Thursday, June 16, 2016

ABA Cockroaches Allegedly Audited a Small Fraction of Class of 2015 Employment Data

The Tepid News: On June 14, 2016, the ABA Journal publised a piece from Debra Cassens Weiss, under the headline “Law school job statistics get extra job scrutiny in random ABA audits.” Here is the full text:

“The ABA is for the first time conducting random audits of jobs data provided by law schools for the class of 2015. 

The auditors are examining data from 10 randomly selected law schools and from 382 randomly selected students from 156 law schools, reports. The aim is to make sure schools followed proper procedures in collecting and verifying the employment data, which was released in May. 

A range of sanctions are available if serious errors are discovered. They include a private or public reprimand, fines and probation.

The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar hired an outside consulting firm to conduct the audits. It is funding the audits with a $250,000 fine imposed on the University of Illinois College of Law in 2012 for misreporting admissions data. 

Barry Currier, the ABA’s managing director of accreditation and legal education, says the audits began when the schools reported their data. “We want to do our job of making sure that schools are reporting complete, accurate, not misleading data, and this is one way to do that,” Currier tells the ABA Journal

If audits over the next few years find law schools are doing a good job, the ABA may change to a system of less intensive audits, Currier says. The hope, he tells the ABA Journal, is that the audit results will confirm that schools are doing a good job of reporting, giving the public more confidence in the reliability of the data. 

Currier says the audit results with regard to specific schools won’t be publicly released, unless problems lead to a public sanction. The audit protocol is here.” [Emphasis mine]

Yes, that sounds truly revolutionary and groundbreaking, huh?!?! Hell, this is a bigger breakthrough than when the U.S. Postal Service started issuing self-adhesive stamps, i.e. stickers, circa 1989. You would think that a true “professional” membership organization would have been looking at their member schools’ data, for several years already – at the very least. Then again, this cartel is run by vile “law professors,” deans and Biglaw gluttons who collectively do not give one damn about typical students or recent graduates.

Other Coverage: On June 15, 2016, Outside the Law School Scam featured a post from Law School Truth Center. The entry was labeled “ABA to Finally Audit Law School Employment Reporting.” Enjoy the following excerpt:

“Better late than never, eh?

The ABA has announced that through a third party firm it is (has been) conducting random audits on the Class of 2015 employment numbers reported by law schools. If you are a glutton for this sort of thing, the standards are outlined in full here... 

The ABA doing audits is somewhat revolutionary and, superficially, worthy of praise for actually giving the appearance of effort. Slowly but surely, the consensus over the last decade has moved from naively trusting self-published law school employment numbers to a broad acknowledgement that there was (and probably still is) funny business afoot in how graduate outcomes are counted. Legally not fraud, of course, but perfectly legal puffery funny business. Creative accounting.

For several years now, critics have asked for audits. Instead, we got some modified standards and suddenly the employment rates - as opposed to the singular numbers boasted about in the advertising literature of yore - moved to more accurately reflect the reality in which most of us live.

Still, audits would represent an important check upon the accuracy of the information now being advertised by law schools. In that respect, the ABA is taking what should be an essential step in regulating such things.

But then Currier says that these audits actually started when the data was received, which was a few months ago if I'm not mistaken. One has to wonder why the ABA had not announced this when the audits started - or even before as a deterrent mechanism against chicanery (it's not like next year will benefit from the audits being a surprise, after all).

My hunch is that the ABA didn't want to announce audits and then have them be an unmitigated disaster. Instead, start doing them, get at least some positive feedback, and then announce them; had there been only negative feedback, I suppose the ABA has someone who can delete a press release.” [Emphasis mine]

One can also look at the tiny-ass sample size reviewed by the American Bar Association rodents, to see that this is not a serious effort. Hell, walking on the beach with a beautiful, kind and loving woman - on a lazy Sunday - requires more energy.

Conclusion: In the final analysis, the ABA swine are reviewing data from 10 supposedly “randomly selected” law schools, as well as from 382 randomly selected students from 156 law schools. The latter figure represents an average of 2.44 grads from each accredited toilet. There are over 200 ABA-approved diploma mills in the United States, and the pigs are focusing on 10 of those institutions. I suspect the bitches and hags will include some high-ranked schools in their little audit – and they will “somehow” manage to find mostly individual success stories, even at the cess pits. The NBA Draft Lottery process is more transparent.

As OTLSS noted earlier: “All the ABA has to do now is effortlessly announce that no sanctions will be handed down and the audits - maybe even the identity of the schools audited - will remain a secret, even if they would reveal potentially damning evidence, so long as the ABA - the same organization that accredited Indiana Tech - doesn't find the behavior worthy of a reprimand.” Yes, the cockroaches are really looking out for the students’ and applicants’ best interests, right?!?!


  1. This is BIG NEWS! After all, one of the proposed punishments is a "private...reprimand." Wow, what a punishment! What a deterrent! Especially since no one will know it happened, save the unrepentant scam dean involved.
    What's next-the ABA giving the offending law school The Dirtiest Look It Ever Saw in Its Life?

    1. The dirty look comes after the stern written letter and before the slap in the wrist.

  2. The problem is the cockroaches in that photo have more integrity than the ABA.

  3. 10 law schools out of 200+ is less than 5%. That would be reasonable if less than 5% of graduates failed the bar.

  4. What would a program audit or review report on a scam, any scam, look like? "Yup, you are still making money, boatloads of money, by deceiving people"? And, "We'd be happy to help you devise plans to deceive more people. Have you thought about including 'free' programs in Cancun (in the summer, of course) to entice more marks"?

  5. Nando,

    The New York Times has a great article you may be interested in covering. It details the financial and employment struggles of recent graduates. The article also looks at the struggles of low ranked law schools.

    1. Especially great is the advice of Del Wright Jr, a tax law professor, urging students to look into JD Advantage careers in the Tax Lien Buying industry.

    2. —— “You see all these businesses, ‘We Buy Liens’ — what exactly is going on there?” he continued, explaining that buyers of tax liens can earn hefty state-sanctioned interest rates, as well as fees to get the liens removed. “If you are entrepreneurial but not the best lawyer, you might look into it.”

      Hefty state-sanctioned interest rates for doing nothing? Sounds a lot like the law-school scam. And note that he's pitching this idea to inferior lawyers. What exactly does he have to offer to good lawyers? Well, it doesn't much matter: there can't be (m)any of those at Valparaiso.

    3. If it's sooo lucrative, then why isn't he taking that kind of risk?

      His paycheck isn't based on high-risk adventures. Rather, quite the reverse.

      Academics stay where their bread and butter is: Inside the Ivory Tower. No risk, pure profit. Rigged Game.

      They don't play the game, they run it like underground poker or craps games.

  6. A solid article on how depressing the scam is in human terms, with so many lives financially ruined:

  7. To restore faith in the employment numbers, those numbers need to be audited by independent auditors, with all reports made public.


    Look at the comments sections of the OTLSS post cited in the main entry. On June 16, 2016 at 2:00 am, dybbuk wrote the following:

    “I am a glutton for this sort of thing, so apologies for a way-too-long comment.

    The ABA auditing protocol seems disturbingly weak, especially in light of the wrongdoing that was commonplace prior to the mandatory employment survey.

    First, the ABA is only random auditing 10 schools, meaning that 194 will make It through the year with no visit from ABA auditors. True, the ABA is also asking for data for 382 randomly selected students from 156 law schools. But that is only 2 to 3 students per school, and such a small sample is unlikely to uncover a pattern of wrongdoing, especially when it is likely that even cheaters are only miscategorizing the employment results of a minority of their grads.

    Second, the ABA auditing protocol has three levels, of which only the first level is mandatory. At Level 1, “Documentation included in the Files will be presumed to be complete, accurate, and not misleading in the absence of credible evidence to the contrary.” With a presumption like that in its favor, even an outright scammer would have to be extremely blatant, sloppy, or unlucky to get tripped up.

    Third, an audit only proceeds to Level 2 if “more than 5%” of the files are found to be incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading. So apparently a law school is safe from ABA sanction, or even serious inquiry, if a mere 4% of its files are inaccurate in a way that bolsters the law school’s employment results.

    Fourth, employment result scamming might be difficult to prove, even with a conscientious Level 2 audit (independent confirmation of employment outcome data for 20% of the class) or Level 3 audit (independently review and confirmation all of the school’s reported employment data). Why? Because not every ten-month-out JD fills out the placement survey, and law schools are permitted to guess the employment status of non-responsive grads from comments related to employment status on social networking sites, such as Facebook and Linked-In. (See link below) So a desperate or humiliated grad might pretend on Facebook or some other social media site that he or she has a good job, and the lousy law school he or she graduated from can report that as a successful outcome.

    If Currier refuses to release the audit results, he should be transparent enough to inform us how many of the 10 ABA audits made it past level one review.”

    The cretins still applying to law school have no idea how the ABA pigs operate. They clearly do not have YOUR best interests in mind, Stupid. Try to have an IQ above 78, and move on to different pursuits, if you don’t get into a top diploma mill. Hell, you might even consider keeping your current job, working your ass off there, making real connections with people in your company and field, and perhaps obtain a promotion or raise. Doesn’t that sound better than incurring an additional $130K+ in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt for a garbage law degree?

  9. Though I would not absolve lower-tiered cesspits like Valpo of blame for luring these cretins into taking out hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, it's been out there for a while that the risks are quite high of attending one of these conscienceless skools.

    People like Ms. Tepia (profiled in the NYT article referred to above) may be working retail for quite some time, having been suckered by schools like Valparaiso into false hopes of a legal "career". Shameful.

  10. Valpo's in the TTT news again? Fuck, that must be one serious shithole.

  11. I enjoy watching law school insiders like Senator Elizabeth Warren attacking Donald Trump for his "University." I wonder if the irony gets lost in the name of partisanship or folks like this just don't see the parallel.

  12. I wonder just how wretched the employment data is going to look for the newly-graduated Class of 2016.

    Speaking of which... I have a special message for the Class of 2016 (especially for the greedy and delusional douchebags among them who went to law school at this bad time for all the wrong reasons):
    "Drink it in, pal. That's how failure tastes."

  13. Where is the ABA audit on the quality of legal “scholarship?” Last year the New England Law Review published an article titled “The Near Term Employment Prospects of American Law School Graduates.” One of the student editors actually described the article as “a series of fact-supported statements that will likely quell the fears of prospective students and recent graduates.” The article was written by Paul Teich. As noted in Nando’s take down of New England Law, Teich rakes in over $200k a year.

    Teich claims that there will be a shortage of law graduates by 2017. He even claims that “[f]ull-time positions will be widely available, and pay, as a consequence, will be good.” The best part is how he reached these conclusions. Since 2007, the number of law graduates employed nine months after graduation has remained roughly constant at 37,000. Because only 37,924 students enrolled in law school in 2014, and because roughly 11% will not graduate, the size of the 2017 graduating class will be about 34,000. So there you have it! There will be a shortage of roughly 3,000 law graduates in 2017. Now is the best time to go to law school! A skeptic might ask, how can you say full-time positions will be widely available, when the employment statistics cited include non-legal jobs, part-time jobs, and short-term jobs? Teich says that is “completely irrelevant.” You see, some law graduates go to law school because they want to go into business and some graduates choose to take part-time jobs to raise a family.

    Some prospective law students may be skeptical about enrolling because they will have to compete with legions of recent unemployed grads. But Teich tells prospective law students not worry. He actually threw recent grads under the bus and proclaimed, “it is self-evident that employers have preferred recent graduates to unemployed lawyers from remote graduating classes whenever graduates and unemployed lawyers have competed for positions head-to-head.”

    Towards the end of his article, he tells prospective law students not to worry that law schools will increase class sizes in the coming years. You see, “[l]aw schools cannot enroll incompetent students. Students take bar examinations when they graduate, and the American Bar Association accreditation rules require schools to prove that their graduates have reasonable pass rates.” He must have been working so hard on his article that he missed the news stories about the declining bar passage rates. He concludes his paper by ignoring BLS data. Citing Cooley Law dean Don LeDuc, he explains that there is a “looming imbalance in the annual number of lawyer retirees and law graduates.” The “contraction in size of the lawyer supply is already underway [in Washington state and Michigan].”

    So in summary, now is the best time to go to law school because when you add up all the jobs obtained by law graduates each year, whether it’s full-time, part-time, a legal job, or a non-legal job, that number exceeds the number of projected graduates in 2017. The people who are in non-legal jobs chose a prestigious career in business. All the grads in part-time jobs and short-term jobs chose those jobs because they have family obligations. Don’t worry about competing with past unemployed grads. Employers prefer recent graduates over the unemployed losers we churned out in the past. And ignore the BLS data, Don LeDuc has uncovered a shortage of lawyers due to the waves of retirees leaving the “profession.”

    It's laughable that this was actually published.

    E-4 Mafia


    Check out this Lisa Needham piece on the Lawyerist, from June 18, 2016. It was entitled "The ABA Has Begun Randomly Auditing Law School Employment Data." Here is the opening:

    "Law school employment reporting has typically been a ridiculous mess. Schools self-report their data, and inflated employment statistics have run rampant, with bottom-dwelling law schools like Thomas Jefferson School of Law reporting 92% employment for its graduates. This sham data has resulted in a number of lawsuits, including one that finally went to trial. Thomas Jefferson’s defense in that case was, essentially, saying it was only reporting employment data the way the ABA told it to and therefore they couldn’t be at fault. (It prevailed, by the way.)

    Perhaps in response to high-profile terribleness like this, in 2015 the ABA strengthened its requirements for how law schools reporting employment data. The heightened requirements focus on ensuring that schools create a “Graduate Employment File” with verifiable data for each graduate. The requirements also specified what sort of employment data law schools were required to place on their websites and how long that data had to be available. In short, the ABA seemed to be telegraphing that it would hold law schools to more rigorous reporting standards. The ABA also explicitly said it would be conducting random reviews of ten schools to check for compliance. It looks like those audits have started:

    The auditors are examining data from 10 randomly selected law schools and from 382 randomly selected students from 156 law schools, reports. The aim is to make sure schools followed proper procedures in collecting and verifying the employment data, which was released in May.

    The ABA is using an external consulting firm to conduct the audits. You might be wondering how it can afford to do so. It turns out the ABA dinged the University of Illinois $250K a few years ago for misreporting statistics, so that fine is funding this third-party audit endeavor.

    This all sounds like a great step forward, but over at Outside the Law School Scam, they’ve noted that there is some “fine print” we should all be paying attention to: the ABA’s managing director says that if the audits show that schools are generally behaving, they ABA might flip back to using less intensive audits. This does not inspire confidence. Outside the Law School Scam also points out that the ABA has said it won’t release audit results unless the audit finds something that leads to a public sanction.

    This seems like an odd approach for the ABA to take. It has all the rigor of random third-party audits, but none of the reporting transparency you would expect to be the logical product of those rigorous audits. Shouldn’t consumers—a/k/a prospective law students—know if a school has been audited and passed with flying colors? Wouldn’t that be something that might affect decision-making about where to attend? And about the idea that if things go well, the ABA will just drop back to not being so tough?"

    By the way, Needham teaches legal writing dreck at William MiTTTchell Commode of Law. The trash pit is currently rated as the 140th greatest, most phenomenal and amazing school in the entire damn country – by US “News” & World Report.


    From the Comments section of Paul Caron's coverage, from June 14, 2016. The entry was labeled "The ABA Is Auditing Law School Placement Data For The First Time."

    "Finally, the ABA takes a baby step toward assuring law school employment figures are honest! But it is too small a baby step! All law schools should be required to have their employment figures audited. There is too much incentive to lie about those figures. And too many people have been harmed relying on those figures and the bragging and rankings that derives from them. If all schools were audited, we'd continue to have drops in class sizes for many years to come, until the annual number of new lawyers approximates the annual number of new-lawyer jobs.

    Posted by: Old Ruster from JDJunkyard | Jun 14, 2016 6:03:30 PM

    They don't have to look far. Schools are publishing their ABA data (some still are not or publishing old data) but they also are publishing summary pages touting their high employment rates - counting everyone who is non "not employed" as employed - whether full or part time, whether admission required or unknown. We are back to square 1 - or worse because prospective students think the website must be accurate because the ABA is watching..

    Posted by: Anon | Jun 15, 2016 8:00:06 AM

    If the truth will set one free, this audit should set a lot of people free; hopefully, the scope of the audit will be known, not just the results.

    Posted by: Robert Alpiner | Jun 18, 2016 9:44:51 AM"

    Those with a brain stem and some knowledge of the law school scam know the score: the ABA cockroaches are merely trying to reassure others - including dumbass applicants - that they are making sure that the commodes are reporting the numbers correctly. This is a PR job. If you cannot see this clearly for yourself, then how in the hell can you be expected to competently represent others in legal matters, Bitch?!?!

  16. Nando,

    Please excuse my ignorance. I know of no other way to contact you except via this comments section. I am putting the finishing touches on a book and I would very much appreciate your input. I would also be willing to compensate you for your assistance. I need a proofreader, adviser, and mentor. I can offer an acknowledgement in my book (with a link to your blog) or even some minor form of compensation. I attended an institution to which you referred as, "An Appalling Fourth Tier Trash Pit." I have spent the past 9 years in fear and loathing, however, after some divine inspiration, I've decided to aim for a August/September release date via Kindle Direct Publishing. I started writing this book 9 years ago and it is nearing fruition now. So far I have 55 typed pages and 22 chapters. I'd be willing to share it with you for your input on the condition of confidentiality. I certainly hope that you will contact me if you are interested. I can be reached by follow up comment or through google+, somehow. Regards! -CW

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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