Saturday, July 9, 2016

Law School Pigs Enroll Fewer, While Admitting Higher Percentages of Dumber Applicants, But the Scam Will Continue

Pigs Lower Enrollment: On July 2, 2016, Paul Caron posted an entry labeled “Chronicle: Highly Ranked Law Schools Like Minnesota, Washington & Lee Cut Enrollments, Costs To Survive.” It is coverage of a July 1, 2016 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, by Katherine Mangan.” That story was headlined “ Law Schools Cut Back to Counter Tough Financial Times.” Since I am not going to shell out $89 for a one year premium subscription to that rag, we will rely on Caron’s excerpts:

“Universities often required law schools to hand over 25 percent or more of their revenues, a portion of which covered the cost of maintaining buildings and providing common administrative services. But the days when law schools had healthy coffers to raid have long since passed. The flow, in many cases, is going in the opposite direction. Some schools are having to shower incoming students with scholarships that take some of the financial pressure off of the students but dig the schools deeper into debt. 

"When a law school loses money, you’re asking parents of undergraduates to subsidize six-figure law-school professors," said Dorothy A. Brown, a [tax] professor of law at Emory University. "That’s a hard sell." 

She predicted that in the next three to five years, "some university is going to pull the plug and say, ‘Enough.’" 

So why hasn’t that happened yet? 

Prestige is one reason. Having a law school gives a university cachet that it’s reluctant to lose. Closing a law school would diminish the value of degrees earned by law graduates who serve on university boards and are often big donors.

No one wants to be the first to close a law school. 

And some universities do believe that the enrollment decline has hit rock bottom. With many of their highest-paid professors nearing retirement and applicant pools showing hints of a recovery, some are cautiously optimistic that they’ll be at least breaking even soon.” [Emphasis mine]

In sum, it comes down to ego and pride. Apparently, college$ and univer$itie$ are willing to shell out millions annually, in order to prop up pathetic-ass law schools – for the sake of “prestige.” Then again, we are talking about other people’s money, whether it comes from the taxpayer or from funds furnished by alumni and private donors.

How Many Toilets Will Be Flushed?: On July 2, 2016, Paul Campos authored a piece entitled “How many ABA law schools are going to go out of business.” Take a look at his conclusion:

“This isn’t rocket surgery in other words. 

Again, as long as the federal loan gravy train stays on the tracks, and/or private educational loans remain non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, pretty much any law school should be able to totter back toward government-subsidized solvency, even if half their graduates fail the bar and half of the rest don’t get jobs. 

The ABA’s proposed new standard that would require 75% of grads to pass the bar within two years will pose a real problem if it’s ever actually enacted and enforced. But a knowledgeable observer has some serious doubts about whether current reform efforts will amount to much of anything: 

The capture of the ABA Section on Legal Education remains strong, and to group of solid law schools have demonstrated an unwillingness to call out bad actors, choosing solidarity over collective integrity. Law deans and the AALS will never say out loud that several dozen law schools (not just Infilaw’s) are filling their classes with unqualified students in clear violation of ABA rules, who will be financially ruined as a result. The NYT piece on Valpo brought out the human cost, but vocal legal educators quickly attacked it as another unfair, unbalanced hit piece. 

We defend ourselves with talk of “providing opportunity”, “need for more minorities in the legal profession,” “let prospective students make the choice,” “peer review study proves it’s a great deal over the long run,” “rule of law important to society(!),” “Obama is a law graduate who did not practice law”—and replay the rationalization loop. 

The ABA Section will scramble a bit in response, and make a few moves for show, but things will largely carry on. The new bar standards are significantly better than before, but it will be a drawn out process with various ways to avoid or delay serious action. The random audit plan is weak, poorly structured (an audit triggered by red flags would be much more effective), and non-transparent. And so it goes. 

Sorry about the cynicism, but I have lost all faith that responsible internal actors will take real action to fix things. 

I wish I could disagree, but for now I’d take the over on that 200 ABA law schools (there are currently 204) five years from now bet.” [Emphasis mine]

Campos seems to be on target once again. I don’t expect more than 3-4 ABA-accredited trash pits to close in approximately the next decade. Hell, you will see more univer$itie$ purchase garbage law schools. Look at moronic actions of Texas A&M and Western Michigan University as recent examples.

Conclusion: In the final analysis, the law school cockroaches have taken several measures to slow down the process, i.e. handing out more “scholarships” to students with decent grades and LSAT scores, faculty and staff buyouts, selective layoffs, and admitting a higher percentage of smaller and dumber applicant pools. When that has failed, law schools have been sold to established college$ and univer$itie$. Back on January 30, 2013, the mentally ill cockroach known as Brian Leiter was quoted in the New York Times as saying “he expected as many as 10 schools to close over the coming decade, and half to three-quarters of all schools to reduce class size, faculty and staff.” 

Nearly three and a half years later, only one ABA cesspool has perished – and that was through the merger of William Mitchell COL and Hamline Univever$iTTTy Sewer of Law. As long as the federal government continues to issue student loans as though they were Monopoly dollars, then the pigs will do what they can to wait out closures. Just don’t expect the remaining academic thieves to take big pay cuts.


  1. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingJuly 9, 2016 at 4:20 PM

    To paraphrase GW Bush: "Not gonna happen." Why? Shelfish, self-interest. They don't want to end up as shelepper solos like my buddies and I representing laid off middle class refugees for 3 bill DUI's competing with thousands and thousands of other solos for those same three bills. We practice out of decrepit "professional" 50s faux Colonial style suburban office buildings-former dentist offices with fading signs, giant weeds and worn carpets. Some adjunct from Northern or Valpo will not be hired by Jenner or Kirklnad and they know it.

  2. If the lawl skools go, then the weaker regular colleges go, and the world of American higher ed collapses. This is why they are propping these crap lawl skools up.

    1. Exactly. We've spent decades and billions of dollars saying "if you want a good job, go to college." Not completely false, but not completely true, either.

      Legacy admittance to elite colleges has always mattered, and "good manufacturing jobs" for high-school graduates in the 60s have always mattered. The problem is that 50 years have happened in the meantime, a loss of jobs coupled with an educational arms race reduced access to the "good jobs", and now the lay of the land has changed where very few benefit from higher ed for any job at all.

      Gotta keep the music playing, however...

  3. An app now replaces lawyer advice for parking violations in new York.

    Still want to go to a law sewer, lemmings?

    1. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingJuly 10, 2016 at 3:33 PM


      I concur with your message but dissent on your reasoning. Most folks do not hire us for a parking ticket or two. I have had clients call me and ask for advice on whether to take a day off work and contest them. I advise the client to just "pay the damn thing" or send in a written response. I do get retained to negotiate thousands of dollars worth of violations and license reinstatements. No app will can ever "restore" driving privileges. That takes an attorney who knows the "system." But, that sort of law is not a sustainable, long term path to a middle class income. APP or not.

  4. The picture on here is not accurate, 'cause the thief in the picture at least has the balls to break into a place of business. Unlike the fucking scum that operate law schools.

  5. I graduated at about 1994. It was unethical for Touro to run the school back then and it is even more so now. You must have worked your tail off. You have every reason to be very proud but your results weren't typical. Your year had the best students that Touro ever got. Touro needs to shut down. They should sell the building and then use the proceeds to try to help alumni get their lives back on track. Some of us ended up doing alright in spite of the Touro degree, but that's no excuse.

  6. As long as the money flows-and at this point there is no sign that it's ever going to stop-no ABA accredited law schools will close.

  7. Uncle Sam needs to require law schools taking Federal loan $$ to have some of their own skin in the game -- such as clawbacks if the loan defaults or less than 100% of the loan guaranteed by Uncle. That is, if the Feds cannot see that the best course of action is to stop law school loans altogether.


    Back to the piece from Paul Campos. Here is a revealing portion regarding the pigs' mentality:

    "So is anybody going to actually pull the plug? Paul Caron thinks so:

    While many law schools are experiencing trouble, predictions of institutions closing have not come true. Caron thinks no university wants to be the first to close its law school but he believes eventually it will happen.

    “I find it incomprehensible that we’ll have 200 law schools in business five years from now,” he said.

    I’m not so sure. Even a place like Valparaiso can probably eventually break even if they just get back to the faculty-student ratio they had a generation ago, which, under administrative force majeure, they appear to be racing toward at the academic equivalent of warp speed:

    Speaking recently to Indiana Lawyer, Dean Andrea Lyon, who will soon begin her third year at Valparaiso’s helm, was focused on the future. She said the worst is over for the school and she wants to look forward rather than second-guess past decisions. She noted remaining faculty was willing to roll up their sleeves to do the work that needs to be done.

    Still, she acknowledged the past school year was very stressful with the most difficult part coming from the decision to cut employees. Ten tenured faculty members accepted the buyout and the school has given termination contracts to three junior tenure-track professors who will leave after the 2016-2017 academic year. Also, seven staff members were laid off.

    Reducing personnel along with cutting other expenditures everywhere possible, the law school is slashing its annual budget by $4 million, which is roughly a third. Teaching loads for the remaining faculty will increase by one to two additional courses per semester. Also, the size of the incoming class this fall will number about 75 students compared to 130 in 2015 and 174 in 2014."

    Why pull the plug on their filthy operation, as long as they can continue to suck on the federal student loan teat? Instead, the cockroaches can scale things back a little - and ensure that several of their colleagues can retire when they choose. The students and graduates are a different story. The law schools don't give a damn about them.

    1. Caron is correct.

      The toilets will shut down eventually, but it will take longer than it should (b/c of the federal loans).

      The schools are trying to stay alive long enough so that their professors can secure a comfortable retirement for themselves. Then, they'll shut down.

  9. When considering an applicant, do admission committees ask themselves, “would I want this person to represent a family member?” The answer is that the pigs at the low ranked schools would never want the dumber applicants they are admitting to represent a family member. But the pigs don’t care who they let in because they have the cash and knowledge of the legal profession to hire someone who is actually competent. To hell with everyone else.

    One prosecutor I know had to watch a fed up judge repeatedly pound their fist and scream at a young defense attorney in open court for several minutes. It was not fun for the prosecutor because they were worried about IAC. This defense attorney graduated from a fourth tier commode. The defense attorney’s strategy at the preliminary hearing was to ask every government witness why they were being dishonest and to take portions of witness statements out of context. Even though the defense attorney was granted continuances and had several months to prepare a motion to suppress incriminating evidence, the defense attorney waited until after the motions deadline to submit their motion. The motion that was submitted was a canned motion with references to a completely different case and contained incomprehensible arguments that the prosecutor could not even respond to. After the motion was denied, the client finally hired a new lawyer. But the prosecutor had to litigate the motion again when the new defense attorney filed a second motion to suppress. The judge gave the new attorney the chance to argue their motion. That fourth tier law graduate wasted everyone’s time. The prosecutor told me it was extremely frustrating to work with someone that dumb and incompetent.

    One of the responsibilities of the law schools is to produce competent lawyers for the criminal justice system. But the pigs don’t care. They just want to collect the student loan money.

  10. Question for Nando (or anyone else who may know the answer to this):

    Are law schools obligated to report any sort of faculty buyouts and/or layoffs to the ABA?

    Thank you.


    Back on October 23, 2015, the Atlantic published a Paul Campos piece that was entitled "The Law-School Scam Continues." Check out this excerpt:

    "Last year I published an article outlining how three for-profit law schools run by InfiLaw, a subsidiary of the Chicago-based private-equity firm Sterling Partners, was radically slashing its already-modest admissions standards while collecting hundreds of millions of dollars in federally funded educational loans, many of which were almost certain to never be paid back.

    The article described how David Frakt, a candidate for the dean position at one of the schools, had his presentation to the faculty cut short after he suggested the school’s abandonment of entrance requirements would likely lead to catastrophic bar passage results. The account proved to be too candid for the administration’s comfort.

    Because law-school graduates typically take the bar examination either three or four years after their initial enrollment, the slashing—or perhaps more accurately the de facto elimination—of admissions standards, which began in earnest at the Infilaw schools in 2012, is only now beginning to be reflected in state bar results. Yet those results are already providing compelling evidence that Frakt was correct—that the bar-passage crisis he predicted is likely to get much worse, and that, moreover, this crisis could affect a large proportion of the nation’s law schools.


    The Law-School Scam

    Bar-passage rates at the InfiLaw schools are now in a free fall. (The following percentages are for first-time takers of the July exam in the schools’ home states.) Florida Coastal’s bar-passage rate has fallen from 76 percent to 59 percent, Charlotte’s has fallen from 78 percent to 47 percent, and Arizona Summit’s has gone from 75 percent to an astonishing 30.6 percent.

    This collapse has taken place despite the fact that, according to allegations in a lawsuit filed by a former Arizona Summit administrator, all three schools have been offering money to graduates who the schools identified as being at especially high risk for failure, to get them to hold off on taking the bar exam. Indeed, in July Arizona Summit’s dean confirmed that she had called various graduates the night before the exam, imploring them to consider the “opportunity” to withdraw from the test, in exchange for a $10,000 living stipend, that would be paid to them if they enrolled in enhanced bar-preparation courses provided by the school."

    Do you think that the pigs have any intention of giving up those taxpayer dollars any time soon?!?! Hell, they will actively recruit at homeless shelters and the VA before they voluntarily turn down federal student loan money.


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