Friday, February 10, 2017

Breaking News: Those From Affluent Backgrounds Receive More Merit Scholarships to Attend Law School

What a Deal!: On February 8, 2017, the ABA Journal featured an article from Stephanie Francis Ward, under the headline “Affluent students get law school merit scholarships while others foot the bill.” Check out this opening:

“Law schools have become more generous with merit scholarships, and the money has been flowing to privileged students whose parents are college-educated, according to a report released by the Law School Survey of Student Engagement. 

Individuals whose parents had no college experience were the least likely to receive merit scholarships, according to the study, titled Law School Scholarship Policies: Engines of Inequity. 

Basing merit determinations on LSAT results—90 percent of the respondents with merit awards had LSAT scores above 165—is an instigator, according to Frank H. Wu, a University of California Hastings College of Law professor who wrote the the survey’s foreword. Wu argues that LSAT scores can be a performance predictor but don’t necessarily demonstrate merit. 

“Everyone is on the side of merit. There are no advocates for mediocrity. But so called merit scholarships are less about students’ merit than they are about our own sense of elitism,” he wrote. 

A better way to reward merit, according to Wu, would be to base determinations on law school work. He blames law school rankings for schools’ heavy reliance on LSAT scores, and he describes the current merit scholarship trend as a “’reverse Robin Hood’ revenue model,” where “the poorest students are being forced to subsidize their wealthier peers.” 

“Instead of identifying talented individuals who lack resources—the ‘strivers’ we claim to admire—we are reinforcing economic hierarchy. We are sending the message that those who already have so much deserve so much more,” Wu wrote.” [Emphasis mine]

Frank Wu has changed his tune. Back on April 22, 2009, he authored a foolish USN&WR piece entitled “Why Law School Is for Everyone.” Now, he is echoing Paul Campos, by referring to the “reverse Robin Hood” effect. Sadly, waterheads will continue to apply to, and enroll in, these toilets because they overestimate their own ability – while downplaying those of their counterparts.

Other Coverage: On February 9, 2017, the National Law Journal published a Karen Sloan piece provocatively entitled “Minority Law Students Subsidize Scholarships, Study Finds.” Look at the portion below:

“The study found that 71 percent of the students surveyed received some form of scholarship. Of those, 79 percent were "merit based," while 21 percent were "need based." The distribution of merit-based scholarships was tied closely to the recipient's LSAT score — 90 percent of respondents with LSAT scores of 166 or higher got those scholarships, compared with 16 percent for those with scores of 140 or lower. 

The distribution of merit-based scholarships also varied by race. Sixty-seven percent of white students and 61 percent of Asian students received merit-based scholarships, compared to 52 percent of Latino students and 49 percent of black students. The black and Latino students surveyed also reported lower LSAT scores overall than white and Asian respondents. 

Similarly, students whose parents went to college were more likely to receive merit scholarships than first-generation students whose parents didn't have a high school diploma or didn't finish college. Hence, the students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds on the whole pay more to attend law school than their wealthier classmates. 

Unsurprisingly, black and Latino students were bracing for higher student debt burdens. Among Latinos, 57 percent expected to have more than $100,000 in law school debt, as did 53 percent of black respondents. Meanwhile, just 38 percent of white students anticipated a debt load of $100,000 or more. That figure was 40 percent among Asian students. 

Last year's Law School Survey of Student Engagement highlighted law student debt levels as well as stress. It concluded that high debt correlates to more stress, and minority students were on the high end of both measures.” [Emphasis mine]

If you earned a 150 on the LSAT, do you still want to take the plunge, Dumbass?! Do you wish to subsidize the studies of your fellow students, with higher entrance scores, who are on scholarship? Good luck competing against them for decent legal jobs. Plus, if their parents are elite college graduates – or have money – they will be in a position to make a few calls to influential friends. Can you or your family do the same, moron?!?! No, you can barely afford two-ply toilet paper to wipe your ass with, fool.
Yet, you still want to enroll in an ABA-accredited commode. Perhaps, your brain stem is not fully developed – and you wish to incur outrageous sums of NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt, so you can save the whales or help fight for “social justice.” This goes double if you are a racial minority!

Conclusion: If you are not RIDICULOUSLY CONNECTED or wealthy – and you attend a cesspool of a law school – then you better be an incredibly attractive female. Doors may open for those JDs. Otherwise, you are pissing away three years of your life, including prime income years. There is no sense in accumulating an additional $130K+ in student loans for a garbage law degree that will qualify you for a job making $38K per year, if you’re lucky. Have someone smarter than you do the math for you, Stupid!


  1. First of all, most of these "scholarships" are not scholarships—real money distributed from an endowed fund—but discounts.

    Second, "merit" usually comes in only tangentially. Law schools typically offer discounts not to award "merit", however defined, but to secure the enrollment of people with the sorts of LSAT scores and GPAs that will bolster the ranking in You Ass News.

    The most astounding fact above: 16% of people with scores of 140 or lower get "merit-based" "scholarships". Listen up, honey: there isn't any mother-fucking merit at 140 or lower. That's the bottom 13%. And certainly it can't be said that one person in six at that level is particularly meritorious.

    1. Precisely. "Discounts" not "scholarships.

      Ratchet up the tuition, lure the best with "discounts." Have the low end pay full tuition and cover the discounts.

      Scam from the first penny.

  2. Let's clarify: the fund$ come from the Federal Govt, so its really you and me (taxpayers) that are on the hook when the scam blows up.

    The bottom feeder TTT law grad can go on IBR and get the 10% garnishment from his 29K call center job and be really no worse off. Nevermind that the pittance of a payment won't even pay the principle of the loan back!

    Hey, as John Maynard Keynes said, "in the long run, we're all dead."

  3. Wu said that "[t]here are no advocates for mediocrity". Bullshit, Wu. Look at all of the scamsters that defend toilets such as yours, and even fouler toilets of the Charlotte and Indiana Tech variety. Mediocrity is too charitable a term; shittiness is closer to the mark.

  4. Law School Rape VictimFebruary 10, 2017 at 12:35 PM

    This cannot be emphasized enough: Law Schools do not give two shits about people from marginal or non-connected backgrounds. They only care about the federally-backed student loan dollars that historically unrepresented classes add to their coffers. If you have to go into debt to attend anything other than a top 8 law school, then you are setting yourself up for major hardship.

    Don't think for one minute that law schools don't prey on people of color any less than the likes of payday lenders and subprime mortgage brokers. The whole damn profession is one big pay-to-play racket, and the little guys end up getting eaten piece by piece.

    It's really quite simple: If you're not rich and connected, then there are far better professions for you. An associate's degree in nursing from a community college will probably open more doors for you, and you'll actually be doing meaningful work. Unlike lawyers, there's an actual demand for healthcare professionals.

    Don't find out the hard way. Law is for the rich and connected.

    1. This rape victim speaks the truth. Listen up, kiddies. If you take out student loans to attend any law school outside the top 5-10 you're headed for hard times. If it's outside the top 50 you're a fool.

    2. 12:35 speaks the truth-basically, we've got a system where the less well off are subsidizing the well off. The poor take out the loans, the rich get the discounts-and the law schools benefit greatly.

    3. As one of those shitty people from marginal or non-connected backgrounds, I concur with Law School Rape Victim. Not even excelling at an élite law school has served me well.

  5. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingFebruary 10, 2017 at 7:13 PM

    Does anybody believe those Chicagoland billboard traffic attorneys for $49.00 received any scholarships in law school?

    1. Captain, there is a law office in Missouri advertising traffic ticket defense for $45.00. Looks like the market for lawyers is turning around!

    2. Probably be $20 in a few years. I have been wondering about the effect of graduating %100 more students than jobs would have on existing lawyers.

    3. Years ago, I ran across one of those banned "bar association fee schedules." The suggested fee for an uncontested divorce was $1,200.00 in about 1965. Newspaper advertised fees for uncontested divorces in 1986 when I found the fee schedule were $250.00. So, 20 years later, fees had dropped to about 1/5th. With inflation taken into consideration, the $250.00 is even less.
      Of course, this may not be the entire story, some attorneys surely charged more for uncontested divorces than the $250.00 advertised rate, but those attorneys are competing with the $250.00 flat fee attorneys.
      Good luck, all.

    4. Nando-
      No need to post this. This is a message only to you.

      At 40 years in, even in my early days, I had some ill-formed impression that the "deck was stacked."

      I have actually made a living practicing law, though the hours have been horrific, the pay low, and the benefits NONE.

      I am the one you asked to copy and paste my prior entry as it should be "seen" (or some such). I think I am the only poster that you have asked to do that.

      I am a solo, my wife works for/with/supervises me.

      Being a solo does not mean one is diminished, or stupid. DaVinci was solo. Michelangelo was a solo. Margaret Mead's famous quote is that all major changes in the world were brought about by a single person well-motivated.

      And so you are. (I don't really think you need any encouragement, for you seem to be a "force of nature," but I thought I'd throw in a bit of encouragement anyway, for it helps all of us.

      You have given me a podium to place my life's lessons before children and I thank you for that, as I think I have learned some important things of value to 0L's, and your website is THE VOICE calling the ABA, the law schools, and the government to account.

      I will keep posting-I check 3rd Tier 3 or 4 times a day. I have posted under anonymous, 39 and 40 year solo, and Cincinnati's (when I am particularly enraged.)

      Please do not post, for the reason of the word "Peoria."

      To acknowledge, an entry of "Got It." Would suffice.

      I am with you, as you are right.


      (There is a BIG story behind "Cincinnatus," Someday, I may have an opportunity to explain it to you-I took on a national organization-grass roots-and beat them out.)

    5. In case 4:49PM's numbers looked bad already, consider that in inflation-adjusted numbers the suggested 1965 fee is $9100 (2016 dollars) and the 1986 fee is $550 (2016 dollars). So actually the 1986 fee was a little over 1/20th of the 1965 fee.

  6. But whose gonna advocate for those law students who got a 138 on the LSAT?

    1. The Department Of Low Test Scorers (DOLTS).


    On February 9, 2017, Paul Caron covered this topic, in an entry labeled “LSSSE: Law School Merit Scholarship Policies — Engines Of Inequity.” Let’s head to the Comments section.

    Law school pig Theodore Seto provided the following disingenuous excrement on February 9, 2017 at 4:56:00 am:

    “Perhaps the ABA should consider a rule that prohibits merit scholarships for entering 1L students, permitting need-based scholarships for entering 1Ls and all types of scholarships for continuing and transfer students. The problem is a collective action problem; the proposed rule would go a long way towards solving that problem. Current practices benefit schools in proportion to their financial resources; a needs-based-scholarship-only 1L rule would put schools back on a more level playing field with regard to 1L recruiting and make it more likely that schools could reduce nominal tuition without taking a rankings hit.”

    Poster “Jojo” blasted Cockroach Seto with this response on February 9, 2017 5:13:25 am:

    “Nothing will change. The reason the "law school is a scam" mantra persists is that it is true. It's a bit hyperbolic, but it is more true than not. Law schools are hellbent on opposing meaningful change, attacking reform proposals, and circling the wagons.

    It's only a matter of time until DeVos kills your funding goose. I look forward to watching law school deans whine and moan on msnbc when it happens about "the kids" and "the justice system" which matter to you only when your job is at stake.”

    Now, check out this brutally honest comment from an anonymous user – on February 9, 2017 10:52:00 AM:

    “The credibility of the law prawf signatories to all the various political letters circulating around is undermined when this sort of thing is going on under their noses at their own institutions.

    What a ripe area for social justice action: law schools' own scholarship, and other shady policies, and how they impact access to the legal profession by underrepresented groups who are not only discriminated against by these policies, but who are also unwittingly subsidizing their rich white counterparts' discounts.

    This is old news, so I've often wondered why there is no broad outcry from prawfs.

    Complicit selective social justice. What a racket.”

    I couldn’t have put it any better. The law school swine chortle about “social justice” and “giving voice to the underrepresented segments of society.” Yet, these bitches and hags engage in outrageous conduct that leaves TENS OF THOUSANDS of students and law grads – each year – in financial ruin. These “scholars” know that the VAST MAJORITY of students at their 38th, 57th, or 102nd ranked toilet have no shot in hell to land decent legal employment upon graduation. Yet, they gladly take their borrowed money anyway. And you can bet your ass that these pieces of garbage don’t lose a single wink of sleep over it either!

    1. Wow, man. Came out hard like Charles Oakley. I know law profs are thieves but are they really terrible people?

    2. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingFebruary 11, 2017 at 3:06 PM

      No, they aren't terrible people. They just don't want to end up like me. A Solo driving a crappy car competing with $49.00 billboard traffic ticket defense attorneys after almost 30 years of practice.

    3. Law professors aren't going to bite the hand that feeds them.

  8. What's new about this? Reverse-robin hooding has been going on for at least ten years. Nora Demleitner used it at Hofstra as a way to move up in us news rankings.

    Whats funny is that most deans like Demleitner claim to be liberals. Yet they exploit the poorest students. She also had a diversity problem at Washington and Lee. Seems that when black students complained about the lack of diversity she told them you should have looked at our website. What a piece of work.

    Where is SALT on all of this. I thought they fought for social justice. They should be calling out deans like Demleitner. Or is social justice protecting our jobs by exploiting minorities?

    1. Why the hell would a Black student enroll at a law school that glorifies Robert E. Lee? The university finally removed its Confederate flags only three years ago and still maintains an elaborate shrine to Lee.

    2. Because they don't know history. Or because they foolishly believe getting a law degree is a ticket to success.

    3. "Or because they foolishly believe getting a law degree is a ticket to success"

      It is the golden ticket to success.

  9. Law profs only care about social justice when it comes to other institutions or industries. Not their own.


    Back on January 2, 2012, Paul Campos authored a solid entry that was entitled “The scholarship game.” Look at the following portion:

    “One of the most significant developments in the law school world over the past few years has been the explosion in so-called "merit scholarships." The definition of a scholarship can be tricky: traditionally the term was used to describe money generated by endowed funds given to a school for the purpose of offsetting attendance costs, but now it tends to be used more generally to mean any discount off the advertised price of attendance, from whatever source. In fact at present the vast majority of "merit scholarships" offered to prospective law students don't come from endowment income, but rather from tuition cross-subsidization. (Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, who are in the unique position of not really competing with other law schools for students, claim all their financial aid is need-based. Need-based financial aid at other law schools ranges from skimpy to non-existent. I'm not going to discuss in this post the dubious practice of handing out "merit scholarships" that come with continued eligibility requirements that, because of law school grading practices, guarantee that many recipients will lose those scholarships after their first year).

    It works like this: suppose a school nominally charges $40,000 per year in tuition, and admits 200 students per class. In theory each class pays eight million dollars per year in tuition, but in fact it only pays $6.4 million. This is because the school uses the tuition money it receives from the class to distribute "merit scholarships" equivalent to 20% of nominal tuition to each class. The majority of students pay $40,000 per year, and the vast majority pay more than the "average" (mean) tuition of $32,000. What this means, of course, is that the students who are paying full tuition are subsidizing students who are paying less. Essentially, schools are charging some students to pay some or all of the costs of buying the attendance of other students.

    This system, like so many other aspects of contemporary American legal education, has arisen as a consequence of the ratings game. The entrance qualifications of each class, in terms of LSAT and GPA numbers, make up 22% of the USNWR ratings formula, and so schools invest resources in buying students who would otherwise go to higher ranked schools. Unfortunately, the bulk of those resources are extracted quite directly from other students (Merit scholarships in the traditional sense of endowed funds exist, of course, especially at higher ranked schools, but most "scholarships" are simply tuition cross-subsidization).

    Since on average a student's combined LSAT and GPA numbers to some extent predict how well the student will do in law school (with many individual exceptions of course) the upshot of all this is that the students who are the most likely to get good legal jobs, or any legal jobs at all, are those who are paying significantly less, on average, for their law degrees than their classmates who are getting worse jobs, or no jobs at all -- and indeed the latter group is paying for much of the legal educational costs of the former.”

    Yet, now you see disinenguous cockroaches such as Theodore Seto and Frank Wu jump on this issue – even employing phrases such “reverse Robin Hood effect.” Where were these swine when tuition SKYROCKETED at their respective trash pits?!?! Well, they were laughing their way to the bank – as their students were incurring toxic levels of NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt.

    1. Law School Rape VictimFebruary 13, 2017 at 9:32 AM

      It's all a shell game. If they don't completely assrape students with astronomical tuition rates, they bend them over with ridiculously overpriced casebooks and "student activity fees." There's nothing even remotely free when it comes to law school. Even those privileged enough to land "merit" scholarships still end up paying exorbitant sums of money to the law school racket. The only difference is that rich kids aren't going to have to start their careers some $200K in debt.

      Here's some simple advice: If you're paying full fare on the maiden voyage of the TTTTitanic, you're most likely paying someone else's tuition--one who has access to the lifeboats while you're going to end up fending for yourself in some mighty frigid waters. Don't find this out the hard way.

      I'll say it again: Law is for the rich and connected. The little guy doesn't stand a chance.



    Here is the Annual Report for 2016 survey results, ““Law School Scholarship Policies: Engines of Inequity,” by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research. Cockroach William Henderson is listed as an LSSSE facult associate. This is the same turd who told me that “It’s okay if NYLS charges it’s students a lot in tuition, because most of those are rich kids and they can handle the debt.” Yes, what a beacon of integrity, huh?!?!

    Scroll down to page seven:

    “This year’s Annual Report analyzes law school scholarship trends through the frame of equity. Its fundamental scope is to investigate the extent to which law school scholarships benefit students with the most financial need. This issue is important because scholarships (effectively tuition discounts) influence the amount students pay for law school and, for most, the amounts they incur in student loan debt.

    Law graduates are among the most highly indebted student loan borrowers. According to the American Bar Association, graduates of public law schools incur about $90,000 in debt; the average among private law school graduates is about $130,000. Therefore, questions about the types of scholarships being awarded and to whom they are being awarded have broad implications, in the short and long terms.

    The data presented in this Report comes from the LSSSE Survey responses of more than 16,000 students at 67 U.S. law schools who were asked a series of questions about scholarship and grant aid they received during the 2015-16 school year. The 3 responses provide an insightful glimpse into the state of law school scholarships, including the types of awards being made and the likeliest recipients…

    Merit scholarships tend to be awarded through equality frameworks, in which similar criteria are applied to all applicants. These criteria most often revolve around standardized test scores and other factors that track closely to non-merit indicators, such as socioeconomic status. In the end, wealth and privilege become proxies for merit, a conflation that results in financial windfalls and further advantages for applicants least in need of such assistance.” [Internal citations removed]

    Look at the average debt loads again: roughly $90K for public commodes and about $130K for those who graduated from private ABA toilets. Unless you are a Biglaw associate, and can maintain that post and move up quickly, how the hell can you hope to reasonably pay off the latter figure?!?! Yet, waterheads continue to enroll in FOURTH TIER CESSPITS that are less prestigious than a soiled litterbox.

    By the way, I love how the pigs show pictures of law students of different races and ethnicities laughing and smiling – and wearing suits and ties. In a couple of images, you see engaged “legal scholars.” In real life, law students don’t spend much time laughing on campus. Many come to class dressed in shorts and flip flops. And I can tell you that most of my “professors” were lazy bastards – and a few were outright cunts. The stress of taking on large amounts of NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt – along with competing for the few top grades in each class so you can have a chance at decent employment – does not make for a receptive environment. Plus, the classes and coursework are about as exciting as watching crickets mate.

    1. Showing up in shorts and flip-flops is utterly disgraceful but very common. I dress better to paint the walls than half of my classmates did to attend class.

  13. Law professors are filthy cockroaches who transmit a disease called lifelong debt to their
    unwary students.


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