Friday, December 2, 2016

Education Professor States That 10-15 ABA Commodes Could Shut Down Due to Declining Enrollment

Booyah: On December 1, 2016, the ABA Journal featured a Stephanie Francis Ward piece that was entitled “10 to 15 law schools could close if enrollment keeps shrinking, higher-ed market analyst says.” Enjoy this spectacular opening:

“Although there’s been a contraction in the law school market, tuition continues to rise, including at private institutions that take first-year students with lower LSAT scores and have high attrition rates, says Robert Zemsky, a professor of education at the University of Pennsylvania. Zemsky predicts several of these schools will close if trends continue. 

His study, Mapping a Contracting Market, analyzed 171 law schools and found that enrollment dropped by 21 percent at private law schools between 2011 and 2015. At public law schools, enrollment dropped by 18 percent. Zemsky also analyzed attrition rates at schools within both categories. 

He found that while private schools with the lowest attrition rates and the best LSAT scores had the highest market price per student, those with the highest attrition rates and the worst LSAT scores still cost more than private institutions seen as second or third-tier law schools. Zemsky’s use of market price also figures in scholarships and grants received from schools, rather than just the listed tuition prices. 

“You’d think the least attractive school would charge the lowest price. What they’re doing is admitting students with relatively low LSAT scores, and charging them a high price for gambling on them,” says Zemsky, who presented his findings at a recent Chicago conference hosted by the Access Group Center for Research & Policy Analysis. 

If the law student market contracts further, it’s possible that between 10 and 15 schools will close, says Zemsky, a founding director of Penn’s Institute for Research on Higher Education. He notes that law schools are already losing money. 

“You can’t continue to muddle through and hold your breath,” he told the Chicago audience on Nov. 16. “You can only hold your breath for so long.” [Emphasis mine]

Short of open admissions, enrollment will continue to decline. Smarter college graduates are avoiding law school in droves. At the rate of tuition increases, even waterheads are reconsidering this route. What the hell is the point of following a proven path to financial ruin?!?

Prior Forecasts: Back on November 3, 2016, Paul Caron wrote a TaxProf Blog entry that was headlined “After Indiana Tech, How Many More Law Schools Will Close? 20? 80? Will A Top 25 School Be Among Them?” Look at this conclusion:

“The likelihood of law school closures has been a hot topic among law school professors and bloggers for the past two years. 

Jerry Organ, of University of St. Thomas, compared today’s law school environment to what happened to dental schools in the 1980s. Ten percent closed due to a significant decline in the number of applicants. Could 10 percent of law schools shut down, he asked? 

Dorothy Brown, of Emory University School of Law, believes a top law school will shut down in the next two to four years. “Primarily, the law school would have to be hemorrhaging a lot of money over a sustained period of time with no end in sight,” she wrote. “Not just a one-time deficit, but millions of dollars in deficits over a sustained period.” 

And David Barnhizer, of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, said 80 law schools are at risk of closing. “Just as the legal employment market is over-saturated due to the surplus numbers of graduates law schools pumped into the system over the past twenty years, the productive capacity of the law school ‘industry’ is entirely out of balance with all foreseeable need for law graduates,” he wrote. “Given the direction the traditional employment markets for lawyers are heading no more than 80-100 law schools could easily serve America’s need for new law graduates.” 

In a Kaplan Test Prep survey, 65 percent of law school admissions officers thought it would be a good idea if at least a few law schools closed.” [Emphasis mine]

I’m sure none of those admi$$ion$ cockroaches felt that their dung heap should be closed. Not a single one!

Back on October 3, 2012, Brian Leiter prognosticated that up to 10 ABA toilets could be shuttered within 10 years. His piece was labeled “Predictions about Closings of ABA-Accredited Law School Over the Next Decade.” To wit:

“That 15% think no law schools at all will close may be wishful thinking, but perhaps there is a sound explanation for thinking that correct. My own opinion was that we'll see several law schools close during the next decade, but probably not more than ten--and that was the majority view among readers by a wide margin. Most vulnerable are going to be free-standing law schools that are relatively young. Relatively young law schools part of universities that are in vulnerable financial shape are also likely candidates.” [Emphasis mine]

Conclusion: Since then, Hamline Sewer of Law merged with William Mitchell Commode of Law – and Indiana TTTTech Law $chool announced that it will shut down in July 2017. Thomas Cooley has “affiliated” with Western Michigan University and still had to close up its Ann Arbor campus, one among several . Other cesspits have been purchased by larger schools, such as Texas Wesleyan selling its ass to Texas A&M. Several ABA schools have had to slash support staff and buyout “professor” contracts. Enrollment continues to drop, and schools are taking in dumber students. Do you get the picture yet, cretin?! This is excellent news for humanity, but a blow to the greedy academic pigs. Again, do not piss away your future just so these “educators” can buy a vacation home or lease another Mercedes.


  1. Your putting a price on education which opens doors for people and changes the life and ecominical status for people.

    using your example, no one should become a Dr., lawyer, pharmacist, etc...because it "cost" to much. While your at it, just dont consider any form of higher education because "it cost to much".

    That is a sad position to take. There is only one life to live. The student loan program in the US was established to level the playing feild so that the average person could obtain higher education along side the "rich" class.

    Ok, i agree that some of these universities have gone over board with tutition hikes over the years as a result, but ISN'T IT BETTER TO ENTER / PLAY THE GAME IN ORDER TO HAVE A BETTER LIFE...

    Otherwise just graduate high school and work in the fast food industry, or a low paying job. (Education is supose to prevent this) !!!!

    Yes you will have to take out loans and pay them back rightfully so ... but the other alternative is really self limiting, and self defeating

    1. Student loans have fueled a culture of fiefdoms and sinecures in all of American higher education. Meanwhile, rampant overproduction of useless Liberal Arts degrees - including law as a practical matter - has sent the value of a credential plummeting. Would you buy the Zimbabwe Dollar on Margin? That's what you're doing when you borrow money for a JD.

    2. You must be a mindless post.

      My oldest child, a radiologist, at 31, is looking at a first "attending physician" salary, STARTING salary of about $320,000, PLUS full benefits, plus 8 (EIGHT) weeks of vacation ANNUALLY. Hello!!!

      My child can pay off all medical school debt in 3 years, or less.

      Law school will RUIN, that is, TOTALLY RUIN, a huge percentage of law students in the bottom 180 law schools.

    3. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingDecember 2, 2016 at 6:58 PM

      There is nothing inherently wrong with obtaining a legal education. However, understand that there are 1.8 million lawyers and growing. In and around Chicago, there are billboards advertising traffic court defense for $49.00. That's not service, that's desperation. Most Solos and small firms in this over saturated market are in the business of undercutting another desperate attorney.

    4. Maybe your radiologist child had a very competitive record and/or a specialty fellowship after residency. However, radiology is not even one of the most competitive medical specialties. Your child may have done particularly well. A few years ago, most radiologists coming out of residency were getting the $300,000 plus offers you describe. Now the market is apparently not what it was, but the last I looked supply and demand for radiologists was approximately balanced.

      Since radiology is mostly an institutional-based specialty (although there are some free-standing radiology centers which get lower reimbursements than hospital-based centers), the question is the longevity of radiology jobs, because that is the big problem for the hordes of lawyers coming into big law or federal clerkships. Maybe you can comment on that point, or maybe you don't know. How long can one expect to be able to work as radiologist is the question someone thinking of being a doctor and going into that specialty needs to know.

      I can say of my high school and college classmates who are doctors, none are radiologists, all are still working for a long career, with the exception of one person. That person had Ivy League type credentials, like an Ivy undergrad, T4 law school graduate would have, but burned out or was pushed out of an institutional job as a doctor after many years, and a few years before normal retirement age. The others are still chugging along in their medical careers. I don't know incomes or opportunities to work full time for them, but at least the doctors are staying put in what appears to be the jobs they have had for a long time.

      Many of the lawyers in my class by contrast have been forced to retire early if they were successful.

      For the women lawyers of my class from the T6 of my class or a little earlier, it is a not great story if one did not make partner at a top tier law firm. Some of the women who have jobs are struggling as solos or counsel to small or small mid-law firms without a strong practice base. Most are not nearly breaking six figures with degrees from T6 law schools. A tiny number of women are partners still working. Many of the women partners were pushed out a long time ago though. A few are in non-law jobs that are basically administrative and not all that high level, if you are talking about a graduate of a T3 law school. The numbers of older women (these are all grads of T6 law schools) earning anything close to $180,000 a year, is tiny. Few of these women have generous pension savings to retire on. Many are relying on a husband's earnings and a very few on a divorce settlement. One tragic situation of a physically beautiful woman when young is living in low income housing after being sought after for summer and entry level jobs at a T4 law school and having an impressive wedding announcement in the New York Times, with a upper middle class family background.

      In law, for many
      older women at least from the T6, who one marries and whether the spouse can provide good economic support turned out to be more key to financial survival than the T6 law degree, which did not provide a great return for a school that advertises a $180,000 starting salary.

      A number of older women from my practice area who went to good but lower ranked schools who were not classmates were forced from the legal profession altogether after many years in big law.

      That is what makes medicine a much better choice than law if you are still in a position to decide.

    5. One more key point about law - up or out policies and class year hiring are the norm in almost all law firms that can pay a lawyer a six figure income. They are the norm in jobs relied on by top law schools for placement.

      That means that once you hit 25 years out of law school, there are almost job opportunities for you in law. At that point, a Harvard Law degree honors will get you a temp job or marginal part-time counsel job in small law, after months and months of being unemployed if you lose a lawyer job. The lawyer job losses are very frequent in an up or out, class year hiring environment.

      With the exception of a tiny number of partners, your children's generation will replace you in the high paid big law jobs, and there will be no job opportunities left for many T8 lawyers in their 50s or older. The opportunities that will be left, to earn $55,000 in a year where you have some income, scraping together legal work, after graduating from Harvard or Columbia Law many years ago- are awful enough to make you really sick about your decision to go to a top law school.

      What happens is that each class of lawyers replaces much of the classes that graduated earlier. You can apply to hundreds of jobs with that T8 law degree and Ivy undergrad and no one will touch you with a ten foot pole after age 50. That is class year hiring, and it is legal.

      Lawyers lose jobs in middle age very frequently because the up or out model requires substantial numbers of big law lawyers to be thrown out of work.

      Do not make the mistake of going to a top law school without checking out the alumni directory. Ask for graduates who fit your profile, in terms of sex, race, sexual orientation, national origin, and see how they really did at age 40, 55, and 60. You don't want to go to Harvard or Columbia Law to earn $85,000 in New York City at age 55. You surely don't want to go to a lower ranked law school if you cannot earn a living as a lawyer at all at age 55.

    6. Please don't compare law to medicine. Medicine left law in the dust a long time ago. Law hasn't been prestigious in decades; the barriers to entry are just too low and the field is horribly flooded. Medicine knows how to protect the brand by controlling entry.

    7. Law, by contrast, does not meaningfully control entry. Any moron can get into law school. Many morons can pass the bar exams.

      As one of the relatively few good lawyers, I deplore the destruction of the profession by in$titutional interests such as the ABA and the law-school scam.

    8. Loans were instituted because a proper civil service, nationalized higher ed system, like Canada/UK/NZ/WE, was too 'communist,' so the free market solution of private-public graft schemes, with children as the saps as created.

  2. Even some big university law schools have effectively shuttered. Case in point is Rutgers-Camden law school. The applications and enrollment dropped tremendously after the Great Recession. Tuition rose dramatically. Job prospects significantly evaporated, adding to the already woeful Philadelphia legal job market. On top of all this, students were not readily passing the Pennsylvania Bar, students were well below the average.

    What's a school to do in such an existenial crisis?

    Cover-up and paper things over by merging with the better-performing Rutgers-Newark.

    Presto! Look at "Rutgers Law School!"

  3. “Smarter college graduates are avoiding law school in droves.”

    According to the AAMC, since the 2006-2007 application cycle, the average MCAT score of a medical school matriculant has increased from 30.3 to 31.4. A score of 30 corresponds to the 79th percentile. A score of 31 corresponds to the 83rd percentile. The GPA of matriculants has shown a similar trend. Since the 2006-2007 application cycle, average total GPA of matriculants increased from 3.64 to 3.70.

    During that period, new medical schools have opened and medical schools have increased class sizes. The number of matriculants increased from 17,361 to 20,631 – an 18% increase. So despite an increase in the number of available medical school seats, medical schools have become more selective. There has also been a significant increase in medical school applicants. Since the 2006-2007 application cycle, the number of applicants increased from 39,108 to 52,550 – a 34% increase. Even though the number of applicants increased, the overall quality of applicants improved too. The average applicant had a higher MCAT score and higher GPA last year than during the 2006-2007 admissions cycle.

    I could not find any data on MBA programs. But I would imagine getting into legitimate business schools (excluding the garbage programs like University of Phoenix) has become much more difficult over that period of time as smart students avoid law school and pursue careers in real professions. Anecdotally, a few years back while I applied to medical schools, admissions staff frequently commented that getting into medical school was harder than ever because they were seeing higher quality applicants. I have also met people who were interested in law school, but choose medicine instead because of the information they found online.

    College students are definitely getting the message. The law school scam blogs have done a tremendous service for this country. Countless people have been saved from being victimized by the law school scam. I wish that I had access to all of the information on the law school scam 15 years ago when I applied. I would have saved three years of my life and $150k for a worthless degree. I know far too many people who salvaged their lives by attending business school, attending medical school, or pursuing careers outside of law. Within the past year, one law school classmate complained that they wished they had enough money in their checking account to afford gas and a pair of shoes. So much for the million dollar premium and hitting it big once you have worked 5, er 10, maybe 15 years in the legal profession.

    1. Med school is a much better deal today than law school. There is job security and a relatively high income available to most doctors.

      Even going to a law school like Columbia or Yale, especially if you are not a white male, the chances of earning a $180,000 salary after age 50 until you are 70 if you live in a big city like New York are not that good. There are many fewer experienced jobs than entry level jobs in law.

      With medicine, the jobs do not start to disappear as doctors hit their 50s and 60s. Doctors can usually work as long as they are physically able. Lawyers can't. Most lawyers are fired long before the age 70 full Social Security benefit retirement age.

  4. There should be, at most, 15 law schools in the entire country. There is simply not a need nor are the jobs there for more.

    We need doctors far more than lawyers, but for whatever reason entry into the medical field is restricted but is not for law, where law is far more of a classist profession to begin with and would require wealthier, worldly, privileged people to defend the interests of the poorer by design. Poorer people loaded with debt make horrible advocates.

  5. It may be shocking that the Univershitty of San Francisco and the even fouler Southwestern Law Skule cost the same, within 1%, as Yale, or that Whittier and Thomas Jefferson cost significantly more than the U of Michigan (with Cooley right on its heels). But the sorts of dolts that go to toilet schools don't have the option of going to Yale or Michigan; it's either a Cooley or nothing. The correct decision, of course, is not to go to law school at all; however, few dolts can turn down the opportunity to attend a Cooley at the cost of almost $300k in borrowed funds. (All schools listed above cost nearly $300k for three years.)

  6. I received an email from my law school asking for money to support scholarships. Normally I just delete emails and discard letters from my law school asking for money. But I felt compelled to respond:

    I will not be making any gifts to the school. Last year, only 50.9% of graduates obtained long term, full time jobs requiring bar passage. 12.3% of 2015 graduates were unemployed. And four graduates obtained non-professional positions, probably in retail or for Starbucks. It is obvious the legal community does not value a JD from the school. So there is no reason for me to subsidize the legal “education” of students, when half of those students will never put their degree to use. Next time you want money, don’t bother including testimonials from scholarship students. Instead, include testimonials from the real beneficiaries – the professors and faculty. I’d like to hear about how they are enjoying their exorbitant six figure salaries. They certainly are not earning their money. The bar passage rate for first time takers was an abysmal 80%. Frankly, I’m not surprised that a year ago, 20 students transferred to better law schools.

    It is amazing that you would ask me to contribute to student scholarships, when the school never offered me a scholarship. The deans told us not to worry about the high cost of legal education. They proclaimed everyone gets a job! Even graduates at the bottom of the class! And we would make more than enough to repay the $150,000 in student loans we borrowed to attend.

    What an incredible turn of events. In the past you could publish fraudulent statistics and lie to students. Now that you have to publish true employment statistics, you need to offer tuition discounts and scholarships to attract students. Only you want people like me to pay.

    Here is some advice. If you want people to give, try to act like you care about them while they are attending your school. I tried working with your career services “professionals” while I was a student and after I graduated. All they did was provide worthless advice to keep mailing resumes and to network. When I graduated, nobody from the school cared if I landed a job. The only call I got from the school after graduation was a request to donate $500. When I said I just graduated with $150,000 in debt and no job, the person asked me to donate $250. The school should be ashamed.

    1. Funny thing, I actually managed to pay back my student loans, but I told my law school to take me off all their call lists and mailing lists. The school and degree did absolutely nothing for me, other than put me in a tremendous hole and given me an extreme amount of anxiety and depression that I truly feel nobody deserves.

      These law school pigs are sick, evil people. I will forever hate the liberal left and academics for the rest of my life. I have never seen anything more predatory and evil than these predatory limousine liberals, who destroy those that are less fortunate than themselves while mocking and attacking them the entire time smugly.

      I know academics always want to deny God, and I suspect they do so because they know if there is a God, they will all be burning in hell. So let them fear that, the same way they forced me into such fear and anxiety due to their scam.

    2. Once you send it that employment survey in Feb/March, you're dead to Career Services....

    3. Ashamed?


    4. Anyone from my law school who is foolish enough to call with a request for money will get a donation of some very colorful profanity.



      I'm not trying to out you. I'm kinda funny with numbers. Anal like that, etc.

      And here's the 509:

      Key point from Wikipedia:

      "The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Loyola for the 2014-2015 academic year is $68,026.[6] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $237,478.[7]"

      That's JUST law school. We're not including any UG debt/living expenses, etc.

      Nor does this include opportunity costs, etc.

      Looking at the numbers, this isn't a "bad" school. The applicants are competitive.


      Like I said, I'm not trying to out you. You could be from any of a number of past class years, etc. there.

      Don't be embarrassed to mention your school. Outside of a T-10 (T6) I don't think it makes a damn difference...

      Point is, there's no way in Hell to get out of a hole like this today with today's economy and the current state of the legal market. TOO MANY LAWYERS for TOO FEW CLIENTS (PAYING) and JOBS for a "Middle Class" lifestyle.

      This is another reason I hate the fucking lecturing Boomers too. They think new grads are shit/lazy. Well, you motherfuckers got in before all the glut and massive tuition increases. You simply didn't graduate law school in such a deep hole, if any, and with a completely glutted market over the past 30 years. In other words, you had a chance economically. We didn't. And, like everything else, you assholes look down your noses and disdain us. Fuck you.

      As far as the donations requests, my experience mirrors the OP. They started with $500, then $250, etc. I repeatedly told them "No!" I cannot afford it.

      It just didn't register.

      They use current students for this shit, so they too are still delusional about the fate that awaits them at graduation.

      Our trollish friend will soon no doubt be along in this thread to spout his nonsense, especially about IGNORING the DEBT?!????

      "Network", etc. Fuck you.

      You want a future?

      Do what I said 20 years ago. Forego college let alone law school. Go to a trade school and get a job. Tradesman with no debt make $50k while broke-ass "Fake It" attorneys make that or less as solos.

      Or do what another poster has written many times: Try and get a municipal job and hang on to it. With a union backing you, you'll move up. Again, no debt and it only cost you the price of a test and some time if you don't get in. Hardly the life-destroying / crippling debt of law school..

      Lastly, I plugged some numbers into the Fin. Aid calculator:

      Loan Balance: $250,000.00
      Adjusted Loan Balance: $250,000.00
      Loan Interest Rate: 6.80%
      Loan Fees: 0.00%
      Loan Term: 25 years
      Minimum Payment: $50.00

      Monthly Loan Payment: $1,735.18
      Number of Payments: 300

      Cumulative Payments: $520,554.20
      Total Interest Paid: $270,554.20

      Note: The monthly loan payment was calculated at 299 payments of $1,735.18 plus a final payment of $1,735.38.

      It is estimated that you will need an annual salary of at least $208,221.60 to be able to afford to repay this loan. This estimate assumes that 10% of your gross monthly income will be devoted to repaying your student loans. This corresponds to a debt-to-income ratio of 1.2. If you use 15% of your gross monthly income to repay the loan, you will need an annual salary of only $138,814.40, but you may experience some financial difficulty.


      Read it and weep. And for the Love of God IGNORE the fucking trolling POS that posts here if you value your life.

    6. As sad as all this is, that others received phone calls soliciting money is rather funny.

      About 20 years ago, I would get such calls. Same thing, $500? $250...$100. It was always law students who called, not the professors or administrators. "Can't you 'guys' spare $500...?"

      Well, "you guys" was merely me, a solo.

      I felt bad for the students being sent to do battle on a field of which they knew nothing. Cold calling legal practicioners to solicit donations. Tough job.

      I would tell them that I didn't have enough confidence in paying my own bills from month to month, that I have nothing I am willing to part with, and that the best thing my law school could do is shut down (a top 25 school 40 years ago) and stop the current stream of my competitors. The callers were rather taken aback.

      One caller, incredibly, said that he understood. He had an engineering degree, had a good job offer out of undergraduate college, went to law school was a 3L and could not get an offer anywhere close to the engineering offer.

      I too wrote my law school asking that I no longer be sent any mailings-particularly the glossy, self-aggrandizing "annual report." Total drivel.

      I particularly remember one issue. It was a side bar to a main article. The side bar gave the number of law review articles authored by the faculty in the prior year, and the number of total pages those articles comprised, and touted that the number of pages of law review articles authored by the faculty in the prior year had INCREASED over prior years.

      Seriously? I am a mere graduate and THEY ARE THE PROFESSORS?

      The side bar sounded a lot like a Bass Master’s Weigh-In.

      Professor A, had 7 lbs 4 oz of articles published! Hooray. Professor B had 8 lbs 2 oz….

      So, the more the better! Does more have any bearing on quality? (In 40 years of practice I have never felt the need to read a law review article. Does anybody? What practical purpose do they serve? Does anyone know? Please let me know.)

      Medical articles seem to be a dozen golden calibers above legal articles. And why law students, no matter how damn bright they are, why are THEY editing articles by Professors? Why are children the gatekeepers of legal academic writing?

      So, if MORE IS BETTER, where is poor Albert?

      E = mc2.

      Now that does not take an eighth of a single line. Weights nothing. So, by my law school’s standards, a failure-no “poundage.”

      And for poor Albert? “Man of the Century.”

      “Brevity is the soul of wit.” “You are not ‘brief.’” (Therefore, you are witless.) (Original to the poster.)

      Quod est demonstrandum.

      (Thanks Nando for all you do. You provide the forum where truth-speakers can make a difference.)

    7. Thank you for those calculations. Bear in mind that Loyola Chicago is not even a very expensive law school. Many cost more than $250k; several, more than $300k.

      But just suppose, for the sake of laughs, that someone coming out of Loyola Chicago today can get a job paying $180k. Even that is not enough, according to the calculations posted above, to cover payments on student loans amortized over 25 years.

      Realistically, a graduate of Loyola Chicago might well be unemployed ten months after graduation (one graduate in seven is: and in any event is unlikely to get a salary even close to $180k, since the 75th percentile of those reporting a salary was $83k in 2014 (

      So how can going to Loyola Chicago make sense?

    8. I note you are from Chicago? Nu? There's plenty of work. Erect a billboard along the Eisenhower advertising $49.00 traffic ticket defense.

  7. Shutter at least 100 of these shitholes.

  8. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingDecember 2, 2016 at 6:50 PM

    Law School is not a scam if they fully and fairly disclose that attendance and even bar passage is no longer a guaranteed path to a sustainable middle class career. There are hundreds of applicants for every position. There is nothing inherently wrong with selling a used Grand Am with 240,000 miles. Don't just call it like new. Same thing with law school. Understand that.


    On December 2, 2016, Paul Caron covered this development in a blog entry labeled “Penn Prof: 10-15 Law Schools May Close.” Scroll down to the Comments section of that post.

    User “Jojo” provided this gem on December 2, 2016 4:21:19 am:

    “From Zemsky's lips to the ABA's ears. Legal ed and the legal profession would be much better with 50 fewer schools.”

    Poster “Shawn R.” wrote the following on December 2, 2016 5:55:10 am:

    “If the ABA passes the 75% bar passage rate rule - which it should - a lot more than 10 to 15 law schools are going to close.

    I also disagree that the ABA should "help" these poorly performing law schools, many of which are approaching the level of being unethical - if not outright criminal - scams. The ABA should set the standards and get out of the way, letting the chips fall where they may.”

    From an anonymous commenter on December 2, 2016 at 8:30:09 am:

    "You’d think the least attractive school would charge the lowest price."

    Careful Prof. Zemsky, your words are dangerous and offensive to law school administrators and faculty who believe that a legal education is priceless in and of itself. Equating such noble and inherently legitimate institutions (all of them are apparently) to businesses subject to basic principles of economics (supply and demand) is a microaggression that may warrant Play-Doh filled therapy sessions (in between regularly scheduled Trump whining sessions, of course).”

    Followed up by “Evergreen Dissident” on December 2, 2016 9:57:40 am:

    “Even closing 50 isn't enough. To truly reform the system, about 100 schools need to close.”

    And, of course, a bastard named Steve Diamond – who is a legal academic – defecated the following material on December 2, 2016 at 10:59:32 am:

    “There is no evidence that the legal profession would "be much better" with fewer law schools. It just means there will be fewer law school graduates. As many people have noted in this debate the country remains underlawyered and so it is at least arguable that the country will be worse off if universities and law schools cannot find ways to make law schools financially viable.”

    As you can see, Stephen F. Diamond is an “associate law professor" at $anTTTa Clara Univer$iTTTy Sewer of Law. According to the current US “News” & World Report rankings, this toilet is rated as the 129th greatest, most fantastic, and amazing law school in the entire country!

    I lit this cockroach up, back on January 5, 2015. The pig is all about $elf-pre$ervation and protecting little “law professors.” The students and debt-strapped/financially ruined graduates are a mere afterthought to him.

    1. —— Stephen F. Diamond is an “associate law professor"

      Truncate it: Stephen F. Diamond is an ass.

  10. —— As many people have noted in this debate the country remains underlawyered ...

    This piece of bullshit seems to be based on the following shopworn line of "thinking":

    1) Lots of people cannot afford a lawyer.
    2) There is therefore great unmet demand for legal services.
    3) There is therefore a shortage of lawyers.

    There is in fact a great surplus of lawyers—more than 27,000 called to the bar just in the year 2009 ( That's consistent with allegations of a vast unmet demand for "affordable" (read: free) legal services. Most of us aren't practicing law as a labor of love; we need money for such frivolities as food and housing. So vague pronouncements such as "the country remains underlawyered", whether true or not, do not demonstrate a shortage of lawyers—real lawyers who can afford to practice law, not idealized lawyers who in theory could spend their days offering free legal services if they were able to forgo their material existence.

    Incidentially, a lot of us, unlike most scamsters, do contribute a great deal of pro bono work.

    And the US does not need even one "lawyer" from the likes of Santa Clara Univershitty.

    —— ... and so it is at least arguable that the country will be worse off if universities and law schools cannot find ways to make law schools financially viable.

    No, it isn't, scamster Diamond. The country would be better off without a parasitic class of law "professors" drawing six-figure salaries at public expense for a few hours per week of questionable work when they're not attending sponsored conferences at the Waldorf-Astoria.

    1. Spot on. The need for legal services is immense. The ability to pay for those services is almost non-existent. My small firm meets with clients almost daily who need legal services, but more often than not those clients can't afford even discounted fees. I always said if there was insurance for legal services like there is for medical services this profession would a decent way to make a living.

    2. Pre-paid legal services are akin to insurance. They may not be of much value, though. I don't see how they could be. If the average customer uses, say, two hours of services per year for an annual fee of $200, the lawyers providing the services cannot receive very much money. Does anyone know how much these companies pay the lawyers per hour?

    3. About 20 years ago I was asked to participate in such a plan. This particular plan did not get off the ground and nothing came of it. To answer your question, though, I believe the fees to the lawyer were set fees as opposed to hourly. Couple of hundred dollars at most.

  11. I'm a law professor at a public school (bottom of the 2nd Tier) and I wanted to say some things. 1. I love this site, not only because it's very funny but because I think it really makes people think about the long-term financial implications of taking out so much debt. 2. I get a little defensive about the critique of legal education because part of why law firm jobs have disappeared is the profit expectations of law firm partners, who wanted to make as much as their clients. This really didn't pick up till the mid 1980s, when a 20 year bubble began that burst in 2008. If you're my age (53) or younger, all you've known is the bubble and its bursting, but really that has been an abnormal period in the legal market. 3. I like my students much, much more than my colleagues, many of whom are, frankly, just not very likable. But I hope that you had some positive experiences with your teachers, because many of them (maybe even most..) really do want to make some kind of contribution to you. I wish that I could create jobs for my students, I'm sorry that I can't, and I do recognize a lot of truth in what you say. Anyway, keep up the good work...

  12. @ December 2, 2016 at 4:59 PM

    I'm glad you're no longer in debt. And I agree 110% with what you wrote. I feel the same way. It's the years they stole from you plus the stress and despair over the money. That's the key.

    Interesting story for my part.

    A friend I know had their son complete a Ph.D. program in the sciences. All tolled, 9 years of his life gone. Now note, this isn't a JD. This was hard sciences.

    He couldn't get more than 3 interviews let alone a job..

    Did they look to me as an example of the scam of Higher Education? That's all they had to do.. I was right there.

    Guess where he did get a job. Back in academia teaching the suckers who are planning on trying to do what he did!!

    Not in the private sector. Back in the Ivory Tower because that's all he could land after all those wasted years. His 20's too are now gone and in the Rear View mirror..

    Nobody listens.

    As far as the guy who's son is a radiologist, great. But that's the top 1/2 of 1% of all wage earners in the US. We're talking people who look to education to afford a "middle class" lifestyle.

    The problem is, the result is just the opposite. They are supporting, via the gov't in collusion, the Horse and Buggy makers. The Horse and Buggy is the JD at this point. The H&B makers are the law schools.

    Looking at it in this light, who would go to law school today. The degree is dead for 95% of people.

  13. Law school is not a scam! The legal market is changing and you must go along with it.

    Now is a great time to go law school since admissions is less picky, hence no need for alternative admissions programs like AAMPLE.

    I advise:

    1. Go with the intention to graduate with the least amount of debt possible.

    2. Network while is school

    3. Do not attned private law schools unless they are in the top 10.

    4. Identify what type of law you want to practice. ( If you know you want to do criminal law then any degree will get you in the door.. check out FAMU, also look for legal intern jobs that allow you to practice on a limited basis before you graduate, while supervised (in florida they have them).

    5. Do not worry about the loans.. education is a good debt.

    Most important be realistic and remember this... some of the victums (losers)of the so called law school scam are the kind of people that would struggle/ not hack it in any proffesion they try).

    This does not mean you will have the same fate. FAMU a Tier 4 school even has big law placements, if rolling in the dough and bringing six figures is your thing.

    Shoot for the moon and try your best... you only have one life to live.

    1. 9:00am-why do you print this stuff-it's gotten to the point where it's just lies; does it make you feel good to scam people?
      Per the ABA's inflated job stats, a grand total of 1 FAMU ls grad had a job at a law firm of 250-500 members, and 36 were flat out unemployed. Of a class of 147, only 56 had fulltime jobs requiring a JD.
      You post the same lies over and over, ignoring facts. All you're doing is misleading the gullible; but in any case, it's simply factually and morally wrong. Why do you do it?

    2. Law School is a horrific scam. As those of us who have at least practiced know, it is a highly inefficient way to make money. There's just too many better things for today's kids to go into, barring, of course, connected status or entry into a t14 at the very least. All others beware.

      9:00AM, what is/was your major practice area?

    3. 9:00 AM, you are absolutely correct on having but one life to live. It's also way too short to throw away on a TTT law degree!

  14. Captain, I enjoy your comments, but I gotta disagree with you. Unlike a properly maintained Grand Am, even one with 240,000 miles on it, law school is dangerous to your health: depression, alcoholism, poor exercise and eating habits, and worse. That is, for most, law school and a law career is inherently dangerous at any price; for most, it's unsafe at any speed.


    On November 30, 2016, the Financial Times published a Jane Croft article that was entitled "Law school admissions collapse continues." Enjoy the following portion:

    "Since 2010, US law schools have experienced a drop in student admissions to a level not seen since 1973, when there were 53 fewer schools than today (204). The number of first-year students entering law school in 2015 dropped to just above 37,000 compared to 52,000 in 2010, according to figures released by the American Bar Association. The latest enrolment numbers are due in December.

    So why have numbers been falling? After all, there are still lucrative jobs around. Earlier this year Wall Street law firms competed to lure young lawyers with lucrative pay packages after US firm Cravath Swaine & Moore raised the annual salary offered to first-year associates to $180,000, sparking a pay war.

    But since the Great Recession, the jobs market for newly minted lawyers has become tougher: most law firms have been taking on fewer recruits because their corporate clients have cut their legal spending. In addition, some of the work traditionally done by young lawyers — such as document discovery — is now being outsourced to cheaper locations like India or is being automated by new technology. As a result, many students are wary about taking on a six-figure debt from law school tuition fees without the prospect of a guaranteed job at the end.

    Yet many law schools have responded to the challenging conditions by thinking creatively about what they offer — including a greater focus on skills-based instruction.

    Conscious that a juris doctor (JD) degree, the qualification to become a lawyer, costs an average of $34,600 per year in tuition fees, reaching almost $60,000 at an elite law school, some institutions are also offering compressed, shorter degrees or add-on subjects like computer science or healthcare."

    The problem is that TTTT grads with certificates in health care law are not attractive candidates for decent firms. While this piece tries to spin in favor of the law school pigs, the fact remains that a JD leads to financial hell - for legions of grads each and every year. Does that strike you as a wise "investment," waterhead?!?!

  16. They'll shut down in part because the lawyers they are graduating these days will not earn enough to be the fat cat alumni that would rather donate than have their millions taxed. When I was in law school, one of the biggest contributors was a firm run by some old dude that graduated years before I was born...and I did not go straight from undergrad to law school.


    Back on January 31, 2013, Business Insider published a piece from Erin Fuchs, under the headline “The Law School Crisis Could Crush ‘Stand-Alone’ Schools.” Here is the full text of that article:

    “The New York Times' most emailed story Thursday analyzed the sharp drop in law school applications and the brutal impact it could have on legal education.

    University of Chicago law professor Brian Leiter made the story's most ominous prediction: He estimated 10 law schools would close within the next decade.

    Now, law school closures are rare.

    We spoke with Washington University Law Professor Brian Tamanaha, author of Failing Law Schools, who could recall maybe one law school closure in the 1980s. (He couldn't remember the school's name.)

    But Tamanaha agreed that some law schools could be in trouble now that so many folks seem to be abandoning the notion of getting a JD.

    The law schools whose deans should be freaking out a little are so-called stand-alone law schools that aren't attached to universities, like New York Law or Thomas Jefferson.

    With no university to fall back on, "they run like any other business," Tamanaha said.

    Most stand-alones aren't ranked or have low rankings and are extremely dependant on tuition to operate, says law professor and law school "scam" exposer Paul Campos.

    "They have negligible endowments and almost no other sources of income," Campos told BI. "If their tuition revenues decrease markedly they may become unsustainable operations very quickly."

    These schools also rely on loans to cover their daily operating expenses, Tamanaha pointed out. A dramatic drop in law school applicants might make banks charge them higher rates.

    "To the extent that applications are collapsing, that makes the [stand-alone] schools riskier borrowers," he said.

    Some stand-alones may closing or merge with other stand-alones to stay afloat.

    Law schools attached to big universities are probably here to stay, though.

    "It's really hard to pull the plug on the law school at a big university," Tamanaha said, "Law school alumni tend to be very generous donors. A university would be reluctant to alienate its alumni donors."

    As you can see, this has been a topic for several nows year. Rutgers merged both of its commodes, Hamline and Mitchell combined in Minnesota, and Indiana TTTTTech is closing its doors in summer 2017. Even Pig Brian Leiter opined that 10 commodes would shutter within the next decade. And everyone understands that stand-alone toilets are at bigger risk of going under. What a beautiful day!


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