Thursday, June 2, 2016

Second Tier Sewer St. Louis University School of Law Reinvents Itself Amid Shrinking Enrollment

Sewer Rises: On May 31, 2016, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published reporter Koran Addo’s piece, “SLU law school redefines itself.” Look at this opening:

“Three years ago, St. Louis University’s law school found itself in crisis at the exact time it was trying to pull off a major relocation to a new building downtown. 

Then-university President Lawrence Biondi was openly feuding with Dean Annette Clark. Her anger at being left out of big decisions, including the law school move, led to her abrupt resignation a month before the relocation. 

The plan to replace her on an interim basis with brash personal injury attorney Tom Keefe lasted just six months before he quit after provoking an uproar on campus over a series of comments even he described as “politically incorrect.” 

On top of those personnel issues, there was uncertainty over whether the move made sense financially and how it might affect students. Not to mention the move came as law schools around the country were starting to see significant declines in the number of students pursuing legal degrees. 

Among American Bar Association-approved schools, law school enrollment dropped to 119,775 students in 2014 from a historic high of 147,525 in 2010. 

Three years after moving downtown, people in the know say SLU’s law school is a different institution than the one formerly housed on the Midtown campus. 

It has quietly reduced staff and bought out faculty members as the number of students has declined to 502 in 2015 from 954 in 2010. 

But unlike other higher education institutions where a similar loss of students would almost certainly spell disaster, people inside and outside of SLU’s law school say that, at worst, the school has stabilized itself.” [Emphasis mine]

That was perfect timing to move into a donated building in downtown St. Louis! Now, scroll down to this conclusion:

“SLU law school spokeswoman Jessica Ciccone says that in response, law schools are competing for a smaller pool of students, and consequently are offering more scholarship money to the students who apply. 

SLU law professor Sidney Watson was a part of the faculty group that helped with the consulting and reorganization. 

Finding the right balance of students, and then offering them enough financial support to finish, is a noble strategy, she said. 

“It’s what the Jesuits would do,” she said. 

Several others pointed out that the market is shifting in favor of students. 

“This is the perfect time to go to law school,” SLU law professor John Ammann said. “There are fewer people applying and there is more scholarship money available.” [Emphasis mine]

Did those “law professors” provide details as to how to the legal job market is starting to favor students? Or did the cockroaches merely rehash old filth, such as “Older lawyers are going to retire in waves”?!

Tuition: As you will see the commode charges $38,750 in tuition for full-time law students, for the 2015-2016 school year. Yes, what a bargain for the students. Apparently, the Jesuits have no compunction about charging exhorbitant rates for young people trying to obtain a “legal education.” Then again, it always comes down to money.

Average Law School Indebtedness: According to USN&WR, the average indebtedness figure for the SLU JD class of 2015 who incurred debt for law school was $113,070. Hell, 82% of this class took out student loans to attend this second tier cesspit. Remember that these figures do not take interest that accrues while the student is enrolled into account.

Ranking: Based on the shiny building and cost, this school must have an outstanding reputation in the legal and academic community, right?!?! Well, US “News” & World Report rates $TT. Loui$ Univer$iTTy Sewer of Law as the 82nd greatest, most magnificent and sensational law school in the United States. It shares this distinction with LSU, Northeastern, and University of New Hampshire. Wow, only 81 law schools in the country are ranked higher!

Conclusion: In the final analysis, $TT. Loui$ Univer$iTTy Sewer of Law is not going to provide you with even an unrealistic shot at Biglaw. Yet, it will lead to most students taking on outrageous sums of loans – for a chance to enter this GLUTTED “profession.” Perhaps the toilet is offering more tuition discounts, i.e. scholarships, to admitted students. However, these men and women are looking at taking out an additional $110K-$160K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt for law school. Working at legal aid for $36K a year isn’t going to help you repay your loans – and put food in your fridge or a roof over your head.


  1. Team AAMPLE:

    (Slow Clap) Adjusting to market conditions, shedding staff, realigning the budget. The tuition at this place it outrageous.

    Normally I would drop jewels of knowledge to the current / future law students. But this one goes out to the unemployed professor's or soon to be.

    Do you know one group of Law Schools that isn't shedding law professors nor staff...(drum role).....The HBCU's !!!!

    Don't be afraid to throw your resume in their direction. The most reasonable tuition amongst the wolves within the law school game. They are strong players in providing affordable tuition so grads can focus on .... righting the wrong... solving injustices... sticking it to the man, and looking out for the little guy.

    Best original mission - to increase minority lawyers, and future minister's of justice. Be a part of the movement!!!

    Old Guy....

    I know you stand shoulder to shoulder with this message !!!


    1. 6:30am-can you get any more vacuous? HBCUs have nothing, as in zero, to do with AAMPLE, and to equate them with that program-as you do-is a patent insult.
      Again, turn off the TV, get off the couch, get out of your parents' basement and go actually learn something.

  2. The move to the new building is immaterial to SLU's success as a law school. It is right downtown and closer to courts, etc. (and has a little bistro called "The Docket" inside, lol), but the old law school is only 5-7 minutes away.

    Anyway, if they insist on staying open, it's good when these schools downsize instead of trying to keep enrollment up by admitting more shitty students (granted, there will still be some shitty students) But, still, the professor's comment that now "is the perfect time to go to law school" is ridiculous.

    As far as financial support and "what the Jesuits would do," I could respect SLU if shrinks the school (students and staff, which it has been doing), doesn't make stupid comments about being the perfect time to go to law school, and provides enough aid to all students and/or cuts tuition so that law school costs no more than $10,000 a year. But, it's not doing that.

  3. I know a graduate of this dump. They had no job at graduation, bounced around between document review gigs for about a year, and then went to business school and got an MBA. They work in business now. Strange how nobody tells business school graduates they have to “hustle,” they are entitled losers for thinking they should be able to get a job after graduation, or they should move to Nebraska.

    Lemmings, you can skip all the pain and misery of enriching the law school pigs and go directly into real professions. The best and the brightest are going into business, science, medicine, engineering, and computer science. For better or worse, companies and politicians decimated the business of law. Take a look at the fine print in your cell phone agreement, your auto loan, or your credit cards. If you have a dispute, you can’t sue because you have agreed to mandatory arbitration. Many legal consumers are no longer going to lawyers to get a will or start a business. They are going to LegalZoom and other online sources. Business for lawyers is drying up. You will not be getting a corner office making millions of dollars. You probably won’t even get any type of job.

    Have you noticed how much the public hates lawyers? Doctors make mistakes all the time. It is impossible for any person to be right 100% of the time. I know I will make mistakes. But thanks to tort reform, when a doctor does make a mistake, medical malpractice damages are often capped in some way. Think about that! The public went along with laws that were detrimental to their interests in order to screw over lawyers. Did you listen to what the Republican nominees were saying over the last year? They blamed our military struggles in Iraq and Afghanistan on the lawyers! I didn’t observe any lawyers swooping into Iraq and getting in the way of military operations. But what do I know? I’m an entitled loser who didn’t “hustle” enough. It makes me laugh to think that the incompetent officers in our military have been given a free pass for the fiascos in Iraq and Afghanistan because the politicians and public blame the lawyers.

    Don’t do it lemmings! Do you think that the pigs saying, “now is the best time to go to law school,” actually respect you? As one pig dean of a low ranked law sewer recently said, the market for lawyers is bimodal. There is a small group of elite six figure talent, and then there are the rest of the lawyers valued in the $40-50,000 range (putting it generously). The pig dean said his school only hires the six figure talent. Let me tell you what these pigs really think about you lemmings. You are not in their club. A crummy JD degree from a low ranked toilet does not get you in their club. What the law school pigs want from you is your student loan money. They don’t give a damn about you. Hard work and “hustling” will not get you into their club. They will always view you as a loser with your toilet law degree.

    E-4 Mafia

  4. St. Louis U. Sewer of Law is also working hard at the online law alcohol game. Check out the undergraduate law degree, or the master's!

  5. The new law building looks like a converted sweatshop. Very fitting.

  6. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingJune 2, 2016 at 5:37 PM

    E-4 Mafia:

    I concur that nobody should be attending law school for several years. It is not a good deal right now, nor in the foreseeable future. With that being said, the law is still a noble profession. The law is the bulwark against tyranny and has served this republic very well. The problem now and the main reason lawyers are hated is because there are too many of us chasing bullshit law suits, milking and churning files and ambulance chasing. There are far too many attorneys. 1.8 million and multiplying. We are all chasing the same, elusive 3 bill DUI client. All I am doing is undercutting another desperate solo. I have little work, shitty income, tons of student loans, West Publishing hocking me for a payment, Obama Care and a car that's falling apart. Construction and Labor trades drive nice Silverados. The Law sucks for making a living for an ordinary, unconnected lawyer like me. The pie is too thinly spread near the bottom for criminal and PI among us who can't get into Big Law or gub'mint.

  7. 900 to 500. So.. about 175 average class size between all 3 years and during any year, give or take.

    Guess what?

    Big Deal.. Doesn't matter as far as the graduates. I can assure you that there aren't enough openings for 175 new JDs in that market area every year. There's probably not even 75..

    Of those, how many are good jobs justifying the student loan debt. Probably 5-10 right?

    The rest drop off quickly into smallaw, doc review, temp work.

    A third of the class - right off the top - won't even find any job, etc. and are unlikely to ever find legal employment. After the one-year mark, chances of ever finding a legal job fade tremendously.

    There isn't a need for one single new lawyer from anyone not in the T6 at this point and many of them still can't find quality work, if any.

    Law is what I predicted years ago: The bullshit gloss has finally worn off. It used to be that average grads could pretend to be lawyers for a few years. They could land a job, dress in their little suit and tie, do insurance defense or minor criminal along with some assigned counsel and scrape by pretending their lives were good driving a 1998 Honda Civic around town.

    Student debt was not yet at 6-figure levels starting out and the economy was still lurching along under artificial bubbles.

    Now: ID mills have closed up shop. The carriers are fighting every claim. Assigned counsel work is sparse and given out to friends and who you know. Too many lawyers to butter that bread. The jam is way too thin.. Minor criminal is cutthroat and rates have declined substantially while competition has increased dramatically.

    Nobody handles traffic. People handle it themselves unless its a ticket out of town and you don't want to drive 120 miles for the court appearance.

    Yeah.. people could pretend to be successful lawyers 20 years ago. They weren't then but it was easier. Driving around town in a 10-yr. old car is the giveaway but the loans were manageable and weren't eating them up quite so much. And, as I said, the economy was still being pumped up by the central planners to some degree. The bag of tricks hadn't been exhausted at that time.

    Now, new JD's are starting with $300K in the rack in non-dischargeable student loan debt. LegalZoom and technology have cut doc review to the bone - one more safety net gone..

    Law is what I've always said it was: The connected kids are the ones who miraculously survived 20 years. Not only survived but prospered. Yep, somehow they survived all the cuts and even got promoted at their firms while grads with far more intelligence and credentials got the Axe. I know people who are 20-year Associates at their firms. What? You say? No such thing..

    Normally no.. But I'm not going to out myself because I see them still there.

    Most large firms are political. Partners are political and get funneled business from outside friends they know. Has nothing to do with merit. When the veneer finally wore off, you see that law works for those from wealth and connections. There's no longer enough good paying work for the rest. There's not even a pretense of putting on an act anymore. Sure, the firms still hire and do stealth layoffs and try to play the game but that's all it is. In 3 years, that Associate won't be there..

    A few entries back the Top 4 lawyer posted all about this. Unless you are connected, all you do is fall down after so many years. And that's with the best credentials. Law is a game for the rich. Always has been.

    1. The survival rate in good associate or other good lawyer jobs in law is low. I earn in the mid 50s in private practice with my t4 law and t4 undergrad degrees after paying my health insurance.

      I just counted the number of employment applications I made in the last year- 150 employment applications. How is that for speeding one's professional time? Do you think hundreds of futile hours sending in employment applications while earning a salary that makes any advanced degree a bad bet, and really a disaster in my very high cost area, is a life?

      Each of my lawyer jobs has been a disaster because there are lawyers flooding the job market for much too little work to go around. In house you are an ant - one of a swarming colony of ants and will be stepped on and crushed as you age. Most law firms have serious overcapacity and few opportunities for full-time career positions as a lawyer.

      Many of my fellow older t4 grads are impoverished as they do not have full time permanent jobs as lawyers and cannot get those jobs no matter what they do. They are not young. You lose your financial value as a lawyer once you hit middle age unless you hit huge amounts of good fortune.

      The age triangular job market in law is very real. If you are a woman or minority especially, a t4 law degree is likely a long term ticket to financial ruin. You will likely have no employment opportunities once you hit age 50 with that t4 law degree.

    2. 3:29 here. What is revealing is the number of surviving lawyers in a particular practice area over a period of time in each law firm who were there when I worked there. Mostly with me, the major or midsized law firms where I worked either dissolved altogether or there are few or no survivor lawyers who overlapped me doing what I do a few years after I left.

      Many of my colleagues who laterally moved to new law firms were fired.

      It is disconcerting that a very big law firm would throw out all or almost all of the lawyers in a practice area over a period of several years, but that has happened in law firms where I worked more than once. You may have one career lawyer who gets to stay at the law firm long term in a practice area. Mostly the holders of the coveted positions in those firms turn over entirely every few years and keep getting younger.

      Even with the one or two firms in my city that are successful and self sustaining in the practice area, the survivors are heavily white male with few women surviving and most of the few longer term women in associate roles more than 20 years out. There are no minorities left after 15 years at the firm or even 10 years, in any practice area, although they bring in a few new minorities for show.

      An associate position in a big law firm is a plum position today no matter what the person's age. A career associate or counsel position in a midsized or large law firm is a rarity.

      Even top notch generalists in corporate from these firms have been fallen soldiers for years. The work is not there to sustain the up or out system and the number of lawyers put through the system. Some very talented corporate lawyers I knew failed to get long term positions when they were about 35 and others at age 50. It is a brutal jungle in the legal profession.

      You can network till the cows come home. It is hard to bring in paying legal work and hard to get a job. Years of efforts do not usually produce a career except for the lucky few who are mostly white male.

  8. What most law students don't realize is that the work we lawyers do everyday is mostly unpleasant and difficult. It wears you out and never really gets better. Most lawyers would press the reset button and do something else if they could go back in time.

    1. This is a very good, and often ignored, point: it's a profession built on conflict. However noble that is-and I'd agree that it can be noble-it's still conflict. We've got an adversarial legal system-and sometimes it's not just your opponent-you have conflict with the your client, the judge, the judge's staff-some days it seems just about everybody wants a piece. It can be extremely draining, and for what? As a desperate solo dealing with the $500 DUI client who insists on a jury trial, it doesn't seem so noble at times.
      Classmates who got education degrees and went to teach HS are now, twenty years out, making thousands more than me with much better-and cheaper-benefits. And they'll retire at 55 with full retirement. No chance of that happening to us desperate solos.
      I had the chance to do it all over again, I wouldn't do it all over again.

    2. Spot on, 7:48. I tell my non-lawyer friends that my profession is the only one I can think of where there is a smart person who is being paid to prevent me from doing what I was paid to accomplish. Everything is a fight and a struggle. Who would want this for their future?

    3. These schools are a shitty investment for everyone (the taxpayer, student, student's families), except for the law schools themselves.

  9. Law skool is an expensive waste of 3 years.

  10. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingJune 3, 2016 at 8:51 PM

    I recently had my colonoscopy. After I took the Liquid Prep crap, my shit looked like that photo. One good thing about being a lawyer is that when my crappy Obama Care Bronze Level Plan with the trillion dollar deductible decided not to cover my procedure, I wrote a good letter. Three months later, they paid for the thing as "Preventative." Saved me nearly 2 Grand. Told me that the Doc incorrectly "coded" it as Diagnostic. When they find a "benign" polyup, it is still "preventive." Free legal advice: Under Obama Care, a Colonoscopy is free!!!!! When you get to be a balding, paunchy underemployed, debt ridden, 10 year old car driving schlepper solo like me, a free colonoscopy is like hitting the little lotto!!! Not as good as a crash victim with good liability and fractures and INSURANCE or DEEP pockets. (Mega Ball)


    On June 1, 2016, St. Louis Fox Channel 2 posted an AP story labeled “Saint Louis University law school looks to redefine itself.” Take a look at the following excerpt:

    “Saint Louis University’s law school has brought in a consulting firm and made staffing changes as it seeks to redefine itself amid a recent decline in enrollment in its program and many law schools throughout the country.

    In 2012, Dean Annette Clark abruptly resigned in part over anger at being left out of important decisions, such as the school’s relocation to a new downtown building, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

    The interim dean, Tom Keefe, held the position for six months before quitting after provoking an uproar over comments even he called “politically incorrect.”

    Since then, the school has quietly reduced staff. School spokeswoman Jessica Ciccone said that was done through attrition and voluntary buyouts.

    Like many law schools nationally, Saint Louis University’s has seen an enrollment decline in recent years. The number of students has dropped from about 950 in 2010 to about 500 in 2015.

    Among American Bar Association-approved schools, law school enrollment dropped to 119,775 students in 2014 from a historic high of 147,525 in 2010, the newspaper reported.

    “We won’t ever be as big as we were 10 years ago. But I think we’re in a good position. We’re poised for growth,” said Dean Michael Wolff, who announced in April that he’ll be stepping down from his position after 30 years at the university. He hasn’t given a date for his exit, but a 13-member committee is searching for his replacement.”

    It’s funny how the law school pigs ALWAYS act as though they chose to “right-size” their toilets. Until they faced fewer applicants, their enrollments continued to swell. Hell, the cockroaches continue to admit a HIGHER PERCENTAGE of applicants – and have done so consistently for at least a decade. This is despite the fact that smarter college grads are now avoiding law school.

  12. Is it just me or is it a lot easier to get into law school nowadays?

    1. The smarter kids got the memo some time ago to move into other fields if they had the academic chops to do so.

      Unless connnected, law is essentially a pie-eating contest where the prize is more pie. You will break your ass, sacrificing your youth, your vitality, yes, possibly your health,in a quest for the ever-lesser chance of making partner. On top of that, the work itself sucks and has been described by many as soul-crushing. It's just not worth the climb anymore compared to other fields.

      This has opened up a lot of "opportunities" for less-academically-qualified applicants to take a seat in law school, especially as we work our way downscale, although the real bottom-feeder schools (i.e., Cooley et. al.) were always basically open admissions to my knowledge.


    Courtesy of the Law School Numbers profile for $TT. Loui$ Univer$iTTy Sewer of Law:


    Saint Louis University School of Law is one of the professional graduate schools of Saint Louis University. Opened in 1843, it is the first law school west of the Mississippi River. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, the school has been ABA approved since 1924 and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Housed in Morrissey Hall, the school offers both full time and part time programs. The school is also home to the Omer Poos Law Library which is one of the largest law libraries in the state of Missouri in terms of volumes held.”

    Who gives a damn about the size of a law library or the number of volumes? You can find all the info you need with online sources.


    St. Louis Law School is considered a Somewhat Competitive law school, which accepts only 65% of its applicants. Comparatively, [SLU] is Higher than the average cost for law school.”

    Who wouldn’t want to enroll in such an expensive-ass TT program?!?! Morons keep applying to these cesspools.


    Deciding to attend law school requires a large financial investment with the goal of securing employment upon graduation. The St. Louis University class of 2015 had an employment rate of 88% with 2% pursuing an additional degree.”

    Still want to sign on the dotted line, Dumbass?!?! Keep in mind that these jobs include non-law positions, as well as part-time and temporary work. In other words, you do not need a goddamn law degree to land these posts. Have fun working at PetSmart or selling insurance, while owing $140K+ in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt.

  14. If you are going into law today, you need a backup in terms of a spouse that has a safe job with health insurance. It will be very hard to get any type of career job from St. Louis, or from a T3 or T6.

    Even if you are in the lucky group that makes it to associate, you need to plan for an income of $40,000 to $50,000 a year after age 50. That is because there is a very limited market for older lawyers,

    With the high cost of law school today, it rarely makes sense economically to go to law school. That is true for most of the T3 and T6, and everything else.

    Unless you are exceptional in every way, forget it - do not go to law school.

  15. Take a brief look at this silly nonsense:

    "William C. Wefel Center for Employment Law

    Drawing on its outstanding and nationally recognized faculty in this field, the School of Law established the Center for Employment Law in 1987. The Center is one of the first and few programs to offer students the opportunity to specialize in this area and to obtain a Concentration in Employment Law.

    The Center's extensive curriculum offers a broad range of courses addressing the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees, including the prohibition of discrimination; establishment of collective bargaining relationships in the private and public sector; regulation of employee benefits, health and safety in the workplace; and arbitration and mediation of labor and employment disputes.

    To obtain a Concentration in Employment Law, students complete 11 hours of approved coursework in the employment field and write a paper of publishable quality on an employment law topic in addition to receiving a J.D. degree. All students in the Concentration program take the basic law labor course."

    Perhaps, these TT law students are too damn dumb to realize that attorneys are not a protected class, as it pertains to employment. Furthermore, decent law firms don't want to hire "old" students or grads, i.e. those over the age of 30. Plus, these offices also do not want to hire graduates of garbage law schools. But have fun studying workplace discrimination, Stupid.


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