Monday, January 18, 2016

Excellent Development: ABA Law Schools Have Shed 1,206 Full-Time Faculty Since 2010

The News: On January 11, 2016, Matt Leichter posted a Law School Tuition Bubble entry that was labeled “Which Law Schools Are Shedding Full-Time Faculty? (2015 Edition)” Check out his opening:

“Facing shrinking law-school enrollments, many law schools have responded by reducing their faculties. The phenomenon is worth measuring because faculty reductions aren’t always announced publicly, often appearing in the guises of retirements and quiet buy-outs. Consequently, the ABA’s 509 information reports can shed light on changes in law-school faculties. Here’s the cumulative distribution up until 2015. 

As with last year, I will estimate the decline in fall full-time law-school faculties among the 202 law schools that aren’t in Puerto Rico. The peak for full timers occurred in 2010 (9,093), but that estimate includes the “other full-time faculty” category (clinicians and legal-writing instructors, if I recall), which the ABA no longer tracks independently. The ABA removed that category last year, so at least the 2015-to-2014 comparison will be consistent. 

Fall full-time faculty fell by only 3.1 percent this year (-249). Last year the decline was 7.8 percent (-690), indicating a remarkable improvement. Since 2010, the cumulative decline has been 13.3 percent.” [Emphasis mine]

After performing this research, Leichter then provided charts, so we can track each commode. Western Michigan University Cooley Law School – formerly known as TTTThoma$ M. Cooley Law $chool – has shed the largest amount of cockroaches at 57. Penn State Dickinson was second at 38, and George Washington came in third with 36 fewer pigs feeding at the trough. Rounding out the top ten: Florida Coa$TTTTal, 32; SUNY Buffalo, 30; John Marshall, 30; Pacific McGeorge, 29; VermonTTT, 28; Hof$tra, 26; and Arizona $ummiTTTT, 25. You will notice that private toilets have been affected the most.

Other Coverage: Paul Caron reported on this development in his January 12, 2016 post, “Law Schools Have Shed 1,206 Full-Time Faculty (13.3%) Since 2010.” Here is the full substantive text of his article:

"Matt Leichter has published the 2015 edition of his Which Law Schools Are Shedding Full-Time Faculty? Law schools have shed 1,206 full-time faculty (13.3%) since 2010, and 249 full-time faculty (3.1%) since last year. 

142 law schools have shed full-time faculty since 2010, with 21 law schools shedding 20 or more full-time faculty[.] 

49 law schools have added full-time faculty since 2010, with 13 law schools adding 10 or more full-time faculty[.]" [Emphasis mine]

Regarding the schools that added full-time cockroaches, some of these institutions have stellar reputations. I still don’t see why Columbia decided to add 54 members to its faculty. However, several of the trash pits in this category are newer, and so any hire at those dumps led to an increase. Interestingly, CharloTTTTe increased by 13, and it is an established toilet – and member of InfiLaw.

JDU Commentary: On January 12, 2016, at 8:16 pm, JDU user “massivemissive” started a thread labeled “Law Schools Have Shed 1,206 Full-Time Faculty Since 2010.” JDU accountholder “rossi” posted the following remarks, on January 13, 2016 2:47 am:

“Great news! More to come I bet. 

Campos says most law schools are surviving on support from the host uni to avoid deeper cuts. That will not last forever.”

On January 13, 2016 8:40 am, “6figuremistake” wrote this reply:

“Good point. During the law school boom, the host universities loved their law schools because they were cash cows. Now that it looks like they will become permanent burdens, there will be greater to pressure to cut costs and possibly even close down some of the least profitable institutions.

With the possibility of another recession in the near future, post-LS employment is going to become even more unattainable. The legal market has barely recovered from the last downturn, so this one should definitely sink a few ships.”

It’s about damn time that the law school pigs start feeling the effects of the prevailing job market that everyone else has been exposed to, for decades! These cockroaches have been in a protective bubble, due to federal student loans, tenure, and ABA requirements regarding the makeup of faculty. I’m sure the faculty most affected are young “professors” and old farts taking “early retirment.” By the way, faculty pay is the biggest expense for the commodes. However, I don’t see any indication that ABA-accredited diploma mills have collectively lowered tuition rates by 13.3 percent, since 2010.

Conclusion: Now these unemployed “educators”/self-proclaimed “public servants” can truly show us how they can go out and make MUCH MORE MONEY in the private sector than they “earn” in academia. After all, they are making “a huge sacrifice” in order to “educate and train the next generation of lawyers,” i.e. the next group of underemployed JDs. Surely, Sullivan & Cromwell will pay high salaries for someone who “works” 4-6 hours per week and needs a sabbatical to write law review articles on how sitcoms can affect public policy, right?!?! All they have to do now is prove their assertion - and overcome their aversion to actual work.


  1. Did Columbia add full-time faculty or adjuncts?

    As an adjunct at a competitor law school many years ago, I noticed that most of the people at the once a year faculty dinner were adjuncts. This was before the scam erupted and while legal employment was not yet in the severe rut it has gone into now. There were very few full-time faculty members at the dinner or at this top law school. It was a revelation - that major law schools were hiring mostly adjuncts, and few full-time faculty even back then.

    As an adjunct, I made just a few thousand dollars. This was fine because I had a full-time job as a lawyer that paid a full-time salary. At that point, the law school where I taught probably paid most faculty on a more or less modest basis - enough to get by, but not nearly enough to be well off in our expensive city.

    It is likely that Columbia is using more adjuncts. There schools don't add expensive faculty to their payrolls in numbers like that.

    1. Yes, an adjunct typically gets about $3k per course—roughly the minimum wage after one deducts travel to and from the law school. Typically an adjunct doesn't get office space or even access to the library. Meanwhile, a so-called profe$$or "teaches" three courses per year for a salary well up in the six figures, with fancy benefits.

    2. Solos have a crucial role –perhaps the only remaining role– to play in legal education. Anyone considering law school should be sent to Scared Straight, in which a team of angry, cutthroat bottom-feeding solos and small-firm lawyers will berate the naive, delusional delinquent in hopes of making him see the error of his ways. If you think answering Professor Miller’s hypos about Pennoyer in class will be stressful, you must be subjected to Joe Solo’s routines for gouging money out of clients, derailing his competition, dealing with groundless grievances filed by broke clients, and methods of delaying payments of rent/utilities. Exposure to a battery of ANY five solos or microfirm lawyers ... not a five academicians... will make the discussions found in Third Tier Reality and Outside the Law School Scam seem like law-school propaganda.

    3. This would be like "The *Real* Paper Chase" after Bottoms graduates except that the Bottoms in this case went to a very non-elite school and instead of having a girlfriend who looks like Lindsay Wagner he has one who's fat with a pig-face like Snookie - a real Oinker - who got pregnant to trap him and now a kid's on the way he's on the hook for for the next 18-20 years, etc.

  2. Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 18, 2016 at 9:50 AM

    I respectfully dissent.

    It's actually damn sad. As a schlepper solo running from court house to court house chasing three bill Retail Thefts and traffics, I have little time to research the law. I am not a law guy and have not been to a library since 2011. My clients can't pay for legal research. So, I rely on these Prawfs to "teach" me the law with their handbooks, manuals, Daily Law Bulletin Articles, CLE's, pamphlets and other writings. My research is quick and dirty. Many volume criminal and traffic trial court judges rely on these Prawfs the same way. They are an integral party to our legal system, in my view. To see this happening is just a damn shame. It didn't have to happen.

  3. At last the downturn in the legal industry is affecting legal hackademia! 1. Demand for legal education fell. 2. Discounting of price (called scholarships) has happened, as schools try to drum up demand. 3. Reaching out to less-desirable customers - people who in good times the schools would never be marketing to - has happened. 4. Facing the music - reduction of excess capacity - is now happening now!
    Next step is the SHAKEOUT - when schools start closing down.
    All of this would have happened many years ago, of course, had the feds not dumped piles of easy $$$ in to distort normal market functions!
    In my old neighborhood, what is happening now in legal hackademia, was called "getting what you deserve, pal".

  4. Here's the future for financially troubled scamschools: getting rid of all tenured faculty. This will be easier for the for-profit schools, and give them a new selling point: "Our faculty is real-world tested". A footnote should be: and we pay them way less, too. What's a lecturer make these days? I'd guess $1500-3000 per class per semester, no benefits. And there are thousands of desperate solos and small firm practitioners who will flock to these positions, so much so that the TTTs will be able to drive the pay down even further. Yes, it's a great life being a lawyer.

    1. Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 18, 2016 at 4:24 PM

      That is exactly what will happen. I will be in line to teach one of those classes. AND, they will get away with calling us INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS to avoid any withholding. It is a brutal world. This is what happens when the legal profession turns into a Walmart for lower tier folks like me.

    2. Just what we need: desperate solos teaching tomorrow's lawyers.

    3. Comparing today’s practice of law to Walmart is both outdated, and unfair to the retail giant. Since 2008, the legal profession more closely approximates a shady pawn shop. Most of today’s firms and solos are “operating” only in the sense that an airplane which has suffered a catastrophic explosion is said to be “in flight” during the crash of the debris to earth.

      The fact law schools even manage to attract any students in this day and age is only proof of the ruts into which the human mind will fall. Some people still write paper checks ... and still date them “2015."

    4. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 19, 2016 at 10:02 PM

      Who are you calling desperate? Not me. I live fine on 37K. I like my 15K deductible Bronze Level Obama Care, my IBR, and my '05 VW with an exhaust leak. $1600 to repair. It's good to be out 25 years and chasing 3 bill DUI with all the Newbies from Marshall and Valpo. At least they have 10 AVVO ratings.

  5. Touro's a shithole. How many profs did they get rid of?

  6. Just looked up Columbia Law faculty, and anyone with any type of duties that could possibly relate to learning is considered faculty. You don't have to teach many hours to be considered full-time. If a person is hired on a contract basis for a few hours a week for a semester, they are full-time faculty. Not the same thing as being a professor there.

    Columbia must have expanded how they defined full-time faculty between 2011 and 2013 to include anyone with any academic duties at all.

  7. But they still haven't gotten rid of the real pigs: administration. The number of new "deans" has probably gone up, or at least it hasn't gone down. They make twice as much as tenured faculty without ever teaching the students who are paying their excessive salaries.

    1. Exactly. While I'm no friend of LawProfs in general, you know they let the Gen-Xer law profs go first, the ones who actually wanted to be in academia in the first place, or the ones who are so old they are on life support as they speak.

      Nope, gotta keep the Boomer Profs and Boomer Deans well fed. The "worked hard" and "deserve it," doncha know.

  8. How many assistant deans were let go at these degree mills since 2010?

  9. Bring back the Teach-in's of the 1960s. Have unemployed lawyers show up at law schools and start imparting some true knowledge about the way things are on the outside. There are so many good lawyers with time on their hands, and so many that care enough about young people, that the teaching sessions could go on continuously, 24 hours a day.

    Zero admissions and zero emissions by 2020.

    With knowledge and transparency, it CAN happen.

    1. Guess what would happen Post 9/11, Columbine? A SWAT team would show up and you would be labeled as DISGRUNTLED and unbalanced. You would be indicated now on Domestic Terrorism and other felonies. If that didn't happen, the State Bar regulators would pull your ticket...

    2. I like the idea which Anon @ 6:18 AM has about going onto campuses and talking to the students about it, but unfortunately, Anon @ 10:07 PM is right; I can easily see the law schools pulling a stunt like that, calling in a SWAT team and everything. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if they outright lied about just how "dangerous" and "threatening" their visitor would be (i.e. "We think he had a gun and/or wanted to bomb the campus, and maybe wanted to rape all the students too!").
      Remember a year or so ago when that Frakt guy was giving a presentation at Florida Coastal and the dean threatened to call security on him simply for speaking the truth? Just goes to show how dictator-esque they're willing to go to keep the scam running...

    3. The Prawfs on the Faculty Lounge Blog go bananas when we "scam post" there resorting to personal attacks and send e-mails to the web hosts requesting "lock outs" of certain IP addresses of commenters they disagree with. And this is ELECTRONIC. Imagine if we showed up in the flesh!!!

    4. Don't worry, I'm sure there's a way of getting word out to the students, one way or another...

  10. Guys you have it all wrong. Law School is still an option. Nova Southeastern University. Home of AAMPLE...( I salute you).

    They have a ground breaking program to revolutionize the legal field. This is a game changer.

    See, the market created a new change that affected most if not all lawyers. And how did Nova respond? They created a new avenue for lawyering.

    "NSU Law to Launch First-ever Veterans Law Clinic in South Florida to Serve Active and Retired Military Personnel"

    First AAMPLE now the "First" to create a niche for their grads to pursue. Nova keep swinging for the fence in 2016. There is more work to be done, and we know your right Law School to help lead the path to innovation and changing the legal field as we know it !!

    1. In Illinois, pension benefits are exempt from collection/litigation/enforcement of judgment.

      So, get paid up front, for if you client stiffs you and only has pension income, and little else, you are done.

    2. Very nice trolling.

      I always dreamed I would go to law school and I would make less money, less job security, and lesser retirement benefits than a New York City Sanitation worker.

      If people attend a law school of this caliber, at this point, they deserve the pain- all of it.

    3. Law school is an option in the sense that death from alcohol poisoning is an option. The markets are ludicrously glutted; much has been done so far, but much more needs to be done before law can be returned to its former position of respectability.

    4. I'm with 12:38; Mr. AAMPLE's writings used to annoy me, but it's clear that these ramblings are first class trolling. Nando could post something like "The Influence of the Trilateral Commission on American Foreign Policy Post-Vietnam" and Mr. AAMPLE would be back, trolling vigorously for NSU. He's a national treasure, although you'd think the school's dean would have better things to do with his time.

    5. Nova Southeastern

      Yeah, and a degree from Nova isn't worth its weight in pigshit. You would have better financial prospects and higher social status if you went to work as an artisanal dildo craftsman.

  11. Wow, Nova Southeastern University law center is allowing solo's to set up shop with them. Interesting revenue stream. Hope it works out.


    On January 15, 2016, Staci Zaretsky posted an ATL entry that was labeled “The Law Schools That Have Gotten Rid Of The Most Full-Time Faculty Since 2010.” Take a look at the subsequent portion:

    “The world of legal education has been in a state of flux since the recession, with law school application pools and student enrollments getting smaller and smaller as the years have passed. Faced with a stark decline in tuition dollars, many law school administrations tried to cut costs where and when they could, and eventually decided to slash their greatest expenses of all: their full-time faculty. Whether through buyouts, forced retirements, or outright layoffs, law schools have shed 1,206 full-time faculty members since 2010.

    Matt Leichter of The Last Gen X American (a site formerly known as The Law School Tuition Bubble) crunched data derived from law schools’ annual ABA Standard 509 Information Reports, and according to his calculations, 142 law schools have shed full-time faculty since 2010. Since that time, Leichter says that 21 law schools have parted ways with more than 20 full-time faculty members…

    Cooley Law doesn’t have to settle for being second-best anymore, because the law school is finally in first place for something. We’d like to say that we’re shocked, but that would be a lie. Our actual shock comes from the appearance of two very highly ranked law schools on this list: Texas and UC Berkeley. What happened at these law schools? If you have any insights, please email us or text us (646-820-8477) and let us know.

    It’s also worth noting that since last year, law schools have shed 249 full-time faculty members. That’s why schools like SUNY Buffalo, Syracuse, and John Marshall (Chicago) stick out like sore thumbs with their double-digit annual decreases in faculty. (Penn State’s double-digit drop can be explained by its separating and becoming two law schools — those professors were “shed” in that they went to another Penn State school.)

    While it’s easy to point fingers and mock schools that seem to be struggling, it’s far more productive to ask one simple question: why is law school tuition still so high? When a school has conducted a mass shedding of law professors, you’d think (or hope) that proportional tuition cuts would follow, but that simply hasn’t been the case.”

    The law school pigs would rather eat excrement off of a dollar, rather than see that money go to someone else. These bitches and hags have no honor, decency or integrity.

  13. It certainly isn't keeping law schools from jacking up tuition at rates far higher than the rate of inflation. Think about that, kids, before you make a seriously disastrous decision to attend law school.

  14. There will always be the Narcissists out there ready to support these schools, so long as their name is put on the building or the school is named after the benefactor:

  15. What a wonderful industry. I'm sure many victims of the law school cartel could look into this:

    "'Most Of Us Ended Up At Office Depot': Thousands Of Angry Students "Flood" Government With Demands For Debt Relief"


    Read the following comments on the TaxProf post cited in the main entry above:

    “Many laughs at #17 and #19. Oh, the irony! Interestingly, while most MA law schools have shed faculty (69 people between Suffolk, New England, Western New England, and BU), Northeastern, which has literally halved its entering class size, is increasing the number of faculty (albeit by a very lower number). That's not going to help the bottom line, particularly considering how many more >50% to more-than-full tuition discounts they are giving out these days than they used to (per their 509s).”

    Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jan 12, 2016 7:50:54 AM

    “I'd set a target of about a 33% decrease from the 2010 high before all is said and done. Hopefully hiring effectively grinds to a halt over the next decade. It will be good to have a bunch of high-minded would-be-academics forced into practice. Once that demographic is disillusioned with the legal academy, the criticism will pick up even more force.”

    Posted by: JM | Jan 12, 2016 9:26:22 AM

    “So how many administrators were shed?”

    Posted by: MAS | Jan 12, 2016 4:38:12 PM

    "So how many administrators were shed?"

    Along these lines, it would be very interesting to see the list/actual tuition prices (across years) for these schools.

    While there have been some limited tuition cuts, my guess is that tuition has not fallen anywhere near proportionately to the faculty cuts.

    So, a healthy chunk of young faculty have been terminated in order to assure continued *raises* for the older, much more corrupt (because they've been running the rotten machine longer) profs/administrators.

    It is like watching hungry, diseased rats eat one another.

    Alas, too late...”

    Posted by: cas127 | Jan 12, 2016 8:29:54 PM

    These critics know the score. The law school pigs will do and say anything to keep the gravy train of federal student loan money rolling along. They do not give one goddamn about the students, recent graduates, potential legal clients, or taxpayers. Hell, they don’t even care about adjunct “professors” or those trying to break into the ranks of the tenured “legal educators.” The Boomer swine and ancient fossils merely want to hold onto their positions, until they can take full retirement. Nothing else matters to these jackals.

  17. In many ways, all the efforts by Nando and the others may be for naught, as it appears that those who will listen have-but there are a lot more who won't. For five sessions in a row, the # of LSAT takers has gone up. With all the information out there, the number should be dropping dramatically.

    1. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 23, 2016 at 7:44 AM

      Start posting to MSN news or any site that reports on a story about jobs, the economy, employment. Go to general websites and newsfeeds....there are sites that "list" the best jobs in America...I never see attorney. Go post that...point that out....

    2. Nothing wrong with taking the LSAT. In fact, if you end up getting a score in the mid to high 170s then law school might be a good choice. Top 8 with scholarship or nothing.

      It's when you score a 145 and think you're going to get a good job as a lawyer by going to some shithole like Cooley or Touro or Thomas Jefferson...that's where you need to check yourself.

  18. Here is a nice follow up of the situation at ABA-accredited diploma mills.

    On January 22, 2016, ATL published a brief entry that was entitled “Stat Of The Week: Administrators Up, Profs Down.” Here is the entirety of that text:

    “Legal education is its own magical place, exempt from the ordinary economic forces that shape the rest of the world. So it was no real shock last week when Staci Zaretsky observed, picking up on the data compiled by Matt Leichter, that the shedding of significant numbers of full-time faculty members in recent years by law schools has not translated into any concomitant tuition relief for the students.

    Today we have more evidence of the bizarro-world nature of the business of law schools. On average, while the typical law school has lost about five full-time faculty members over the last four years, it has gained a teaching administrator or two over the same period. This finding comes courtesy of Derek Muller, a law prof at Pepperdine. Here’s a chart from his blog, Excess of Democracy:


    Muller is careful to note that there are certain issues with this data, including methodological changes by the ABA, and some ambiguity regarding how librarians are counted for these purposes. But still.”

    As you can see, the law school pigs love bloated administration. Hell, the cockroaches at the top are more than willing to force some “early retirements” on tenured swine. Of course, they are happier to scale back on adjunct faculty members. What beacons of integrity, huh?!?!

  19. Great news indeed. And on the subject of legal writing, I'm reminded of another way automation could impact the legal profession. There's e-discovery software that can work far more efficiently than a contract attorney at document review. And now there's the potential of technology from companies such as Narrative Science, whose Quill platform writes news articles. And its scope is broadening beyond financial news summaries or sports reports. It would be a lot to copy and paste (Cue the TL; DR responses, ha.), so here's the link to a good article about Narrative Science.


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