feigning astonishment and confusion at the results. Don’t buy their garbage, people. These whores attended the best law schools. They knew that bar results would likely decline. Look for these “legal scholars” to push for in-state waivers and easier exams.

Friday, September 18, 2015

First Tier Tortoise Droppings: University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law

Tuition: Arizona residents attending this outhouse full-time will be charged $24,500 in tuition, for the 2015-2016 school year. Out of state, full-time law students at the Univer$ity of Arizona will be slapped with a $29,000 tuition bill, for 2015-2016. Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of these bargain prices?!?! By the way, these costs are relatively low in comparison to most law schools.

Total Cost of Attendance: The same document also provides living costs for those enrolled in this toilet. Books and loans fees add an extra $1,300 to the above-listed amounts. Housing, miscellaneous expenses and transportation account for another $19,750 to the tab. As such, the trash heap lists total COA as $45,550 for in-state students and $50,050 for non-resident.

Keep in mind that the law school swine – at all ABA in$titution$ – base these costs on an academic calendar. Since actual law students will require living expenses for the entire year, we will prorate the following items: housing, miscelleneous, and transportation. Doing so, we reach the more accurate, total COA figures of $52,133 and $56,633, for Arizona residents and out of state students, respectively. Even though this school has taken measures to decrease tuition, likely in response to fewer applicants nationwide, these costs are still prohibitive – unless you come from a wealthy family.

Ranking: According to US “News” & World Report, the Univer$ity of Arizona Jame$ E. Roger$ Commode of Law is rated as the 42nd greatest, most remarkable and sensational law school in the entire damn country. In fact, it only shares this distinction with three other ABA-accredited diploma mills. What an incredible achievement in “higher education,” huh?!?!

Published Employment “Placement” Statistics: Let’s review this commode’s Employment Summary for 2014 Graduates. There were a total of 144 members of this class. Of that figure, 125 were employed in some capacity within 10 months of earning their JD. Four grads did not provide their employment status to the hags. This equates to an 89.3 percent “placement” rate, i.e. 125/140.

You will also notice that 11 “lucky” graduates – from the Class of 2014 – were placed in law school or university funded positions. Certainly, the school did this in order to boost a bunch of careers and not as a cynical attempt to artificially inflate their employment figures, right?!?! Coincidently, if these jobs were not included the placement rate would have been an anemic 81.4%, i.e. 114/140.

Lastly, under Employment Type, you will note that only 47 members of this class reported working in private law firms, within 10 months of graduation. How would YOU like to attend the 42nd “greatest” law school in the land, for a 32.6 percent chance to work in private practice, i.e. 47/144? Here is the breakdown: 23 grads in offices of 2-10 lawyers, five JDs in firms of 11-25 lawyers, four working in offices of 26-50 lawyers, two graduates in law firms of 51-100 attorneys, one JD employed in a office with 101-250 lawyers, and six working in firms of unknown size. In short, only three members of this cohort reported working in offices of 251-500 attorneys, while another three grads were employed in firms of more than 500 lawyers. Still like your odds of landing Biglaw, lemming?

Average Law Student Indebtedness: USN&WR lists the average law student indebtedness - for those members of the University of Arizona JD Class of 2014 who incurred debt for law school - as $95,533. Fully 78% of this school’s 2014 cohort took on such foul debt. Remember that this figure does not include undergraduate debt – and it also does not take accrued interest into account, while the student is enrolled. 

Conclusion: This school may be ranked as the co-42nd “best” law school in the nation. However, the job prospects for MOST of these students and graduates are still piss poor. Who the hell wants to incur an additional $120K+ in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt, for a likely salary of $40K-$55K per year?!?! Good luck putting food in the fridge, paying your utilities and other necessities, and sustaining yourself on that sum – while trying to repay your student loans. 

In the final analysis, the “law professors” and administrators are paid up front, in full – while you, the student and recent graduate, are left holding a big-ass bag of toxic debt. Enjoy your memories of Carbolic Smoke Ball and Pennoyer v. Neff, while you are busy pouring lattes or answering the phones at Red Roof Inn. While you are struggling to feed yourself – even while employed – these “educators” will be laughing all the way to the bank.  Hell, they won't even give you a second thought.

Monday, September 14, 2015

First Tier Cesspit: Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

Tuition: Arizona residents attending this school on a full-time basis will be charged $27,074 in tuition, for the current academic year. Full-time, out of state law students will face a tuition bill of $42,794 – for the same school year. The school makes the following statement regarding its rates:

“The overall cost of attending ASU Law is among the lowest of all American Bar Association accredited law schools. The tuition and fee estimates below assume full-time enrollment (12+ semester hours per semester) for the entire academic year.”

Total Cost of Attendance: Based on the same page, the total, annual COA figures stand at $48,462 and $64,182, respectively for in-state and non-resident, full-time law students. Yes, that is one hell of a bargain, huh?!?! Books and supplies account for $1,888 of that amount. Loans fees add another $102 to the tab. 

Keep in mind that ABA diploma mills base their living cost estimates on a nine month school year. Since actual students will incur these expenses over the entire calendar year, we will prorate the following items: room, board, personal costs, and transportation. Doing so, we reach a more accurate, total COA of $54,928 for Arizona residents and $70,648 for non-residents – for the 2015-2016 school year. Who wouldn’t want to shell out such large sums of money, in order to attend this place?!?!

Ranking: According to US “News” & World Report, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor Commode of Law is rated as the 26th greatest, most remarkable and amazing law school in the entire nation. Miraculously, it only shares this distinction with one other institution, Boston University.

Employment Placement Statistics: Let’s take a look at the toilet’s Employment Summary for 2014 Graduates. This school does feature a strong employment “placement” rate of 96.4 percent, i.e. 190/197. Then again, students outside the top decile at most schools typically hustle to land interviews and jobs. Of course, the school also hired a total of eight graduates in law school or university funded positions. Otherwise, the employment rate would have been 92.4%, i.e. 182/197.

Under Employment Type, you will notice that 88 members of the 26th best law school in the country reported being hired by private law firms. This figure includes five desperate solo practitioners and 37 working in offices of 2-10 lawyers. In fact, only 17 graduates – from the Class of 2014 – landed employment in law firms of more than 250 attorneys. In sum, a member of this ASU cohort had a roughly 8.6 percent chance to be hired by Biglaw, i.e. 17/198. Now, imagine the odds facing TTT grads.

Average Law Student Indebtedness: US “News” lists the average law student indebtedness - for those members of the Arizona $tate Univer$ity JD Class of 2014 who incurred debt for law school - as $97,431. Interestingly, only 69% of this school’s 2014 cohort took on such toxic 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.

ASU COL Welcomes Its Largest First Year Class Ever: On September 10, 2015, the univer$ity issued a press release labeled “ASU law school welcomes largest class in school history.” Read the following portion:

“Douglas Sylvester, dean of Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, welcomed 316 new students at the school's orientation this semester: 217 first-year juris doctorates, 8 advanced standing juris doctorates, 11 master of law students, 26 master of sports law and business students, and 54 master of legal studies students with a focus on patent practice, international law and sustainability law, to name just a few. 

The class size reflects a substantial growth in master’s level degrees, particularly in sports law and business, and a large entering juris doctorate class. ASU Law experienced growth in juris doctorate applications in 2015, and the yield rate on all offers of admission nearly doubled over prior years.” [Emphasis mine]

Who in their right mind decides to earn a Master of Sports Law or a Master of Legal Studies with a focus in something called Sustainability Law?! Do these applicants believe that they are a degree away from becoming big-time sports agents and landing lucrative NBA and NFL clients? Furthermore, will these future masters of the universe also be environmentally aware? Anyway, the pigs are happy to offer such garbage and to accept student loans for these courses.

Conclusion: In the final analysis, Arizona $tate Univer$ity $andra Day O’Connor College of Law is ranked as the 26th best law school in the U.S., and the job prospects for Biglaw appear tepid. The average law student from the 2014 cohort took on an additional $97,431 in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt for their JD. Many of them will struggle mightily to pay back their student loans. This is from a school with a good reputation! As many have noted over the years, if you do not gain admission to a truly elite law school, then you are rolling the dice with your future.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Toxic Dump Charleston School of Law Loses Yet Another President

Another President Leaves This Dung Heap: On August 31, 2015, the Charleston Regional Business Journal published an Ashley Heffernan piece labeled “Charleston School of Law president resigns.” Make sure to review this opening:

“Joseph Harbaugh’s tenure as president of Charleston School of Law is expected to end after less than four months on the job.

The interim president submitted his letter of resignation to the school’s owners, Robert Carr and George Kosko, on Thursday, citing “personal circumstances.” Harbaugh’s contract was supposed to end Dec. 15. 

“You have asked me to continue in the position until Oct. 1, 2015. I will do everything possible to comply with your request and will make myself available thereafter as an occasional consultant,” Harbaugh said in the letter. 

He went on to call the school a “critical component in the development of the legal profession in South Carolina and beyond.”

“I wish you, the students, alumni, faculty and staff of the law school continued success in the mission of contributing to a fair and vibrant justice process,” Harbaugh said in the letter. School spokesman Andy Brack said in a statement that the school is “moving forward in recruiting new, positive leadership.” 

Harbaugh, the former dean of the University of Richmond School of Law and Nova Southeastern Law Center, was named president of Charleston School of Law on June 5. 

In an interview with the Business Journal in July, Harbaugh said one of his main goals as president would be to find a new owner for the financially strapped school. 

“I would like to have this school transferred to new owners,” he said in July. “It doesn’t matter to me whether they’re not-for-profit or for-profit. The situation here is so — dare I use this word? ... The situation here is so toxic.” [Emphasis mine]

How impressive, huh?!?! This must be one hell of a law school! Actually, Charle$TTTTon Sewer of Law is still rated as a fourth tier pile of garbage, by US “News” & World Report. Well, surely the school is affordable. Not quite. According to the commode’s website, full-time annual tuition will be $39,996, for the 2015-2016 school year.

Other Coverage: Noelle Price posted a JD Journal entry labeled “Charleston Law Loses Another President” – on September 2, 2015. Check out the segment below:

“According to the National Law Journal, the trouble continues for the Charleston School of Law.

The interim president of the school, Joseph Harbaugh, has stepped down after less than three months with the school, citing unrest with the for-profit school’s ownership situation. 

On August 27, Harbaugh said he was resigning, but added that he would try to continue working until October 1. After that point, he said he would be available as an “occasional consultant.” Harbaugh’s contract was to last until December. 

Maryann Jones, the previous president of the school, held the title for just eight days before resigning in November. She said that fighting among the owners of the school pushed her to leave the school. Before Jones came on board, Andy Abrams, the dean of the law school, served as president. 

In his resignation letter, Harbaugh wrote, “My personal circumstances will not allow me to fulfill the obligations of the office through December 15, 2015.” [Emphasis mine]

Well, at least Harbaugh lasted more than eight days at the helm of this festering cesspool. That is a tremendous accomplishment. By the way, the fact that the toilet had him on such a short contract speaks volumes about the school’s situation.

Prior TTTT Droppings: On August 14, 2015, the Post and Courier featured a Diane Knich article entitled “Charleston School of Law Leaders Withhold Tenure.” Look at the following portion:

“Charleston School of Law owners announced Friday that they wouldn’t be offering tenure to non-tenured faculty members because the school is in a financial crisis.

In a memo to eight non-tenured faculty members, school owners said there are three candidates who already have met the standards for tenure, but they will not get it because of the school’s financial problems. 

“We simply are not able to engage in that consideration at this time because of the financial exigency,” they stated in the memo. School of Law spokesman Andy Brack said, “The memo speaks for itself.”

Now scroll down to the concluding paragraph, in order to see the cause of the crisis: 

“Law school owners and representatives from The InfiLaw System, a company trying to buy the school, have said one of the reasons the school is in a financial crisis is because the owners took $25 million in profit out of the school between 2010 and 2013.” [Emphasis mine]

Yes, these cockroaches are looking out for their students’ best interests, right?!?!

Conclusion: If you are even considering applying to such a filth pit, then you do not have the mental capacity to order for yourself – or anyone else – at the drive thru window at Wendy’s. Even if you manage to pass a bar exam, do you think for one damn second that you – as a TTTT grad – will make enough money to reasonably pay back $120K+ in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt?!?!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Indiana Tech Law School Gives Free Tuition for One Full Year, and Still Only Fifteen Dolts Enroll for Fall 2015

Free Tuition Offer: On September 1, 2015, “Old Guy” posted a hilarious OTLSS entry that was labeled “Indiana Tech can’t be given away.” Check out the following portion from that article:

“Indiana Tech Law School had great expectations. Two years ago, before the fateful opening of its doors, it confidently charged a $50 application fee, which it generously reduced to $25 for those single-minded centurions who signed up for its binding "early admissions" scheme. In the sugar-plum visions of soon-to-be-former founding dean Alexander, that glorious Harvard on the Wabash would open with a hundred students and a median LSAT score placing it third among the Hoosier State's five law schools. 

Alas! not even thirty students showed up, and their median LSAT score came in ten calamitous points lower than Alexander's pie-in-the-sky prognostication. Changes were in order. Out went the application fee. In came numbers-based "scholarships" advertised by spam. Out went the dean. In came a series of specialties, among them "global leadership", for the best damn law students in Allen County. 

In year 2, under the masterly interim leadership of AndrĂ© Douglas Pond Cummings (who during a Mormon mission reportedly rechristened himself "Dougie Fresh", with or without the capital letters), Indiana Tech drew roughly the same number of incoming students. It nonetheless soldiered on, confident of getting accreditation. 

But, woe! this time the ABA withheld its seal (rubber stamp?) of approval. Now those intrepid centurions of Indiana Tech's inaugural class, resplendent in their rented orange-yellow polyester caps and gowns, may not even be allowed to write the bar exams in Indiana, never mind any other jurisdiction. And who is going to pay $30k per year in tuition for a school that couldn't even get provisional accreditation? 

Desperate times call for desperate measures. And the raffling off of a "scholarship" to someone who had not even applied was not nearly desperate enough. With a new scam-dean to open year 3, Indiana Tech proved its vaunted innovative spirit by eliminating tuition. Yes, this year anyone enterprising enough to attend Indiana Tech won't spend a sou for the intellectual fellowship of such godlike figures as Dougie Fresh and Lamparello! 

Indiana Tech was hoping to draw in twenty first-year students this year. How many people actually enrolled? 

Fifteen.” [Emphasis mine]

Yes, you read that correctly. Only 15 souls bothered to enroll in this unaccredited trash pit – even with the offer of free tuition. Then again, how many people want to piss away three years of their lives – in order to receive a law degree from a garbage institution?!?!

"Holistic" Admissions: In the rodents’ own words:

“Indiana Tech Law School uses a holistic approach in reviewing applications for admission. Three members of the faculty and the assistant dean for admissions serve on an Admissions Committee and they review every application that is received. Multiple factors are considered when determining whom to admit to our program.”

In other words, weak-ass LSAT scores and low undergraduate GPAs will not prevent you from gaining admission to this dung heap. Surely, this policy has nothing to do with the “educators” getting their hands on federal student loans, right?!?!

TTTTT SelecTTTTTiviTTTTTy: Take a look at the following numbers, courtesy of the Indiana Tech 2014 Standard 509 Information Report:

“GPA and LSAT scores [for calender year 2014]

# of apps: 96
# of offers: 78
# of matriculants: 35 
75th percentile GPA: 3.15 
50th percentile GPA: 2.85 
25th percentile GPA 2.49 
75th percentile LSAT: 151 
50th percentile: LSAT: 148
25th percentile LSAT: 142” [Emphasis mine]

Apparently, “holistic” means “admit anyone with a pulse.” Frankly, these numbers are pathetic. Of course, that doesn’t stop the school from accepting and enrolling such students!

Conclusion: Indiana Institute of Technology decided to open a law school, in the midst of a fundamental restructuring of the lawyer job market. Outsourcing/LPOs, automation, LegalZoom, etc. had already taken a huge toll on this “profession.” The commode first opened its doors in August 2013. Anyone with a functioning brain stem could see that this was a terrible idea. The pigs hoped to enroll 100 people in their inaugural class. A total of 35 matriculated, and several of them dropped out quickly. Now with free tuition and extended deadlines, the “school” failed to sign up more than 15 students in its current first year class. As of June 30, 2011, the college had an endowment of $41.065 million. How much longer will the parent university and its board of trustees continue to fund this TTTTT venture?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Michael Simkovic’s Million Dollar Law Degree Proclamation Gets Flushed

TTT Math Skills: On August 26, 2015, ATL published a Joe Patrice article entitled “Law Schools Need To Lie More About The Market.” As you can see from this opening, Patrice is not a big fan of Michael Simkovic’s math:

“That’s the stunning conclusion of Professor Michael Simkovic. 

Actually, given the source, that should read: “That’s the not-so-stunning conclusion of Professor Michael Simkovic.”

Simkovic, you may recall, is the author of the ever entertaining “Million Dollar Law Degree” study that posited that attending law school nets a student on average — cue Dr. Evil — ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Less taxes and tuition of course, because why would those matter? Anyway, just months after he went full tilt over a solid empirical study in the New York Times, he’s taken to the pages of Professor Brian Leiter’s blog (obviously) to make the inspiring call for law schools to step up their propaganda efforts to dupe kids out of a couple hundred thousand dollars. 

Earlier this month, I charted the overwhelmingly negative press coverage of law schools and the legal profession over the last 5 years and discussed the disconnect between the news slant and economic reality. To the extent that news coverage dissuaded individuals from attending law school for financial reasons, or caused them to delay attending law school, newspapers will on average have cost each prospective law students tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. The total economic harm across all prospective law students could easily be in the low billions of dollars.

Classic Simkovic approach: total up a bunch of bad assumptions into one big bad assumption that ends with “-illion.” Nothing invites panicked overreactions like a word that ends in “-illion”! But apparently the massive layoffs coupled with curtailed new hiring along with the rise of cheaper DIY legal solutions that clients are flocking toward didn’t discourage students from law school, it was “negative reporting.” [Emphasis mine]

Later on, Patrice points out the following:

“Anyway, Simkovic thinks law schools lack a key tool: 

Whereas many industries have trade associations that employ professionals to work with journalists and help them provide more accurate, informed, and fair news coverage, law schools were unprepared to interact with the press in ways that would encourage more responsible and accurate coverage.

That sounds suspiciously like the Fox News commitment to “Fair and Balanced” reporting. By which he means more reporting of tripe like this:

For many college graduates, the $30,000 to $60,000 extra per year that they can typically earn with a law degree will mean the difference between living in a safe and clean neighborhood or one that is dangerous and polluted. The expected boost to earnings can improve the healthfulness of their food, the quality of their healthcare, and the quality of education they can afford to provide for their own children. For most law graduates, the extra earnings will affect when and whether they can afford to retire. One of the best things law schools can do to help the middle class is to educate more of them. 

Holy hyperbole Batman. “The difference between living in a safe and clean neighborhood or one that is dangerous and polluted.” I refuse to believe this was written with a straight face. You know how most law students make the decision to retire these days? When they can’t find a job.” [Emphasis mine] If Simkovic truly believes his own words, then his IQ must be in the low 70s. Then again, we know that he merely wants to entice more lemmings to take the plunge.

Other Coverage: Paul Campos provided an excellent response to Simkovic’s “analysis,” with an LGM entry labeled “Quantities are limited” – which was posted on August 25, 2015. Take a look at this portion:

“Having demonstrated that that, discounted to present value, a law degree from an American law school is worth on average just under one million dollars, Michael Simkovic has turned his attention to a genuine social crisis: the billions of dollars in lost earnings suffered every year by prospective law students, who have made the serious, and eminently preventable, mistake of not enrolling in law school The blame for this multi-billion dollar catastrophe is easy to ascribe: ongoing bad publicity, based on a sensationalist media environment, that promotes TV shows like “Suits,” which I’ve been told is about document reviewers being paid $15 per hour to be basement-dwelling helots for law firms that use them for casual and mind-numbing labor, and Legally Blonde, a film which has been compared The Seventh Seal in regard to the existential dread in which it envelops the viewer.” Campos then uses Simkovic’s logic to comically explain how “law professors” are severely underpaid, seeing that they supposedly, indirectly generate billions in revenue. Check it out, when you have a chance. 

Conclusion: Michael Simkovic has no basis for his assertion that earning a law degree, on average, will result in the JD holder making an additional $1 million over the course of his or her work life. I would use the term “career,” if it applied. However, Biglaw associates typically burn out – or are tossed – within 3-5 years, if they don’t make partner by then. Furthermore, TONS of law grads – each year – end up working in low-paid, unstable jobs. According to Seton Hall's Simkovic, these people took out $120K+ in additional NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt, but they are not motivated enough to make good money. 

In the final analysis, this “educator” makes a bunch of false, positive assumptions about the “value” of a law degree to the recipient – while ignoring sound criticism that is based on facts and economic reality. Does anyone believe that a JD from Cooley or Thomas Jefferson Sewer of Law is equivalent to one from Stanford or Yale?! Again, this shows that the law school swine do not care about their students or future graduates. You are simply a mean$ to an end. There is no valid reason for you to personally ruin yourself financially, so that these “scholars” can continue to make $180K per year. You have to look out for your own best interests.
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